Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Not much fishing but stuff to fill a bit of down time while staring at your computer or phone.

I am not going to dress it up…there isn’t a lot going on fishing wise. The Sac, Feather, and Yuba are ripping and flooding in some areas with the latest rain and there is more rain to come…. Personally, I haven’t been out on the water in over a month. Some of my buddies and fellow guides have been getting some days in on the Coast steelhead fishing between storms, some have gotten a few days here and there on the Trinity, and there has been some windows to get out spotted bass fishing on Lake Oroville but I haven’t done any of those…….So what have I been doing well…tying flies, playing music, hanging out with family, working on cast hope stuff, making sour dough bread from scratch…indoor activities.

Nice Oroville spot caught with Ryan Williams

Nice Oroville spot with Guide Ryan Williams out on a Cast Hope Trip

So, I have been tying a TON of flies…my boxes are bulging at the seams to the degree I am going to be selling some flies at upcoming events (see events below) and via my blog here shortly. I have been mainly tying striper flies and spring steelhead/trout nymphs and swinging flies. PMD’s, march browns, and yuba/feather swinging flies mainly for trout and steelhead with piles of striper flies to stick in stumps all summer…With striper flies I am working on various styles of Ryan Williams bait fish adding rattles and working on making rattle flies track right with adding weight and such…super nerdy stuff that I only have time for cause I am not guiding or fishing. Good fun though…

Filling Striper boxes...I'll have some left over to sell I am sure.

Couple Spring "Swing" flies

Lots of PMD's, March Browns, and Caddis .... and some streamers

Royal Oaks (my rock and roll outfit) has been working on our first full length and have 10 songs about 90% finished…need to re-do some vocals, add some over dubs, and then see where we are at. It has been really fun working with Chris Keene at Cutter Cathedral in Chico and putting our songs down on tape so to say. In the end music is a total hobby and we jokingly refer to ourselves as the “dad band” or “dad rock” but we do take it seriously and write music about mostly serious topics…mostly.
spread of the session 1 and 2 laying down drums and bass at Oragami studio

The multi instrumentalist Brett Renlund tickling the Ivory

I have pedal addiction...

It is a busy time of year for my boys as Beckett is starting spring soccer and both Oliver and Beckett are starting baseball…Beckett had his first soccer practice this last week in-between storms and his team is pretty legit this year. He really likes soccer and is “left footed” which I guess in the soccer world is a big deal. His coach this year is a “legit” soccer coach and not just a dad helping out which I think is going to be really good for him sense I know NOTHING about soccer except the goal is to kick the ball in the other teams goal. On the baseball front we have been playing catch in the colde’sac and trying not to break any of the windows of our neighbors cars or create large enough dents in them that dad has to “leave a note” or go knock on the door.

My kids have also gotten into riding their bikes at the local City of Chico “pump track”…It is a really cool facility that the City of Chico with AMain Hobbies built. There is a smaller track and a bigger track for all ages.  I took the boys out there a few times and stood around in the freezing cold and watched but there was a bunch of guys my age out there with bikes riding around with their kids so….I bought a “pump track bike”… I grew up racing BMX so it is not a huge step outside the box but I haven’t raced sense I was 15 or 16 years old and lets be honest at 37 I may of lost some of my BMX skills…that said my goal is to not have my tires leave the ground and just cruise around following my kids, not freezing sitting watching.

Death Trap...

Cast Hope wise I have been rounding up auction items for the Fly Fishing Show After Party and working on planning that event and a few other Big Events we have coming up this year…as these events grow they really require year round work, preparing, planning, and organizing. The After Party on Feb 25th is ounce again after the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton at Handles Gastron Pub in Old Town Pleasanton. 855 Main St. Pleasanton from 5-8:30pm. Tickets are $20 and include all the beer you can drink and Sliders and Wings. We will have a FULL Raffle (usually our best of the year) and a silent auction that is as good as any we host. Many of the auction items are already up on our website to bid on - http://www.casthope.org/events/auctions - There are trips to AK, Guided Trips, Rods, and Warrior Tickets up NOW to bid on.
come one come all!!!!

My other new “hobby” is making sour dough bread from scratch…My buddy and drummer in Royal Oaks got me into by bringing fresh baked sourdough to Christmas dinner this year. So he gave me a mason jar of his “starter” and I am all in…Make the dough letting it rise then needing it and letting rise more and baking it. I have been starting 2 loafs most afternoons/early evenings and then needing them when I get home from school the next day then letting them rise until about 6pm and then putting them in the dutch oven and having fresh bread for a late dinner snack or giving them away to friends. So far I have just white sourdough loafs down, I tried a whole wheat sour dough and a white cinnamon raisin loaf…all amazing. I am taking a break though for a week or so to work off some of the carbs and clean the flour from all the nooks and crannies in my kitchen…

my first loaf...little burned but nothing a bit of butter can't solve
This weekends batch...getting better.

Upcoming Events

The Yuba Jubilee is coming up February 18th, 2017 from 1-4pm at Hammon Grove on the Yuba River. The Jubilee will showcase guides, clubs, fly shops, environmental groups, and state agencies that all working hard to protect the wild populations of salmon, steelhead, and trout making the Lower Yuba River the best it can be. I will be there with my good buddy and fellow guide Chuck Ragan (http://crflyfishing.com.com) working the “Hogan Brown Fly Fishing” and “Cast Hope” booths. I will have free stickers and some schwag at both booths as well as some hand tied flies at my guide both for sale. I can’t think of the last time I have tied flies for sale so this is a special opportunity to get some of my patterns that are not in production as well as some that are. All reasonably priced…normal fly prices.

The Fly Fishing Show Feb 25th – I will be at the Cast Hope booth and if I have any flies left over I will have a few to sell or trade for various cool stuff…bobble heads, baked good, burned CDS of moderate passed rock music, Americana, aka music I may like as…I will also be helping with the After Part mentioned above.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yuba River Jubilee Feb 18, 2017

Yuba River Jubilee
Feb 18, 2017

At Hammond Grove Park on the Lower Yuba River from 1pm - 4pm

I wanted to invite everyone to this great event that my good friends Jon Baiocchi and Lance Gray are putting on. The Jubilee will showcase guides, clubs, fly shops, environmental groups, and state agencies that are all working hard to make the Yuba River and her watershed the best it can be.The river is a wonderful place to fish, drift, and hike. We are looking to protect it for future generations. Educating anglers is the key to the Yuba River's success. If you are looking to learn more about the Yuba River in any way this is a great event and great place to do so. 
Chuck Ragan and I will be at this event with the "Hogan Brown Fly Fishing" Booth as well as the "Cast Hope" Booth talking all things Yuba River and  Cast Hope. As long as selling some flies and merchandise. There will be many other guides, celebrities, and organizations with booths talking about the Yuba River and giving presentations from rigging to casting to fishing. There will be a raffle with all sorts of great prizes as well. 

This event is free to all who would like to participate!

Celebrities -


Lincoln Gray, Clay Hash, Hogan Brown, Chuck Ragan, Jon Baiocchi, Mac Noble, Lance & Kirsten Gray, Darin Elmore, Alex Ramirez, Tom Page, Jerry French, Doug Brutocao, Brian Clemens and more!


Exhibitors List


Sierra Stream & Mountain Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Traditions, Cast Hope, Hogan Brown Fly Fishing, South Yuba River Citizens League, Truckee Trout Unlimited Chapter 103, Gold Country Fly Fishers, Fish First Fly Shop, Reel Anglers Fly Shop, Aqua Flies, Nor Cal Fly Guides, Orvis - Roseville, and more!


Tailgate Presentations & Demonstrations


Clay Hash – Classes at Sierra College
Jon Baiocchi – The Yuba River
Tom Page – Building Indicator Rigs
Mac Noble – Switch Rod Demonstration on the Water
Jerry French Switch Rod Casting and more!




We will have a great raffle with all proceeds going to a non-profit benefactor which will be announced at the Jubilee.  Driftboat Trips, Full Day Guided Trips, 1 on 1 Schools, Hats, Flies and more!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

more rain...

Just when the Lower Yuba was dropping and Butte Creek may be fishable by the end of the day....it is suppose to start pouring again tomorrow.

Good news is the International Sportsmans Expo is in Sacramento this week from Thursday to Sunday. I will tying there in the fly fishing hall on Sunday from 10-2pm and then walking the boat all drooling after that. Come by and say hi. I will have some flies for sale, free stickers, and a few hats for people that have bad hair cuts. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reports, Winter Bass Fishing, Appearances, and Stripers...

2016 has moved out and 2017 is roaring in with a huge week long storm (thats what they are saying)...Most rivers are blown out and heavy flooding rampant. The second to last storm that hit a a week or so ago was incredibly cold with LOTS of low elevation snow...that last storm that hit this week not only dumped a TON of rain it melted much of that low elevation snow...

The Lower Yuba River was fishable for a few days at most, but with all the rain there has been massive amounts of water coming down the Lower Yuba...flows reached over 80,000cfs this last week. Check out John Baiocchis blog http://jonbaiocchiflyfishingnews.blogspot.com for some great pictures of the high water. Who knows when the river will be fishable again...My best guess is it will take a good month for flows to drop to anywhere near fishable and then any storm will blow the river out again so who knows consistent flows may not come until May/June. No matter when it is going to be a completely different river when the flows do drop.  

The Lower Sacramento River was kicked back up to 15,000cfs only after being down around 5500cfs for only a week at most and then the rain came....and flows are now up over 21,000cfs out of Keswick with flooding throughout the water shed down river. The Sac outside of chico reached over 100,000cfs cresting at about 115,000cfs on Jan 10th....flows over 20,000cfs out of Keswik are not unfishable but I am not sure what the clarity coming out of Shasta is...I can't imagine it is very clear. Not sure when flows will clear and drop 

Butte Creek is blown out and will need a week or so of dry weather to be fishable again. May get a week or two of fishing in before it closes Feb 15

Feather River...I have not heard any reports sense the upper stretch above Hwy 70 opened Jan 1 but I did  drive over the river this afternoon (Jan 7) and the river was starting to color up meaning that lake oroville was getting muddy. 

Winter Bass Fishing  
Fellow Guides Ryan Williams and Chuck Ragan have been doing some winter spotted bass fishing on Lake Oroville and having some pretty epic days. Ryan is really one of the pioneers of this winter spotted bass fishing as he has developed a system fishing indicators and suspended bait fish patterns. Very similar to the Float'n Fly method many conventional bass anglers use. It is not summer or spring bass fishing where fish crush stripped flies, but it may be the only game around for a while....Spotted bass fight much like smallmouth bass and make up for what they may lack in size  with their fight. Average fish is about 1-3lbs.

email: chuck crguideservice@gmail.com or Ryan rwguideservice@yahoo.com

UpComing Appearances
Lots of stuff happening over the next few months...Here are some events that I will be at if you wanna stop by and say hello.

Jan 22 - I will tying flies at the ISE Show in Sacramento in the Fly Fishing Building. Come by I'll tie you a fly.

Feb 18 - Yuba River Jubilee at Hamond Grove Park in Browns Valley - I will be there with the "Hogan Brown Fly Fishing" Booth as well as the "Cast Hope" booth. Chuck Ragan will be there helping me with both. I will tying, selling some flies, talking guiding, cast hope, and all things yuba and fly fishing.

Feb 25 - I will at the Cast Hope booth at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show and Cast Hope will be hosting our 3rd annual "After Party at Gastros Pub" that evening! Come to the show, stop by the booth, and then head over to the after party for beer, food, auction, raffle, and more!

Striper Season
While storms are hitting the North State Spring and Summer Striper season will be here before you know it. Last season I was booked up through Sept by April so this year I have added two additional Licensed Coast Guard Captains to take my over flow and accommodate 2-3 boat trips. I had to turn away a lot of people last season so hopefully this will help get more people out. I will be releasing my March-Sept Trout, bass, shad, and striper dates here in the next month so keep an eye on your email or the blog for dates if you would like to get on my calendar for striper season. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Fly Tying 101

Loon is hosting a four part live streaming event on beginning fly tying starting Jan 6 and will run every thursday. I think this is in place of the usual "Loon Live" hosted by the alway entertaining and enlightening Matt Callies. Great way to learn if you get a fly tying kit for Christmas or have one sitting around you got years ago and have never used. 

Check it OUT!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last minute opening, Winter Dates, Fishing Reports

Last minute opening, Winter Dates, Fishing Reports

Last Minute Opening: Dec 20th 

Open Winter Dates:
Dec 28
Jan 2, 14, 21, 

*These dates are first come first serve so call 530-514-2453 or email. 
Hope everyone is ready for Christmas and have all their shopping done and are getting ready to travel to be with family or have family over. We are hosting Christmas this year I have a few days of guiding this week and then some cooking and cleaning to do. The last storm that went through really did a number on the rivers though there is still some fishing to be had and lets be honest no one is complaining about rain at this point! I have a few winter dates open still and a last minute opening this week.

Lower Sacramento River is fishable down to Cow Creek which means floats down to Anderson are fishable. Fishing has been pretty typical winter trout fishing on the Lower Sacramento which means good fish but not huge numbers on most days...that said there can be periods of really good numbers if the conditions are right.

Lower Yuba River is blown out right now but dropping. Dropping Slowly at that...it is at 7057 and is dropping a few hundred cfs a day out of Englebright. Deer Creek is at 265 and not dropping very fast...on about 30cfs today (monday dec 18th). Based on how the river and creek are dropping and all the water that is coming down the SF Yuba I can't imagine the river will be in shape to fish any time in the coming week. 
Butte Creek is dropping and is down to 1160cfs and with no rain in the forecast until early next week it should come into shape in the next day or two. Air temps are cold so make sure to get out during the warmer part of the day. Swinging flies and nymph fishing will both catch fish.

Feather River is blown out as well all the way up as Lake Oroville is completely colored up. When this happens it usually takes a while for the river to clear.

Hope everyone has a great holiday and spends time with family as well as out on the water!