Monday, October 17, 2016

Reports...Fresh from the water.

Its been a while…sorry. Fall, hell winter seemed to be here this weekend! I was in flip flops and short striper fishing on Monday and Tuesday and waders, flannels, and jackets steelhead fishing on Saturday and Sunday. Gotta love northern California…when the seasons change the pendulum can swing as I will be back in flip flops striper fishing on Thursday with 83 degree weather forecasted….here are the reports as I hear them and and have experienced them.

Open Guide Dates:
Nov 25, 26,
Dec 17, 21-23, 27-31
Jan 5-7, 14, 16, 21, 28

Lower Sacramento Striper fishing has been good if you can really pick your day and time. With the weather swings of the last week I wouldn’t say I would take anyones money to go out as the weather changes really affect the fishing but if you can pick your day and hit right fishing can be down right ridiculous. Last week Monday and Tuesday were really good fishing…big fish, lots of fish, top water…all the good stuff one wants out of striper fishing! Then the weather changed…I am going to get back out mid to late week ounce the weather stabilizes again into that 75-85 degree fall weather.

Nice fall fish off the weed beds
Not all L. Sac species eat eggs in October
Lower Sac Trout Fishing – I spent Saturday in wind and rain guiding the Lower Sac. Fishing was good until the wind came up after lunch then it was tough to even fish but when we could find some shelter from the wind we managed a few fish. I floated from Anderson to Balls Ferry and we caught most our fish on nymphs in what I call “bug water” I didn’t see any spawning salmon so that was a big concerning but it has been a really late run for the most part but a late run can translate to a poor run if they don’t show up. That said I am sure the guys floating up through redding are finding fish on eggs and up on redds so who knows. I tend to avoid the egg bit madness and opt for solitude and maybe a few less fish…I had the Anderson float all to myself Saturday.

Wind and Rain but fish gotta eat

Lower Feather River – Sunday I guided the feather from Riverbend Park to Palm ave and there were spawning salmon thick from about hwy 162 to Mathews…with a few around Robinson and the Islands above. Salmon spanwing was pretty inconsistent…We would hit one riffle where they were thick and we would hook steelhead and then the next with none and no steelhead…kinda was like this all the way to Palm. So the good news is fish are spread out and not just concentrated up in the upper reaches of the Low Flow. We did see a lot of pre spawn salmon moving up riffles and around the river so there are plenty of fish that are yet to spawn so the egg bite and steelhead fishing should only improve. We actually caught most of our fish on bugs so most fish weren’t even keyed on eggs yet. All our fish were wild steelhead which is always a treat on a hatchery based river like the feather and were in the 18-22” bracket. Typical feather steelhead.

Lower Yuba River – Flows on the Lower Yuba are up over a 1000cfs which is GREAT for this time of year, giving both drift boat anglers and wader fishermen room to fish. Deer creek came up to over 500cfs on Sunday so I am not sure what the clarity fo the river is though. I talked to a buddy who guided it on Saturday and did well but he did say the river was coloring up. I am sure Deer Creek will drop fast and by mid week the river should be in great shape.

Sports Report – Overall pretty damn tough few months for me…The Irish are 2-5 and are just flat out a bad football team right now. They aren’t getting blown out by any means, the are loosing by a touchdown here a field goal there but they look bad…disheartening but I am a fan through thick and thin, not a band wagon guy. I support Brian Kelly and have a hard time bagging on the team and coach when I only watch the games on Saturday…no one outside of the coaching staff is at practice every day and knows their personal like they do. The bottom line is we are much younger then many people realized going into this season and hopefully we can get a few wins here and build for next season.

Win or Loose it is a special place...
Giants – tough way to exit the season but to be honest very fitting based on how the second half of the season went. I would be very concerned if we made it farther as I think post season success would have diminished the motivation of the management to address bull pen and hitting deficiencies. This way there will be a TON of pressure to get a legitimate closer and a left fielder that can swing the bat.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cast Hope Video by RA Beattie and Beattie Productions

There are few things that I am as proud of as what Ryan Johnston and I have done with a crazy idea he shared with me at the Taco Bar in Tres Hombres nearly 10 years ago. He wanted to call it Cast Hope and he wanted to take what he had been given and share it with kids that hadn't been given such things. I jumped on and I don't think either of us have looked back. When you have an idea that you know is good, a problem you know needs solving, and you think you have the solution it is a powerful exciting thing.

Then when people start believing in your idea, supporting it, and as the years go by you see the affects it has it is humbling. I could go on and on, but this video does a much better job of explaining what Cast Hope is, what it does for kids in Northern California and Western Nevada, and more importantly why as anglers and outdoors people we must continue to share what we love. Share the outdoors my friends.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sept 9th post...good stuff. Fresh off the keyboard.

So here we are in the early parts of September…Fall is definitely here. The sun is setting earlier and coming up later as well the hottest part of the day while still warm only lasts about 2-3 hours. Some people really like fall…I am not a big fall person to be honest. Personally I am more of a spring summer person but fall and winter have their positives…

I have had a pretty light guide schedule as Cast Hope and life in general have been taking up a lot of time. I have made it a point the last month to get my two boys out on the river as much as possible and in many cases taking them out in lieu of guiding or fishing myself. They are both really at a point where they are starting to functionally fish, both with the spinning rod and the fly rod. They can throw a popper/dropper rig for small bass, pike minnows, and blue gill and chuck a swim bait on a spinning rod so fishing with them is really starting to be fun. I have really committed myself to sacrificing personal fishing time in the hopes of creating future fishing buddies and more fishing time down the road…I shouldn’t even say “sacrificing” as I don’t feel I am sacrificing much as taking them fishing is pretty darn fun and I get throw the fly around a bit as well. In the end they don’t have to like fishing they just have to like the outdoors more then they do TV, Video Games, IPads, and things with screens…If they get into kayaking, mountain biking, camping, hiking, gardening, golf…I don’t really care just that they appreciate the outdoors and are in touch with it.


Lower Sacramento River Striper – I have been guiding and fishing the sac outside of chico for stripers and bass exclusively. I will focus on stripers and bass through October for the most part. Fishing has been good. There are plenty of small stripers and fish in the 4-8lb range to be caught. Traditionally this time of year is when we start to see a decline in numbers of smaller fish and increase in numbers of bigger fish but that hasn’t happened this year. My theory is usually that the large pods of chinook salmon and the anglers chasing them push many of the larger fish to the banks pushing out the smaller fish and increasing the chances that we have to catch thes fish. The bigger fish traditionally come to the banks and shallows to feed but with the deeper water occupied by salmon and trafficked by large boats usually in the fall these bigger stripers move to the banks to live AND feed. More and more salmon are showing up each day and I imagine the bigger fish will move out of the deeper holding water as they do so it is only a matter of time.

 Lower Yuba River – Flows have dropped to 756 which is pretty standard this time of year as that is the “low flow” of the fall that the river gets dropped to. I have heard over the last few days that fishing has been pretty darn good. I imagine as the salmon move up river and into the riffles to cut reds the fishing will continue to improve. The fishing over the summer has been pretty up and down and I think with the lower flows and huge food source of the egg hatch here coming up we will really get a good idea of how many fish are in the lower Yuba. I am thinking the next few weeks into October could be some pretty epic fishing on the Lower Yuba.

***Upcoming Guiding…I have a few late fall and winter dates open for the Lower Yuba, Lower Sacramento, and Feather for Trout and Steelhead. If anyone is interested shoot me and email or phone call to get on the calendar.

Open Dates: 
Nov 23, 25, 26, 27
Dec 3, 17, 19, 21-23, 27-31

Music Report: 
Been listening to some really great new music. The new BJ Barham solo record I got on vinyl and is really good. Just a simple album about his home and growing up, nothing fancy but this guy cranks out some pretty relatable good tunes……Also got some more commercial music in the Newest Lumineers album and the Chris Stapleton Album. The Lumineers album has some good tunes on it but hasn’t really grabbed me like the last album. That said I haven’t given it a huge chance so I am going to keep listening…Chris Stapleton while a pretty commercial success is a great song writer and a really interesting story. Basicly a guy who wrote songs in Nashville for all sorts of acts and stars fairly namelessly decided to record is own album of his own personal songs and ended up winning album of the year at the CMT Awards I think. The songs are solid and really heartfelt good country/Americana….

Sports Report: The Giants are brutal to watch…Casilla kills me and our playoff hopes. Amazing downward spiral post all star break but I rest on the fact that we have won the world series as a wild card so never loose hope. Just has the feeling this year that we are barely hanging on to relevance in September. The Irish…tough loss this last week to Texas. That said Texas is a much better team then anyone gave them credit. I had not designs on a blow out win and knew the game would be close. Charlie Strong is a great coach and quality human being so I knew he was going to turn the Long horns around. That said I think we played well enough to win just didn’t come up with it. I think we are a lot younger then I thought…especially on defense. Hard to overlook that that was 17 players first major college start. From Defensive line back we are all new and all of our receivers except Tory Hunter Jr. are starting for the first time. The QB debate seems to have been ended with Coach Kelly announcing Kaiser as the starter this week and giving him most of the snaps last week…feel bad for Malik but that is the breaks I guess. I didn’t feel he got a chance to do much last week but he had all spring and early fall to shine and end the debate as the upper classmen and he didn’t so may the best man win I guess. Hopefully he can graduate this year and transfer to play another year somewhere.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The mid August Post...always a favorite

Mid August is the height of summer in most places but what is interesting is that most years we already start to see the first signs of fall. The days are noticeably getting shorter and the angle of the sun is changing…if you are on the water the sun is much lower in the sky at 3-4pm then it was a few weeks ago. I don’t think it is any secret that fish pick up on these subtle changes much more then we do. I even saw on the river the other day the first large flocks of migratory Canadian geese or “honkers” on the river. I have seen very few salmon in the Lower Sac and the salmon boat traffic is minimal meaning not many people are catching fish. I have not been trout fishing on the Sac, Yuba, or Feather at all so I am not sure if the salmon have just shot up into the upper reaches but I have not seen then in the lower.

Striper fishing remains fair to good. For a few weeks now we have been getting good numbers of small fish but it has been tougher to find the bigger fish. Over the last week though changing some things up has put us back on some good fish. I could take the credit for changing fly patterns, presentations, and lines or it could be as simple as that the bigger fish just started eating again. That is beauty of it though is I will never know. Fishing for the resident stripers will last through October until we get our first big storms and cold weather. I am hoping to get some decent sight fishing as salmon move into the river and push the bigger fish to the banks and these bigger fish hang out in some of the back waters even.

Keep them Wet...
well behaved striper holding for pictures
Nice fish caught on the type 5 right on the surface
I have not been up on the Lower Sac or down on the Lower Yuba for trout but fall and winter are approaching quickly and those will be my winter haunts. I usually fish the Lower Sac from Red Bluff to Los Molinos in Late October and November for steelhead before the tributaries have enough water in them for the fish to move up them. Depending on water management and flows I may do some days on the feather out of the jet boat in late October and early November as well to chase some fall steelhead but I will see. The feather can get pretty damn crowded and the older I get the less I have the patience to deal with the crowds. My real hope is that the Lower Yuba starts fishing and that I can spend Nov-February over there nymphing, swinging streamers, and running into the occasional Baetis/BWO hatch…One can hope right.

Music Report…been listening to a ton of new music. The new BJ Barham (lead singer of American Aquarium) is really good. You can check it out here Great Americana music about life in the south and just life in general. I have also been listening to Joey Kneiser (lead singer of Glossary) my favorite album is the “The Wildness”... “The All Night Bedroom Revival” is a close second. I also took a trip down the Berkley to speak to the Grizzly Peak Fly Fishers and spent the obligatory $100 at Amoeba Records...Finished up my Bruce Springsteen Vinyl collection of major releases prior to Tunnel of Love, picked up Spoon "Gimmie Fiction" on vinyl, as well as a few used CD' used CD's I got so far have been The Hold Steady "Teeth Dreams" which is their newest album...I am not always a fan of Craigs vocals but the music on this album is really really good and of all the albums I own I think I like the vocals the best on this one. They seem to work with the music instead of fight the music like I have always felt they do on other albums...Also picked up the classic Granddaddy album "the software slump" good. 

Baseball…Giants are hard to watch I’ll be honest…I hang on every inning it seems like as there is always enough positive to keep watching and hoping they are going to pull out of this tail spin but evidence is suggesting not. Blown leads, lack of run support, and just aweful hitting at times is hard to watch.

Irish…19 days away from the opener against Texas. No idea who the QB will be but our season tickets are in our hands and we are pumped!

Cool New Products…My good friend Matt Callies who is a product developer and hosts the bi- monthly Loon Live fly tying broadcast developed a new set of hemostats for Loon that he hooked me up with this last week while we were striper fishing. It is one of those products that you see and think wow that is a no brainer why didn’t I think of that…then I go well I am not Matt Callies the man of many ideas. The carabineer handle is about as slick and easy to clamp on to anything as it gets. I have clamped it onto my lanyard for my hatch nippers, the handle of my boat bag, and even put it on the suspenders of my waders the other day. The hemostats de-bard everything up to a 4/0 striper hook so they are heavy duty to say the least!

From the mind of Matt Callies...really good idea 
BIG NIGHT OUT!!!!  it is that time of year again where we throw a big party in chico! Cast Hope has up our gamed this year and our holding our annual Big Night Out at the Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, CA. This year we will be having live music from Chuck Ragan and members of the Camaraderie