Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fishing Reports, Sports, and Music reports - The if It ain't broke don't fix it blog post

So, with fall going into winter and the holiday season life gets pretty busy around my house… add a bunch of fly fishing and non fly fishing related projects I have been working on and you have a FULL plate with little room for blog posts…I am adding mandatory blog up date dates to my calendar as part of my 2016 calendar so I just don’t up date my blog by “feel” or when I “think” I need to update it….With all that said I hope everyone had a great Christmas, or what ever winter religious or non religious holiday you celebrate, and are looking forward to wrapping up 2015 with some fishing, fun, and family this week. Here some fishing reports and other random information…

FYI - Beware I did not proof read this blog post...not that ever do really closely but I usually give it one or two read throughs. Sitting on the couch working on a blog post can only pass as "work" for so long as  your wife takes down the christmas tree and all the christmas tree decorations. 

FISHING REPORTS – We have had a ton of much needed rain and snow over the last few weeks. All the local rivers and creeks blew out and I had to cancel most of my pre Christmas guiding and fishing plans. I was a little bummed but tough to be upset when we need a big winter to help alleviate the drought.

Lower Yuba River – Flows coming out of Englebright are down to 652cfs and have been stable sense early Christmas Morning. Water temp is 47.8. The flows came up to nearly 3000cfs Dec 22 which was a HUGE surprise. Hard to believe that between Spalding Reservoir on the South Fork, Bullards Bar, and Englebright there was water to be released but there must have been. This should of moved some of the fish that I think were kegged up in the canyon between the bridge and the narrows down river as Deer Creek peaked around the same time at nearly 3000cfs as well for a total river release in Marysville of nearly 4000cfs after water was pumped out at Daguerre. Deer Creek is now down to about 26cfs and still dropping. I have not been on the river sense the big flows but will in the next few days to get out and fish on my own. The river needed a big flush and push of water to move fish around…hard to imagine that we now consider a flow of nearly 4000cfs a “flush” when I remember many winters fishing the river at 2500-3000cfs. Dec into February on the Lower Yuba can be great fishing and I am looking forward to more storms that will push flows up and add some color to the river giving us some great winter swung fly conditions and the ability to fish off color water. I have had some of my best days during Dec/Jan with high and off color water on the Yuba.

Lower Sacramento River – I have not been on the Lower Sacramento River in a while as the lower stretches have been blown out for a few weeks as all the rain blew out many of the tributaries. Now though the river is fishable down to Cow Creek and even maybe below…not sure as I have not heard. Fishing up top through Redding though had been good with the cloud cover and warmer days there had been some great mayfly hatches. With the clear cold weather not sure those will continue but winter fishing on the Lower Sacramento is usually pretty good no matter what the hatches are. I love Dec-Feb on the upper stretches as many of the guides are over on the Trinity and the fish see little pressure. I can’t say we hook huge numbers in the winter but we traditionally hook some really big trout and the occasional winter steelhead if we fish down lower in the river.

Butte Creek – I have been spending most of my recreational fishing time on Butte Creek as it has been years sense we have seen good flows on the creek and high water events that are needed to move steelhead up from its mouth to the Lower Sac. The creek has been coming up really fast and dropping really fast as well so getting stable flows to allow for floating the river has been tough but wade fishing has been decent and the ability to fish dropping flows always gives a winter steelheader hope. Jan is the month to be on the creek and with continued rains fishing should be good.

Sports News…
So it has been a while sense my last blog post so there is a lot to talk about…I am going to hit the high and low lights to make it interesting.

The Irish – Solid regular season I have to admit. Basically two plays and 4 points away from being undefeated. Can’t complain. To be at the Stanford Game over thanksgiving and to watch our playoffs hopes go down the drain was painful to say the least. More along the lines of soul crushing. That one took a few days to get over…actually a week or two now that I think about it. I will say getting a New Years Day 6 bowl big against Ohio State is a great accomplishment. The chance to beat last years National Champion and a team many picked to repeat at the beginning of the season is a great opportunity. I ALMOST pulled the trigger on going to the game, tickets and flights to Phoenix are pretty cheap but I didn’t do it in my post Stanford depression I didn’t think I could watch another close game or lose in person. I need to be home for this one I think.

The Giants – Good pitching signings. PUMPED on Samardzija as I loved watching him play football at ND and I think he is a good bargain for 4 years…Cueto not sure man, this is going to be a tough one. Big money and a Long contract have not worked out for the Giants in the past. That said we had to do something right and I read an article recently regarding the amount and length of research that Righetti did during and after the season on possible pitching signings. Bum, Samardzija, Heston, Cueto, Cain maybe is a pretty solid pitching rotation if everyone stays healthy.

Music News – So there is two big events in music news…
1.     My band Royal Oaks is playing two shows with Chuck Ragan coming up…We are pumped! Not only is Chuck one of my favorite musicians he is one of my very close friends, a great guide, and a HUGE supporter of Cast Hope.

Jan 8 - RENO PB&J's Psychedelic Ballroom555 East 4th StreetReno, Nevada 89509
Jan 9 - Sacramento Harlows Restaurant & Night Club Harlow's2708 "J" St.Sacramento, California 95816

2.     I have entered the world of “vinyl”…yes I think I am one of the last people on earth that is a music lover to get a record player. After many years of my friends making fun of me for buying CDs my wife got me for Christmas a really nice record player and a few albums to start my collection….Like I need something else to collect. Between bobbleheads and guitar pedals my discretionary income that I can spend on things that I tell myself will appreciate in value but in reality are really just nerdy collections is thin. That said I can keep this under control…I hope.

CHRISTMAS - So, christmas with a 5 and 7 year old boy is about as cool as it gets. This christmas was totally deja vu as both boys gifts were either Legos or Star Wars. It has been like reliving my own christmases from say 6-10 or so...I have been building lego kits, playing with X-Wings and Speeders for the last 48 hours...while listening to records. Not bad.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fishing Reports and some other randomness done during commercials while watching the Irish...

Been a busy few weeks for me, not all fishing related but mostly. October always seems to drag on and then November and December fly by usually and this year was no different. With roughly a week left in November I have been already thinking winter steelhead and crossing my fingers for big winter storms that everyone swears are coming. Here are some reports and other ramblings to read on a Friday afternoon…

Lower Sacramento River – I have been spending all of my time down low on the Sac between Red Bluff and Corning. The red bluff to Los Molinos and Los Molinos to Corning floats are great floats for both trout and wild tributary steelhead. There has been decent numbers of cookie cutter wild half pounder steelhead in this stretch with a few large adult fish in the mix as well as the resident trout. The resident trout it seems on average have been a bit larger then past years as well which is a bonus. There are spawning salmon down in this area and fishing salmon reds can be good but there are also some big runs and such that the fish will hold up in. Nymphing with eggs, stoneflies, and some basic attractor nymphs has been best. Knowing the water and where the fish like to hang is key in this area.

Lower Yuba River – Flows are LOW!!! I have not been over there but I have heard pretty poor reports from the guides that I know that have. Flows are sitting at 628cfs and even with recent rains Deer Creek has not gone over 25cfs and the river hasn’t jumped past 637cfs. November is traditionally a tough month on the Lower Yuba not matter what as the fish have been pounded through October with beads, egg patterns, and nymphs by guides and anglers everyday. For the Yuba to get going it is going to need some big storms to raise the water up to around 1000cfs and for deer creek to pump some color into the river. Traditionally, I LOVE December fishing on the river. Flows come up and the river has good color moving fish around, steelhead up river, allowing anglers to swing flies, and just washing off the fishes shell shock that they seem to go into every November. I am crossing my fingers for some big late November/early December storms that turn the river up and get it going by Late December/Early January.

Feather River – Not a lot of reports…all the ones I hear is that the flows are low and the river is crowded which is a bad recipe for the feather. Most people are under the assumption that the fish are late so big storm in the next few weeks should move some fresh fish up river hopefully. If not the feather fish will all head up the Sac and steelhead fishing around Butte City to Chico will be good again this December. I have even heard from a few of my guide buddies throw the "worst year they have seen on the feather" around.

Events…Last weekend was the annual Simms Delta Bass event down at Sugar Barge on Bethel Island. This is an industry only event where all the Simms Dealers, Guides, Shops, etc from the Fly Fishing and Bass Fishing industry come together for a day of fishing, presentations, beer drinking, BS’ing, and good times. John Sherman puts this event on every year and has grown HUGE leaps and bounds over the years sense it started in his back yard. Big shout out and congratulations to John for a great event!

Tying – So I have been tying a ton of flies lately…My boxes are reaching saturation so I have been really working on hard on some new ideas. I have a few new trout patterns I am sending into Montana Fly Co. for consideration for the 2017 catalog but really I have been working new striper and bass flies. There is a ton of cool fly tying going on in the bass and musky world in the mid west that I think has HUGE striper applications and I have been working with some new materials and messing with some ideas from that world. Blane Chocklett and Pat Coehn ( both are innovating with not only materials but BIG patterns as well. I shared some of Blane’s materials and pattern Ideas in a previouse post but Blane is right up there innovating in the same way. Also check I have been working with some of slow roller tails on the back of some new striper flies…also the Baetis backs look cool as well but I haven’t ordered any yet. This time of year is always fun as a lot of the new material that companies and individuals come up comes available…

In Print…Check out the new Issue of Cal Fly Fisher (Dec 2015) on shelves and in fly shops now. I wrote an article entitled “From Striper Flies to Trout Flies: Crossover Creations.” Also a cool snap shot of the Pit River and a cool idea about how to create weedless flies. Good Issue.

Irish…Watching the Irish right now play Boston College at Fenway in the annual Shamrock Game. Writing a blog post and having my lap top on my lap keeps me from screaming obscenities and maybe keeping a bit calmer…Fat Chance though really. Go Irish!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fishing reports, fly tying, tunes, and college football...all the good stuff.

Fall Fishing is picking up but for the most part is still limited due to lack of water and rain. There has been good fishing at times but it is going to be short lived without some good rain…

Lower Sacramento River Trout: I have been spending most of my time on the Lower Sacramento guiding for trout between Anderson and Jelly’s Ferry. Almost all the guides are fishing between Posse Ground and Anderson Chasing the egg bite/hatch. There is VERY limited numbers of reds and the few that are around get POUNDED early and often. When I put in at Anderson this week there was 20 trailers there taking out and I was the only boat putting in. I had Anderson to Barge hole to myself…it was AWESOME. Now I only saw 2 sets of reds the whole float, but the fish have to eat and are still feeding pretty regularly in what we call bug water. There was a bunch of  fish eating egg patterns on the few reds I found but most came on rubber legs, birds nest, and Olive Amigos. Talking to my buddies that fished the upper floats and chased each other down the river to redds all day our numbers have been about the same….So I haven’t gone up above Anderson in a few weeks and probably won’t for a while.

Lower Yuba River – River is still low and I tend to stay away from it when it is below 700cfs…it is sitting at 686 cfs now with a water temp of 55.6 so temps are good but flows are low. I have not been over there personally but everyone I have talked to said fishing has been tough. To be honest I probably won’t go over to the Yuba until the first big rain and the water comes up a bit to give everyone a bit more room to fish. Below a 1000cfs makes it tough for wade fishermen and drift boat fishermen to go exist.

Feather River – Feather has been decent. There is a fair number of smaller steelhead up in the Low Flow and spread out in the high flow. Things seem a bit late on the feather this year as salmon are still moving up river as a few of my buddies have been salmon fishing in the high flow and catching fresh clean kings. This river REALLY needs some rain and water to get steelhead moving up it or it will be another year of those fish going up the Sac. The Low Flow has been crowded as many of the Sacramento Area guides have been coming north due to the conditions on the American and the Yuba so there is a lot of guide traffic on the river.

Fly Tying…

I have made my big yearly switch from tying clousers to tying trout flies over the last few weeks. This usually entails a big order of the “newest” fly tying materials. One material company that I have been using a bunch of material from is Fly Men…the are working some great tiers like Blane Chocklett and a few others to create some really cool new products. The stonefly heads they call Nymph Head Evolution Stonefly Tungsten Beadheads I have been messing around with and I really like them…I must say I have not fished them yet so I can’t say how they fish but hey they look cool so we can only hope.

I also ordered a bunch of new material from Hareline. Some new to me dubbings, new colors of 3 tone rabbit strips, new hooks to me, and some other stuff that I will share as I use it and come up with some ideas. Most of the new hooks and material I got from Hareline will be for striper flies so it may be a while until I get around tying with them.

I also just finished up an article on fly design for I think (not sure when it will publish) the Nov/Dec issue of Cal Fly fisher where I talk about crossing over striper fly tying principles to trout flies so look out for that if you are interested in fly design and tying.


I have been listening so the new The World is a Beautiful Place and I am no longer Afraid to Die album Harmlessness…these guys are really cool. I couldn’t even tell you how many people are in the band…multiple guitar players, cello, violin, male female singers, drummers, horns, keyboards…all melt into a very math rock, emo, catchy loud quiet mix on epitaph records. The video below will give an idea…lots to digest.

The Irish…
Yes we beat USC…stressful week and game. I was feeling pretty comfortable with a 24-10 lead and then in a matter of minutes it was tied up and with in minutes after the half we were down 31-24…But man team 127 has heart and never gave up! Coming back to win 41-31 and sealing with win with 2 big interceptions. This team doesn’t quit man and is undeterred by failure and mistakes, they just keep battling. Now we have a bye to prepare for Temple who is 6-0 and is going to be a really big game for us. Atleast I have 14 days before my blood pressure climes into the unhealthy range again.