Meandering Angler: Remembering Bob Severance

I was saddened by the news that Bob Severance, an old friend and great fisherman, passed away last week. He was 94. Longtime readers of the Index-Tribune would have read Bob’s name so often in the weekly hunting and fishing reports that you might think he was some kind of professional angler. He wasn’t; he just loved hunting and fishing.

He was also good friends of my mom and dad and their friends, Rich and Gloria Peterson. Bob and his wife, Philomen, my parents and the Petersons all had small cabins at Little Grass Valley Lake in the Sierras northeast of Marysville. Whenever our family was there, hardly a morning would pass that Bob wouldn’t be out fishing before sunrise and often well into the morning, usually with great success.

He was a kind and gentle man and always willing to share his fishing knowledge and favorite fishing spots with friends. If there is a heaven, then Bob will be floating through it casting to one big, fat rainbow trout after another. If I listen carefully I can still hear one of his favorite expressions: “They’re feedin’ like hogs out here!”

It’s not too early to chose a gift for that special fisher person in your life, here are some suggestions:

If your angler is a fly-fisher, he or she will love an online subscription to Catch Magazine. Sine 2007, it has become known worldwide as the “official online journal of fly-fishing photography and film.” The photos and videos are stunning. I particularly like the features by Todd Moen. A subscription is only $20 and you can order it as a gift by going to

If your angler is concerned about preserving the waters that support our native salmon, steelhead and trout, you can buy them a $35 membership in California Trout, the San Francisco-based conservation organization. With that membership, they’ll get beautifully illustrated and detailed reports about efforts to keep California waters clear, cold and healthy for native fish. Cal Trout, now celebrating its 50th year expresses itself as follows: “Our vision is of a California where water flows free, clean and cold from headwaters to sea – a vision of watersheds teeming with native, wild fish whose resilience and diversity match that of the people throughout this great state we call home.” For more information go to

Fresh Dungeness crab will start appearing in local grocery stores this week because commercial crabbing has now opened north of Point Arena. But you can sill catch them yourself near Sonoma by going out with Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing.

Rick has been finding full limits of Dungeness crab and full limits of rockfish for all of his clients on virtually every trip out of Bodega Bay. The weather has been perfect, flat calm and enjoyable. Rick’s combo trips cost $225 per angler. But compared to what you’ll pay for fresh crab and fish in the market, it is a heck of deal, especially if you can bring home full limits (10 crabs). Call Rick at 875-3344 to book a trip.

You can also call Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael 415-456-0321, and reserve fresh live or fresh cooked Dungeness crab. Keith has a connection with the commercial guys and you can get them fresh out of the ocean.

Fishing near Keith’s place and along the Marin Shoreline remains good for striped bass, and the tides will be excellent this week for both stripers and sturgeon.

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