Peninsula Fly Fishers

Big Bluff Ranch Fishout

by Rich Catanzaro

Eleven members of the club attended the Bass Fishout, held at Big Bluff, CA on April 23-25. Once we arrived in Red Bluff, we traveled approximately 40 minutes West and Southwest on a variety of roads, some paved and some not, until we finally arrived at our destination. We were definitely in a remote area. Power poles were nowhere to be found. The ranch generates its own electricity. Most of the club members arrived about the same time, 11:00 to 12:00.

After a short visit with Frank, the owner, he provided a quick tour of the facilities and guided us to the lake. Back along the road we arrived on, across two streams, through a gate and up a hill, there was a wonderful lake with a small screened cabin which accommodated four members. Fair or not, the fishmasters reserved this location to insure that everone was off the lake and used it as a central point for meals and meetings.

The lake contained a number of surprises: bass and bluegill were found by our members. We did not land any of the Steelhead Donaldson Trout crosses that reportedly reside in the lake, but they were observed taking delight in the hatches that occurred.

There were otters, beavers, turtles and even a coyote seen along with an occasional osprey. The geese made several arial assaults from their high fly-overs. The water temp at 62 degrees was still a little cool to encourage the bass and blugill to move into action. We did manage to catch some, and that kept up our interest in the chase.

Tom Kilfoil reports that he hooked, and lost, perhaps the biggest bass he ever hooked on one of his poppers. Wayne Jr. was so caught up with the challenge that Wayne Sr. barbequed burgers and delivered them out on the lake. Wayne Jr. may attempt to make this a steady diet while on the water. Perhaps the rest of us should place our orders and ask Wayne Sr. if he delivers.

Speaking of Wayne St., you need to ask him about the two bass he caught the last day and what made them so special. Maybe he'll even show you the fly that he is so fond of. From the reports by everyone on the fishout, we had a great time and look forward to returning after the water warms up. It was certainly great to have this lake to ourselves.

Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2016
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