As we approach Memorial Day and the opening of the third season of legal Los Angeles River fishing, fish tales are flowing.
Carren Jao has consistently reported on the river’s progress for KCET’s Departures, and her most recent piece delves into the world of fishers as citizen scientists. She’ll also tell you just how clean the river water actually is by answering the oft-asked question, “But can you swim in it?”
Meanwhile, in the freshly minted June issue of California Fly Fisher, Jim Matthews pens a humorous article about the difficulties of catching carp on the fly. He spends time with LARFF guest contributor Greg Madrigal chasing golden bones, sings the praises of Matus Sobolic’s “Over Sleazy” carp fly and sets the stage for the fourth annual Carp Throwdown at Lake Henshaw next month. The article isn’t available online, so check your local fly shop.
And Andrew Wilcox includes “Stalking Carp” in the new anthology “LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas.” I haven’t gotten a copy yet, but the Los Angeles Times review is here. Colleague and river pal Charles Hood gets a shout out for his contribution on trees within a half-mile radius of Union Station. The reviewer writes: “Not only does Hood guide one to all the Indian Laurel Fig trees in the area (there are three), but he links the city’s arboreal history to newly arrived migrant communities, civic beautification campaigns and foliage fads that, for example, explain why an area prone to drought-driven wildfires ended up importing so many flammable eucalyptus trees.”
I’d say all this activity bodes well for another mega-summer on the water.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
The UK’s Fallon’s Angler is the sharpest magazine about fishing and writing to come out since Gray’s Sporting Journal in 1975. After all, it takes some braveness to bankroll a print magazine in this digital century. As he says, “Some of my friends think I’m two sandwiches short of a picnic to launch my own angling magazine.”
The writing includes some of the brightest young urban angling writers, including Dominic Garnett of the “Crooked Lines” blog, and Theo Pike, who published the highly regarded “Trout in Dirty Places” in 2012.
Each quarter, Garrett’s writers take readers to the intriguing and the far off, such as fishing for Atlas trout in Morocco’s mountains of the same name; or catching dorado by catamaran in Cuba. And I’m happy to say you can read my piece about carping in our river in this latest issue. It’s not available online, which makes it even more exotic. It’s worth a deep dive if you love longform journalism about fishing places you may only get to dream on. Better still, many of these stories may inspire you to actually pack up and go. Currently, mine would be to catch giant trout on Hottah Lake on the edge of Canada’s Artic Circle.
Here, an excerpt from Garrett’s 1994 musings: