All posts by Chris Cocoles

World Series… Of Elk Hunting

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy confers with pitcher Tim Lincecum at spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bochy an fellow World Series skipper Ned Yost are both avid elk hunters. (CHRIS COCOLES)

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy confers with pitcher Tim Lincecum at spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bochy an fellow World Series skipper Ned Yost are both avid elk hunters. (CHRIS COCOLES)


For you sports fans out thee, the World Series is tied at a game apiece, both the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals taking a victory with them to Friday’s Game 3 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The teams’ managers both have Bay Area ties – Giants skipper Bruce Bochy for obvious reasons. But Kansas City’s Ned Yost grew up in the East Bay, in Dublin, and shared a hilarious story of meeting then A’s pitcher Vida Blue in Oakland that included a dollar bill, an autograph and a hot dog.

But Bochy and Yost also share something else in common: a love of elk hunting.

From the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

The managerial matchup, though, is a straight-up draw:  elk hunter versus elk hunter.

 “I know both of these guys and one thing they share is a passion for elk and the outdoors,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “There’s only one place where Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost would rather be right now other than out in the backcountry chasing elk and that’s in the dugout trying to out-manage each other and win the World Series.”

 The similarities don’t stop there. Both Yost and Bochy are former big league catchers with strikingly similar career averages. Bochy batted .239 with 26 home runs and 93 runs batted in over nine years while Yost batted .212 with 16 home runs and batted in 64 runs over a six-year playing career. They both played for three different teams. They are both in the midst of managerial stints with their second ball clubs and are also both 59 years old.

 Bochy managed the Giants to championships in 2010 and 2012. Immediately prior to the 2014 Spring Training schedule, he shared the same microphone with Allen in a suburban Phoenix baseball stadium at a roast as part of an RMEF gathering.

 “My passion is hunting. A former teammate of mine, Goose Gossage, had a ranch in Colorado. We used it as therapy for after the season,” said Bochy. “In my office in San Francisco, I’m the only manager with an elk head hanging in his office.”

 Yost, who has a World Series ring as Atlanta’s bullpen coach in 1995, is also well-known around baseball circles as an avid hunter. He also briefly enjoyed a second career as a taxidermist between his playing and coaching careers.

 “Ned was a long-time friend and hunting partner of my friend (late NASCAR legend) Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. for many years,” said Allen. “They spent a great deal of time in the woods together.”


The manager who ends up winning this thing – this Athletics’ fan is still picking the Giants to win the next three and taking the series in five – should treat the loser to an offseason hunt somwhere.

Bass Fishing On Castaic Lake



Marc and Amy Mitrany of the Ojai Angler bass fishing guide service will be spending the next couple months fishing live bait at Castaic Lake near Santa Clarita.

Here’s their release:

We are harvesting LIVE threadfin shad and glass minnows at Castaic Lake. Guide Marc will ONLY be at Castaic Lake for two months! 

Castaic Lake fish boiling on the surface, TOP WATER  bite with both bass & striper.

Bass boats available at both Lake Casitas in Ojai and Castaic Lake in Santa Clarita.

The pontoon boat stayes at beautiful Lake Casitas for families and groups.

Castaic Lake bass (THE OJAI ANGLER)

Castaic Lake bass (THE OJAI ANGLER)


Excellent fishing, excellent weather, limited time and space; make your reservation now – 805-701-2835 CALL OR TEXT

Open dates :

Friday Oct. 24th 7-11 or 7-3pm

Sat. Oct.25th 7-11am

Monday Oct. 27th or Wed. 29th




Feather River Salmon Update



Our friend, Manuel Saldana of MSJ Guide Service shared this report from the Feather River:



Today’s trip was a grandfather/ grandson combo, both of Gridley Calif. We hit the Feather River water bright and early, and it wasn’t long before the grandson Micheal Morales rod went to tug tug, and he yells out, ‘I have a fish on!’ We also hooked several other fish but lost them during the fight of getting them to the boat. At the end of the day Charles Watson says his favorite part of the day was watching his grandson reel in his king  salmon. Great memories made on the river today.

Contact Manuel at 530-301-7455 for a great day of king salmon fishing on the Feather or Sacramento River.



NOAA’s Report On California’s Salmon And Steelhead Habitat



If you have some time, here’s an interesting (and long) read the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration released the history of salmon and steelhead habitat loss in the Central Valley.

Here are some highlights:

Present Day Salmonid Habitat

 Presently, salmonids are restricted to the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River valley bottoms and a few of the lesser tributaries. The beautiful, productive upper reaches of the rivers have been removed from the fishes’ current range.  All of the black lines on the map at right, representing historical habitat, are inaccessible.   By every account, this is 80% of the fish habitat (Lindley et al., 2006) and 95% of the spawning habitat (Yoshiyama et al., 2001).

Additionally, dams have significant effects downstream as well.  Not only do they block access to habitat, they also alter water flow and temperature downstream.  And many limit the amount of proper spawning gravels that are available below the dam.


“Did salmon ever enter Yosemite Valley?” 

 Yoshiyama et al. (CDFG Fish Bulletin 179)found that “..It appears, therefore, that salmon at one time and in unknown numbers may have approached the vicinity of Yosemite Valley, even if they did not enter the valley proper.  However, for the present, the area around El Portal or just downstream of it may be the best estimate of the historical upstream limit of salmon in the mainstem Merced River…”

 By 1920, though, after the dam was built the state Fish and Game Commission received a letter from a resident of the country near the Merced River stating that there were fifty salmon in the past for each one now….. the blame for this decrease was attributed to the construction of dams. Residents along the river in 1928 say that the salmon are so scarce that they rarely see any. They remember the fish being so numerous that it looked as if one could walk across the stream on their backs (G. H. Clark, 1929.  Fish Bulletin No. 17).
 On the San Joaquin River, a once mighty waterway that’s fallen on hard times:

The San Joaquin River historically supported great numbers of salmonids, “Fifty or sixty years ago (1870’s), the salmon in the San Joaquin were very numerous and came in great hordes.”  (Clark 1929)  Most spawning by spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River occurred upstream of the current location of Friant Dam. Historical spawning runs may have exceeded 200,000 fish annually, ascending the river as far as Mammoth Pool (about 3,000 feet in elevation), which lies about 50 miles above Friant Dam.  (San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement)

 However, by the late 1940’s all salmon runs in the San Joaquin River above the confluence of the Merced River were gone.  

 Since Friant Dam became fully operational in the 1940s, much of the river’s water has been diverted for off-stream agricultural uses. As a result, approximately 60 miles of the river bed is dry in most years.  The photo at right is the San Joaquin River( 


Here are some tidbits on the Feather River, which has struggled to maintain its water level and is featured in this month’s issue of California Sportsman:

In 1929 Clark described that Spring-run Chinook salmon historically ascended to the very highest elevation headwaters of the Feather River watershed prior to the construction of numerous hydroelectric power projects and diversions.  They migrated up all four major branches of the Feather River. 

 Per Clark, “The runs of salmon, both spring and fall, used to be very heavy in the Feather River previous to the building of obstructions. It is true that the mining operations in the early years may have reduced the amount of fish somewhat, but the building of dams has almost destroyed the spring run. The fall run is large, although not extremely abundant,..”

 The Feather River Hatchery, located at the town of Oroville, was built by the California Department of Water Resources to mitigate for the loss of upstream spawning habitat of salmon and steelhead due to the building of Oroville Dam.

If you’re a history nerd like I am, check it out.


Man Suffers Fatal Heart Attack – Bear Eats Body

(Cristen Langner/CDFW)

(Cristen Langner/CDFW)


Just a terribly sad story out of Northern California. A 65-year-old man suffered a fatal heart attack in Humboldt County, and most of his body was consumed by a black bear. 

From the Associated Press’ Scott Smith:

Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton said he believes 65-year-old Marion Williams died outside his trailer in a remote area before the bear came upon him.

Authorities discovered the remains on Monday after friends reported Williams missing for five days.

Officials tried to trap and kill the bear but called off their attempt because it is doubtful the bear is still in the area near the man’s home in Redway, about 75 miles south of Humboldt, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said.

Water Coolers To Save Drought-Stricken Salmon?


The hatchery just below Shasta Dam will need water coolers to help protect water-starved salmon. (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)

The hatchery just below Shasta Dam will need water coolers to help protect water-starved salmon. (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)

The California drought conditions and sizzling temperatures  have raised several concerns about the survival of hatchery salmon in the devastated Central Valley all the way north to Redding.

But extreme measures seem to be in the works as a desperate attempt to help fish survive sinking water levels. Artificial coolers are going to be utilized. 

From the Associated Press:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers installed the coolers at the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery at the foot of northern California’s Shasta Dam this summer when water temperatures hit the mid-60s — too tepid for the half-million winter-run baby salmon growing there, said Scott Hamelberg, a federal hatchery manager. …

The big water coolers are a first for the federal hatchery, necessitated by warmer-than-normal water in California’s third year of drought.

At the American River hatchery east of Sacramento, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife also are installing giant coolers to bring down water temperatures for the hatchery’s young salmon and trout, hatchery manager Gary Novak said.

Certain endangered species of trout at that fishery “don’t really tolerate the heat too well,” Novak said.

Smaller coolers in tanks are cooling various other fish rescued by wildlife officials after California’s drought dried up their home stretch of rivers and streams entirely.

The fish refrigerators are the latest unusual measure taken by fish and wildlife managers to protect fish and California’s $1.4 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry while most of the state remains in the most severe category of drought. In June, state wildlife officials used tanker trucks to evacuate 2 million fish from hatcheries deemed dangerously warm.

Boulder Boat Works And Scientific Anglers News

Behind the Scenes Photo Shoot with Boulder Boat Works and Scientific Anglers

In mid-September, we were honored to be invited to provide boats and oarsmen for a photo shoot with the marketing department from Scientific Anglers. Photographer extraordinaire, Tim Romano called the shots on the Upper Colorado River, while coordinating three boats, a bunch of fishy goofballs and some cooperative trout. Under bright blue, Indian Summer skies we smiled for the camera each time we floated past Tim. We would float around a bend and there he was, up to his chest in the water with his camera half submerged. We would float a little farther and there he was again, perched on a rock out cropping, high above the river. When you see an ad for Scientific Anglers in 2015, look for the beautiful Boulder Boat Works drift boats in the background!

Tim Romano and Brad Befus

Tim Romano working his magic with angling ace Brad Befus

Upper Colorado Photo Session

Trout charmer, Allie Marriott helping a trout smile for the underwater camera

Coming Soon…
Trout Unlimited Edition BBW Pro Guide Drift Boat

Boulder Boat Works is very proud to be teaming-up with Trout Unlimited to offer all the best features available in the world’s greatest driftboat. Not only will these BBW clients end up with an incredibly unique boat, they will be helping coldwater fish and their habitats. If you are considering a BBW boat in 2015, ask us about the TU Edition.

For more information, call or email Steve at: 303-678-0055

Used Driftboat Sale


Used Driftboat SaleGoing Once, Going Twice, SOLD!
Used BBW CRT Drift Boat For Sale

We see only a few used BBW boats come up for sale each year… and they sell fast. This one came available as its owner has moved to the salt water and didn’t want it to sit unused. Lucky for you!! This opportunity is even more rare, in that it is a Convertible River Taxi. We began selling the CRT just 4.5 years ago, so there have been very few used CRT’s available.

2013 CRT High Side – 15’ 10” length
Includes used BBW galvy trailer, oars, cover, and anchor (all in great shape)
Price: $9,700 (msrp $13,974) – SOLD!


That’s what I heard my son, Wyatt, yell every time we floated this year. And it was. Who knew that fish like water? Rivers up and down the Rockies had plenty of cold, clear water. The fishing started great and has held strong. While we are hoping for another river trip (or two) this year, we will also spend some time over the next couple months following bird dogs, elk and deer. And of course, we are still building the World’s Greatest Drift Boats Monday through Friday!

Wyatt and Lefty

Wyatt and his dog Lefty on the Upper Gunnison River in August

Michele with Gunnison Brown

Wyatt’s mom Michele (and Lefty) admires a pretty Gunnison River Brown

Breaking Shop Dog News… Meet Gus!

Say hello to our newest shop dog, Gus. Gus joined our crew a few months back. While he hardly seems to notice the other shop dogs (Lefty, Ruger, Percy and Fair), he does show lightning fast response to dog treats.  With Walrus (on land) type agility, Gus can put a smile on anyone’s face when he “sort of” runs to greet you.  Stop in and say hi to Gus and the rest of our shop dogs anytime.  Beers shared at 4:30pm daily.

Shop Dog Gus 1

Shop Dog Gus 2

Check out all of our drift boats on our website:

America’s #1 selling polymer drift boat – Made in USA

Trout Unlimited Endorsed Business

email: • phone: 303-678-0055
802 B South Sherman St., Longmont, CO 80501

Custom Handguns Introduced

The Brown Bear (BOND ARMS)

The Brown Bear (BOND ARMS)

The Brown Bear and Big Bear models will be in stores in the coming weeks

GRANBURY, TX, October 15, 2014—For the first time ever, Californians will be able to purchase the unique, Derringer-style Bond Arms pistols from a local dealer. Re-tooled versions of the company’s popular USA Defender, Big Bear and Brown Bear models were designed specifically to be sold in California. The handguns are now shipping and will be available in stores, such as Turner’s Outdoorsman, in the coming weeks.

“California has a robust outdoor market and we’ve worked very hard to have our products available in this state,” says Bond Arms president Gordon Bond. “We’ve been receiving requests from people in California for years, and now they’ll finally be able to experience a Bond firearm. Right now two models, the Big Bear and Brown Bear, are available, but we’re in the process of getting approval for our signature, interchangeable barrels as well.”


The Big Bear (BOND ARMS)

The Big Bear (BOND ARMS)

Both models have a .45 Colt cartridge and have an MSRP of $524, which includes a holster. The two guns are similar, but have their own distinct style, with the Brown Bear sporting an engraved California bear on the wood grip, and the Big Bear featuring a black, rubberized grip and galvanized gray barrel.

Bond Arms has become very well known in the outdoor industry for modifying the classic Derringer-style handguns with improved technology and craftsmanship.

Social Media:
Twitter: @GordonBondArms

CS Correspondent Haugen Joins Alaska Outdoors Television

CS correspondent Scott Haugen was added as a host on the Outdoor Channel for an Alaska-themed show. (SCOTT HAUGEN)



California Sportsman contributor Scott Haugen, who teams with his wife, Tiffany, for their monthly “From Field to Fire” column, will appear on the Outdoor Channel network as a host. Here’s the release:

Anchorage, Alaska – 59th Parallel
Productions Inc., a television entertainment company,
announced today the addition of Scott Haugen as host
to the Alaska Outdoors Television team joining its 8th season in production, airing weekly on the Outdoor Channel network. For nearly 20 years noted outdoor author and TV host, Scott Haugen has been a familiar name in the hunting and fishing world.

“There’s no place I know that’s as captivating and inspirational as Alaska,” shares Haugen. “The people, land and wildlife are so unique, and there are many great stories to unveil.”

Having lived for years in Alaska’s Arctic, and hunted and fished throughout the state, I’m elated to be part of the Alaska Outdoors team, and to return to the Outdoor Channel.”

When living in Alaska Haugen ran an extensive trapline, fished and hunted birds and big game. He also tracked down and killed a man-eating polar bear with his Winchester .30-06 when living in a village
bordering the Chukchi Sea, a story we look forward to sharing.

“Having a host with a solid reputation in
the outdoor industry, who has proven himself in the state for a quarter-century, adds great value to Alaska Outdoors TV,” offers Tim Delarm, Executive Producer of Alaska Outdoors TV.

Scott Haugen has hosted various shows for the Outdoor Channel’s original programming sector, including Adventures Abroad, Game Chasers and Salmon, Trout, Steelhead. Haugen has appeared on more than 400
TV episodes, penned over 1,700 magazine articles and written more than 15 books to include best-selling hunting and fishing books on Alaska, and is on the editorial staff of three Alaska-based magazines.

He continues to write over 100 magazine articles a year and deliver over 50 seminars, annually, making him a great addition to the team. Alaska Outdoors Television can be seen every week on the Outdoor Channel 3x weekly – Anchor slot Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more information on Alaska Outdoors Television visit the series websites at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube or

Congrats to Scott!

Marijuna Site Cleanup In Trinity County

As this suggests, busted marijuana farms face a lot of cleanup issues. (TIM E. HOVEY)

As this suggests, busted marijuana farms face a lot of cleanup issues. (TIM E. HOVEY)

Pot farms in California seem to be a threat to the state’s tenuous salmon populations, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is out to do its part to clean up some of the sites.

Here’s the CDFW’s release:

California wildlife officers will work with several allied agencies and scientific personnel to clean up six polluted illegal marijuana cultivation sites to protect three species threatened with extinction. The sites encompass habitat of the federally endangered Coho salmon, federally threatened northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher, which was recently proposed for listing as federally threatened.

Scientific data conclusively proves how pollution from illegal marijuana cultivation has further degraded habitat quality for each species, and how bioaccumulating rodenticides, common to illegal cultivation sites, continue to acutely affect the northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher. Consequently, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) applied for and received Section 6 federal funds earmarked to benefit such species to conduct cleanup operations after the sites were eradicated and secured.

Wildlife officers from CDFW, the California Air National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office conducted the raids and eradication of each of the six sites in mid-summer, and marked them for return and environmental reclamation. The growers are alleged members of one or more international drug trafficking organizations. In addition to polluting the land and water and destroying habitat, they represent a serious threat to public safety.

Personnel from all agencies will work together to restore the sites to as pristine a condition as possible. They will remove the entire infrastructure of the grow site including rodenticides, fertilizers, pesticides, human waste and garbage and thousands of feet of irrigation tubing.

On Oct. 16, representatives of the media will be escorted into one of the grow sites. The general location will be in Trinity County off of Highway 299, midway between Whiskeytown and the coast. It is a 40 minute hike from the road. Those joining the tour should be in good physical condition, wear long pants and long sleeves with good hiking boots, wear gloves and have eye protection, wear a wide brim hat, carry plenty of water (most operational personnel will have 100 ounces or more CamelBak style water containers) and an energy bar type of snack. Photographers are advised to prepare for the extremely dusty conditions that result from working underneath a helicopter.