Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Opening Day - This Saturday!

Wow. If the rains had kept up for another half hour on Monday in San Rafael, we could have just tossed decoys out onto Third Street...

As it was, the store came within a few inches of serious flooding, and everyone in the hunting department was seriously eyeing new rainwear.

Everyone seems to have a big bright outline on this Saturday, and folks have been crowding into the store to stock up on cleaning supplies, ammunition, calls, decoys and - suddenly - new waterproof jackets. In case you have missed the news, the 2009/2010 Waterfowl Season "Balance of State" opening weekend is this Saturday, October 24!

Which means for the last month or so, everyone's duck dog has been going crazy at the house, as they watch all the gear get assembled, laid out, checked and packed up. If you haven't gotten ready yet, it's time to double-check your equipment!

First is to make sure you haven't lost your hunting licence, and that you have appropriate state and federal duck stamps in place. As before, we sell both state and federal stamps, so don't line up down at the Post Office.

Second, go through your firearm and ammo. We've all heard stories of hunters getting out to the blind only to suddenly remember that they'd been on a field hunt in the spring and swapped 20 gauge ammo into their bag. Making sure all the pins are in place on your action, and that the barrel can be tightened down correctly (and that it didn't get dented while being stored or transported) should all be down without the distraction of pre-dawn excitement.

Your calls often get ignored. Now is a good time to pull them out, separate the sections and inspect them for cracked reeds or other damage.

Take a little time today to make this this Saturday's hunt goes off without a hitch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Russian River Steelhead Clinic Dates Set

The rains are here, conjuring up anticipation of fall runs on the coastal waters. It is some of the more challenging fly fishing , and there's no better way to learn the intricacies of it than to attend one of the always-sold-out Russian River Steelhead Clinics by Carlo Bongio of our Santa Rosa store. Carlo has just announced three dates for this one day clinic - Saturday, November 21st, Saturday, December 12th and Saturday, January 16th.

Steelhead fishing with a fly is truly a graduate school for anglers. Make no mistake, this is technically challenging fishing. But, when your first (or 50th!) steelhead takes your carefully drifted fly and rockets away like a freight train, the hours of casting and working the waters are sure to be forgotten.

Though many lament how the Russian River has changed over the past decades, there have been many improvements in the fishery, with between 5,000 and 10,000 steelhead returning each winter. It is an ideal place to learn how to pursue this winter-run fish, and techniques learned in this class are applicable to almost any waters. Carlo has optimized the timing of this course to maximize the possibility of hooking one of these hard-fighting fish.

Carlo Bongio has fished the Russian River in bad years and through tremendous runs. His careful note-taking and observations have made allowed him to consistently catch and release steelhead on the Russian River for over 30 years. His extensive knowledge and easy teaching style will unlock the secrets of this near-mythic fish.

As mentioned, these clinics fill up extremely quickly, and are subject to minor date changes due to water levels and conditions. For more information, please download our info/signup sheet by clicking below:

Or, if you have specific questions, contact Carlo at the Santa Rosa store - 707-542-4432.