Peninsula Fly Fishers

Feather River Fishout

The weekend of July 24th I accompanied my husband Allen and several members of the PFF to the Feather River Fishout. Even though I don't fish and don't have any interest in catching fish that I won't be eating, I had a blast and can't wait to return. We were headquartered at Barbara Gage's Twenty Mile house, an idyllic B&B about one hour north of Truckee. This 250-acre estate includes 2 miles of private access on the Feather River and the entire town of Cromberg, California. That's right. The entire town - all three buildings. The house once served as a tavern/kitchen for the train passengers of the Feather River Railway. (The train still passes by the back of the property several times a day) About seventy years ago, the building was converted into a private residence; and the past five years it has been a Bed and Breakfast inn offering guests the ultimate in serene surroundings and excellent fishing (members of our PFF group were catching 3 to 10 trout per hour!). There is about an acre of lawn around the house, which is studded with pink sweet peas, lilacs and Banks climbing roses. We spent three hours in the afternoon visiting under the shade trees. building new friendships and enriching old ones. Talk (and the concomitant lies) about fishing only lasted for the first half-hour after the anglers came off the water!

The general store is next to the house. The shelves are stocked with the owners collection of eclectic products (old dental tools, kid's games, and tableware) that would have been in the general store. The floor space in the center of the store had several tables and served as our dining room on the eve of our potluck dinner when Harold Patterson treated to Jerk Chicken. During the day the anglers stored their fear on the counters of the store and wrestled into their waders on the shady porch outside. Joe Misfud bunked in a room tucked behind the attic treasures in the top of the general store.

Mike Pinelli, Dave Black and the Fisher family occupied the third building in the town, a two-bedroom cabin with brass beds, a claw-footed bathtub, and a functional kitchen furnished with appliances from the 1940's. The cabin was hidden in a pine forest (you crossed a footbridge over a creek to reach it) and had a wide deck on two sides for stashing wet gear, watching the river, mixing martinis or just staring up into the pine boughs. Because of the isolation of this location we could have chosen to see no one except our group all weekend, but we did venture out to an outstanding restaurant called the Grizzly Grill in Branston (fifteen miles away) on Friday evening. The chef/owner of this restaurant offered excellent and diverse menu selections, which proved that her training at the California Culinary Academy had "taken". There are several other good restaurants nearby because of the proximity of three or four golf and family resorts around the town of Graegle. (Ask J.C. Poulton for restaurant and wine recommendations. He will never steer you wrong!) Mary Nishioka made arrangements through a local bakery for a custom birthday cake to celebrate the birthdays of Jessie Lawson, Harold Patterson, and Alan Fisher at our Saturday eve potluck dinner.

So what did I do while everyone else was fishing? I reveled in the absence of cars and traffic noise. I gathered wildflowers and old railroad spikes; and I laid in the shade beside the river and read. When I got hot, I waded to the center of the river (which was on 18-24 inches deep in most places) for a better vantage point for watching my friends flail rods, snag bushes and hook feisty trout. Occasionally, the bubbling sounds of the water were punctuated by a loud splash and cussing as one of our group tripped and did a "face plant" into the river. All along the river's edge turquoise damselflies flitted about looking for mates for aerial sex maneuvers.

I was never bored and returned to the Bay Area with my spirits renewed. A special thanks to Susan Anderson and Bobbie Armor for making the arrangements for this grand weekend adventure.

Jean Cary

Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2016
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