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”