Meandering Angler: Head for the Parana River

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Fishing near Sonoma right now is not yet promising. The rivers are still too high and the bay and ocean have been pretty rough this week. When things calm, the best bet for local action is still the bay, where sturgeon ought to be biting.

Check with Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael for the latest reports, (415) 456-0321.

Those seeking to meander south until the streams around here warm up should take a look at the Rio Parana in Argentina where they catch monster fresh-water dorados, a migratory river fish that looks like a gold-colored cross between a salmon and a striped bass. At this time of year the Parana River Outfitters recommend staying at Suinda Lodge. Fish landed there range from 20 to 37 pounds.

The river marks the border between Argentina and Paraguay and you can get there by flying direct out of Buenos Aires. For this and other interesting fishing locations go to where there are lots of ideas for fishing in South America.

Hogan Brown, one of several fly-fishing guides with whom I keep in touch, specializes in waters near Colusa, primarily the Sacramento River, where he helps his clients hook into some monster striped bass. On the Sac these big, strong fish act like their largemouth cousins. They hide in the thick weeds, and then ambush smaller fish as they swim by.

Steve Kyle and I fished with Hogan a couple of years ago, and spent many hours casting flies that imitated minnows towards the shallow weed beds. I only hooked a couple of small bass, but Steve landed a whopper.

Hogan is a full-time history teacher at a high school in Chico and a major proponent of Cast Hope, a nonprofit organization the specializes in building mentoring relationships through fly fishing with at-risk kids. They partner with other non-profit youth groups to support underserved youth and their existing mentors.

To contact Hogan for a fishing trip, call (530) 514-2453. You can also ask him about Cast Hope or go to

There’s a very interesting and ambitious bill, SB 69, by California State Senator Scott Wiener, co-authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine, that is before our legislature. It is called the Ocean Resiliency Act of 2019, and seeks “…to improve and protect the heart of California Ocean Ecosystems and coastal communities, seeking to help improve ocean water quality, restore habitats that sequester greenhouse gas emissions and protect keystone species.”

High on the list of things it proposes to reduce are land-based pollutants that acidify our oceans. And there is far more that SB 69 seeks to address:

“Senate Bill 69 would implement a long-term strategy for coastal and ocean ecosystems affected by climate change,” said Anna Zivan, Senior Research Fellow at the Ocean Conservancy.

“This legislation would tackle ocean acidification, hypoxia, and other changing ocean conditions that pose a threat to marine life, ecosystems, and coastal communities. By investing in the resilience of our coastal and ocean resources, we are investing in our water quality, ecosystem health, coastal communities, and economy.”

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