Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Captured from the now non-functioning " Sentinel Dome " cam of the Yosemite Association webcam page.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally! " BASS: The Movie "

Fly rodders versus lure-slingers!

Originally scheduled to be released in Fall of 2008, " Bass: The Movie " premiered in Los Angeles in October of 2009! It has just been released on DVD. We have them available here at the shop just in time for Christmas.

The movie features local anglers; fly fishing industry sales representative and photographer John Sherman, Delta fly fishing guide Kevin Doran, and conventional tackle bass fishing guide, Bobby Barrack.

John Sherman was also the photographer for the recently published book, " Fly Fishing the California Delta " by Captain Mike Costello.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Book Signing, December 10, 2009

The event was a great success!
Thanks go to Captain Mike Costello, John Sherman
and to all who attended!

On Thursday, December 10, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM the shop will be holding a book signing for Captain Mike Costello's new book; " Fly Fishing the California Delta ". Additionally, the book's photographer, John Sherman, will also be on hand to sign your book.

Publisher's Description
This is the first major book describing the techniques used for landing trophy striped bass and other species in California's famed Delta. Anglers from all over the country will learn how to fish the Delta's 2,000 levees and 1,200 miles of rivers as shown in 250 spectacular photos.

The California Delta has become a major new destination for trophy striped bass. Other species are also popular. There are more largemouth bass tournaments in the Delta than any other body of water in the world with total weight of bag limits exceeding any other watershed.
  • Features more than 250 spectacular photos and 6 maps.
  • Bass anglers from all over the country want to learn about this fishery.
  • Foreword by Ralph Cutter, author of Sierra Trout Guide and Fish food: A Fly Fisher's Guide to Bugs and Bait.
Table of Contents
  1. The California Delta
  2. History of Delta Fly Fishing
  3. Seasons of the Delta
  4. Fly Rod Game Fish of the Delta
  5. Fly Fishing for Delta Stripers
  6. Locating Delta Stripers
  7. Fly Fishing for Delta Largemouth Bass
  8. Fly Fishing for Delta Smallmouth & Spotted Bass
  9. Fly Fishing for Delta King Salmon
  10. Fly Fishing for Delta Panfish, Carp, & Catfish
  11. Navigating & Fishing Delta Waters
  12. Tips from Delta Captains
  13. Future of the Delta
  14. Catch Data

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fly Fishing and Technology; What's this number 37.653874,-120.993397 ?

View Larger Map

Cut and paste this number; 37.653874,-120.993397 into Google maps and it will take you to: Sierra Anglers Fly Shop,700 McHenry Ave., Modesto, CA, USA, Earth. Cut and paste this; 38.255894,-119.224663 into Google maps and it will take you to a good place to eat breakfast ( Haye's Street Cafe ) in Bridgeport. Need to tell some friend about a secret spot such as this; 38.193329,-119.992163. Hah! You didn't really think I was going to give up one of my secret spots did you!
How do you do it? Just zoom in on Google maps, zoom down to as close as you need. If you zoom too close it may switch to " street view " which is also really cool. Then, right click on your mouse, then left click on " What's here ". Look in the box above and you will see the GPS coordinates to that spot. Here's the coordinates to the front door here at the shop; 37.653883,-120.993411 and here's the coordinates to the rear door ( 50 feet or so ); 37.653851,-120.99318 . Scary, isn't it?

Learn more about Google " Street View ".

Please post any suggestions or comments below.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Snowfall, October 13, 2009

Tioga Pass cam from the Yosemite Association

Update for today, October 16, 2009: The passes have reopened!
The Sierra received it's first major snow storm of the 2009/2010 season two days ago. Ebbetts, Sonora, and Tioga Pass remain closed as of this morning October 15. Despite the warm storm, Mammoth Mountain received 26" of snow and will open to skiing tomorrow. It was a real " gully-washer " and some of the freestone rivers may be high and muddy. The good news is that what appeared to be a high fire danger fall has been averted!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fly Fishing for Delta Bass with KD

Recently, a friend of mine, Mike Baisdon, and I had the pleasure of spending few hours with Captain Kevin ( KD ) Doran learning about pursuing largemouth bass with topwater flies in our California Delta. KD is a fly fishing guide for both largemouth bass and striped bass and he really likes to take these fish on topwater flies. He has definitely paid his dues pursuing these fish in the Delta. As the video shows, KD's approach to guiding is one that really provides the client with the intricacies of the why, where, and when of pursuing Delta largemouth bass ( and striped bass during the Fall and Winter months. You can learn more about KD and his guide service at
PS he also guides for trout on some of our local rivers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Optimum Flows

This is the time that the best fishing in the Sierra occurs, just after the snow is all but gone and the water warms into the 50 degree plus range. Insect activity increases and the fish start to look up!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Repairing Simms Gore-Tex Waders

The Simms Fishing Products' website has some good information about their products, especially information about product care. Besides the " Repairing Pinholes " seen in the video above, there is " Repairing small tears " and " Evaluation & repair of neoprene stockingfeet " as well as other videos.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sierra Nevada Travel Log, May 24, 2009

What started out to be a fishing trip turned into a tour of our Sierra Nevada. I drove up to Sonora Pass, then to Conway Summit, to Tioga Pass and then back home. I really enjoyed this drive on this beautiful late Spring day!

My first stop was the middle fork of the Stanislaus, where you can see from the video that the river was very high. It will probably be a month or so for the water to drop and warm sufficiently for fly fishing to be prime.

My next video/photo stop was at the top of Sonora Pass. As you can see there is still plenty of snow there. It seems that we may be in better shape than last year.

The next stop was along the West Walker past the Marine Base. The river was very high and had a fair amount of color.

I then drove to Bridgeport and drove past Bridgeport Reservoir to take a look at the East Walker on Memorial Day weekend. I was surprised that it wasn't very crowded, but still too many people for my taste.

I then headed south to Conway Summit.

I stopped at the overlook and took in the beautiful view overlooking Mono Lake. Viewing Mono Lake reminded me that just the day before I was speaking to someone about Clint Eastwood in the movie " High Plains Drifter ", you remember the one where the man with no name ( Clint Eastwood ) told the town's people to paint the town red. I told my friend that the town of Lago/Hell was built on the shores of Mono Lake. If you think I'm a little whacked, read about it here and here. B

They don't make 'em like they used to, do they!

After descending Conway Summit, I drove up Lundy Canyon to Lundy Lake.

As I ascended Tioga Pass I stopped at Ellery Lake. Ellery Lake was still about 60% covered with ice.

Even though I didn't fish, I really had a great time taking in the beauty of our Sierra Nevada.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bass-N-Fly Tournament 2009

The 2nd Annual Bass-N-Fly Tournament took place May 15, 2009. It was won by my friends Mike Baisdon and Russ Owens. They not only took first place but they also took big fish honors! Last year they took second place, they also took big fish honors with a 10lb. 11 oz. monster ( read about it on my blog entry from last year ). About 40 boats entered the tournament. Congratulations, Russ and Mike!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eastern Sierra-update May 22

Tioga Pass was opened on Wednesday, May 20.

" Leavitt Meadows July 2006 "
Below is map to the exact location where the photo was taken.

View Larger Map

Sonora Pass was opened yesterday, Thursday, May 14. Flows out of the East Walker are currently at 160 c.f.s. ( perfect ). The river has been fishing very well but has been very crowded! Most of the other streams in the area will be high and poor fishing due to run-off. Below is an example of flow conditions, the West Walker's normal flow for this date ( average ) is 700 c.f.s. and is now averaging about a 1000 c.f.s. ( Click on the chart for a better image. )
The drive over the pass should be beautiful. I can't wait to go over!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Whiskey is for drinking,....

..water is for fighting over. No more prophetic words than those of Mark Twain so many years ago. With the exploding population growth of our beautiful state, the recent low rainfall years has caused all sorts of water-related controversies to be raise their ugly heads. Water interests in their desperation to stop the decline of not only the endangered Delta smelt and many other native California fishes such a Silver Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead, are now pointing their finger at non-native species such as Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass as a significant contributors to the decline of native species. They ignore or attempt to divert people's thinking that prior to the huge water diversions to the south state, populations of both native and non-native species coexisted in large numbers. There is now ( Assembly Bill 1253 ) an attempt to lift all limits of Striped Bass and allow the commercial harvest of the Striped Bass to reduce the numbers of predator species. The California Sport Fishing Alliance is leading the charge against the bill. You will be able to make feelings known by sending or faxing letters to the appropriate parties on the CSPA's website or on

UPDATE: The bill was gutted due to a good showing by over 60 groups opposing the bill. Read more about it here. As the article says, " The water wars in California are just beginning."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The movie " Rivers of a Lost Coast " is coming to Modesto on April 16, 2009

Rivers of a Lost Coast from Skinny Fist on Vimeo.

" Rivers of a Lost Coast " is coming to Modesto's State Theatre on April 16, 2009. If you attended the Fly Fishing Film Tour at the State Theatre on March 5 you likely saw a segment of the movie. Here is what the movie's website has to say about the movie:

"At the turn of the 20th Century, a handful of pioneers carried their fly rods into California’s remote north coast and gave birth to a culture that would revolutionize their sport. For a select few, steelhead fly fishing became an obsessive pursuit without compromise.

Leading the pack was the mythical, Bill Schaadt, an off-kilter angler famous for his ruthless pursuit to be ‘in the fish’. The new endeavor was ruled by a demanding, unspoken code, which made 'breaking in' almost as difficult as 'breaking out'.

By the early 1980s, the Golden State’s coastal fisheries found themselves caught in a spiraling decline. As California searched for its disappearing salmon and steelhead, these men foraged for their souls."

Tickets are available here at the shop for $9.00 each or online at the State Theatre.

This movie is sponsored by the State Theatre and the Tuolumne River Trust, both non-profit organizations.

Here is a link to the State Theatre.
Here is a link to the Tuolumne River Trust.
Here is a link to " Rivers of a Lost Coast " website for more information on the movie.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February Snowfall

The photos above are from

Fortunately, February has been kind to us fly fishers ( and more importantly, the fish ). Mammoth Mountain has received 129" this month, bringing Mammoth's total this winter to 368". Last year's total for the entire year was 333". Let's prey that we get more!

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to Modesto

The 2009 Fly Fishing Film Tour is a presentation of fly fishing video shorts. The tour will be here in Modesto on March 5, 2009 at the State Theatre. The videos are reminiscent of Warren Miller Ski Films, in fact some of the owners ( Drake Magazine ) of the tour were involved in Warren Miller Entertainment. Tickets will be available online, at the box office and here at Sierra Anglers ( $12.00 per ticket, $15.00 at the door ). The video is the promo for the 2008 film tour. The proceeds of the event will benefit " Rivers of Recovery ", a non-profit organization that provides fly fishing vacations for disabled veterans. Dan Cook, the director of Rivers of Recovery, will be making a personal appearance at the showing.

Here is their mission statement:

"Rivers of Recovery is dedicated to providing unique and meaningful recreational trips to disabled veterans, their families and the families of fallen soldiers at no cost to the participants. A nonprofit organization, Rivers of Recovery seeks to promote the building of self-confidence, foster a sense of empowerment, spark an enthusiasm for the outdoors and provide a sanctuary where enjoyment, relaxation and learning are the priorities.

Veterans and families from all armed forces and military eras are eligible.

Air Force ~ Army ~ Coast Guard ~ Marines ~ National Guard ~ Navy"

It's a great cause, I hope you will be able to attend.