Conservation tips for opening day on the LA River


ALL SMILES: Will with one sweet capr (Jim Burns)

ALL SMILES: Will with one sweet carp. (Jim Burns)

Today is opening day on the Los Angeles River.

It may not get the press or angler attention as the traditional opener in the eastern Sierra, in which fishers descend on the area’s many awakening lakes and streams, but the truth is it’s a banner day just the same.

For the third season, the recreational zone includes two areas,  Elysian Valley and Sepulveda Basin.  Check out the above link for maps, rules and all the good stuff about kayaking.

Buy a fishing license

                Fish legally

Support the conservation efforts of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Don’t kill and eat your catch

                Red-tail hawks, osprey and other birds depend on fish for their survival

Practice catch-and-release fishing

                Play your fish quickly

SLEUTHING: Pack out everything you brought, including flies, tippet discards and leader. (Jim Burns)

SLEUTHING: Pack out everything you brought, including flies, tippet discards and leader. (Jim Burns)

Use barbless hooks or bend the barb back with your hemostat

Hold your fish as gently as possible when you remove the hook

If your fish is exhausted, place back in water in your hands until it swims away

Put discarded line, bobbers and hooks in a container in your pocket

Remember all lines will not biodegrade for centuries and are a hazard to wildlife that can become entangled and die in them

Hooks left in the water can injure wildlife, as well as barefoot humans

Send me any stories and pics you want to share with readers of this site. Successes as well as failures welcome! I don’t cover the Sepulveda Basin and would like to know how the fishing’s going there.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

Mark Gangi says:
May 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm Edit
I would add – give other fisherman a lot of room, and don’t wander along the edge scaring all of the fish. It’s exciting to see 3-4 fly fisherman on the river at the same time, and the fish are getting active quicker – but please be cool to everyone on the river

 

Calendar item: Carp on the Fly presentation at Bob Marriott’s today


Todd Suttle, right, explains the finer points of carp on the fly to a crowd of about 20 at The Bob Marriott's event Saturday. (Jim Burns)

Todd Suttle, right, explains the finer points of carp on the fly to a crowd of about 20 at The Bob Marriott’s event Saturday. (Jim Burns)

Update: Zino Nakasuji and Todd Suttle absolutely killed it in their presentation this afternoon, offering in depth tips for fly fishing both on the LA River, as well as Lake Henshaw. If these two talented fishers give another presentation, as they say, run don’t walk. They rock.

I was very impressed by the presentations that day. Truly, I really didn’t know what to expect, but was impressed by the knowledge of all the presenters and that they welcomed questions and were eager to share their knowledge about fishing the LA River and other places as well. Highly recommended attending this ‘open house’ at Bob Marriott’s next time they have one!

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LA’s riverly writings on the rise


From  LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas (Heyday, 2015)

From LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas (Heyday, 2015)

As we approach Memorial Day and the opening of the third season of legal Los Angeles River fishing, fish tales are flowing.

Carren Jao has consistently reported on the river’s progress for KCET’s Departures, and her most recent piece delves into the world of fishers as citizen scientists. She’ll also tell you just how clean the river water actually is by answering the oft-asked question, “But can you swim in it?”

Meanwhile, in the freshly minted June issue of California Fly Fisher, Jim Matthews pens a humorous article about the difficulties of catching carp on the fly. He spends time with LARFF guest contributor Greg Madrigal chasing golden bones, sings the praises of Matus Sobolic’s “Over Sleazy” carp fly and sets the stage for the fourth annual Carp Throwdown at Lake Henshaw next month. The article isn’t available online, so check your local fly shop.

And Andrew Wilcox includes “Stalking Carp” in the new anthology “LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas.” I haven’t gotten a copy yet, but the Los Angeles Times review is here. Colleague and river pal Charles Hood gets a shout out for his contribution on trees within a half-mile radius of Union Station. The reviewer writes: “Not only does Hood guide one to all the Indian Laurel Fig trees in the area (there are three), but he links the city’s arboreal history to newly arrived migrant communities, civic beautification campaigns and foliage fads that, for example, explain why an area prone to drought-driven wildfires ended up importing so many flammable eucalyptus trees.”

Finally, my own “California Gold Rush” appears in the UK’s Fallon’s Angler, a new quarterly, also only available in print.

I’d say all this activity bodes well for another mega-summer on the water.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Spring signals tentative rebirth of So. Cal’s beloved West Fork


By Steve Kuchenski
Guest Contributor

YES! Trout are back, albeit in smaller numbers, on the West Fork. (Steve Kuchenski)

YES! Trout are back, albeit in smaller numbers, on the West Fork. (Steve Kuchenski)

So, I decided to ride my bike up near the base of Cogswell Dam yesterday, just to scout out conditions. As you can see from this YouTube link, the West Fork is as challenging as it is beautiful!

The late morning started out with hazy sun, and by the time I started fishing at 10:30, it was cloudy and cool. I didn’t see any major hatch, though at some places there were plenty of black gnats that were fascinated with my sunglasses. The water upstream seemed slightly cloudy, and the riverbed is still dark (and slippery!)from last fall’s leaf liter, so it is nearly impossible to see the dark shadows of fish amid all the protective structure.

At one pool, I saw no signs of feeding or other activity. I tried various drys and midges without any response,

BUGGY spring comes to the West Fork. (Steve Kuchenski)

BUGGY spring comes to the West Fork. (Steve Kuchenski)

but I’ve been told that when nothing else seems to be happening, try a woolly bugger. This approach was immediately rewarded with four-five flashes, each probably between 5-to-8 inches long. I don’t have any significant experience stripping WBs, so it took me awhile to get the hang of it, but eventually this 6-inch rainbow totally gulped the WB.

I stopped at several other pools, riffles and plunges along the way. I saw one fish flip out of the water, but never landed

WITH proper care, this little guy will grow up to make us all proud. (Steve Kuchenski)

WITH proper care, this little guy will grow up to make us all proud. (Steve Kuchenski)

anything after that, despite drifting multiple flies and midges. There were stoneflies, ants and other terrestrials out in force, but the fish remained hunkered down, and I don’t know if it was due to the low pressure of the impending storm, or the lack of a hatch, or just my own technique.

You have to bring your best game to the West Fork. I think it’s good that we’ll each spend a concentrated effort on individual segments of the river: It will give us a chance to see what works best for any given riffle or pool.

And, in any case, it will be a beautiful day.