Monday, March 28, 2016

Reports, sports, wheel house

Spring is spring…as it should be…amazing weather, rainy weather, cold weather, windy weather, great water conditions, blown out mud river conditions…all in the span of a few days or weeks. Spring in Nor Cal is traditionally inconsistent at best, fishing and weather conditions…we have been spoiled the last few years with consistent spring weather and river conditions. Everyone expects March and April to be awesome weather…perfect 65-75 degrees, no rain and great flows…well that equals a drought so as nice as that is and as much as I want that I have to accept that spring is TRADITIONALLY and NORMALY inconsistent. I find myself going “Ya I remember this…back 5-6 years ago”

Here is what is going on and if you are looking to book a day I still have some late spring and Summer striper/trout dates open.

June 10, 13, 17, 27, 28,
July 6, 11, 13, 14, 25, 29,
Aug 1-3, 5, 6, 9, 20, 27

Evening Shad/bass
May 3, 5, 6, 16, 17, 18,

Fishing Reports -

Lower Yuba River – Flows are down to about 4000-3800cfs. I imagine this is going to be the flow for a bit. Flows are more then fishable from the boat and from the bank if you know where to go. Wade fishing you have to pick and choose your spots.  Clarity is perfect as I like the river with color. Clarity is definitely in the range where i fish "off color water" bugs but have plenty of confidence that I can catch fish. Not fishing small mayflies or caddis patterns. All that said Friday was the last time I was on the river and I struggled to find fish. The fish did not seem to be where they should be in what I consider my normal high water spots that I like to fish from say 4-3000cfs. Not sure if they just haven't found the spots I was fishing as flows just dropped mid week. They still could of been hunkered in the deep water on the bottom or I just was fishing the wrong spots...who knows. We did catch a few, but nothing like I thought we would. 

Also the boat ramp at sycamore is closed and it sounds like will be for awhile as I talked to the attendant and he said the creek under cut part of the road and his boss doesn't want anyone in that part of the I can't imagine it is top priority for Yuba County to re do the road for the ramp. When I asked if they were going to re do it soon he said ...well I can't imagine any time soon...

There is definitely some new water... The channel below Sycamore is completely changed and has left the old channel high and dry and cut a new one that takes a different angle to meet up with the side channel. Looks like the riffle where the side channel and main channel come back together is going to be REALLY good. That was the only glaring difference that I found but it was obvious that many of the riffles will be VERY different with regards to where the buckets and seams are...though the course of the river doesn't seem to have changed much any where else. 

Saw a few march browns and caddis flying around and found bug life in the rocks where I got out and flipped them over. Still some wood and timber floating down river occasionally as well. Didn't see any fish rise. 

Fish should be pretty darn Hungary so I imagine fishing is going to be REALLY good soon.

Lower Sacramento River Trout – The River was ramped up for about a week or two to 20,000cfs to make room for snow melt or dilute toxic muck coming out of the mine up river, depends on who you talk to. The river has dropped back down to 5000cfs coming out of Keswick and this should really kick into gear the spring trout fishing. I will be on the river guiding Wednesday and Thursday so I will have a good idea about how things are going then but I can’t imagine it won’t be good.

Lower Feather River Spring Steelhead – Flows coming out of Oroville in the Low Flow are 800cfs and coming out of the outlet there is 5000cfs. The bump in flows out of the outlet has pushed any fish that were in the high flow or low river up into the Low flow. Prior to the flow bump fish were spread throughout the river with some of the best fishing in the high flow. Fishing should remain good through out the spring as fish continue to move up the river and prepare to spawn. Swinging flies and nymphing have both been catching fish. Dry fly fishing should even get good ounce the caddis start hatching in good numbers.

Lower Sac Striper Fishing has been slow for the fly angler with the high flows and off color water. I went out of Butte City and the water is a bit to high and the clarity is still a bit to brown to have any confidence. I am going to go back out Friday and poke around in hopes the lower flows will have migrated down and the clarity will improve. It is going to be a great striper year on the Lower Sac this spring and summer!

Sports News…I won’t lie I haven’t been into the tournament as much as previous years. I basically watched Notre Dame and that was it…I was happy how they played against North Carolina. I really wanted to see them pull off the upset and get into the final four as Mike Brey has never made it to the Final Four and he is truly a great coach and guy from what I can tell.

I have been watching and inordinate amount of spring training baseball and following like every day developments of the Giants…I am into baseball right now like house wives get into days of our lives…Kinda sick to be honest the minutia that is covered by baseball beat writers and the stuff I read. I just got the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview and was totally pissed the giants were on the cover…that is like such bad mojo it is not even funny. I tore the cover off as soon as I saw it to ward on the jinks factor….that said I am reading through it presently before bed each night. They pick the giants #2 in the west loosing in the NL Championship to the Cubs. I could live with that…all I ever ask for is interesting and meaningful games through September.

Notre Dame Spring practice and football in general is creating a lot of drama with the quarterback “controversy” Malik Zaire and DaShone Kaiser are slugging it out for the starting role, everyone knew that would happen, but now word is that Brandon Winbush red shirt freshman is even giving those two a run for the money for #1 or #2…Bottom line is either Zaire or Kaiser is going to transfer but who?!?! If Zaire Transfer he sits a year and then has one year to play if Kaiser transfer he sits one plays 2…Also if Zaire ends up being #2 he could be #2 this year, graduate and then get a free transfer to play one year if he enters an MA program that is not offered at ND…what Dayne Crist did when he went to Kansas….Going to be very interesting to see what happens! Spring Game is April 16th … same day as the Kienes Expo.

Music News…Been buying vinyl like I won the lottery. Just got the new Brian Fallon solo record and it is really good! A bit different then Gas Light Anthem stuff, similar to the Horrible Crowes in a way but not as dark and more acoustic based. The Bruce Springsteen influence is VERY strong on his solo work…not a bad thing though. Also got Neil Young’s After the gold rush and have been spinning that pretty regularly as well as some classic blues albums. My dad gave me a copy of a few good CD’s as well the New Nathaniel Ratcliffe and the Night Sweats album is awesome and just a great new take on soul/rock/indie stuff….Not much else really waiting for my new Explosions In The Sky vinyl to come as pre ordered their new album so that should be some great sit on the couch and zone out music…I have a bunch of guide dates coming up so some tip money will be fueling a trip to the record store I am sure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reports and what is coming up...

Well most of the water I fish is some where between blown out and flood stage or shades of a mocha with heavy cream and melted milk chocolate…I have found myself having to remember what a "normal" year or weather pattern is. The last few years, say 4-5 years, March on our valley tail waters like the Lower Sac and Lower Yuba have been some of the best fishing of the year. The March Brown, PMD, and caddis hatches on both rivers have been phenomenal and March and April have become some of the heaviest booked months of the year for most guides…Well that isn't how it use to be, back before the drought and during a normal weather pattern The Yuba for example was blown out most of February and March and on a less then idle water year the river would fish starting early April to mid April, but take the last big water year we had in 2005 I think…I didn't get on the Yuba with any consistency until Mid June and even then I was fishing the river at around 3000cfs. The Lower Sac was the same deal…while I don't remember it with as much clarity I do recall fishing was pretty off and on based on storms and when the river blew out or not. It was definitely NOT this consistent good to great fishing from Redding down to Red Bluff we have seen the last few springs. So while all the recent rains have put a hamper on fishing it is for the best as the states water situation continues to improve and it is more of what "normal" should be for this time of year. Here is what I am keeping my mind on…

Spring/Summer Striper fishing
The Striper fishing on the Lower Sac out of Chico, CA from April (or when ever the river comes into decent shape) through October is going to be very good. The resident fish will have plenty of water and water temps will not be an issue as they started to last summer with low flows and the migratory fish will make big runs this year up through Butte City and on up into the Chico and Capay areas. If you are a Striper fishermen and have not fished the rivers systems in the summer for the resident fish it is a similar, but at the same time very different game then the delta. Prime Time is June - September

Shad Fishing - Not sure how this will all shake out on the Sac. Fish move fast on high water years and Who knows what the water conditions will be April-Early June this year...

Open Dates:
May 14, 21
June 6, 9, 10, 13, 17, 27, 28, 30
July 6, 11, 13, 14, 25, 29, 30, 
August 1-3, 5, 6, 9, 27

Spring on the Lower Yuba River
Everyone gets bummed when the lower yuba blows out like it is right now and will be for a while…The internet chatter over the last few weeks would lead one to believe that the river is going to be dead when the flows finally drop. Well yes huge flows on the Yuba change the bug life and scour the bottom BUT this is not a bad thing…Change is good. High flows clean out debri, Will move all those huge logs that have been put on the bank by some government agency around to create habitat, bring in new spawning gravel for trout, steelhead, and salmon, and create side channels and all sorts of ares for juvenile rearing of all fish species. When the flows do drop the fish will be VERY hungary and usually NOT very selective. Fishing big attractor dries, streamers, big attractor nymphs will all work for months through the summer. The best summer i have ever had of dry fly fishing on the Yuba came after a big water spring where the river was blown out for months. Yes the bug life will change, your favorite riffle may be gone or change, your favorite hatch may be washed away but that is the Yuba. If an angler is looking for a river that abides by the rules of consistency the Yuba has never and never will be a good choice, these types of years just reinforce that a bit. 

Open Dates:
May 14, 21
June 6, 9, 10, 13, 17, 27, 28, 30
July 6, 11, 13, 14, 25, 29, 30, 
August 1-3, 5, 6, 9, 27

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Summer Striper DATES

June 6, 9-11, 13, 17, 27-30
July 1, 2, 6, 9, 11-16, 22, 23, 25-30
August 1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 20, 27,
Sept 3, 17, 24,
Oct 1, 8, 15, 29

*These dates are first come first serve so call 530-514-2453 or email. 

We are still a few months away from consistent striper fishing in the rivers but resident populations are waking up and we are catching fish on most days. The migratory fish are also starting to move up river making for some good fishing if you can find the schools. People are starting to book summer dates so I wanted to release my summer dates to everyone so they can plan their summer fishing.

Shad Fishing will pick up in May and I will doing a few evening trips here are some dates open.
May 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 25, 26

Spring Bass and Trout Dates Open
April 9, 30
Evening Bass Dates Open: May 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 25, 26