Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reports...

OPEN DATES
Just opened April 18, 21
May 6, 29,
June 13, 27, 28, 30
July 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 17-19, 27-29
August 2, 19, 26,
Sept 2, 16, 23

Open Shad and Evening Bass Dates
I am taking bookings for evening shad/bass dates on the Lower Sacramento River. These trips cost $250 for two anglers, include drinks/snack, use of rod/reel, and flies. We usually meet around 5pm and fish the evening bite.  
May 2-5, 10-12, 16, 17, 23, 26, 

June 6, 7, 8

Lower Sacramento River Trout – Fishing for trout up out of redding/anderson is improving. The flows out of Keswick are a perfect around 10,000 cfs but clarity remains the issue. That said clarity is improving daily and fish are being caught and guides are out on the water. It is not great fishing but after a winter and spring so far of NO fishing any fishing on the sac for trout is good news.

Lower Sac Stripers/Shad/Bass/Carp – Flows are still pretty high lower down the river but not unfishable high. Flows at Ord Bend are 20,467cfs but are continuing to drop a bit each day. Spring will be an interesting game on the Sac. I am expecting the migratory push of stripers that traditionally only make it up to Colusa or lower to push well into the chico are this year. Fishing out of Colusa so far has been pretty slow for most conventional anglers which may mean most of the fish have moved through on their way up to Butte City and Chico. Shad fishing should get going at the end of April but will be VERY dependent on flows and water clarity. Shad need to see the fly and off color water can really shut down the shad fishing . Bass/Carp the good news is the clearest water around is in the back waters of the sac where the carp and bass live. Fishing for bass and carp this year should be really good as much of the weed growth that choked out various areas in previous years is gone and high flows have filled areas that were not open in nearly 10 years. Personally this is where I have been spending my time fishing.

Feather Stripers and Steelhead – Flows on the upper feather are coming down but no where near fishable levels right now    . It is tough to find any forecast on flows that will be released to the low on weather spring steelhead fishing will be do able this month or next. That said I don’t think a plan exists. I think DWR is pretty much reacting to how much water comes in and managing it as best they can. So for now it is a wait and see deal…With regards to stripers I have been down out of yuba city looking for migratory fish and there are a few around. As with many places clarity is the issue. There was a bank collapse early this week that muddied up the river taking visability down to about 6”. Bait anglers have been catching a few fish but fly fishing has not.

Lower Yuba River – The Yuba is coming into shape droping around 4000cfs as of today and dropping at about 60cfs and hour…who knows what the final number or goal of this most recent drop is an how the warm weather will affect snow melt and the flows. I am really excited to get on the Yuba and see what is happening out there. Ounce the river becomes fishable throwing attrator dry dropper rigs and swinging flies is going to be really good. With all the new access that I am getting there is going to be TONS of water to explore and opportunities for shad, stripers, and trout.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Fishing, Music, Sports, and my title fight with the Goliath

Well things are looking up! It is the First Day of spring and the weather even during a few rain showers truly feels like spring. With conditions changing each day I would encourage everyone to check on reports daily as the began to make plans for trips but here is a bit of a forecast as I see it…

Lower Sacramento Trout Fishing – Flows coming out of Keswick are 8410cfs and steady. This is a GREAT flow and more then fishable. If anything a bit on the lower side. That said the clarity is the issue. Lake Shasta is muddy and therefore the river is muddy coming out of the dam. I know there are people getting out and catching a few fish but nothing that I have heard resembling good or even fair. I have heard ambitious thoughts that the river may become fishable by the end of march and more conservative ideas of the end of April…either way it is a ways off. There is clearer water coming into the lake via the branches but it is going to take a while for the sediment to settle and/or the clean water to push out the dirty. Either way I think the fishing will slowly improve as the clarity slowly improves. I also think some of the middle floats will be the first to fish as clean water coming in from tributaries will “dilute” the flow and have a positive affect on the clarity.

Lower Sacramento River Striper/Shad/Bass/Carp Fishing…
River Conditions: River is muddy period though flows  atOrd Ferry are 18,329cfs and steady. As the tributaries clean up so should the clarity. That said there is cleaner water back in various sloughs and back waters, just have to search it out. The river itself supprisingly hasn’t changed very much. It just got cleaned out BIG TIME, snags and weed beds that had clogged up sloughs and coves for years are GONE. There will be access to flats, coves, and back waters like we haven’t seen in YEARS!

Stripers – Clarity is just bit off for confidence fishing for stripers, though I am sure there will be a steady clearing over the next month or so. I have confidence fishing for stripers on the river is pretty dirty water so in the next few weeks I am sure we should start being able to catch some resident and migratory stripers. There are a few reports of migratory fish down by Colusa and Boyds Pump but most guys that would be bait fishing for stripers are fishing for sturgeon so reports are hard to come by.

Shad – I wouldn’t count on a good shad year. I don’t have a lot of confidence catching shad in off color water and high water years are traditionally not great shad years. That said May is the month and there is plenty of time between now and then for things to shape up.

Bass/Carp – The back water bass fishing should start sooner then anything as I found clean water in the back sloughs and flats. Flats that have been weeded up for years are now open and I noticed this last week while out one my FAVORITE FLATs is open and clear for the first time in nearly ten years! There should be some great flats fishing this summer for carp and stripers like we haven’t seen in years. May have to kill the spider colony that has taken up residence on my poling platform in the back of my storage shed.


Have to get back there but there is cleaner water

Haven't fished this piece of water in 10 years...


Lower Yuba River – Flows are down to around 4000cfs,  Clarity is decent, and the boat ramp at Sycamore is open! So, that means the river is “fishable” I personally am not a fan of floating the river until it gets around 3000-3500cfs but with the changes who knows how 4k fishes. I plan on getting out on the Yuba here in the next week to check it out and see what things are looking like. With these flows to get a full day it would be a double float as the “Club Water” at Daguerre as many know has closed. That said I did secure a private put in up river from the bridge a bit so I gained a bit of water there. The Yuba should be an option here as long as flows stay stable and clarity remains good. I am sure with the run off flows will fluctuate but right now and option is an option.

Still Water Bass 
Still Water Bass – I have been spending most of my personal fishing time exploring various lakes for Spotted and Largemouth bass. Fishing has been good at times and tough at others. Learning and exploring lakes I have not been on in years has proved a bit of a re-learning curve as I am competing for fish with seasoned conventional bass anglers. That said it is fun and has proved pretty rewarding as there is some really unique and cool fisheries around that don’t fished with flies very much or at all.

Nice Spotted Bass thanks to the Mojo Impregnated HGB FLY FISHING HAT
OPEN DATES:
March 25
April 1
June 3, 13, 14, 27, 28, 30,
July 6, 8, 11, 13-15, 17-19, 22, 24, 27-29,
Aug 2, 19, 26
Sept 2, 4, 16, 23

Music Report – A few new albums I have been listening to…Dave Hause “Bury me in Philly” so far so good on this one. I can’t say I hear any classics like his previous two albums but those two hit me at pretty transitional periods in my life and the theme lined up pretty in line with what I was going through at the time. Bury Me is rocking and straight forward up beat rock record in the line of Bruce Springsteen, Gas Light Anthem, and Lucero……Arliss Nancy “Wild American Runners” I came by this band in an odd way but I can’t believe I have missed out on them. From Colorado they are straight punk, Americana, rock. Very similar to Lucero in that degree even with the raspy, whiskey soaked, cigarette smoking voice/vocals. There is some great and really sublte yet creative song writing as well. They have a few albums out and ounce I digest this one I will get get the others.

Sports Report – Lots to talk about…March Madnees is in full affect and My dad and I went to the first and second round games at the new Arena in Sacramento. First Round games were fun but not close, pretty clear by half time who was going to win. That said the second round games were great, and it was really cool to see the new arena and get out with my dad and boys. Notre Dame flamed out in the second round against West Virginia and their relentless press defense so I don’t really have a horse in the race anymore…I saw UCLA play twice in person and they are a freak of a team with Welsh at 7’ Leaf at 6’10” and the phenom Ball.

Pumped! for some B-Ball and St. Patty's Day

Who doesn't dress up as a leprechaun on St. Patty's day?

Baseball season is fast approaching. I have really been enjoying the WBC and it has taken away from my following of the Giants in the Cactus league. I really enjoy watching the European and Asian/Pacific teams play as they play a very different style of baseball compared with the American and Latin teams.


Hogan Vs. The Goliath – On the Umpqua front, and my quest to get them to stop tying my flies not much has changed (see previous post for info on this). They pulled down a few of my patterns from their website but not my most popular. I have never heard from them either, even after mass support and pressure via social media as well as letters written to them on my behalf. In the end I want to thank everyone for their support as it was pretty overwhelming the amount of people that shared and supported my “cause”. That said I doubt they will ever stop tying my flies, as long as dealers across the country continue to buy them they will tie and sell them. I will continue to do what I can to put pressure on them, make customers, dealers, and the public aware of what they are doing and remain on the high ground to the best of my ability. If you reader are so inclined please share my tale and explain to anglers, dealers, and the public what is happening. I imagine I could get a lawyer, get dirty on line, and more militant, but at what cost of energy, time, and money. I in no way will back down but in the end I want people in our industry to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I don't think that is to much to ask or to much to hope for in our small industry. 


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Do the Right Thing Umpqua Feather Merchants

If you follow me on social media you may have seen a post I put up this week calling out Umpqua Feather Merchants for tying a dozen of my patterns now for nearly 4-5 years without my permission or paying me royalties on my patterns aka my “intellectual property”. In the end this is not new news…it has been going on like I said for nearly 4 to 5 years sense the take over of Idylwilde (my former fly company) by Umpqua. At the time I turned down a contract offered to me by Umpqua, I personally asked Umpqua to not tie my flies as the did not have my permission nor did I accept their contract offer. In the end I helped my good friend and the owner of Idylwilde, Zach Mertens, in a law suit against Umpqua, that was settled in Zachs favor out of court and Umpqua has continued for nearly 5 years to tie my flies without my permission. Calling them the same thing as I do/did and only removing my name.

In the mean time I signed a contract with Montana Fly Company (www.montanaflyco.com) vowed to continue to innovate, ties flies that catch fish, and support the sport and industry that I love. Not being jaded or scarred by the actions of a few or the fall out of corporate dealings which I am sure I do not have all the information about or am privy to. I vowed to not let the fact that another company was tying my flies bother me and just use it to fuel my innovation. All the flies they tie are over 10-15 years old, and I have come up with, I think, much more successful patterns sense that are now tied by Montana Fly Co. I even a year ago emailed and talked with, then fly manager at Umpqua, Brian Schmidt trying to mend fences and apologize for maybe things I said or did that were un-professional or just plain mean in the heat of dealings during the fall out. I hoped that by my extension of an Olive branch that maybe Umpqua would do the right thing….they didn’t.

That said to continue to stand by why a company continues to tie my flies and people profit off my ideas without my permission or blessing is not OK. I guess I feel like I have to at least speak up and speak out. I have a quote in my classroom that says “He Who Does Not Have the Courage to Speak Up for his Rights Can Not Earn the Respect of Others.” I read it earlier this week and thought about my kids, Oliver 8 and Beckett 6, and the values I am trying to teach them on a daily basis and that it is time to live what I have been trying to teach them.

I understand that in the fly business companies rip off or tie other companies tiers patterns, but only if the customer demand is great enough and even then it is usually only a pattern or two. There has always been somewhat of an honor among thieves. For example everyone ties the copper john, the stimulator, or the Clouser Minnow…but not all of John Barrs Flies or Bob Clousers flies.

I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt and that people will eventually do the right thing. Call me naïve, but I have to believe this or my whole belief structure would crumble. I have spent most of my adult life in an effort to give back, or in some way pay for the blessing I have received myself. I quite guiding full time to teach high school as it has so much potential for making positive impacts on lives of young people, I coached high school baseball for 8 years because I saw that I could further my impact on youth through athletics, I helped my friend Ryan Johnston grow our non profit Cast Hope (www.casthope.org) from a budget of $20,000 to over a quarter million allowing us to share the outdoors through the sport of fly fishing with kids and their mentors throughout Northern California and Western Nevada and soon, very soon, even further. I have continued to guide because I love fly fishing and I love guiding. I take new guides under my wing every year, share what I have learned without hesitation with anyone that asks, and work hard to grow and preserve the sport and the places I love. I operate on the principal that what I do for myself will die with me and what I do for the world and others will live on long after I am gone.

In the end I am asking Umpqua to stop tying my flies. I am not concerned about the money, while it would be nice if they paid me back royalties on all the money they have made off my flies I think that may be asking to much from corporate America. What I am asking is that they stop selling and tying my flies. I have no “do this” or else in my back pocket, I just think that it is the right thing to do and I am entitled to ask. I am sure that pulling 12 patterns from their catalog of thousands will not hurt their bottom line and in the end it is the right thing to do.

If you would like to help me in this crusade you can

-       share my post on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hgbflyfishing) , Instagram (@htothegtotheb), or twitter (@htothegtotheb) with #dotherighthingumpqua
-       message @umpquafeathermerchants on Facebook, Instagram, or twitter using the hash tag #dotherightthingumpqua
-       email Umpqua@umpqua.com asking them to stop tying my flies for the 2018 season as it is the right thing to do.
-       When buying my flies ask your local fly shop if they purchased them from Umpqua or Montana Fly Co. If they are purchased from Umpqua don’t buy them…call or email me and I will tell you where to find Montana Fly Co. “Hogan” Flies or send you what you need.
-       DO NOT boycott all Umpqua flies. As that may hurt Umpqua, but it also hurts the tiers and there are a lot of great tiers and people that tie for Umpqua. Mike Mercer, Morgan Thalken, and many others I don’t know personally but have no desire to hurt as I know what it is like to rely on royalty checks to pay the bills.
-       Share with others this blog post and story.


You may say lawyer up and go after Umpqua…Ya I guess I could, but I don’t think there is any win there. I am a high school teacher, fly fishing guide, fly tier, author…I don’t have the money to take on a corporate giant. I also believe people will eventually do the right thing. I believe in the power of people and putting pressure on a company like Umpqua in such a small industry and world like our own who does wrong I hope will not be tolerated. So, even if you don’t feel obliged to do anything – I understand completely and don’t think any less of you my friendly reader if you don’t – We are all inundated with ills and wrongs in our world daily and asked to act, help, or support financially, I hope that you all help in your own way the causes that are important to you. In the end though now you know what Umpqua is doing and you can share this with others…oh and Knowing is Half the Battle!