Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What it is all About...

Was gonna go chase some stripers today but after a slow day yesterday I have to admit to myself that it is still a few weeks away from prime time. Got plenty of shakers and saw some bigger fish smashing small shad but no cigar on hooking anything worth reporting....So today I took Ollie down to a local creek a few minutes from our house. Little Rock throwing, Bug looking, and of course some swimming...

Its amazing how the older my sons gets the less I care about catching fish and the more I care about passing on what I know and the sport of fly fishing to him.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little known secret...

It has been hot recently in chico, ca....really hot like 106F. While most people just sit indoors and vegitate with the A/C on, I can't just stay home. Due to baby watch I am staying in town this week, but I can't just sit in doors all day. I was scheduled to work up at the Clearwater lodge but due to some cancelations I was able to stay home with steph.

One of my favorite things to do on the hottest days of the year is go explore valley creeks for smallmouth. Pretty much every valley creek that dumps into one of our big tailwaters like the Feather, American, or Sac has smallmouth bass in them. While it does take some exploring to find access, the productive buckets, and the best way to get after them it is well worth it as these fish eat all day and once you get the presentation down are more than willing to jump on a fly. My favorite thing about the areas I fish is the simplicity, one fly pattern, 4wt, wading boots (optional, sandals work just fine), nice cool water on a hot day.

All that said the fish aren't incredibly big. A nice fish on the waters I fish is about 15" avg fish is about 12" but on a 3 or 4wt they pull like a semi truck. Most of the fish I find will eat a fly dragged across the bottom or a popper presented with some action. One thing I have found key is fishing while the sun is high in the sky as this will allow you to see the fish. Most all the fishing I do is sight fishing and on average these fish are not spooky at all making walking the banks or wading down the middle of the creek looking for them pretty easy. Many cruise the shallow flats or runs looking for anything they can get their mouth on and a small woolly bugger dragged
across the bottom usually works just fine. Bottom line is get out and explore. There is so much fishing that many people rarely take advantage of close to home.

Friday, June 25, 2010

2 days off...2 days of striper fishing

Spent a few hours between mowing the lawn, hanging with Ollie, and waiting for my wife to into labor chasing stripers on the Sac. Water has come down though there is still a lot more than usual which changes many of my spots....though for the better. Wednesday found a bunch of shakers and managed 2 keeper (23-25") fish to hand along with seeing 2 BIG blow ups. Thursday went back out and hammered one of my favorite spots where I saw those two big blow ups to no avail (just a bunch of shakers). I still think it is a tad early as there are a good number of small (10-12") shad around and any striper over 18" can fit one of those down it's gullet so they don't have much interest in my flies right now. Should continue to pick up though over the next few weeks. Back to trout fishing today and a cast hope trip. Should be fun.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tour of Northern California...

Lack of updates are lame I know but it has been a crazy week. Here is the day by day breakdown:

Monday: Worked in Fish First. Got my check engine soon light checked out...within 6mos is soon right? apparently a hose was loose and it cost $84 to reattach...and yes I will never go to that mechanic again. This was balanced out when on the same day the dudes at Chico UHaul fixed my trailer lights for free. AWESOME dudes. ... "No charge just a loose wire and we needed to re do your ground" .... my thought attaching a hose $84 - Loose wire and redoing my ground free. What the fuck. After work packed up the car and drove up to Clearwater house to guide the next day. Made it to the guide house around 10pm. Crashed out with Andrew Harris and Mike Peters...Andrew is a light sleeper and apparently I am a light snorer...I don't think he'll bunk with me again.

Tuesday: Guided Pit 3. Fishing was great. Had a Husband and wife from Sacramento and they both got the tightline technique down and started hooking some nice rainbows. The Husband lost a really nice fish in one of the bigger riffles right before we left to throw some dries on Hat. Hot bugs on the Pit were Jimmy Legs, black bead olive birds nest, Olive Good and Plenty, and Olive Fox Pupa. Burned home that night and crashed out....Long day.

Wednesday: Had a OBGYN apt. with my wife where we learned she is due SOON. Due date is July 14 but we (as in wife, me, Dr) think Beckett will be here early. I also had a shad trip on the river and fishing was fair. Hooked maybe a dozen in a few hours and missed about a dozen. A few smaller females and a bunch of little males. The shad are thinning out and I think shad season is wrapping up.

Thursday: Hung out around the house left about 2pm to head up to clear water to guide the hex hatch that evening. There was no hex hatch. Between 3 boats there was 2 fish caught. Got back to guide house about 11pm. crashed out.

Friday: Guided Pit 3 and fishing was really good. Lots of big fish this year on the Pit and one of my clients even landed a nice 17" brown trout. Hot bugs were the same as tuesday. No hex that night for me but other guides that went out said they saw some bugs just no fish.

Saturday: Guided Pit 3 and did Ridge to Ridge which for those that don't know is the KNARLIEST stretch. Only done it a few times on my own and never with clients but these guys were determined. A really cool stretch with some amazing pocket water, big riffles, and big fish that rarely see flies. Hot bugs were Jimmy legs, Iron Sallies, and Olive good and plenty's. Went out for the hex hatch that night and it went off. The hatch was pretty epic...bugs EVERY where but only a few fish eating. They will figure it out shortly and in the next few days the fish should go OFF!!! Left Clearwater at about 10:15pm and got home about 1am...Long Day.

Sunday: Woke up late for my birthday and fathersday, cleaned up my boat and truck, unpacked and hung out. Then went to see Toy Story 3 with Oliver and Steph....Good day.

Finally gonna get some fishing in of my own this week. Shad are thinning out and I am hoping to get some striper fishing in mid week. Over and out....Go fish!!!

Obligatory pics....

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So ..... here goes the recap. Guided the L. Sac for shad on monday. Fishing was tough...really thought was that we were between pushes of fish as guys up river Los Mo/Red Bluff area were banging fish. Tuesday guided the Lower Sac from Barge Hole down to Bend Bridge. Fishing again was tough as the flows are incredibly high. Clarity was fine but many of my usual spots were very different with all the water. We did manage fish though and I would say given the flucutating flows that day and the high water fishing was fair. Hot bugs were rubber legs and 16 flash back PT's along with some copper john variations in the afternoon.

Wednesday and Thursday I was on the road giving slide shows. Always a fun thing as it gets me off the water for a few days. Both were well attended and it was a good to meet some new people and get out of town.

Friday the wind roled in and while I was planning on fishing with my dad we ended up just hanging out and playing with my son Oliver. Should get back out on the water Sunday to fish on my own... Then next week I am up at Clear Water House guiding the fall and other rivers up there. Loven the sunshine!!! Over and out

Sunday, June 6, 2010

5 June 2010

Spent yesterday out on the Sac. Flows are up to about 16,000 cfs with a release at Keswick of 15,000cfs so I don see a drop in flows in the future. Clarity is marginal as the high flows erode the soft clay and dirt banks that the cliff swallows have done their work on. That said conditions are not terrible. Once we got back in the sloughs, flats, and creeks looking for bass we found some clear water and good conditions. That said the up and down flows, temps, and weather have really made the bass fishing tough. We found fish smashing bait on the surface but couldn't get them to eat our flies even though my clients put the flies on the money. We also found some nice 10-15lb carp in a few back bays, but they were suspended and not really in eating mode though we did get a few follows and serious looks. A good spot to come back to during low light conditions and stalk the fish up on the flats. Later in the day we found some small mouth and small stripers smashing the surface but again we had limited success. Overall we were fishing to fish most of the day but just couldn't get them to eat what we were throwing...frustrating.

The weather looks stable over the next week so that should help maybe get the fish on a routine. I will be back on the river tomorrow for an evening shad date so I'll have a shad report tuesday. IN other news if anyone has a silver face Fender twin reverb they want to trade out or sell for a cheap price let me know...

Over and Out.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shad, Crazy weather, a street vendor, fly guide, etc.

So shad are here in force. I guided both tuesday and monday evenings and found fish in good numbers both evenings. One thing I have been hearing and board chatter has pertetuated is the rumor/idea that "there are a lot of big fish this year"....I am not one to jump on any shad rumor or generalization but the last few days have confirmed this rumor atleast in the dozen or so holes I fished on the L. Sac. We caught about 20-30+ fish a night and lost or missed a bunch more. We did find good numbers of "larger" females at most spots we fished. Even with high flows I am fishing 200-250 grain heads and standard shad flies.

I was gonna go fish today after school but it is raining and cloudy more like the last day before christmas break not the last day of school before summer. I will be back guiding tomorrow. Probably throw some flies for stripers, bass, carp, and shad...mix it up.

BAY AREA CREW: I will be speaking at the San Jose Fly Fishers on Wednesday next week on warm water fishing if you are in the club or area stop by

CHICO PEOPLE: I will be speaking at the Chico Fly Fishers on Thursday same speach so if you got to the san jose one hold off on the chico one.

In other news I helped my wife with her booth at thurs night market here in chico...Best night of people watching ever...all from my camp chair with my book. Check out Sweet Tangerine if you have a chance.

More non fishing news...Chico People go check out the band Surrogate at Cafe Coda this sunday. Great chico band on Tooth and Nail records -

Also in my owns band news (the Remainder) look for shows and web site soon...30 year olds with jobs and kids take a while to make things happen