Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Klamath Fishing Guide Dies In Accident

Photo by Chris Collard

Photo by Chris Collard

Tragedy out of the Eureka/Crescent City area. Fishing guide Gary Farley, 63, died after a Klamath River accident.

The Daily Tripilcate of Crescent City on the details:

Farley was leading two old friends from Ferndale on a fishing trip up the river. Witnesses said Farley was thrown from his boat after hitting a gravel bar and could not be resuscitated. 

 Yurok Tribal Police and sheriff’s deputies from Del Norte and Humboldt counties responded to the incident. The coroner’s office in Eureka is expected to release an autopsy report later today. 

“It’s tragic, and it’s a huge loss to this community,” said Richard Mossholder, one of Farley’s many friends and fellow fishing guides. “Gary has been on this river almost all his life. He was a great boat captain and the best guide on the river, always has been. He was the nicest guy and always helped everybody. … I’m sure at some point in time there’s gonna be a book written about that man.”

Mossholder owns Rivers West Lodge, about 20 miles upstream from the mouth of the river and 150 yards downstream from the site of Farley’s accident. 

“I was on the deck and saw his boat go by. It sounded like he had gone past the lodge. I thought I heard him slowing down, so I got in my truck to go pick him up, but something didn’t sound right. The people that were with him had already pulled his boat up to the shore and were shouting. They had pulled him out of the water and it was very obvious that he didn’t make it,” said Mossholder.

Farley’s younger brother, Jeff, said that a broken steering cable is likely to blame. 

“They were heading up the river, pretty full bore, and went around a corner. The guys with him said he hit his head and fell out over the back of the boat. They said he didn’t seem to swim when he fell in the water so they thought he got knocked out,” he added. 

Condolences to Farley’s family and friends.

 

 

Girls Guns and Dangerous Games

CALIFORNIA CLOTHING MAVENS HIT THE ROAD FOR NEW HUNTING SERIES

They’ve come a long ways, metaphorically at least, from designing outdoor fashion clothes
for women out of a home garage in Northern California. Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman had a vision that spawned a successful company, Girls With Guns Clothing. But while the gals remain small-town at heart, choosing to continue their work out of Red Bluff, a quiet hamlet of 14,000 off Interstate 5, 130 miles north of Sacramento, even for these ambitious entrepreneurs, traveling across a continent, an ocean and hunting the wild lands of Africa in front of a TV camera was something altogether different.

Just as the Girls With Guns brand has taken off, Adams and Harman just seem to have found a niche on Universal Huntress TV, a Sportsman Channel series that premiered in December.
We see Adams and Harman crisscrossing the African continent (and New Zealand), not only hunting exotic species but also experiencing new cultures and engaging in adventures like skydiving, hot air ballooning and bungee jumping. “We are definitely outside the box,” says Adams, the more adrenaline-charged half of the team.

“You’re going to see about 75 percent hunting and 25 percent will be something exciting, something fun. And the main part is Norissa and I are best friends who started in our garage to design a clothing line. We’ve grown the company so much, we have opportunities to talk a little bit about who we are and where we came from.” The idea for their show came from a world away. Adams and Harman were on their way to the Sacramento International Sportsman Exposition when we caught up with them in January. Ironic, since that was where they met South African Emaneul “Kappie” Kapp. Sort of.

girlwbull

A YEAR AGO, Kapp, a publisher and outdoor film producer, was walking the aisles at the massive outdoors show and saw the Girls With Guns booth. He had an idea to discuss a possible television show opportunity. Unfortunately, the ladies weren’t there at that time. “I’d played around with the idea of a women hunting show for a while and they sounded like the perfect fit,” Kapp says. “I left my business card at their booth and requested they call me.”

Kapp thought Adams’ go-for-it attitude was reminiscent of himself. Harman, admittedly the “chicken one” of these two BFFs, seemed more like Kapp’s wife, Chantelle, also a member of the production team. “One of the things Kappie told us is he was looking for something a little different,” Adams says. But even Kapp wasn’t sure what to expect when “I got a call from two girly girls from Northern California.”

“We spoke on the phone a couple of times and I eventually got them on a plane to South Africa,” Kapp says. “I met them for the first time in person at O.R. Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg (South Africa).” They hadn’t known each other besides some conversations done over Skype, but the chemistry among those behind and in front of the camera made for a great match. Harman says during production her and Kapp’s relationship is more like a brother and sister who may bicker while shooting in some of the most remote and wild lands on earth, but are indeed like family at the end of the day.

“Since we’ve met each other, it’s been for the better. He’s taken us out of our world, where we grew up, to his world, to show his perspective,” Harman says. “For that, I’m very grateful for him. I think there have been a lot of special moments that we’ve all done together and he’s been there to see us grow. To capture that together, it’s been fun.” Over the course of filming, Kapp found the stars of his show learning from their mistakes, both on the actual hunts and the process of producing episodes of a TV show in the African bush.

They went through hours upon hours of footage, narrowing them down to fit into the 22 minutes of running time. Adams and Harman even found themselves operating a second camera as B-roll footage. (Among the guests on the first season was aspiring country music singer Morgan Mills, who wrote and produced the show’s theme song, Let’s Ride, sung by Mills and featuring established country music performer Colt Ford.) Adams says the relatively small crew on-hand during production simplifies the process.

girlwbiggame

“When you’re hunting you already have your guide or PH (professional hunter), your cameraman, and Norissa and I always hunt together. Through Kappie, he’s taught us some limited camera skills,” Adams says. “They had to learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera, and it took some guidance to get them to relax and not feel uncomfortable,” Kapp says. “I still provide them with guidance, but they’ve come a long way from our
first hunt.”

ON THE FIRST episode, Harman and Adams joined guide Marius Kotze of Rhinoland Safaris (rhinoland.co.za) in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. They were greeted on a dirt road by roaming elephants and rhinos and their land cruiser became temporarily stuck in the middle of a rising river – just a typical day of mayhem on an African safari. “I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip,” Adams says. “Just getting out of the country, seeing some amazing people and being in some awesome hunting territory. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa on that trip.”

The girls harvested their first African continent plains game animals on the first show. Adams successfully hunted an impala, zebra and kudu on that initial two-week trip; Harman got an impala and kudu. Adams also hunted two of Africa’s “Dangerous 7 Game” animals, lion and hippopotamus. “That lion hunt, it was the first time I had ever hunted an animal where it wanted to hunt me back,” she says.

On the pilot episode, when the women both made successful shots, they became overcome with emotion, particularly Harman. “(Viewers) didn’t get to see the whole story. I actually missed (the shot) a couple times on that trip,” she says. “The animals are different there. They are really fast moving and I think my nerves got the best of me – having a camera on you, that whole factoring into making a good shot. So, of course, when I did shoot my kudu, I’m such an emotional person and wear my heart on my sleeve, I can’t help it.

I cry a lot and this whole season you’ll see lots of tears.” Adams is not one who shows her emotions so quickly – there’s that yinyang trait between them again – but also had a moment during the time between the shot and the confirmation that the animal was down. Adams thinks the anticipation of where they were and the stalking process created so much tension it felt natural to let loose a few joyous tears.

“One thing is certain – they truly love what they do and they are emotional when it comes to the beautiful trophy they have harvested. Sometimes it’s laughter and at other times it’s tears, but there is always a lot of emotion involved,” Kapp says. “Our TV show is in taker willing to push her entire stack of chips into the pot at any time; on the opposite side, a risk avoider who raises an eyebrow at even the slightest of all-real time and with no reenactment, and therefore the real emotional scenes on camera are (compelling).”

The pitch of two hunters with such different personalities would be an easy one for a producer to have interest in. On one side of the table a risk taker willing to push her entire stack of chips into the pot at any time; on the opposite side, a risk avoider who raises an eyebrow at even the slightest of all-in moves. Guess which Girls With Guns business partner did not have parachuting out of a plane over Africa on her bucket
list? “We are a good balance,” Harman says. “I think a lot of it is just the unknown.

We’d never done anything like that. When I got there I had no intention of doing that. I mean, why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane? But just the energy and meeting the people, the moment convinced me to try it. So I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.” There was also the cultural experience of visiting countries such as the Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, which was priceless (an episode was also filmed in the south island of New Zealand).

Learning a few phrases of one of South Africa’s and Namibia’s official languages, Afrikaans, has inspired further studying of that dialect for future trips to that part of the world. “I think it’s a little bit humbling and life-changing and a little bit in our face,” Harman says. “Just because here in the U.S., we have the luxury of grabbing a glass of water, checking the Internet and going to the movies. And these people don’t have that luxury. Kids can’t just go to a faucet and grab a glass of water like we do. They’re going to watering holes or digging a hole in the middle of a dried-up creekbed to drink water with sand in it.

Jen and I will probably keep those moments forever and never take for granted what we do have.” Adams was floored by the diversity, both in the people of the various countries visited and the constantly changing topography. She didn’t expect to see mountains not unlike those located a short distance from her Northern California home (“I don’t think a lot of people realize that,” Adams says).

It wasn’t long until they’d go from mountains to a sandy desert and then a rainforest. “We were just so grateful for the opportunity (to be there) and to hunt in a situation we’ve never been in before,” Adams says. “To know where Norissa and I came from, we were able to see things that most of my family and people back home will never have the opportunity to see. I felt very lucky and blessed to be there.”

AS WE’VE SEEN frequently in this social media-obsessed world, when you hunt, you’re likely to be frowned upon by the Twitter and Facebook crowd. If you’re a woman who hunts, it’s chaos on the keyboards. Vile online attacks of female hunters have gone viral with a sinister tone. Most hunters understand and accept that the anti-hunting sentiment won’t be going away anytime soon, and a show like Universal Huntress TV will surely be considered taboo from day one with some refusing to find a common ground.

“One of the things that we’re learning as we go, and we hope the audience will learn with us; we try to ask questions and then ask more questions,” Adams says. “We need to understand the importance of conservation. It is something that’s a little bit different here than in South Africa. But honestly, there isn’t that much of a difference – taking a mature animal and making sure that we don’t overhunt them. Norissa and I are trying to learn as we go and pass it onto our audience. I hope they’re able to see that.” Universal Huntress TV hopes the stories it tells – about hunting, about friendship, about culture and about conquering your fears can send a positive message.

“It’s really for people to just be themselves. We have a lot of young girls who look up to us now, and really never expected to be role models,” Harman says of her role as clothing designer but also messenger about the sport their line sells to. “So we just hope that they can see what hunting has done for Jen and I. It’s been a bonding experience, kind of like a sisterhood. So if there are girls out there doing this together, it’s something they’ll be able to share like we’ve shared. It’s important for us that they see that.”

by Chris Cocoles CS

27-Pounder Wins Sacramento River Salmon Derby

unnamed

Golden Gate Salmon Association

Mark Chow (center) took home $1,000 for winning the Golden Gate Salmon Association Derby.

Mark Chow (center) took home $1,000 for winning the Golden Gate Salmon Association Derby.

From the Golden Gate Salmon Association

San Francisco, CA. –  Fisherman Mark Chow won the $1,000 first prize for the biggest salmon in last Saturday’s Golden Gate Salmon Association Red Bluff Salmon Derby held at the Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff.  Chow’s big male salmon weighed in at 27.15-pound gutted and gilled.  Chow’s winning salmon broke the fishing rod early in the 40-minute fight that ended with the fish in the boat. Second place went to first time fisherman Wyatt Brazell whose 26.56-pound fish was caught fishing with guide Robert Weese.  Third place went to Chris Tomasetti who caught a 20.65-pound salmon.

“The salmon derby was a great event because it was clear that everyone had lots of fun while supporting GGSA’s work to rebuild big salmon runs in the Central Valley,” said GGSA executive director John McManus.

Proceeds from the derby will support GGSA’s working, including projects to restore key juvenile salmon rearing areas and guard against losing salmon to heated water or sudden reductions in flows from Shasta Dam. Stronger salmon runs provide a major economic shot to both the coast and along the Sacramento River.

“On both the coast and in the upper Sacramento River basin, people view salmon as a valuable food source. All of these derby fish will likely get smoked before they’re enjoyed by the lucky fisherman who caught them,” said McManus

Although 2015 hasn’t been the best salmon season in recent years, GGSA expects 2016 to be better.  That’s because in 2014 and 2015 GGSA succeeded in getting virtually all Central Valley hatchery produced baby salmon transported around the drought to safe release sites, a move that should pay off with higher survival and more adult salmon to catch next year.

“My fish may have gone 32 pounds in the round in the river, perhaps more in the ocean. This fish was holding over two pounds of milt,” Chow said.

Chow said he was looking forward to eating the fish after it’s smoked, with fishing guide Scott Ferris Jr.’s special dry brine recipe.  Chow said, “Thank you GGSA for hosting such a great fund raiser and for helping support our fishery.”

 

Mountain Lion Takes In The View From Telephone Pole

Photo by Peter Day/Victor Valley Daily Press

Photo by Peter Day/Victor Valley Daily Press

 

The Victor Valley area in Southern California’s high desert is experiencing multiple mountain lion sightings.  Victor Valley Press reporter Peter Day got his own look at one of the big cats in a rather pecuilar place.

Here’s some of Day’s report:

A mountain lion climbed up a 35-foot-high wooden power pole Tuesday afternoon about two miles south of Cougar Buttes on East End Road.

The mountain lion came down from the pole sometime Tuesday night and was not seen in the area on Wednesday, according to local residents.

Two California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, who were parked several hundred yards away, were requesting passersby to not stop. They hoped the animal, which appeared to be a healthy adult, might climb back down from the high voltage wires and go back into the wild.

Jose Ruiz, a resident who lives across the street from the pole, told the Daily Press that the mountain lion was startled by children coming home in a Lucerne Valley Unified School District school bus. They were yelling with excitement and the big cat scurried up the pole, Ruiz said.

The mountain lion went down from the power pole sometime Tuesday night, Ruiz said.

Ruiz said several ravens were cawing and making a ruckus when the cougar was up the pole.

“It was funny,” Ruiz said. “It was like the one crow was saying, ‘Hey, you’re not a crow’ to the mountain lion.”

What Is Going To Happen To The LWCF?

IMG_1010

 

 

Editor’s note: Andy Walgamott is the executive editor for California Sportsman and the editor of our sister magazine, Northwest Sportsman.

Despite a wave of support from Northwest hunters, anglers and politicians on both sides of the aisle, the important Land and Water Conservation Fund may not be reauthorized by the deadline to do so, today, Sept. 30.

Supporters are deeply worried that the fund, created in 1965, will for the first time ever not be allocated new revenues.

A hugely important funding mechanism — Washington alone has benefited to the tune of $600 million — for setting aside lands to hunt on, access fisheries and provide other outdoor recreation, LWCF has been put on hold by a Utah representative who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Revenues for the fund come from royalties on offshore gas and oil leases and are then disbursed through federal agencies and to the states. Rep. Bob Bishop’s stated beef is that 60 percent of the LWCF is earmarked for stateside programs, but in 2014, only 16 percent was actually sent to them.

He claims he wants to modernize the fund to “(protect) state and local recreational access.”

I don’t really buy that. I think it’s cover for the greater Sagebrush Rebellion II going on in the West, one that is not in the best interests of hunters, anglers or other outdoor users of any political stripe.

LWCF needs to be put above politics. Washington Reps. Dave Reichert (R) and Derek Kilmer (D) have recognized the value of the program. They’ve called on Congress to reauthorize the fund.

(It should be noted that in July, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) teamed up to unveil a bipartisan energy bill to endorse and renew the LWCF before it expires). 

In an urgent email earlier this week, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association director Liz Hamilton pointed out, “LWCF is responsible for hundreds of miles of river access, thousands of acres of land for hunters to enjoy, and numerous national parks.”

“NSIA commissioned study in 2013 which found that more than 7,200 jobs are created due to fishing on public lands in Oregon and more than 10,000 jobs in Washington.  Not surprisingly, 65% of fishing related spending takes place due to public access.  Our access to public lands means that guides, tackle makers, rod builders, etc. have a strong and faithful customer base,” she added, urging readers to email their U.S. Senators.

Though LWCF can disburse up to $900 million, last year it was funded to the tune of $306 million.

But it wasn’t included in Congress’s continuing resolution to keep the government operating for a couple months, so no money may be available for 2016.

This is just dumb.

Flat stupid.

But maybe not the end of the world. The call for permanent reauthorization is going on as I write this.

Montana Sen. Steve Daines (R) just tweeted out, “HAPPENING NOW: I’m leading a group of Senators in calling for permanent reauthorization of . Watch live:

His counterpart on the other side, Sen. John Tester (D), earlier tweeted, “ is one of the most important conservation tools we have & the majority is letting it expire.

LWCF needs to be above rightwing and leftwing politics. It’s for the good of all. Permanently reauthorize it so we don’t have to go through this BS during hunting season, some of the best fishing of the year, and most scenic hiking weather.

Is Federal Plan To Help Salmon Being Done Right?

unnamed

 

Editor’s note: The following press release is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association:

Salmon fishermen and industry advocates are giving mixed reviews to a federal plan to spend millions restoring salmon in 2016. The Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) funded the plan in 1992 with $50 million annually to be used to restore waterfowl and to double the wild salmon populations. The salmon advocates note progress has been made in moving more funds to on the ground projects that will help salmon soon.  However, a significant part of the money is still being spent on unproductive projects, overhead, and activities that do not result in increased ocean salmon populations, according to the salmon stakeholders.

Since creation of the fund in 1992, funding decisions were made solely by the two federal agencies overseeing the fund, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.  However, in July, the two federal agencies announced a major revision to how salmon projects will be selected in the future.  Salmon and public water and power agency stakeholders are being invited to help create a new model which will provide data on which salmon restoration investments will yield the most salmon. This new stakeholder input comes in response to requests from the Golden Gate Salmon Association and others seeking greater input.

Dick Pool, Secretary of the Golden Gate Salmon Association said, “We strongly support a major change in the way future projects will be selected and we are cautiously optimistic that the new system will work.”

The 2016 spending plan proposes to spend $48 million on salmon projects between 2016 and 2018.  The industry strongly supports fourteen projects totaling $17.4 million but rejects fifteen others totaling $17.3 million.  The rejections were based on projects that did not have a meaningful value to the early salmon population doubling objectives called for in the CVPIA.  The full text of the industry comments can be seen at www.water4fish.org/salmonspending or at http://goldengatesalmonassociation.com/2015/09/22/8568/ .

John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, praised the plan’s proposal to open four new rearing areas in the upper Sacramento River and its tributaries.

“Rearing areas allow the newly hatched juvenile salmon a place where they can grow and avoid predators.  The lack of adequate rearing areas for salmon in the Sacramento River has been a major problem for years.”

Shifting money to projects likely to produce near term results follows criticism by the salmon industry and the public water and power agencies that provide much of the $50 million in the fund.  The fund has failed to double the salmon populations, as required by the CVPIA.  In 2012, twenty years after the CVPIA passed Congress, the salmon populations stood at only 13 percent of what they were in 1992 when the act originally passed.  In the opinion of the salmon industry and others, millions of dollars have been spent and wasted on projects and activities that did not yield results.

 

 

 

Caples Lake Yields 6-Pound Rainbow

Photo by Caples Lake Resort

Brandon Burrell’s 6-pound rainbow from Caples Lake. Photo by Caples Lake Resort

A report from Caples Lake Resort:

 

Hello to Fall from Caples LakeJ

The lake is down about 12 feet but on September 16 the EID (Eldorado Irrigation District) reduced the lake outflow from 70cfs to 5 (cubic feet per second).

This means the lake level be will reduced 1/4-inch a day (instead of 3 ½ inches per day for the last month) through the fall.

The public boat launch 1/2 mile east on Highway 88 will be open through October or later. The water has cooled down to 60 degrees and the catching is picking up.

Brandon Burrell from Elk Grove , Ca. caught a 6-pound rainbow from the dam using a fly rod on September18.

We will have cabins and lodge rooms available as well as fishing boats and kayaks into November.

The  past three years of drought are making the fall colors come early so come on up early this year.

Caples Lake Resort

209-258-8888

www.capleslakeresort.com

 

CDFW Warden Saves Three From Fire

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

 

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer based in Lake County recently risked his own life to save three lives in the Valley Fire.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, Warden Timothy Little was working mutual aid law enforcement safety patrols in the town of Cobb, just south of Clear Lake, in support of the Valley Fire. Little, other wildlife officers and numerous first responders were scrambling to evacuate residents trapped or needing assistance from their homes.

As the fire began to consume the small town of Cobb (pop. 1,780) an emergency call went out that an elderly woman was trapped in her home on Pine Summit Road and needed immediate rescue. Hearing radio calls that other units were unable to respond because of fire and debris in the roadway, Little headed toward the home. Driving his four-wheel drive patrol vehicle through raging fire and burning road hazards, he found and entered the home, where he located an elderly woman trapped in the house with her 11-month old granddaughter.

Little safely got both the woman and child out of their home, into his patrol truck and on the road to safety just minutes before fire destroyed the home. Both are now safe with family.

Shortly after this rescue, Little again put his own safety at risk to assist another elderly woman, this time needing transport due to serious medical needs.

When Little learned that no medical transport crews would be able to make it to the woman in time, he raced to Anderson Springs, five miles away, on Hot Springs Road in Middletown, to aid the woman. After locating the house, he found the woman trapped on the second floor, unable to walk.  Little carried her down a flight of stairs to a civilian vehicle and escorted them out of immediate danger before continuing to assist in other searches.

“The entire department is incredibly proud of every warden in the field who is supporting efforts to fight the raging wildfires in northern California,” said CDFW Chief of Patrol David Bess. “Tim Little’s bravery and courage are a credit to both CDFW and the State of California.”

CDFW has more than 20 wildlife officers working around the clock to provide mutual aid support to allied law enforcement agencies, fire crews and paramedics fighting both the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties and the Valley Fire in Lake County.