Smith River 23 Aug 08 - Post Awards -
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Smith River 23 Aug 08

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Awarded by , 08-24-2008 at 09:19 PM (1134 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by al k
After a week of salmon fishing in Alaska I had a craving for a lighter rod in my hands and some trout fishing where there was no debate about whether the fish really meant to eat your offering or was it just striking out of frustration or maybe it was just a lucky cast and you pulled the leader and fly into it's mouth. Besides that, I figured my lawn would need mowing after almost a month of neglect.

I will comment on the lawn first. It did not need mowing. In fact it appears that abnormally dry conditions have dried up most of the lawns in the Bassett / Martinsville area. I have a rain gauge at my place and it only registered 1/3 of an inch in the past month. I also checked with a fellow SRTU member and was told the water on the lake side of Philpott is down about 10-12 feet. Makes one wonder where they are getting the water to generate for such long periods of time every afternoon during the week. (Maybe they are drawing down the lake in anticipation of the fall rains or just in case we get a drenching during the hurricane season).

As many of you know the COE ran a special generation cycle Saturday morning from 7am to noon at the request of a local canoe and kayak group. I haven't seen any reports on the turn out for the event but they sure had a pretty day for it. I planned my fishing trip to take advantage of that generation. Past experience has shown that fishing picks up right after the generation surge begins to subside. A lot of others have also figured that out so I did not rush up to the special regulation area shortly after one o'clock because I was tired of crowded fishing conditions. Instead, I waited until 4pm and entered the river at a point south of Bassett.

On my second cast I hooked this rainbow which is one of the few that have survived through the summer in a river where I have been told by DGIF that 95% do not carry over to the next stocking season.

Shortly thereafter I caught this brown which was the typical Smith River 8-9 inches. What they lack in size they make up for in beautiful color and feisty behavior.

I have a new camera and am still getting used to it. I miss my old one which allowed me to look thorough a viewfinder which was handy on bright sunny days when the screen of my new one is difficult to see. Now I just point and shot and hope for the best - so far I am not impressed even though this new one cost more. Here is a point and shoot shot of another fish.

Normally I am a cast and move on type of fisherman but on Saturday I planted my feet in this one run and worked it real well. I did this for two reasons, (1) I knew there were fish there and (2) if I moved I would have had to go a long way to the next easy "get out" point. My persistence resulted in a fair number of fish brought to hand. I worked my way slowly up the end of the run, then worked it from upsteam back to my entry point. I then cut my nymph off and tried a foam beetle for half the run, when that failed I tried a BWO dry fly but neither top water offering brought a rise. I put the old stand-by back on and caught a couple more small but lively fish.

All in all a couple of pleasant hours on my favorite stream. I even got home in time to watch a couple deer search for a nibble of green grass on my mostly brown lawn


  1. Stellathomas's Avatar
    The Smith River is California's premier steelhead fishery and the only river in California where anglers are allowed to keep a wild fish. Steelhead are tremendous fighters and the terrain of the river makes landing one a unsurpassed challenge. The river can be drift fished from the forks to the river mouth, and much of the Middlefork around Gasquet, including here at Middlefork Ranch, provides excellent opportunity for bank and fly fishermen. The season runs from mid December through the end of March.