Bummed out at the Thienes Avenue Gateway

What’s wrong with this view? No fish on the line. (Jim Burns)

Hoping to find a new fly-fishing spot for readers of this space, as well as for moi, I ventured into unknown territory today — the San Gabriel River. Not the East Fork, nor the West Fork, but the actual river in El Monte, off Peck Road.

Locals told me about Thienes (pronounced “THE-na” by the peeps), that guys were hooking up there. So, anxious to do the same, I ventured over today, and got my hopes way up, because it’s such a beautiful spot right off the Emerald Necklace bike path that connects the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel cycling lanes within the San Gabriel Valley. I mean, this could be urban fishing at its finest: safe place to park your cark; painted totems to greet you; an ornate gate; a spot that looks a bit like a bus shelter for respite from the sun; a smoothly paved bike lane; and then the pristine river.

You can cast into the water as far as you can muster it, from one long walkway that separates two sections of the river. Believe me, if you’re practicing your cast, I’d much rather do it here than any casting pond I’ve been to. Also, people were really friendly.

Only one problem: I got skunked, using a 5 weight overstrung with a 6-weight line, Globugs and a red San Juan worm. Did I wish I’d brought a Woolly Bugger? Oh, yeah. I could see hundreds and hundreds of fry swimming around, and there appeared to be excellent habitat for game fish — reeds, water shaded by trees, even a waterfall. But — zippo, at least for today.

Thienes Park features a beautifully crafted entrance gate. (Jim Burns

So, for those of you who already know this spot, please share the wealth. Next time, I’d like to have a fish on.

See you on the water, Jim Burns

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