It been a busy year without much trout fishing so last weekend Gina and I decided to spend the weekend at Baily Creek Lodge with a couple friends. My partner to Bolivia next month–Steve Sakamaki– and his wife Henrie, plus our very best friends Kevin and Mary Lee Jones. Kevin has been after me to teach him how to flyfish for years. There is no better place for a beginner to learn how to catch trout on flies than Bailey Creek Lodge. The cool thing about Bailey Creek Lodge in my opinion is the trout fishing can be as easy or challanging as you like it. Fishing natural flies to single cruising fish or rising fish is as tough here as most still water lakes Ive fished. But, when the fish start looking for feed or hear the right sounds in the water, they school and even the most novice flyfisherman can consistently catch fish many over 20 inches long. If you are on the fence about flyfishing for trout, this place will make you a believer as Kevin and Henrie discovered. The flyfishing competition between Kevin and Henrie on the pond was intense and between the two of them, many trout were caught and released.
Peter and Cindy, the owners and hosts of Bailey Creek lodge are the main reason to try Bailey Creek Lodge, They are not only great chefs but the most hospitable hosts of any lodge I’ve tried in Northern California. Bailey Creek lodge is especially great because there are so many options for the non fishing guests. The huge rolling green lawn is inviting, plus the swimming pool, pool table, and big screen TV in the nicely air conditioned lodge made staying there feel like home. Its the perfect place to get five to fifteen of your closest friends and family together for a reunion or fun weekend. There are three options to fish–two lakes and a stream. One Lake has Bass and the other has trout. Because their trout lake is fed by Rock Creek, there is an abundance of native fish as well as triploids in the cool water pond to keep the fishing great even when the heat of summer has turned other ponds off. The fish were healthy and abundant and fought well. Depending on the time of day, the fish could be challenging to catch, but, at times, they were incredibly eager and eating There is a big midge hatch in the morning and all day long fish could be caught on damsel nymphs, drys, terrestrials, and caddis. I caught a few dredging seal buggers and hanging chironomids on an indicator. The weed growth in the ponds are healthy and there is plenty of natural food keeping the fish fit and cautious.
For friends that have non fishing wives or kids who don’t enjoy fishing for trout all day long, this place feels like a summer camp without the crowds. The beautiful swimming pool and shaded patio is spa like and relaxing for the wives that didn’t want to fish the afternoon heat. Finally, the food was superb as usual and always accessible between meals. Peter and Cindy cook the Sous Vide method and even though I enjoy there cooking, I can see that it wouldn’t be difficult to bring sous vide dishes ready to cook there and save on the meal plans. The Kitchen is awesome. Plus , you can eat around the fishing schedule. One evening the fishing got so good around 7:00pm, we lost track of time and almost missed dinner. The best fishing on the ponds is from 5:00 to dark and if you cook for yourself, you can eat at 10pm if you wanted to stay on the lake till the last fish (me). We enjoyed the 70 inch big screen TV, recording Olympic events to watch after fishing. It was like all the comforts of home with great fishing! Thanks again to Peter and Cindy for a relaxing weekend just 4.5 hours from our house in the shadow of Mount Lassen.
Cindy and I bonded over drones. She is a pilot without an airplane. Drones are the perfect solution for her passion for flying. We tried to film a drone delivery of food to a boat in the pond but due to a camera failure, we didn’t get the footage of the delivery even though it went like clockwork. Using an Inspire Drone rigged with a payload delivery system, we dropped a bag of goodies from the lodge to a fisherman in the middle of the pond. I experienced some interesting behavior from thee Inspire Drone testing the remote release mechanism attached to the landing gear. The gear automatically raises at about 5 feet altitude and must be stopped before it releases payload by flipping the landing gear switch once at the first sign of landing gear movement. When it works, its pretty flawless. the food drop can be steered with precision through the downward camera on the Inspire from the air.
Palmer Ponds Alberta August 2016
John Brezzo returned from the St Mary’s last week with a 36 inch rainbow from the Palmer Ponds–a personal best. Next year this time, I may be fishing the Saint Mary’s again.
BIG Striper time in San Luis Reservoir
Last week, according to the Fresno Bee fishing report. At least three huge fish were caught in the lake at 10 percent capacity. I had a feeling that all those big fish in such a smaller footprint might be easier to catch. I cant wait to try the lake this weekend.