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 (www.rusuperfly.com) 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 www.flyskinz.com 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!