Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Drought, Current Fishing Reports, TV, Sports, and Music....You know the important stuff.

So, February first is approaching and it looks like it is going to rain outside but at this point I am have no faith that water actually falls from the sky. That said the weather man says there should be some rain in the next few days. I also looked at the extended forecast on Accuweather through March 14 and it shows some rain coming in through the month of February. I think the bottom line though is that we are so far behind in rain/snow that not matter what happens the next few months we are going to be experience drought like water conditions through the summer.

What does the drought mean? Well to be honest I can only hypothesize what fishing will be like as I have no frame of reference in my life for these type of conditions. I was not around the last time we had this bad of water situation and I have never fished many of the rivers I guide this low. The general consensus around here, among those that fish and live up here, is that spring is going to be pretty darn good fishing, especially if we get the rain we all hope for. If the rain and snow comes most water agencies will hold back water and the rivers will most likely not change much during the spring. If we get enough water the creeks and smaller tribs to the valley tailwaters could pump some color but the ground is so dry I highly doubt it. So…Spring will be good fishing even if we get very little rain and the drought conditions remain fishing should be pretty darn good fishing until about late may or June. Trout fishing on the L. Sac, L. Yuba, and Steelhead fishing on the Feather should be good. I think ounce the weather gets warm and water is low, say come June, we will start to see the true results of the drought on the tailwaters. I imagine for those that venture up to the sierra trout water the reality of the drought will take place sooner, that said as long as the air temps remain low during the spring fishing should be decent. Unless we see about 90 straight days of snow and rain I would plan my sierra trout trips this year for the spring…I think by early to mid June trout fishing on bodies of water that rely on snow melt are going to be in sad shape.

With regards to Striper and Shad fishing many old timers say low water years are good shad years and high water years are good striper years…that said I heard a guy in chico say the other day that striper fishing is going to be amazing this year with the low water. Again I have no reference point for the current conditions. I think shad fishing in May and June should be pretty good as the schools will concentrate with low water but I am not sure how far they will move up river…I have heard in low water years the Shad can hang up but who knows. I can’t imagine the migratory striper run will move very far up river this year and the lower water should concentrate the resident fish making them a bit more skittish. I have been tying some smaller, sparser, and lighter clousers for the summer and spring. I think smallmouth fishing on the Sac will be pretty good this year as lower water should concentrate the fish and make fishing for them a bit easier as they will be easier to locate. Carp fishing I am not sure on the various reservoirs how that will pan out or how the river will be affected. I am sure the flats will not have water on them in most places but that may create new flats with low water who knows.

Current Fishing Reports

The Lower Sac – is fishing fair I would say. Each days seems to be different with some days being better then others. Most fish are coming on Baetis and general Mayfly Nymphs. S&M nymphs #18, Trim Flash Back PT’s #14, S&M PMD’s #16, Little Amigos #16, and a few fish still coming on beads. Overcast weather should help and any rain can’t hurt.

The Lower Yuba – is fishing fair as well. The skwala hatch is going but most of the skwalas seem to be concentrated above the bridge and the hatch has not really migrated to far down river. I have seen skwalas as far down as sycamore but I have not seen them in any consistent number. Small nymphs and the occasional rubber leg are still catching the most fish for me. On some days there can be a decent baetis hatch with fish eating in the flats as well. Overcast should turn some fish on over the next couple of days.

Culture Reports – For those needing culture.

Sports Report…
Super Bowl week is upon us and my one Denver Bronco fan buddy is pretty pumped…probably been wearing some form of bright orange all week. Personally I will be fishing on super Sunday and counting days until pitchers and catchers report and I can start reading random baseball news from spring training. I have been catching a few NBA games and college basketball games but nothing to serious. This is kind of my down time…signing day for ND is coming up and I have been following that but not much Sports Watching lately.

TV report…
So with no sports really grabbing my attention I have been catching up on TV programs…Here is my list.
The Following – gruesome, suspenseful, and addicting
Girls – on HBO…pretty damn funny.
True Detectives – On HBO with Matthew Mcconaugheyand Woody Harleson, great new show with good acting and story.
Revolutions – everybody loves a post apocalyptic Sci Fi show

I have been all over the place lately. Got into two new bands Into It Over It and Have Mercy….Good indie/emo rock….but then I watched Jason Isbell on Austin City Limits and started listening to all his CD’s over again. He is one the best song writters I listen to. There is no other artist that I know of that writes more songs I connect with then him. Any of his CD’s are great albums and have a place for any mood or trip.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Discount Winter Dates

Discount Winter Dates

Jan 26, Feb 1, 2

$100 off a full day guided trip - $325 for full day of guided fishing on the Lower Yuba or Lower Sacramento River on any of the 3 days listed above. Had a cancelation and one day I need to fill.

Winter fishing is feeling more like spring fishing lately but there is some rain in the extended forecast for the last week of January. Fishing is fair to good on both the L. Sac and L. Yuba.

If Interested shoot me an email : dates are first come first served.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Years Reports, Low Water Swinging, and Fly News & Big Fly Boxes

News Year Update…

So we are in the middle of a crazy drought…no secret there. That said there are still fish to be caught. I have heard a few weather guys talking that this high pressure that has been sitting over Nor Cal Keeping all the storms north of us is going to be moving away soon and we should start to see some rain. Here is a post from our local weather guy Chris Kupyer with some good news…hopefully.

Long range GFS model is finally indicating a weather pattern change in about a week and a half in the Pacific, with the jet stream returning to California and bringing RAIN... starting around the 20th. Could be off & on the whole week.

While it's still a long ways out... This is a GREAT sign!

So hopefully Chris Kupyer is right. Other then that Rivers are low and clear making for some interesting fishing.  Check the reports below and what is coming up….

Open Dates coming up:

Feb: 1, 2, 10, 22, 23

March: 1, 2, 8, 9, 22, 23, 29, 30

April: 5, 6, 13, 18, 19, 22-27, 

Lower Yuba River - Flows are around 725cfs and fishing is poor to good…kinda all over the place day to day. I have had some decent days and some really tough days. Any overcast days have the chance of being good but low flows, clear water, and bright sun can be tough. Most of my fish over the last few weeks have come on small mayfly nymphs and egg patterns. There has been a good baetis hatch on most days and fish will pod up in various flats sipping emerges, cripples, and duns…all at the same time or on some days favoring only a very particular stage of the hatch. Typical Yuba picky dry fly eating trout. I have been fishing size16-20's on 6x to these fish and having some luck on most days. With the warmer then average weather the first skwala stoneflies have been starting to hatch. While i have not hooked many fish on stonefly nymphs I did rise a few fish to skwala dries last time I was out. 

Nice Lower Yuba River fish from the last week
Coming Up… much of what is to come on the Yuba will be rain dependent but the winter (skwala, March Brown) hatches will start early and the spring hatches will be early as well. Fishing should be challenging with low and clear water but as the days lengthen and warm the fish will start to eat more actively making fishing a bit more consistent. Pray for Rain!!!!

Lower Sacramento River - is down to 3360-3000cfs which is low but we have seen this flow the last few years. Fishing has been poor to good depending on the day but fishing seems to be getting a bit more consistent over the last week. There has been good numbers of steelhead reported being caught all the way up through Anderson which can make a mediocre trout day a lot better. Most fish are coming on small mayflies and eggs with a few being caught on rubber legs lower in the river. With the low flows there is plenty of wading opportunity for the walk in angler and most fish are in the riffles and runs which make them accessible. 

Coming Up… The Lower Sac should fish well through the spring but I would imagine the spring caddis, PMD's, and March Browns starting a bit earlier this year. I imagine flows will remain low no matter what happens from here on out with rain and fishing should get more consistent as days lengthen and warm…that said pray for rain. 

Feather River - The flow in the low flow is 1000cfs and the flow in the high flow is 1100cfs. The stretch of the Low Flow from the hwy 70 bridge up to the fish barrier dam opened on Jan 1. I have not fished it myself but I have heard it has been a zoo though people are catching fish. It is barbless, and catch and release so it is limited but still have heard the crowds are just ridiculous. I have not heard of any fresh winter fish moving into the system though I am sure they are there. 

Coming Up…Spring steelhead fishing on the Feather starts around early March and if the fall run was any indicator should be a good run. We nymph and swing flies on switch rods for these fish and even sometimes fish dries. They are a ton of a fun and offer a great opportunity to fish many different styles in a day on the water. 

Coming up: Shad, Striper, Large and Small mouth bass, and Carp…The fishing on the Sac outside of chico, mountain smallmouth lakes, and valley carp and largemouth lakes will be very dependent on how the rest of the winter and spring shake out with regards to rain. I imagine no matter what flows will be lower then normal and lake levels will be down. That said water temps warm faster moving bass on to the spawn sooner and making for a good shad year and a bit spookier stripers. It is not to early to start looking at summer and spring Shad, Striper, Large and Small mouth bass, and Carp dates if you are interested.

Coming up: Clearwater Lodge…I will be guiding this spring/summer again up at Clearwater Lodge. This is a great place for families or the hard core angler. The lodge sits on the Pit River and is in striking distance of Fall River, the Pit River, Baum Lake, Burney Creek, Lake Britton, and Hat Creek along with many other secret spots…This is a truly unique corner and one worth exploring. 

Sports Report: Talk and a great college football season. With the National Title game wrapping up and the final rankings coming out we can put a bow on the college football season and call it done. The bowl season in my humble opinion was pretty damn good. Many upsets and close games made for a great holiday season. I had a tough time with regards to who to root for in the title game…I wanted FL St. to win as Notre Dame plays them next year as part of their entrance into the ACC but lets be honest I can’t imagine there are many student athletes on that team and how a program like FL St operates is much of what is wrong and down right illegal about big time college athletics. With that said I had moments where I was hoping Auburn won but then I was drawn to the SEC logo on their jerseys and I couldn’t root for them.

Pretty pumped on how Notre Dame finished with the Pin Stripe Bowl but lets be honest Rutgers is not a top 25 opponent. Though beating them did push up up to no.20 in the final AP Top 25 rankings. I am bit concerned with the news of 4 underclassmen leaving for the NFL Draft this year…The 2 D-Linemen make sense as they are top 10 picks but George Atkins and Troy Niklas leaving are a bit weird, couple that with the Coach Kelly loosing both his offensive and defensive coordinators leaves a lot of things up in the air for the off season.

Winter Personal Fishing…over winter I traditionally have some time to get out and do some personal fishing. This last week with the low flows I got out on the L. Sac outside of chico to swing some flies for some winter steelhead. Bait anglers have been getting some nice fish drifting roe through the holes and with the low flows fish really hold up in the lower river so it is always worth a try. I didn’t hook anything but I did see a few unidentified salmonoid role through the run…could have been small winter salmon or nice steelhead, who knows but it is enough to get me back out there again.

Pretty Easy Walk out to the riffle
Choice Run to Swing some flies through
 Fly News
I signed my contract with Montana Fly Co. a few months ago, Mailed off some Samples of new bugs, and started the discussion about what new flies to do and what old patterns from Idylwilde to bring over. We finalized the line up this last week and I can say I am pretty excited about the line up of mine that Montana Fly Co. will be bringing out in 2015. I am sending my instructions, recipes, and samples off this week so wheels are turning…

One great thing about working with Montana Fly Co. is not only do they make flies they have a great line up of fly tying materials and accessories. Their new “boat boxes” are by far the best I have seen. I got the trout one in the mail and filled it up with a few of my striper flies for the coming spring/summer. These things are pricey at about $65 but they are well worth as they are incredibly durable and water proof. I go through about 1-2 of the cheaper ones each year and the “cheaper” ones are not cheap at around $35-50.