Monday, April 26, 2010

L. Sac, New engine, and the Ashes of America Flags

Saturday was my first day off in 3 weeks. Teach all week, Guide all weekend makes for some brutal weeks. So with a day off saturday I mowed the lawn, had band practice, cleaned out our old house as escrow closes tuesday, and droped my Lowe off to get its new 60hp evinrude Etec put on it. Great weather and a great day around the house and town with the family.

Sunday guided the Lower Sacramento with my good buddy and guide Ryan Johnston. Ryan along with being a guide is the founder of Cast Hope a great organization aimed at taking youth and their mmentors fly fishing. Check it out as I am a part of it to. We floated from the RV park down to Balls Ferry and fishing was great. Both of us hooked 50+ fish and put 30-40 in the boat. Most fish were 14-16" with about a dozen or so around 18". Clarity was good and flows were pretty still low. Good bugs were the Jimmy Leggs, King Prince, Amber wing Prince, and some new stuff I have been working on.

Also if you have been living on Mars for the last 10 years or have been in a self imposed "I don't want to be cool exhile" and you haven't heard about the greatest American Rock and Roll band sense Elvis...named Wilco you need to check out the DVD "Ashes of American Flags" ..... I love this BAND!!! and any self respecting beer drinking fly fisherman will to. Required listening - albums: Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, A Ghost is Born, Sky Blue Sky, Being There

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

what a weekend...told from the redding public library parking lot

So I am chillen out in the redding library parking lot poaching wifi waiting to go in and give a slide show presentation to the Shasta Mayflies (all women fly fishing club) and I thought this would be a good time to up date the blog. Spent Saturday on the lower yuba river guiding two of my good clients, dave and doug from San Diego. Fishing was good. Flows are up to 1600 and clarity is about 1-3'. Fish on the Lower yuba have moved into their high water haunts and seem to be done spawning. In the upper river where the clarity wasn't as good most of our fish came in shallower water 2-3' - typical high off color water spots - once we got to the middle river (old first island) we began to get fish in a little deeper water along seems slots - typical high water spots. I find that once the slower flats and runs have enough water moving through them to create good seams yuba trout will move outta the riffles and hang more in what I would call lower sac style of water. Most of our fish came on rubber legs and copper johns - no worms or caddis. We did raise and hook a few fish lower in the river on #12 Yuba Emergers and Elk Hair Caddis. No big fish but good numbers - biggest fish was about 18" with good numbers of fat 16-17" fish.

Sunday I spent the morning guiding the Sac down from Ord Bend looking for stripers. Well we got a few grabs that we missed and ventured about a mile below rd. 49 fishing all the likely spots. Water was high, up around 14000, and off color - about 6" of visibility. I have found though that visibility is not a big deal when it comes to striper fishing. Fishing was tough but it got tougher...on the way back up river my lower unit on my motor went out. If you are not familiar with boats that is like your transmission going out...definately a bad deal. So I drift down river to where the river meets the road and scope out a spot I might be able to get my trailer down to. No dice. So I call my buddy to tow me off the river...his boat is in pieces and he says 3-4 hours, it is 11:30 - so I call my wife and she throws my 2 year old son in the car and comes and picks up my clients and takes them back to chico. I sit and wait...take a nap...skip rocks....wait.....take a nap....skip my dad.....wait.....wait.....6:00pm my buddy finally shows up....8:00pm we get back to the boat ramp....long day would be an understatment.

Needless to say I am the proud owner of a brand new evenrude E-Tec 60horse motor that will arrive friday. No more crappy old motors.

The adventure continues....Over and out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Weekend....

So was looking forward to a nice weekend but wow did the weather change. Canceled both my trips this weekend as they were warm water trips out on the L. Sac. I went out Saturday just to run the boat and see what the river was looking like after all the winter storms and that was a mistake. Full rain gear, wind at 30+mph, just plain miserable. River did look good though, flows are still low and water is cold so warm water bite is probably a few weeks of nice weather away. Have heard some reports of stripers down low by colusa, butte city/Princeton area. Hopefully today is the last day of rain for a while and the 70+ degree weather forcasted for this coming weekend pans out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lower Yuba on a Tuesday

Spent tuesday on the lower Yuba river with two good clients of mine. The flows on L. Yuba came up on April 2 from 900cfs to 1200. Then with the rains on sat and sunday the river came up to about 1600cfs and now has settled down around 1200 again. Deer Creek peaked at 450cfs and has sense come down to normal levels. On tuesday the river had about 2-4 feet of visibility, really a perfect tint to the water a slight brown. I figured going into the day that fishing was either going to be really good or really tough with the flow increase and color the fish were going to either be totally screwed up or go on a feeding binge. Neither of my predictions were the case. Fishing was fair. Not great but not bad.

Morning was pretty cold but the day did warm up as the sun came out but there was still some cold wind gusts through out the day. Wind wasn't bad but it was an issue and did keep that hatches in the sporadic category. There was sporadice hatches of grey drakes and I did see good numbers of PMD's at times, which is a first for this year. PMD's were LARGE, #14, and we did fool a few fish on Qugley's Film Critic and Hogan's Wing Man with Hogan's sipper in PMD as a dropper. I did feel that there were enough bugs on the water at various times to warrant good numbers of fish on the surface but I think the water clarity kept them down. Most of the fish we caught were on nymphs and in very shallow water (1-3'). We didn't hook a fish in the deeper runs which I think is a symptom of the water clarity. Almost all except a fish or two came on the Jimmy Leggs which again shows how the water clarity affected the fish as I haven't been able to buy a fish on a rubber legs lately.

Overall it was a great day and this warm weather we are having today and is forcasted for the next couple days should get the Yuba really going. Myself I will be out on the Lower Sac the next few days chasing the first pushes of migratory stripers. Over and out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shad Are coming

So I am pretty much caught up on my flies so I decided to start tying some shad flies as I go through these pretty quick when guiding. I tie about 3-4 different patterns for shad and while everyone has their secret shad fly I tend to think that when shad are bitting and I am fishing over fish most anything works. I do think smaller, short shank, flies in sizes 6-10# are best as a shad's mouth is pretty small and the smaller the fly the more consitent hook ups. Also I think trim dart style flies work the best, but who knows.

I tend to stick with 3 color schemes - Chartreuse/Hot Pink, Hot Pink/Chartreuse, and Pearl/Hot Pink. I have seen people catch fish on all sorts of color schemes and flies in my boat as there are always the people who will only fish their secret shad fly - I had one guy last year that wouldn't even let me unhook or net his fish as he didn't want me to see his "secret fly" - What ever. He failed to notice that his buddy caught just about the same number of fish on one of mine. Supposedly his caught "bigger females" - Shad guys are sometimes a little crazy.

All the patterns I tie are variations of an old chico local named Bob Story's patterns. Bob use to tie commercially for shops around town. I think his wife did most of the tying and he did the selling - not sure. Idylwilde also ties some shad flies designed by Capay local Tim Fox that I have caught plenty of fish on. I prefer the Brite Shad Fly in Chartreuse the best for the Lower Sac.

The materials I use are crystal flash, Edge glow, and Ice Braid. On bead or cone patterns I use some Chenelle but not very often as I like to keep the patterns trim. Also I use barbell eyes to assure the hook rides point up.

Best time for shad on the Lower Sacramento River outside of chico is the end of May through June and while that is a month or two away I am getting excited for some warm days and nice evenings anchored up swinging flies for these big slabs.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Egg Hunt and back on the water Tuesday.

Steph and I took Oliver for his first egg hunt today at the Chic Area Recreation Dept. (CARD). Fun stuff - was a little overwhelmed but saw a bunch of his friends, met the easter bunny, pet some real bunnies, and chase down some plastic eggs.

I will back on the L. Yuba tuesday and then spend Wed-Fri on the L. Sac chasing early migratory stripers. Heard there are good numbers of smaller males and an occasional female around. Reports to follow.