Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hot Water Music - Never Going Back (Official Lyric Video)

New record coming out from one of my dear friends band in September. Check out the new lyric video from Hot Water Musics new album "Light it Up"

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cast Hope - A Victory for everyone involved

If you read this Blog and/or know me you know about Cast Hope. You have most likely heard how my friend Ryan Johnston and I have worked to create this organization from a crazy idea for Ryan’s MBA project he shared with me at the bar in Tres Hombres in Chico, CA to a full fledged non profit impacting lives and sharing the outdoors throughout Northern California and Western Nevada through the sport of fly fishing…and soon further. Many of you have sent in donations, donated time, been to a fundraiser, watched a video, shared our posts on social media, or just plain talked about it with someone else. For all that…the big, the small, the intentional, and the unintentional, we could not achieve the things we have without everyone’s support.

As Cast Hope has grown it has become an animal in and of itself…needing to be fed with time, money, and hard work. That is the blessing and curse of growth, it became a long time ago less of a hobby, or side project, for us.  Now most weeks it borders on a full time job and others it is all consuming….and to be totally honest there are just as many times where it is a huge pain in the ass as times where I get more out of it then nearly any thing I do in my life. There are times at the bar where Ryan and I hang our heads in despair and frustration, asking our selves what the hell are we doing with our lives, cast hope, and all this work we put in….How much do we have left in the tank for this thing, can we work this hard for another 10 years or hell 6 months..…then there are times when we see and feel a room full of people “get it” and I am literally brought to tears, and I look up to the sky and say I will fucking kill my selves, give away all my belongings, work until my hands bleed, and my mind is fried for this cause, for these kids, and for these people who believe in us.

I think those feelings go hand in hand with anything in ones life that means something, and that they are truly invested in. I think about my kids…many times they nearly bring me to tears with the amount of love I have for them and then like last night when they left their klean kanteens out at band practice and I had to drive back out North of town to our practice space after a REALLY long day and get them I was ready to dare I say go Homer Simpson on them. What you care about is never easy or without challenges. In the end you get what you give I believe. When you put everything into something it gives and takes everything at any given time, that is what makes it so important and meaningful.

Yesterday we had one of these moments at Cast Hope. We met Dakota over 7 years ago when he was ten years old. He is now 17 and we put him on a plane yesterday to start his guiding career at Barnof Lodge in Alaska. To say Dakota has over come a lot to get to this point is like saying climbing Mount Everest is a small afternoon hike. Many of us will never face the challenges this young man has, and will crumble under half the weight his shoulders have beared in his short time on earth. While I truly believe that we all bear our own burdens and no one person’s burden is heavier then another, but I can truly say, personally,when I look at my own life between 10years old and 17 years old I would not have made it if I was Dakota.

One of Many fish along the road...
Licensed to Guide 
I explain what Cast Hope is about to people daily. I have sat down with millionaires, corporations with check books deeper than some nations, anglers who work all week at dead end jobs to just get a few days a month on the river, guides who work daily on the river and barely make ends meet but love the life they chose, people who don’t know a fly rod from a bait caster, and everyone in between and around AND not everyone understands what we do. At this point in the game I think you either get it or you don’t….At some point I lay out the numbers, and to be honest in the non-profit world our numbers don’t blow anyone away…Ya we will put 500 kids through our program this year, we have nearly a 100% retention rate, we have given out hundreds of free fly rods, reels, and gear, our pull through is 81/19 - well above the national average and expected healthy mark for a non-profit, I can tell stories about showing kids stars without the glare of street lights for the first time, how we got a kid through high school with fishing as the motivation, brought kids from the hood and peninsula together via the sport of fly fishing….AND yes that is impressive BUT we are not Wounded Warriors, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The National Cancer Society, or some other national corporate non-profit with a budget bigger then, certain small nations we mentioned earlier, solving the worlds problems…so people smile and get that blank stare at times and nod there head…I can’t say it doesn’t get frustrating, end in long nights at the bar, or those moments where I question my own life choices and what the hell I am doing with it….
Its been a long road my friend...

Moments like yesterday though give it all value. The long weekends, late nights, presentations where you pour your heart out to a room or conference table and all you get is blank stares…all the money on gas, time away from family, sleeping in the truck, shitty hotels, out and back flights to places, and doubt…doubting all the time if this is really worth it, if you are earning your donors money, putting it to work in a way that makes a difference,  asking your self  while your flight is delayed hours if you should just pile it all up and give it to curing cancer, are you REALLY making a difference, doing right by the people that support you, and just in the end living the life you believe in and doing what is best for the world around you….

Knowing that what I have done changed Dakota’s life gives it all meaning. I know, even though at times doubt creeps in, Dakota is not the only one I have helped via Cast Hope and I know what we do has value.  I know that Cast Hope changes lives, preserves our wild places for the future, AND is what I am meant to do with my love and passion for the outdoors and the sport of fly fishing. BUT DAMN it is nice to see it all pay off in such an amazing way! We fucking did it!!!! It is a long road for Dakota but we are off the back roads where the pot holes and obstacles are EVERYWHERE and on to the freeway now where the chances of safe arrival at our destination are a bit higher.  

Cast Hope will never be McDonalds or the Boys and Girls Club or some organization that can say we served 1 million kids this year…that is not what we are about. Even if we (hopefully when) grow throughout the nation I can’t imagine putting millions of kids through our program. I want to put thousands and know them all, be able to tell all their stories, walk them from 10 years old to 18 or 20 years old and send them off to college or to guide some where and help them start their careers and their lives. I want them to fish ounce every two weeks with a guide and their mentor, go on trips with other kids from all walks of life, learn about their local watersheds and ecosystems, and fall in love with rivers, lakes, oceans, and the lands that surround them so that they will be the ones to do what Ryan and I do with Cast Hope for their generation any way they can.  

I end every discussion or presentation I make about Cast Hope with the following quote. It means a lot to me personally and I think speaks to everything I rambled on about here….


Good Luck Buddy!!!!

“What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for the others and world remains.”

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, sports, tasty morsels

When multiple people email and message you and ask “whats up with the blog…are you posting somewhere else…are you not blogging anymore….” Its time to post…The reason for the delay is April/May are just straight up crazy months!!! With 4 little league games a week with my boys, putting in my garden, yard care, trying to find fishable water, school wrapping up….just chaos. So what have been doing…well holding down a lawn chair at chico east side little league 3-4 days a week, yard work, and chasing bass and stripers are the main things as well as working on a record, playing music, and working on a Cast Hope expansion and 2 big fundraisers…no big deal right?

Fishing Report

Lower Sac Striper fishing Flows have come up again but so has water diversion so it somewhat equals out – 16000cfs at Ord Bend – 13500cfs at Keswick. The canals are pumping a TON of water! Fishing for stripers has been hit and miss. There is a TON of migratory fish around but they were on the spawn last week so that shut the bite down and the clarity below some place between Woodson and Irvine Finch goes from good to like a 1’ for some reason…May go look this week if I get a chance. May is a great month for multi species fishing on the Sac. Last week we got smallmouth bass, largemouth, blue gill, and stripers. Fishing should be pretty dang good this month and only get better over the next month. This summer is going to be AMAZING striper fishing.

Carp and bass fishing has been pretty decent to if you can find clear back waters…fishing the creeks coming in on foot has been best for carp and bass and a few of the flats are clearing. Carp fishing is going to be really cool this year with all the flats cleaned out and full of water.

FULL Irrigation canals

22" Striper...
Nice Smallmouth from the Sac. 
If anyone wants dates there are only a few left and these will book soon…after the dates are full I will be booking Captains Chuck Ragan ( and Darrin Deel

My open Dates:
June 27, 28, 30
July 6, 8, 11, 19, 22, 24
August 19, 26,
Sept 2, 23

Shad Report – I can’t say that I have much faith for a good shad season. Shad need to see the fly and the clarity around the area I guide for shad is not really that good as it relates to shad fishing. Their maybe some options above woodson if you can get above what ever is muddying the river up. No idea yet as I have been mainly focusing on stripers and bass.

Lower Sac Trout Fishing – The flows dropped down to 7K but have sense come up to 13.5K which is a good flow. Will need to do longer floats but that is kinda nice as you cover more water and just don’t have to back row the same runs. Clarity is pea soup but the tribs like cow creek and a few other are dumping clean water so the clarity is a lake issue. Fish are mainly eating beads, rubber legs, and occasionally nymphs. I fished Anderson to Balls this last weekend and things have CHANGED dramatically on that float! I would say 30% of the water is completely different. We got some nice fish and landed some numbers but there was a good number of places where I was clueless where to fish as it was all new. As tail water trout fishing the sac is really the only option right now and fishing should be good down through Bend but I am not sure if anyone has gone down to fish it yet.

Lower Yuba River – Flows come up and down…every time I think they are going to get close to 3-4K the river blows out again. I am sure this will be a late June/early July year for the Yuba with all the snow melt coming down.

Sports Report –
Yes the Giants are playing Terrible…I will not say they ARE terrible as I can’t see how players that have been so good just went to crap in one year but you are your record and right now they are officially the worst team in the MLB. I keep watching though…Last night against the mets was brutal to watch. I can’t say I watched much of the Cincy series either as that was pitiful. 31-5 over 3 games…no Bueno. In other news the Irish had their spring game and it was nice to see the “new” Irish. A completely different coaching staff from the coordinators to the strength and conditioning coach…The new O and D schemes looked good and Brandon Winbush looked like a BEAST! He is big, strong, and fast which is exciting. The defense is going to be the issue this yeas as I am pretty confident the O is going to be fine…we will score points we just have to stop the other team from scoring points.

Music News -
Personally the Royal Oaks and myself have been working on finishing our first full length album…Like most things it is taking 2-3 times longer then we thought, but what do you expect for guys with kids, day jobs, and lives. I think we should finish up in the next month or two, have a release show, and put it out for consumption by our few friends, parents, and random people…meaning like maybe 50 people. Its not that we suck just who knows what to expect with a bunch of fishing dudes with kids, jobs, and no time to promote a record…

Listening wise I have been really loving Arliss Nancy…Great rock and roll band. Similar sound and vibe to Lucero but that is a GREAT thing!!!! – Earlier Lucero, not full horn section lucero. Other then that listening to some of the new Hot Water Music Album that Chuck shared with me...I am going to be honest if you are a HWM fan it is going to blow your mind. REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!!!