Last week, I spent another week of fishing in and around Truckee, CA. Returning here feels instinctual; a calling I can’t resist; like a steelhead returning to the waters it was born in. Through the week, the days blurred into a looping sequence of casts, stunning scenery, and meditation with one constant; significant hatches but no fish rising to the surface to slurp. The holes across the street from my childhood home are usually obliging and generously offer up at least one fish, usually more. Not this trip, the river found me wanting and I walked away from the Truckee River with my rod unbent but never-the-less, still grinning.
Aside from the fishing, I was in town for a local Trout Unlimited event I’d heard talked about with intense enthusiasm from many fishing buddies. The trout bum acclaimed Fishmas Eve: a fundraiser, raffle and shindig to mark the opening day of the Truckee River (the Truckee River is now a open to fishing year round, but this event marks the original opening day). It did not disappoint! A crisp twenty bought as much pizza and beer you could eat/guzzle, and a raffle ticket. I’d struck gold, trout bum gold that is. Beer, pizza, a bunch of fellow fishing fanatics to talk all things fish with AND a raffle table loaded with rad fishing gear? Yup, make that platinum actually. The local guides, shops and reps had donated items from flies, stickers and apparel to rods, waders, line and even a few guide trips. Pretty much like the title describes, Christmas for a fly fishing enthusiast. I must have been on the “nice” list this year because I scored a buff, hat and dog collar for Marl’s!
Later, all of the hardcore Tahoe Trout Bums assemble after the fundraiser for some camping and midnight streamer fishing all while enjoying TTB’s beer of choice, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Ahhh the good life. The next morning, everyone goes fishing; I love being able to wake up, throw on waders and walk 20 ft and start fishing. I hooked into one of the biggest brown’s I have ever caught (she was a fighter, still brings a smile to my face)…. only to have it break off when it was almost ready to land. Why you ask? Because my drag was set waaay too tight. What is this? Amateur hour?! I learned from my Dad eons ago, always check your drag and back it off at the end of fishing to keep your reel in optimal condition. Gah, I know I’ll never make that mistake again. Ever. No matter how much beer I drink the night before.
Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter #103’s efforts for the conservation of the local watershed is extraordinary. President Stefan McLeod and board members volunteer their time to organize spectacular events like Fishmas Eve so that all who visit these waters can enjoy the world class fishing. Thank you guys for all of your continued hard work!!! Stay tuned for a sequel article and learn more about Truckee TU. Additional information at www.tahoetroutbum.org