Thursday, June 27, 2013

Update for those that need updating.

So weather has gone from Rain and Cold to HOT…Fish still need to eat and people still need to fish so here is what I know about a few spots, why sports give me ulcers, and what things I have been drinking to toast the spots I fish and deal with the teams I love.

Lower Yuba – I have been on the Yuba a bunch recently and fishing has been pretty good. I would say that it has been best through out the day on cooler days but even when the weather has warmed up (like Saturday) it has been good. On the warmer days there seems to be a bit of lul during the hottest part of the day. I have been starting late morning and taking off around dark. Nymphing has been catching the most fish as hatches have been sporadic and inconsistent. I have been catching most of my fish in the deeper runs and flats. Focusing on the deep water below the riffles and slower flats, changing up to lighter weight when fishing the slower water. At 1400cfs the flats have decent flows and the fish are taking advantage of it. Most of the water I am catching fish in is not accessible to the wade fishermen and I have only gotten my clients out to wade fish once or twice over say half a dozen days on the river in the last 2 weeks. Evening hatches have been a mix of light olive to tan caddis and small light color mayflies. Caddis are a size 16-18 and Mays are a 18-20. I have had clients hook fish on both caddis dries and mayfly dries while the hatch is sputtering off. My best nymphs have been the S&M PMD, olive and tan birds nests, rubber leg stones, Jimmy legs, and a few new patterns I have been working on. Mainly small mayfly nymphs, caddis pupa, and rubber leg stone patterns have been catching the fish.

Lower Sacramento Trout – This is the time that I spend time fishing the Lower stretches of the Sac. This last week I spent 5 days between Balls Ferry and Bend Bridge guiding. Fishing was good to very good while the weather was totally crazy, pouring rain to roasting heat. Redding got over an inch of rain between Monday and Tuesday and the lower river did come up about 1000cfs and picked up a bit of color but the fish didn’t seem to mind to much. The flows are high through here to begin with and fish were holding in many of their normal summer spots eating big stones and bird’s nest. July is a great time to fish the lower river; if you can stand the heat there are good numbers of trout to be caught.

Lower Sacramento Stripers – it is go time for stripers on the L. Sac. Every time I have been out scouting we have caught some decent size schoolie fish and many shakers. I even took my two boys out on Fathers Day and they both stripped in their first stripers. I hooked them and handed off the rod…Proud dad. July and August are prime time to chase these fish from Butte City up through chico.

Oliver's First Striper

Becket's First Striper

North Fork Feather - The river is low man, and low like... now I realize how bad a winter we had, low as it is when I fish it in September for the Isonychia hatch. Bad news. I struggled over 3 days to catch fish on the main stem of the river. We hooked a few fish but they were small guys and not the fish I expect when fishing the North Fork Feather. We did find some nice fish up the Caribou stretch where flows seem a bit more normal but still low.

Low Water on the Main Stem

Tight Pocket water up through Caribou 
Sports Report – Lets be honest it has been a tough few weeks for my teams. Notre Dame took a big hit with the De-Commit of Eddie Vanderdose and their starting QB getting busted for Academic impropriety and having to sit the season out…Another year of Tommy Reese may just kill me. Couple that with the complete implosion of the giants and more specifically their pitching staff and things are going bad…With the Giants I am past yelling at the TV, drown myself in drink, and hoping for wins. I watch small victories now, like “good job we made it through the first inning with out giving up a run”, “way to make a throw to first Pablo”, “good job to get through a lead off double or single”…tough, but small victories and great plays by Brandon Crawford keep me watching.

Beer Report – So I have been branching out a lot lately. Tip money in my pockets means some good beer to drink. I have been on a Lagunitas and Stone Brewery kick lately. I had a bottle of Stone Cali-Belgue IPA that was awesome. One of the best IPA’s I have had lately. I also tried a big bottle of the Lagunitas Lucky 13. A good red ale but nothing I would buy again, if bought for me though I would not turn it down. The best I have had lately is the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. This is a limited release in honor of something that happened in 2005 with them…It is a great bitter ale that goes down really easy.
Not a bad line up

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This is Summer...

Summer is here and all the great things about it are in full swing…BBQ, striper fishing, Shad fishing, weddings, cold beer, great new music, anger at the giants, caddis and PMD hatches, wet wading, golden stones, sierra trout streams…you name it. I love June.

Lower Yuba – I have been on the Lower Yuba a few days in the last week and fishing has been great to good. The flows are hovering around 1300cfs which is a good flow, but I would like to see it higher. 1300cfs has a good current through the flats, but not enough water to come up into the willows on the bank which is going to make hopper fishing a bit more challenging this summer. The fish are spread out in the flats and deeper parts of runs and will move into shallower water or the riffles to feed in the evening. We caught fish on nymphs (jimmy leggs, birds nest, S&M PMD’s, Red copper johns, and a new medium size stonefly I am working on) and dries in the evening. There was decent caddis and PMD hatches along with a few golden stones flying around. We got fish to eat Cutters E/C caddis, the Yuba Emerger, Quigleys Golden Stone Dry, and Quigley’s hackle stacker. As long as the flows don’t drop any more I think it is going to be a good summer on the Yuba. Not sure how the hopper fishing will shake out but as long as the caddis and mayflies come off each day things will be good.

Yuba a few that day

Grip and Grin...sorta
Yuba ... survivor. Nice osprey talon scar on this guy...the fish not the angler

Lower Sac Stripers and Shad – The striper fishing for me really picked up over the last week. We hooked fish in almost every run we fished the last few days I have been on the water. The fish are on the smaller side with a mix of nice schoolie size fish and shakers. Though we have hooked a few bigger girls just not gotten them to the boat. I think most of the fish that can eat shad are still eating them. Shad fishing has been hit and miss…not a really strong shad year for me personally. I know people are getting into them at various times but there just doesn’t seem to be as many fish around as last year (that said last year was pretty epic).  Hopefully this will result in a good striper year.

Lower Sac Striper
Lower Sac Trout – Fishing remains good from what I have heard. I am going to start getting out on the lower river down below barge hole shortly. Summer is a great time to fish the lower river and can provide some of the best fishing of the year. I may be biased though as this is some really fun guiding and really a pretty and unique stretch of river.

North Fork Yuba River – I spent a day up out of Downieville fishing some old haunts this week. I started guiding up here over 15 years ago and it is always cool going back and seeing how little things have changed. I will say the water level is scary low for June. To me it looks about to be at August levels. That said fishing was good. We caught fish on dries and small nymph rigs. There was good numbers of golden stones, little yellow sallies, and what looked to be gray or brown drakes flying around. I would say if you like this piece of water get up there sooner then later as it is going to get pretty thin this year.

a Few goldens flying around
Beautiful Water up on the NF Yuba...get there soon though
Fall River – Word is the hex hatch has started…I will be up there soon to confirm.

The Rock and Roll Report – so with all the driving around I have been doing I needed some new music…Summer always brings some good releases.

Jason Isbell “Southeastern” – Jason was part of drive by truckers for a few years and wrote some of my favorite DBT songs. He then left the band and has released four albums, two solo and two with his band the 400 unit. This is a solo release and is seriously amazing song writing. For some reason every song this guy writes I relate to. This is a great sun setting on the way home from work or the river type of album, or just having a cold one on the porch.

The Wonder Years “The Greatest Generation” – Awesome and rocking earnest emotionally charged music…similar to Taking back Sunday but way cooler and way more relatable lyrics.  There are few bands that make me yell and pump my fist while driving like these guys.

The Front Bottoms “Talon of the Hawk” – the listeners also bought feature on I tunes continues to cost me $9.99 at an incalculable and painful rate. I found these guys while buying the new Wonder Years CD…they are just could rock. The singer is great and kinda reminds me of Pavement a bit but a bit more catchy and relatable…like I know what the song is about. I love pavement but lets be honest if anyone can tell me what any given song is about let me know, not just lines from the songs but the song as a whole.

That will get you through a few drives to the river or lake or mud puddle.

Cold beverages I drink past 12:30 during the summer report -  Any new device to consume beer is worth a review…the new Klean Kanteen 16oz Vacum insulated Tumbler is amazing. Not only does it look cool it keeps your beer colder then a frosted pint glass and doesn’t have the condensation that gets my wife’s various wood furniture things wet. I know a coaster would solve this issue but even then the condensation drips on my chest while slouched on the couch and while that is a cooling feature at times after a few beers I am just wet. I made it a point to drink all my daily beverages out of one of these the other day…iced coffee: ice lasted and drink stayed cold for a good 2 hours while I watched sports center, tied flies, and answered emails…much nicer compared to the 20mins my usual plastic souvenir cup I got at the giants game. I then made myself a smoothie and rode to the river with it in my cup holder and it stayed nice and cold through the drive…then of course when I got home I had a few summer ales out of it. I even fell asleep in bed with a half pint next to me and while I don’t make a habit of drinking beer in the morning I took a sip when I woke up and it was still a bit cold. Good stuff.

Liquid wise I have been rotating between the staples…Pale Ale, Summer Fest, and Torpedo. I did try a bottle of the Sierra Nevada Double Dubel brew. This is a Belgian Style Dubel that is aged for two years in Oak Casks previously used to age Brandy. It was good it was just a bit sweet for me. I would probably drink it again but it was
not my favorite.
Frosty and Cold...even in the morning.

Funny Things Clients' say…
Client: “So does the fishing get better in the evening?”

Me: “Well it would be pretty damn good now if you set the hook on a few of the half dozen grabs you are getting in EVERY hole we have fished.”

Client: “Good Point…does it get easier in the evening”

Me: “if you get better at this fly fishing thing”


Still Plenty of dates in July for Lower Yuba trout, Lower sac trout, Lower sac stripers, Top water bass, NF Feather Trout, NF Yuba Trout, Small stream trout….. Either way go fish.

July 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31
August 1-8

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cast Hope Pledge Drive

As Many of you know I am part of the non-profit Cast Hope. I have been a part of Cast Hope from its inception. We are a group of fly fishing guides that started a non profit about 6 years ago with the goal of introducing low income and under served kids in Northern California and their mentors (parent, grand parent, big brother/big sister, friend, grand parent, anyone that is important in their lives) to the sport of fly fishing and the outdoors by taking them on free guiding fly fishing trips. We have grown exponentially with the support of the fly fishing industry and outdoor industry. We have grown to include conservation and sustainability education through our guided fishing trips, fish fest, clinics, and camping trips. Through our fish fest's and clinics we give away free fly rods, flies, terminal tackle, and outdoor clothing to both kids and mentors to help eliminate the financial hurdles of getting out fly fishing and enjoying the outdoors. In a nut shell we are teaching kids to use their local watersheds, appreciate them, and become advocates to conserve them.

Below you will see a flier for our annual Pledge Drive where we offer great custom Cast Hope gear in exchange for a pledge amount. This is a great way to make a difference and get some new gear for the summer and fall fishing season. Thanks for taking the time to look this over and if nothing else check out 
to see what we are all about.

For more information shoot me an email at

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Evening Trip: $200 for two anglers - $50 discount
Half Day Float Trip: $250 for two anglers - $75 

Full Day Float Trip: $325 for two anglers - $100 discount

Float the Lower Yuba - PMD, Caddis, Little Yellow sallies, and golden stones - both nymphing and dry fly fishing options on full and half day or even and evening float. 
Float the Lower Sac - Great nymph fishing through the Lower stretches of the river down through red bluff.

Warm water trips - evening top water fishing, striper fishing, shad fishing, carp fishing - great evening or half day trip. 

Walk and wade trout fishing - NF Feather, NF Yuba, and many other small creeks outside of chico, ca.

*all full day trips include lunch and drinks along with use of rods, reels, and lines along with all your flies and tackle.
*half day and evening trips include a snack and drinks along with use of rods, reels, and lines along with all your flies and tackle.