Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I found myself on the Lower Sac four out of the last five days with the fifth day taking place on the Feather.
The Lower Sac is still fishing well fish with most days seeing about 25-30 rainbows being boated. I have been concentrating my efforts between Bonnyview and Barge Hole. It wont be long now until the lower river starts to fish really well. Typically as the first signs of summer start to show up it is then time to start fishing from the Balls Ferry bridge down to Bend Bridge. The Sac has been getting some decent PMD hatches happening in the middle of the day and there are a handful of golden stones flying around in some of the riffles. When you are out there you will see the occasional caddis buzzing around but still not a lot of them. It wont be long until the summer caddis hatches start. The hot ticket in the upper river has been rubberlegs, pmd nymphs, prince nymphs, and pheasant tails. One great thing about the Sac is how consistent the bugs are. Not to often is there a hot new pattern that just smacks them. Lately it seems the feeding patterns have been extremely sporadic. You will catch a handful of fish on one fly at a specific time and then the fish stop eating it. Once you start messing around with your flies and changing bugs out then you find one that they start eating again. I guess that is what you have to love about fly fishing. It is a never ending puzzle where you have to find the right piece that fits.
Got the opportunity to fish the Feather on Sunday and the fishing was pretty good. We focused all of our efforts in the Low Flow section from the Hatchery down to the afterbay. In about 5 hours of fishing a couple guys hooked 8 steelhead. What was a nice surprise was that 4 of the fish were smaller adults in the 22-24'' range. These spring fish are a lot of fun to catch. They are super hot and pissed off when you hook them. The key was to throw small mayfly patterns in the morning and then the afternoon switch to caddis stuff. If you can get away with a bigger hook then this will increase your chances at landing these spring steelhead in the faster water. Good luck with that one as it is common to drop a lot of fish this time of year.
One cool story that I had from this weekend is that I got the chance to row two younger kids down the Lower Sac. Sean was 12 and Colby was 13, and neither one of them had ever touched a fly rod. So we got them started in the morning and I taught them the ins and outs of indactor nymph fishing. After a couple of hours they had the process figured out and they started pulling on some fish. By the end of the day the two of them they had hooked over 20 rainbows and the grins on their faces were huge. I love getting the chance to row kids because they have that pure joy when they hook a 14'' rainbow. At times I think that us die hards forget to appreciate every fish we hook. Kids have a way of bringing you back to the true reason of what you are doing this sport for. Every fish should be appreciated because each one has its own beauty and fight.
For those of you looking for a deal I had two cancellations in the next couple of weeks and I need to fill the days. I will take $100 off a full day rate and $50 off a half day rate if you book either Monday, May 12 or Saturday, May 17. You get the same long day of fishing with a patient guide on either the Lower Sac, Feather, or Yuba for a great deal. I dont do this very often but I need to fill the days. So if there is anyway you can do it make sure to contact me ASAP.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I found myself on the Lower Sac all weekend. The majority of the time I was around the Anderson area. This weekend was a little different from the rest in that the weather was not as stable as it has been. Friday was a beuatiful 75 degree day on the water. Then Saturday and Sunday were windy and cold with highs in the 50s. It was about a 20 degree tempertature change in a day. Sunday was the coldest it has been up in Redding for over a month. For the most part the fishing on Friday and Saturday was good but Sunday was not to great. Friday and Saturday saw pretty average days with about 30 rainbows boated. However, Sunday was a little humbling when we only landed a dozen. For the most part the bugs have not changed a whole lot in the last month. Still the hot bugs are rubberlegs, princes, sucker spawn, micromays, and golden stones. It seems as though in the riffles they are getting pretty keyed in on that golden stone.
Friday I took out one of my clients sons and his buddy. When my client booked this trip for his son Eric he really wanted me to work with him on his casting, knot tying, and figuring out easier ways to get out of tangles. It was a little wierd for me because when Eric would get into a tangle I left it up to him to figure it out. I made him tie on the majority of his own flies and re-rig when necessary. Normally I do all of that stuff but it really made Eric appreciate the abiility to try and fish without getting into as many tangles. Throughout the day I would park the boat on a riffle and make him get a drift by himself by shaking out about 40 feet of line below him. I was showing the ins and outs of mending, adding line, and hook setting. The real highlight came in the afternoon when we were parked on a riffle and Eric was just about at the end of his drift when the indicator went under. Eric swung real big and hooked what we thought was a trout. He was struggling to strip tight to the fish as it ran at him. Then about 15 feet off the boat this 7-8 chrome steelhead launches itself over three feet in the air. It was one of those slow motion moments as you are starring at the fish all of sudden you see your flies come flying back at you. I think both of our jaws dropped when we saw that steelhead. So I think we can officially say that the fish gave Eric the FIN! For those of you who don't know, you get the fin when a fish jumps and shows himself to you but then you immediately come unbuttoned. It is like having a friendly commuter give you the bird! LOL! Well I guess that will make Eric want to come back again to have another shot.
For anyone who is interested I had a cancellation for this Wednesday April 23. If you book this day I will give you $100 off. This is a deall since I will be giving you a full day at a half day rate. For those of you who dont have as free of schedules to book last minute then I still have May 2, 7, 9, and 12 available. The first couple weeks of May should be rocking on the Lower Sac and Yuba as those summer caddis start rolling around.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I found myself on the Lower Sac five times this week with different clients from all over the Bay area. The weather was great and the fishing was just as good. This is a beautiful time of year in Redding with 80 degree days and lots of bugs on the water. This week saw solid hatches of PMD's, caddis, and the start of the Golden Stones. Heck I even saw a handful of Salmonflies this week out on the water. Seeing those big Goldens and Salmon flies is getting me excited for my summer of pounding banks with big bugs on the South Fork of the Snake. I spent the majority of my time this week in the middle part of the river between Anderson and Jellys Ferry. Most days we hooked 40-50 rainbows with the majority of them being between 12 - 16 inches. The hot bugs for the week were yellow microspawn, rubberlegs, princes, and pheasant tails.
I like to tell all of you a few of my favorite stories each week to tell you some of my personal highlights from fishing with my clients. I had two memorable moments that really made my week. The first was when Jarrett Black, a great friend and long time client, hooked and landed a great 23'' bow. Jarrett and his wife Alicia have fished with me many times and this is the biggest rainbow that either of them has caught on the Lower Sac. Jarrett finally has a picture of a rainbow that is bigger than one of his wifes. So now I guess Alicia will just have to out do him again in the future.
The second highlight of the week actually happened on Sunday. My friend who was formally known as "Steelhead Steve" hooked what we thought was a big steelhead down by Roosters Landing. When he set up on this fish it quickly came to the surface and violently head shook about five times. Then it took off for deep water peeling off line. It totally acted like a Lower Sac steelhead. We fought this fish for about 5 minutes avoiding bridges and log jams to find out that it was a 28'' squawfish. It was a monster squaw! I dont care how you look at it, a fish that big on a 6 weight is a great battle. Personally I thought it was awesome but Steve was a little disappointed. So know until he comes back out in the fall he is known as "Squawfish Steve". LOL!
I hope all of you are getting some fishing time in. For those of you interested in doing some fishing on the Feather, Lower Sac, or Yuba I still have May 7, 9, and 12 available.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I spent the whole week bouncing back and forth between the Yuba and Feather Rivers. The Yuba was in decent shape with most days hooking about 15 fish. Most of the fish were still coming on eggs patterns and mayfly nymphs. There were a handful of PMDs, March Browns, and Gray Drakes buzzing around. However there still wasn't enough bugs to get the fish to rise. Im still hoping for some of those big PMD hatches to get all of the fish looking up in the flats. Im in need of a good dry fly day. To much time staring at indactors is not good for a fly fishermans soul.
Actually this week I had a first that had never happend to me since I have been guiding for the last 4.5 years. I had a solo client for three days that absolutely refused to fish an indicator. She said that she would rather not catch any fish than have to catch one nymphing. Well to be perfectly honest she must not enjoy fishing California that much because it seems that a lot of our fishing is subsurface. The first day we spent swinging on the Feather and landed 3 nice spring steelies. The second day we spent swinging streamers and throwing dries blind on the Yuba. Then the third day we were back swinging on the Feather where we got another couple springers. I thought that after not having tons of success that she would eventually give in but I was impressed by here stubborness to stick with the more technical styles of fishing. It was awesome to watch those springers wack her bug and then fly about three feet out of the air. I must admit there is nothing better than a streamer grab especially when it is from a steelie.
The news on the Feather is that there are some fish in there. Most of the spring steelhead are in the 16-20 inch range with a few really nice adults mixed in. There were a couple fish hooked this week in the 5-8lb range. If you hook one of these spring big boys good luck in landing it. These big fish act just like fish on the coast and rip you a new one every time. It is pretty hard to land those big guys on 3X and 4X. The majority of the fish came on san juans and caddis patterns in the faster water. The Feather should keep fishing until the first week of May for those of you looking for some steelhead options.
For those of you interested in doing some fishing on the Yuba or the Feather here are a couple of my prime availabilities. My days available are April 19, April 30, May 7, and May 9.