Friday, July 29, 2011
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 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.