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 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...

Check it out.

Monday, May 2, 2011 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, 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, 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 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.