Gotta Love Northern California!

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Posted by Bill Montgomery on 2013-06-02 15:29:09

My buddy Rich and I received a "hall pass" from our wives over Memorial Day weekend to go fishing. Rich dubbed the trip our first annual "Fishapalooza". We both worked Friday morning and then headed up to Colusa. After gorging ourselves at Granzella's, we met up with Tony Buzolich to fish for stripers on the Sacramento. Tony warned us about the negative effects of the full moon but we were unfazed. Surprisingly, we started out with 2 quick doubles. Then things slowed down for a bit until late evening. The only low point on our trip occurred at the end of the day when Rich caught a snag and his new Scott 9 wt and reel popped out of his hands. We marked the spot and tried to catch the line by casting to it but to no avail. We headed out late to drive up to Burney to stay at the Rex Cabins (previously Angelina's and as rumor has it a prior bordello!).

We were up early on Saturday to fish in our new inflatable kayaks on Baum Lake. The Dave Scadden kayaks worked great (we both modified the foot rests for better support) but with the full moon and no hatches the fishing was pretty slow. Not your typical morning on Baum Lake. We cut out at lunch and headed to Hat Creek for an afternoon and evening session. The lower riffle had a ton of hatches but the fishing (aka catching) was pretty slow. We finished the evening on the flats below the Powerhouse 2 riffle and fished dries. Lots of takes but only a few fish to hand. We had a great time but were starting to wonder about our fishing prowess by the end of day 2.

Sunday morning we met up with Dennis "Popeye" Franco from The Fly Shop. Popeye is quite the character and is a great guide. I've always done well with him. The first thing he said was "things are slow with this full moon", which seemed to be the motto of our trip. Fortunately, Popeye managed to find us a ton of big, hungry hard fighting Lower Sac rainbows, and we finished the day with big smiles and our egos intact again. We next headed down to Sacramento for the night.

Monday morning we fished with Keith Kaneko for shad on the American. His first comment was a full disclosure about the full moon (note to self, no more Fishapaloozas during full moons!). Regardless of the moon, Keith worked hard and we lost count of how many shad we caught during the morning and early afternoon. It was a great way to end the trip. Keith really knows the Yuba, Feather, American and Stanilaus and I highly recommend him.

We got home in time to soak in a hot tub, have a cold beer and join our families for a big end of the trip dinner. You've just gotta love Northern California, stripers, rainbows and shad all over a weekend. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the best part..........A couple of days after we got back, we received an email from Tony Buzolich. He went out fishing with a retired sheriff buddy and managed to find Rich's rod after only 2 casts. It turned out that his line was cross wrapped and the reel froze up pulling the rod out of his hands. Tony cleaned it up and said it's in perfect shape. We'll pick it up on our next outing with Tony. I've fished with lots of guides, many of which have gone way beyond the call of duty to make sure the trip is a good one but Tony's heroics going back out and finding Rich's rod was unbelievable. What a great guy. That new Scott rod of Rich's must have some serious mojo. I'm sure that many stripers will wish that Tony never found it!

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