Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fishing Reports, Events coming up, and Music.

So, we have entered into the normal Nor Cal winter…Big storms that blow out the rivers followed by a few weeks of beautiful false spring weather followed by another storm…with some fishable conditions mixed in, but usually not fishable long enough to make a fishing report of much value after a few days. So this post has a limited value…short window of accuracy and may be outdated very quickly.

The weather and conditions have been beautiful the last week or so.  Rivers have come into shape and midday temps are getting into the high 60s in some places. That said the forecast changed up a bit this morning with rain forecasted for Wednesday and more rain this Friday-sunday. With the reservoirs filling up and much of the ground being saturated any amount of rain will blow out or began to affect the clarity of most of our river’s - so it goes. 

So here are some reports as of today and some other interesting things going on in life…

Lower Yuba River – I have been guiding the Lower Yuba recently by far more then any other place. With new private access and good conditions it is has been a good option for me. I use to split a lot of my time in the winter between fishing the Lower Sac for trout and the Lower Yuba, but the reality is I have come to favor the diversity and options on the Lower Yuba for trout…The sac will always have bigger fish, but the dry fly fishing, ability to get out and dry fly fish or swing the switch rod are real options this time of year  on the Yuba – as well as running nymphs out of the boat or wading. Lots of options and everyday seems to be a bit different.

The last week clarity has been an issue as there had been a bunch of low elevation snow that melted and muddied up and blew out Deer Creek which dumped into the river. Clarity as of this weekend was good enough – about 18” up by the bridge and clearing to about 2’ by the time you get down by Sycamore and even clearer at the dam. One tip I would give to people is that if you show up to fish and if you don’t have confidence in the clarity when you pull up to the bridge go down river. It literally gets better every mile or so as you go down river most days.

With regards to flies and such…last few days I have been out it is purely off color water flies. Rubber legs, eggs, #12 -14 attractor nymphs with red and flash mixed in. There are a few skwalas and mayflies around, but nothing that has inspired me to pick up a dry fly rod for a client. That said as the river clears these next few days I am sure the dry fly fishing will improve.

Photo by Chad Alderson - pretty colors on the winter yuba fish

Photo by Chad Alderson - Fish have grown healthy over the last 6 mos

Foothill Bass fishing – this is prime time for all the foothill spotted bass lakes like Oroville, Bullards, Englebright, Shasta, and MANY more! Now through April is when we start to get some of the bigger fish and even on Bullards began to touch some true world records. My buddy Chuck Ragan WILL I am convinced catch a world record spotted bass on Bullards this year…weather he takes all the steps necessary to register it is another thing BUT it will happen.

Winter Striper Fishing has been OK this week so far as the water on the river has cleared every day but with rain coming Wed-Sunday it looks like  the river will blow out again. It is in that phase where any rain blows it out and muddies up the river as everything is full and saturated up river. That said good spring migratory fishing should start up March/April and with good water we should see another good year with fish up through Colusa and Princeton areas. I will be guiding the migratory run starting in mid – March assuming fish show up.

Open Guide Dates:
Feb 16
April 19, 20, 25, 27
May 18.

Other cool stuff happening…

Events – I will be down at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing show most likely starting Friday night (Feb 22) and then in the Cast Hope booth all day Saturday prior to the Cast Hope after party. Should be another great year and the show should be really cool as I know that many companies like Scott Fly Rods and such are coming back to the show. The Cast Hope booth will have the Barbless Podcast crew in it Saturday most likely interviewing industry peps and doing podcasting as well just hanging out. Make sure to check out the flier for the Cast Hope After party and get on out to the show and party. Always a TON of fun and cool stuff to see.

Cast Hope is also hosting the Fly Fishing Film Tour this year in Nevada City at the historic Nevada Theater Again! This year we are really going to blow this thing up. The raffle and auction are going to be silly and we are even going to be throwing an AFTER PARTY at Coopers Bar just down the hill – walking/stumbling distance from the theater. After party is going to have ANOTHER raffle live music and just fun times to the keep the party rolling! More to come on the after party as line ups and details get finalized.

Click LINK to see Trailers

Cool Event that I finally get to go to…But good friend and now Co Worker at Cast Hope Conway Bowman and near legend status artists, designer, fly tier, and just all round good dude Al Q have run for a number of years a Carp Tournament at Lake Henshaw outside of San Diego called the Carp Throwdown www.carpthrowdown.com.  I have wanted to go to this tourney for YEARS as Henshaw is a legendary carp fishery!!!!! One of the few places where catching carp on dry flies is a pretty established reality…they eat hoppers here!!!!! Well with Cast Hopes expansion down to SD Conway and Al have decided to make Cast Hope the beneficiary of the tournament so Ryan and I will be heading down this year to hang out and fish. If you are down in SD or So Cal this is a GREAT tournament super fun event from what I have always heard so check it out!

Going to be FUN!!!

Music…Royals Oaks has been recording demos and getting ready to go into the studio again as well as booking some local chico shows for the spring so stay posted on all that. Check us out on social media for more info.
Check us out on Instagram @_royal_oaks_
Check us out on Facebook @RoyalOaksBand
Check us out on Bandcamp @royaloaksband1 

Listening wise been running some oldies but goodies…I have been listening to a lot of Lucero and Gaslight anthem as well as some John Moreland…AND even dug out some of the older Death Cab for Cutie albums like The Photo Album, Transalticism, and Plans…really all the albums until Chris Walla left..Chris was so damn good as a producer, multi instrumentalist, and just all around guitar, synth, what ever player I think they had to add 2-3 dude to do all that he did by himself. He is the king of awesome simple fills and back ground noise…while playing lead guitar and all that other stuff he did. I hate to say it but DCFC is not the same with out him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Reports, AFFTA, and Music....my new year so far.

So, it has been a busy new year so far … even though we are only 14 days in. Lots of travel, guiding, fishing, tying, and planning…2019 is going to be a big year I can feel it already.

As reports go it seems I am writing this the day of a big storm that will last through this weekend. Forecast for Northern California is rain from tonight through Friday and while who knows how much that will be we need it and the rivers and lakes will change as a result.

Lower Yuba River – Spent Saturday guiding the lower yuba river. Flows were around 1100cfs, Deer Creek had dropped below 100cfs and clarity as we fished down the river went from about 2-3feet to gin clear … so river is clearing if not cleared from the last big bush of water down deer creek. We spent the whole day getting out and swinging flies on “trout spey” rods and my FAVORITE switch rod the 11’ 4wt glass Echo Rod. I have yet to get any of the new “Trout Spey” rods from echo but I am sure they will be solid as well. Also looking at getting one of the T3h 4wts or L2h 5wts for winter swung fly season on the Yuba and spring steelhead season on the Feather.

Most fish on the Yuba came on spun egg yarn head - olive over white streamers about 2” long swung on heavy sinking leaders in the more off color water and then switch it up to patterns with out the egg yarn head. I am sure a stonefly nymph or something in that vein would work as well as while my client was fishing I was turning over rocks and found a TON of stonefly nymphs under most of the rocks. Most were about 1.5” long and lighter in color more of a golden stone color but I am sure they are skwalas heading towards the banks.

Other hatches were BWO/Baetis and some larger dark orange mayflies in a size 14-16. Most of the baetis were in the 18 range and really only a few fish were up on the surface eating mays. I actually saw only a few fish up on the surface eating – much fewer then that last few times I was out on the river.

With the rain coming I am sure Deer Creek will blow out again muddying up and adding flow to the river but the good news is so far with all the rain storms we have had the flow out of englebright has not changed so the lake and up stream reservoirs are not full yet. So as Deer Creek may come up I am sure it will drop pretty quick and the river will clear quickly.

Swinging on the Yuba

Lower Sac Striper fishing has been realistic the last few days…River is in good enough shape to fish though clarity and water temps are an issue. Adjust flies and types of flies with clarity, fish slow, and there are big fish to be caught. I have not gotten out between that last two storms but may get out after the next one. Air temps are really cold as well so fishing during the warmest part of the day is a must. Jan and February we can start to see some unseasonably warm days – especially in Feb – and this can really get the fish going.

Lake Oroville Spotted Bass Fishing – Recent rains has really gotten the tributaries going and with inflowing water the spots really move to these influxes. Water temps are now down into the winter temps area and fish will be slowing way down, making the Float and Fly method the best. Float and fly fishing through Apirl can be deadly on our foothill lakes and we get some true world record spotted bass on our foothill bass lakes. As we reach the months of Jan-March when many of our reservoirs fill and our rivers blow out these foothill bass lakes fish great with a fly rod.

Feather River through town – The feather river through the town of Oroville above the highway 70 bridge opened up Jan 1 and from what I hear is fishing really well. The fall steelhead run on the feather was as good as we have seen and the upper stretches above the highway 20 bridge seem to be pretty full with fish. Good friends have been getting out and hooking multiple fish each session. Beads, caddis pupa, and mayfly nymphs have been best. March will be here before we know it and Spring Swing time will be here so do not fret.

AFFTA Board Meeting – If you don’t know yet I decided to run this fall for the AFFTA (American Fly Fishing Trade Association) board of directors. This is the trade association for the fly fishing industry and encompasses Manufacturers, Lodges, Guides, Fly Shops, Media, and Outfitters. It is one of those things that I was apprehensive about as it requires travel each quarter to a board meeting some where in the continental US and work between board meetings on Committees….that said it was something that I always wanted to do so I threw my hat in. I really had no thought that I would win as I was running against like 15 other people for 6-7 board seats. Well I won…I wanted to win but I tempered my expectations and knew that it was a national election among a whole lot of people who don’t know me or what I am about.

Well this last week was our Q1 board meeting and the first part of our strategic planning for the coming 5 years. I will be on the board for a 3 year term so it was really cool to come in when policy and agenda is being set for the future of the organization. It was a pretty humbling experience sitting at the table for 3 days with some of the most influential and smartest people in the fly fishing industry. Makes me realize that while I know my little bubble there is so much more out there going on and that the industry (like the world in general) is MUCH bigger then my little area.

I think it is going to an amazing opportunity and learning experience over the next 3 years professionally and personally as I serve on the board and give back to the industry. I am amazed at how few of the shops and guides in my area are members of our trade organization so first and foremost my goal is to spread what the organization offers and can provide for our local shops and guides.

Music – Been listening a lot of pod cast and tunes lately…The new barbless podcast with Ryan Williams and then with Jason Cochran are both really good if you are looking for some fishing filler on a drive. Check them out here https://podcast.barbless.co/ The Drake Magazine podcast is good as well…a bit shorter episodes but great short and sweet content. http://www.drakemag.com/drakecast.html

Also been listening to some Comic book podcast and Youtube channels but nothing that really is a game changer. My favorite so far is Joe Ryan Comics on Youtube…but lets be really not many reading this are comic book nerds so I am going to spare you the comic book talk….I will save that conversation for my 10 year old son.

Music wise a good buddy introduced me to Marshal Mclean – Really unique sound and voice that I am digging. He has to albums on Itunes I down loaded and have been really liking. Great sound with some lap steel in the back ground and drenched reverb guitars and his voice is really unique as well. Also been listening to some of the new songs off the yet to be released Pedro the Lion album that comes out in its entirety soon.

Other News...My boys are starting up Hockey again which means Monday and Thursday nights are FULL for the Brown Clan. BUT GAME CHANGER this season...they may be on the same team! Try outs were this monday and I made my youngest try out for Pee Wees after playing Squirts for 2 seasons and My oldest is not Old enough to move up so i made a STRONG request that they are both on the same Pee Wee team which would literally mean only one game and practice a night!!!! My wife and I won't even know what to do if we are not at the rink 3 hours two times a week! 
Beckett ended with a runner up...lost by 1 goal in the final

Ended last season with the TITLE!