Monday, May 15, 2017

Monterey Bay trip, surf fishing, first striper.

My wife was invited to go diving with a friend in Monterey, sounds like a perfect chance for a little camping/surf fishing. We had a little trouble with snow over Donner, and a lot of trouble with a reckless driver in the rain on the 17.  About  45 minutes from our campground someone tried to squeeze around us, spun out, and smashed sideways into our new trailer. After about a 2 hour delay we made it to camp. Although completely totaled we were still able to sleep in the trailer so game on. 

I've tried fly fishing in the surf a couple of times before with no luck. Trying to find bars, ditches, troughs, tides, and currents are not easy. The waves all look the same. This time I was able to find two currents that ran into each other parallel to the beach. When they collided they basically made a perpendicular wake. This is where I concentrated my casting, and was rewarded with my first fly caught saltwater fish. It was just a little striper, but I couldn't of been happier. 


Smashed




See any structure? Me neither.


Sand Crab


Surf selfie.



Fish on!


First Striper, first saltwater on the fly!


Complex Twist Bugger, gotta have some orange.



Monday, April 10, 2017

First fish of the year, the 'Mid, and a groove in my stripping finger

March 12th. That's as long as I can remember that it has taken me to catch my first fish of the year. This time last year I had already caught a Lohontan or three and several bass, one on top! This has been one of the wettest winters Northern Nevada has seen with plenty of cold temps in between. I went up to my home pond a couple of times, only to find it frozen still. Now that its finally thawed there's a steady stream of snow melt pouring in, who knows when it will be ready. The Truckee is WAY high, and usually muddy. That being said, this is going to be an epic year! The river and ponds will be FULL for the first time in years,

For now its all about The 'Mid, The Big Salty, Pyramid Lake. The land of giant Lahontan Cutthrout Trout. 

Sunday morning found me meeting my buddy Zach at the lake. He picked the beach, and I was there at six in the morning, we were not alone. There were already two other trucks with a few fisherman in each. We picked our spots, set up our ladders, and started stripping buggers and beetles.  Zach scored first with a nice fish on a beetle, I hooked another but couldn't land it. Zach caught another nice fish, again on the beetle but it slowed down after that. He switched to an indicator and midge set-up and quickly caught two more.  

I started to get a little down, what with Zach landing four and me only hooking one. The sun was up and bright by this time so I switched from a black bugger to a white one.  As they say, bright day, bright fly. After a few casts I hooked another fish, wait for it...I landed the first fish of 2017!!!!! a nice Lahontan! The white bugger was on fire with a couple more hooked, and a couple more landed.  I kept after it despite getting a bite, setting the hook like a madman, falling off my laddder and filling my waders. There's no better feeling than falling off your your ladder in front of at least seven guys. Trust me, you won't soon forget it. "Do you even set hooks, Bro?" Zach had to go shortly after, but I stayed for awhile and caught a few more. After wearing a pretty good groove in my finger I decided to call it quits. I ended the day with ten hooked and six landed. All six on the white Complex Twist Bugger, definitely my best day at the 'Mid.


Sunrise


First fish of 2017




A nice one of Zach's


Battle scarred warrior


The ladder line






Wearing a groove


Celebration


Friday, December 30, 2016

Panther Branch Hoppers

It seems that around this time of year I start thinking of warmer weather, bluegills, and top water hoppers. My home pond has some Largemouth Bass that can't resist a tan hopper, and the California Bluegills are all over them no matter the color. This year I decided to tie up some Panther Branch Hoppers. Ive followed panther_branch_bugs on instagram for a couple years now, and I have to say that his hoppers have always intrigued me. (Don't get me started about his hair bugs) After doing some searching on the web I found a Fiberglass Manifesto post that had a step by step, and decided to give 'em a try. They're awesome little bugs, and the River Road Creations cutters that I got for Christmas made consistency easy. If you have any questions make sure to hit Brandon up at bailebr3@gmail.com I'm sure he'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.






Saturday, December 24, 2016

White Rabbit Chili

This recipe is a combination of several white chili recipes found online and on you tube. I've made a few changes, and added a couple of new ingredients. I like beer in my chili, I also used Anaheim peppers in addition to the canned green chiles. The next time I make this I'll leave the canned chiles out, I don't think they add anything to the dish. You can make this recipe with chicken stock as well, I really think that the rabbit stock makes it though. Besides, what else are you going to do with a Jackrabbit rib cage? If you make this recipe let me know what you think.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. Deboned Rabitt Meat. (I used a Jackrabbit front shoulder, and 2 Cottontails.)
3 Anaheim Peppers
2 Jalapeno Peppers
1 Can Diced Green Chiles
3-5 Cups Rabbit Stock
1 Medium Yellow Onion
13 oz. of Beer (I used Newcastle, but anything will work.)
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Cayenne
2 tsp Dried Oregano
3 Cans Great Northern Beans drained (1 can mashed, 2 cans whole)



Two Rabbits and a Hare


Deboned meat


Making the stock. Brown the bones, kidneys and liver.


Add the mirepoix


Cover with water, boil and simmer for two to three hours, salt to taste



Mise en place


Sweat the onion


Add the chiles and jalapenos, sweat


Brown the meat


Deglaze with the beer, scrape the bottom


Add the seasonings


Add the mashed beans


Add everything else


Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or two, depending on how thick you like it, check the season, add salt to taste


Serve with pickled jaapenos, cheese and corn bread

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chukar camp 2016

24950. Thats how many steps my phone says I took yesterday. 24950 steps doesn't begin to do what we did justice. 24950 steps for three birds. Ridiculous. 8316.666666 steps per bird. Even more ridiculous.

That's what a succesfull chukar hunt requires. a lot of walking up hills. A lot of sneaking up on birds and a lot of dissapointment. In the end we had a great trip, with a total of five chukar, and two quail. I can't wait until next year.