Waikiki vacation fun and excellent food.

The boys in the family have not been to HNL since our Christmas Island trip 5 years ago. Melanie had not been to HI since her college days and Emma has never been to Hawaii. When we came home from our trip from Christmas Island we told Emma about a place called Waiola Shave Ice. It was difficult to explain the texture (if you could call it that) of the shave ice they have. I was looking forward to getting some Waiola Shave Ice for all of us and it did not disappoint! We went from the airport to our rental car then straight to Waiola! Melanie described it pretty well. She said the ice had the texture of soft serve ice cream. Smooth as silk but none of the dairy taste. We did have some shave ice at 3 other places and all 3 did not equal the shave ice at Waiola. Going to miss that pace along with Sweet Home Hot Pot and Marukame Udon. We frequented those establishments at least 4 times each during the week.

We took a food tour the first day, North Shore snorkling tour the second day, Pearl Harbor the third day and the Polynesian Cultural Center the 4th day. We fished for bonefish for a couple hours on the 5th day (saw 6 fish, cast to 4 and hooked nada)

On the food tour we had manapuas from Royal Kitchen, some Chinese snacks, mangosteens and Liliha’s coconut puffs. We ate Malasadas at Leonard’s bakery the next day and it was definitely better that the coco puff at Liliha’s.

During the North Shore tour the kids snorkeled in Shark Cove and then we set out to look for sea turtles. It was a great sight to see the turtles so close. Lucky day. Stopped the Dole Plantation for some Dole Whip too.

The Polynesian Cultural Center was really good. We were on a small group tour and the tour guide picked the shows for us. Few things I would do different the next time. I would pick the shows we want to see and we would not have dinner inside the PCC. The food was just OK. Probably the worse meal we had all week. The “Ha: Breath of Life” live show in the evening was good but not great. Well the fire routine at the end of the show was spectacular.

The food was amazing on this trip. We will miss the fantastic Hot Pot and the dessert they served after dinner, the freshly made udon noodles at Marukame Udon, the shave ice at Waiola, the fresh shrimp on the North Shore, the manapuas at Royal Kitchen and the super delicious fresh Poke Bowls. Just thinking about all those meals is making my mouth water.

On the way to the airport on the last day we stopped at Waiola for one last shave ice and then to Royal Kitchen for some manapuas to take home.

I don’t see another trip to HI for awhile so we will have to relive it in our memories and in pics.

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Yuba River Shad

Got the boys together for some shad fishing on the Yuba River. We fish shad on the Sacramento River routinely because it is so close. We have two launch ramps with in 12-13 minutes from the house. Driving to the Yuba City launch ramp is about 65 minutes and then to motor up the Yuba to the prime fishing runs is another 20-35 minutes depending on how far up I want to go and which boat I bring.

The shad season on the Sac this year has been a bust. The fish are still there but the water conditions have been terrible for wade fishing. Wading the Yuba is wonderful. Gin clear water, shallower runs and in some areas you can sight fish. As the water level drops, fishing Intermediate lines are fun.

Both boys hooked up on their first casts. Michael was using Type 4 but higher in the run with faster water. Matthew was using Type 3 just below him. Both lines were working well. It was non stop action for the couple hours we stayed in that spot. The boys averaged 25-30 grabs and 17-18 fish landed per hour….each. Michael won all three categories in our usual fishing contest (First/Biggest/Most). It used to be worth $5 per category but now that they are older it’s up to $10 per.

Uncle Wesley joined us, brough lunch and showed us some new spots for site fishing! There were huge schools of shad in those areas. With the water so clear we can see the fish chase and eat the flies. Very nice way to end our afternoon on the Yuba.

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8th grade “graduation” for Emma and prom night for the boys.

Back when us old guys were in school, when we graduated from 8th grade it was exactly that, graduated from 8th grade. These days , at least in this area of California, no such animal. It is now called 8th grade promotion. I kid you not. So Emma has been “promoted” from the 8th grade to a freshman in high school. All the same flare and theatrics with speeches and music and awards, but the MC’s and the program only mention “promotion” and never mention the word graduation.

Very proud of Emma. She received the Presidential Award for scholastic achievement and another award for maintaining 4.0 gpa throughout Middle School. She is excited to be a freshman!

Prom night for the boys..

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Memorial Weekend basketball tournament in Reno….NOT!

We look forward to a long fun basketball weekend on Memorial Day weekend every year. Emma and the boys play in the huge tournament that is held at the Reno Convention Center.

This year as the week approached both boys got terribly sick. Michael was bedridden for over a week. On the day that we were suppose to leave for Reno, there was no way the boys would make it, so Melanie and Emma went without us.

The very next day Matthew said he was feeling better but not well enough to head to Reno and play in a varsity tournament. He said he wanted to go striper fishing for just a few hours. The striper fishing on the Feather has been off the hook and apparently he was listening to all the reports I was getting.

We loaded up the boat and was headed out by 12:30. Uncle Wesley and Uncle Danny were already fishing when we got there. The bite was just OK for them so we went off to look around for ourselves.

We ended up fishing the Yuba River and found a nice pod of fish. The graph “lit up” and we stayed on fish for 2.5 hours. Matthew was getting grabbed almost every cast. We landed over 30 with very few undersized fish. One 5 pounder and one 12. We lost 3 other big fish, most likely in the double digit rage.

Matthew had not fished for stripers on the Feather in 6 years. He said he had a great time and had forgotten how hard they pull. I was grateful that he wanted to fish and was very lucky “Mo Mo” was able to come over and watch Michael while we were away.

Six years ago!!

Our pond has too many adult catfish and we are culling as much as possible. Time to get the big cats out of there!

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Spring break in the “French Quarter”……

For spring break, the boys flew east to the New Orleans French Quarter and the girls flew farther east….way farther east! …to the original French Quarter.

The boys trip was met with bad weather for fishing. A cold front came in 2 days before we arrived. The first 2 fishing days were overcast and the 3rd was sunny. However all three days came with moderate to high winds which made the marsh muddy and really tough fishing conditions. Cold, overcast 2 out of 3 days, windy, muddy. Then we add the full moon and we were lucky not to be skunked!

We caught fish all 3 days up to 12 pounds. Unlike the fall/winter time that we usually go, the fish are smaller and the big bull reds are out in gulf. We also decided to go back and fish Lafitte instead of the Hopedale area just for a little change.

Our guide Capt. Scott Poche of Crescent City Charters was a pleasant and capable guide. He picked us up and dropped us off at our hotel everyday. That is a bonus because that meant we did not have to rent a car.

The food as usual was excellent. Our multiple stops at Felix’s Oyster House was amazing. Revolution, Antiones and a Brazilian Churascaria were our restaurant choices for dinner. The Oysters Rockefeller at Antione’s was just okay but nothing beats charbroiled oysters at Felix’s.

We normally don’t have a free day there but this trip we did so we decided to check out the WWII Museum. It was really good. Very crowded but really good. We checked out the exhibits and saw both shows (Beyond Boundaries and Final Mission) and still got to the airport in time for our evening flight.

We would like to go back again this Thanksgiving for the big bull reds but it will depend on the boys basketball schedule.

The girls visited Paris again…3rd time in 2 years! They are in LOVE with that city. They said it never gets old and would go back in a heartbeat.

On this visit they went to Disneyland Paris and said it was wonderful. Very French and much bigger than the Hong Kong Disneyland. They also took a day trip to Normandy. They finished the week with a croissant baking class.

Spring break went by too fast. Before we know it summer will be here!

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Bailey Creek Lodge, some minor flooding and Lewiston Lake.

We were able spend a day and night at one of our favorite places, Bailey Creek Lodge. The meals were outstanding again and the fishing was excellent. The boys invited their friend Carson and Emma invited Brooke. Victor and Judy also joined us again for some great food and times.

The late winter rains really hit us hard up here. The river was about to crest in Hamilton City and for those of you that have seen Irvine Finch launch ramp under normal conditions, this is how it looked at near flood stage.

Our backyard seemed like it was going to have no issues but as you can see the rains kept coming and the water level kept rising. The metal shop was surveyed and engineered to be built at the 100 year flood elevation. The water did not get inside the shop but if it continued to rain for a couple more days, it might have.

Got to spend a day at Lewiston with Benson so we could try out a new casting platform I had built. For sight fishing it’s wonderful to spot fish from that height. But for casting to spooky fish from that height was not good. Tougher to get the 20 ft. leader to turn over correctly from that casting angle. If the cast was too flat, the leader/fly would flutter down and not be straight. If cast at a steeper angle the fly would hit the water more abruptly. It was difficult to find that sweet spot. Then add a little breeze and the 20 ft leader is toast.

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Chico vs Enterprise – Syntwins score 29 of teams 37 points

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Boys turn 17, Michael fishes Baum Lake while Matthew tries snowboarding.

The boys had a nice birthday dinner at 5th St Steakhouse then back home for a home made Mudpie. The next day the boys went out to Hula’s with 15 friends and they all came over after dinner to hang out and sit in the hot tub…amidst very cold temps!

Matthew tried out snowboarding at Boreal and lucky no injuries came of it. He enjoyed it a lot and wants to do it again. While he was there, Michael and I took the 10 ft. pram to Baum Lake. I had not heard any reports but the lake usually fishes well in the winter.

We arrived at 9:15 am with air temp at 27 degrees. Dressed warm we did not notice the cold. We were fishing by 9:30 and our first casts produced fish. From that point on it was an outstanding fishing day. Most of the fish ate small PT’s and midges but when we saw rising fish, a well cast Griffiths gnat did the trick. At a few points during the day it was a fish a cast for many minutes. The fish were all very healthy and fought well on 9 ft 3 wts with 18 foot leaders and a tiny yarn indicator. I had one trout take me into backing. That had not happened since the The St. Mary’s trout in Southern Alberta 3-4 years ago. Michael also had a fish that almost got him into backing. The rainbows were really fat and strong.

Michael also “slammed” today. Catching all three predominant trout in one day. His brook trout was the only brookie that was landed and the ratio of rainbows to browns were about even. There was a time during the day that I tried many different flies and they ALL worked. I even cast out a beat up fly and lo and behold…fish on! Just like the saying goes… ” When they are NOT biting, it doesn’t matter what you use. When they ARE biting, it doesn’t matter what you use”. We landed over 50 trout each and by 1:30 we were ready to head home.

Baum Lake is still very productive and a wonderful spot for the winter doldrums. If you can stand the cooler temps, you will be rewarded with some great light tackle trout fishing.

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Matthew and Michael at the Tournament

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Lewiston Lake

Since the Camp fire started on November 8th, the kids have been out of school. If all goes well they will return December 3rd. Michael starts back tomorrow because he has a class at Butte College.

To get away from the smoke 2 weeks ago in Chico, Melanie took the kids and some friends to….where else…The Happiest Place on Earth. It was a last minute decision and it was a week that most people don’t have off so it made for a not super crowded park. Yes they did feel guilty about going since 50,000 people were displaced and most of them lost their home in the fire. It was and still is a tragedy that we will feel for years to come.

I have been trying to get the boys out fishing since they have been off but between smoke filled skies and basketball practice and rain and wind, we have not had an opportunity…until today.

We left for Lewiston Lake at 8am and were fishing by 10am. We motored out to a flat north of Pine Cove and saw Pop B there! He did not know we were going. We fished with him for a bit then headed up to a pod of fish near Turtle Rock. We stayed there and the boys sight fished to trout until they had enough. By 1pm Michael had landed 26 and Matthew 6. Yes that is a huge discrepancy but for some reason Matthew could not hook up on those fish. They had more grabs than fish landed so it was not the fly that was the problem….OR WAS IT?…. Well a smart angler would have asked to see his fly a lot sooner but that person was not on the boat:)) To my surprise, we discovered the hook opened up! Unbelievable that fish this size could have done that.

Both boys had a great outing. It was all sight fishing with 18-20 foot 5x leaders and 9ft. 3 weight rods. It was not too cold and it was good to see Pop B there. He is a trophy hunter so he was just casting to the big boys. He landed a 22 incher in the morning and was still hunting when we left at 1:45.

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