Sunday, March 20, 2011
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
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.
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.
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
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!