Month: February 2011

Quick Mends

Why is it every Friday I could be fishing — at least for a few hours — it’s raining in L.A.? Tomorrow, snow is in the forecast!

Anyway, while housebound, surfing for carp stories, I found this interesting piece from Cape Town, South Africa, on the blog paracaddis.

It’s worth a read for several reasons:

Fat evidence that carp are alive and well in South Africa. (courtesy paracaddis)

First, it’s a heroic tale about a skunk.

Second, the weather is frickin’ hot.

Third, the fishers talk about Czech nymphing, or short-distance nymphing, akin to “high sticking,” but with more flies (OK, that’s really an oversimplification. For more, read the link.)

In my short experience, I’ve found that on our river, if you don’t see them, you won’t catch them. And, well, even when you do see them, you need a stealthy approach. They are some spooky fish.

Enough of this. Sunday morning, I’m going to try out my theories — unless, of course, it’s still snowing.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Missing a ‘really big shew’

Browsing through the latest copy of Richard Anderson’s marvelous mag, “California Fly Fisher,” I recently spied an advertisement for the 2011 Fly Fishing Show in Pasadena, Calif. (Full disclosure. I’ve written a couple of pieces for him.)

This is as far as the writer got to visiting the 2011 Fly Fishing Show in Pasadena.

Wow, I thought, what a great place to corral a bunch of stories for this ol’ hungry blog! Especially of interest, two seminars, “Sight Casting to Carp, the Golden Ghost of Southern California,” and “Fly Fishing Warm Water — Bass, Like, Carp.”

Because, as my industrialist daddy used to say, “time is money,” I went to the show’s site, only to find out that it’s a road show, with the next stop in Stockton later this month. But, unfortunately, there was no schedule of what was going on, and when.

So, I procrastinated and found myself asking the ticket lady inside her little portable booth outside the Pasadena Convention Center if, at 3:15 p.m. on a chilly Sunday afternoon, I could get a discount. Fifteen bucks is pretty dear these recessionary days.

Oh, and did I mention that the show closed at 4:30?

“No,” she said bluntly, and even in the dim light reminding of a confessional, I could see she wasn’t going to budge on the budget.

I ask you, isn’t $5 better than nothing?

So … my report on the show is zippo, nada, not a note taken, nor a voice recorded.

I guess that’s the beautiful thing about blogging and not getting paid for it. If you blow it, well, there’s always tomorrow.

One thing I did notice during my time peering in the picture windows and watching a newbie casting demo, the demographic for the show is basically mine — and older. Lots older. When our lot gets to pounding on tables at the bar and other likely spots, we like to opine on the lack of youthfulness in the sport. And by youthfulness, I don’t mean the bad-ass contingent that looks to be refugees from snowboarding. (Don’t get indignant … Anyone for a snowboarding/ice fishing combo?)

Anyway, getting “the youth” involved means getting off our older behinds, going to schools, casting ponds, derbies, whatever, to turn on the truly young to the wonders of nature. Neal Taylor was genius in doing it, and his obit ran today in the Los Angeles Times, paleolithic edition. Four thousand children a year come to Lake Cachuma, near Santa Barbara, and possibly many heard a tale spun by Taylor. Among his more notable students, presidents Carter, Reagan and Eisenhower.

After all, how can you miss with a spiel that begins, “”At Lake Cachuma, we have seeds that walk, spiders that fly, plants that catch fish and trees that predict rain.”

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Quick Mends

Calabasas city fathers (and mothers ...) agree: plastic bags = yuck.

UPDATE: Under “the snowball is rolling” category (with apologies to my home town, Chicago, worst storm since 1967 …), the Calabasas city council heard an ordinance at its last session about “regulating the use of plastic carryout bags and recyclable paper bags and promote the use of reusable bags in the City,” according to a memo from the city attorney. Next step, slated for Feb. 9, is to formally adopt the ordinance by adding it to the city’s municipal code.

See you on the river, Jim Burns