Peninsula Fly Fishers

from the 11 May 2002 fishout

by Doug Weber, Sharon Ondry, and Mike Pinelli


We had a good day. Fished the northern pond all morning and part of the afternoon. Barbara rode her float tube and caught three nice blue-eared bluegill under the trees at the south end of the pond. I took Connie, a very beginning caster, with me in the canoe. Connie missed a couple of hits and then managed to catch her first fish on a fly rodundefineda nice bluegill. I spent all but about ten minutes of the morning coaching Connie and putting her in the way of fish. She took a break, and I caught three bluegill in the same areaundefinedthe shady zone underneath the trees at the south end. After lunch, Connie came back for more, but the wind pushed the canoe so quickly that it was almost impossible to stay in one place without an anchor, so we went home mid-afternoon. All in all, we had a nice day. Darn Wind!  undefinedDoug

My husband, Steve, and I are new to flyfishing. We joined PFF last August and have attended the general meetings, but Kistler was our first fishout. We took the "Introdution to Fly Fishing" program from Kelly Mitter at The Great River Company with Wayne Taylor doing the casting clinic, both PFF members. I've also gone to one of the club's casting clinics. When we went to purchase our equipment (taking advantage of our PFF discount), Kelly convinced Steve he would be thrown out of the club if he used a rubber worm instead of a fly on the end of his line and showed him the fly equivalent of a worm. Well, that was lucky for Steve as the only bass he caught at Kistler was with that fly.

I did see a bass come out of the water and take my popper down but, in my excitement, I didn't set the hook. We tried three of the ponds, finishing the day in a paddleboat pedalling against the wind. Club members were very helpful all day, giving us flies, tips on what to try, and where to fish. Even though we didn't catch any fish, it was an enjoyable first experience. Kistler Ranch is a beautiful, peaceful place. Lunch was delicious with a smorgasbord from appetizers through desserts. Thanks to Jessie Lawson for organizing this fishout.

On the way home, we stopped for a beer at a 50s roadhouse and then stopped for handcrafted beer at Kelley Bros. Brewery in Manteca enjoying deep-fried asparagus and getting a b-b-q sampler to go for enjoyment at home later that night with fresh-picked-that-afternoon strawberries from a stand on the road to Manteca. We sat in the hot tub that night recounting the fun time we had that day and looking forward to our next.  undefinedSharon

My experience at Kistler is going to be different than most. It started with a call to Jessie. I had never been to Kistler and I needed some instructions. Jessie said she passed out directions at the last meeting, which I had missed. She suggested I contact Phil Drees. He was going up with Harold Patterson and Dave Kruss. A little confession hereundefinedin the past eighteen months I have developed a cataract problem so on a bright day, when driving, it is difficult to see signs clearly. I was hoping to follow Harold and party so I would not have this difficulty.

I called Phil and he was delighted to say, "Do you want to ride with me?" You see Harold and Dave were going to leave at 5AMundefinedthis is not a favorite time for Phil. I said, "Sure, what time?", and Phil said, "How about 9AM?" I said, "Won't that put us there at about 10AM?" After a little discussion he agreed on 6AM. The trip started at approximately 7AM because I got lost looking for Phil's houseundefineda little difficulty in reading the signs. As most of you know Phil has been plagued with arthritis for a long time and his neck and back are pretty much fused. Phil has a hard time turning to the right or the left. As a matter of fact Phil cannot turn right or left unless he turns his feet.

Picture this: Phil is driving his Suburban, I am riding shotgun. We are driving and he says to me, "Have you been to Kistler before?" I said, "No". He says, "Me either." So here we are, one guy can't read signs because of the glare, and the other can't turn to read it if we miss it.

Here is the classic: We come to a stop sign. This highway is about a 45° angle to access the other highway. Which highways are these? I don't know, I can't read the signs. Phil is at the stop sign and says to me, "I can't turn to see, is there anyone coming?" "You're asking me", I exclaim, "the guy with the cataract? Just honk your horn and proceed slowly and it should be okay". It was.

We arrived at Kistler safe and sound. We found Harold and Dave, and for their early morning efforts Harold had landed one bass. Dave was still trying.

It took a while, but after the fabulous lunchundefineda really good potluckundefinedI felt it was a good success. The fishing began. Nothing spectacular but by 4PM I had landed four and had several strikes. On one hell of a strike, the bass came out of the weeds, hit my popper, and that was the last I saw of that fish and that popper. I came in about 4PM and socialized with the other PFFer's who were packing up to leaveundefinedjust about every one who was on the first pond. Phil stayed out on the water. I put the binoculars on him and he seemed safe, etc. I got in his truck and took a small nap. I woke up to find Phil coming out of the water. I said, "You must have had some good luck, you've been out there an hour longer than everybody else." He said, "No, I fell asleep in my float tube."

It was a good day, a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs, good food, and good friends. I will do it again. Thanks, Jessie.  undefinedMike

largemouth bass
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