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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

L:ower Sac Report 9/25-9/30

The Lower Sac egg bite is about a week from blowing up. There is a nice push of salmon rolling around on the lower sections of the river. So all of these fish will be cutting redds in the next couple of weeks. It looks like there will be about a two week period where the Sac will go off and you are going to want and make sure you're in the game. This is one of the coolest times of year on the Sac.

The last five days on the river have been a little unusual on the river. It seems as though you get two goods days of fishing and then there is a big drop off on the third day. The majority of last week I fished the lower river from Balls Ferry down to Bend Bridge. The cool thing is that I have hooked a steelhead each day that I have been on the river. The bad thing is that we are 0 for 5 on our land ratio for these big fish. Oh...the joys of steelhead fishing! Most of the steelies we have hooked have been between 23-26''. Its addicting watching a big fish fly three feet out of the air when it is hooked.

The trout fishing has been decent on rubber legs, birds nest, and amber wing princes. It seems as though one day all they want is the birds nest and then the next the amber wing. At this point on the lower drifts the rubberleg should never come off. Its catching lots of fish and its a great steelie fly.

Starting next week I will be bouncing back and forth between the Posse Grounds trying to get in on the egg bite and the lower drifts looking for steelhead. If you are interested I have a couple openings for October if you want to try out the Lower Sac in the middle of its glory.

Tight Lines!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Lower Sac 9/19 - 9/20

I had the chance to guide the Lower Sac two days this last weekend. After throwing dries on the South Fork of the Snake all summer it was pretty tough going back to watching indicators on the Sac. Throughout the day I found myself thinking if this was Idaho there would be cuttys rising all over this riffle. I guess I will have to wait until next summer to get back out there. Those fish eating PMDs in the riffles during the afternoons are still haunting my thoughts.

The news on the Lower Sac is that it is fishing a little tough. Friday we decided to float from Anderson down to Balls Ferry. While Saturday we did the Bonnyview to Anderson drift. Both days it seemed like the afternoon bite was better than the morning. To be frankly honest the morning was just bad. There were spots in the morning that are always dependable for a couple of fish but as we floated through them the indicator didn't even move. Needless to say the mornings were a lot of indicator watching. Both days we ended up in the mid teens with boated fish but as most of you know those are slow days on the Sac. I think the reason that the fishing was hard was due to the lack of bugs on the water. There was absolutely zilch of a hatch the two days I was on the water. The only thing that I could get them to eat on somewhat of a regular basis was a size 6 rubberlegs.

One cool thing that did happen in those two days of guiding was that I was able to take my father-in-law fly fishing for his second time. This was his first true day since the first time only lasted about an hour. My father-in-law did great for his first time nymphing. He figure out the Lower Sac Lob and set the hook every time that indicator started moving. It took a couple of fish to figure out how to fight them properly with things like rod tip up, let the fish run, strip as the fish comes to you, etc, etc. For his first time he landed 7 and hooked 10. Those are good percentages even for dedicated anglers. All in all the two of us had a great time out there and I think it was a bonding experience for both of us.

So what is the outlook for the Lower Sac? At this point we are waiting for the Salmon. Hopefully a decent number of them will show up this fall. Since they are not projecting as many salmon as last year then the egg bite is probably going to be really short. The gang busters egg bite fishing will probably only last for about 10 days when that first major wave of fish start spawning. The good news is that we are seeing salmon rolling around on the lower drifts. So they are a couple weeks away from dropping eggs.

For those of you interested I still have a couple of prime weekend days open for the Lower Sac egg bite. As of today I am still available Oct. 5, Oct.19, Nov.1, and Nov.2. There is also several weekdays open in October if you are looking for a last minute booking.

Tight Lines!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

San Diego Saltwater Fly Fishing

Over the last three weeks I have had the opportunity to go down to San Diego twice to do some fly fishing with guide Peter Piconi. In total I was able to get three days of fishing in. Im sure some of you guys have heard of Peter. He is one of the go to saltwater guides down in Southern California and has published several articles in California Fly Fisher. Needless to say Peter is a stud on the water! I have been fishing with him for about 5 years now and every time we get into fish. The majority of the fishing I have done with him has been done in San Diego Bay. So this year I wanted a chance to fish the local kelp beds and blue water just a couple of miles off La Jolla.

The first day we went out was epic! The seas were flat and the wind calm. In the morning we set up just outside of the kelp beds and wailed on calico bass during the first two hours of light. Calico bass put up quite a fight on a 7 weight. Especially when you are trying to keep their heads up out of the kelp. Around 10AM we saw some birds starting to work just a couple miles out of the kelp so we ran out there to see what life was swimming around. We were pleasantly surprised by schools of large mackerel that were more than willing to eat your fly. For about an hour two of us must have landed over 30 fish. You didn't want to even stop and take a picture because there were so many fish busting around the boat. I know most of you think that the mackerel is a bait fish, but when this fish schools you on a 7 weight you get a different perspective. It was a great first day.

The second day proved to be a little more difficult. We went out in the blue water searching for a little bigger game. The wind was still calm but overnight about a three foot swell moved in making standing in a 20 foot boat a little tricky. We were able to find a couple of kelp paddies that had dorado swimming underneath. I was lucky enough to get two small dorado around 8-10 lbs in the first hours. Playing these fish on an 8 weight was awesome. After the two dorado we never even hooked another fish. Throughout the remainder of the day we had a couple of yellowfin chase our flies right to the boat but they were not willing to play. Overall a little tough but I guess that depends on your perspective. Dorado on the fly is still cool!!

The third day we went back to the kelp beds to find a couple of smaller bonita, lots of calicos, and more mackerel. The third day was different than the first in that we slide way up into the kelp. So every cast you made had to be accurate so not to hook the kelp and break off flies. If you could find a lane between the kelp there were plenty of hungry calicos. Once you hooked one you had to put the wood to them so that they didn't get you hung up. Thank goodness for 20lb floro. In the afternoon I had one chance at a school of barracuda but they did not commit to the fly. The whole school followed the fly all the way to the boat. Dont you hate it when they do that!

In all it was a great couple of days on the water. I highly recommend any of to go and check out this fishery.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Donner Hat Creek Ranch Report 9/8/08

I was lucky enough to go and wail on some big fish this last Monday. A friend of mine won a couple of free day passes to the Donner Hat Creek Ranch. The ranch has a half mile of private access on Hat Creek and two private ponds. To be honest I was more excited about the stocked ponds and they did not disappoint. We arrived at the Ranch around 10AM to find out that we were the only guys fishing the property that day. What is crazy is that the first cast around 10:15 resulted in a fat 21'' bow. In about six hours of fishing I landed a little over 20 trout. But what is crazy about it is that a dozen of those fish were between 20-24 inches. Even though those fish were stocked it was still a blast. I got my big fish fill in before the busy guide season starts. All of the fish were caught stripping crystal buggers on a floating line. Even with the successful day those fish were not nearly as dumb as I thought they were going to be. It took a little bit of skill and the ability to make long casts so not to spook them. For anyone looking for a fun day of pulling on a bunch of chunky trout this is a cool place.

With the guide season around the corner I still have a handful of prime weekend days left for the Lower Sac and Feather. Two weekend days that I am open for the egg bite on the Lower Sac are October 5 & 19. To get in on some great steelhead action on the Feather I am available November 1, 2, & 9. I hope you all get some fishing in this fall!

Fish Hard!