The first week of May is my favorite week of the year to fish San Luis Reservoir. For me its a magical week when LOTS of big fish are caught at the lake. The last couple weeks have been great at the lake with lots of healthy fish. The fishing can be very temperamental however. Sunday was a mediocre day for me even though many flyfishermen had a good day on the lake. Sunday morning I arrived at the lake at 8:30 to find the boat ramp full and ten boats in the bay of pigs. Everybody was at the lake-Ken Oda, Ed Given, Steph, Vaughn, Jim Cramer, Steve Santucci, and a few more. It reminded me of 2011– the last time the lake was this full. As usual, the cat and mouse game with the Dam Police kept your third eye on the dam wall for the white vehicle. It seems they do take the day off after 2:00pm. I wonder what that job description is all about and how much they get paid to yell and set the horns off on the dam at innocent flyfishermen. I would think that after 911, we have learned that rules like 500 feet from the dam are virtually ineffective and overkill when it comes to terrorism. Besides it impossible for a terrorist to hide enough explosives in his 18 foot whaler and pass a quanga inspection. As far as safety is concerned, its safer to be around the racks when it blows than 500 feet offshore. If Trump can get rid of this stupid rule, I would vote for him. The winds closed the lake on Saturday, but Sunday and Monday both looked perfect and they were. It was almost dead calm at times. Both Ken Oda and Ed Given hooked huge fish on Sunday. Ken’s fish hooked at 8:00. made blazing runs down the bank at the bay of pigs taking him into his backing three times. The heavy fish was too much for this hook and it sprung a TMC 811S. According to Steve Santucci, Ed Givens hooked his monster at 7:00 and the Dam Police were already hassling people. Ed landed the fish while the Dam police were hassling him. Thats worth extra points in my book.
I promised to teach a friend of mine, Steve Pryor, how to flyfish for stripers on Monday. Steve is a great trout fishermen but he hasn’t ever needed to cast a shooting head. He has the coolest Brown Trout Tattoo on his leg that I have every seen. I was scouting the main lake for some easy fish on Sunday to share with him but after searching around the lake, it turns out the easiest fish were at the trash racks. By the time I got there in the morning, it was tough parking with at least a dozen boats all around the racks . After catching a couple fish around the racks, I watched Santucci and Givens fish with my binoculars hoping to learn something. These guys are very consistent at catching large fish from San Luis and I have a lot to learn from them. I had a 330 grain head on a 7 wgt to throw at the shad and I chased huge schools of shad trying to get a fly over them. When the Shad schools are not on the shoreline, they spook very easy and move very fast. I made several futile attempts to intercept the schools with shad flies.
I decided to teach Steve to catch stripers in the forebay and lake in increments. Since it was breezy and he was having a hard time casting a shooting head I decided first to take him to the forebay and troll a couple stripers so he wouldnt have to cast. I searched the Forebay for schools but I think the lack of weeds from chemical abatement spread them out. I did not locate any large schools on down scan and 360 sonar. We did manage to troll up 5 fish and I decided graduate him to the lake for some larger fish. We got to the lake a 11:00, trolled around the Bay of Pigs and caught nothing. The dam police were working the Dam till around 11:00 and when they left, we slipped into the trash racks and started catching fish at will. So productive was casting around that racks, I had the opportunity to teach Steve how to strip land a striper (which is not intuitive). After hooking and landing over ten fish in an hour, decided to work with Steve. After having Steve land some hooked stripers, he was ready to strip a fly , set and land his own. Getting him positioned with a good cast and a good drift to keep his line tight, he learned to feel for the light hits on the drop and learned how to strip pause a bite. We ended the day with nearly 20 fish and brought home four 20 inch stripers which we ate for dinner. The beautiful windless day on the lake with another San Luis addict created made for a near perfect day.