Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Belated Report and other random news

Lots going on in Northern California…Spring seemed to be here and then Tornados, Hail, Rain, Wind, and Snow rolled in for a day or two. Pretty typical late winter early spring February fishing though really, when the weather is nice 60-70 with now wind fishing is good. When the wind, cold, rain, and what ever else gets cooked up moves in fishing can get tough. I spent a few days over the last 2 weeks on the Lower Sac and Lower Yuba Rivers. Fishing was good, great, and tough on various days or all of the three in one given day as the weather changed. Here are some reports and observations.

Lower Yuba
The Lower Yuba fished fair I would say, but like I said above very dependent on what the weather conditions were and more importantly what water was open. Bottom line the river is really crowded. Which is funny as I have worked my tail off to put fair to good numbers of fish in the boat over my last few trips and most of my fish are coming in water that people can’t wade fish. Fish to me seemed to be podded up as a result I think of getting pushed out of a bunch of water by wade fishermen. This Saturday there was wade fishermen in almost every run they could get into.  I don’t have a problem with a crowded river but it does push the fish around.

Most of my fish came on small may fly and midge patterns. I got fish on the new S&M PMD, Better Baetis, brown and coffee black jimmy legs, and quasimoto PT’s. In the back swirls and back waters there has been TONS of midge schucks from midge hatches so I had a duh experience and tied on a zebra midge…next pass both clients hooked fish.

Midge Schucks on the Lower Yuba
Even More Midge Schucks

Lower Yuba Bow
There are also a few small PMD’s when the sun is out and a few baetis when the clouds role in and temperature drops.  I have seen ovipositing skwalas around, but if there is a fish in the river that has not seen or been fooled by a skwala pattern I would be surprised.  I even grabbed one and dropped it down a run that I was pretty sure there were fish in and either there wasn’t fish home or no fish were interested. I found fish podded up in deeper water, swirls , and deep runs. That said I didn’t get a chance to really fish any true riffles as those are where wade fishermen usually congregate.

Fishing should continue to improve over the next few months as weather warms and becomes more stable. Some of the best dry fly fishing of the year is coming up with the PMD, PED, and Caddis hatches.

Lower Sacramento River
The Lower Sac has been good to great on those nice 65-70 degree days. Key is no wind. On the cooler and/or windy days fishing can be a bit tougher. On the warm days the caddis can come off and fish get really grabby that said clarity is still an issue but the lower one goes in the river the better the clarity is. I am still catching good numbers of fish on attractor eggs and stoneflies but over the last few days I have seen more and more fish come on bugs, mostly amber wing caddis, a black Fox poopah with amber wings, S&M PMD Nymph, and bigger flash back PT’s.

I have been spending most of my time between Bonnie View and Anderson and Anderson to Balls Ferry but I know that a few people have done down low from Barge to Bend and had some great days. I think that as the upper stretches get more crowded and the Trinity guides come back on over to the Sac I will move down lower and lower.

Fishing should continue to become more consistent over the next month but can fluctuate with wind and air temps.
Lower Sac Trout
More Lower Sac Trout

Spring fishing is about to get really good as the weather stabilizes and moves into nice warm spring weather. Fishing on both the lower Sac and Lower Yuba along with the Lower Feather is going to be getting really good. I have a few dates still open in march and april.

March 16, 17
April 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 21, 28

In other News
The Giants first spring training game is coming up on Feb 23 this coming Saturday…This marks the official beginning of baseball season in my book. Daily games and reports on players. It is hard to catch spring training games as they are all day games for the most part but I DVR the ones I can and listen to ones on KNBR 680 when I can. I was a bit surprised but not to surprised when Bochy named Cain the opening day starter before spring training games ever began but who could argue the decision.

Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show is coming up this coming weekend as well. Cast Hope will be there with a booth and a great raffle. Stop by say HI to Ryan and the crew and buy a raffle ticket. You may win something cool. I am going to try to make it on Sunday but I might have to work all 3 days of the show. Simms fishing products will also be there showing all the new Fall/Winter products. Stop by and see John Sherman and the simms guys to look at the new products…make sure to look at the Kenai Shirt, Windstopper Soft Shell Hoody, and the Cold weather Shirt, these are my must have’s for the fall/winter/early spring.

Booze News: Got a bottle of Makers Mark from the Deeler and have been hooked on Makers, soda water, and a lime. Also been drinking some of the Sierra Nevada Tumbler and the Ovila Abby Quad…so good but not cheap. The New Big Foot ale is out but I have not had a chance to have any yet. I gotta have an evening where I can get a good buzz working to have the Big Foot.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super bowl Sunday report

Guided the Yuba yesterday. Ryan Johnston has been on it a bit this week and said the dry fly fishing had been decent and the nymph grab was good as well. He also said it was someone put up a "free beer" sign crowded. Couple this with Yuba County Water cutting the flows Friday morning from 1700cfs to 1400cfs because it was the 2nd driest January in the last 106 years I was a bit skeptical about how fishing was going to turn out. I had expected to be fishing with an armada of drift boats and blow up toys but when I got to the put in there was one boat in and me...I saw 3 other boats and pontooon throughout the day so not to bad. TONS of wader fishermen though, every run up and down the river it seemed. Flows at 1400cfs though are still high enough where there is room for both boats and wade fishermen, but there was some spots that were a bit cramped.

There was some sporadic bursts of PMD's and a few baetis hatching throughout the day. I have yet to see one skwala flying around but I did see a bank angler hook a fish on a skwala in a swirl behind a rock. I had my clients fish skwala dries and some PMD dries over likely spots with no success and most of the people around in boats and on the bank were throwing dries so I stuck with nymphs most of the day. We hooked fish on small nymphs for the most part, the S&M Pmd nymph was the best with a few fish coming on egg patterns, rubber legs, and PT flash backs. I would say the fishing was, "good winter trout fishing", we hooked some nice fish and got grabs in most spots, but by no means hooked any monsters or had ridiculous numbers.

Fishing should just get better as the weather gets warmer and we move into march. This time of year can be pretty up and down as the weather changes. Look for hatches of PMD's, March Browns, small caddis and maybe some skwalas.

In other news it is super bowl sunday and I took the day off to hopefully enjoy a "Good Game"...I am not a huge NFL guy but Ryan and the Johnston family are coming over as well as my parents to watch the game and have some food. To all the Niners Fans I wish them good luck and enjoy the day.

In music news...if you haven't ever bought a Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, or Whiskey Town Cd do your self a favor and get one...really anything with Ryan Adams is good. Pretty mellow on the verge of spring but you know there will still be some rainy and gloomy february and march days to come.

Beer News...Cracked a bottle of Sierra Nevada Hop Harmony last night. This is a big American IPA brewed especially for the Hop Growers of America Convention a few weeks ago at the brewery. Pretty sure it was only given out to attendees...I did not attend but I know people.