Guess who’s back?


'BASS-A-NOVA': Yup, they're bacl! (John Tegmeyer)

‘BASS-A-NOVA': Yup, they’re b-b-b-ack! (John Tegmeyer)

Last summer, there were bass — lots and lots of bass — as well as aggressive tilapia. And as just about anyone who has fished the L.A. River will tell you, both species are a heck of a lot easier to catch than our crafty carp. Targeting bass, you can do dumb things like muff your cast or take some drag on your line, and still recover and hook up. With carp, mostly, it’s one and done.

Then “poof.”

After last season’s first rain, all the bass disappeared. Because our river is currently more of a causeway without significant structure, what was solid fact one day vanished the next, as uneven flows swept away everything in their paths, including the bass that many of us watched grow to healthy sizes. That’s one of the beauties of catch and release: you can actually watch the fish mature through the season.

“Wonder where they went?” asked John Tegmeyer, which was truly said in hindsight, as yesterday he found a new Motherlode.

Maybe we can all file our “what the heck happened?” under the line from an old Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi”:

“Don’t it always seem to go
You don’t know what you got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”

In the case of our river, the opposite will hopefully be true: our paved parking lot will gradually become something entirely more heavenly.

So, until fall’s predicted El Nino teaches us what rain really feels like, and the bass once again go missing, get out there.

Roland Trevino has been consistently hooking up on prince nymphs, instead of his usual fav, white poppers.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Next FoLAR citizen scientist event slated for Aug. 15


Nick Faught of Corona snagged this 8-pounder, his first carp on the fly. (Jim Burns)

Nick Faught of Corona snagged this 8-pounder, his first carp on the fly. (Jim Burns)

Happy summer all!

We are hoping to have a dinghy to help pull a small trawl net in addition to working the banks. 
Kayaks, floating fishing chairs are welcome!  Please spread the word.
Hope to see you on the river in August!
Thanks, Rosi
Rosi Dagit
RCD of the Santa Monica Mountains
540 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd
Topanga, CA 90290

Calling all Citizen Scientists!!!

We are looking for a few good people – a few means 30 – to help Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) in Partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific, Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains & the University of California Cooperative Extension to help in the Fish Study @ Long Beach.

This event will take place at 7:30 a.m. at the Willow Street Bike Path Entrance on 25th & De Forest in Long Beach – Saturday, Aug. 15.

We are looking for anglers with their own gear and non-anglers to help assist our biologists on shore identify, weigh and measure caught species, before returning them into the river.

RSVP to wpb@folar.org

Until then…

Check out what FoLAR is doing to help curb wildlife injury from discarded fishing line along the L.A. River…

http://folar.org/fishing-line-recycling-program/

Attention Anglers – Don’t miss the SECOND ANNUAL – L.A. River Cath & Release Fishing Derby – “Off tha’ Hook” – Register now – Limited Spots Available – KIDS FREE

http://folar.org/event/off-tha-hook-fishing-event/

Mayor’s blast email celebrates US Army Corp revitalization approval


20140103-101346.jpgJim —
It’s been a long fight but the restoration of the LA River just won its largest victory yet! Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers unanimously endorsed the most comprehensive revitalization plan to open parks, bike lanes, and community space along 11 miles of our river.

Join me in celebrating this great news by sharing it with your friends:

Share on Facebook
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This would not have been possible without you and the tens of thousands of Angelenos who came to public meetings, signed petitions, and took action to build a more beautiful Los Angeles.

Thank you!

Eric Garcetti
Mayor

FoLAR debuts fishing line recycling program


RECYCLING: FoLAR has place three tubes along the river as part of a pilot program. (Jim Burns)

RECYCLING: FoLAR has placed three tubes along the river as part of a pilot program. (Jim Burns)

In another first, the advocacy group Friends of the Los Angeles River has installed three tubes for fisherfolk to safely discard used line in selected spots along the river’s upper banks. Trout Unlimited provided the funding, while both Councilperson Mitch O’Farrell (13th District) and the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council provided their political imprimatur.

“We support FoLAR taking a stance on discarded fishing line, while educating anglers who are new to fishing the L.A. River as well as the anglers who have fished the river for decades,” wrote AVNC co-chairs Torin Dunnavant and Courtney Morris in their letter of support.

Both the AVNC and O’Farrell’s office cited a trigger event for better line management, the death of a Great Blue Heron, called Fred by locals, who was caught in fishing line, seriously injured and subsequently died as marine biologists attempted to nurse him back to health.

Monofilament may seem harmless enough, but it represents both an eco-hazard as well as a possible deadly ensnarement for the wildlife so abundant on the river. According to FoLAR, birds can be attracted to the fishy smell on used line, then become hopelessly ensnared while digging for it in convention trash cans. Also, monofillament does not degrade over time leaving what amounts to an ageless hazard if not dispossed of properly.

As awareness has increased among state agencies, fishing clubs and individual anglers, these recycling tubes have become more common on streams. For example, a tube sits next to the angler survey box at the beginning of the catch and release section of the West Fork of the San Gabriel, a popular area for local flyfishers.

Each week, the tubes’ contents will be sent to the Berkley Conservation Institute in Iowa. The company, which produces conventional fishing line, recycles used line into 4-foot cubicle fish habitats it calls “Fish-Habs.” According to the company’s website, since 1990, BCI has recycled more than 9 million miles worth of fishing line. That’s enough line to fill two reels for every angler in America.

At the close of recreational zones on Labor Day, the program results will be re-evaluated to measure impact and the tubes could become a permanent fixture on the river.

Currently, the tubes are located at the Glendale Narrows Dover Street river entrance in the yoga pocket park, Acresite Street and FoLAR’s own Frog Spot. Future rollouts include the Bowtie Parcel and Marsh Park, if the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority that patrols the area agrees.

Fishing has only recently become legal on the river, during a certain time — Memorial Day through Labor Day — and within certain places, the carefully defined recreational zones below Fletcher Bridge, the so-called Elysian Valley River, and in a stretch in the Sepulveda Basin River in the San Fernando Valley. The fact that the pilot line recycling tubes lie outside these boundaries speaks to the growing number of anglers who search for the best places to fish, regardless of geographic boundaries.

SIGNS OF CHANGE: A new condo complex abutts the very spiffy Marsh Park within the rec zone. (Jim Burns)

SIGNS OF CHANGE: A new condo complex abutts the very spiffy Marsh Park within the rec zone. (Jim Burns)

“As the LA River is reborn, it needs the help of a variety of river huggers: fisherfolk, bird watchers, dog walkers, nature strollers.  It’s important that everyone who has a particular interest respects the interests of others, and lost or discarded fishing line can ensnare the birds and other creatures that call the river home,”” Robert Blankenship, president of Trout Unlimited’s south coast chapter, said. “We encourage all fishermen to discard used line in the collectors, and would appreciate anyone who sees old fishing line in the river area to please use the collectors as well.”

See you on the river, Jim Burns

West Fork S.O.S.: Comment by July 27


On a whim, I visited the West Fork very recently. The sun was hot in the mid-morning sky; a group of local teens pulled up alongside the parked mighty Prius and one asked me if I ‘biked much?” I said no, which is true, because I almost never take that rickety garage-sale contraption out of my garage, unless it’s to come here.

The rust on the chain tells the tale and could have answered the lad’s question before I ever did.

In the few hours I spent in the catch/release section, above the second bridge, two marvelous items happened: I spotted a pair of young foxes, and I caught a small trout on a size 16 hi-viz Parachute Adams after about 10 minutes casting to a shadowy hole.

Upon my return, I told my incredulous son I’d hooked up. I beamed, even as he questioned, “But, isn’t that pretty bad? Didn’t we used to hook up at least a dozen times up there.”

Yes, Will, yes, we did.

And that’s why I hope everyone who reads this will click this link and let the powers that be at the Angeles National Forest know your thoughts, for ANF is seeking public comments on a “Need to Change” analysis for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Trout Unlimited has launched a campaign to get fishers to comment before the comment period ends July 27.

Why is there a “need to change” recreational policies on the West Fork?  As the advocacy website Friends of the River explains the 44 miles of stream within the national monument are designated a “wild & scenic river.”

“The West, North and East Forks .. drain the largest watershed in the mountain range and provide thirsty downstream residents with clean drinking water. The West Fork National Scenic Bikeway Trail provides easy access to one of the few catch and release trout streams (bold added) in the region, while the upper West Fork is traversed by the Gabrieleno National Recreation Trail. The East Fork provides trail access to the Sheep Mountain Wilderness.”

As it stands, when you come upon the survey box at the beginning of the West Fork’s c/r area, it makes even the most obstinately optimistic fishers scratch their heads. I mean what kind of comment does a thinking person leave?

“Dear Ranger,

Fishing has plummeted on this wild & scenic river to levels probably never seen before. Help.

Sincerely,

A very concerned citizen and angler”

I’m not sure if the well-intentioned West Fork San Gabriel River Conservancy is still functioning, but much of its website dates to early 2014.

Anyway, to bone up on the problems this area faces from our 4 million brethren, there’s a load of information and reporting on the Internet, which means at least some of it is actually true.

The best way to refresh your political ire is to visit, yourself, put your $5-a-day Adventure Pass on your dashboard, bring your $47.01 valid fishing license, a few flies and a 2 weight. Grease up the chain on your aging bike, ride past the swimmers to the second bridge, and angle. This area is our area, and it is in desperate need of attention. At least, that’s what I’m writing to ANF.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

New video: ‘Carp on the Fly, Los Angeles River’


Mirror, mirror on the wall What name should this carp we call? (Ryan Anglin)

Mirror, mirror on the wall
What name should this carp we call? (Ryan Anglin)

Take a look at this engaging new video from Ryan Anglin (real name, born to fish!)

It certainly represents the way I’ve felt many times on our river — serenity sans hip-hop soundtrack. I guess it’s easier to see the river from a bling perspective — fly in; take some shots; catch some fish; fly out; edit, complete with stereotypes — but this piece captures the peace I feel on this magical waterway.

Should come with a NSFW warning — watch it and you’ll leave your cube early to get out there.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

From today’s e-mailbag …


Thanks for all the information you’ve posted about the LA River over the years. I was finally able to make it to the LA River during my recent visit to California. My friend and I started at Marsh Park (near the 2/I-5) and did some exploring with our Tenkara rods. Wrapped up the day at Spokes Café. The LA River surpassed my expectations!

——————————————————

David Oh says:
June 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm Edit

Hey Jim,
Have been trying my luck near the Sepulveda Basin. No luck but any day outdoors no matter how cold, uncomfortable, or skunky beats a sedentary afternoon on the couch.

From what I can collect, there is life but on the bottom of the river. They weren’t going for any of my dries (I usually use a scud, killer bug as my go to emergency fly and even that didn’t work out too well). I ran across some environmental students that had a kayak hooked up with sonar and they let me there are schools of fish down in the river. (I was near the bridge where the river and Balboa meet). The biggest problem however is where the Glendale Narrows have plenty of spots that you can fit to get to the river, The Sepulveda Basin was very hard to find elbow room of any sorts (I have not walked the complete length but a few good miles)

Balboa lake is an awful mess on the weekend (as expected)
Could be good for micro fishing though.

I did find a section where the lake empties out into the river, and for what I can surmise as about 200 yards is a very nice looking stream. Were it not in Los Angeles, where it is, I would almost guarantee amazing fishing in these spots. You just have to ignore empty modelo 20 pack boxes sometimes though.

Let me do some more exploring and maybe I can let you in on a more educated review.