August Coming to a Close

IMG_7060 sunrise at Almanor cropped

Spent last week at Lake Almanor. The fishing was rough, but there was some promise.

My friend Bob Smallman and I searched for fish at Almanor without success. We did find some fish on our fishfinder, but only one hit during the entire effort and we didn’t hook him.

IMG_7001 New P-Boat

Here’s Rob with the new boat at it sat behind the Bass Pro store in San Jose.

I’ve recently invested in a pair of downriggers, so now I need to learn how to operate them. Looks like YouTube time. Linda and I cruised the lake in our new boat – quite fun, but it is definitely a lot of work managing it and getting it ready for action.

IMG_7071 Linda cruising Almanor

Linda enjoyed the comfort of the boat which can seat eight people.

While at Almanor, Rob was in Alaska fishing for Coho salmon. I’m sure he’ll have some photos that he’ll share.

My neighbor at Almanor drew a X6A archery deer tag and came home with a whopper.

Tomorrow I’m meeting with my doctor and I hope I’ll come home with a good  understanding of what to expect with my ankle as it continues to heal. Right now I’m walking fine, but not setting any land speed records. His input will help me plan my deer hunting. The Open-Zone tag will play a big role in my hunt as the extra weeks before the seasons close should allow me to hunt in a near-normal fashion.

If all goes as planned, on Tuesday we’ll be heading back to Almanor. I know where some fish live. Now I need to find out how to get to them.

In the meantime I spent a couple hours today messing with decoys as duck season is approaching. Here are a few of the birds in the project.

Yesterday I cleaned out the freezer and smoked the salmon remaining from last season.


These were Silvers from last September’s trip to AK. Still in very good shape.

That’s about it for August, unless I get into some fish this week. Most of the Labor Day Weekend will be occupied by watching the grandkids as they explore the outdoors around the lake.

Nice to be on my feet again.

Emilee’s First Buck

For many years running, the Holm family has donated a hunt to the Livermore-Pleasanton Chapter of MDF. And, for the second time, the Selna Family from Tracy has purchased the hunt and taken a “first” buck.

Here’s the story of Emilee’s first buck hunt as told by Bob Holm, who manages the Holm Ranch for his family.

For those who missed the fun Sat. when the MDF Jr hunt took place, we were successful again!!  Emilee, a 12 year old first time hunter,  finally scored after several close encounters.  About 3:00 P.M., after a good spot by my son, Bryan, we made our move on another buck.  After an hour-long stock we closed the distance to 150 yards.  Couldn’t possibly get closer as the grass we were belly crawling through wouldn’t cover a short rattlesnake.  As Em maneuvered into the prone position for the shot, the wile buck began to sence something was rotten in Denmark!!!  Even though the wind was in our favor apparently this animal was crafty enough to detect the six humans bearing down on him from above with ill intent.  His burst for cover and safety, a mere 20 feet, was cut short by double lung heart shot by “one shot Em”!!!
After much celebrating we moved into the less fun part of the hunt.  Turns out our shooter was not a huge fan of deer blood, but somehow seemed to have blood all over her before we were done and headed for the ranch!!!!!!  She got into the skinning and caping process with less fear of blood and was actually a help.
This girl is a trooper!  We side-hilled thru the wild oats in 95 degree weather for several miles with no whining and no quitting.  We hunted from 6:30 to 4:30 with time out for lunch.  I’m afraid her dad is in for lots more hunts for her…. she has the bug!!!

 Thank you guys for the help.  My reward is seeing Emilee and her Dad have that much fun!  Bob

Emilee crawled within close range of her buck.

Here are a couple more photos provided by Emilee’s father, Greg Selna.

Bob and family have a 100% record on this annual buck hunt.

Greg Selna has been a consistant MDF supporter and volunteered at the Purple Heart Outdoors Event a couple weeks ago.

Getting Kids Outdoors

Got this email from Sara Wilson, a lady who I’ve never met, but I think her program deserves attention. Here’s her self-described program and contact info. The Outdoors is good for kids.
Hi again Rich

I sent you a couple of emails over the past few weeks and I wanted to try one last time. As a lover of the great outdoors, I thought this would be an issue that you and the readers of Rich Fletcher’s Blog would care about. The Fresh Air Fund is in need of host families for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and home to a child from the city to give them a Fresh Air experience that can change lives. If you could help to get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family for an experience that can change their life.

I’ve put together a social media news release, so please feel free to use any of the images, graphics, banners, or copy:

We also recently received a tremendous offer by a very generous donor who has pledged to match any gift given dollar-for-dollar during the month of June and today is the last day. I was hoping you could help by posting a mention, tweet, or by putting up one of our banners on your site. Please let me know if you are able to help and if you have any questions.
Sara Wilson,
Twitter @freshairfund

Thank you so much,


Turkey Season ends on Low Note, but First Hunt Still a Success

When I invited my young cousins to come turkey hunting, I knew it might be slim pickens. However, being their first hunt of any kind, I figured it would be worthwhile training.

A couple of weeks ago, I retook the hunter safety course along with my cousins, Orion and Max, 13 and 15 respectively. I was a little surprised that they were willing to invest the time – being urban youths from Berkeley, a concrete and asphalt town where skateboarding is king.

I was pleasantly surprised that they took a liking to the curriculum. The course was all about the right stuff and the boys ate it up. A follow-up turkey hunt was in order. I don’t know if it was what they expected or if they had any idea of what to expect, but we prepared by patterning the shotguns and making sure they could kill a turkey if the opportunity arose.

The hunt fell flat. We didn’t hear a single gobble or see a turkey or turkey track for that matter, but we gave it our all. Along the way we did see a few rattlers and other wildlife. The boys managed to catch a few bluebellies and knock off a couple ground squirrels with the .22. We had one of them for dinner – not too bad.

On Saturday afternoon we visited the site of a known rattlesnake den. Sure enough this is what we found – a Pacific rattlesnake. Earlier in the say we found a very young rattler. Notice the difference in appearance.

Young Pacific Rattlesnakes have diamonds like a diamondback rattlesnake

The boys shot plenty of clays with shotgun, .22 rifle and even my .22 revolver. I think they had a pretty good weekend. But, it was hard to tell on Sunday afternoon as they slept in my car in route home. After getting up at 4:30 AM, we were all pooped out including myself.

Turned out Orion was left eye dominant. He switched to left handed and shot well.

Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend a Success


Taylor McGannon with a nice gobbler.

Last weekend was the youth turkey hunt weekend. The weather was perfect and the birds were active. John McGannon purchased a turkey hunt at the San Jose MDF banquet and this was the perfect time to use his opportunity. His sons, Ryan and Taylor, had their chances and Taylor connected. Here’s his account of the event.

More Youth Hunt Photos

Here are some shots of the recent youth hunt. These were taken by Ron Spradlin.


Darron Solero, CWA Regional Director, set up the hunt and cooked the prehunt wild game feed of mallard and honker breasts. His son, Hunter, came along for the trip.

ron-and-robbie-around-the-fire-croppedRon and Robbie around the camp fire.

in-the-cattails-readyRobbie at the ready.

robbie-in-pond-moving-positions-croppedRich in the distance, Rob and Robbie on the move.

robbies-first-duckFirst duck, a hen pintail.

lola-hands-over-greenhead-croppedLola does the job on a greenhead.

robbie-with-greenhead-readyFirst drake mallard.

ron-and-robbie-at-the-hunts-endRon and Robbie at the end of the hunt.

robbie-with-ducks-geeseRobbie with his birds.