Veterans Enjoy a Great Time on the Lower Sacramento River

By Dan Johnson & Brian Miller

Lower Sac Outing, April 11-14, 2022

The PHWFF Martinez program continued its 2022 reopening with a fourth outing in four months!  In mid-April four veterans (Al Tom, Martin Coulson, Gus Ballis, Dan Johnson) traveled to Redding for two days of fishing on the Lower Sacramento River.  We stayed at an excellent VRBO rental in Redding, and were treated to some epicurean Chinese dinners prepared by Al Tom.

On the first fishing day we rendezvoused with our guides, Luke Geraty and Ben Thompson, near Kutras Park just above the Cypress Street Bridge.  Luke guided Al & Dan while Gus & Martin fished with Ben.  The weather was pleasant while Al & Dan hooked 25 fish and landed 20, with the largest at 20”.  Gus & Martin matched them with many nice fish.  We had a scenic trip down the river and took the boats out at Anderson Park.

The next day was overcast and very windy.  We met our guides at Jelly’s Ferry, and they drove us back up to Bend Bridge, where we launched our boats. The south wind was very strong and required a significant effort by our guides to row and overcome the wind. Al & Dan fished with Ben, and hooked 33 fish and landed 25, the largest at 18*.  Gus & Martin, fishing with Luke were equally successful and even caught fish on dry flies.  Takeout was at Jelly’s Ferry near Red Bluff.

The guides worked hard to put us over fish, and we all had a great time.  The scenery and the companionship were very therapeutic, and we made new friends while on the water and during the evening after we returned to our lodging.

“Another great trip fishing with other vets.  Telling stories about our experiences, knocking down a few after great fishing days, and eating excellent food.  Great times!

Threatening skies didn’t stop an excellent 2 day Lower Sac drift trip … nymphing and dry fly fishing with lots of super strong 20” rainbows.  Great company, lots of laughs, and great food!”

“Making new friends and trading life stories.  Fulfilling time spent on the water with other vets – always therapeutic!”

“Great trip … great VRBO … great guides … great friends … thanks for healing us!”

(PHWFF Martinez Veterans)

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