Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bollibokka - McCloud River Fly Fishing at its Best

This place has one word that sums it up, Camaraderie.  Whereas this is one of California's finest private wild trout fly fishing rivers, its not all about the fishing at this destination, the experience encompasses much more than that.  I was fortunate enough to be a guest of Brad Craven and Kevin Long from Superior Almond Hulling; having family that farms helped to gain me access to this precious piece of water and for all them, I am greatful.  Bollibokka has been a private fly fishing club since 1904, there is more history and heritage in its 7 miles of private waters and turn of the century buildings than any other lodge I've yet to visit.
The Club House pictured above was built in the  post WWI era, complete with river rock chimney and wrap around porch, it emblematic of an era when socialites from the bay area told stories of their day's successful mountain lion hunt over 3 fingers of of 16-year Lagavulin.
 The picture immediately above captures the spirit of Bollibokka.  Its about making friends and memories, drinking homemade wine and falling down after too much Scotch.
 Critters of the night abound, the picture above is a piece loving California King snake which slid between my legs...much less harmful than the timber rattler we ran across only an hour before.
 Above was one of three resident juvenile owls perched over our patio in an oak, eyeing our Scotch all night.
Above, Dj making some perfect presentations on a quintessential McCloud River "Plunge Pool".
 An average McCloud River Rainbow, perhaps the most beautiful and widely exported trout in the world.  They've made their way as far as New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Australia and Europe.  To think, in November of next year, I'll be fishing for this exact same strain of trout in Lago Strobel, aka, Jurassic Lake in Argentina's Patagonia region...only the average fish won't be 10", it will be 10lbs!!
 Small mouth bass are in the lower reaches of the property and provide for great angling.
 Tri Tip: scientifically proven to be the best BBQ steak in the world...its science.
 An interior shot of the club house.  You get the feeling, vintage 1940's piano to the right, Marting D-28V acoustic guitar in the center, Portuguese homemade wine to the left...any questions?
 The 3,000 acre property and 7-miles of private river is accessed by a very well built trail system, but even still, its rugged and brushy and it will kick your ass, so leave the waders behind.  At 1,200 feet in elevation and up to 100 degrees, you'll save yourself a trip to the hospital.
 Above, one of many red bellied newts in the soft, slack waters of the McCloud.
 A panoramic view from the river looking back towards the lodge.  2 acres of lush, green grass often times crowded with black tail deer.
 The dinning room located inside of the circa 1860's era "log cabin", you just have to eat here once to understand.  No electricity, just propane fixtures and a wood stove.
 Everything but this kitchen ran w/o electricity, just propane, but never fear, the kitchen has a propane generator for your coffee, plus everything, and i mean everything a chef could ask for.
 Entrance to the "log cabin".
 The wrap around porch of the clubhouse was purpose-built for telling stories and smoking cigars.
This monster 150-ft ponderosa is a Bollibokka landmark, robed in a wisteria vine of a similar age that reache its pinnacles.  One day, the wisteria will kill the ponderosa pine.
This is the patio of the "Rock House", the house was recently remodeled and therefore the only building that is modern on the inside, but its allure isn't its creature comforts, its the deck overhanging the McCloud River.  This place is special, and words just can't fully capture that.  Contact The Fly Shop if you want to book the place.


Flyfisherman. Richard. said...

Some great pictures, nice piece.

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