Clear Skies, Pumps On, Can’t Lose

Sunday June 26, 2019 – The wind has been very fluky as of late at the San Luis Reservoir. When the highway signs warn of “Gusty Winds” over Pacheco Pass even when its calm, you can bet that the wind predictions may not be accurate. Yesterday (Saturday) I got excited when the wind predictions was for mild winds in the morning.    I went to bed early on Friday to get to the lake early anticipating a great day.  The  pumps were still pumping water into the lake and I knew the fish would be stacked up at the racks.   Halfway to the lake, I decided to call the wind line.  The wind lady told me that the winds were around 15 mph on the main lake. As I crested the pass and glimpsed the lake, I could see white caps across the lake in front of the racks.  I decided to go over to the forebay.  Even the forebay was windy and close to closing.  The Kiosk gal told me it blew 45 mph the day before.   . After waiting for an hour, I launched in the wind and fished the forebay spots I hadn’t fished for over a year– big zero for the day. I wanted to test out some of the Coho Flies that I had been tying for September’s Sapsuk Trip as well as test some different Spey Lines on my Loop Cross 7wgt spey.  I casted different weight flies on the spey and tested some really heavy flies on a 10 wgt Helios and an 8 wgt Winston Jungle Rod. It will take a bit to dial that all in but I have three more months to figure it out.

The Sunday mornings wind prediction was the best of the weekend so I decided to try to get out at daybreak and fish the racks before the dam police came out.  I needed a good day after yesterdays zero.   The lake was calm and I was the third boat to launch at Basalt.    As I drove to the ramp along the lake, I could see a flyfisherman already at the racks at 6:30. My guess was it was Frank from Modesto who a couple weeks ago witnessed  Ed Given’s 23 pounder in the morning at that same spot.    I lanched and headed directly to the racks.  When I got there,  Frank and his buddy were already on fish 15.   I pulled up to the same piller on the opposite side and caught 4 fish on 4 casts.  The light winds were dying down,  the pumps were on — I couldn’t lose.     It was pretty much non stop catching for the next three hours.  I was fishing two rods trying to keep up with Frank and his friend.  We were using small three inch flies on t-11s and t-14s.    The Dam Police pulled up around 9:00am and we retreated to the boils in front of the dam,   I metered alot of fish out there,  but there were schools of Shad in the mix.   A Bald Eagle worked the schools of shad from the sky, occasionally taking a huge shad back to her nest flying just a few feet above the water.    The Dam police left at 10:00 and Frank and I snuck back in and sleighed them again for another 2 hours.  It started to get hot at noon but the water was glass and the fish were still there but deeper.    I could see schools of fish moving around the racks on the sonar.     At times Frank would be hooked up double.  I could see the school move from his boat to mine before also hooking up.     I think when the current is on with the pumps,  fish come from all over the lake to feed and spawn around the pillars.    No really big fish were caught today  between us although we may have caught 100 or more fish between out boats.    The fish were running larger however,  no dinks.  And, The fish pulled hard today.  My biggest of the day was 26 inches.   I was expecting only a couple of hours of rack fishing today before getting kicked out and we both agreed that it would have been worth it.   We had 6 hours of racks fishing today and felt very fortunate.   It was  a great morning and  Frank  and I reminisced about past great  days we had together over the years on the lake and forebay.   Frank went to school with Steve Santucci and we met by accident over ten years ago on the lake.

At noon, I decided to fly the drone and test some spey lines.   While landing the drone in the boat,  it got a weird power warning and quickly try to land the drone on the boat.   As soon as it got close,  it took a dive for the water and hit the mono running line hanging out of one of my rods.   It immediately hit the water and started sinking,   For a a second, I considered diving for it,  but it sank out of site before I started to strip.    I noticed the running line on the rod feeding out slowly and I was able to reel in the drone.  Apparently it got tangled in the running line before going down.   I quickly disassembled the drone and dried it out in the hot sun.   After a couple of hours ,  I put it in a ziplock with rice which I had in the boat for this contingency.   Im not even going to trouble shoot it for 24 hours.   If its broke,  it will still be broke after a day in rice.


Drone Survives.  After its second swim in two years,  the drone survives 100 percent after being submerged for approximately 40 seconds  this time.   The Battery however is totally dead and will not charge.   Also,  in drying out the SD card,  I lost it again!  (I lost it last time the same way at Jurassic Lake- Drying it out in the sun).   Im renaming my Drone  “Cat” because its on its 7th life (out of 9).

For Frank-  Custom made Dunnage racks for casting platforms and steps on the cheap at

One thought on “Clear Skies, Pumps On, Can’t Lose

  1. Tried to fish yesterday (Wednesday the 26th). Wind closed the Res and Forebay. I fish from a pontoon and have only done so in the Forebay thus far. Did a little scouting and it looks like i could launch fairly close to B.O.P. Looking forward to trying there!

    2 Questions:

    1) How windy does it have to be for them to close to boating ?

    Thank you for your great videos, pictures and reports!


    2) Can one call a number to find out if they are closed to boating before leaving home ?

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