By LEN ACKERMAN
For The Union Democrat
At Pinecrest Lake 29,370 rainbow trout have been planted to date and summer campers are bringing home fish for dinner.
The water level is beginning to drop as expected, due to the low snowpack. Streams along the 108 corridor are in excellent fly fishing levels. Time for light leaders and small flies.
In the Ebbetts Pass area the Annual Father’s Day Fishing Derby was held at White Pines Lake and it was a great success, with a big turnout of anglers of all ages winning prizes and having fun. All major lakes in the area are receiving weekly trout plants, including White Pines, Spicer, Alpine, Union, and Mosquito Lakes. North Fork Stanislaus and Beaver Creek are also in great fly fishing levels. For information call 795-1686.
At New Melones kokanee salmon are the main menu and they are slowly showing signs of getting bigger. Standard rigs are Uncle Larry’s spinners, Glitterbug hootchies, and Sockeye Slammers trolled behind a dodger or slingblade and tipped with scented corn. Depths of choice have been between 40-and-50 feet but as it gets hotter they will go deeper. Large rainbows or browns will occassionally hit these lures as shown by Mike Schon, of Stockton, who hooked a 6-pound, 3-ounce brown while trolling a Sockeye Slammer at 45 feet. That catch won him the Big Fish contest at Glory Hole Sports last week. In the catfish division, Charlie Catario, of Sonora, was the winner with an 11-pound, 3-ounce cat. Someone finally beat out Chris Limas, a frequent winner in this division.
Among local anglers finding early morning limits of kokanee at New Melones are Twain Harte Connection members Cas Munoz, Wayne DeGenaro and Dave Hartford fishing in one boat, and John Minor and Ken Lucas in another. Stan Blanchard, Chuck King, and Dave Sefton have also had early-morning success, as has John Darroch, of Glitterbug Lures. Blanchard reports good news for us senior citizens: The Tuttletown docks have been moved to the second-level ramp, making it an easier walk up to the parking lot. He also mentioned an odd sighting of a deer swimming with a group of Canadian geese. Deer often swim between islands at Melones.
The two-day Kokanee Power Derby at Melones starts tomorrow. Most reservations have been made in advance but for more information call Glory Hole Sports at 736-4333. On Sunday at the store the 1 p.m. free seminar will be on “Selecting and Maintaining Rods and Reels.”
Upcoming events: The Tuolumne County Trap Shooting Championships take place tomorrow at Mother Lode Gun Club. One trap range will be open for those wishing to shoot but not entering the contest.
The second and last of the year Fishermen’s Yard Sales in Sugar Pine on Dogwood Lane will take place July 7-8. There will be tackle and lures at great bargains.
Saturday, July 7, is also designated as a Free Fishing Day by the Department of Fish and Game. Anyone of any age may fish anywhere in California without a fishing licanse. Great time to introduce a non-fishing friend to the sport.
Back to the subject of nature: Tuesday night we had an unwelcome visitor in our neighborhood. A bear made its way down the street, raiding garbage cans. My neighbor Jerry Morrow heard a noise and went out to investigate. He found his garbage can knocked over and the bear standing next to it. They were face-to-face for a few seconds and the bear wheeled and took off. Part of living in the mountains.