Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mid Week Fishing Reports

Fall is under way and winter will seem even closer with the time change this weekend. There has been huge salmon returns on all valley rivers with trout and steelhead eating gorging on eggs. If you have not gotten out this fall it is not to late and winter fishing should be just as good this year with early reports of fresh winter salmon moving up river right now. Winter trout and steelhead fishing can be great up and down the valley on the Lower Sac and Lower Yuba along with Butte Creek. 

Available Dates:
Nov 26
Dec 27-31
Jan 2-9, 18, 20, 26
Feb 8-10, 15, 16

Lower Feather 

There are steelhead from Gridley up river through the low flow. There are salmon on reds throughout this stretch as well dropping eggs. Most steelhead are being caught on egg patterns and the occasional fish on san juan worms, olive birds nest, or smaller mayfly nymphs. The river has been very crowded with wade fishermen, jet boats, and drift boats. A key to catching fish is getting away from the crowds, I find fishing later in the day or hitting the areas that other anglers hit first thing later in the day after the fish have rested is a good idea.

Lower Sacramento River 
The egg bit up through redding has picked back up after slowing down for a bit. Personally I have been spending my time below Red Bluff down to Corning chasing steelhead and trout. Fishing has been pretty good as there are spawning salmon down south of Los Molinos. Best fishing has been behind salmon reds and in riffles where salmon are spawning. 

Lower Yuba River
I have not been on the L. Yuba in a few weeks but from what I hear it is still fishing fair to good depending on the day. I tend to think that by this time in the "egg bite" the Yuba usually is in need of a good rain to mix things up and move fish around...maybe even add a bit of color to the water. With the cool mornings and evenings there should be some dry fly fishing midday in the flats and softer water of the riffles. I would look for some caddis coming off midday and then fish the reds and areas where there are spawning salmon early and late. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Now on Pintrest

Yes I know Pintrest is the domain of recipes, weddings, and such but I have started a Pintrest page to display photos and all such things fly fishing and fly fishing lifestyle related...we will see how it goes.

follow me and check it out for some serious fish porn and such.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Early to Mid Week randomness...and a fishing report or two.

Lets get early to mid week on this…

I spent my Saturday hanging with my boys (not “my Boys” but my children) and watching the Notre Dame vs. USC game and then guided the L. Sac on Sunday. I have not had a day off in about 2 weeks so hanging with my boys, sleeping in, and watching some live college football not DVR’d college football was a nice break. I will say though when ever I take days off I feel like I am missing something by not being on the river. That said many days while on the river I feel like I am missing something by not being with my boys…solution: go fishing with my boys…but I would have a hard time charging them, their piggy banks are pretty empty and lets be honest most of the money that is in them, was at one time technically mine so there is really no money in this plan and my bank doesn’t except “quality time on the river with my boys” as payment for my debts.

rolling strong on a saturday with this dude

The Lower Sac fished pretty decent on Sunday, but I had some pretty green anglers so it is tough to tell…we had plenty of grabs, but the hooking and landing part seemed to elude us. The fish on the float I did were not as grabby as the week before but they were still pretty accommodating in most runs. The egg bite is still going strong, but we did get some fish in bug water on stonefly nymphs and caddis pupa.

Barge Hole Egg Eater

This guy was sitting behind a snag and ate a big stone fly nymph

Almost forgot…I did get out to fish myself this Friday as well. I went with my brother in law and his buddy over to the feather. We fished the Hwy 162 bridge area and each of us hooked a nice adult steelhead. I was fishing my Scott 11”6wt L2h switch rod that I have been waiting to get out and properly fish sense I got it this last winter. I have had the rod for nearly a year and not properly gotten it out and fished it myself. That tells you how much time I have to fish on my own in the fall and winter. I matched it up with an Air Flo speydicator line and it fishes great. It is a great big water indicator rod. Light enough to high stick close or double up on and bomb out some spey casts to water I could hardly reach with a single handed rod. I am looking forward to using it this spring to swing some flies on the feather for the spring run steelhead as well.

Best part of the whole trip was watching my brother in laws friend Joe hook up on a nice big (24”)wild buck and land it…he has hooked a few steelhead on the feather but never landed one. He is a pretty good angler after cutting his teeth on the small trout water around chico. This fall he got a big river rod and is getting into steelhead fishing so it was awesome to see him land such a special fish. Funny how I was way more excited to see him land his fish then I was to hook mine…I actually lost mine right at the bank as I was trying to hurry and get mine in as I saw he was hooked up. Funny how prerogatives change the more I do this fly fishing thing.

New Ink…
I further cemented my passion and commitment to the things I love …. My wife, kids, and rivers. I have had this idea drawn up by a few artists around town…I want the two Loves wrapped around my heart: Rivers and my wife in a tattoo on the inside of my arm. Ben Lucas at Eye of Jade in Chico finally nailed it.

My two loves wrapped around my is my wedding anniversary

I have not been buying much new music just listening to a pretty consistent stable of bands…The Wonder Years, The Gaslight Anthem, and the Dangerous Summer. All 3 are in the punk, emo/punk vain. I see it as just good rock music about topics that normal people can relate to. If you can not relate to it the chances are I am not normal not you…

I got some new Simms Gear from the Fall 2013 Line up a few weeks ago and the weather has gotten cool enough to put it through the paces. There is some great new gear this fall. My favorite so far is the Axis Hoody. I Love my Windstopper Hoody, but at times it is a bit to warm… which is not a bad thing just need something a bit thinner as well. The Axis Hoody can be worn as a layering piece or a stand alone light jacket for cool mornings or evenings. It is made out of Polartec® ThermalPro®. It is quick drying and features no-sweat breathing capabilities. The Hoody takes care of cool mornings during the spring, summer, and fall where I would usually where just a sweatshirt over a fishing shirt with shorts. The best thing about this hoody is that I have also been wearing it in non-fishing situations. It sucks to have to have an around town wardrobe and a fishing wardrobe…and lets be honest wearing your wading jacket without waders and a fly rod in your hand just doesn’t look right. Kinda like a guy wearing a football jersey with out pads under them and a helmet on or an NBA jersey without the upper body of an NBA player. Much of the newer Simms gear is functional on the river and looks great off the river letting ones fishing gear serve multiple purposes. The Axis Hoody is a great example of this. Kudos to Simms to making gear that makes me look cool on the river and off….not an easy thing to do.
I like Black cause I spill things

Sports Report…
The Irish are 5-2 after a defeat of the USC Trojans on Saturday night. Usually I would be pumped any time we defeat the Trojans but this time just seems a little cheap. USC basically gave the game away via penalties and just plane bad play. With Tommy getting knocked out early in the second half and Hendrix coming in our offense was terrible. I personally will never bitch about Tommy Rees ever again as I am pretty sure Hendrix forgot how to throw a football and USC stacked 9 in the box and shut us down. Well a win is a win and we got Airforce this week so we should be OK.

World Series Starts tomorrow and while I don’t have a dog in the race I do enjoy watching both the Cardinals and the Red Sox play ball. They both have some fun players to watch and great pitchers. Should be a good series. I am calling Cards in 6.

Fly Guide Fantasy Football League
So, we are under way and I am sitting mid pack at 3-3 while the Deeler and Ryan J are knoted up at 5-1 though the Deeler aka La Flama Blanca is a top the power rankings. I had a pretty good shot to knock Ryan J off this week but Arian Foster going down with a Hami killed me! In other Fantasy news  Gabe Duran's Gravy Train has officially come off the rails sitting at 2-4 and he has resumed his fantasy wrestling career with the Deeler in his back yard. WWE watch out!
I love this guy

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gas tank holes, blown trailer bearings, fishing reports, and fly news

It has been a bit sense my last post and when that happens I have to sort through the randomness that is my “blog post material” for what I deem will be the most entertaining for those wasting time on their phone, in their cubicle, on their couch or my preferred blog reading station my couch during commercials. I am going to mix in some fishing reports, fly news, and random tales life to entertain…here goes.

Gas Tank Holes and Blown Trailer Bearings 
2 weeks ago I went out to my truck to go to band practice and I realized that my truck was really low on gas. No big deal I thought, I’ll get some gas on the way. I pulled up to the station and started pumping gas into my tank and heard the rushing sound of water…I looked down to see gas pouring out the bottom of my gas tank through a small hole. My first thought was that I punctured my gas tank while putting my boat in on the Yuba that weekend…then the guy next to me getting gas looked at my situation and said “someone drilled your tank and stole your gas”…I thought no way, not on my cul-de-sac in my neighborhood. I live in a nice neighborhood….oh wait that is where people go to steal things.

So, I drove home and parked my truck where it had been parked, got out and looked down to see a small curly cue from a drill and a small puddle of gas…shit. The only solace I took was that there was nearly no gas in the tank so at best the meth heads who stole my gas got a few gallons…when I began to think about it I bet they saw my big truck and thought they had hit meth head gas thief Valhalla and that there crappy econo line van with a generator they used to cook meth would run for years now. I even hoped that the next time they did it the friction from the drill would ignite the gas and blow them to smithereens.

With my truck out of commission I had to borrow Ryan J’s old suburban to guide…It has 290,000 miles on it and a miss firing piston that gives you a back message every time it idles and makes the check engine light blink on and off, which according to any car I have ever owned means “pull over immediately and get to a mechanic” but according to Ryan is fine.

Pretty crappy way to start a day
That Saturday I had to drive to the Lower Yuba to guide so I showed up and met my clients under the bridge and as I was driving away to launch my boat my client says “hey your tire is falling off your trailer…” I get out and to my surprise it was. I had blown a bearing on my passenger side trailer tire…Yes, I know they need to be lubricated, and yes I take my trailer to Les Schwab on East Ave in Chico ounce a year for service, but I will get to that…With a busted bearing I had to send my client home and call a tow truck. Luckily he lived just up the road in Nevada City and was fine with that. With that I called a tow truck and was told it would take 1hour for the truck to get there…I waited. Took a walk up river to watch some salmon, which there is a ton of, and waited some more. An hour and a half passed, so I called the tow truck company to find out the tow truck that was coming to tow me had broken down on the way and would be another hour or two…awesome. Eventually around noon a tow truck showed up and towed the trailer to a mechanic in Penn Valley my parents use.

Well Les Schwab on east ave had been lubing the front bearings on each tire only…not the back set as well and both sets blew. Thanks Les Schwab on East Ave in Chico, CA.

That said I got back on the road and the water this last week and here is the reports…

Lower Yuba River
The river is fishing really well. There is salmon on reds all the way from the bridge down to the Diversion Dam. Fish are eating eggs, stonefly nymphs, and small baetis and caddis patterns. One thing that surprised me was how many fish I saw in the flats eating what appeared to be small isonychia mayflies (found some schucks in the back coves and slack water that had washed off the rocks) and caddis. If I had brought dry fly rods I think the dry fly fishing would have been pretty darn good. We floated some nymphs in the film and got some grabs but not the same as getting a fish on a dry. We caught a few fin clipped steelhead on the days I was out there and lost a few big fish that I think may have been steelhead as well. Fish seemed to be spread out pretty well still even though the main food source this time of year is in the shallows where there are egg laying salmon. Fishing should continue to be good through the next few weeks as more and more salmon spawn.

Lower Sacramento River
I drifted from Balls Ferry to Jelly’s Ferry the days I was out there and fishing was good. There are fish piled in the reds eating eggs and in the riffles where there are spawning salmon at the top. Nearly all of the fish we caught came on egg patterns and in egg water. I was on the float with two other boats and both the other boats hooked fin clipped steelhead. We were not as lucky but it was good to see that they are out there and around. Fishing should continue through the fall and winter and crowds should begin to thin out as the Trinity picks up.

Feather River
The Feather River is fishing good for fall steelhead. There are fish spread out in the Low Flow and High Flow sections of the river. Most fish are being caught on egg patterns and it pays to be the first guy through the run with an egg pattern. Salmon season closed October 15th so the lower river should be a bit more open as the salmon anglers are cleared out. Fresh fish should move up river through October and rain will help. Best fishing is early and late or on overcast days.

My Flies…
With the all the drama swirling around the inter web and the water cooler in your local fly shop I wanted to fill everyone in on the status of the commercial production of my flies. For the last 9 years I have been a signature tier for Idylwilde. Idylwilde lost its production facility in the Philippines this last spring and was unable to deliver flies this summer. They worked hard all summer to get a new facility up and running to resume production and get back on track for 2014.

Signed and delivered
In the last few weeks though Idylwilde has entered in to a legal dispute and suspended production of flies for the coming year. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of Idylwilde and some long discussions with Zach Mertens, the owner and founder of Idylwidle, I have decided to leave Idylwilde as a signature tier. This comes with the blessing and understanding of Zach and in the end with Idylwilde suspending production and embroiled in a legal battle Zach thought it in my best interest to move on. I honestly can say that this was one of the harder things I have had to do. I have broke up with girlfriends that were easier…lets be honest though with my looks and addiction to catching fish I was usually the one getting dumped.

Over the last few weeks I have been fielding some offers from various fly companies, and have really struggled with what to do…I thought about giving up on the whole business of flies and just make up the income writing more articles or guiding more, but then people wouldn’t have my flies to fish and I may get kind of complacent and stop coming up with flies, which could affect my clients success on the river. In the end I decided to sign with an established company named Montana Fly Company. I have always respected Adam Trina at Montana Fly and thought they had some great patterns. Many of them I fish on a weekly basis.

The nuts and bolts is that I am sending in this week over half a dozen new patterns, and discussing what patterns I will bring over from my old catalog at Idylwilde. The goal is to have the new flies and some of the old ones in production by 2015. Most fly shops will be able to begin ordering flies this summer. Check out Montana Fly on the web or Facebook and hgb fly-fishing on Facebook or this blog for more information as it develops…

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekend Report and Open Fall and Winter Dates

Still some great Fall/Winter Trout and Steelhead dates open on the Lower Sac, Lower Yuba, Feather, and Butte Creek 

Oct: 19, 26
Nov: 17, 24-27
Dec: 27-31
Jan 2-12, 18-20, 25-26

Lower Sacramento River 
The egg bite is on and fish are gorging themselves on eggs in the upper river. Like most times, some days are great, some days are good, and some days are average. Fishing usually depends on the crowds, weather conditions, and just the day. I have had some great days and some fair days over the last week or so. The egg bite should continue to be good through October and into November. There is still good numbers of salmon entering the river and the spawn should move down river through October. There are fair numbers of steelhead spread through the lower river and I have heard of a few fishing being caught on most trips below Barge Hole. Fall/Winter fishing will last through Jan as long as the river stays fishable and some of the biggest fish of the year are caught in December and early January. 

Lower Feather River 
The Low Flow 1000cfs. The High Flow 1529cfs
There are a fair number of steelhead spread throughout the high and low flow. Best fishing is during low light conditions when steelhead are up in the shallows where there are actively spawning salmon. Ounce the light hits the water fish will move off of the reds into deeper water or look for reds that sit in deeper water. Most fish are coming on egg patterns, but in riffles that don't have as many salmon fish will eat bugs. Best nymphs have been caddis pupa and mayfly nymphs. In areas where there are a lot of salmon fish egg patterns and more then normal weight to get below the is cheaper to go through egg patterns on snagged salmon then nymphs. 

Yuba River 
Flows are up to 946cfs sense October 3 where they were 783. 
The egg bite is going strong on the Lower Yuba where there are spawning salmon. I have found that riffles that have salmon spawning at the top in the shallow water have fish that will eat eggs and during lower light conditions fish will be right up in the reds. Riffles or runs that do not have many salmon fish will eat stonefly nymphs, small may fly nymphs, and general caddis patterns. For the most part by Yuba standards there is a good number of salmon in the river with a fair amount of fish up on reds. The even better news is there are bunch of salmon in the upper river above the bridge. I walked up from the bridge this week to scope things out and saw a lot more fish on reds then previous years and there is still fish holding in deep water staging in the lower river, so the Yuba egg bite should last much longer then normal this year. 

There is a bunch of good to great fishing going on right now so get out and fish! If you are looking to get out I still have some dates in Oct open and a few in Nov and Dec. Winter trout and steelhead fishing on the Lower Sac and Lower Yuba can be very good so if you can't get out this fall don't miss out on the winter fishing. 

Have a great weekend!