McCloud River pt. 2

The Bollibokka Club

A sign like this means you’re probably in the right place.

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A century’s worth of studded boots on a deck

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I knew I had 6 days on the McCloud, so after guiding every day for almost 3 months straight, the first day I took pretty easy. That lounge chair was really, really comfortable. We fished some of the water near the house that night, got a few nice wild bows high sticking, but nothing significant.

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Day 2 we split up and explored all over. I went downstream near the lake hoping to find some browns starting to migrate. I swung some streamers. Nothing much. -side note – After fishing, I gave this fly to my buddy Timmy. The next week he tied it on his spey rod to test a new line and got a 25″ brown out of the Truckee, almost on accident.

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Came back to the cabins for a meal prepared by our 5 star chef and said hi to the neighbors.

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An alligator lizard decided to check out my fly tying stuff on the patio.

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This web was huge, I almost walked right into it. It was right outside the door at eye level.

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I also had an encounter with a pair of ring-tailed cats who were curious about the head-lamp I was using while I was fly-tying. I didn’t get any pics, but If you’ve never seen one, it’s kind of like a raccoon, a cat and a mink all blended into one.

here’s a vid I found of one

Merry Christmas guys,

-Dan

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Long time no post

It was a hectic summer, sorry for the long time between postings. Now that its winter time and I have a lot more time to put together some good content, I’m starting to get the itch for a creative release again. In September I had a really fun trip full of cool pictures, too many in fact. It felt a bit daunting trying to post them all. I think I’m just going to post a few at a time and gradually share the coolness of that trip. Here goes…

 

Bollibokka on the McCloud

 

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I recently had the pleasure of fishing a very private stretch of the McCloud river in northern California. This river is steeped in angling history, probably as much as any other.  Most rainbow trout that have been stocked anywhere, originally came from this little river. (barring west coast steelhead strains and other specialized breeds)  Generally, your standard rainbow trout, found in Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Costa Rica, all over the U.S and many other places, came from the McCloud. The stretch I got to fish is called the Bollibokka Fly Fishing Club. It was once owned by the Hills Bros(the coffee guys) and originally was a hunting camp for chasing mountain lions before it became an angling camp. It is situated right above Shasta Lake, not a true lake, but in fact a large dammed reservoir. I’ve fished all over the west, and this stretch is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

This area has recently been the source for quite a bit of controversy.  The property was purchased by Westlands Water District, a private water company based in the central valley connected to large scale agri-business. The intent of the purchase was to allow them to raise the height of Shasta dam and flood the lower part of this stretch of river for increased water storage. Apparently there were offers from the Nature Conservancy, but Westlands outbid them and added 5 million over the Hills’ family’s original asking price. Further adding to the conflict, the lower stretch that will potentially be flooded has Native American Wintu burial grounds.

The whole time I was fishing and exploring Bollibokka felt like a sad, beautiful dream. Like I was looking back at once was. Seeing an old friend in their golden years, one I hadn’t seen in a long time and one that didn’t have much time left.

Besides the property caretaker(an old rancher type fellow who rode his horse around the property and made sure trespassing was kept at a minimum) the primary residents were a pack of deer. A very LARGE pack of deer. At night there would be dozens of them on the back lawn. 3 or 4 does with fawns, a few young bucks and even a few with impressive racks. I also saw up on the hill, another large set of eyes watching the deer. I can see why people came here for mountain lions, I know there’s still a few left.

A little someone peeking from behind the bushes…

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The other side of the bushes..

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Momma took the little one to some new digs

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Another family

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Some shots from the back deck

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I’ll be visiting my family for the next few weeks. In one of the evenings I’ll take some time to continue to share the trip. Until then, Happy holidays everyone!

-Dan