Qman working the trim. Photo courtesy of Graham Day
Group pic. Photo courtesy of Al Quattrocchi
Some of Graham’s lovely bonefish flies. Photo courtesy of Graham Day
Table full of activity. Photo courtesy of Al Quattrocchi
A fine fly selection ready for the fly box and flats. Photo courtesy of Graham Day
Pre trim Micro Crab. Photo courtesy of Graham Day
I had five awesome students this past Saturday at Bob Marriotts Fly Fishing store that were ready to conquer six classics flats patterns and we all did it! We got into a few fun techniques like making my original “Pinche Claws”, dubbing fly bodies with synthetics, and making mono eyes, DIY style with Tuffleye Core. I also demoed the classic hand whip finish and connecting your fly to your tippet with a non-slip mono loop! All in all, an info packed, four-hour intermediate class that was lots of fun for me to share. It was my first fly tying series class and there will be more. I hope some of you can get in on the next one. It will be more of an advanced master class with a limit of six fly tiers, we will announce some dates next year. I would like to do one on Popovic’s Big Bucktail streamers (Beast, Bucktail Deceiver, and Bulkhead Deceiver) and maybe one on Crustaceans (red crab, pinche crab and crayfish). I will try my best to up your game and show you many inside tying tricks, so don’t get shut out…happy holidays!
Capt. Dan Blanton checking the underwater real estate. photo by Al Quattrocchi
photo courtesy of Dan Blanton
Little striper landed on a surface popper just at dusk. photo courtesy of Dan Blanton.
Zino Nakasuji with a PB, 7.5 pound striper. photo by Al Quattrocchi
photo of Mount Diablo by Al Quattrocchi
Leaving Sugar Barge marina, photo by Al Quattrocchi
photo courtesy of Dan Blanton
another nice bass. photo by Al Quattrocchi
Zino goes bendo. photo by Al Quattrocchi
Last weekend, my friend Zino and I decided to hit it early on a Friday morning from sunny Los Angeles and drive north to Bethal Island (aprox. 5.5 hour drive) to the CA Delta. The Sugar Barge on Bethal Island is home of the annual Simms Pro Delta Day hosted by our old friend, John Sherman of Simms. The main event was Saturday from noon to late in the evening and sponsors of this event were Simms, Costa , Hatch Outdoors and Yeti. It was a record turnout with I believe 150 participants. Some of my favorite seminars were Cast Hope, Costa’s Kick Plastic, hearing Bobby Barrack rant on bass fishing (worth the price of admission!) and a panel talk with Delta pioneer Dan Blanton, and guides Maury Hatch and Noel de Guzman on various fishing techniques they have implemented for landing fish in the Delta. This event is like a homecoming for me, I get to see many of the old faces that are still in the industry and mingle with many of the newcomers too, it is a really cool, social event and I am proud of John Sherman for building it up each year, the first one was held in his backyard, around six years ago.
So we got to fish half a day after our long drive, (friday afternoon) with Dan Blanton, an old friend and mentor of mine. No-one knows the Delta fishery better than Dan. I remember back when he first fished it with Nick Curcione and started to write about it’s diversity and fishability. Conditions were not optimal but we still scratched out about a dozen or so fish in a few hours. The fishing was a little off probably due to the super moon phase. I have caught many stripers in my lifetime and I know first hand, full moon tides fish great at night, stripers are low light, nocturnal predators. The fish although small and plentiful on the meter were probably full to their stomach and were laying low during the day, but we managed to force feed a few. Highlight for me was getting a few blowups and one small fish to eat a popper.
The second day conditions were similar, when we fished the early am tides with Capt. Bryce Tedford. Bryce was enthusiastic about trying some big fish water with less anglers and we we all for that plan. We fished hard for Bryce and we scratched out about a dozen small fish in around four hours, all fun! The CA Delta is facing many challenging issues and with our new republican administration may be under siege once again. It is a beautiful place with many big fish for those willing to put in the time, I hope the water stays in the Delta for generations to come, it a remarkable place. I always look forward to next year!