Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nissan Murano (2004) Fix for DTC p0507 Idle Air Control System RPM Higher Than Expected

So I changed my spark plugs and as part of the process I cleaned out my throttle body with a rag and no solvent. I just cleaned around the throttle plate, which I moved as part of the cleaning. My battery was connected the whole time.

Once I put everything together and had driven it a few times I got the dreaded p0507 DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code). I googled around found that this was a common problem after cleaning the throttle body. Removing even small amounts of gunk improves the airflow, but also screws up the engine computer which has learned to expect a lower airflow. This extra airflow raises the idle RPMs (mine was 800-850) and also makes the computer think you have extra air coming in through a vacuum leak in your intake piping. Not sure why the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor doesn't detect the extra air coming past it though. You'd think it would detect the higher air volume flowing by it and understand it was not a leak.

 I was unable to reset the IAVL, Idle Air Volume Learning, in 10 attempts. You'll see the procedure documented elsewhere on the web as well as in the DIY service manuals.

 The fix that finally worked for me was to clear the codes, disconnect the electrical harnesses to both the Mass Air Flow sensor and throttle body, and then start the car up with those unplugged for maybe 5 seconds. The car will run rough and throw all kinds of code, so let the Check Engine light come back on. The turn the car off, plugged both back in, and clear the codes. All this was done with the battery connected. I found the post that taught me this here (see the very last post):

 I've now driven about 200 miles since I did that a few days ago and the Check Engine light has stayed off. I'm hoping this is fixed. This was very troublesome and is a known problem.

 UPDATE: The check engine light came back on with the same p0507 trouble code, and the idle remained high at about 800 RPM. So the fix that REALLY worked for me was to disconnect the negative battery cable for 24 hours. Upon reconnecting, my idle remained low at about 600-650 once the engine was warmed up, and no more trouble codes appeared. Hooray! I've driven about 2000 miles and no more codes have appeared.

I read about the battery disconnect fix somewhere on I didn't need to perform the IAVL procedure again. I think this fix worked because the ECM (Engine Control Module) runs out of juice in its internal battery over that 24 hours so it doesn't retain any memory of its prior settings, including the Idle Air Volume. Everything is erased, so it automatically starts to relearn once you restart the car.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beaver Island Jurassic Carp

I just returned from Beaver Island, Michigan. It was a last-minute thing, where the frequent flier mile gods smiled upon me and more importantly, my wife and mother of our 2 very little boys smiled upon me and gave me the go-ahead. Thanks Honey! It was a great trip.

Starting from Santa Cruz, it was a couple of plane changes, rental car, and sweet 20 minute puddle jumper flight over to Beaver Island. Michigan is so alive and green in the summer, so once I touched down in Traverse City, it was all good. Beaver Island itself is a beautiful wooded island with white sand beaches, clear water, friendly people, and an infestation of 20 lb. plus carp. I fished with Indigo Guide Service, where guides Kevin Morlock and Steve Martinez know how to put you on carp. The whole thing was put together by, and included guiding, food, and housing, all of which were excellent.

The carp fishing here is a bit like bluegill fishing in that they are abundant, the main difference being that they are about 50 times as big as bluegill and 50 times harder to catch. Heck the carp were so plentiful this time of year, they would even be cruising around the docks when we returned in the evening. I took advantage of that as well as the fact that the sun sets after 9 PM to partake of some dock fishing. Guide Steve Martinez has caught a slew of carp off the docks, and I came close but no cigar to a toad shortly before my plane was to leave on the last morning (of course that won't bug me for the next month...).

The Beaver Island carp experience is unique. In a nutshell, 1-2 fishermen and one guide pile into Steve or Kevin's well-equipped boats at the civilized hour of 9 AM on a bright sunny day and head out of the harbor. A 20 minute boat ride takes us out to one of the many islands in the archipelago. The water is clear and the bottom rises to about 5 feet deep as we shut off the motor and start rowing/drifting closer to the islands and flats where the carp are congregating. Soon we start to notice the large dark shapes under water cruising by. As we approach they become more vivid as well as plentiful and soon we're surrounded by hundreds of carp over 15 lbs. There are no small carp here.

The Approach. Caribbean in Michigan.

It was unbelievable. There were large spawning carp dogpiles going berserk in a foot or less of water while the non-spawning carp were cruising all around. They definitely seem to be more active and less guarded during the spawn.

My boatmate, Evan, a skilled fly fisher from St. Louis, was up first, and I watched what he did as well as learned from Kevin directing him on what he needed to do to get his fly in front of the carp. Once it was my turn I started warming up on the 8-weight rod Kevin set me up with. I had never casted a rod larger than my 7 weight so I wanted to practice. Well, after a couple practice flogs, I started tossing a few casts in front of the carp, and a few minutes in I was rewarded with my first fly-caught carp ever. We all watched him follow and suck up the fly clear as day 25 feet from the boat in 3 feet of water. The line came tight as I was slowly working the fly in front of him and there he was. He bolted for mainland Michigan and the reel started spinning. I was even trying to horse him a little bit and he was still into the backing pretty quick. After a couple minutes I had him back on the fly line, and after a couple more, he was in the net.

First Carp Evah! He liked me, note him trying to spawn with my arm.

Very cool. Actually my mind was blown. These are huge freshwater fish, sight fished in clear water, that will take you into your backing almost every time, all in mainland USA. How cool is that? And a bunch of firsts for me. First fly caught carp, biggest fish I've ever caught, and my first fish to ever run me into the backing. Kevin eyeballed my fish at 18 lbs, which at the moment I thought was the biggest fish the world had ever seen, but he offhandedly mentioned that it was a below-average weight fish. So the carp here are huge. And Kevin said their average fish size has been increasing every year as the carp gorge on the invasive great lakes Goby.

Evan's first fish, the one in the above video, weighing in at 26 lbs.

We continued fishing from the boat till lunch and caught a few more. The wind picked up so we ran back to Beaver Island for some beach fishing. While boat fishing is like fishing in an aquarium, with an elevated casting platform, clear water, and oodles of fish all around you, the beach fishing here is a bit more of solo man hunting fish. The carp here like warm wind-driven surface water, so they concentrate on windblown shorelines where the waves buffet the shoreline and the water clouds up as a result. However, it's still clear enough to see plenty of fish once your eyes adjust to picking out the shapes. The trick is to find a carp cruising path and to post up in the waves and cast to takers as they pass by. I hooked up to one carp this way, but he popped off less than a minute into the fight, probably due to a dull hook, since I had snagged the bottom a few times in the casts beforehand. I continued to take shots at a steady procession of fish after that, but my crude carp skills did not win me another fish. So after a spell of that, Kevin had me change tactics and start casting an unweighted rust-orange tarpon toad at a pod of sunbathers, picking around the edges. While I was not sure if it was going to work out, given what I had heard about sunbathers being hard to catch, I gave it a serious go, popping the fly on their noses from 30 feet away as best I could. Shockingly, after about 15 minutes, I popped one carp almost on the head and he ate. How cool is that? He ran out of the cove but alas popped off within 15 seconds. This time I checked out my hook immediately and the dang thing had a point that was dull and bent backward. So, another lesson learned to check my hooks after snagging. Either way, I was stoked that some fish was actually fool enough to fall for my hack presentations.

One off the beach!
Day 1's score for me was 2 caught fish from the boat and 2 fish lost from the beach. More importantly, I learned a ton of new skills to apply to my carp fishing back home. Kevin's repeated but patient coaching was drilling into my ears "Cast ahead of him, strip strip strip, STOP, work it, work it!" and repeat. Once I started to figure out where the fly was in 3 dimensions I started to be able to internalize his instructions and move the fly as well as stop it right where he wanted me to with less instruction each passing hour. I also learned how to cast better in the wind. Wind is a reality up there. It's not crazy windy but it's often a presence so I learned some strategies to cast into, across, and with the wind. Guide Steve Martinez had great advice that really worked for reasons I still don't quite understand. He said that when casting into the wind to backcast hard and then forward cast easy. Well, that seems to work. I'm guessing because you load the rod so hard with the backcast that you don't need to push as hard on the forward cast because the extra rod flex you created on the backcast returns you more line speed. Plus, if you don't push your forward cast so hard, your stroke stays smoother, keeping your loop tight. For whatever reason, it worked. Thanks Steve!

Evan's second fish of the day.

Day 2 and 3 were similar to the first day, with great boat and beach fishing, and similar fish quantities. The highlight for me on Day 2 was being on the beach stalking a carp that Kevin described as "the biggest carp I've ever seen", which means something when Kevin says that. It looked like a shark swimming around. Kevin eyeballed it at about 55 lbs. It looked twice as long as all the 20 lb carp around it, so I believe him. The world record fly-caught common carp is apparently 42 lbs, and Kevin is pretty sure they've already caught larger carp than that several times. And he says the carp are still getting bigger. Kevin had me stalking and casting to this fish for 30 minutes as it circulated around the pool/flat near the beach. It was a bit nerve-wracking to cast to a singular carp like this, especially with a hack like me pulling the trigger. I tried to give the rod to Kevin so a pro could take shots at the fish but he said "not a chance." Although I learned a lot, I think I aged several years trying to get a well-presented fly to that fish without letting Kevin down. While we didn't outright spook it, we didn't get it to eat, and Carpasaurus eventually moseyed out of range.

Stalking Carpasaurus.

One other note is that this place is thick with smallmouth. They are like little suicidal maniacs that will dart out and grab your fly while you are chasing carp. We were joking about these "trash fish" that were grabbing our flies. Compared to a 20 lb. carp a 2 lb. smallmouth (although there are much bigger ones here) feels like a bluegill, but they sure could provide a lot of fast action once they're in season up there, which they were not while we were there.

Good luck snakes we see most mornings leaving the dock.

And a butterfly on a beach fishing day.

Evan from Feather Craft set up this trip and we stayed at the comfortable Fisherman's house right in town across the street from  the beautiful harbor. Evan is a class act and put together a great trip. Cameron from The Fiberglass Manifesto also came and was a great guy to hang out with. I would fish with them again in a heartbeat. Both of these guys were excellent fishermen and I learned a lot from them a well as from Kevin and Steve.

Kevin hard at work!

Kevin is very passionate about conservation and improving the fishery in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. He maintains that, properly managed, Michigan would be the "Alaska of the Lower 48." And I believe him. The carp are a good example. Nobody fishes for them and nobody eats them, so they are growing to huge proportions. If the other gamefish in the lake were minimally harvested I believe the Smallmouth and others would thrive and grow even larger and more abundant than they are. The Smallmouth are just starting to bounce back up there. They are quite large but there aren't lots of them. Official tallies have just 600 adults in the Beaver Island Archipelago. That's only 120 5-fish limits, so they could be wiped out in a week of catch and keep in-season fishing (July and August), not to mention the poaching that goes on. If they were on strict catch and release I think this resource would explode and make Beaver Island even more attractive to fishermen. You can clearly see this with the carp.

These fish are thick and healthy.
And I have to talk about Kevin and Steve from Indigo. They are the visionaries that opened this place up to carp fishing when everyone else was questioning their sanity and why the heck they were bothering with carp instead of fishing for smallmouth. And these guys go the extra mile big-time. They work their asses off on the water to get you lots of good shots at fish, they supply all the flies and gear if you need it, and pick you up and drop you off as well. They also hung out with us for breakfast and all evening, even tying some flies for us. They have a blog post about the trip here. These guys did more than any guide I'm aware of, and they really know carp. Thanks for everything guys.

I recommend that you get your butt to the Beaver... or something like that. Carp are never easy to catch, but I submit that they are a easier to catch there than anyplace else that I know of. The water is clear, the fish are abundant and aggressive, the shots are plentiful, and the guides know how to get your fly in front of the fish, so if you're going to catch carp, this would be the place. You get hundreds of casts per day, and every single cast is to a large carp, something that is not possible in any other carp fishery I'm aware of. So any of those hookups and runs are rippers when they happen. Great for both novice and expert.  I'm *definitely* going back next year.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(Almost) Carp De-Virginized

I've been pretty absent from the blog world for the last few months. We had awesome son # 2 in December and things have been pretty lively around here with 2 little guys under 2. I finally got some breathing room and snuck off for a short trout trip to the McCloud a month ago. It was my first time there and beautiful. It was a ton of fun and super relaxing to be immersed in such a beautiful place while fishing all day. However, after driving 7 hours each way I thought that I really needed to get serious about learning to carp. Driving less than an hour to fish for readily available carp that were multiple times larger than trout seemed like a good deal to me.

I've been wanting to get into carp for a long time but never put in the effort till now. So, the last few weeks I've been scoping my local lakes for carp, sometimes not even bringing a rod. Well, after 7 trips not even seeing a carp I finally struck pay dirt. Today, I ran into a shallow bay that was littered with tailing carp. They were tailing so hard that after a while I couldn't even see them through all the mud, and had to move down the bank.

I made a bunch of decent as well as crappy casts and pushed the limits to see how spooky these guys were. Surprisingly, they were so engrossed in mudding that they didn't see me unless I got way too close on the edge of the bank or I moved way too fast. But for the most part, if I moved slow, I was able to cast at will. The only thing that spooked them was dropping line or fly on them, which I did plenty of.

I started out with a #10 birds nest but that seemed to be completely ignored, even when I made a good cast. I then switched to a #8 olive and black wooly bugger and that got more attention. I finally got one big 'ol boy to suck it up, at least as far as I could tell from his body language. But I wasn't sure, so I made a half-hearted strip strike so I wouldn't pull the fly too far if I was early. But lo and behold, fish on! But it only lasted a second or so. He took off with my fly in his mouth, put a bend in my rod, and then he was off. My hook set was weak and didn't stick. I would have struck harder but I could barely see the fish. Even though he was only in a foot of water, it was muddy enough that I could only see his tail, so I had to guess when he took it.

I'm definitely chalking up today in the win column though. I hadn't even expected to see carp, much less hook one. I'll be back for sure. No photos though. I was too engrossed to even think about photos. Next time. Very excited. It was really cool to be able to sight fish for decent size fish in my backyard.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fishing and Fitness (really?)

Ok, this may not be a very popular post for some of you but I'm going to talk about fitness and athleticism as it relates to fishing. Yeah, I know that many of you fish exactly because it demands little of either of these attributes. If you're happy with that, that's cool and you can quit reading. For the 3 of you still reading, here's my point.

Fitness and athleticism are important to fishing in that they will translate into more and better fish and better experiences. Fitness, in this case, I'm going to narrowly define as having the strength and endurance to meet a certain demand or set of demands. Athleticism is the agility, coordination, and movement skills to perform certain tasks. Together, these two attributes are your ticket to better fishing experiences. Here's why.

If you have good fitness/athelticism you're going to be able to get to those places that have seen fewer fishermen and probably have more fish and more eager fish. Your fitness (I'm going to refer to fitness and athleticism collectively as "fitness") and skills provides a safety net. It means you'll be less tired when you arrive, you can fish longer, you'll have the confidence to know you can get yourself back out safely, you have the skills to confidently walk, climb, swim, float tube, and wade where many others may not, and you have some extra physical capacity as a safety valve when things go wrong. These are perhaps all pretty obvious points but not many fishermen I know choose to develop these attributes. If they did, they'd have access to better fishing in more beautiful areas.

The second, more subtle benefit of fitness is longevity. If you maintain and work on your fitness you are going to age better and stay more active. Greater performance at a given age is the definition of health. This translates into more and better fishing years with your friends and family. A lot of folks put off taking care of their health until it's too late. Don't do this. It's much easier to maintain than repair your body.

Ok, that's enough preaching. Here's what I really wanted to say: if the above makes sense to you, the best way I know of to achieve practical, useful fitness is to do Crossfit. I've been doing it for about 5 years. I'm almost 43 and can do things at this age that I could never do in my teens and twenties. I can do 35 pullups, one-legged squats, ring muscle ups, and other gymnastic skills. And the kicker is that my joints feel better than ever. Knees, shoulders, and back are all moving smoothly.

My point is, Crossfit really works. It increase your performance but not at the expense of health. And the skills it teaches apply well to your wilderness activities. Crossfit will help your stamina, agility, balance, and coordination, among other things. It also helps "bullet-proof" your body and makes it more impervious to injury. You learn how to move properly, your joints and connective tissue strengthen, and you learn skills that help you deal with athletic situations.

But is Crossfit safe? Maybe you've heard that it's really intense and looks dangerous. Well, as I alluded to above, it is actually quite safe and will increase your body integrity as an effect of the program. Crossfit is known for short (5-15 minute), intense workouts. However, the Crossfit folks are smart enough to know how to scale the movements and intensity of the workouts for gradual adjustment to the program. I work out with a range of people from teenagers to 65 year old women and we all do the same workouts. The exercises and tempo are just modified to fit the differing skill levels and physical limitations.

Crossfit will change your life. It is the real deal, and it's both safe and effective. I urge you to check it out. And there's probably an affiliate near you. Mark my words, you will hear much, much more about it in the coming years. Add 3 hours per week of it to your life and you will come out a better person, physically, and mentally.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bow and Arrow Cast 30'

Here's a simple but cool tip I found from Ken Hanley at Pacific Extremes. It's so neat I feel silly for not having figured this out myself. Check it out:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fly Fishing Troofs Revealed

Well, the title's a bit tongue-in-cheek inflammatory, but I wrote this post to dispel some of the myths about how fly fishing is really done most days, versus the highlights that you see in photos, books, and vids. I've learned a few things in my fly fishing journey that I don't see discussed or written about much. Many of these are probably apparent to old hands but most beginning fly fishers have never heard about them.

1. Learn to roll or spey cast

In most fly fishing situations you won't have room to make a majestic cast like the ones in "A River Runs Through It" or that you see in photos or at the casting pond. There is usually too much brush, trees, or other obstacles behind you to allow a big backcast. You're going to have to get creative and learn to roll cast or spey cast on your single hand rod. Spey casting is just a higher powered variation of roll casting. It's not something just for experts. And it's no harder than a regular overhead cast to learn well. In most rivers less than 50' wide you'll be doing as much spey/roll casting as overhead. You won't have to wade out into the middle of the river to cast (spooking untold numbers of fish) and can fish closer to cover. And maybe you'll spend more time with your fly in the water rather than in tree branches.

This great video taught me the basics of single handed spey casting for trout. Jeff Putnam's single handed spey casting video:

Here's an excellent book I used to learn to single hand spey cast: Single-Handed Spey Casting: Solutions to Casts, Obstructions, Tight Spots, and Other Casting Challenges of Real-Life Fishing

2. Tight loops and pretty casts are bad

Ok, this is true only sometimes. But in many situations you will be casting a heavy fly, multiple flies, a sink tip, sinkers, and/or an indicator. These implements will cause tangles if you cast tight, snappy loops with them. Widen up your loops in order to avoid that. Practice casting with these items on your line because it's a different feel and stroke than just casting a single light fly. Also, learn to water haul. It's an ugly but effective lob cast that gets the job done when fishing heavy rigs.

3. Accuracy is much more important distance

You will cast to many more fish at close range of 10-30' than anything else. This is one that is not discussed much in fly casting instructionals. This is an easy cast distance for even a beginner. However, if you can't put your fly into a hula hoop size target (as a baseline), you're going to have a hard time. Putting in your casting practice time learning to hit dinner-plate size targets at close range will put more fish on your line than learning to bomb casts 80'.

4. The fish are usually not near the surface

The dry fly gets all the glory but most of the time the fish are feeding in the bottom half of the water column. Get deep. Learn to fish and tie nymphs and streamers. This applies to rivers as well as lakes. Rig your gear so that you can get deep. Use sinkers, sink tips, weighted flies, and learn to mend and present your fly so that it sinks quickly. One of the reason gear anglers are so successful is because their lures are heavy and lines are thin, so that most of the time they are fishing near the bottom.

5. Sinkers are a necessary evil

This combines with #4 but one of the biggest things I had to learn when I started fly fishing was that sinkers are a quite prominent part of fly fishing. Without them you can't get deep. You of course can weight your fly but I believe that detracts from your fly realism and motion.

6. The smaller the river, the better suited it is to fly fishing

This one's pretty basic. Small creeks and streams are shallow and the fish can be spooky. This makes it hard to use gear or bait, since that stuff makes more of a splash, and also snags bottom more. Flies, on the other hand, are light so they float or suspend nicely in the current. On a creek or a larger river during low water, this is a marked advantage. Conversely, fishing larger, deeper, swifter rivers demands more weight and requires less stealth. This provides more advantage to the gear/bait fishermen. Obviously you can still do well fly fishing, but the bigger water conditions tend to favor the gear guys.

7. Presentation is more important than the fly

Most of us are seeking that magic fish magnet fly, and of course fly selection matters. However, in most cases, if that fly isn't fished in a way that looks like the natural, the fish aren't going to go near it. Don't try to seek the "magic bullet" fly. Often, a fly that approximates the size and silhouette of the natural is enough. The magic bullet is your presentation. Learn to present your fly naturally in different situations to get fish to buy what you're selling.

8. Don't skip the fast water

Resident trout, especially rainbows, hold in much faster and shallower water than you think. This was made clear to me in Wendell Ozefovich's videos, "The Underwater World of Trout."  He shows large trout holding in 6-12 inch deep riffles picking off nymphs. The riffled water provides cover, making it more attractive for a trout to be there. His videos show how trout actually expend less energy holding in faster currents than slower ones. The lesson is, don't ignore the crappy looking water that everyone walks by.
A corollary to this is that the riffles are where much of the bug life in the rivers calls home. The shallow water allows sunlight to penetrate and promote plant life while the whitewater provides oxygenation. Bugs need this, so a riffle has many times higher bug density than those fishy-looking deep pools that many anglers pound.

9. Find feeding fish

When fishing you may see fish in deep pools, or you may just be blind fishing those pools, but in many cases the fish there are resting. Sure, some of them, especially browns, are willing to chase a large meal should it present itself, but if you're looking for numbers of fish, they are in the riffles or runs below the riffles. Also, if you see fish tight to the bottom it's possible they're feeding on bottom nymphs but they may also be resting. Same for fish sitting back in eddies. Most of the players are suspended slightly and are in or very close to a strong current that transports food in front of their noses. Find these fish for action.

10. Small flies catch more fish

If you're looking for numbers of fish, use smaller flies. The reason for this is that most of us do not "match the hatch" accurately. We may see what looks like size 14 caddis crawling around. However, if you put that caddis next to your flies, you will usually see that you'll need a size 16 or 18 to match the natural. This part of the tip is more about sizing your flies accurately than using small flies. But most of us oversize our fly.
The corollary tip is not to fear that fish won't see your small fly. If they are keying in on this size prey, you will get more grabs with this than a larger fly. If you want fish to see your little fly a little bit better than the natural you have a few options: use a little flash in the fly, use long wavy materials in it for more motion, or use a larger flashy attractor fly in tandem with your little fly. I've found that the small flies will outfish larger, showier flies at least 5 to 1. The only caveat here is that the murkier the water, the less this applies.

Anyone have any more things they've learned that no one really talks about? Agree or disagree with what I've written? Please post it to the comments. Would love to hear from others about their experience.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stop the agribusiness water grab from fish in CA - you can help

I avoid politics on this blog except fish and water politics. If you care about anadromous fish - Salmon, Steelhead, Stripers, Shad, etc. - please send an email to . The details are below, but letters are needed by Nov. 16 to enter comments into a suspiciously short comment period on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) described below. This MOA gives excessive control of Sacramento-San Joaquin water to agribusiness and Southern California water contractors and minimizes control of water reserved for fish. Even if you are not a Californian, please add your voice by sending an email to Interior Secretary Salazar opposing the MOA. You can use this letter as an email template: . These letter writing campaigns have helped immensely in the past, so please add your voice. It will make a difference. The details can further be found in the newsletter below.

Newsletter of
November, 2011
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Now Poses Great Danger to Fisheries
A government Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has recently given the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California water contractors near complete control of the BDCP process.  Salmon and other fisheries are now at great risk unless the plan can be put back on track.  The peripheral canal has been put on fast track and fishery concerns are being ignored.  The action also excludes the fishery agencies from key decisions.  We need to fight back with letters of protest.  Please go to and use the model to write to Interior Secretary Salazar opposing the MOA.  Send the letter as an email to  The salmon industry and the fisheries and environmental groups are all writing letters but individual letters can be a huge help.     

Salmon Industry Targets the BDCP Habitat Conservation Plan as “No Help”
In testimony before the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee, the Golden Gate Salmon Association charged that the BDCP Habitat Conservation Plan will fail to rebuild the Central Valley salmon runs as required by law.  The BDCP plan is restricted to eight habitat restoration projects that take place only in the Delta.  The plan’s $3.7 billion cost is unfunded and most of the projects take forty years to complete.  The salmon can’t wait that long. The plan also ignores the impact the peripheral canal project would have on upriver salmon losses.  Approximately half of the salmon problems occur in the upper river as a result of the excessive pumping from the Delta and its impact on reservoir releases, temperatures and flows that destroy the upriver spawning and rearing habitat.  You can read the GGSA testimony at .

Bureau of Reclamation Provides a Major Boost to Mokelumne River Salmon Production
On October 4th 2011 history was made in the Delta and in the Mokelumne River.  The Bureau of Reclamation closed the Delta cross channel gates for ten days starting the 4th.  This allowed the adult salmon attempting to return to the Mokelumne to locate the river by smell.  When the cross channel gates are open, the flow through the gates is so heavy that the salmon miss the smell and swim through the gates.  They end up as strays in the Sacramento system.  The result of the closure was dramatic.  Return records were broken.  The Mokelumne hatchery will run at capacity this year and there will be a huge natural spawn in the river.  The result will be over 100,000 additional adults in the ocean when they mature in three years.  You can read the report on the success of the closure at . The photo on the left shows GGSA thanking Don Glaser and Dave Gore of the Bureau for their leadership.

Thanks for your continuing support.  80,000 supporters have now signed our petitions demanding better water policies for fish.
Dick Pool –Editor  P.O. Box 5788, Concord, CA 94524  email:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Line handling for long casts - loops vs. coils

This is just a lazy-ass re-post of Deneki Outdoors' tip, but it's helped me so much that I wanted to post it. I've been using this a bunch and for me, it has made my distance casting much more enjoyable and of course, distance-ier. What they show is a way to hold your running line in your line hand when casting. If you create loops of line looping in opposite directions instead of coils around your hand, you have fewer tangles. They demo it for spey casting but I use it just to shoot my WF line off my single hand rods.

What this means for me is that on most casts I can hold 3 loops of line in my hand, each one slightly smaller than the previous one. For the first loop I strip off about 8 feet of line, so doubled over it hangs down 4 feet. The next loop is about 7 feet and the one after contains 6 feet of line. Each loop exits my hand opposite the previous one. (I know, this sounds confusing. Watch the video, it explains it much better). This allows me to shoot 15-20 feet of line as needed with less resistance and much fewer tangles. Make sure you actually just open your hand to shoot the line but don't drop the line when you go for the shoot. Just let it pull out of your open hand. I had this bad habit of dropping the line as soon as it started shooting, and fixing it helped add 5 feet to my line shooting distance.

The video below demonstrates it better. The idea is to avoid coils and to create loops of line going in opposite directions out of your hand. Thanks for the tip, Deneki!

Monday, October 31, 2011

What the heck is this?

Can anyone tell me what bird these wings are from? I received these with some fly tying materials 30 years ago when I started fly fishing growing up back in New Jersey. I've never used these feathers but I'd sure love to know what they are. Can anyone solve the mystery?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tying the "Double" Davy knot

The "double" Davy knot is my favorite non-loop knot, and it's second only to the non-slip mono loop in strength for fly fishing tippet to fly knots. For more info on knot strength and the testing I performed, see my previous post. I call the knot the "extra-turn" Davy knot there, but I think "Double Davy" is a better name.

Here are pics on how to tie it. My previous post mentions this, but it's important to snug the knot mostly tight from both ends but then to pull only the standing end to finish tightening it. You'll hear and feel a little click when it's tightened properly.