Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fishing Local

In Southern California exists an unexplainable urge to turn all rivers into a cement trough.  Actually the idea is to keep the waters manageable during the floods that occur after a hard rain, but the concept of a ‘river’ disappears in all the cement.  For anyone wanting to fish the local waters, this limits the choices; however, there are still a number of places to hunt for fish.  Whether or not the fish are actually there may be another story.
 
Recently Clark and I headed to some of the local parks to fly fish.  These parks ranged in size from an acre or so to two rather large pieces of turf covering many city blocks each.  All of the parks had at least one pond or small lake stocked with trout and other fish by the Department of Fish and Game, or so it is rumored.
 
The first stop was a very small pond about eight miles away.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this many ducks in one place in my life.  If there was water in the pond, it was under a thick layer of, um, duck exhaust.  And the smell.  I’ve spent many years around farm animals, and this was as bad a smell as I’ve ever experienced.  Needless to say, we drove to the next park on our list.
 
Park number two was about two or three miles away from the first park, and it showed some promise.  The pond was maybe 40 yards wide at it greatest width and no more than a hundred yards long, and it was ringed with fisherpersons (is that the right term?) standing on the concrete sidewalk around its perimeter.  They must know something about this place for so many to be fishing at one time.  We spent about an hour or so there and came to the conclusion that the fisherpersons were wrong.
 
From there we journeyed a couple of miles to a large park with a small lake that covered several acres.  Now this looked like a place to fish.  The banks were dirt, grass, and mud just like it should be.  There was stuff growing in the water along the edges, and there were birds flying overhead.  (Not that the birds had an effect on the conditions of this lake, I just happen to like birds around.)  But after an hour or so Clark and I decided to try elsewhere.
 
The last stop of the day was at Eldorado Park.  This is a very big city park with several ponds and lakes that are stocked occasionally by the Department of Fish and Game with trout, bass, catfish, etc., depending on the season.  We had heard that Area III is the place to fish, and we wanted to give it a try.  But it wasn’t our day.  Living in southern California has the occasional disadvantage of areas restricted for temporary use by the film industry, and this was one of those days.  So we drove around the remainder of the park checking out the concrete ponds.
 
There was, however, one place known as Horseshoe Lake.  It is a small impoundment with no concrete in sight, and it looked fishable.  For two hours we tossed our artificials into the water, and we had a couple of hits, but no fish were brought to hand.  Since these were the only hits of the day, we had to chalk this outing up to the enjoyment of the outdoors.
 
Since that day Clark and I revisited Eldorado Park.  I believe I could copy the last two paragraphs word for word concerning the second visit.  The one change would be that the Department of Fish and Game was about five minutes ahead of us entering the park; however, they dropped the fish into Area III, which was still off limits due to use by the film industry.  Rats!

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