Fishing the LA River

No, it’s not a typo.  Yes, there are fish in the LA “river”.  And, no, we didn’t catch any…but it was an adventure.

We walked through a park and right into the river ‘area’ which is surrounded by fence, concrete and barb wire…very inviting.

I told you there was a lot of concrete…we stopped to scout out a good place to start our trials.

Joel’s thought bubble…”Huh…there are actually things growing, plants, algae, a lot of birds…worth a shot!”

Then a truck came driving down the river and pulled up next to us.  A guy got out as we were putting our rods together…looked at us for a few seconds and then said…

“You’re not going to eat anything you catch…right…?  My company maintains the waterway…and if you saw the stuff we pull out of here…yeah…don’t eat anything you catch.”

We all respond quickly that we weren’t planning on bringing anything home with us, let alone eating it.  He chuckles and tells us that whenever they see people fishing, they make sure that they’re not planning on putting their catch on the family dinner table.  I then, get slightly nervous and decide it’s a good idea to ask about standing in the river…as in…Will I be breaking out in a rash of unknown origin if I spend more than 22.5 minutes in the water?…or am I relatively safe for a few hours in chacos as long as I have no open wounds?…or should I potentially have my doctor on speed-dial for the next 48 hours?  The guy comforts us by informing us that it’s fine to stand in it all day…his guys do it all day, every day and their fine.  So…no worries.  We’ll see about that.  I have a knack for bringing out unknown and rare reactions, coming down with strange afflictions that no one under the age of 60 gets (especially not a 12 year-old…shingles…I’m talking about you here), and injuring myself doing things that most people could manage safely in their sleep.  I’m sure I’ll be fine!?!

The diverse species and sheer number of birds was quite shocking.  Egrets, herons, various shore birds that have been brainwashed to think that this is a “shore”, mallards, seagulls, pigeons and a couple other types of ducks.

Woody had one of our fly rods, and the rest of us used spinner rods…no one had much luck.  In the pic below…Woody is casting to a small school of bait fish…small guys hanging out in the shallows, who went a little nutty for the powerbait on Jon’s line…but apparently had no interest in Woody’s fly.

And then a flip-flop floated by.

How peaceful and serene.  I know you’re jealous.  If you know the freeways of LA…the overpass in the picture is the 134 just before the 5.

Woody and I had spotted some large carp…euphemistically called California Golden Bonefish when caught in the LA river and were hoping their might be some holed up in this faster and slightly deep run…no luck.  It was the heat of the day…basically the worst time of day to fish…that’s my excuse.

Does this not look like a zoo set-up?  Somehow, it kept feeling like we were in an exhibit…maybe it was all the concrete contrasted with lush, healthy and varied vegetation.

We stopped by the hole where we had seen the carp earlier in the morning…and nothing…we got skunked (in more than one way) by the LA river.

Here’s Jon fishing, not a stone’s throw away from L.A.’s ABC Channel 7 studios.  Whilst fishing we took in the sounds of nature…a street race, semi-truck engine breaks, police sirens, the buzz of power lines, ambulance sirens, cars honking, the roar of the freeway and the shorebirds yelling at us…as I think we may have been intruding on some breeding grounds.

Ahhhhhh, LA.  I only washed my hands 8 times before feeling okay and again…and Woody made me hose off my feet, legs and chacos outside before entering the house.  Again…I’m sure we’ll both be fine.

(please be true!)

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2 thoughts on “Fishing the LA River

  1. I noticed that flip flop floating by. Did the rest of the body follow it at any point? You never know in the LA River…

    • We count ourselves lucky for not seeing anything floating down the river that would have required a phone call to the local police station. So…no body!

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