CZU Lightning Complex Fire – Covid – Fish. Fly-Fishing. What Day is It?
At this writing we’ve evacuated our home in Ben Lomond (which is safe), and are watching God clean up 81,000 acres (Sunday was 2,500, Tuesday, 25,000, Wednesday 63,000, Sunday 74,000 -21% containment) of forest in Santa Cruz Mountains. A historic event not seen in nearly a century. Tragically over 635 structures are lost and likely more still unaccounted for. Many of them homes. We are okay and we are now patiently waiting for the opportunity to return home. Beyond grateful for all our service members fighting the fire and protecting some 24,000 residences from looting. And my brother Dave, and Diane for a great place to stay and for all who came to help us move horses, chickens, belongings and prepare the house even more.
Before the fire, Mona and I had taken off to play in the Sierra for a few days. It was a beautiful trip. We watched meteor showers on a houseboat at Lake Almanor, caught trout at Moccasin Creek just before it dumps into Lake Don Pedro. Some very feisty escapees – probably from the hatchery above. Despite drifting PT Nymphs in the heat of the day, the fish were still willing and fun. Then we fished the, North Fork of the Stanislaus at Boardman’s Crossing in Dorrington, where we had to contend with a lot of the smaller wild fish hitting our flies, and roaming cattle, while we went in search of the larger fish. That water was colder than Moccasin.
Bear Valley Ski Resort is a beautiful place to visit this time of year. When you are taking a break from fly-fishing, you can rent canoes, and mountain bikes to do some other adventuring, or you can just hike many miles around Alpine Lake and other areas- free and Covid Free!
We got skunked on the East Fork of the Carson, mostly because we fished the heat of the day and we were finally starting to think about heading home. But we had a beautiful time exploring the Sierra in our truck. Best Covid get away together.
There is still plenty of time to do some terrific fly-fishing here and within 2-4 hours driving. 5 hours and you have your pick of the best fly fishing in California. Most of these places we chose are the best and we learned about them hanging out at our Zoom Club meetings talking about these areas, accommodations, flies,… The RV parks have tent camping and many of them have nicer bathrooms and showers if you’re on the move like we were. Best thirty dollars, especially if you’re with yer best friend. Make your camp easy to set up and take down – fun way to move about.
We have all been working hard together during this Flaming Covid crisis to keep – YOU – our membership engaged, and especially our new members who are anxious to drink from this 43 year cup of fly-fishing experience we are. We have engaged in so much and I’m super happy with what we’re doing. Please attend the Zoom meetings. They are fun – Even if you don’t stay for the whole meeting, come – buy a few raffle tickets ahead of time and hang out. This meeting Lance Grey is going to share some awesome Northern California trout tips for us, and even around some of the lakes. Don’t miss this one.
I am also super excited to introduce you to our new Secretary, Camille Padilla and our new Newsletter Editor/Web Master, Scott Kitayama. Both Scott and Camille dove in and have been helping so much already. We’re all really excited to have them on your Board.
It is hard figuring out what day it is sometimes. And we’re naturally thinking of all our friends impacted by Covid and these fires. It’s been a year of refining for sure. But we persevere, look forward, get creative and look for things we can be grateful for in the midst of trials.
When we saw the orange glow over the mountain in Ben Lomond that Monday night, that “fight or flight” thing kicks in and you just do. I thought of the men and women fighting the fire and how they must feel, that there are no scheduled ten-minute breaks or lunch hour. Or the men and women who have had to fight for freedom in wars or to live in a war zone, not knowing for months, if you were going to make it or not. We had a lot of help and we all reached out to help each other, even when we were tired from helping ourselves. It’s what we do. It’s what brings us together.
When the smoke clears and things settle, we’ll fish more. Together.
Thank you for being a valuable part of SCFF. I am grateful for you. Tom
Posted on August 27th, 2020