Kyle pontoons down the Truckee
Fishing and hunting
STEVE KYLE floated and fished the Truckee River in his new pontoon boat.
(Note: Steve Kyle, my fishing buddy and number one correspondent, sent me the following report on his latest adventure – a pontoon float down the Truckee through the private waters of the San Francisco Fly Fishing Club.)
“I bought a pontoon boat from Leland Fly Fishing Ranch recently and last Tuesday on the Truckee River was my first launch. I couldn't find any of the usual suspects to help me on my maiden voyage, so I just called our Truckee house-keeper and said, ‘Hey Jeanne, I got something a little different for you today,’ and after explaining what I needed, she was into it like white on rice and has now become my official shuttle driver and helper on all things pertaining to ‘that really cool pontoon boat.’
“After taking me to the Glenshire Bridge for the launch, we unloaded the parts and Jeanne helped me put the boat together. I was soon able to put my two fly rods in the rod holders, lunch bucket on the stern platform and was set to go until I realized that my anchor wasn't attached. Strung the line, tossed some old scuba-belt weights into the anchor bag and pushed off from the rocky bank.
“Smiles from a small but enthusiastic audience of two, calls of ‘good luck and float safe’ from Jeanne, and I started off into the river to float into the morning sun. Around the bend I went, heading toward what I hoped were monster trout, some gnarly white water and another great adventure. I had a grin on my face that went from ear to ear.
“As for the fishing, it was good. I caught a lot of fish, don't really know how many, but I was into them most of the day. There was nothing happening on top so I used a two-nymph rig under an indicator and was able to fish it close to the boat or afar, pretty effectively. I had some weird cases of foul hooks, too – not sure why. I caught a lot of the private club’s planters – big fish but no real fight given their size and weight. One wild rainbow I hooked, maybe nine-inches long, had twice the fight of the bigger club fish.
“I thought it would be a shorter day, but I didn't get to Hirshdale until 5 p.m. I was pooped. When I saw that it was getting on to 3 p.m. and I was only at the confluence of Prosser Creek, I put the rod away and just started heading toward the pullout since I wasn't sure how long this would take. There was lots of really nice runs and water to explore, but I just kept pushing it down river. The rapids were fun and the boat handled them well. When I did get stuck on a rock, which happened more that I would like to admit, I would simply put my feet down and push off. Picking the right line is a trick, too, as I sometimes ended up on the wrong side of the run. Nothing bad but I need more experience on the oars for sure.
“It was a really magical trip as I was the only person on that part of the river for the entire day and it wouldn't have mattered much if I caught lots, a few or no fish, it was just fun. I had the place to myself and sitting in the middle of that river in shorts and wading shoes, putting on a new fly or just eating lunch, was the best. At one point I simply dropped the anchor, poured a cup of hot coffee, lit up a good Cuban cigar and sat there in total contentment for about 20 minutes. With the river water running just inches below my feet, I just sat in the dappled sunshine and watched the river and the abundant wildlife that calls the river home, move about. Totally excellent adventure.
“I'm naming my pontoon boat ‘Mr. Sky,’ after my good fishing friend, Schuyler Parsons, who just recently passed away. Cheers … Steve.”
Fishing closer to home this week is still excellent in San Francisco Bay for halibut and salmon. Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop, said salmon are being caught off Cal City (Marin shoreline), and halibut are being taken drifting live bait. Striped bass are being caught near China Camp and in the Petaluma and Napa rivers, said Joel Sinkay, of Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma.
Jim Andras, Leland's Fly Fishing Ranch guide, is guiding some successful striper fishing trips on the Napa River. Call him at 530-722-7992. The Ranch is also hosting some striped bass and steelhead fishing seminars next week. Call 939-6910 for details or go to their website at flyfishingoutfitters.com.
Rock and lingcod are biting like crazy off the Sonoma Coast, said Capt. Rick Powers, at Bodega Bay Sportfishing. Rick has also had some good salmon fishing this week, while the rocked and lingcod action has been off the charts fantastic. Call Rick at 875-3344 to book a trip.