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Shad Run 2009 – Trip 2

Sacramento River Shad FishingAnother weekend, another fly fishing trip up to the Sacramento River shad grounds – this time with Dave.

We pretty much had the place to ourselves which was awesome, the weather stayed down in the high 80’s (an added little bonus, especially compared to last year’s triple-digit-temperature shad trip we did together) and the fishing was pretty dawgone good to boot!

We pulled up to the gravel bar in the afternoon and hurriedly setup camp, anxious to catch the evening grab.

Anyone who fishes has had their fair share of what Al and I refer to as our “Jackass Moments”. In fact, we’ve even been known to compete against each other for top honors like, Jackass of the Week, the Day, the Month, and so on.

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Winners of the past have consisted of things like loosing a pontoon boat in mid-drift on the Deschutes (and then again on the Klamath), forgetting the fly box at home I spent 2 weeks stuffing for the trip, leaving the laptop in the driveway at home and not realizing it until boarding the plane, losing an oar on a solo pontoon drift, forgetting the wading boots for the poor girl that finally agreed to go steelhead fishing 300 miles away with me (in January), hearing that gun-shot sounding crack while ducking under an overhanging tree on the mountain bike (fly rod in back pack) and the list goes on and on… And I haven’t even gotten to Brandon yet!

Anyway…

Dave earned his Jackass honors for the trip within the first 30 minutes of arriving…

[Masked Fly Fishing Man]
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“Hey Dave, where’s that sun canopy you just bought? I’ll get it setup while you finish with your tent”.

“It should be in the back of the truck, I’m really looking forward to using it. I got a really great deal on it. It even has screened in walls!”

“OK, I found it. It’s awful small… “ (the size of a shoe box).

“Hey Dave?”

“Yeah?”

“Where’s the poles?”

“What poles?”

“Uhh… Dave… did you buy the accessory screen walls without buying the canopy itself?”

Long silence…

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[Dave Fulthorpe fly fishing for shad]

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[Sacramento River sunset]

The next morning I experienced something that had never happened before…

I’ve been fishing with Dave for 8 or 9 years now and we’ve done a lot of different trips together and in all that time, one thing has always been consistent…

Without exception, I’m awake and ready to hit the water before Dave.

So… you can imagine the surprise when, from the comfy confines of my comforter-sized sleeping bag and over-stuffed mattress, my lazy morning dream of someone fighting fish in the morning sunlight turned out to be reality.

I hadn’t even crawled out of my tent yet and not only was Dave already wadered-up and in the water, but he was hooked-up with the first fish of the day as well!

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After coffee and breakfast I finally made my way out to the water to catch up.

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[fly fishing for shad in california]
Goooood morning…

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The routine was casual and relaxing, fish for an hour, then hang-out and yak for an hour over chips & salsa, fish for another hour, then maybe a cervaza break. Wash and repeat.

[Dave Fulthorpe]

The second evening we had a front row seat watching a family of beavers work the bank directly across from us. I’d never seen them grouped up like this before, it was pretty cool.

The pictures didn’t turn out very well across the water at low light but I think you’ll get the idea.

Check out page 2 to see the beaver pictures and the rest of this post.

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