Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Hangover and some fishing

So my kids eyes are clearing up and they are starting to see straight again after about a week of new toys, massive amounts of sugar, long car rides, happy meals on the road, and complete christmas stimulation over load. Christmas is officially over as my wife took down the decorations and the tree has been relegated to the curb to be disposed of by the local boy scout troop in Lake Oroville as a new home to hopefully a clan of large spotted bass. I took some time off last week for christmas and to go see some family but got back on the water yesterday.

Conditions in Nor Call are a little rough right now but with no rain in the forecast conditions should pick up soon. I had Sunday and Monday booked and was lucky enough to get out yesterday, but my clients for today were set on fishing the Lower Yuba and after hearing how Ryan did yesterday I pulled the plug on that.   Here are some reports to fill everyone in...

Lower Yuba dropped Dec 29 from 4000cfs down to 3000cfs and has about 1-2" visability. Deer Creek is holding steady around 180cfs. This is not bad conditions, but the fish pod up at these flows and if you can't find the pods it can be a long day. If the flows stay at 3000cfs for a while the fish will move into higher flows holding water and fishing can really be fun as these spots are really fun to fish. Ryan got his clients into some fish but by no means was the day great. With no rain in the forecast I imagine the river will drop again here shortly and gain clarity on a daily basis so fishing should pick up by later in the week. Wade fishing at 3000cfs is not really an option so if you are looking to get out and wade I would think about going somewhere else.

Lower Sac The Deeler and I took a drive up to Redding Saturday to pick up my raft and looked at the Sac at various spots. The Sac around Red Bluff is border line fishable as most of the tributaries are pumping clear water and this offsets the off color water coming out of the lake. I think the lower floats on the Sac are going to be an option here pretty shortly.

Butte Creek is PERFECT!!! clarity and flows are great and the flows are slowly dropping. Prime steelhead conditions.

Feather River - the top section above the hwy 70 bridge opens tomorrow and at 1600cfs the low flow is going to be pretty tricky up there to get around. Ryan and I have been scouting a top put in with the raft to be able to float this section so at 1600cfs I think that is going to be the way to fish this. I guided the river yesterday and flows are high and clarity is about 1-1.5". It is a different river up in the low flow with 1600cfs coming down. Wading is not really an option in most of the runs now and the fish are spread out. We hooked 12 fish yesterday and all were nice fresh winter fish so there is still fish in the system and moving up river. Most fish ate big attractor glo bugs and alvins.

So far it has been a tough winter with all the water. I saw this graphic on a local weather site...kinda puts the whole winter in perspective so far.
lots of water for this summer

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Another year of guiding, fishing, rowing, hiking, laughing, untangling, un hooking, early morning drives to the river, late night drives home, rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, trout, stripers, shad, steelhead, a few suckers and pike minnows, large mouth bass, smallies, carp, and some of the best times of the whole year.

 As the rain pours down here in chico and we are cleaning house and getting ready for our family Christmas I wanted to thank all of you for another great year and wish you all a happy holiday and a great new year. Take some time to fish and hang with your family. No one has ever done to much of either of those as far as I know.

Enjoy the holiday. Fish some. Hang with family. Enjoy life. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 days on the Lower Yuba

Lower Yuba in the favorite place this time of year

I have spent the last 6 days on the Lower Yuba guiding. It has been at times cold, wet, windy, and misserable but the fishing through it all has been great. I had planed on splitting my time between the L. Yuba and L. Sac but with the Shasta blowing out and the Sac pumping mud I moved all my days over to the Lower Yuba. The River dropped to 1300cfs on Weds and by Thurs had about 6"-1' of visibility. Not bad conditions...really the kind where it could be really good or really tough. Fortunately it was really good. Clarity improved through Monday each day then the flows doubled overnight between Monday and tuesday and deer creek blew out. By Tuesday morning flows were around 3000cfs but deer creek was dropping and clarity was about like it was on Thursday, so we went for it. Ended up being one of the best numbers days I have ever had on the L. Yuba. Spent 4 hours in one run hooking fish after fish after fish...pretty silly.

Yuba Fatty

22" of Yuba Love

 Here is what I have found over the last few days on the L. Yuba. Fish are podding up when the flows jump and clarity becomes an issue. As the river cleared through Monday fish began to spread out and we were catching fish in various types of water. Thurs-sat and again on Tuesday fish podded up and were holding in very specific types of water. Most days we  hooked ridiculous numbers of fish but many were in the 12-14" range but there was a few 16-18" fish mixed in and even some big winter steelhead hooked and even fewer landed. Bottom line the river is fishing pretty dam good right now but as always with the Yuba as flows change and clarity changes things can go from great to tough any day. Caught all of our fish nymphing with eggs and big attractor flies but as the water cleared we did get some fish on #14 PT's and mayfly nymphs that were a bit over sized for the naturals that are around.    I would think that swinging flies would also be a great option if you can find a pod of fish as they are pretty damn grabby right now and we hooked fish on when we swung out our nymph rigs at the end of drifts pretty regularly.
24" of Yuba Steel
Close up...Awesome fish

Overall it is a great time to be out on the Lower Yuba and there is plenty of fish around to be caught. here are some dates I have open over the next few weeks if anyone is looking to get out. Book now and get my 2012 rates as I will be raising by rates come Jan 1, 2013

Dec. 31
Jan. 2, 3, 12, 13, 19-21

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lower Sac Weekend

I guided the Lower Sac saturday and sunday and was pretty happy with the fishing. December is traditionally a big fish month on the Lower Sac. Not huge numbers of fish but great numbers of big 20"+ Rainbows and the occasional steelhead. The sac was a nice olive/brown/green this weekend with about 1-2' of visibility. It looked much more cloudy then it was as I would stick my oar down and see it easily at 1-2' even though I would have thought it was about 6" of visibility. The turbitity on the sac is a bit weird I have come to find over the years.

Saturday we floated from Posse to Bonnieview and with the flows around 4500cfs it allows you to really work all the nooks and crannies of the runs. Fishing was great we lost some big fish and landed some big fish and as always there was a good mix of 16-17" footballs mixed in. My clients hooked fish on egg patterns, rubber leggs, better baetis nymphs, and various PT versions. The same day ryan johnston fished Bonnie to Anderson and just fished a double bead rig all day and had about the same results I did.

Sunday I decided to bite off a bigger float and went from Posse to Anderson. Had to move faster but fishing was about the same as Saturday so kinda nice to see some different water. Hot flies were pretty much the same and conditions were about the same as well. Had a new angler in the front of the boat so we lost a few more fish then saturday but always fun to help a new angler out and see them improve throughout the day.

The Lower Yuba dropped last night 2800cfs and deer creek is down to 53cfs. These are plenty fishable flows but I am not sure what the clarity is like coming out of the dam. At 53cfs Deer Creek is a non issue so it is more about the clarity of water coming out of Englebright. I would assume that there is still some color to the river but I would think it should fish here pretty soon.

There is some light rain forecasted for Wednesday and Sunday but this shouldn't change much with regards to flows or clarity on any of the rivers.

Lower Sac Pig

Lower Sac 

Lower Sac 

Face shot...
With regards to the Heisman...just make it an offensive award. I have nothing against Johnny Football...except the Florida and LSU games where he stunk it up and the fact that he is a freshman. Manti should of won and I think deserved it as a Senior. That said I watched Johnny's acceptance speech and it was a total class act, Kudos for that Johnny Football.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pre Weekend Report

So the Lower Sac has come into shape this week and I will be guiding up on the upper floats the next few days. Cow Creek still seems to be pretty high so that will keep me above Anderson but by Monday or Tuesday it could clear up. Word on the street is that the river has been fishing good even with some color.

Lower Yuba is still high hanging around 4400cfs but looks to be dropping slowly. Deer Creek is under control hanging around 100cfs and slowly dropping as well. I imagine the Yuba is still a week or so away from clearing up. I don't fishing it around 4000cfs but clarity with all the water coming down through the reservoir I imagine will be an issue for a bit.

Butte Creek has come down and is at a manageable 654 cfs and slowly dropping. This is a great flow for the creek and one that offers a lot of fishing opportunities. Great flow to float and swing flies....which i will be doing both out there soon.

In other news....if Manti T'eo does not win the Heisman tomorrow night I will ask the Heisman Trust that they make it officially and offensive only award. Manti cleaned house last night at the annual college football awards but I really think he should win the Heisman compared to a frosh and a QB who choked against a .500 Baylor.

Also I am pretty pumped for the new ESPN 30 for 30 movie this Friday on Bo Jackson. If you grew up in the 90's and played sports you know the NIke ad campaign Bo had the poster with him in shoulder pads holding a bat across his back, bought a KC Royals hat just because of BO, and may even of had a pair of Bo Cross trainer Nikes.

In booze news... my pockets have not been lined with tip money for good booze the last two weeks due to blown out rivers and xmas time so I am relegated to the section of the grocery store I have picture below...when in doubt I go with the High Life.

When in doubt go for the High Life

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rain and California Fly Shop Tying Day Report

Unless you timed your winter bonefish/Caribbean holiday perfect (and kudos to you if you did) you have been living through some pretty serious rain/snow/wind in Northern California. The North State got hammer by like 3-4 major storms back to back flushing everything from my street to the Lower Sacramento River and every little creek and drainage ditch in between with massive amounts of water.

The Lower Yuba has gone up to 15,631cfs as of right now...with deer creek dumping 10,200 cfs...So the Yuba only has to drop like 12,000 cfs or so and Deer Creek needs to drop like 10,100 cfs and its time to go fishing. Little discouraging...that said it should drop over the week and hopefully should be fishable in the next 1-2 weeks...Hopefully.

The Lower Sac is blown out below Clear Creek and I am sure it is off color all the way up through Market St and the Posse Grounds. Hopefully the stretch between Posse and Cow Creek will clear over the next few days with no rain and if the Yuba is not in shape next weekend at least the Sac will be.

Butte Creek...16,900cfs....only needs to drop 16,100 cfs to be fishable...Pretty sure there are trout and steelhead in people's back yards at 16G's.

So...Perfect weekend for the California Fly Shop in San Carlos to have a big fly tying event right. I rallied down early Saturday after filling up the gas tank and getting some burger king breakfast. Talk about a white knuckle drive, the wind and rain was ridiculous. I would have liked to save on gas and taken my little commuter car but I figured if I was going to get blown off the road or crash Frank the big gas guzzling Ford F250 would be safer...Driving Frank also furthers my commitment to domestic oil drilling and middle east peace as I cringe every time I fill up his tank for a long drive.

The whole California Fly shop knows how to throw an event. By the time I got there around 10:00 am the event was getting started... There was well over 10 tiers and for the better part of 2-3 hours I could not see up from my table as there was people surrounding me watching my table tie, asking questions, and BS'ing. Clam Chowder, some great bread, and beer were all served to all attendees...that said I barely had time to eat between answering questions, tying, and making sure I spent some time with all the people that came or had questions. I was also pleasantly surprised to see so many kids there interested in tying and fly fishing in general. The California Fly Shop has a ton of gear stuffed into their store for the xmas season. Great fly selection, TONS of all the latest Simms Gear, and tons of gadgets and little items to stuff the stockings. Over all it was a great event and Xav, Victor, Karen, Alex, and all the Cal Fly Shop crew know how to through an in store event. Thanks to them and all the people that showed up to  be part of it. More importantly thanks for supporting your local specialty fly fishing retailer!!!!