Monday, August 23, 2010

Carlo Bongio Fly Tying Video

Even with the Big Fall Sale happening this week, our fishing and fly departments continue to be busy with folks enjoying the lengthy summer fishing season this year. As we look towards fall, Santa Rosa Fly Department Manager Carlo Bongio is beginning to set his schedule for fly tying classes (and other "On The Water" clinics as well!)

Recently, a video crew from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat caught up with Carlo and put together this excellent video -



If you are interested in signing up for Carlo's next class, give him a call at our Santa Rosa store - 707-542-4432. Thanks for watching!

Friday, August 20, 2010

UPDATE! 2010/2011 Waterfowl Regulations

Hot off the, uh.... pixels on my screen... courtesy of the fine folks over at California Waterfowl Association

2010/11 WATERFOWL REGULATIONS BY ZONE

This information is provided to you as a general guide only. Please refer to
the California Department of Fish and Game website or other materials for
official information. We cannot be responsible for any typos or changes in the listed information.

REGULATION HIGHLIGHTS FOR ALL ZONES:
**The duck season is > 100 days, and the bag limit 7 birds/day in all zones.
**Pintail bag is 2 birds/day (either sex) for the entire season.
**Mallard bag will 7 birds/day, and two may be hens.
**Canvasback bag is 1 bird/day for the entire season.
**Scaup bag is 3 birds/day, and the season will be 86 days.
**"Electronic" Spinning wing decoys will be allowed from December 1 until
the season ends (statewide).

BALANCE OF STATE ZONE
Seasons:
Ducks and Geese: 100 Day Straight Season (scaup during last 86 days only)
October 23, 2010 through January 30, 2011.
Brant Special Management Areas:
Northcoast Brant (Humboldt Bay) November 7, 2010 through December 6, 2010.
Southcoast Brant (Tomales and Morro Bay), November 13, 2010 through December 12, 2010; 2 per day, 4 possession.
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 5 and February 6, 2011
Early Resident Canada Goose Season: October 2, 2010 through October 6, 2010
(Except in the North Coast Special Management Area)

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7.
Daily bag limit may contain 7 mallards of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 8.
Daily bag limit may contain 8 geese of which only 6 can be dark geese. Bag may include up to 6 large Canada geese; 6 small Canada geese, 6 white geese; 4 white fronts.
Early Resident Canada Goose Season: 6 Canada geese
Sacramento Valley Special Management Area: No more than 2 white fronts may
be taken only from October 23, 2010 until December 14, 2010.
For more information on the Sacramento Valley (West) Special Management Area limits and
boundaries, please refer to the Fish and Game Waterfowl Regulation Booklet.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.

NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA ZONE
Seasons:
Ducks: 105 Day Straight Season (scaup during first 86 days only)
October 9, 2010 through January 21, 2011
Geese: 100 Day Straight Season
October 9, 2010 through January 16, 2011
Special Youth Hunt Days: September 25 and 26, 2010

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7.
Daily bag limit may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 8.
Daily bag limit may contain 8 geese of which only 6 may be dark geese. Only 1 may be a small Canada goose (Aleutian or cackling) and only 2 may be large Canada geese; 6 white geese; 4 white fronts.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.

SOUTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY ZONE
Seasons:
Ducks: 102 days split Season (scaup during last 79 days only)
October 9, 2010 through October 31, 2010 and November 13, 2010 through
January 30, 2011
Geese: 100 Day Straight Season
October 23, 2010 through January 30, 2011
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 5 and February 6, 2011

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7.
Daily bag limit may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 8.
Daily bag limit may contain 8 geese, of which only 6 may be dark geese, and include up to 6 large Canada geese; 6 small Canada geese; 6 white geese; 4 white fronts.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ZONE
Seasons:
Ducks and Geese: 100 Day Straight Season (scaup during last 86 days only)
October 23, 2010 through January 30, 2011
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 5 and February 6, 2011

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7.
Daily bag limit may contain 7 mallards, of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 8.
Daily bag limit may contain 8 geese, of which only 6 may be white geese and 3 may be dark geese.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.

COLORADO RIVER ZONE
Seasons:
Ducks and Geese: 101 Day Straight Season (scaup during last 86 days only)
October 22, 2010 through January 30, 2011
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 5 and February 6, 2011

Limits:
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7.
Daily bag limit may contain 7 mallards, but not more than 2 female mallards or Mexican-like ducks; 2 pintail (either sex); 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 6.
Daily bag limits may contain 6 white geese and up to 3 may be dark geese.
Possession limit: Double the daily bag limit.

To check out the Waterfowl Zone Map, click here>>

For more information, visit California Department of Fish & Game website by clicking here>>

Countdown to the Fall Super Sale! - Starts 8/27!

If you've come by the stores recently, I'd like to apologize if you were
blocked by large trucks dropping off huge quantities of decoys, steel shot, waders,
fall camouflage clothing or any of the other orders which arrived in the past few
weeks. We've been organizing like mad, trying to get ready for the Western
Sport Shop Annual Fall Shooting Sports Super Sale!

The logistics of such a big sale are usually enough to keep us kind of crazy
through August, but when you combine a sudden ocean salmon bite, a continued
surge of freshwater action in the local lakes, and eager anglers getting set
up for our annual San Diego long range trip, it's been an utter madhouse
recently.

Of course, we enjoy seeing everyone so excited about getting out into the
outdoors, and like to take the time to set you up right - it's been
especially fun to see all the families coming in for kids' "first rod & reel" setup.

Now, the one thing I want to make sure is that you take a moment and mark
your calendar, update your smartphone or make a quick entry to your online
calendar -
Because the biggest sale with the lowest prices of the season is scheduled
to start on Friday, August 27th in both stores!


(And, if this is news to you, the first word always goes out in our email newsletter, which you can sign up for right on our main website)

This is the event where our waterfowl enthusiasts - the folks who have been
asking about this season pretty much since the end of last season - and
upland specialists descend upon the store to get the best deals on steel shot, camo
clothing, decoys and more - pretty much everything that will be important
for you this season!

However, as most anglers know, this is also the time when we move out
anything that's overstocked in the fishing or fly departments as well - there will be
great deals in every department! That's why we say this sale is not to be
missed.

Of course, you don't have to wait until then to find some cool new stuff and
some great deals - In fact, if you are a fly fishing enthusiast, we recently got the word that the Sage VT2 and TXL series fly rods will be discontinued for the upcoming year.

So, effective - wait for it.......right..... NOW!

Any of those rods still in stock are 30% off the regular price.

We've also been piling up some tackle items on our sale tables, so make sure you visit the stores right now for the best selection on great lures and gear that may be a little shopworn, slightly changed for the new year, or just something we can't get any longer.

See you at the sale - Starting Friday, August 27th!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another New Curado - The 50E!

It's always fun this time of year - the big dealer tackle show - iCast - actually takes place in July, so we get a chance to see what's in the pipe for next season (typically just as we're in the middle of our busiest part of the current season - go figure!) Sometimes we get to see prototypes that never ship, or when they do bear no relation to what gets shown.

But, Shimano always gets points for having stuff ready to roll!

In this case, when we heard about the Curado 50E, we got a bit excited. It's a low-profile levelwind reel in the venerable Curado series (we took the 300 DSV on our long-range San Diego trip and landed some impressive fish on that reel!)

The Curado series has been missing a smaller sized reel in the lineup, and when we saw this one, we were happy that they waited and did it right. In addition to the obvious use for largemouth bass, it looks like it will be a perfect size for kokanee - the oversized handle and super-smooth drag system are ideal. Matching it up with an ultralight action kokanee rod would be a perfect combo!

The Shimano Curado 50E is now in stock in both stores - check it out!

New Shimano Curado 50E, originally uploaded by Western Sport Shop.

Mark Your Calendars! - The Western Sport Shop Fall Shooting Sports Super Sale starts next Friday, August 27th - Best Prices of the Season on ammo, camo, decoys and more - plus hot end-of-season deals in all departments!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Choppy Little Monday

It started a bit choppy as we headed out the gate today, but we throttled back and eased our way up to Duxbury buoy to see if we could continue our string of success with the salmon. Only a few party boats and a handful of private boats toughed their way through the waves, and we all rocked and rolled, tangled lines, and tried to convince ourselves this was a good idea.

As it turned out (and isn't this the case with all fish stories?) it was well worth the effort. Luckily, we were holding an ace - this time in the form of Tom - the Western Sport Shop Operations Manager! Just as we were turning for another run, Tom hooked into a nice king salmon, which made four strong runs (in addition to sometimes seeming like he was above deck level, thanks to the waves). He played it expertly, and we boated our lone fish for the day. (Released a silver salmon boatside a bit later.)

The skies cleared and it was a beautiful day on the water - though as any salmon angler knows, when the skies turn blue, that usually means a bit more wind. This was actually in the more sheltered bits, as we took a long troll down past Slide Ranch.

video

Once we were safely inside the bay again, we slowed down so Tom could show off his fish. He caught this one on some of the gorgeous frozen tray anchovey we have been enjoying of late - rigged on a Krippled Anchovie rig, behind a small chartreuse flasher.



We also graphed a number of fish hanging off of California City at the top of the high tide, but didn't spend more than a few minutes dragging a line through them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flies In The Surf

Wow! Between getting ready for our Huge Fall Sale on August 27th and playing hooky and going fishing myself, I managed to get a bit behind in posting photos!

One of the great things about running Western Sport Shop is that we get to meet really talented anglers. Occasionally, we get lucky enough to have one work for us! Those of you who have been in the fly department in San Rafael have probably met Loren, who has worked for us the last couple summers. When Loren isn't answering questions or helping get folks rigged up right, he manages to do better than most folks when flyfishing the surf. Here are just a few photos we've seen of his adventures -





White Sea Bass off Marin!

Within a few minutes of that last post, I got an email asking "What White Seabass?"

Realized that I never posted the photos from two weeks ago - General Manager Tom and his son Wes had joined us on the boat. After boating a nice, football-shaped king salmon, Big Jim lost an entire rig to an unseen fish that stayed deep and very "un-salmon-like".

A while later, Wes pulled up on a "big salmon" which went crazy-deep, wrapped up two other lines and turned out to be 45 inch white sea bass!





We've been hearing reports of other anglers coming up with these fish, which are a bit more common down off Monterey. This one took a larger hoochie rig - which seems to be the lure of choice for these monsters. Way to go, Wes!

Thursday's Salmon


Got out Thursday and worked Duxbury most of the morning, ending up with three very nice salmon. This one was the largest of the bunch.

We've finally gotten some high-quality frozen tray anchovies, which accounted for 2 of the 3 fish - our trick for the day was to use Krippled Anchovie rigs, which are perfectly sized for these somewhat smaller baits. The other fish bit on a large Apex with anchovy gel.

After waiting for two-plus years, it's been great to finally run for salmon again! Didn't hear of any more white seabass being caught while we were out, but many boats where pulling Ling cod nearby.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2011 Shimano Reel Model Update - Curado 300EJ


08-10-10_1656.jpg, originally uploaded by Western Sport Shop.

Hot levelwind. Now in san rafael! Curado 300ej!