Monday, December 31, 2018

A Couple new fly tying videos for your enjoyment...

Here is a tutorial on how to tie the S&M Nymph for all those that have not figured this guy out yet...Also includes my rambling and theories on mayfly nymph design. 

Here is a turtorial on how to tie the Lil' Amigo .... the fly no one fishes that I came up with to replace the S&M in my own fly box cause everyone and their mother, brother, cousin, and father were fishing my old Mayfly nymph pattern .... the S&M

Saturday, December 22, 2018

As promised...every two weeks....give or take a day or 3

Fishing Reports

Spent the last week guiding. Did a few days on the inland ocean of Lake Oroville and the Lower Yuba River as always there was highs and lows…

Lower Yuba River – With the rain last weekend deer creek blew out pretty good Monday and Tuesday adding some serious color to the river on Monday. Right to the point where I would usually loose some confidence in catching fish. Keep in mind that I LOVE the Yuba off color and have confidence more so on the Yuba then any other river catching fish in some pretty off color water. Fishing was pretty good on Monday with standard off color flies…bright eggs, san juan worms, big stones and attractor dries. Flows didn’t go up to much as the dam release stayed around 850 but Deer Creek jumped up to 400 something…

By Wednesday when I was out there again it was nearly gin clear and low at 850cfs. Completely different game. We were fishing 5x size 18’s and struggling to set the hook on some pretty selective and short strikes. We scratched some fish out and even got some fish at the end of the day swinging streamers in some deeper water but it was tough. There was some sparse hatches in the flats that brought up some of standard pods of fish and we got a few to rise which is an accomplishment in it self. Most fish were eating small micro mays and S&M’s but there were a few caddis around but I couldn’t get any fish to eat a small olive pupa which is usually the secret…nothing on eggs or stoneflies.

In general I like the Yuba this time of year with some color and flow. It is hard fishing out there if it is low and clear in the winter. Looks like some rain coming in this week so hopefully that helps get some water going down the river and colors up the flow a bit.

Lake Oroville – I have spent a few days with my the family and clients out on the Lake the last few weeks. Now I know that most people don’t get to excited about fishing indicators in still water but the lake is such a unique and cool place and the fish are pretty darn fun to catch I like it. Learning and figuring out environments and their fish that are so different then anything else I have ever fished or spent time on is really cool and challenging. We have been finding good numbers of 1-3 pound fish most days and as long as the rain keeps coming and the tribs keep flowing fishing should only get better over the next few months.

Winter Striper Fishing took a pause as the river blew out last week with the rain but has come back into shape around 6500 cfs and the rain coming in looks to not be as heavy so hopefully it will hold for a few days next week to get some time out there. Fishing had been good and big water events usually mixes things up a bit and gets the bigger fish feeding. Should be a good few weeks here on the back end of the full moon.

Butte Creek – Drove over Butte Creek a few times this week and looked more then fishable and even talked to a few people that have had some luck up there. I have yet to get out on the creek. Maybe next week if I have a morning to get up early and go. May even drag the boys out there to pound the banks and get it done….or may just take a morning to myself. Usually after the first rain and blow out is prime time.

Music –

Timing is everything I think when it comes to music. I have been searching for new music to connect with the last few months. Nothing was really getting me excited or hitting home. Of course all the old greats are always nice but, I need new music and songs to connect with or I feel some what lost…A good album that I connect with last years some times in how it speaks to me. It speaks to me through out all times, situations, up downs, everything… I do realize that is a lot to ask from an album. Not sure anyone else has this experience or “thing” in their lives, but a good album inspires me, gives perspective on life, takes me away at times, and says the things I feel but can not say or didn’t even know I was feeling.  

Sometimes music finds you at the right time…I follow a ton of musicians, bands, record labels, instrument companies, and such on instagram and literally search out music. I found one guy name David Ramirez a while ago and I follow him on social media and even downloaded his album on ITunes and gave it a listen...I think I deleted it and moved on as it didn’t really click or just wasn’t for me then…I downloaded it again today just on a whim and holy cow did hit me. It literally spoke to so much of what is on my mind right now and what I have been thinking/going through. It is amazing how things go, albums find you at the right time I guess.

If you like Ryan Adams, Ryan Bingham, John Moreland and just good honest music check out David Ramierez and his new(er) album We’re Not Going Anywhere.

BEST of 2018 Also there are many many “Best of 2018” album lists coming out and while I usually just blow them off and pay little attention as to many are just lists of BS or so crazy eccentric out there that I never find anything off of them….There is ONE though that is a treasure trove of awesomeness and variety each year and that is the Bitter Southerner List of Best Southern Albums I would highly recommend checking it out…really diverse and well rounded list and always some new finds on it. I pulled 5 albums on to my Apple Music off the list to listen to just based on reading it over.

Taking the kids fishing – Been taking the boys out to the great inland ocean of Lake Oroville. If you want a report read above … and I will be honest taking an 8 and 10 year old fishing does not generate the most accurate reports so reader beware. As taking your kids fishing it really never ceases to amaze me how much the whole experience is what it is all about…We have been starting with a home made waffle and sausage breakfast and getting up early. A BIG breakfast is crucial and to be honest the only sales pitch that is going to get them up at “school wake up time” on a Saturday and rush them out the door earlier then school in the frigid December weather. It always seems to work out where we catch some fish or I hook some fish and pass off the rod to them. That said I have worked hard to make sure they struggle and I am not always there to help them or clean up their mess so to say. I let my 8 year old work on a tangle with his indicator rig this last weekend for atleast 10 minutes before I stepped in. I also made him sit down with a backlash on his bait caster a few weeks ago and un tangle it. I have never helped them to much so they know the struggle is part of the deal BUT I always make sure that the whole experience is fun…untangling sucks and not catching fish is not always fun but hot French fries, candy, and just hanging out makes it all worth it. That said I am always surprised by some of the stuff that makes it fun for them.

This last weekend we were fishing way up in one of the arms of the Lake, basically a canyon, and they started to notice there was an echo. Both boys started yelling at the canyon walls and thinking that the echo was the coolest thing in the WORLD!!!! Who doesn’t love the sound of their own voice saying fart face echoing off canyon walls. Also while up in the canyon we found a few land locked Chinook salmon that they hooked and landed but on the car ride all they talked about was the echo. Finding fun in the small things with your kids is sometimes what it is all about.

Monday, December 3, 2018

a new leaf...

So here it is … I suck at blogging…I was ounce good, but have now seriously neglected posting. I think I have spent more time up-dating social media, emailing, and just trying to not stair at a computer screen as much. That said I feel bad as I have really neglected my blog and to my surprise I think a fair amount of people actually read this thing…So, I am now going to plan on posting 2 times a month...I think I can handle that. I will mark the dates on my calendar and COMMIT!...and maybe even edit what I write on the blog but I can’t commit to that right now.

So, what has been happening…Fishing wise first

Some reports…

Main issues our fisheries – at least the ones I guide – will be facing is the run off from recent forest fires. The Carr and Camp fire are going to be BIG issues this winter. From what I have heard the Carr fire scars have already been creating clarity issues on Lake Shasta and the Lower Sacramento through Redding. The Lower Sac mucked up this week end, but no one that I talked to was really sure why, so verdict is still out.

That said the issue is there is a lot of barren hill sides around Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville due to fire and barren hill sides create landslides and bad run off, mucking up the lakes and then mucking up the rivers.

Most of my fishing and guiding has been on the Lower Sac for winter stripers and the Lower Yuba for trout and steelhead…

Lower Sac Stripers – Late fall and winter striper fishing is never a numbers game. We are out there fishing for one or two big grabs and some of the biggest fish of the year. The idea is that as the river drops it becomes easier to target the bigger resident fish and as water temps drop smaller fish move out of the feeding zones leaving only the bigger fish on a more consistent basis. Lots of fish are lost to snags though, pulled hooks on soft grabs, and just plain lost…usually more are lost then landed. That said the opportunity to hook true 20+lb fish on a daily basis is pretty real. A lot of things have to line up though for it to happen.

This fall/winter has been a bit different though as we are getting a few 5-8lb fish as well throughout the day which has made the gaps between big fish a bit easier to swallow. Tactics change due to colder water over the winter and we are fishing much lighter lines and flies to keep flies in zones and up in the water column where the warmest water is and most active fish are holding.

Winter striper fishing should continue through March but will be really dependent on river conditions. A bit of color is not a bad thing and we can even catch fish in muddy water but blown out and trees floating down the river is a deal breaker. Gaps in the weather and steady conditions are best.

Winter tail

Lower Yuba River – Got a few days on the Lower Yuba River over thanksgiving week and had a great time. Just plain good trout fishing. Most fish are a fat 12-14” with a few bigger fish in the mix. Flows have been pretty stable around 1000cfs which is a great flow for floating or wading OR floating and getting out of the boat to fish. There are still salmon on redds and fish eat eggs though with a bit of a finicky bite most days. Really have to find the egg they want. The best thing is there are fish that will eat a nymph, fish that will eat dries, and anglers can fish dries and nymphs on any given day with confidence. Winter is truly my favorite time of year on the Yuba as there a bunch of options to catch fish and few people go out and brave the elements to fish.

Hooked Up!!!

Lake Oroville – Winter spotted bass fishing is going to be picking up with all the weather and cold air temps. This is a great winter fishery and one that fishes when nothing else does. I started spending a lot of time out there this last winter and plan on spending even more time out there this winter

Other News…

Been doing a bunch of stuff with the kids to be honest. My boys are 8 and 10 and we just finished up Hockey season with one taking the cup for his division and the other losing by a goal in the title game. Spring Hockey starts again in January so Hockey Dad Life is a real thing…

Comics – aka books with pictures.
I am also not proud to admit it but I can at least justify it rationally …. I have gotten into reading comics again…I say again because I was way into comic books when I was like in 6-8th grade. I would never claim to have been “Cool” at any time in my life so this should come as no surprise. Fly-fishing, comic books, and indie rock usually do not fall under the description of “cool kid” at any time…let alone “Cool” Adult.

That said my oldest son is way into art and has taken art classes, draws in his free time A LOT, and is really passionate about Art. As most boys he has always been into super heroes so it seemed a natural thing to take him to the comic book store…Art, reading, and super heroes seemed like a natural fit. Well it fit like no bodies business and rekindled one of my old loves…so now we go every Wednesday to the comic shop, buy our comics, read them, discuss them, follow podcasts/YouTube channels, and basically go full on comic book nerd together.

Now from the point of view as a parent I am stoked and LOVE the fact that we share this “thing” with each other…I share a ton of “things” with my boys, but my oldest has really taken to this one. I do fear, in maybe a sick way, though that maybe I am setting up my son for a life of nerdom and ridicule – the stereotypical comic nerd does not do adolescence with ease if you know what I mean. That said I think comics and being a comic book nerd are way more socially acceptable now then when I was a kid…I had to hide my nerdom…and I won’t lie I kinda feel like I have to hide it now! It took me a while to embrace it and openly read a stack of comic books at my sons’ hockey and club soccer practices, but now hell with it. As the band Saves the Day ounce said, “We are through being cool”

Furthermore, some really good writers are writing comic books now. For example, I read Captain America and my youngest son and I read Black Panther…both written by Ta’Nehisi Coates who is a journalist for the Atlantic Monthly along with being published in the NY Times, Times Magazine, and pretty much every other intellectually significant publication in America. He has taught at MIT and his now a professor at the NYU school of journalism. So, I take solace that I am reading quality writing and my boys are reading some good socially conscious stories.

Other then kids stuff and nerding out reading comic books …. I have been really getting into baking bread, cooking on my Traeger, working on the next Royal Oaks album, and tying striper flies to fill my boxes…

Cast Hope has been hammering away…Just wrapped up the 3rd annual benefit concert and if you want constant cast hope updates follow us on Instagram or Facebook as I have been pretty good about getting some good content up. We are opening our San Diego Branch this coming year and that is taking a ton of work and time but REALLY exciting to be working with my buddy Conway Bowman and spreading to SD. More Cast Hope news to come…

More to come…