Monday, June 25, 2012

Fishing Report

I am about to start a good stretch of guiding up until July 4th so I thought I should get a fishing report up. It has really cooled off the last few days in Chico with day time highs around 80's. Makes for great weather and a lower PG&E bill as we don't have to burn the A/C all day and night but has kinda tweaked with the fishing a bit. Here is a run down on what has been happening...

Lower Yuba - Spent Friday on the Lower Yuba, the day it rained and felt like march, and fishing was pretty good considering the weather shift. Fished big dries about 50% of the time and nymphed the rest. Suprisingly caught our biggest fish on dries which was really cool. There are a ton of hoppers around but with the cool temps they weren't to active. With some warmer weather the hopper fishing should go off and the normal caddis and PED hatches should get going.

Shad - are still around but the pods have gotten smaller, the females are spawned out or of the smaller variety, and most of the fish I have been catching are small males. This usually means the back end of the run unless you want to chase them up to red bluff. So time to move onto stripers

Striper - With the shad thinning out the striper fishing should pick up as they now will have to look for another food source. I went down lower in the river to Butte City last week and got into a few but so hopefully the chico area will start to pick up as the shad thin out.

Bass - Top water bass fishing has been fair/good on the river and on some of the private waters I guide. Some warmer weather though should help really get the summer bass bite going.

I will be spending time over the next week on the Yuba, Sac, and NF Feather so nice long report to follow. Get out and fish.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I have had to postpone a family trip due to some un-foreseen circumstances. This has opened up some last minute dates. I am going to offer June 22, 23, 24, 26 at a discount. $300 for a full day guided trip or $225 for a half day trip for 2 anglers.

Full day includes lunch/drinks, rods/reels, and flies. Half Day includes snack/drinks, rods/reels, and flies

Here is what is available to fish.

Lower Yuba - trout fishing has been good. There are plenty of hoppers and golden stones moving around to throw dries searching out opportunistic risers. Fishing nymphs as always has been catching fish and there has been decent evening caddis and PED hatches. On cooler days there is still a decent midday PMD hatch as well. Great time of year to be on the L. Yuba.

Lower Sacramento - Shad fishing is tailing off as the schools are getting smaller but fishing is still fair and with the tappering off of the shad striper fishing will began to pick up. Top water Largemouth and Smallmouth fishing has been good to great in the evenings as well.

NF Feather - This is prime to walk and wade or float the North Fork of the Feather for trout. Both tight line nymphing and dry fly fishing is catching fish.

Top Water Bass trip - Great time for an evening top water bass trip on various public and private venues.

Dates are first come first serve. Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yuba Report and What is coming up.

Things are warming up!!! 104 this weekend. July fishing is looking good and there are a lot of exciting things coming up. 
Lower Sac outside of chico - Shad fishing is about peaked and while there are tons of shad still in the river to catch we have seen some slower evenings lately. Good news is we are starting to catch a few stripers and top water Large and Small mouth fishing is getting good. Late June through mid august is great for stripers and top water Large and Small mouth. Salmon season opens mid July and if it is anything like last year we will be catching good numbers of salmon as well through the summer on flies. Lots to do out there!!!!
Lower Sac Trout - Trout fishing on the L. Sac has tightened up but should get going again as the weather cools down next week. Mid summer trout fishing on the sac can be very good even with the hot weather. 
Lower Yuba - has been very good and should see a great july. There are a ton of hoppers in the bushes and this heat over the next couple of days should force them down to the river. July is going to be great hopper fishing on the Yuba as there are more hoppers in the bushes then I have seen in a long time. Fished the river 2 days last week inbetween shad days and hooked some nice 18”+ fish on golden stone dries and hoppers along with good numbers of fish on nymphs. The flows are up and going to get higher over July so fishing the river from the drift boat is the way to go. 

Lots of Goldens around in various spots right now as well with most fishing coming on stonefly nymphs, stonefly dries, and Hoppers.
North Fork Feather - has been fishing great with good numbers of nice size rainbows coming to the net. Flows should stablize over the next few weeks and I am going to be floating this in the raft a number of days in the next few weeks. 
Small Stream Fishing - All the small streams outside of chico are in prime shape and should fish well through the end of June middle of July. Great time of  year to get out of the heat and go wet wade some small streams. 
Lots of good summer fishing coming up if anyone is interested look over the available dates listed below and shoot me an email or give me a call. For up to date fishing reports friend hgb fly fishing on face book or check out the blog at
Available Dates:
June 18 evening trip only, 21
July 1, 16-18, 21-23, 27, 30-31
August 1-3, 5-8, 14, 17-19
Yuba Hoppers Are Ready
Yuba Hopper Caught Rainbow

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

RIP Bob Quigly

I have been fortunate enough to meet some great fly tiers and fly fishermen in my years as as a guide and commercial fly tier. I believe even more fortunate enough to have my name attached to the same company that ties Bob's Flies. I always felt it would be like getting pulled up to Play on the Giants with my idols when I was a kid...I never felt like I belonged on the same team or level as bob. He is and was one of my idols as a tier. I learned more from brief conversations with him then any book, dvd, or other person in the industry.

His ideas were so simple yet so revolutionary. His ideas were the ones that you looked at and totally made sense but never even remotely thought of your self...then there was the patterns bob tied that I was lucky enough to fish that never made it into production...many of these were beautifully tied but looked like a fly exploded and then was assembled back on the hook by a blind man...Then he would explain it and i would kinda see the idea or bug...but oh god did they catch fish. I still tie an emu based hex pattern of his that literally looks like cat puke but catches more fish then any pattern I have ever tried...and people and other guides look at it in disgust and disbelief.

He gave me once when I was a young tier two of the best pieces of advice and two things that I live by today as a tier.

1) Bugs are thinner, trimmer, and smaller then you think. Don't over dress your flies
2) With regards to fly design...get the silhouette and movement of the fly right first, then add the fish attractive elements like flash, color, beads, what ever...but nail the silhouette and the movement of the bug.

I can't over state his influence on me as a tier he had. I would not consider myself one of his close friends or even really a friend at all...more an acquaintance. He will live on for as long as people fish with flies in the smiles of the faces of people hooked up on his bugs. What a great way to live on once you are gone.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lets do this thing...

...called summer fishing.

 First off checkout hgb fly fishing on Facebook. Just created this page and am pretty good about adding statuses regarding fishing and what is going on...just search hgb fly fishing and that should get you to it...

Wow it is here, so many places to go fishing right now. The weather is absolutely gourgeous with mid 80's to low 90's with a nice cool breeze. I haven't had my air conditioner on in my car or truck in weeks and that is NOT normal for June in Chico. Here is what I have been doing and what I know...

Lower Sac:
Herring Report - It is prime shad time right now.  They are spread all over the place in the Lower Sac outside of chico. Ryan Johnston and I have been having 20-40+ fish nights. The river is low so there is many wade fishing spots for the non boat angler.
Small mouth and Large mouth - fishing has been good as well with good top water bites in the evening and a few fish up sitting on beds.
Striper - I have heard of a few being caught but I fished an evening this week trying out some new lines and didn't get a bump. With so many shad in the river it is tough to interest them in a clouser. 
Wading for smallies on the L. of my favorite things

Nice Mama shad
Lower Yuba is fishing well. I floated the river this week and we did well. The river is holding steady around 1800cfs and is gin clear. This is a tough flow to wade fish the river but I did see some guys crossed the river at Hamanond Grove/Sycamore. There was a bit of wind so the caddis, PMD's, and Yellow Sallies had a tough time getting going. Most of our fish came on stonefly nymphs and attractor bugs. While I love the nice breeze we have been getting it makes it tough for dry fly fishing as it seems it is just enough to cause the bugs to struggle. I did start to see some hoppers so that was a good sign as well.

I am hoping to get out on the North Fork Feather this coming week and do some trout fishing so I will post some info for up there once I do. Today I gotta joint birthday party for my boys then back on the L. Yuba and Lower Sac.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Re filling my Carp box

So I bought a new boat…This involves many things that fall in the category of a pain in the butt, granted Sutter Marine in Yuba City, CA made all the DMV oriented stuff pretty easy. The pain in the butt stuff is cleaning out the old boat, getting all my gear swapped over, and selling the old boat on Craigs List. That said, when ever I clean out an old boat, my truck, or any vehicle or vessel I own I find some interesting stuff…while cleaning out my old boat I found my “water proof” Design Concepts box that I keep my carp flies in (I had been missing this for a few months). 

Mind you the box was in a bit of water in a not so dry “dry box.” I wasn’t worried as the box was water proof, so I thought…Not so much…(see picture). The whole box was toast. Totally rusted out and all my carp flies were ruined …So I have to tie all new carp flies and order some flies of my own design from Idylwilde (lets be honest if someone else will tie my own flies… I am buying them). So facing the task of re-filling my entire carp box I have taken some time to re-think my theories on carp flies, look at some new materials, and drop some knowledge about carp fly design. 

Toast...time to re fill the box

Never have I met such a finicky, inconsistent (from location to location), and down right mysterious fish then the carp. Flies that nail fish in one body of water spook fish to hell in the other and vice versa. I guide/fish about 3 different bodies of water for carp and realisticly need a box for each body of water as there is not a lot of cross over. That said the conditions at each place are pretty similar so one would think the same flies would work…not so.

What I am going to eat...
The first thing with carp flies I do is make sure the fly has lead eyes so the hook point rides up, just like any permit or bone fish fly, as carp are usually caught while foraging for food on the bottom. Now I do very weight of the eyes a lot based on the situation. When fish are rooting around or mudding completely focused on feeding a heavier set of eyes that gets right down and infront of the fish is necessary and the splash created by such a fly is usually ignored based on the singular focus of the fish. If the fish are in clearer water cruising the shallows occasionally exhibiting short burst to chase or inspect a possible meal a lighter fly that still gets down but does not make a big splash is important. The weight of the eyes will dictate how far an angler will have to lead the fish as the weight of the fly and distance from the fish that the fly needs to be cast are linked. Ideally that fly needs to be on the bottom and cross the fishes field of vision or run right infront of it without spooking the fish. Because of these things I tie many of my patterns in 4 different “weights” lead eyes with a lead wrap around hook shank, lead eyes, barbell bead chain eyes, and large mono eyes for the super clear water spooky or laid up fish. Many times carp anglers assume a fly doesn’t work, is to big, or spooks the fish and the real problem is not the fly but the way the fly enters the fishes environment.

Next I focus on movement. The days when carp just blindly assault my fly are not very common and many times I feel that I have to entice them to eat. This requires the angler to keep the fly in the carps field of vision as long as possible. Now this usually requires the fly to move slowly or with quick bursts and pauses. This type of retrieve requires the fly to look alive and move with minimal movement applied to the fly by the angler. I always find myself telling my clients to let the fly dance. With this presentation materials that “dance” or move in the water with out the angler applying motion to the fly are key. Marabou, schlappen, small diameter rubber legs, and synthetics that are of a fine diameter or very supple are my favorites. Flash can be nice to catch a fishes eye in clear water from a far distance but usually is over applied. When I think flash I think like 2 strands of krystal flash, no more.

Other things I take into account are main food sources and size of those food sources. Look around and see what the carp have available to eat…rocky banks equal cray fish and bait fish usually. If you see dragon flies flying around there is usually some dragon fly nymphs available. Also look in the shallows to look for bait fish or other forage…like worms, damsel flies, or other creepy crawlers. Then match your fly to the size of the forage. I also look at water clarity and apply the darker the water the bigger the fly, the clearer the water the smaller the fly…might even be smaller than the naturals. Then it is all about trial and error. Watch how the fish respond to the fly, you can learn a lot about what they think about your offering and presentation by how they react when it is in the water.