Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Barbless Podcast

Hey everyone I did an episode of the Barbless Podcast this last week and the boys put it up this week. I talk striper fishing, Yuba River fishing, the history of stripers in Northern California, and of course Cast Hope. You can download it at all the normal podcast via the link below, I tunes store, and where ever you get amazing podcasts....AND while you are there listen to all the episodes of the barbless podcast Nick and Chad have had some great guests and are putting together a great podcast full of good fishing content from Northern California and beyond. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, sports, music...all the stuff any self respecting person files under "interests"

So every time I think Fall is here it goes back to apocalyptic temperatures here in Chico, CA. That said the days are getting shorter and the mornings and evenings are cooling down a bit. The heat comes and goes but in reality it is only really hot for a few hours a day if that. I have been on the water a bit fishing on my own and guiding, but really getting ready for the Cast Hope Big Night Out and working on Royal Oaks stuff has taken up most of my free time.

Lower Sac Striper Fishing – I have been getting out to fish on my own in the afternoons a bit and running into plenty of fish. Been getting some really nice 10-15lbs fish that were absent most of the summer from the bags we were catching. As always good numbers of 3-5lb fish and a few trophies that have followed my fly to the boat. Guiding wise I have had good fishing that really mirrors my own recreational fishing as well. I will be guiding striper through October and into November as long as the river holds. September/October are usually really good months to be on the water as we catch some of our biggest fish of the year out there as the big fish start putting on the feed bags for the winter.

Awesome when someones 
Lower Yuba and Feather – I know my buddies are CRUSHING salmon at the outlet area on the feather putting limits in the boat daily. So salmon returns on the feather should be good this year. I got out this week with Captain Darrin Deel to fill the fish box myself and watch the chaos from the comfort of a jet boat. At $25 a pound for wild salmon I have no problem mixing it up at the outlet for a few hours to put some meat in the fridge. If you are looking to get some fresh BBQ quality salmon for the grill, smoker, or other preferred methods of preparation give him a call.
forage from the garden...
Key to the fish market...
the result...
I saw on social media a few chico locals are going out swinging some flies up in the low flow for early steelhead which can be fun this time of year but be ware of hooking into or snagging a king. I usually am not a fan as loosing a bunch of flies on kings sucks…

I haven’t heard anything on the Lower Yuba. I know it has dropped an is down to about 1000cfs which is a great flow for wade fishing and fishing from the drift boat….at least it use to be. Usually the last two weeks of September see the egg drop on the Lower Yuba (first in the valley usually) but that has gotten later every year and I am sure will be later even this year. I wouldn’t hesitate to throw some beads and fall caddis (usually black or really dark pupa) this time of year.

Open Dates for this Fall/Winter –
Oct 21, 28
Nov 22
Dec 2, 9, 19, 21, 22, 27-30
Jan 2-6, 13, 15, 20, 27
Feb 3, 10, 12, 17, 19

Sports News…Well the Irish don’t look to bad. A STRONG showing against temple and a 1 pt loss late in the came to SEC Georgia. I won’t like the Georgia loss was gut wrenching as I really think we could of won the game if we could of hung on to the ball better. I can’t forget though that this year is a total rebuild coming off a 4 win season last year. All new coordinators…and for the most part a whole new coaching staff outside Kelly…and a new QB. That said Georgia would of blown us off the field last year and we had a chance to win the game this year with 2 minutes left so improvement is improvement.

Music News – I bought the new War on Drugs album A Deeper Understanding and I am all in on this band. I have yet to buy the first album that really got them going Lost in the Dream but I will ounce I have A Deeper… fully digested. The sound is pretty polished indie rock style with just really amazing recordings and songwriting musically. The instrumentation and writing is really good. Super layered with AMAZING guitar sounds. Each song has its own sound but enough in common to be a cohesive album and band sound.

This weekend my wife got us tickets to see Jason Isbell and Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls at the Fox Theater…I won’t lie I am really really excited and will most likely spend a small fortune at the merch booth for both bands!!!!

Royal Oaks News – aka the band I play in…. We will be playing coming up in Nevada City at Coopers Ale House with our good buddy Chuck Ragan and the Sex Hogs II on Sept 22 and in Reno at Pignic Pub and Patio on Sept 23 with the Sex Hogs again and Western Spectres so if you are in the area come on out and get a free coozie and pin by mentioning the blog or don’t I’ll probably just give you one anyway as we have tons…. ALSO Just got back our Masters tracks from fellow fly fisher with a day job as a Mastering Machine Shawn Hatfield at Audible Oddities and they are GOOD…should have them up on bandcamp and then all the digital music purchasing venues as well as some compact discs for guys like me…no vinyl as that would take up my childrens college fund and lets be honest outside of my mom and like ten friends the other 1000copies would just sit in my garage.

Come one, come all!!!!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reports, Music, College Football...the good stuff.

There seems to have finally been a respite from the triple digits in Chico, CA. Amazing how low to mid 90s feels after straight weeks of triple digits. Low 60s in the morning is down right COLD. Overall it has been a busy last month or so and fishing has been as good as I thought it would this striper season. Fall is coming though as I was on the river yesterday and it is really obvious the angle of the sun is changing late in the day and the sun is going down earlier.

Lower Sacramento Striper Report: Fishing has been good to great depending on the day and conditions. We have been getting good numbers of 3-4lb fish and on most days finding some bigger and even trophy fish. Fall (Sept-Ocotber) is a great time to be on the water as the bigger fish get pushed to the banks by salmon anglers and salmon and we get some sight fishing shots at some true giants. With good flows and plenty of water the back waters should have fish moving around very soon. On most days fishing heavy sink lines in the morning and switching up to Intm. Lines by lunch is the best program. While I am pretty much booked up for the rest of the season I have two other captains that have open dates if anyone is looking to get out.

Fall/Fishing: This fall I will spending most of my time striper fishing but by late fall I will be focusing on the Lower Yuba, Lower Sac, and Feather depending what is fishing the best. My preference is to spend Late fall and winter on Lower Yuba River as I really love fishing and guiding over there in the late fall and winter. Winter is quickly becoming my favorite season the Lower Yuba. There are hatches, nymphing, and options to swing flies on most days. Fall and Winter will book up soon so if you would like to get out here are my open dates.

Nov 4, 22
Dec 2, 9, 18, 19, 21, 22, 27-30
Jan 2-6, 13, 15, 20, 27
Feb 3, 10, 12, 19, 17,

Other News…

The Inaugural Yuba Jubilee is in the books and I must say that John Baiocchi ( , Lance Gray ( , and Lincoln Gray ( did a great job organizing and putting the event on. Next years event is already scheduled for August 4th 2018 so put it on the books if you missed this years.

Music News…Lots of good new records. I have been listening to the new Manchester Orchestra album “A Black Mile to the Surface” – It is by far the best Manchester album I think in a while. I like Simple Math and Cope but this one is better. Also been listening to the new Jason Isbell album “Nashville Sound” – To be honest I am a total Isbell homer/fan, I think this album is great but I haven’t personally connected with like I did Something More than Free. I also bought Jets to Brazil first album “Orange Ryhming Dictionary” on Itunes as I had my CD copy stole a long time ago…I forgot how good that band was. If you don’t know it is the band that the singer of Jawbreaker formed after Jawbreaker broke up.

My band Royal Oak has some shows coming up as well. We will be playing sept 2 wtih Shamans Harvest in Chico and Sept 22 with Chuck Ragan in Nevada City.

College Football – we are nearly 2 weeks from the Kick Off of Notre Dame football and a week I think from the kick off. I LOVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL so I am pretty pumped…been reading all sorts of preview and such and I am pumped. Notre Dame should improve on their 4win season and in reality I am optimistic…I just want improvement. I think 9 wins would be Amazing but as a realist I think 6-7 is probably more realistic.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer So Far...

Well so far it has been a busy summer…lots of guiding, some fishing, river time with the kids, a vacation, travel for work…more guiding. Seems summer like winter is going to be and extreme one as it feels like we are having more triple digit days then any summer I can remember. That said with all the water fishing is great most places and there are even a few that are just coming into shape. Here are some reports and what I have been up to.

Lower Sacramento Striper fishing – Lets be honest this is what I do 6 days a week most weeks in the summer. I love striper fishing and this is my main fishery May-October. Fishing so far has been really good. Good numbers of fish and the average size fish this year seems to be a bit bigger on average and we are just starting to see some of the bigger fish get active as the shad have thinned out and the salmon and salmon boats are pushing the bigger fish to the banks. The rest of July through September may be some of the best fishing we have seen in years as fish are pushed to the banks due to what is forecasted to be a big salmon run and that usually brings lots of salmon boats…which can be an inconvenience but it does push fish to the banks and even on some years to the big back waters and slough providing great sight fishing opportunities.

First Striper EVER on a fly
Average Size fish this year ... pretty good. 

One of my favorite ways to shoot a pic of a striper

Lower Yuba River – Got a few days in on the Lower Yuba River guiding and then fishing on my own. Fishing is good for small fish…most of the fish are in 10-12” bracket with a few 16” fish around but most fish are very small which is not a bad thing for the future of the river. It is by all means a new river as close to 80-90% of the river is very new and different. Overall it is really cool all the changes are really interesting an provide some cool new water. Most of the fish I have caught have come on nymphs – small mayfly nymphs and rubber legs – and Dry Dropper rigs with chubby chernobyl  and a red copper john dropper. Flows contine to drop and are down to below 3K for the first time this year that I can remember. I imagine that flows will be pretty stable into the fall and hopefully we get the rain this fall to keep the river up above 1500cfs for the salmon and steelhead – never to see the river down around 700cfs again while the salmon are trying to swim up river and spawn.

Nice healthy summer Yuba River Rainbow.

A FEW OPEN DATES LEFT for the season before fall fishing starts…
August 3
Sept 2, 4, 23

Fishing – I rarely get to just go fishing as if I have the time off I usually take the family and my boys out on the river. We have been chasing bluegills and bass so far with the fly rods but will switch over to bait casters and spinning rods soon for stripers – shooting head and a 9wt are bit much for a 7 and 9 year old. Obviously river trips are also full of rock throwing and swimming.

Oliver corked up on a nice smallie
Nice Sac Smallie

Beck getting a Largemouth all on is own

KICK PLASTIC – I was very fortunate and honored to be part of the introduction of the Kick Plastic campaign at this years ICAST show (big fishing show for all dealers around the world) in Orlando Florida. The Kick Plastic campaign is a partnership between Cost Sunglasses, Yeti, and Klean Kanteen working to eliminate single use plastic in all of fishing, guiding, and outfitting. They are providing the tools and programs for all guides, outfitters, and lodges to do so and I served on a panel this year to introduce it and talk about how I have worked to eliminate single use plastic in my own guiding and life. It was a true honor and something I am very proud to be part of. All are such great companies and the program goes beyond company loyalty, profits, and money. Check it out here at this website and it is very easy to eliminate plastic water bottles and single use plastics in our lives and every little bit helps.

Check out the MOVIE below to learn more about the Kick Plastic Campaign aw well

Big League.

Klean Kanteen - amazing and determined company

about 150 people showed up...pretty cool

The Drake Movie Awards - Always one of the funnest parts of ICAST 
One of the best part of ICAST is seeing Old Friends...the legend KP

New Rock Music – Been listening to a ton of new music…driving to the river every day does this. My buddy pro bass angler Chris Hart turned me on to Corb Lund and if you are a fan of Sturgill Simpson and outlaw country this guys is a must. Also been listening to the new Jason Isbell and my wife eve surprised me with tickets for the Oakland show in September…AWESOME! Album is really cool…not sure it is as good as something more then free but it is damn close. Also listening to the new Rise Against album Wolves which is pretty straight ahead old school Rise Against. Strong album as always, they just keep cranking out solid albums.

Sports Report – The giants are the 2nd to worst team in all of baseball – second to the Phillies. The bottom line is I keep watching, not as diligently as other season but I keep watching as I feel I have to. It is almost paying for the last 6-7 seasons of amazing baseball…almost like paying for all those World Series titles and amazing wins. I will not let myself the guy who stops watching and turns my back when his team goes south…didn’t do it to Notre Dame last season won’t do it to the Giants either. Tough year for me as a Notre Dame and Giants fan.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I will be heading out to the annual American Fly Fishing Trade Association and ICASTFly and Tackle Retailer Show next week in Orlando to speak on a panel about getting rid of single use plastic in the fishing industry and guiding industry. This will the role out of the #kickplastic campaign where Costa Sunglasses Klean Kanteen YETI will all be working together to achieve this goal through offering "Guide Packages" to guides to help them eliminate single use plastic water bottles. If any of my fly fishing people are going to be out there swing by and check it out. Also for those of you that are not going to make stay tuned for the role out of the program as I will be sharing it here SOON!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Heat wave 2017 or the coming of the apocalypse....

Well 3 weeks into June we have seen rain, snow, scorching hot, and freezing cold...Presently we are in the middle of one of the longest heat spells I can remember. Personally I toughed it out a few days then pulled up the Brown family compound and headed to the cool confines of Santa Cruz, CA for a good 8 days where the high barely hits 75 while the rest of Chico, CA melts under sympathy for my fellow city of trees comrades.

I have had a few cancelations this last week and have had a few dates open up July that are during PRIME Striper time. Anyone interested in getting out shoot me a text, phone call, or email.

July 2, 3, 22, 24, 25, 26
August 26
Sept 2, 23

Lower Sac Striper Fishing ....Fishing though has been good. I have put in a few 6 day weeks on the Lower Sac Striper fishing and fishing has been good. Some days are better then others but good numbers and good size of schoolie fish in the 4-8lb range and a few fish over 10lbs...the last part of the week we had our first trophy fish chase flies and follow hooked fish in which means the bigger boys and girls are running out of Shad to eat and moving into their traditional summer feeding haunts. With this heat the weed growth should get going in a major way and the food chain should respond in force, pulling fish along new weed beds and growth to feed on the bait that is attracted to the insects in weeds. So far weed growth has been pretty sparse but there are some starting to pop up so knowing where the early submerged weeds are will be key.

Clarity has been an issues as banks have caved in along various bends adding color to the river a few miles down river and knowing where these banks are and where the color is has been critical. Though the clarity is not something that can't be overcome by switching flies and going with more "off color" water patterns.

Obligatory Blog Post fish pictures....

The Lower Yuba River has been coming in and out of shape based on the heat and snow melt. I have talked to a few friends who have wade fished the river and caught some smaller fish on dry dropper rigs and swinging flies. I think I am going to try to float the river in the next few weeks. Usually around 3500cfs is a good flow to float the river after a high spell and pound the banks with dry dropper rigs. Some of the best dry fly fishing I have ever had on the Yuba have been on years where the waters are high into late June and finally get fishable late June/early July.

Sports Report...Giants are worst team in baseball horrible. Which I am fine with to be honest. I am blown away that the same line up that was decent last year making a strong play off run is this bad though. What the hell happened?...All that said I am a realist, prior to the first World Series win all I asked for was one World Series win in my life time and then they rattled off 3...In reality I just ask for .500% baseball and maybe some meaningful games in September. I am a devoted and continue to watch most games to some degree though many times they are hard to watch and really just not entertaining. Watching shitty baseball and utter failure over and over and over is not that fun or entertaining to watch. One postive about this season though is as turn off the giants game, some times in the first or second inning, I turn on other I have been watching a lot of other baseball which is fun. Watching young players from other teams and divisions and watching some pretty damn good baseball from teams that traditionally don't play well...If you love the game it is fun to watch it played well, even if it isnt your team.

Music News...the new Jason Isbell album is really good...still digesting it but so far it is a classic Isbell album about life, lose, good, bad, up, down, and all that stuff in between. I also have been listening to Arliss Nancy A TON...their latest two albums are amazing. They are one of those bands I listen to and hear the music I want to make. In other news Royal Oaks, my own band, is nearly finished with their first album. I have one more verse to record vocals for but the other 9 songs are in the midst of being mixed so SOON it will be available and we will also get out on the road and play some shows.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hot Water Music - Never Going Back (Official Lyric Video)

New record coming out from one of my dear friends band in September. Check out the new lyric video from Hot Water Musics new album "Light it Up"