Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mid week reading material to get you through Hump Day.

So, spring is swinging in and out with some really beautiful mid 70’s to Low 80’s weather and then some cold pouring rain…and then 90+ degree weather by the end of this week…wow that will throw things for a loop. I have been on and off the water a lot lately. Fishing on my own trying to get a bead on fish and guiding a lot as well. Lots to talk about so here goes….

Lower Yuba River:
I finally got over to the Lower Yuba this last week and was surprised as I checed the flows the night before to see that they had come up to over 1250cfs!!!! Low and behold they scheduled some pulse flows to push out steelhead and salmon smolt. As of today the flows are starting to drop back down to assume 5-700cfs. I was a bit concerned that the flow jump may mess with fishing but it didn’t one bit. Fishing was good to very good the days I was out there. There was a tint to the water, which always helps, and 1250cfs is a great flow. There was a few gray drakes, caddis, PMD’s, and little yellow sallies flying around but few to no fish feeding on them. I didn’t throw a dry fly at all one day. Fish were keyed on the corresponding nymphs though and as one but would get active the fish would key on it. I caught fish on Olive Amigos #16, a red bad PT, Copper Johns, and a few new lil’yellow sally patterns I have been working on. We fished rubber legs, various caddis patterns, egg patterns, and some general attractors with limited success as well. Mainly the fish wanted the smaller mayfly nymphs and a #14 mayfly/stonefly imitation. I am thinking with the coming heat spell the river is going to blow up with hatches…mainly caddis and sallies.

Fin clipper...took a wrong left turn on his way down river

Nice Wild Trout

Lower Sac Bass, Stripers, Shad:
Largemouth on the river are getting active but the colder weather of late last week and weekend slowed things down a bit. The warm weather this week should get the Largemouth and Smallies going again as well. Sight fishing for fish feeding over weeds in the sloughs and sitting on beds was pretty decent early last week but I could tell that the fish were just getting active for the spring. We have hooked a few smallies but they are not on the grab up in the shallows yet in any number. Stripers are hit and miss with the fluctuating weather but the warm weather this week should get them going. There have been some nice double digit fish caught this last week by a few of my buddies but personally we did not spend much time chasing them. Shad should really get going in the next week or two as well with the warm weather.

Working some back water on the Sac

Lower Sacramento River Trout:
Fishing is still good from Redding down to Bend. I have not been on the river trout fishing much but I know most of the redding guides have been doing well. The upper stretches can be finicky this time of year but I tend to find the lower stretches below Balls Ferry even down below Red Bluff tend to have some pretty grabby fish.

Not bad for his first trout...ever

Trout Opener News…
Fishing most places from what I have heard has been pretty good, with warm weather and limited run off most things are fishing like early to mid June…That means early to mid June is going to be like mid to late August. Connect the dots and go NOW to your favorite stream or river.

I will be at the Reel Anglers Fly Shop in Grass Valley, CA this weekend for their 2nd Annual BBQ and Fair. I will be there with the Cast Hope Booth but also promoting some guiding and such. I will be giving a presentation on Striper and Bass fishing on the Lower Sac at 12:30-1:30pm and tying some flies from say 11am to noon. Check out the list of speakers and Tiers below and come get some free food, spend some money on some great sales, and see all the new gear from various manufacturers.

Come check it out...

Sports News
The Giants are fun to watch this year…while the fact that some of our big hitters are not performing …
Pablo .162
Pence .197
Posy .227
With some padding in the line up with Morse and the Hot start but rapid cooling of Belt and the surprise rise of Hicks has created some cushion that wasn’t there last year for Pablo and Posey…even scarier is that Posey is only hitting .240 sense last July. All that said the bull pen is doing amazing with the 2nd best Bullpen ERA (2.06) in the biggs, just below the Padres (1.86). The national league avg is 3.33 to give some perspective. Either way I am looking forward to a nice road trip starting Friday so I can get to bed before 10:30pm…Love those 4pm starts. The Braves are hot, the Pirates are struggling, and we may run into Kershaw on the end of the trip when we head down to LA for 4…going to be an interesting trip.

Beer News…
Not much new for me here. Been spending a lot of time on the river so I have been drinking Sierra Nevada Summer Ale and Pale Ale in cans…pretty simple and good river brews. Funny thing though is how just a bit different the can beer tastes then the corresponding bottled version. Not bad, just different. I will say with the new heat margarita season  is quickly approaching and I have a nice list of Margarita recipes I want to try so I am thinking this Friday or maybe even Thursday will be the official opening day of the 2014 Margarita Season at the Brown Casa.

Monday, April 7, 2014

reports, fermented beverages, Rock and Roll - Whiskey and Silk singers, and much more...

It is funny how much I was praying for rain when it hadn’t rained for like 2 months and ounce it does, I start to pray for beautiful spring sunshine…I have gone back and forth from shorts and flip flops to fleece and waders way to much this last month. That said all the recent rain and snow has been great for the reservoirs and the outlook for the coming summer trout season. Reservoir levels are coming up, but the early reservoir release forecast show some scary low flows throughout the summer. From what I have seen the plan is to hold back as much snow melt as possible and store every drop they get.  Spring fishing is here though…trout are eating, Stripers are feeding and moving up river, a few shad have ben reported caught, bass are on beds, and the sun is out!

Lower Sacramento Trout Fishing – I had one of my best days this spring on the L. Sac this last weekend. We didn’t catch any huge fish but LOTS of good 16-18” Trout. We fished from Bonnie View Launch to Anderson City Park. I caught fish on Sucker Spawn, Jimmy Leggs, S&M PMD Nymphs, March Madness March Browns, and a few on flash back PT’s. Clarity was not an issue but there is a tint to the water from the storms that moved through this last week.  I imagine that below Cow Creek there is a bit more color but from what I have heard the river is fishable down to Red Bluff. I would imagine that as the weather warms and stabilizes the March Brown and PMD hatch along with a few caddis will keep the fish eating.

Nice April Rainbow from the L. Sac
Lower Sac Striper fishing – I saw pictures of a 42lb fly rod caught fish this last week so there are fish around…I also have heard of a few fish being caught below Colusa but I fished down to about the Hwy 45 pumps and another friend fished down to Colusa and neither of us stuck a fish…The water temps are still pretty chilly and I imagine the resident fish are a bit lethargic still and from what it sounds like the migratory fish have not shown up yet in any numbers. The water clarity is about 1-2’ and while the flows are low I still fished a Sniper line in a type 7 and a bigger then normal clouser. Any one that is thinking of coming up be careful as the river is low and every snag, stump, and bump is exposed. Fishing should be getting really good with the warmer weather forecasted over the next week.

No fish pics...just a nice sunny day boat ride

Lower Yuba River – I traditionally transition to the Lower Yuba for trout during the month of April but the low flows, an early striper season, and the L. Sac still fishing well have kept me off it. I have heard the March Browns and PMD’s are popping and dry fly fishing can be pretty darn good when the hatch comes off. I am sure I will get over there soon but I have no fresh personal reports from the Yuba.

Feather Rive Spring Steelhead – Fishing is still good to very good depending on the day and the crowds. The river is flowing at 800cfs through the whole system for the most part as the outlet is pretty much cut off. Swinging flies and nymphing is still catching fish and as the weather warms this week I bet the caddis are going to start getting going and there will be some options to skate dries as well. A little spun hair caddis is a great option. Fish it with a little twitch and then let skate/swing out. I have seen clients and heard of others hooking some BIG spring fish this year so far, the average fish though is a fat 16-18”.

The Migratory Herring Report – I have heard the first shad report…someone caught some shad outside of chico, CA. I won’t start trying to catch shad until mid to late May.


Come check out the Fishwest Sacramento (aka Kiene's) fair this coming weekend April 12th from 10am to 4pm. I will be there with the Cast Hope booth talking all things Cast Hope, fly fishing, fly tying, guiding,....really anything you want to talk about while I stand in a parking lot for 6 hours. There will be a free BBQ'd Lunch and I will be giving a presentation on fishing the Lower Lower Sac for stripers, shad, bass, carp, and all things of that nature. There will be presentations, manufacturers reps, casting demonstrations, sales, raffles, tying, free food and a lot dudes standing around BSen about fishing. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

10 AM Lance Gray Fishing Stillwater in N.California
11 AM Ken Hanley Fishing Saltwater
12 noon Dave Barbieri Feather Steelhead/Yuba Shad 
1 PM Hogan Brown Bass on the Lower Sac
2 PM Tayler Wells Klamath River

Fly Tying
John Ryzanych Mike Henle
Jay/Glenn Fair Steve Potter Neil Pultz
Jay Murakoshi Ben Byng
Leo Gutterres

* Numerous local fly-tyers from local clubs, Terry Eggleston, Jim Holmes, Ron Banderheiden, Joe Bania, Jim Berdan, Gary Howard, Bob Zasoski, Kenny Nordeste, Wayne Chubb, Forrest Oldham, Bob Betatti, and more! 

Fermented Beverage News
I was fortunate enough to attend the Pale Bock release party at Sierra Nevada a few weeks ago. I remember when this beer first came out a few years ago and I was not a huge fan for some reason…I went to the release party anyway. I was presently supriesed with it the second time around…I can now say I really like it. It reminds me a bit of an Abby Ale with a bit more hoppy flavor and little less “sweet”. The food at the release party was pretty solid and the band was an amazing cover band called Decades

In other beer news I continue to drink the Harvest Single Hop IPA and am loving it…Summer fest will be coming out soon and then it will be Summer Fest and Old Chico Pale Boc for me for awhile. Mixed in will be some hydrating American lagers as well in the Coors vein.

Music News…
One of my favorite bands Manchester Orechestra came out with there new album “Cope” and I am pretty happy with it. I was not a huge fan of their last release “Simple Math”. Cope is a great album though, Rocking with good emotion, catchy hooks, and some creative yet approachable song structures.

I also discovered a new band combing through live recordings on July Talk. An amazing rocking band from Canada. There debut album comes out this summer, but they have a bunch of good music videos on their website to get one through until then. They have two vocalist, one a guy with a whiskey growl and another,  a women with a voice like silk…such a good mix and such a good contrast.

New Products
I just got a bunch of the new Spring Line from Simms and while it all is great gear and lives up to the Simms a few of the new products are real stand outs. So far my favorite piece is the Cross Currents Hoody. It would fall into the “Sun Hoody” Category I would say. I have owned a few of these types of garments from various companies and they are either way to thick and fall into the “light sweatshirt” category or way to thin and fall into the just a “sun shirt” with a hood…The Simms Current Hoody has become my go to layer over  a fishing shirt or solar flex shirt this spring. Perfect for cool spring or summer mornings and nice to put the hook up over my hat to keep the chill of my neck while blasting around in the jet boat or rowing up river. It has Core 3 fabric with Anti Microbial, wicking, and UPF 30. My old sweatshirts I use to wear do not have any of that.

Simms Currents Hoody

Baseball Report…

So far so good with the G-Man. A 5-2 road trip to open the season where the smack the crap out of the baseball is not a bad way to go. That said starting pitching outside of Bumgarner and Hudson is a little dicey…Cain has looked good but his change up and off speed stuff is not there. Sunday he left to many curves up and when he missed with the change it ended up in the bleachers. That said there ability to score runs is much better then last year and if the largest human being on a baseball field and possible descendent of giants Michael Morse hits the ball like he can we are going to be pretty good…oh and the implosion of the dodgers club house is going to help to.

New Lids for a New Season