Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ups and Downs....

here is the ups and downs...

Rain has been coming and going making for some pretty inconsistent conditions in the north state. I haven't been guiding much or fishing as baseball has started. If you didn't know I coach Varsity baseball in the spring. One of my many contributions to the youth of Glenn county and Hamilton High School. Rain and sun make for some serious ups and downs in any baseball coaches life as well. Practice, no practice, game, no game, throw in the gym, throw outside on the black top...I need a multi million dollar indoor facility and I will be fine.

Fishing wise I am a bout to hit my busy spring season as I start guiding on the weekends and then when baseball is over after school most days then...when school is out every day if possible. Here is what is happening over the next few months.

BASS AND CARP: Mid April through mid may great Largemouth, Small mouth, and carp fishing on the Lower Sacramento. Check out my article in the current issue of “Northwest Fly Fishing” for detailed information on this amazing fishery.

SHAD: Mid May through June Shad fishing is in full swing. Evening trips start mid may and full day and camp trips are available end of May. Check out information on our shad/Striper camp at

STRIPERS: End of June through September is prime striper time on the lower sacramento river outside of chico. End of August is prime top water time.

STEELHEAD: Mid March through April is prime time for spring steelhead on the Lower Feather River. One of the most under fished steelhead runs in the state.


Lower Yuba River – Prime time for spring and summer fishing is going to be Feb (when the river comes down) through mid June with a huge variety of hatches and options for dry fly and nymph fishing.

Lower Sacramento River – Great spring caddis hatch but one of my favorite times to fish the Sac is end of June through July down low in the canyon where nymphing with big stones and attractors is the norm.

CLEAR WATER HOUSE – I will be guiding this summer as well up on Fall River, Hat Creek, Pit, and various waters surrounding Clear Water House. Clear Water House is a great lodge and a wonderful place to go stay, fish , and get away for a few days. If you have never fished the Fall treat yourself to a trip up north it is really a unique corner

Also coming up I will be speaking at the Redding Fly fishing Club March 10th on fly tying and my theories on fly design...deep....lots of candles, meditation, and elicit drugs...bring your prayer rugs.

Last Word: if you have kids in public your schools as our state dismantles the public school system. If you are a teacher good luck as "Pink Slip" time comes. If you are like me and haven't taught for over 20 years you will most likely get one. Cheers to unemployment, fishing to forget about it, and drinking whiskey to feel better!!!!

Over and Out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

While I haven't been trout fishing much I have been working on some new trout flies. Check em out... A new hares ear pattern, new "Yuba Pupa" color, and a new PMD nymph

So I hear trout fishing has been fair to good on the L. Sac and the L. Yuba, Fluctuating with the weather. I can't say I have been on either river though, recently I have been chasing the illusive pre spawn BIG bass. I really want to get a few big pre spawn females on film this spring so I have been poking around some ponds, sloughs, ditches, and afterbays in search of early females moving into the shallows to chow down for the spawn. Latest report: still ealry...a few weeks I think. My buddy Kevin Price checked out a few of his bass haunts and came away with the same result.

Today I spent the morning with two of my long time friends chasing pheasants at the local pheasant club as the weather went from rain to sun to clouds to sun. At little BBQ tonight and movie should be good....Over and out

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spring may be on its way

Well the weather forecast is low to high 60's next week for Chico, CA...Maybe even 70! on thursday. That should kick some pre spawn bass into gear (gonna get out monday afternoon - report to follow), kick the Skwala hatch on the Lower Yuba into full swing, and the spring caddis hatch into swing on the Lower Sac. My experiance with all those events is that it usually happens earlier than most think and the bugs and fish don't need much of shift in temperature to get pushed into gear. Kinda like I don't need much convincing to go to Duffy's on a friday night...or monday for that matter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


yes I am coining the phrase will be an adjective and describe things such as the new Idylwilde website and no I haven't fished in the last few days...this weekend....a little bass scouting with the hippie....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Missoula MT....there and back in or minus

Opportunities to be on TV don’t come along to often for your average high school teacher/fly fishing guy. Justin Karnopp Idylewilde tier and producer at Barrett productions emailed me a month ago and asked if I wanted to come out to Missoula MT to film some fly tying for some episodes of fly fisherman TV. I said uhh…uhh…why not. I was thinking hell MT in June, July…film some, fish some…hang out…cool.

First surprise…return email from Justin: How about Feb 5… myself “well I don’t ski or like the cold very much”…. TV…if I don’t go…I should go….reply: sure lets do it.

Feb. 5 5pm the 1999 Ford Escort is rocking to the black Album by Jay Z on the way to Sac. Once the escort hits Yuba City and I rear end some crack head who slams on her brakes in front of me on hwy 99, drives off really fast, I look and see the escort is fine, I pop in a little Death Cab to mellow it and me out.

Bags are packed with my fly tying shit and some clean under wear plus a list of stuff to “pick up” at Ikea in West Sac for steph…I hate Ikea…really hate Ikea.

Pull into the Swedish hell at 7pm…one hour before closing time…Grab a cart then look at the list and decide for a flat bed push cart and think this shit is not gonna fit in the escort. I have come to the conclusion that IKea is like Dante’s Inferno…levels of hell and complete chaos….I would hate to see Sweden’s DMV…After piling massive amount of various particle board unassembled furniture on to my flat push cart with a fucked up wheel, that I just know I will most likely have to assemble when I get home on Sunday, I hit the check out…One register open…but you are more than welcome to the self check out….because the Swedes aren’t making enough on this particle board crap to employ a few checkers at minimum wage I have to check myself out…COME ON!!!!

Now the interesting part. Fitting a desk, bookshelf, pillow, two 60some inch shelves, plus a spice rack into a 1999 Ford Escort. By the end I was sweating, hoping the Swedes would harbor terrorist so we could invade, that the US Olympic team kills the Swedes… you name it I was pissed….in the end I should have been awarded an engineering degree for my work….

Find the closest Holiday Inn express next to the airport since my flight leaves at 6am the next morning. Buy a six-pack of beer at Safeway, a $5 dollar Volcano box of taco bell (various tortilla, meet, nacho cheese, and spicy sauce concoctions) and settle in.

I was surprised to find that I was booked the handicap room…nice…. So I ate taco bell in bed in my boxers and drank like 4 beers. Rolled over and went to sleep. Woke up with the worst heartburn known to man…What ever.

Got to the airport in plenty of time. Walked up to the counter to check my fly ting stuff, as I can’t imagine that I would be able to take on scissors and razor blades on the plane. To my surprise I had to pay $25 to check my bag…Fuck that…Bend over took it like a man….

Side Note: Rackets I wished I would of thought of: the company that got the bottled water contract behind the security check point at airports…$5 a bottle and no other options. Some one is a millionaire.

Passed out as soon as I hit the seat from Sac to Salt Lake…Woke up to the wheels hitting the ground….found my way to the Delta Connections terminal at SLC airport…All I see is planes with propellers…Sweat where are the guys with goggles and scarves…Watched some movies on my I Pod and waited for my plane to board…This plane was ridiculous it made a sardine can look roomy… my luck I sat next to the 80 some year old man from New Orleans that wanted to share his life story with me and who was going to visit his daughter who was dying of cancer…nothing like a little light flight conversation…I opted for the tomato juice with Vodka for the in-flight service….and yes I would like another when you come back down the isle….best $14 I ever spent

Justin Karnopp picked me up at the airport in Missoula, MT…Feb in MT is cold as fuck… bottom line…call me a pussy…MT should close for the winter. … Made our way to a cabin up in the woods somewhere to watch a professor from the local univ. tie some copper johns… I will just get this out of the way now…she was hot…and like 50 some years old….I didn’t want to be the one to drop the “dude she was hot” in the car on the way out in case she was like some bodies mom or something …. Camera grew said they could knock her out of metapause…awkwardness lifted…then the discussion was on….

On the drive back to Barrett Productions office I got to see some of the town…Cool town. Lots of little shitty casinos. Apparently gambling is legal in MT and it never really took off like Vegas or Reno…. Wonder why?

Filming fly tying is filming fly-tying…for the camera crew it is like filming paint drying or grass growing….didn’t take long to start drinking….5 hours of filming fly tying….hammered it out then off to dinner.

Junstin and his wife Lauren (I think… I am terrible with names) took me to a great little Irish restaurant down town…yes an Irish Restaurant in Missoula, MT. As far as I know this was not a big area of Irish settlement but I didn’t ask questions just ordered a beer and the fish and chips…AWESOME grub. Great Halibut fish and chips. Talked marriage, kids, fishing, the industry, hunting dogs…with all seriousness Justin and his wife are great people and were great hosts…..then hit Charlie B’s Bar…Great MT bar with cheap beer. Had the token drunk Indian at a table as soon as we walked in and a bar lined with bearded, suspender wearing, bulbous nose drunk 70 year olds that were probably like 50. Crazy toothless lady mumbling and running into people while drinking and wondering around. The cook in the back – shaved head, huge pork chop side burns with a Pabts trucker hat on that was not a reissue more like original issue – cooking burgers and sloppy joes. Legit.

Cool little crew of Justins buddies. Had some beers while Justin’s wife made fun of a short guy while a short guy (like sub 5’) was standing right next to her. Awesomely awkward even for me.

Justin Dropped me off at the Double Tree…showered ate two complementary cookies and said good night to Missoula MT.

Woke up to my cell phone alarm that I set as a back up to the wake up call that I was suppose to get but never came…story of my life.

Met the airport shuttle and their was a flight crew on it with me talking about how hung over they were and how little sleep they got…and yes it was a little awkward when I asked what flight they were on and it was mine…I was convinced I was not in the best hands on my flight from Missoula to Salt Lake.

Get on the plane and they have to pause on the runway to hose off ice…nice…I am gonna die….said a hale marry, ordered a bloody marry and passed out.

The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful…lots of sleeping… a few stints of watching the Wilco documentary “I am trying to break your heart” about the making of Yankee Fox Trot Hotel…Great movie and great Record.

Got into Sacramento at Noon … not to hung over….got home in enough time to watch the super bowl and fall asleep next to my wife and son about 9pm.

Friday, February 5, 2010


So I am leaving tonight to go crash out in some roach coach motel by the airport and fly out at 6am to Misoula MT. 6 am is damn early to catch a plane...I am thinking up at 4am airport by 430....check everything except Ipod so I don't get strip searched at the gate...crawl into plane sleep.

My goal is to make a little video of the trip...but we'll see I have about 5 videos in various stages of completetion...meaning I start videos and never finish we'll see.

An in other news...some pics from the vice...yes it is baetis time and skwala in Sunday from MT...should be on the L. Yuba to fish the skwala hatch by 3pm.... Monday holiday....maybe a little Butte Creek....who knows.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mid Week...oh mid week

So mid week has come again. Talk to my buddy and guide Kevin Price last night. Fished the L. Yuba and said there was a bout 1-3' visibility kinda brownish blue color. Good mayfly hatches with a few skwalas flying around. Air temps were a little on the cold side yesterday so not an optimal day for skwala activity. K.P. Said the nymph bite was good. Caught fish on jimmy legs, Yuba Stones, Military May PMD's, and rubber legs. Also pulled a few fish up on split wing skwalas and just standard black and gold stimulators.

This is the time of year to pick that warmer than usual day and call in sick to fish the skwala hatch. On warmer days it can be pretty epic around 3-dark. Run some rubber legs, Jimmy legs, Two Tone Stones, Yuba Rubber Legs through the riffles midday as the bugs migrate to the bank then start throwing the big dries like Split wing skwalas against the rocks around 2pm. Key on buckets along with bank. Deeper water that fish can comfortably hold in close to the rocks. Also tie a dropper off your dry, only about 12", like a peacock Chubby cousin or general attractor. Sounds dirty but if they miss the dry, which they do, you can get em as they swim away....or they may just eat the dropper.

I won't be out there this weekend as I am flying to Missoula MT to film for the TV program "Fly Fisherman TV" ya i know feb in MT is cold as hell. I ain't big time enough to get the July time slot out there. Well pics and stories to come from my journey to MT in Feb. Over and out

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday....Rivers are dropping

Didn't fish this weekend as I am finishing up some home remodel work but a couple buddies hit the Yuba and said there was about a 1-2' visibility and fishing was pretty decent. Streamers, worms, and big bugs was the ticket. If you wanta pull streamers or swing big flies these are the conditions to do it on the L. Yuba. The lower sac up by reading I have heard is coming into shape but I know down by chico it is still off color. other than that nothing new to report.

This time of year is always kinda transitional for me as I start to get ready for the spring as well as doing a few late winter trips and actually fishing on my own. I work formalizing new flies, getting all my spring boxes in order, getting my motor boat ready, sell rods to buy new rods, just basic house cleaning of the fly fishing component of my life...which takes up a room and part of my garage so this is a necessary step each year. I am continuely amazed at how much "stuff" I have and how little of it I actually use. I am officially a fly fishing pack rat.
Over and out