Saturday, June 12, 2010

The river changes yet stays the same

I haven't been to the San Gabriel river since the first week of January. I had a chance to go out there this morning so I packed up my flies and 5wt and got there at 8am.

Water felt really good on a warm, muggy morning. Rains from a week ago look to have washed away some gravel bars and reshaped the river, widening it somewhat.

I paddled up to the first pool and caught a small bass and a couple of brim. I saw a lot of spotted gar in the area so I tried to sight cast to them just for the challenge since they looked hungry. It was windy so several times, the wind would "feather" the surface making it very difficult to find the fish. I did get a couple of gar to chase my fly and take a swipe at it but no hook ups.

I continued upriver and passed a couple of guys dragging a small canoe downriver as we walked on the shallow flats. I got to deeper water and continued the paddle upriver to a favorite spot I call "The Narrows" because it is a section where the river narrows for a small length. Above it is a S shaped chute. This place usually hold a lot of fish (bass, brim, carp, catfish, and gar) because it is like a conveyor belt of prey for these guys. They just park and wait for something to sweep by.

At the narrows, I caught another small bass. After catching it, I looked down and saw what I thought was a carp at first but it turned out to be a huge river bass! It looked around 4 to 5 pounds. It then disappeared into the deeper, darker water along the opposite bank. All attempts to coax it back out failed. I walk up a little to the S chute to try my luck there.

I like this part because as the water comes down and turns, there is a pool on the opposite side of slow water. I like to cast my fly in there because there are usually predators there. I picked up couple of nice brim and then as I cast to the exposed roots of a tree, I got a really good hit and the fish swam into the current, putting a nice bend in my 5wt. I played the fish to the bank and lipped a nice healthy 1.5lber! It seems this bass and the brim liked the #4 chartreuse bucktail clouser minnow I was using.

After a mom and dad and couple of young kids all paddled by in their individual kayaks, I ended up making my way downstream to head home for lunch.

It was nice to get out again and nicer still actually catching some fish. I hope I get another chance soon.