MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Fishing News
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 





Products-Services


Website of the Week

                                





Throw the kitchen sink at them

ur wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at your own risk and you must be prepared to take care of yourself and possibly others.

I started writing about wilderness adventures to raise awareness to what it has to offer. But I’m torn between trying to inspire folks to experience the wilderness and keeping things hush-hush. In some areas we are loving our wilderness to death.
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes.
Phil Flip Akers, Landscape of stark mountains and small lakes at the foothills
The wilderness environment may seem rugged, but it is actually quite fragile and slow to recover from negative human impact.

High numbers of people do not practice “Leave No Trace” ethics. This causes water pollution, soil erosion and compaction, loss of vegetation, litter, improperly placed campsites and fire rings, trail markers, and other impacts. It tarnishes the wilderness experience for all others who follow.

Phil Flip Akers, A lone bobcat standing among rugged mountain terrain
You will encounter many forms of wildlife while traveling the wilderness areas, a constant reminder we are merely visitors here.
hand holding cutthroat, before releasing back into the water, Phill Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Fishing is excellent in wilderness waters mainly because of low pressure and vibrant, more naturalized fish. There are no dumb put-and-take planters here, rather native, wild, or put-and-grow fish planted as fingerlings by either stock or plane.
But let’s get off the ethics sermon and get on to fishing! This is what first allured me to explore the wilderness. It all started in 1990 with a friend, Ray. Knowing nothing, Ray and I outfitted ourselves the best we could, purchased a couple of maps, and started studying. Pinpointing the most remote, off-trail, horribly inaccessible lakes and canyons the maps had to offer. We did not baby-step our way into backcountry fishing. Our goal was simply to fish where nobody else did.
Colorful spotted fish being held by extended are, with deep blue lake and sky in the background, Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
The further off the beaten path the better quality of fish you can expect. There is no surprise that locations requiring off-trail treks generally offer the most unique and memorable angling experiences.

Our first trips were unbelievable and will never be forgotten, but not in terms of fish. The fishing was non-existent, fishless lakes or bad luck I suppose…whatever. But we learned a lot. We quickly realized our packs were way overstuffed -- burning clothes in the campfire, along with pillows, bags of peanuts, and any other superfluous item we no longer desired to lug around the mountains. We even sported 3-cell flashlights! Again, we knew nothing.

Ray was known to charge gung-ho into hobbies, throw tons of money at it, enjoy for awhile, then toss aside. And sure enough, he quickly dropped out of the wilderness fishing scene. I however, continued on, determined to find those trophy spots I knew had to exist. And boy did I ever find them!

Brown trout on line, but in water. Phil flip akers, Myoutdoorbuddy.com
Enjoy the fight of the larger fish, then return for someone else to experience. Eat all the stunted brookies you can, but please, handle the big fish with proper catch-and-release etiquette.

A few years later Ray and I reunited, and now found ourselves planning an epic seven-day trip (ten days if you want to count travel time and a night spent at the trailhead) into arguably the best high country fishing the state of California has to offer. It would be a 3-day hike to reach our target water. I had been there just two years prior and knew exactly what to expect. I knew we would experience broad-chested, wary trout cruising our target lake‘s shorelines, but I also knew we would spend our second night camped at a stunted brookie lake where you can catch a fish on every single cast. Ray wasn’t sold on the “catch-a-fish-on-every-cast” tale. Well, not only will I show him, I’ll rub his nose in it.

A closeup of wilderness map with a nickel pierced with a treble hook laying on top of the map. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
In some backcountry waters it doesn’t matter what you use.

I bet my cohort a twelve-pack of IPA that I could catch a trout on every single cast with my kitchen sink lure -- this is where the story really begins. I make lures out of stupid stuff, such as coins, jewelry, Legos, bent metal, and yeah, a kitchen sink which started the fetish. I do this purely to prove a point; it doesn’t matter what you throw at some fish, they will attack it. Countless backcountry lakes in our wilderness areas are gagged with emaciated brookies, hungry and aggressive, eating and breeding like crazy until their population far exceeds the food source.

The idea of a kitchen sink lure came many years ago when my daughter had outgrown her doll house. My wife placed the doll house in the garage for me to dispose of, and like most other otiose items, this would be the end of the doll house story. But I studied this toy for a moment before disposal, and while focusing on the kitchen, a brilliant idea came to mind as my eyes crossed over the sink. I popped the plastic sink out, drilled a lengthwise hole, ran a wire through, attached a treble hook, a small bullet weight, a couple of beads, and finally a spinner blade -- a new fishing lure was born. To wrap this gibberish up, the kitchen sink lure performed as expected, the IPA tasted great, but more importantly I was right -- I can catch trout on every single cast with a kitchen sink!

Mountain lake with mountains rising in the background, Phil Flip Akers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
When descending to a lake, take time to notice the structure and layout.
Lake shallows with a fish swimming around a rock, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Phil flip Akers
If you can see them, they can see you. So are your chances already over? Perhaps, but just sit motionless, study their behavior…patience, waiting -- fishing.

Now on to the target lake. Monster backcountry trout are not easily duped. The kitchen sink lure would be a foolish choice here! To enhance your chances of tangling with a backcountry trophy, it’s best to employ a well studied approach. If possible, try and view the water from a high vantage point to gain knowledge of the layout in terms of both where to fish, and where not to fish. Look for transitions of light-to-dark blue water, indicating underwater shelves where big fish ambush prey. The inlet area of a lake is also a good place to scout because it is rich in food source and oxygen.

Grass Lake Inlet surrounded by the backcountry, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Phil Flip Akers
Large backcountry trout feed heavily in shallower water. Fertile ground for insect life, attracting large numbers of trout and amphibians, but challenging to fish.
Lures laid out on a wilderness map, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Phil Flip Akers
I‘m fond of larger casting spoons and Z-Ray‘s -- which are no longer available. Larger Kastmasters and Daredevil lures also work well. And always have a large spinner on hand.

Large wild trout are finicky and easily spooked. They are hard to stalk and you will often only get one cast. So calculate each movement, take every advantage you can to make things count. If you are lucky enough to spot a large fish, cast well beyond it (if possible) then retrieve your presentation over the fish. Another rule I follow is to fish the windblown side of lakes. Casting into the wind is certainly more challenging, but zooplankton -- the beginning of the food chain -- is wind driven, forced to the windblown shores and coves. Behind this is larger aquatic life, small fry, and your adversary.

Deer hair flies lying on a wilderness map, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Phil Flip Akers
These are the type of flies I commonly use in backcountry waters. Yes, that is a deer-hair mouse…don’t laugh, try it.

Whether fishing shallow water with files, or dredging the deep blue depths of lakes with metal lures, wilderness fishing is highly entertaining. And the surroundings -- wow -- provides everlasting, scenic pats on the back for experiencing. There are all kinds of lakes to explore, each requiring their own approach and level of study. Many fishless lakes -- some gillnetted for the sake of frogs, who face much bigger issues than trout -- are out there. The CA DFW produces backcountry fishing guides, detailing the trout species for each individual water. As always, plan well and be safe, and when you find yourself at a stunted brookie lake, reach deep into the vest, grab that fly or lure you have absolutely no confidence in, and give it a shot. Heck, even throw the kitchen sink at them.

Phil “Flip” Akers is a diverse angler and outdoor adventurer. For over 20 years he has backpacked, packed llamas and fly-fished the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, venturing into the farthest reaches of our wilderness areas pursuing quality trout and solitude. He enjoys sharing his experiences including tips, techniques, outdoor cooking recipes, and storytelling. He is certified in wilderness first response and rescue including swiftwater rescue, technical rope and technical animal rescue.


Fishing Reports

“How to Cross the Bar at Humboldt Bay”
Waves crashing on sand bar at Humboldt Bay, photo by Tom Marking
By Tom Marking
The Humboldt Bay Bar is the stuff of legends. There are harrowing tales of mariners having to cross the Bar at night or during storm conditions, leading to loss of life, with many a ship foundering and capsizing in the mouth and sinking...Full Story
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story

 

Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports

Destinations

So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to MyOutdoorBuddy.com for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.

Facebook

A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.