Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CANCELATION MARCH 16TH...and all the normal reports, forecasts, predictions, and music rants.

So Spring has sprung!!!! …. Atleast at various hours on a few days lately it has felt like it. The rivers are full of water making room in most reservoirs for the record snow fall that is starting to melt. While many of our valley rivers like the Lower Sacramento, Feather, and Lower Yuba can and will fish at high flows we are not even to “fishable” high flows.

CANCELATION this Saturday March 16!!!

Lake Oroville is turning on for spotted bass and has been fishing well. With all the rivers blown out of the most part this is a great option for the next few months with record snow pack and rain this year our reservoirs are full and the tailwater are high. If you have never fished one of the big reservoirs this is a great time to do it. Here is a short video of high lights and some photos from the last few weeks.

Best option for fishing right now is the valley and foothill reservoirs for spotted bass, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. I personally have been guiding lake Oroville. While not every client is game to switch from fishing the Yuba or Feather to heading out to the lakes, those that have, have been having some fun. The lakes are such a foreign environment for most fly anglers and the scenery is pretty cool right now with all the waterfalls and cool water features dumping into the reservoirs. Most days we have the areas we fish to our selves and even the few boats that are starting to show up on the lakes spread out as these are enormous bodies of water. Add that to the fact that fishing has been pretty damn good as the fish are moving into pre-spawn mode and fattening up for the spring spawn. Most of the time we are fishing the float’n fly technique but as water temps warm we will start looking for top water action and stripped fly fishing.

Fishing Water falls and income creeks on Oroville
Nice Oroville Spotted Bass

Summer striper will be here SOON. I was getting bummed about the current conditions the other day and I thought back to 2017 when we had a very similar winter...the following summer and fall were the best striper season I have had. SO that cheered me up a bunch...We had migratory fish north of Chico and we hooked more big fish that summer and fall AND even winter then ever before...Amazing what a good winter can do for fish. So Get on the books now as I hope this summer/fall will be no different.

June 8, 12-14, 17-19,
July 1 - 3, 5, 6, 13, 15-20, 22, 24-27, 29-31
August 1-3, 5, 7, 8, 24, 31

The Lower Yuba River has seemed to level out around 4800 CFS with Deer Creek at 487 and pretty stable. I usually will not float or fish the river until it gets around 3000cfs and even then that is pretty touchy as the fishing is not typical Yuba fishing. It is high water tactics in a few of the bigger runs and bolder fields where fish go during high flows. From what I have heard the clarity is decent so if anyone is jonesing to get out walking the bank and high sticking some spots may produce…who knows.

Lower Feather River Flow is a good option right now as it is flowing at 730cfs as of today not sure what the clarity is

Lower Sacramento River trout fishing will be good ounce the flows come down a bit as they are at 37,000cfs out of Keswick. Usually “high water” fishing starts around 20K cfs and can be could if the clarity is fishable.

Lower Sacramento Striper Fishing – All this high water should be good for the migratory striper run as I imagine they are RUSHING up river as I type with all this high water. Ounce the flows out of Keswick come down a bit and the clarity improves I am sure the fishing out of Colusa will get going. With regards to resident striper fishing the same goes, a flow drop out of Keswick and an improvement in clarity should get us back out on the river.

MUSIC ....
In lieu of listening to music lately I have been listening to a bunch of pod cast and you tube videos. The Barbless Podcast clan has been putting up some pretty cool episodes from the recent fly fishing show. I listen to a few comic book podcasts and you tube channels each week that are good...if you are a total nerd and like comic books like I have grown to these are worth it. 

Albums wise I am on this total album driving home from the fly fishing show in Pleasanton a a few weeks ago I decided I was going to listen Classic Artist (Bob Dylan, The Band, etc.) whole pick and album and go the whole way through...usually albums that I wasnt familiar with or were a little on the abstract/eccentric side...NO SKIPPING OF SONGS! So, I have been listening to some live bob dylan albums, hooker and heat, and various The Band Albums ... it is a great little exercise for long drives, sunny afternoons, or long days indoors.  

Friday, March 1, 2019


Well I think I would like to let who ever is in charge know that we are good on rain and snow for this season and they can hold off or share some of that water with another part of the world. The storm that has rolled into Northern California this week is BIG. The amount of sustained rain that has fallen in the Chico are over the last few days is insane. Every gutter, ditch, creek, and river is near flood stage and more rain is coming supposedly. This winter is starting to have the same vibe of 2017 where high water is going to be part of the game for a few months, maybe into June with the snow that is falling and snow back that is nearing 200% of normal. I talked with a few buddies in Truckee and South Lake this weekend at the fly fishing show and they talked about more snow in Truckee and S. Lake then they have ever seen. So what do you do about all this snow and water if you want to fish…

The Rivers that stay fishable the longest or come into shape the soonest in our area… the Lower Sacramento up through Redding until the river picks up tributaries south of Redding and Anderson. The Lower Feather Below Oroville Dam – Assuming we don’t have a spill way catastrophe AND Most of the Lakes around our area.

In 2017 when there was no where to fish due to high water EVERY WHERE I really started focusing on learning how to fish for Spotted Bass on Lake Oroville, Englebright, Bullards Bar, and Collins Lake. Guides like Ryan Williams and Chuck Ragan had been doing it for years, but I always was focused on winter trout or steelhead fishing during the months that the bass fishing was really good. Well I am going to be honest, it is going to be the only game in town for a few months I think this year.

It is amazing how many Lower Yuba Trips I have canceled so far in 2019 and as MORE and MORE rain falls and SNOW piles up, most of the rivers are not going to clear any time soon. When clients are faced with canceling a trip, going bass fishing, or rescheduling …. They usually reschedule, which I understand. If they are set on a trip they want that trip, and would rather reschedule then gamble on something new.

That said I always ask clients if they want to fish the lakes and they almost always say no…so I take my two boys and we go fish the lakes on our own. We catch spotted bass, land locked king salmon, and even some trout some times with NO ONE around. YES it is fishing bait fish patterns under indicators, slow stripping bait fish patterns on sinking lines, and at times running into some top water fishing…it can be tedious as fishing indicators or the float and fly method for bass is not throwing dry flies on the Yuba for trout BUT it is fishing, and the fish fight like a TON of bricks. The lakes are beautiful and so foreign to most fly anglers that it is truly a unique experience.

As reports go or what is going to happen other places here is what I can see happening…

Lower Sacramento River through Redding before it picks up tributaries should come in and out off shape quicker then any other river, but as Shasta fills I am sure there will some higher than normal water over the next few months and maybe even some clarity issues.   

Feather River below Oroville Dam - assuming there is no spillway catastrophe - Should start fishing over the next few weeks as Spring Steelhead start to show up and Winter Down Streamers start making their way down stream. The Flows are pretty stable right now but the clarity is bad but should clear over the next week. Spring is a great time to swing flies on the feather and the spring steelhead in the feather from march-may hit a swung fly better than any other fish in the valley I have found. 

going out across the inland ocean

Wait for it...

There he is...

Spring Striper Fishing - Usually on high water years we see amazing spring migratory striper runs. in 2017 we saw fish make their way up North of Chico. I assume this year will be no different and fishing on the Feather and Sacramento Rivers starting in March should be good!!!! 

Lower Yuba River - is Blown and will be for a while...I will start guiding the Yuba around 3-3500cfs and with about 8-12" of visibility. Ounce it hits these numbers it will be go time...when it will hit those numbers with low elevation Snow and rain who knows. 


APRIL 6 - Fly Fishing Film Tour Stop in Nevada City brought to you by Cast Hope is coming up April 6th…This is a great fundraiser for Cast Hope and is a really FUN night. The movie festival is held at the historic Nevada Theater in Down Town Nevada City. The event is sponsored by Klean Kanteen and Sierra Nevada where will be serving Sierra Nevada beer in commemorative pints. There will also be an AMAZING RAFFLE and AUCTION Full of Fly Fishing gear and trips.

We are also adding our AFTER PARTY this year to keep the night going!!! We will be carrying on the party down the street from the theater at Coopers Ale House with live music by Chuck Ragan, Royal Oaks, The Wolf Creek Boys, and Hannah Jane Kile! $10 at the door and all proceeds go to Cast Hope. 9pm doors 10pm music.

APRIL 22 - I will  be doing a VERY RARE tying demonstration/class on April 22 at Lost Coast Outfitters in San Francisco. This will be an evening event and I will have more details to follow, but if you have ever wanted to sit down and tie flies with me or learn about why I do the things I do this is a very rare opportunity to do so…I honestly think I have only done this type of event like 2 times in my career.

APRIL 23 - If you miss the fly tying I will also be speaking the nest night at the Golden Gate Trout Unlimited /Mt Tam Fly Fishers Club on Largemouth bass fishing the next night. You can check out there website

Other News…

Music consumption has been all over the board… A couple new Albums I am enjoying

Hayes Carl – “What it is” – Great new Alt Country Rock and Roll Record. Hayes is from Texas and his music has that Texas slow vibe. Honest and good.

Ryan Bingham – “American Love Song” – This is great rock and roll as always from Ryan. He always has great musicians on his albums and just spot on song writing and this album is NO acception.

Susto – “Ever Sense I Lost my Mind” – This is a really cool and unique band from Charleston South Carolina. Little Alternative, Little southern soul, little southern country, little south American vibe…lots of good things mixed in. ALSO they are playing March 24th at Harlows in Sacramento if anyone is game…