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Risks of fly-fishing shoulder

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My friend, sometimes fishing companion, and most reliable correspondent, Steve Kyle, will not be able to send me any fishing reports for awhile because he underwent shoulder surgery last week.

Unlike major league pitchers, and NFL quarterbacks, Steve’s shoulder was not damaged by throwing curveballs or from vicious sacks by enormous defensive ends. He’d like us to think that the shoulder damage was caused by the strain of catching too many big fish. It wasn’t.

However, there is no question in my mind that the joints and muscles needing repair were most certainly strained by his trying to catch fish. Having been on trips with him where most of the fighting was with the god-awful weather, there was never reason to worry about fish wearing us down.

But making cast after cast in freezing weather, over what seemed to be dead water was exhausting. The difference was that unlike Steve, his pals, like me, knew when to quit.

Consequently, his right arm will not be used for fly-fishing anytime before summer.

I have recruited my neighbor, Joe Aaron, a lefty who also loves fooling fish with feathers, to give Steve lessons in how to use his off hand. We’ll see if that works.

Start working on your left-hand casting, Steve.

This week’s weather is not good to fish in, but it will make the sturgeon fishing in the Bay red hot once anglers can get back out.

Rivers will take a while to come down. I got a report from guide Hogan Brown, who lives in Chico and guides on the lower Yuba River, the Sacramento River as well as lakes in the region, that he’s been able up to now to squeeze in some good trout action on the Yuba in-between storms. The higher the rain total, the longer the water takes to clear, and the latest storms have been pretty big. But if you’re anxious to get some fly-fishing in, Hogan’s a good guy to call, because his favorite spots are only a little more than two hours from here. Email him at hoganbrown@hotmail.com, or go to his website hgbflyfishing.com, or phone (530) 514-2453.

I also got an email this week from the promoters of the annual Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, set for Feb. 22, 23 and 24 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. They announced that there is a door prize of a $1,850 custom-made fly rod and reel set from Tom Morgan Rodsmiths.

Normally those kind of perks don’t lure me, but last year, I actually won a brand new rod and reel at that show, proving to me that somebody actually wins those prizes.

Anyway, this is a great show for those who love fly-fishing.

The main building is where all of the lodge and fishing resort owners and outfitters set up their booths. Most have videos, brochures, photos and even drawings to win a free stay.

Other buildings have multiple theaters in which you can hear guides and resort owners narrate a video about their destination.

Virtually all of the top rod, reel and tackle manufacturers have booths there and there are lots of opportunities to test-drive the latest rods.

There are casting classes, fly-tying classes and experts in every kind of fly-fishing offering seminars and the annual Fly-Fishing Film festival.

Pleasanton is about an hour and 15-minute drive from Sonoma and the show is well worth the drive.

Tickets are $15 per day for adults. Children 6 to 12 $5. Children 5 and under free. Active duty military also free.

For more information go to flyfishingshow.com/pleasanton-ca