It can be pretty difficult to compete with electronic devices these days, especially with young people. It is easy to get mesmerized by screens. Cast Hope is an organization composed of anglers who are dedicated to offering young people an alternative to an indoor electronic existence. The vision of Ryan Johnston a decade ago was to use fly fishing to expose youth to the outdoors and much of what it has to offer. The organization today has expanded from the Chico area to the foothills and on to Southern California and the Truckee/Reno area.
The organization offers casting and fly tying classes as a prelude to a fly fishing trip with a guide. Typically the young man or lady will go with a parent or mentor to the classes and on the guided trip. There is no cost for this introduction to fishing, it is a service of the guides involved and Cast Hope. The goal is to spark an interest in and a love for the outdoors that hopefully will last a lifetime. It is a rare opportunity to float a river in a drift boat or get out on a lake. Many people have not had an on-the-water experience. For those of us who have a passion for fishing, there is something about being on the water that keeps us coming back. Cast Hope is composed of individuals who want to share their passion. It is my belief that those who spend time outdoors are more inclined to care about our environment and how it is managed.
If you know a young person who might benefit from this experience, go to the website: www.casthope.org for further details.
On Thursday evening, April 6, Cast Hope will be bringing the “Fly Fishing Film Festival” to the Nevada City Theater, 401 Broad Street. This has been an annual event for years. The festival presents a number of short films with fly fishing themes that have been shot all over the world. With the advent of digital cameras there has been an explosion of videographers making films. Each year many are submitted to the Festival and the best are selected to go on tour across the USA and Canada. The quality of these films is high.
In addition to the films there will be raffles of some excellent outdoor gear donated by the many sponsors of the event. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7. Colin and I hope to see you there again this year.
This Saturday “kokaneepower.org” will be holding their first kokanee derby of the year at Bullard’s Bar. There will be a lot of boats on the water this morning. Throughout this winter Bullard’s Bar has been a consistent kokanee and spotted bass fishery, one of the few bright spots in our fishing world. Currently the water is still in the high 40’s, unseasonably cold for the last day of March.
The reports from kokanee anglers say the fish are not yet schooled up. They are scattered around the lake as well as vertically in the water column. There have been fish caught from the surface down to 50 feet.
It is early in the season and the fish have a summer of growing ahead of them. It will take a fish over 12 inches to win the derby. As usua,l pinks and orange are the most popular lure colors, but recently Josh Fontaine has been doing well with red.
The spotted bass fishing has been good for quantities of fish but the big ones have been few. The spots will spawn when the water gets into the low 50’s. At that time the larger fish will be up towards the shallows. Unlike largemouth bass, the spots will spawn as deep as 15’.
The lower Yuba has been steadily dropping from a high of 20,000 cfs mid month to the 5,000 cfs level currently. The color is a good shade of green rather than brown. Tom Page says the fishing is more dependent on water clarity rather than flow. In high water the fish will move into the slower water on the edges. He says to expect water flows between 3500 and 4000 cfs all summer. This past week anglers have been catching fish along the edges. There have been a variety of bugs hatching throughout the day.
Up in the higher elevations this week’s storm added another 22” of snow around Lake Almanor. Last weekend John Crotty was able to get his boat on the water and put a beautiful rainbow in the net. The water is still in the upper 30’s but it will produce fish. The biggest problem currently is finding a place to park. They have snow stacked up everywhere. As soon as spring warms up and the water gets into the 40’s anglers will be making up for lost time.
As a general statement fishing conditions are about a month behind the calendar. For the start of April we are looking at water temps more in line with the first of March. I expect this delayed weather to not work itself out until mid summer. I plan on fishing the lower elevations for much of the spring.
Next Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. the Gold Country Fly Fishers meeting will feature Thomas Mahan, Swing Water Fly Fishing, presenting a program on fishing the Trinity River for Steelhead. The public is invited to attend. The meeting is held monthly at the Ponderosa Room at the Fairgrounds.
Denis Peirce writes a fishing column for The Union’s Outdoors section and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. Contact him via his website at http://www.trollingflies.com