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.

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Last few days...

Spent Saturday taking Kieth Westra and James Park of Nature Boy Designs and Leland Fly Fishing outfitters
fishing on the Lower Sac. Fishing was gonna be a bit tough as the flows dropped from 8000cfs to 5500cfs early that morning. That said we managed to hook some fish, miss some fish, and loose some big ones. The weather was beautiful and made me start looking forward to our spring. Sac should continue to fish well for the rest of winter now that is back down to more normal winter flows.

If you haven't checked out Nature boy designs click the link below as see what Keith and James are working - clothes and stickers now but SO MUCH More to come - all top secret now but it is coming so stay tuned.

Check Leland Fly fishing outfitters out as well. Top notch shop with a great web site and online sales at Red Truck Fly Fishing. They are huge supporters of Cast Hope and have a great education program through their Sonoma Ranch.

Spent Monday on the Lower Yuba. Flows have been stable at 2800-3000cfs and Deer Creek has been around 150-100cfs which is fine with the high flows in the main river. Clarity was good with a slight milky green tint. Fishing was good, but I can't imagine it being very good fishing from the bank. There are a few spots you can cherry pick some fish I imagine from the bank but it is tough to get around with the high water. That said if you can get in a boat with some one who knows how to row and knows the high water spots you can do well. We managed about 20 hook ups and most fish were in the 16-18" bracket. We did land two 20 inch fish and one was a fin clipped steelhead. Most of our fish came on various egg patterns, jimmy leggs (brown), san juan worms, rock and roller stones (brown), and Yuba rubber leggs. The Yuba is gonna fish well this coming week as the weather is suppose to be in the low to mid 60's. This should get the skwala hatch going and baetis popping.

Over and Out

Sunday, January 9, 2011

7 Jan 2011 on the Lower Yuba

Took one of my buddies for a float on the Lower Yuba Friday as I needed to see what the river was looking like as I have some trips coming up out there. The word from YCWA on the flows is that they are going to try to keep the flows around 3000cfs as long as they can - meaning as long as a big storm doesn't rage in. Deer Creek continues to drop though very slowly, it is now 190cfs. Water clarity is an issue. I would say that there is about a 1'-1.5' visibility - kinda mocha brown no real green yet. When I put the boat in the color was the "well we'll see how this goes" tint...boarder line for me to guide but fine to take a buddy fishing.

At 3000cfs I would probably not go wade the river. We didn't get outta the boat more than once or twice to wade fish and didn't catch a fish off the bank. The water is well into the willows and the river is moving pretty good so if you do go wade be careful. We managed to land about 7-8 fish and lost about the same. Most of the fish came in what I call high water spots. Once the river gets down around 2500 most of the normal spots will be fishable again but at 3000cfs the river is up in the willows and I find I am forced to fish some very different water. We fished eggs, rubber legs, san jaun worms, and big copper johns. Most of the fish we caught were on eggs and rubber legs. We fished much longer drops from our indicator and about twice as much weight as normal. I think as the clarity improves fishing will improve as well. That said another storm is coming in at the end of the week so who knows what is gonna happen. Realistically the river could blow out again. Over and out

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lower Feather and a New Raft

Got up early and fished the section of the feather up by the hatchery today with my buddy Ryan Johnston. CROWDED. There was like 7 guys in 3-4 runs. I did manage to hook a fish in a little back channel spot right infront of the chinese temple. Jumped 3 time then took a good run and was off. Nice standard issue feather fish though. Talked to a few spin fisherman and they hooked one a piece and said it was pretty slow. I would say give it a week or two to settle down before coming up but everyone that got there before us and staked out a good spot seemed to have hooked fish.

In other news set up my new raft yesterday in the drive way for the first time. Old style PAC 1300 with an NRS frame....small water be warned I am on my way.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fishing, Irish, and new years.

Finally got out on the water a few days towards the end of the week on the Lower Sac. Floated Posse Grounds to Anderson and fishing was pretty good. Landed 12-18 fish on most days and hooked plenty more that got off. Not stellar fishing but good consistent hook ups throughout the day. Flows on the Lower Sac are still high but are stable at 15,000cfs. Best bugs were beads and small mayfly nymphs like the S&M, Quizimodo PT, and Mercers Micro May.

Lower Yuba finally looks to be dropping into shape as it should drop below 4000cfs today or early tomorrow. Deer Creek is still high at well over 300cfs and there was some low elevation snow in Penn Valley on up so there will be some run off as the snow melts. This should keep Deer Creek high and off color but as the main river stays high it will not affect the clarity as much. I am thinking of getting out and fishing the river mid week.

The Irish kicked the crap out of Miami on new years eve day...AMAZING. Miami looked pathetic compared to the Irish. Definetly a great way to push on into the 2011 season. With national signing day about a month away it is time to see who signs and what 5th years they ask back.

Good start to 2011!!! have a great new years day and there will be some reports this week!!!