Friday Feb 29, 2020 – Its official, San Luis Reservoir Fly Fishing for Stripers is on. Dan Blanton, Vaughn, and Steph all had great days yesterday. I was counting the days, doing dentistry this week , anticipating the weekend for another great shot at and epic day after last weeks great day with Kimmie the dog. I called up my buddy Steve Sakamaki and asked him if he was free to fish with me today and he hesitated and bailed due to an appointment. I told him that its been a year since I called him and that if he really wanted a shot a great day on the lake, he needed to cancel his appointment and fish with me. Steve read my mind and cancelled his appointment. The pressure was on to show Steve a great day.
The lake was a bit bumpy in the morning and I decided to go right for the racks. Steph said he got over 20 at the racks yesterday. As we pulled up to the south tower, I couldn’t wait to get the sonar in the water. It was like unwrapping a Christmas gift. The shear anticipation of finding the motherload of striper schools was a good possibility. Water conditions were perfect for the prespawn. Steve had only heard stories from me about the new Panoptix Livescan and I was ready to show him how it would make a difference if I could find us a huge school of fish to feast on all day like last week. We eased into last weeks honeypot and I put the sonar down and looked. To my disbelief, the screen was blank. Where did they go? I circled the rack looking for fish and noticed much smaller schools of fish swimming around and in between the towers. I chased them around the racks and we managed to catch a dozen over an hour never really getting more than 2 or 3 out of any sonar reads. We “FLOSSED the racks” (-the act of casting a fly line between the pillars to the other side) . It was good fishing but not what I expected. It wasn’t “Banzai” like last week. It was difficult to get a fly in front of the fast moving schools that were 30-40 feet deep . Most of our luck in the morning was finding an area around the racks that sits on the Striper Freeway. I call it the Striper Freeway because I think fish move around the lake in lanes following troughs and structure. These lanes change with water height, and if you have fished San Luis out of a float tube over the years, you realize sometimes you just got to wait for them to show up and that they show up in the same places time after time even down to the rock. The lanes were deep today as we tried to get the flys down 40 feet before the school of fish showed up on the sonar and just wait for them. This technique seemed to work well in the morning when the fish were moving and picky.
I decided at 10:00am to fish the dam from the racks to Romero. We pulled up on the corner of the Trashrack Bridge and found small schools of eating fish moving along the dam all the way to Romero. It was big fun being able tto predict the hookups watching the Livescope. Several times after a lull in action, I would point to a spot for Steve to cast and he would hook a fish. The Livescope enables a fisherman to predict a hit or fish on any particular cast. There were not many instances of catching a fish that I didn’t see on the livescan. We fished the dam and picked up another dozen fish between the two of us. Around 11:00am, the wind layed down and the weather got warm. You could see midges on the water hatching and the changing conditions turned the racks on. When we returned to the racks, the schools had stopped moving and were milling around close to the wall. We scored three doubles in a row when we got back to the racks in the afternoon We fished the racks till are arms were sore and left at 2:00. We landed at least 20 fish apiece today and and caught many 20 inch plus fish. No huge fish were caught but I was impressed that we got into many schoolies averaging a fat 4-5 lbs and all looking almost like clones. Nothing was under 18 inches today and the fish were fat and strong. The Pre Spawn binge feed happening now in my opinion. The pumps were not on today and no one kicked us off the racks even though a few trucks went by.
Steve was so happy he cancelled his appointments. He really is getting the knack of the strip pause set. The Stripers were coming back to the fly after the misses and they were hitting on the pause as they were last week.
There is a section of the video that compares the action of the pulse disc and and non pulse disc Clouser. I am becoming more convinced every trip that using pulse discs gives us the edge. One of these trips, I will film how the pulse disc gives action to a falling fly.