On to fishing...So we need rain. I am still watering my yard and plants in November, this is not a good sign. Not that we won't get rain this winter but I fear that we will get the monsoon style of rain where it rains non-stop for like a month or two blowing out rivers and pretty much killing all fishing. Not that I wouldn't be Ok with that in the long run as we need the water but that would really suck for winter trout and steelhead fishing. I like nice spaced out storms over the course of say Nov 1 and March 15 that provide good rain and snow pack...oh in a perfect world.
On to the fishing reports and other ramblings...
The salmon run on the feather this year is as good as I have seen it in 10 years...back to the good old days of the late 90's and early 2000's where there were salmon on redds all the way down past Gridley. There are also good numbers of steelhead from Gridley up through the low flow section of the river. The average size of the steelhead this year seems to be around 20+ inches with a few fish in 23-25" but not much below that 20" range. The fish are fat and deep this year as well, classic feather football steelhead. Most fish are coming on egg patterns but I have heard of a few fish coming on san juan worm variations along with mayfly nymphs and caddis pupa. Fishing should continue to be good through thanksgiving this year and hopefully with some rain the river will see a good push of late fall/winter fish.
|Nice Wild Hen|
|Nice Big Buck|
Lower Sacramento River
I have been spending most of my time on the Sac down low below red bluff chasing tributary steelhead and trout. Fishing has been pretty good and with the great salmon run the Sac is seeing this year there are salmon on redds all the way below Los Molinos. Most trout and steelhead are hanging close to spawning salmon and eating eggs and large rubber legs. The guide traffic on the upper stretches has thinned out as many guides have moved on over to the Trinity. November fishing is typically fair to good depending on the day but come December I find that I start to catch some of the biggest rainbows of the season.
|Lower Sac Low Fin Steelhead|
Lower Yuba River
I have not been on the Lower Yuba for a while as I usually spend most of my late October and early to mid November on the Feather and Lower Sac. I did talk to Tom Page of Reel Anglers in Grass Valley and he said fishing has been good on small bugs and egg patterns. Personally come the first big storm I will most likely head over to the Yuba, a little color and a nice flow bump should move some fish around and get the fish going again. November can be a tough month on the Yuba as the fish have been pounded sense mid september by guides and recreational anglers. Come Late November though I usually have the river to myself and with some weather fishing can be ridiculous, Some of my best days all year come in December and January on the back end of storms. Even if fishing is just mediocre there can some great dry fly fishing mixed in with Baetis hatches and the ever elusive skwala stonefly.
Tales From the 'Ville...and how to deal with our nations obesiety epidemic.
As I said in an earlier post fall allows me to spend some time over in the small town of Oroville and the Oroville wild life area which are conveniently located along the Feather River. So, the feather has been pretty damn crowded this year with guides and recreational anglers. Many Sacramento area guides seem to be making the migration up to guide the Feather this year making it a bit more crowded then usual. Now I don't have a problem with this, but it has created an escalation that has not been seen in about 10 years...the motor movement.
It is no secret that a guides success on the feather is largely related to his ability to find fresh water or fish that have not been fished over by another angler. This leads to a fairly competitive atmosphere at times. Most of the chico/oroville local guides work together and plan out floats to accommodate for this but with the influx of guides from other areas this does not always work out...
So, a few guides are resulting to putting motors on their drift boats and even some anglers are running jet boats up and down the river even up into the low flow. The "I am going to get there first" mentality is taking root on the river this year. This leads to escalating water crafts and motor sizes...which in the end hurts everyone. This was last seen about 10 years ago...I was working for Lonnie Boles at the time and he went so far as to buy a 27' in board jet to be the biggest boat on the river. In the end the high flow at 1500cfs and the low flow at 1000cfs are NOT big enough for jet boats, wade anglers, and drift boats to co-exist.
Now I run a trolling motor to motor through the flats on the feather and long flat section above Gridley ounce the time changes as it gets dark so early but a motor on a drift boat on the feather to race to each hole or jet boat to pound runs before guides get to them is pretty lame...So I am taking a stand no motors! I am not going to succumb to the temptation to bring my motor boat out there. Stop the escalation...Get creative on your floats, spread out, talk to other guides and see where they are going - I am now stepping off my soap box. Also Row your boat there is an obesity epidemic in our nation and we could all use the extra exercise.
|Drop your motor its race its a race!|
Booze News...Brown Water Time
I have been really watching how much I drink lately...not that I have a drinking problem but I just felt I needed to slow down...might be that I am approching my mid 30's and drinking like I was in college still was starting to catch up with me...Don't get me wrong though I am not a quitter and still enjoy my beer and brown water.
This year for the second straight year I won the annual ND vs. USC bet I make with fellow guide and Sierra Fishing bad ass Jay Clark so he had to buy me a bottle of bourbon...loosing two years in a row I felt bad for him so I am going to tie him some flies, most likely while drinking the bourbon he bought me so not sure how well they will turn out. He got the Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon Whiskey for me and it is amazing. Real smooth and mild for a bourbon. Has fruity hints to it and some woody back taste but nothing to strong. Glad it is Brown Water time...Nothing better then coming home from a day of steelhead fishing and relaxing with a nice tumber of something brown.
Pretty straight forward right now...Gas Light Anthem, Get Up Kids, and things that sound like those two...kinda re-living my early 20's in music...I may even start taking piano lessons so I can write some songs like the ones on Death Cab for Cuties album Plans...