Kyle reports from India

Nobody I know goes fishing more often than my friend Steve Kyle, and most certainly nobody talks and writes about it more than Steve. And that, for those who have asked, is why his reports appear in this space so often.

Steve and his wife, Holly, have been traveling in Sri Lanka and India, and although it wasn’t specifically a fishing trip, Steve has been providing me with reports from his various stops, including the following:

“Holly and I are staying in a cabin on the Bay of Bengal. This morning we decided to go for an early morning walk on the beach just before sunrise. Plodding along in the grey dawn, the sun just started to poke its smiling face above the horizon when we saw two fellows swimming out some distance from shore and towards a rock.

“At first we thought they were just goofing off and enjoying an early morning swim. Then they quickly scrambled up to the top and started fishing with a net. Because of the distance from where we stood, I’m not sure of the outcome of their efforts but it was a pretty sight.

“Soon after, we wandered down a small riverside and found ourselves looking down on another fisherman. He was checking his nets from a narrow contraption that defied any known technical definition of a boat, beyond the obvious fact that it floated. It looked like half dozen wooden planks loosely roped together using two tree branches as support. It worked.

“He was methodically poling his craft along until it came alongside one of the dozens of white floats that had been spaced out over several hundred yards in the middle of the river. One float after the other, he pulled up on a long line leading to a flat hoop-shaped net that had a fish head tied in the middle. One net after the other, they came up empty until after what seemed like a hopeless cause, he found one live fish happily noshing on the tied fish head and with a quick flip of his wrist, the little fish found his way into the basket just in time for breakfast.”

Fishing closer to home this week is limited to waters not blown out or covered in Sonoma. The best action near Sonoma is in the Bay, where sturgeon and striped bass are still biting on live shrimp for anglers who brave the cold.

Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael says that cold water is in fact why the red-hot sturgeon bit of last week has not continued into this week. Keith says sturgeon are still being caught, but not with the intensity of previous days. Keith, ever optimistic, says warmer temperatures later this week will improve the bite a lot.

If you want to fish for sturgeon in the Bay and have a boat, Keith can tell you where to fish. Spots include right off the mouth of Sonoma Creek, and in a triangle formed by China Camp, the Pump House and Buoy 5. If you don’t have a boat, Keith can book you on an excellent party boat with Captain Trent Slate. You can also fish from McNear’s Pier in Marin County. Keith has live mud shrimp, which is the best bait right now. Call him at 415-456-0321.

I spent a delightful afternoon strolling around The Fishing Show in Pleasanton last Saturday. As usual, the feeling of “So many great places to fish, so little time” swept over me. There were outfitters and fishing lodge hosts from all over the country, as well as Mexico, Canada and Iceland.

I was particularly intrigued by a couple of guys from Labrador. Their Minipi Lodge is at least three airline flights plus a floatplane ride from the West Coast. But their photos of huge Eastern brook trout amazed me.

Closer to home, just one plane ride to Calgary then a three-hour drive, is a lodge run by Eric Grinnell of Silvertip Outfitters who has a nice lodge and guides on a “secret” section of the Bow River that runs through the Blackfoot Indian reservation. His clients catch lots of big trout on rainbows.

I talked to one lodge representative after another, each promising incredible fishing and lots of excitement. My bucket list now exceeds three pages.