Support Leland Fly Fishing Ranch

I got an email this week from Josh and Laurel Frazier, owners of Leland Fly Fishing Ranch in Sonoma, asking for local support on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 1:30 p.m., when they seek design and permit approvals at the Sonoma County Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting in Santa Rosa.

“We've spent three years remaking our property along Arnold Drive, carving in ponds and adding low-impact buildings for online retail operations and a base of operations for off-site fly-fishing instruction on the Russian River and elsewhere across Sonoma County. The mission of Leland is to promote a sport and with it an ethic of environmental stewardship long synonymous with fly-fishing in America and the world around,” their letter said.

Josh and Laurel, who created a truly great business and fly-fishing education site in our community, have been at odds with the county over permit issues for many months. It is time for the county to stop being a roadblock and instead be helpful to a local business that is a great asset to our Valley. Give them the permits they need to resume classes and other business operations at the Ranch.

If you can, show up at the hearing on Sept. 19, and support Josh and Laurel. If not, at the very least, contact Dick Fogg, Sonoma Valley's representative on the board and ask him to support Leland. Dick's email address is sonomafogg@aol.com.

To get more information you can also call Leland at 939-6910.

We are almost at the point when the doldrums of summer fishing turn into the excitement of the fall runs. It is already happening off the coast where salmon are running in large numbers that haven't been seen in many years.

There have been a few really fantastic salmon fishing days inside San Francisco Bay near California City (off Tiburon), as well, but they lack consistency. Striped bass fishing in the Bay is picking up and you can find them off China Camp and Angel Island, Red Rock, the Sisters and along the Marin shoreline. The fish are being caught trolling at the top of the tide, drifting shiners and with live bullheads and pile worms. Halibut fishing is still only fair, but it is going to improve as we head further into September.

This is also a great time to be on the Bay for a day’s fishing. If you don't have a boat, you can book one through Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. The little six-pack boats can handle up to six anglers, have a head, and the captains are experienced in finding fish. Call Keith at 415-456-0321 to get more information and book a trip. During the fall, the weather on the Bay is about as nice as it is going to get.

Salmon and rockfish are still biting with consistency off the Sonoma Coast, and Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing offers almost daily trips out of Bodega Bay. There is a good chance to come home with an ice chest full of delicious rock and ling cod, plus a limit of fresh-caught king salmon. Call Rick at 875-3344.

I've also heard the salmon fishing outside the Golden Gate is good now, and there are boats that head out of San Rafael and Emeryville for that venue. Emeryville Sportfishing books several party boats. Call them at 510-654-6040.

The gradually cooling nights and shorter days means lake waters are starting to cool and fishing is warming up. Reports from Clear Lake indicated that the water is in much improved shape and the algae level has dropped. Some anglers using chatter baits, top water fronts and a variety of other lures are all having success. If you’ve never fished Clear Lake, I suggest you get a guide. Check with Dave Brabec at Clear Lake Outdoors, 262-5852, or go to clearlakeoutdoors.com for more information.

Lake Berryessa is closer to Sonoma and producing fair action on trout and kokanee. There are also bass in the coves and other spots. This too is a lake in which it is helpful to have a guy for your first time out. Check with Sid Silberberg 650-583-3333 or email him at bestguide@hotmail.com.

Trout fishing on the Truckee River has been fair to good this week, as has the trout action on the McCloud, upper Sacramento, Pit and Fall rivers.

Salmon, steelhead and big brown trout are being caught on the Trinity River now, and some huge steelies are starting to show up in the lower Klamath River.

Check with Rachel Andras of Andras Outfitters, 530-722-7992, to book a guided trip on the best current fishing on northern California and southern Oregon rivers.