Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter Forecast and available dates

Winter is here….Sorta…we haven’t had much weather but hopefully we get some rain soon, but not to much. There is some great fishing happening right now and coming up over the next 2 months. Here is what to expect:

Lower Yuba is entering into its Winter stage. Baetis hatches are getting going providing some dry fly fishing on any given day and there are still some winter salmon around so fish are still eating eggs. The fall crowds have disappeared and fishing should continue to be strong through January. With some rain we should see some winter steelhead moving up river as well.

Lower Sacramento River is fishing well in the middle to lower river. Winter fishing is getting going on the Lower Sac as well. The baetis hatches are getting going, even providing some dry fly fishing on various days. There are still good numbers of half pounders and a few adult steelhead in the lower river and the big trout up through town are starting to feed again as well. Winter fishing on the L. Sac can be very good as this is when some of the biggest rainbows of the year are caught.

Butte Creek is fishing fair to good. We really need some rain to bring the flows up and move some fish up river. That said the creeks is fishing fair for trout and a few early steelhead. Floating the creek is tough at the low flows but not impossible. With a good rain storm this creek will really start to turn on.

Winter is a great time to get out and fish as the fall crowds have disappeared and the fish have to keep eating!!!

Available dates:

Dec: 16, 17, 20, 28-31

Jan: 2-8, 16, 21, 22

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last few days....

With a week off of school I have been guiding the last four days. I spent days on the Lower Sac, Butte Creek, and Lower Yuba. I floated the Lower Sac from Red Bluff to Los molinos looking for trout and steelhead two days with mixed results. Both days we hooked adult steelhead and a few trout but fishing was by no means off the hook. One day the wind came up after lunch and kinda shut things down but the second day the wind stayed away and the baetis hatch came off pretty solid. We had, as you can have some days, good dry fly fishing during the baetis hatch. One client wading a flat hooked and landed 6 nice fish on small baetis dries. Most of our fish came on small mayfly nymphs and egg patterns.

Butte Creek so far has been really low. It needs rain to bring the flows up and bring some steelhead up the river. While there are resident wild trout in the creek they are not the main attraction for most. Sense the flows are so low I opted to walk and wade with my clients. We hooked one nice adult fish and a handful of resident rainbows. Not a bad day but I prefer to float the creek and will probably wait until we get some rain before I head out there again.

The Lower Yuba fished good as well. Lots of grabby smaller fish and a few bigger fish. Most fish came on egg patterns, small mayfly nymphs, a caddis pupa later in the day. Fish seem to be holding in traditional bug water and have moved out of the shallows where most anglers look for them eating salmon eggs this time of year. While we did catch fish on egg patterns they were more attractor style egg patterns and not beads.

Over all winter fishing is getting into swing on all the rivers and I still have some Dec./Jan. dates available if anyone is interested shoot me an email.

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Nor Cal Report

New Nor Cal Report on the Idylwilde Blog...check it out and consider yourself informed when done.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reports and what is coming up...

Been fishing all over the place recently as there is a lot of places fishing well and the weather has most definitely turned from Indian summer/fall to winter. Here is what has been going on...

Lower Sac - I have been from Aqua Gold down to Los Molinos over the last few weeks and fishing has been good to fair to tough through out the river. I still have not run into much of an egg bit and I think most have written it off for this year...again. Most of my days have been down between Red Bluff and Los Molinos chasing trout and steelhead. Fishing has been pretty good. When ever we fish down here you are taking a few less trout in exchange for the opportunity of getting into a steelhead. Over the weekend we caught good numbers of nice size trout, fin clipped half pounders, and two adult steelhead. Most fish came on small flies which can make those bigger fish tough. A few fish came on eggs but most were on smaller mayflies and attractors.

Feather River - Feather remains fair as there are still plenty of salmon on redds down to Palm Ave and good numbers of steelhead in the river. That said there are alot of people chasing them. We got into a few half pounders and a few adults over the weekend on egg patterns. Nothing to get totally excited about but I was happy with our numbers based on the crowds on the river.

Lower Yuba - I am thinking of heading back over to the Yuba soon as the baetis hatches are starting. Ryan Johnston was over there this weekend and said that he had good numbers of fish but most were pretty small. He did get 3 fish on dries which is pretty cool. I would like to see a bit of rain add some color to the river and maybe kick up the flows a bit before I head over again but I may just say screw it and see if I can get into some dry fly fishing over there.

Butte Creek - The creek opens up Nov. 15 and as of now flows are LOW but that is pretty typical for this time of year with no real rain. I did see on the long range forecast that there is some serious rain coming in over the next few weeks which should help. The raft is ready and I am getting pretty pumped for a good Butte Creek season.
I think salmon season is about over...

Monday, October 24, 2011

I spent the last few days on the Lower Feather and Lower Sac. Fishing was good to fair on both. Lower Feather has been fishing pretty good and has decent numbers of jumbo half pounders in the river with a few bigger adults. Still about the same numbers of salmon up on redds in the areas that I fished. Most fish came on beads or smaller attractor nymphs. Fishing should continue to be about the same could use some rain to mix things up over there and move some fish around.

Lower Sac fished fair. The egg bit is a myth and while we caught a few fish on eggs one day the other day I didn't even fish them. I didn't see one salmon on an active red. There are few salmon up in the shallows and we did catch a few fish behind them but all on bugs. If it was any other time of year I would say the fishing was good but the expectations for the 3rd week of October on the L. Sac are pretty high and we no where near reached those expectations. Most fish came on birds nest, Caddis poopahs, and S&M's. The caddis hatch midday was pretty good and fish got on the bigger caddis patterns later in the day...Not sure what to expect from the L. Sac going forward.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Mid Fall Fishing is shaping very nicely in northern California and winter fishing is right around the corner. Here is what has been happening and what is coming up.

Lower Yuba - has come back down to earth after fishing lights out for the last month. Fishing has been very good from about mid September until very recently. I spent Saturday guiding the river and fishing was good but we had to work for our fish and there were some dry spells at times. Fish are up on the reds eating eggs and usually the first guy through the reds is going to catch the easy fish after that you are going to have to work a bit for your fish. This is pretty typical for the lower Yuba as the flows are low this time of year and guides in boats and wade fishermen are all fishing the same water and the fish are getting a bit weary. Most of the fish we caught were on egg patterns but when I fished water I knew had been fished I switched up to finer tippet and some smaller flies as the fish usually drop back off the reds once a few have been pricked.

COMING UP - Yuba is usually up and down for most of the end of October and early November. I usually head back over in late November once the crowds disperse, the winter fish start to move into the river, and the baetis hatch gets going. Mid November through Mid January is a great time to be on the L. Yuba as you have opportunity to hook a winter steelhead and fish dry flies over a baetis hatch if the conditions are right.

Lower Feather – Spent a few days on the Lower Feather this last week as well. This is where I usually move once the Yuba gets tough. There is a ton of salmon in the feather and good numbers of half pound and jumbo half pounder steelhead in the river. I spent most of my time down in the high flow and fishing was good. Most of the salmon in the high flow are still hanging in the deeper holes and staging in the riffles. A few reds are popping up but over the next few weeks good numbers of fish should move up into the riffles to spawn.

Lower Sacramento – I have not moved up to the Lower Sac yet as all my buddies that have been guiding up there are kind of grumbling about the fishing. The egg bite doesn’t seem to have really gotten going with all the salmon that we were seeing in the lower river earlier this summer. Many of those fish may have gone up Battle Creek to the hatchery and not on up into the upper river. I have heard of some guys have good days down lower in the river but I have also heard the same guys struggling down low so….who knows. I am waiting to hear of some consistent fishing before I move up, but I am getting a little anxious to move up to Red bluff to start looking for some steelhead down low personally.

COMING UP – it should be a great season over the feather from Oroville down to Gridley. The end of October through the middle of November is usually prime time down through the high flow to Gridley. This year with the number of salmon in the river it should be a great year on the feather. I am pumped to fish over here over the next month.

Butte Creek – Opens Nov. 15 and should have a great winter season. I will be doing walk and wade and floating the creek this winter. This is a true winter steelhead fishery minutes from down town Chico, ca in a beautiful river canyon. A great place to spend a winter day nymphing or swinging flies for steelhead and trout.

As always check out my blog for the most up to date fishing reports and ramblings. I still have winter dates available if any one is looking to get out.

Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 20-23, 27, 31
Jan. 2-8, 21, 22, 28, 29
Feb. 4, 5

Monday, October 3, 2011


Spent the weekend over on the Lower Feather River. Was gonna go back down to the Yuba but Ryan Johnston said the place was a zoo friday so no bueno. I love the yuba but inevidably every year around the first part of october the crowds arrive in form of wade fishermen and other guides. So time to move on for a few weeks....

The Lower Feather is full of salmon right now, possibly explaining and confirming the theory that is where many of the Yuba salmon are. A few runs in the upper low flow after loosing a few rigs I deamed unfishable because the number of salmon. The salmon are just starting to pair up and a few, I mean like one or two a riffle, have cut redds. During this time the salmon get pretty aggressive, chasing most steelhead out of the riffles and even aggressively eating eggs that are not of their spawn. That said we hooked limited numbers of fish. In the low flow we hooked 4 legitimate fish and landed one. All came on egg paterns in deeper water. The High Flow is cranking...I would not recomend trying to get a drift boat through the outlet as I did...a little sketchy. That said we hooked a few half pounders in the high flow but nothing great and with all the water fishing is tough. I probably won't go down there until the flows drop to around 2500-3500cfs.

That's the report now go make some of your own.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Report and Ramblings

Nor Cal Report –

With I-City back together we have all been spreading out and canvassing various rivers and puddles. Ryan Johnston, Darrin “the deeler” Deel (after a short stint in Reno for April, his girl friends, birthday), Kevin Price, and myself will all be spreading out over the valley tail waters over the next few months. Todd “Slim” Cancilla and Brandito Sanchez will be working the steelhead ditch known as the Trinity, dodging commercial pot farmers and Meth labs to catch some big steel. Good to have the boys back together.

Fall weather is here with cool evenings and mornings along with some warm afternoons. Rain is on the way next week and should mix up some things if it comes in any significant form. October is one of the best months to fish in Nor Cal and is shaping up to be nothing short of great.

Lower Yuba River – The egg bite is getting going on the Lower Yuba. Fish have moved into the shallow riffles and are eating egg patterns pretty aggressively. There is still not a ton of salmon around but the ones that are are getting active in the riffles cutting redds and getting ready to drop eggs. The bigger fish seem to be getting a bit more active as we did hook some bigger rainbows over the last week but no big adult steelhead yet. Maybe with the rain this coming week some bigger steelhead will move up the river. Hot bugs have been eggs patterns and big attractors. Fly selection is not very critical this time of year, it is more about knowing what water to fish.

Lower Sacramento River – Flows are down to 8800cfs and dropping down again to 8200cfs on Oct. 3. Good numbers of salmon are moving up into the Redding section of the river and more and more are moving up river everyday. A few fish are starting to anticipate the egg drop and fishing eggs has caught a few fish but caddis still are the main menu item for most trout. Look for the egg bite to kick into gear in the next week or two.

Lower Feather River – The low and high flow sections of the river are full of salmon. There have been a few reports of jumbo half pounders caught over the last week, but I have not heard of any big adults yet. The High Flow section is still high and wading access is limited, as flows have been fluctuating around 5000-7500cfs. Wading access will improve when the flows drop to around 2000cfs. The Low Flow provides the best wading access for most anglers. The next month is prime time on the feather and should see some nice adult fish move into the river.

The Steelhead Ditch aka The Trinity – Heard rumors of fish…Slim has been catching some nice fish over there and Brandito Sanchez has headed over a few days with out reporting back in to I-City. Slim got some fish a few days but I have not heard of any big numbers. The Deeler was over there as well and had his boat trailer vandalized…solid. October should be a good month over on the ditch for catching steelhead, guides getting angry at each other, and freezing your but off.

Sports Report – The Giants could not overcome all their injuries and score more than a run or two a game so they are headed home after the last week of the season. That said the last night of the season was AMAZING with all the drama surrounding the Red Sox, Rays, Braves, and the wild cards. The playoffs are going to be good. I am not sure whom I am picking but right now I am liking the Tigers and Philly.

In Notre Dame news we barely escaped the Pitt Panthers last week and are now heading over to Purdue. We are favored by double digit points but that doesn’t mean much this year when we are turning the ball over more then any other team in division 1 football. Next week I will be heading out to South Bend for the Air Force game and reporting live from the mecha of college football.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lower Yuba

Fishing was good this weekend. Spent the weekend with a few really good anglers so that always helps. I did see some more salmon, but nothing and I mean nothing like usual. Found a couple redds but no salmon were active in them. Fish seemed to be anticipating the eggs as most fish came on egg patterns and big stone fly patterns (take your pick they didn't seem to be picky). Most fish were concentrated in the deeper parts of riffles down from where there are usually salmon spawning which was kinda weird as most of these spots didn't have any salmon I could see. Seems like the fishing is picking up and getting better I just can't imagine it lasting to long this year with low salmon numbers, but I could be wrong.

Heard some good reports of a few steelhead in the feather but with salmon season still open in the high flow the crowds are chaotic I guess.

Here are some pics from the weekend

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yuba Report

Spent the weekend over on the Lower Yuba, like most weekends lately and to come. Fishing was fair to good. I look at the numbers and size of fish at the end of the two days and fishing should be ranked as good to really good. Both sets of clients commented that they had their best days ever on the Yuba, but I felt like we really had to work for our fish. There was dry spells, lots of fly changing, lots of back rowing, but some places where we really stacked numbers towards the end of the day. We caught fish on jimmy leggs, red copper johns, a new fly I am working on wichi is basicly a big attractor, and beads lower in the river. We hooked some nice fish in the 16-18” bracket and hit a few pods of NICE and HOT half pounders lower in the river along with a few 18+” fish that busted us off on the jump or run. Most of the migratory fish we found right above the dam so they should be moving up over the next week.

We even went and poked around below the diversion dam in the first few runs with limited success. Caught one trout. Did watch a ton of colored up salmon jumping and messing around in the wash of the dam…many looked pretty beat up and like they may not make it up the fish ladder to spawn in the upper river. Not a big deal as many spawn below the dam each year. Also saw a few half pounders jumping around in the wash as salmon chased them. Pretty cool.

Over all the river is slowly coming to life this fall. It should get really good right on time towards the end of february but I am still a bit concerned about the lack of salmon I am seeing the in deeper holes. I talked to a few DFG survey’ers who were putting in at the same time with a jet boat as I was and I asked about the lack of salmon I was seeing. They said they are stacked up above the bridge in the deeper holes and should start spreading down stream soon to cut redds and drop eggs. Good news but still I usually see a bunch of fish in the runs and riffles right now…may be like most things this year, a bit late.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yuba Report

Spent Labor Day weekend guiding on the Lower Yuba. Fishing was fair to good I would say. I had high hopes for an early egg bite but it didn’t really pan out that way. The flows are now down to 820cfs and in two days I saw 5 salmon. One was near death the other two were milling around in a riffle hanging pretty deep. Most of the salmon I saw the last few weeks as the flows dropped must have shot up above the bridge pretty quick. I didn’t see one salmon redd and only a handful of fish ate a bead over the 3 days I fished the river. There was very little consistency to what the fish were eating which has been some what the case lately but nothing like it was this weekend. I did see more caddis activity this weekend as before, and even saw a few fish eat caddis or hoppers off the surface, but in typical Yuba fashion would not rise to anything my clients threw at them. Fish ate rubber legs, red copper johns, birds nests (olive and natural), Spring Fling pupa, Olive steelie caddis, and Petrified Pupas.

There was a lot of water that fish had been holding in a week ago that my clients didn’t touch a fish in and I found most my fish podded up in bigger holes and runs. I am thinking that a lot of the trout followed the larger pods of salmon up river above the bridge in anticipation of eggs spewing from them. I did find some random fish we pulled out of skinny water riffles and some water I was really surprised to find fish in. Not sure what the Also the avg. size of fish was a bit bigger with a few nice 18-20’ fish that were nice and fat.

I still think that the egg bite is a few weeks away and I will be honest I was a little worried about the lack of salmon that I saw in the deeper holes through the river. I think there are salmon in the river just not enough to fill down below the bridge.

Interesting events on the river -

The Lower Yuba is a pretty small tailwater river (800cfs) where all gasoline motors are illegal on the most popular stretch from the Englebright Dam to the Daguerre Diversion Dam. I was back rowing a riffle about half way through the drift and I hear a sound that sounds like some kind of slowly dying generator. I look down river and see this guy in a kayak like thing cruising up the bank…obviously powered by a motor. To my surprise it is one of those Mokai jet powered kayaks…this thing looked more like a jet powered hot turd blasting up river. It was even a nice brownish poop color. The guy blasted the kayak right up on the bank in the middle of the riffle I was fishing. I proceeded to ask the guy in a nice non-confrontational manner if he knew that it was illegal to run gas motors on this stretch of the river…It very quickly became apparent what type of person buys a Mokai jet powered Kayak. His response was that he had called the Dept. of fish and Game and that they told him they did not have time nor care about a kayak with an engine. Then a rant on how the DFG has more important things to do...He then went nuts…he went on diatribe telling me that he was sure I break laws on the river and in general in my day to life on a regular basis and that I was no better then he was…He was very sure he knew all about me and how I live my day to day life....interesting.....My response was that this is a county law and enforced by the sherif of Yuba County and that I do not blatantly and purposefully break any law. He then went off more…and I ended the conversation as rationalizing with an irrational person usually does not end well.

He then pulled out his kayak paddle and slid right below me in the run proceeding to low hole me over and over by blasting up and down the bottom of the run…Redemption came in about 6 fish from fishing right behind him as he tried to manage a drift and use a two sided kayak paddle…if you have ever tried to fish indicators out of a one man pontoon boat you know how effective this technique can be (this is a sarcastic statement as his drifts were a joke).

Why was this interesting? 1- Rarely do I encounter such a douche bag on the river. 2 - I finally have a picture of the type of person that buys one of those Mokai Jet Powered Kayaks 3 – I realized I am getting older as in my younger years when confronted with such a douche bag the whole encounter would of ended much different…me attempting to throw some blows or spouting off enough to require me to throw blows to defend myself, or even me giving him the “You better turn that thing around and get back to your car before I do”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Update and Available Dates

Fall Fishing is on its way. I spent the last weekend on the lower yuba and put the boat over two large pods of salmon just above the diversion dam. The pods numbered in the 30-40 range and with the clear water it was really cool. The dropping of the flows starting Aug 22 and ending Sept 1 at around 800cfs I am thinking is pushing any salmon in the lower river up and over the diversion dam and on up the river. These were the first pods I have seen but I am sure not the only moving up the river. We fished through the pods and hooked up and landed two nice half pound steelhead that jumped all over the place and went on multiple runs.

Fishing on the Lower Yuba remains good with good numbers of hot rainbows in the 12-14” range and a few nice fish in the 16-20” range.

Lower Feather River is going to get going over the next week or two and as both steelhead and salmon fill in through the river fishing will get good.

Should see a good year on the lower sac as salmon fishing for the conventional anglers has been GOOD. Guide boats and recreational boats are getting multiple fish everyday so there are good numbers of fish moving up the river. Striper fishing remains productive and should last through September.

I still have some prime fall dates available if anyone is interested as well as discounted date this weekend.

I am offering this sunday or monday Sept 4th and 5th at a discounted rate. $295 for a full day guided trip on the Lower Sac, Lower Yuba, Lower Feather, NF feather, or Lower Sac for stripers.

Sept. (these are prime egg bite days on the L. Yuba) 18 Oct 1, 2,

Prime L. Sac steelhead/trout and Feather River steelhead Oct. 16, 29, 30, Nov 12, 13

Winter Trout and steelhead on the Lower Yuba, Butte Creek Steelhead, and winter trout and steelhead on the Lower Sac. Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 16-23, 27-30.

*pic is from Yuba on Sunday.

Also check out a recent post I did for the http://truchacabra.wordpress.com/ this is a buddy of mines blog out in New Mexico. He owns a nice shop in Santa Fe called the Reel Life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lower Yuba Flow Drop and Nor Cal Update

The lower Yuba will began its Fall flow drop on Monday August 22. It will drop 200cfs everyday until September 1st when it will have dropped to around 800cfs. Also above the Hwy 20 bridge closes to all fishing August 31. Just a reminder...

Also check out my Nor Cal Report on the Idylwilde Blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lower Yuba River

Lower Yuba -
Fishing has been fair. Flows dropped from 3300cfs to 2800cfs on thurs/Fri so fishing took a bit of a hit. The drop was not a gradual drop but turn of the spigget fast drop so I think the fish got a little thrown off. Still managed 20+ fish each day I was out there but most were in the 10-14" range and the nice 15-18" fish seemed to be missing in the mix. Not that there was a ton of fish that size prior but we were getting a few. The biggest fish we got was a 20" fish on Monday.

Status of fish still seems to be the same. The river is full of 8-12" FAT fish. Good to see but that seems to be the majority of what I am catching. Usually these don't get to hold in the prime water and are forced to spots of the river that I usually don't fish. I am catching these fish in prime trout water now which leads me to start to think that the bigger fish may have been pushed down river with all the high water. Basically I am trying to hypothesis why I ( and all the others I am talking to) am catching 75% - 95% 10-12" fish. Furthermore, the bigger fish that I am catching are skinny, not total snakes but not traditional fat yuba fish. So who knows...I am curious to see what is going to happen as more and more salmon move into the river and start dropping eggs. Hopefully this will pull some fish back up into the upper river and fatten up some of the skinny fish that are still around. If not the smaller fish are gonna big really quick with all those eggs.

Flies wise i have been fishing rubber leggs, red copper johns, natural birds nests, yuba pupa's, and Morrish Hopper.

Fall Fishing is right around the corner and I still have some great dates available if anyone is interested.
Sept: 18, 25
Oct. 1, 2, 16, 29, 30

Friday, July 29, 2011

Report - L. Sac and L. Yuba

I spent most of this last week guiding the L. Sac and the L. Yuba and fishing was good on both of them. I did get one striper day in and fishing good there as well.

Lower Sac - I floated from Posse down to Barge Hole in the days I was up there and the whole stretch fished well. I did Posse to Anderson and Anderson to Barge a few times both and caught good numbers of fish on both floats. Right now the bigger fish seem to be coming from about Posse down to Bonnie View but there are a ton of boats on that float right now as well. Hot bugs for me up top were various caddis and small mayfly nymphs in size #16 and #18. Between Anderson and Barge has been a great float for me as I have had it to myself every time I have done it. Rare to get a float on the L. Sac all to yourself. Been getting good numbers down here but not the size like up top. Average fish down here is about 16". Have hooked a few fin clipped "half pounder" steelhead which is always a nice benefit of fishing down low. Hot flies have been rubber leggs, birds nest, and caddis patterns. One thing that is nice about down low is you can get away with bigger flies.

Lower Yuba - Flows on the Lower Yuba have been stable now for a few weeks around 3500cfs and fishing has been good. I love this flow as there are so many cool spots to fish and types of water that aren't fishable when the flows are lower. Most of my fish, believe it or not, are coming from spots that are very accessible for wade fishermen. Most are not the standard spots though so think a bit outside the box if you are going to go fish out there. Hot flies have been rubber leggs, red copper johns, and various birdsnest and attractor patterns. Hatches have been limited and I have seen almost no fish working the surface. I have had clients pull up a few fish throwing hoppers, but nothing that I would say constitutes good dry fly fishing. The fish seem to be healthy and fat considering all the high water. Most of the fish I have been catching are in the 12-14" bracket, but on the Yuba that fish is pretty hot. Everyday I have been out there we are getting half dozen 16-18" fish with a few around 20" over the last few days. These fish are a little skinny, but nothing like I have seen in previous high water years. Furthermore, the river has changed very little with all the high water. There are some subtle changes in runs and buckets but no big channel changes like in previous high water years. Also lots of new pea size gravel for salmon to spawn and all the old redds have been flattened out making it easy for salmon to make new redds.

Striper fishing has been good as well though I haven't been out there a ton. I had one day out on the Sac and we did the 5am meet time looking for some early morning top water action. We had a few blow ups but nothing that justified the early start in my opinion, especially when we found a few good pods of fish smashing bait midday on the surface. We threw top water to these fish and got a few nice 5-8lb schoolies as well as breaking off a bigger fish. Overall it has been a very good summer striper season and should only get better as we head into prime top water time in August.

Over and Out

Sunday, July 24, 2011


So Much going on right now that I guided everyday this last week and still feel like I missed a ton of it. Here is what I did and what I have heard aka what I missed…

Lower Sac – Fished the Lower Sac from Anderson to Barge Hole yesterday and fishing was good. Most fish continue to come on coffee black Jimmy Leggs and big Birds Nest, but with an influx of some new bugs from the CEO at Idylwilde I did try some new patterns. I fished Wilcox’s Little Green Machine PT in #16 and caught a good number of fish midday. This fly has always looked good but no one seems to carry it in Nor Cal. I am on the Yuba next week a few days and think this thing is going to tear up the Yuba…If I talk about it next week it fished OK if you never hear me mention this fly again it is roping fish.

Lower Yuba – Flows have been stable over the week around 3400cfs. This is a great flow on the Lower Yuba. It keeps good amounts of water flowing through the flats and there are countless buckets against the banks that at lower flows are just a bit to shallow to hold fish. These flows really spread fish out which I think is a good thing as an angler can really pick and choose the water they want to fish. Want to target fish in deep water hanging behind rocks…you can do that. Want to throw hoppers…target fish holding along the bank the deeper buckets get some Grillos Pool Toys drop something with some red behind it and get after it. Want to swing caddis emergers/soft hackles …. Get some Yuba Pupas or Silvey’s Prime Time Pupa or Soft Serve wad out and swing through one of the seams on the bigger riffles. Either way lots of options on the L. Yuba. Fishing from a boat I am fortunate enough to get to do all of these things and clients have caught fish doing them all.

Striper Report from the L. Sac through Idylwilde City – Fishing remains good. Been starting to get into some top water fishing this last week at first light then again midday when the water warms a bit. First light shift is when we are finding the bigger fish up on the flats and shelves eating and then when the water warms midday the smaller (5-10lbs) fish start chasing Pike Minnows in their normal haunts. A few Kings are starting to show up as well and we have a caught a few nice chrome kings as well. Always cool to see a nice chromer king chase down a chartreuse/white clouser and then jump into the air. Boat traffic has been light sense the flat fish, jig bouncing, row fishing crew has not been doing to well, but it is only a matter of time as the party boats out in the bay are killing it.

Lower Feather River – I have not fished here, but heard from a few reliable sources that guys are catching a few kings swinging flies in the high flow section of the river. This is a pretty fun thing to go do at first light or in the evening. Swinging Tim Fox’s Hot Shot Comet in Chartreuse or Hot Orange as well as Hickman’s Party Boy in Chartreuse usually gets the job done. Most guys have been averaging about a fish or two a session, but the fish that are in I have heard very grabby and aggressive, chasing swung flies across riffles and such. Fun Stuff.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I have been on a real bender...in many respects. Guiding all over the north state, drinking all sorts of booze, and not getting any where near the recommended amount of sleep. Good news is this will make for an interesting fishing report. If you read no further, fishing is good in the North State so go somewhere and fish.

I spent 5 days sense I last reported up at Clearwater Lodge up on the Pit River in the Fall River Valley. An amazing place in a truelly unique part of Northern California. I fished all the spots and here is what I found.

Fall River - I spent 3 days and nights on Fall River. I would rate fishing as Fair. PMD’s are hatching around 10-noon on most days and fish are chowing on the surface. Each pod seems to key on a different stage of the bug. Mandatory flies and the flies that catch almost all my clients fish are Q’s Hackle Stacker, Q’s Sparkle Stacker, Q’s Flag Dun, Hogan’s SIM Mayfly, and Hogan’s Sipper. Nymphing after the hatch was tough. Managed to nymph up some fish on 16 and 18 Brown S&M nymphs and simple stuff like no bead no flash 18 and 20 Pheasant Tails. The nymph grab was tough though. Did swing a few SIM Flies on intermediate lines and type 2 sink tips to scrounge up some fish but nothing really went off after the PMD hatch. Fish seem to be really podded up and not spread out so it is key to find the pods of fish.

HEX HATCH - it is going pretty strong on warm days. The hatch seems to be up to about Confluence right now. I get out on the water about 8pm and swing Q’s Emerging Hex Nymph on a type 2 sink tip or an intermediate line or sit and watch the sun set behind Mt. Shasta and have a few beers or Cocktails. This seems to be the most popular pre hatch activity. The hatch has been starting about 9-9:15pm and good numbers of fish are up on the surface eating duns. Most of my clients fish have been coming on Q’s Hex Paradrake and Q’s Hex Pop Corn Cripple. Most anglers are getting about 20-30 minutes of fishing the hatch as the warden is out making sure no one is fishing past legal fishing hours (half hour past sun set).

Hat Creek - Fishing on hat has been fair to good. I spent a few morning sessions down on the Lower Creek and did well. Good numbers of Salmon Flies and Golden Stoneflies are flying and crawling around. Fishing a Jimmy leggs with a small red copper johnson or Red Wire nest dropper caught fish nymphing. Once the fish started rising throwing a Grillos’ El Camino in Gold with a little black sharpie touch up brought a few nice fish up. During the late afternoon and evening throwing smaller caddis patterns like the fastwater caddis and Kingrey’s Better Foam Caddis in Olive or tan rose some good fish in the Power House #2 Riffle.

Lower Sacramento - I floated the Lower Sac 2 days this last week as well. Fishing was good. Spent both days between Bonnie View and Balls Ferry. Fish ate Jimmy Leggs, #10 copper bead natural birds nest, #12 copper wire nest, and fox’s pooph. Fish seem to be keying on caddis more then they were a week ago. The PMD hatch has started to thin out and caddis and big stones are becoming the main meal ticket. Fishing should continue to be good throughout the river and as the weather heats up over the next week I am going to be looking to the lower floats myself.

America’s Fish (aka Bass) - in celebration of the independence of our nation from that bastard king George and the Brits fill a cooler with domestic light beer, get in an aluminum boat or pull a pick up truck up to a pond and drop the tail gate, string up a rod with a deer hair popper, and go bass fishing for a few hours one evening this week. Bass are in their summer pattern and nothing beats a good top water evening with some cold beer.

The fish that eat trout and salmon smolt report (aka striped bass) - Striper fishing is turning on from what I have heard on the Lower Sac outside of Idylwilde City. There has been some nice fish caught over the last week. I have heard personally of a 20lber and a 40lbers, both on flies. I have a few days off here over the holiday weekend and will be fishing out there myself. We are approaching prime striper time so over the next few weeks I will be guiding and fishing out there a ton. There is nothing better then hitting the river during the hottest part of the day and pulling on some big stripers.

Beer Report - I am on serious detox right now (I know I am a pussy, candy pants, candy cane, pink triangle...feel free to inject your own adjective I can take it)....I have vowed to not drink until July 4th. Call me a pussy but my liver needs to come up for air for a while. Two stints at the Clearwater guide house has taken my digestive track and liver to the brink and I need both to function so I am giving them a few days off...Busch tall cans (aka the Mike Peters pro model), Bud Light Lime (Darrin Deel/Brannon “Sanchez” Santos pro model), Crown Royale (death), and what ever cocktail my clients were mixing out of a cooler in my boat killed me. I just don’t recover like I use to...I figure this burning feeling/sour rot gut can’t be good. Oh and it seems to always go away when I stop drinking from like noon until 11pm everyday for a few days. I ain’t a doctor though.

Tunes for people that use to like punk but have gotten older but still like punk every once in a while - So if you read my last post you know my theory on road tripen music. Before I took off on my last stint of guiding/driving I bought the new Rise Against CD “End Game”. Now I am by no means a long time Rise Against fan. I listened to the CD on I tunes as it was on sale and it sounded good...Something to keep me awake on the 3 hour drive back to Idylwilde City after guiding the hex hatch on fall river at like 11pm. This is a great CD good fist pumping, Pennywise style punk. I can’t say I am a huge punk guy but I dig old pennywise, NOFX...you know the good stuff, snakes and sparklers.

Thats it...Happy 4th and check in next week...Time off is usually an interesting thing in Idylwilde City.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I suck Sorry....

I haven't posted in an awhile as I have been crazy busy and I have taken over the Nor cal fishing report on the idylwilde flies blog (http://idylwilde.com/wordpress/) and that is a job in and of itself. The German and head of Idylwilde flies is a slave driver and if I don't get him a report each week he gets pretty pissed.

That said fishing has been steadily improving and for the most part been pretty good. There are some mountain streams out of chico that are fishing up hwy 32 (deer creek, butte creek, Big chico creek) and while a bit high clarity is good and the fish have to eat. The Lower Sac has been fishing fair to good for trout depending on the day, pretty typical summer fishing. Striper fishing has been picking up as the shad have thinned out and water has stabilized and warmed. The lower Yuba remains hopelessly high and will remain high for I imagine atleast through July.

Spent some time up at Clearwater lodge the last week and heading again tomorrow. Fall River has been fishing fair with the Hex hatch starting last week and gain strength daily. Pit 3 is fishable and cranking out good numbers even though the flows are high. Hat and Burney Creek are crowded but about the same as always. Good numbers of salmon and goldens coming off on both.

Looking forward to few days off next week and getting some striper fishing in on my own. I will get some pics up from my next Clearwater lodge stint late this week. Go fish this is the time to get out!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Late week pre weekend report

Been fishing and guiding all week. Poached a home development lake with my buddy Adam Grace on Wednesday and found good numbers of blue gill on beds and a few bass sitting on beds. I will say I was suprised to see bass off of beds as this is the first week of really warm weather and everything seems to be behind schedule with regards to fishing. The bass were right on schedule though. Off their beds, tough to catch as they were in post spawn into summer mode transition I think. Big colored up blue gills were willing which was fun.

Last two days chased stripers, Shad, Carp, and bass around on the Lower Sac outside of chico. Bass are still waking up it seems. I am perplexed as to what is happening with these guys as I have not seen any bass on beds and water temps are still pretty cold so not sure what they are up to or what is going to develop with them. Stripers are around in good numbers but the ones that we are catching are the ones that can't fit a 14" shad down their throat....schoolies in the 17-20" bracket. Fun but not big. Shad fishing was tough but improving the last few days with warmer weather, dropping flows, and warmer water temps. That said I have only caught small males and a few smaller females. This usually signifies the end of the run or dropping off of fishing, but who knows I could of just been fishing over a small pod.

Lower Sac trout fishing has been tough as flows are all over the place. Here is the release schedule for the next few days....this will tell you how the fishing will be.

06/11/2011 00:01 10650 cfs
06/11/2011 01:00 10400 cfs
06/11/2011 02:00 10150 cfs
06/11/2011 03:00 9900 cfs
06/11/2011 04:00 9700 cfs
06/11/2011 05:00 9500 cfs
06/11/2011 06:00 9300 cfs
06/13/2011 01:00 10000 cfs
06/14/2011 01:00 10500 cfs
06/14/2011 02:00 11000 cfs
06/14/2011 15:00 12500 cfs
06/14/2011 16:00 14000 cfs
06/14/2011 18:00 13650 cfs
06/14/2011 19:00 13310 cfs
06/14/2011 20:00 13000 cfs
06/14/2011 21:00 12675 cfs
06/14/2011 22:00 12360 cfs
06/14/2011 23:00 12055 cfs
06/15/2011 00:00 11755 cfs
06/15/2011 01:00 11465 cfs
06/15/2011 02:00 11180 cfs
06/15/2011 03:00 11000 cfs

Lower Yuba remains and seems to be climbing with the recent warm weather, up to 8000cfs today. Not really sure how the river is fishing as I haven't been on it but I know my buddy Ryan Johnston was catching fish about a week ago when the flows were around 5-6500cfs.

Anyhow I am just gonna keep pounding the water for stripers and waiting on the bass....once the North Fork feather comes into shape I am going to dust off the raft and life jacket and hit that. Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Lots of water....I spent the weekend guiding on the L. Sac outside of chico. The original focus of the trips were to be shad but with the cold weather we abandoned that idea and focused on stripers and bass. It was a two boat trip both days and we found a few small mouth and stripers on the first day where warmer clear water was entering the river but day 2 the river blew out and we were forced deep into the sloughs. One nice thing about high water is that it provides access to sloughs and back waters that are usually not open. That said the water temps were still pretty cold and to catch any bass you had to hit them on the nose.

Monday I spent regrouping and working on my boat. Today I bought a new trolling motor and installed it. I did hit the river for a short evening excursion just to make sure all my electrical stuff on my boat worked. I don't do electrical stuff and was little worried when it came to installing a new trolling motor. River is blow out big time. Up to about 25,000cfs but from the looks of things it is dropping and by Friday releases out of Keswick are to drop down to 12,000cfs. So the river down through chico should come into shape by early next week. I did get deep into a few sloughs (about a mile back) and caught some nice bass on topwater and found a few laid up carp that showed a slight interest in my fly.

Back out on the river tomorrow through Sunday. I'll have some reports this weekend.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last week...

Wow talk about weather all over the place...wind, rain, hail, thunder, lightening, and a tornado...Yes a tornado touched down south of chico and tore the heal out of a barn and a few miles of Almond and Walnut Orchard. Crazy. I have spent the last week chasing shad around on the Lower Sac outside of chico and some days have been good some days have been terrible. The fish are there and if we could get some consistent warm weather I think the fishing would be great. That said most of the fish we have been catching are large females so quality vs. quantity is a nice thing at times.

The river is high at 14500 outside of chico and the clarity is about 2-3'. Nice brown color but then if you stick your rod or hand in the clarity is pretty good. Wind has been an issue but can lay down in the evening making shad fishing OK. Water temps are cold. At Red Bluff it is 55 and I imagine with all the cold water coming in from tribs the temps are not warming up much with the cold nights and days we have been having. This doesn't bode well for small/large mouth, carp, and striper fishing. I haven't seen one bass bed in the sloughs or creeks yet though I have seen some small schools of fry swimming around. I can't figure the bass out with all these weather changes. Striper fishing has been spotty. I know some bait guys are getting a few but haven't heard of any fly guys getting any around chico. Forecast is for rain tues and weds but 84 and 88 on saturday and sunday so I am crossing my fingers for some warm weather.

Lower Yuba is slowly creeping down and has been actually fishing well. Flows are down to 4400cfs and I know a few guys that have been floating the river and catching some good numbers of fish. I have yet to get out there but will in the next week to see how things look. Clarity is great from what I hear but if you go flows are high so be careful wading.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shad fishing and Ollies first fish!!!!

So I had to reschedule my guiding this weekend as they were carp trips and most of the sloughs and back bays have been deserted of carp with the cooler then average temperatures. Steph and I decided to take the boys out shad fishing for a few hours. Lots of firsts...Becket (10mos old) had never been out on the boat and Oliver has tried a few times but never landed a fish (I refuse to do the fish farm thing).

There is a good number of shad in the river and if you can catch the river in shape and on a nice day the fishing can be good. We anchored up in one of my favorite spots yesterday around 500pm and with in a few minutes had a fish on. Now Ollie is 3 years old so he isn't casting yet and a shad would most likely pull him over the gunnel or my rod would go for a swim if he was left to do the whole thing on his own. I hooked the fish and then we fought it together. He has the "reel, reel, reel" thing down from digging through my reel bags sense he could crawl but holding the grip and reeling at the same time is a tough one. That said we managed to land about half a dozen shad in about a half hour. Then it was off to throw rocks.

Hooked UP!!!...Don't get pulled in

Ollies First Fish!!!!

I can't even began to remember after 15 years of guiding how many times I have held peoples first fish, first trout, first steelhead, first striper, first etc. or someone else's kids first fish with them. This was really a trip posing with Ollie and holding his first fish. Really feels like the beginning of a long journey we are going to have together I hope.

Bottom line there is shad in the river...Go fish.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last Weekend...

I am late on a report post from last weekend. Busy week. Spent saturday chasing stripers, shad, bass on the Lower Sac outside of chico. Weather was less than ideal. No stripers to report though I did hear one guy at the ramp say he caught one 20". Did see a good number of people hooked up on shad and marked good schools of shad in the river. We only spent about an hour midday fishing for them and got one to the boat and missed a few grabs. With warmer weather forcasted this coming week the bite should get going. Did find a few bass cruising the shallows in the sloughs but no definitive beds yet and water still seems a bit cold to me.

Next day I was on the Lower Feather through the low flow. Weather was crazy - Wind, hail, lightening, thunder. Fishing was good though. We hooked 3 half pounders and 3 Adults. The adults were good 3-5lb fish, silver, and jumped all over the place. Fish came on sucker spawn and flash back PT's.

Shad fishing today...report to come.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Some what normal spring early summer fishing is finally getting under way. While most mountain trout rivers and streams are still raging with run off, the valley tail waters and low elevation lakes are really turning on. Late June and the month of July are looking like they will be the months to chase trout in the mountains. Run off and high water should subside by then and the fish should be HUNGRY!!!

As everyone looks ahead to July I still have plenty of dates available and this will be a great time to get out on the North Fork of the Feather, North Fork of the Yuba, the Pit, or many of the mountain streams and creeks around chico…and of course Striper fishing on the Lower Sac outside of chico, Hopper fishing on the Lower Yuba, or Trout fishing on the Lower Sac as well…July is going to be a good month!!!!

Right now though…

Lower Sac outside of chico:

Shad are starting to show in catchable numbers. Fishing was turning on last week with the warmer weather, but this weeks cold front has kinda slowed things down a bit. Stripers are around, both migratory and local, and fishing should improve with some warmer weather. Small/Large mouths are starting to move on to beds and get active in the sloughs and creek mouths with last weeks warmer weather. Carp are around, but kinda in a funk with all this warm then cold weather.

Lower Sac Trout:

Trout fishing has been good from Redding down to Jelly’s Ferry. I have spent most of my time from Bonnieview down to Balls Ferry. Good mixes of caddis, PMD’s, and little yellow and golden stones in the lower river. Spring is a great time to be on the river as the temperatures are mild and the fishing is good.

Lower Feather:

There are good numbers of spring steelhead in the Low Flow Section of the river up through the hatchery. Fishing has been good one day fair the next, there are some nice sized adult fish in the river along with some fat hot half pounders. Fishing should remain good through the month of May.

Lower Yuba:

Remains HIGH…as I have said for months…when it drops it is going to be GOOD!!! Prepare for the best hopper year of all time!!!!!

Open Dates:

June 14-16, 30

July 1-3, 6, 11, 12, 14-17, 20, 22, 24, 26-31

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Manchester Orchestra CD

I love this band and their new CD comes out next week but with work you can solve this puzzle and stream the whole thing...http://www.columbiarecords.com/simplemath/

Check it out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

reports...new flies...giants can't hit

Spent sat and sun. guiding. Saturday took a really nice guy and great angler out on the lower feather for spring steelhead. Many of my buddies had been getting double digit hook ups on half pounders and a few adult fish. Fishing was tough for most of the morning. Tried both caddis and mayfly nymphs that usually produce and nothing. There was a fair number of boats on the water and people wade fishing so wasn't completely convinced we were fishing fresh water (which is pretty key I think on the feather). About half way through the drift we hooked a monster in deep water. Ran up river, down river, circles...you name it. This was the guys first steelhead ever and he did a great job fighting the fish. Got the fish up close to the surface and saw it go side ways...looked about 26-28" easy and about oh 5-8lbs conservative. Big fish. did the dance around the boat a few times and just couldn't get the fish up...then the hooked pulled out...bummed but great fish and glad we saw it...some times the ones you don't get to see that seem big haunt you. Hooked a nice half pounder later in the day and missed a few others so not a bad day.

Guided the Lower Sac from Anderson to Balls Ferry on a group trip with my good buddy and new dad Ryan Johnston. Fishing was good. Bite was a bit tough in the morning and my guys struggled a bit as the fish were really taking the fly soft. They got a few to the boat and missed a ton. After lunch though they turned it on. We got down into the lower float and started hitting the clay banks where the fish seemed to get a lot more grabby. Ended up boating around 20-25 fish - I am not a counter, I work in generalities, like fair, good, epic...you know general. I would say it was good. Hot bugs were big jimmy leggs in coffee and sucker spawn. Couldn't get the small bugs dialed in. there was a bunch of caddis and PMD around early and then in the afternoon the little yellow sallies and golden stones were out in force.

I am also tying up samples of my 2012 flies that are going to come out. I am pretty excited about a new mayfly nymph (PMD and BWO) that will come out and a line of dry flies (golden stone, skwala, hopper) Both i have been working on for a few years now. Once I get the first run of samples back from idylwilde I will post some pictures.

In other news that giants are down right terrible right now. I am not to worried outside of Pablo getting hurt. They will not hit this terrible the entire season and the Rockies will not play this good all season either...so they will be fine. I do worry about Pablo though...a month off is not good sense he is the only one hitting the ball. Also I would hate to see him put weight back on.

have watched the Notre Dame spring game a few times over and over as well. Convinced we are on the right track and am really excited about our new recruits. Great D Line and Ends plus great QB battle going on between 4 legitimate studs. Back out on the river this weekend. Over and Out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The news...

It has been a while sense I have posted something so here is what I have been up to and what the fishing forecast looks like.

As many know I coach Varsity baseball at Hamilton High School so I have been pretty busy through out the week coaching, taking long bus rides, yelling at kids (in a completely constructive way – though some are 18 years old so they are not really kids), kicking dirt at umpires (I have yet to get tossed this year – I average about 1-2 a season and have gotten pretty close a few times – I blame the umps, they couldn’t pull the trigger), throwing a golf tournament to raise money for our program, and trying to win a league title and get a number one seed in the playoffs with 2 weeks of games left….Busy would be a nice change of pace….baseball season borders on chaos

Fishing kinda takes a back seat during baseball, but I do spend most weekends guiding or fishing on my own. I have been guiding a few days on the Lower Sac for trout and fishing the Lower Sac outside of chico on my own. Lower Sac for trout up around Redding and Anderson has been fishing fair to good. PMD’s and Caddis hatches have been pretty decent on most days and fish have been pretty active around midday through the afternoon. The Lower Sac down through chico has been slowly coming to life. The backwaters are warming and clearing with small and largemouth getting active as well as carp starting to move into the shallows. I have hooked a few stripers up through chico and more and more will show up and get active over the next few weeks. Weather forecast starting this weekend is low to mid 80’s so fishing will jump into gear on this part of the river over the next few weeks. I haven’t heard of any shad being caught yet but I can’t imagine it is to far off with the warm weather next week.

The Lower Feather is still kicking out good numbers of spring steelhead and should remain consistent for another few weeks. I haven’t had a chance to get out there but most all my buddies have and are catching fish on a regular basis. The Lower Yuba is still a torrent of water bouncing between 7000-10,000cfs and I can’t imagine the warm weather coming doing anything to lower the flows.

While the trout opener is this weekend there is not much around chico that is fishable. The North Fork Feather and its tribs are raging and while I have my raft ready to go when the river becomes fishable I am not holding out hope for anything until the mid to end of June. Should be a great year for fishing the North Fork though and I can’t wait to take my raft down a few of the stretches once it becomes fishable.

Fall River and Hat creek I am sure will fish well on the opener, but will be packed with people, as those may be the only legitimate games in Nor Cal. I will most likely be on the Lower Sac for trout or stripers this weekend so no mountain stuff for me. It is starting to look like July will be the month for trout this year. Most streams are going to take a while to come down and become fishable and will not likely stabilize until the end of June or first part of July.

That is the scoop. More reports and photos to come in the following weeks….

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nice day but still a bit early

Spent a few hours out on the Lower Sac this last weekend. Main river was still high and pretty muddy. About 6-12" of visibility. Threw some flies around for stripers but with high water there was not a lot of water to fish. I did find a few fish deep back in a few sloughs and creeks but fishing was not on fire. Even the sloughs were off color and a bit cold. Flows have dropped substantially over the last few days and fishing should improve this weekend. I did have to cancel my trips out there this weekend as I wasn't really convinced fishing was going to turn on with some cooler weather forcasted this week.

Striper fishing on the feather outside of Boyd's Pump is turning on but crowded. Sac through redding has been fishing good but slowed down a bit sense last week. Feather up by Oroville has fair number of spring steelhead in it. Lower Yuba still is pretty high around 3900cfs but there is a few spots you can stick some fish.

Still have dates available if anyone is interested in upcoming shad, striper, or trout fishing shoot me an email or give me a call.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rivers are Dropping

Sac is dropping to around 13,000cfs this weekend and is scheduled to be down to 9250cfs by April 12. Trout fishing up through Redding should be really good this weekend and only get better once the flows drop and stabilize.

I am going to head out to the lower river around chico and see how the smallies, Largemouth, carp, and Stripers are fairing. I will post a report following this weekends expedition(s). The flows through chico will still be high as all the run off from up river tributaries is still coming down. That said high water opens up many sloughs, creeks, and back waters along with moving migratory stripers up river.

The Lower Feather has also dropped through the low flow down to 750cfs (normal flow is 600cfs). The high flows should of moved some spring steelhead up river and changed up many of the riffles and runs. I am going to try to float the low flow as well this weekend and see what is going on. April is prime Spring steelhead time on the feather and this section of the river should be turning on any day now.

The Lower Yuba is still high. hovering around 5000cfs. I am holding out hope for a drop in flows shortly, but with all the snow melt I am not holding my breath. Once it gets down around 4000cfs there are opportunities to catch fish and the fish will be hungry. This may be a late spring on the L. Yuba, but this summer may be one of the best in recent years on the river with all the water and hungry fish.

Spring fishing should be getting going this next week as the Lower Sac and Lower Feather are going to be coming into prime shape

Available dates
April 23
May 7, 30
June 1, 2, 6-10, 12-16, 23-25
July1-3, 6, 11-22, 24-31.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Atleast the sun is out....

Beautiful weather this last week but still no where to really fish. The Yuba has threatened to drop to fishable levels but the Sac and feather remain torrents of water. I have talked to a few guys that have floated the yuba and found fish on the edges and a few spots but it is a short float. Good news regarding the L. Sac though as the river is scheduled to drop to 26,500. This is fishable but I don't get to pumped until the river gets around 20k. and both Cow Creek and Clear Creek drop and clear. That said this should bring the river in the lower stretches around chico down enough to make it safe to get the motor boat out. I am gonna get out late next week and see how far back in some creeks and sloughs I can get to hopefully find some clearer water for bass and carp. Might even be some stripers along the bank in the main river.

Also going to get out and check out the Oroville afterbay along with a few other valley empoundments to see what the clarity and water looks like as the spotted and large mouth bass should be turning on pretty soon with this warm weather. That said the wind has to cooperate with those ventures so we'll see how that pans out. Other then that GO GIANTS!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday morning

Thank god for the tournament though my bracket is in shambles and I have no chance of winning any pool I am in. With every river working its way up to flood stage with this storm there is no where to fish and I have been thinking about what this spring and summer are going to hold. With all this water it is going to be a different year and will require some adjustment. There is no reason to stay home just re think where you are going.

The Lower Sac is presently at 41,300cfs from Keswick this is really high...like a good intestinal flush this will definitely clean out all the homeless encampments through Redding along the river but will need to drop to at least to 25,000cfs to fish. Some people will fish it around 30,000cfs but it is a bit tricky. The Lower Yuba is raging as well with releases from Englebright hovering around 15,000cfs and Deer Creek pumping 1500cfs it is gonna be a while before the L. Yuba drops. Even the low flow of the feather which is usually the river of last resort as it never blows out blew out this week. There is a few lakes that aren't snowed in that offer a glimmer of a chance at catching a few but most reservoirs and lakes are muddy from run off or hidden behind walls of snow and ice. This is all added to with a forecast that is nothing but rain as far as accuweather will show me.

So what does this mean....Well hopefully the lower sac will drop into fishable flows some time soon and allow us to get some fishing in on the top few floats. The Lower Yuba will probably slowly drop over the next few weeks or month but I imagine we will not see flows below 2500cfs for a while. The Lower Yuba will see some scouring and re-arranging of rock creating some new runs with the sustained high water. This can mean good and bad things. It usually means once the water gets fishable fishing will be amazing (though this is because the fish are famished and will eat anything around) and we will most likely see another great summer of hopper fishing as that maybe one of the only menu items around. High water years like 2006 usually mean the Lower Yuba fishes great all summer though hatches are sparse and intermittent and water levels rarely get below 2500cfs all summer.

I imagine it will be another high water shad season which can be tough as fish move through the system quickly with high flows. Though the same high flows make for a good striper season as migratory fish move higher in the river system and food is more spread out for the resident fish making them easier to catch. This is one fishery that as long as the clarity is marginal fishing can be really good. High water allows us to get back into sloughs and ponds for largemouth that are usually cut off at lower flows from the river and stripers don't mind minimal visibility as long as you know where they congregate you can catch them.

All that said in previous high water years I have had to adjust where i fish in the spring and early summer as run off and late storms make the normal trout spots a no go. Areas like Fall River and a few local spring creeks usually remain fishable and fish very well through the spring once they open. I also target lakes like Lake Almanor for smallmouth and trout along with Lake Davis (which should be full this year). Also some west side lakes that will remain nameless with all this water will flood timber and provide amazing largemouth and crappie fishing.

Bottom line is many of us are just going to have to change our game a bit I think this year. There will be plenty of fishing this spring and summer and lots of water is never a bad thing. Though we will have to change our game early in the season. Go fish some new spots or old ones we haven't fished sense the last high water year.

That is my Sunday morning rant. Over and out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AHHHHH!!!!!! + spring summer preview

All i want is fishable flows and a little sunshine. This is proving to be a lot to ask for.

I fished the Lower Sac this weekend and I would usually post a report but the report would be useless sense the flows came up from 4000cfs to over 16,500cfs this morning. That changes things. I would expect it to take a week for the fish to adjust to this change based on how extreme the change is. After that fishing should be good as long as the flows are some what stable. The weather coming in will most likely blow out the tribs so the higher floats are going to be the only floats that are fishable.

The Yuba began to come down but quickly jumped up to over 4000cfs with deer creek coming in. Patience is the word here. If you can get on the river when it does drop to around 3000cfs fishing will be good if you have a boat and know how to fish the river on high water. Furthermore, the river is going to fish really well once it drops to around 2500cfs and stays there. This summer should be another great if not better than last year hopper year. Yes the river will get scoured with these high flows but rivers naturally blow out and this happens. The fish will survive. I wouldn't worry to much about it. Here is my latest update with regards to what I will be doing over the next few months.

Spring is showing up every once in a while and I had to double check my calendar when some one told me the time change was this last weekend. The weather has just not put me at that time of year yet. Though it is mid march and summer will be here before we know it even if spring only lasts a few weeks like it can in Northern California. I will be busy this spring and summer all over the north state here is an update as to what I will be doing and available dates. Spring is getting slim on choices but summer is still pretty much open so have at it. Should be a great summer with plenty of water.


Available Dates:

April 9, 10, 23

May 7, 22, 29

Lower Sac: Spring fishing has been pretty good here on over cast days the mayfly hatches are going strong and on the rare sunny day or hour for that matter the caddis get going. Fishing should continue be good through mid April and then pick up again in mid may after the spawn.

Lower Yuba: high but fish are being caught if you know how to fish the river in high water. Drift boat is mandatory at the current flows. With no rain though flows should drop over the next week or two and fishing should be GREAT.

Lower Feather: nothing with spring steelhead yet but should get going over the next month. April is the prime time to be on this river for spring steelhead.

North Fork Feather River: When trout season opens if the flows are fishable fishing will be good. I will be offering raft trips this year down various stretches of this river. This are limited and condition dependent but are a ton of fun.


Available Dates:

June 6-11, 13-16, 21-26

July 1-3, 5-6, 11-31

SHAD: these guys will start showing up in early to mid may and keep running through June. Prime time is last two weeks of may – first two weeks of june.

Evening Shad Trips $225 two anglers + drinks + about 4 hours of shad fishing

May: 23, 24, 29, 30

June: 6-11, 13-16

Stripers: Should be a great year for stripers on the L. Sac with plenty of water the migratory run should get up around chico in May and the residents will get going at the same time and stay active through September.

I will be running my shad/striper camp again this year with Sacramento River Eco Tours so if you are interested in getting away check this out


Lower Sacramento Trout: Summer is a great time of year to be on the Sac. This is when fishing down through the lower stretches from Barge Hole down to Los Molinos really gets going. Great time to see some new water.

Lower Yuba River: Spring through Summer is a great time of year to be on the Lower Yuba. Tons of hatches and things are shaping up for another great hopper hatch this summer.

Burney Area: I will again be guiding up on the Fall River, Hat Creek, Baum Lake, Pit River, and various other waters around this area. I have many options to offer people up in this neck of woods from Clearwater Lodge to housing right on Fall River. Give me a call or shoot me an email and I can help you put a trip together.

North Fork Feather River: Great summer trout fishery miles from chico, ca and one that can be floated or wade fished depending on flows. One of the most under fished rivers in California.

North Fork Yuba River: I will be doing a limited number of days up on the North Yuba this year. A great small river for those just learning or want to get away from the crowds.

Chico Small Streams: Butte County is home to some amazing small stream fishing for trout. If you are just getting into fly fishing or want to put that new light line rod to use these streams offer the opportunity to throw dries and droppers to hungry 10-12” wild trout in beautiful mountain streams.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Weather has been all over the place the last week. Rain, sun, rain, snow, cold wind....Tough. Spent This weekend guiding the L. Sac. Flows are LOW 3900-4200cfs. Floated from Bonnyview to Anderson and fishing was good. The sun came out a few times and the caddis got going and then when the sun left the BWO and other various mayflies got going. Caught fish on amber wings, spring fling pupa, sucker spawn, and a few fish on small PT's. Fishing should continue as long as the flows are stable and should get really good if we can ever get some warmer weather.

Lower Yuba has been up and down and now is up again. well above 3000cfs. When the river finally stabilizes and comes down for more than a few days this river should fish very good. That said who knows what is going to be going on as it has been so outta wack for the last month. Other then that watch my first giants game on tv last night...pumped. Just excited to have somthing to watch every night.

Also Notre Dame B-ball number #4!!!! above duke!!!! LOVE IT... now they just can't crap the bed like they did last year in the tourney. March Madness is here man and I am pumped. Big east tourney starts today. Selection sunday this weekend....it is go time!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life with no fishing....

Well I haven't been out in two weeks...last week was booked for 4 days on the Yuba. Yuba blew out and clients weren't interested in the L. Sac. So what do I do with all that free time? Tie flies, play guitar, chase my kids around, comb the internet, watch TV...you know the American Dream. I did hit the gym two days last weekend. Which sense I wasn't rowing justified the sierra nevada I was going to drink later.

The Lower Sac flows have remained pretty constant through all the weather we have been getting hammered by but all the tribs blew out so the Posse to Bonnie, maybe to Anderson float is best. The Lower Yuba came down for a day or two but has jumped back up well over 3000cfs with Deer Creek coming up over 1000cfs as well. Also with all the low elevation snow I would guess there is more water that will be coming down as the weather warms up.

Spring training officially started yesterday as the Giants took on the Diamondbacks in their first cactus league game. Gotta love the fact that baseball is starting again. Seems like it just got over but I guess that is what happens when your team plays through October for the first time in 10 or so years. Not much else to report...gonna watch the rivers and hopefully get out soon but who knows. Rain and snow are good and mean all sorts of good things for this spring and summer so I won't complain. Stay safe.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last Minute Deal

Just had some good clients reschedule their weekend on the Lower Yuba as the river and Deer Creek blew out last night. I wanted to offer up Saturday (Feb 19) and Monday (Feb 21) up to anyone that wanted them for a discount. Full Day guided Trip for two $300. These days would be on the Lower Sac as the Lower Yuba is blown out. These are first come first serve so first to email or call gets the dates. thanks and hope everyone is doing well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lower Yuba Weekend

Spent Saturday and Sunday on the Lower Yuba. Fishing was good. Not as crowded with boats as last weekend but plenty of waders. Flows are have been Stable a few CFS under 2000 but Deer Creek is presently rising with the current rain. I can't imagine that the flows will come up to much or Deer Creek will totally blow out. The river was scheduled to drop to 2200cfs last monday and stay stable at that flow but the river dropped again on Friday down to 1900cfs.

Flows are perfect at 1900cfs. Plenty of water for wader fishermen to get at and plenty of water for drift boats to fish. Everybody is happy and not fishing the same water which I think helps everyone.

The fishing was good. We boated 15-20 fish with a few more missed or lost on big runs. both days most of our fish hovered between 15-18". All were chubby and well fed despite rumors of scoured insect life. I will say the fish were really podded up though we caught multiple fish in a few spots and there was some serious dry spells through out the day.

When we found fish they seemed to eat pretty readily based on what we saw flying around. Bug wise there were a few caddis, a few PMD's, a few skwalas, a few BWO...getting the drift a few of a lot of stuff. Most of our fish came on Yuba pupa's, olive birds nest, Jimmy Leggs, and beads. We did pull over a few times and fish skwala dries and rose and landed some nice fish, but dry fly fishing was far from what I would call productive. Also saw a few trout smack natural skwalas. I did not see any fish stacked up on flats eating the Mayflies though which I thought was weird as I have seen fish up and eating when there are fewer bugs. Saw a few bankies hooked up and most bank anglers were doing pretty well fishing dry flies from what I heard talking to a few. As always the guys that got of the beaten path seemed to be doing better.

Over all I think the fish are still getting back on track from the big flow drops over the last 14 days. 3000-1900cfs changes things up. This week will be interesting as we'll have to see what this rain does.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Delayed Post....

So I spent the weekend on the Lower Yuba...Along with everyone else who fly fishes and owns a drift boat from the Hwy 20 Bridge to San Jose. Holy Crap was it crowded. Personally I have never seen as many drift boats on the river as I did Saturday. That said it wasn't that bad....

Flows were around 2600-2500 but have sense dropped to 2200-2100 on Monday 7 Feb 2011. Fishing was fair. Tough to find a pattern on what fish wanted to eat and what type of water they were holding in. Caught fish on a few colors of eggs, Tan Fox Pupa, and a few random attractor patterns. Saw a few caddis around, Darker colored Mayflies...maybe early march browns...I didn't see any of the lighter colored PMD's, Saw two skwalas and fished the dry in some likely holding water but didn't raise a fish...Also didn't try very hard.

All that said now that flows have dropped down to 2200cfs or I think the fish are going to move back into their normal holding waters and hopefully that hatches will pick up and early spring fishing will get a bit more consistent.

In other news...CBS sports rated the Notre Dame recruiting class as the #1 class and ESPN gave them #9. I am pumped the class is DEFENSIVE heavy and we stole a few last minute recruits. One from USC who attended Servite right in USC's back yard...Nice.

In Giants news Pitchers and Catchers report Feb 14, Full Squad Feb 18...First spring training game Feb 25. I am pumped thank god the NFL is over, I hate the NBA, Love College basketball but it really just fills in space....Baseball is almost back....I am scared to say this but I think the giants are improved from last year as well. That said I think they snuck up on a lot of people last year so now they are going to need to be better as everyone is going to be gunning for them.

Go fish...it is going to get really good early this year.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


While Winter is still officially here the last few days in Chico have felt like spring is right around the corner. Many of our Nor Cal rivers are finally dropping down to traditional winter flows after all the early winter storms and this warm weather should kick the early spring hatches in to gear. Here is what is coming up.

Lower Yuba

While the lower yuba is still sitting at 3000cfs I have had some great days out there over the last few weeks. That said the flows are scheduled to drop January 31 starting at 8am by 400 cfs and then again on Feb7 at 8am by another 400cfs, bringing the flow down to a great 2,200cfs. This is a great flow for the Lower Yuba. Plenty of current in the flats for fish and not to high that the riffles aren’t fishable.

There has been mixed reports of the skwala stone fly hatch. I have caught a few fish on big dries and seen a few bugs but nothing really epic yet. If you are going to fish dries this time of year on the Yuba you have to commit to it and fish them hard all day or pick your spots. Look for the skwala hatch to REALLY get going when the flows began to drop. This will trigger a big migration of nymphs to the bank. Also look for baetis, early March Browns and Gray Drakes along with some caddis over the next few weeks…maybe even earlier if we keep getting 65 degree days.

Feb – May is a great time to be on the Lower Yuba with hatches of PMD’s, PED’s, Tons of Caddis, Little Yellow Sallies, Golden Stone Flies, March Browns, and Gray Drakes.

Lower Sac

The Lower Sac has dropped down to its normal winter flow, hovering around 5000-6000cfs. Fishing has been good to fair with the warm then cold weather. Usually winter is when we chase the big rainbows up through Redding, but this is best during over cast cloudy days as the baetis get going and we haven’t had many of these days. I would expect with the warmer weather we are having the big “spring caddis” hatch will start up in the coming month and fishing should only continue to improve on the L. Sac. Feb – mid April is prime spring fishing on the L. Sac.

Lower Feather

Not much happening here but the spring steelhead season is right around the corner. By Early to mid march there will be good numbers of wild spring steelhead in the river. The weather will be beautiful and there is usually very little pressure. Great change of pace sense most of the days this fall were bitter cold or pissing rain. Early March –early May is best.

Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Carp

As always spring is the time to target bass and carp…many many options from still water to rivers to sloughs and back waters. Late April through Mid June is best but with early spring weather things can start up in Mid March. Many many options…call or email to set up exactly what you want to do.

Spring Stripers and Shad

With full reservoirs and plenty of snow we should have another great striper and shad year. Late April through May the first Migratory stripers will show up around Chico and by Late May the Shad should be going strong as well. Evening, half day, and full day trips are available.

Stripers Late April-September

Shad Mid May-mid June

Summer Preview of Fishing

Striper fishing all summer…hot weather = good striper fishing

I will be working up at the Clearwater Lodge again this year. Check out their website for some summer specials like free rods and such. www.clearwaterlodge.com

Also I will doing some raft trips on various free stone rivers this summer…. Stay tuned for more information on this…dust off your life jackets and old bike helmets…maybe even get caught up on your swim lessons.

Here is the first shot at spring and summer dates. Both are limited so book early!!!!

Open Dates

Feb 5, 6

March 13, 27

April 2, 3, 9, 10, 23,

May 7, 14, 15, 22, 28, 29, 30

May evening or half day trips 23-27

June 4-16, 22-26

July 1-3, 6, 9-31