Sutter Hill, CA Change


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Mark Kautz
07/10/2014 3:14 PM

I don’t normally go fishing on weekends, but I made an exception on Saturday, June 28. My wife went to Sacramento to get her hair cut and do some shopping, so I figured, “What the heck?”

I got to Bear River Reservoir at about 9:45 a.m. and found a small spot on the near side of the second dam. I was by myself for just about 15 minutes and then the masses started to arrive. It reminded me why I don’t fish on weekends. It started with five and by the time they were all there about 20 had shown up. Kids being kids, they started throwing rocks into the water. That ended any fishing.

I waited a half hour or so, just so I didn’t look rude, then packed up and headed home. Don’t believe I’ll do that again anytime soon.

The following Wednesday, I headed up toward Silver Lake. I got an email from my friend Yuki on Tuesday morning that said he, and I’m assuming his daughter, both limited fairly easily on Monday.

After a quick stop for coffee at Cook’s Station, I got to Silver Lake a little after 8:30 a.m. I stopped in at the Day Use area and decided to stay there instead of parking in my usual spot. I had originally planned to fish with my 6 wt. fly rod, but, as you know, Silver Lake is inherently windy and Wednesday was no exception. With spinning gear in hand, I walked down to the lake. It’s almost impossible to cast a fly when the wind is blowing a good 10 miles per hour, and it is always an “in-your-face” wind on Silver.

I was surprised to see that the lake had dropped a good 15 feet since I was up there on June 2. The big rock I’d been fishing off was now high and dry, so I found a little cubbyhole and set out two rods with rainbow Power Bait. The rocks I fished off last year were also starting to peek out of the lake.

I sat for an hour and didn’t get a bite. By then I was wondering where Yuki and Marisa fished, because it didn’t seem like where I was was the place. Then I noticed the line move, just a little. Normally, when you get a bite, the rod bounces and then the line goes straight. Not that day.

I picked up the rod and took up the slack line. Then with the line taut, I could feel the slightest tap as the fish would bite. People have different ways of detecting a bite. Some put a little slack in their line and use a bobber as an indicator of sorts hanging down from the rod at the second or third eye. Some use a little cowbell instead of the bobber. Me, I just watch the line. Like I said above, sometimes the rod bounces and the line goes straight. Other times, it’s just a twitch in the line. I’ve been doing it this way for so many years, I guess it’s just natural for me.

Back to the fish — I gave the fish a little time to get the Power Bait into its mouth and set the hook. When I brought it to hand, it was an 11-inch Rainbow, but barely hooked. The next time I got the little twitch, instead of setting the hook like I usually do, I just lifted the rod. When this one came to hand, it was also just barely lip-hooked.

What the first two fish taught me was to let the fish work on the bait a little bit longer, to assure it had the hook in its mouth.

Then there was the usual fishless gap of an hour or so until the school got back around to where I was. The next three came one right after another.

The fifth and final fish came right at 11:30 a.m. I’d been there just three hours, put five on the stringer and missed a couple of hits by being a little too quick on the set. Fish number four was interesting. The fish bit; I set the hook; and the sinker snagged in the rocks. I could feel the fish, but couldn’t get the sinker loose. I put some slack in the line and laid the rod down. As the line tightened, I picked up the rod and the fish had pulled the sinker out.

Tight Lines.

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