Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This last week I have been bouncing back and forth between the Yuba and Lower Sac Rivers.
The Yuba has been fishing really well. I have been on the river a couple of times in the last week and both days we did really well nymphing. The dry fly fishing has been really spotty with limited hatches on the lower river. One of those days that I was out there with my clients was magical. It was one of those days that you live for on the Yuba. We hooked 35+ fish and two of those fish were fresh spring steelhead. We landed one clipped steelhead that was 18" and then lost a HUGE hen that was estimated at 8-9 lbs. I was so bummed when we lost that fish. Up to this date this is hands down the biggest fish I have had a client hook on this river. I guess that is what keeps you coming back. The other day we had was really solid with 20 rainbows hooked. The hot bugs have been stones, march browns, pmds, and small baetis patterns. Like most Yuba days if you are patient and methodical it seems like you can force feed them.
The Lower Sac has had some major changes in the last couple of weeks. There have been two major flow changes on the Lower Sac. Each flow change has dramatically changed the color of the water. The clarity on the Lower Sac before the flow changes was about 4-5 feet in the upper river. Now the clarity of the water is back to 2 feet. The water looks like it did back in the late part of February. Needless to say the off color water has been affecting the fishing. Most days right now we are landing around 20 rainbows. So the fishing is still solid but it should be better than that in April. You know we have a special river when a tough day out there we are working hard to land 20 fish. You gotta love the Lower Sac. If the flow of the river stabilizes this week expect the clarity to improve and the fishing to pick up again. Right now the hot bugs are the rubberleg and yellow micro spawn. The last three days on the Lower Sac there has not been a hot small bug.
For those of you looking for a discounted guide trip I will take a $100 off a trip on April 27, 28, & 29.
I have had quite a few half day trips this week. Four days this week I started at 8AM and was off the water before 2PM. I have come to the decision that I love doing half day trips. Get some great fishing in but still get home in time to have a nice dinner with the wife. There is something nice about getting home at a decent hour. For those of you interested on the latest news of the Lower Sac is that the river is still fishing good. Again this week I have been focusing on the river below Anderson. Most days I have been floating from Anderson to Balls Ferry. On Saturday I was able to get down on the Jellys to Bend drift. Right now it seems like the best fishing is between 8AM to about 1PM. The fishing in the morning has been really good. You can still catch fish in the afternoon but it takes a little more work. The best flies have been the rubberlegs (8), cdc princes (16), and tan birds nest (16). In the mornings they have been all over the rubberleg and the middle of the day the fish start turning on the caddis imitations.
I have a couple of really special stories from this week on the river. The first one is a great memory with my family. My parents flew up for the weekend and I was able to take my dad, mom, and wife fishing for the day. What really made this special is that this was the first time ever that my mom had been in my boat. I couldn't convince her to fish but she had a great time going for the boat ride. It was really special for me to have all of my close loved ones in the boat at the same time. In about 4 hours of fishing my dad and wife were able to land a dozen trout. My wife once again outfished my dad. Bonnie is starting to get some fly fishing game out there on the water.
The second story is that I donated a day to take out a pastor and his two sons (ages 9 & 11). Ben, one of the sons, for his birthday wanted to catch a fish. So I thought that this would be a great way to give back and for these two kids to have some fun. Well needless to say Ben and Dan both had a great first time fly fishing experience. We put the birthday boy in the front of the boat and he landed 5 rainbows and his brother Dan was able to land 2. They only got in one or two tangles all day long. I was so impressed with both of them. Hopefully this leads them to get hooked on fly fishing so that one day this sport can really bless their lives like it has mine.
For those of you looking to do some guided fishing I have several availabilities in the later part of April and middle of May. Expect the fishing on the Lower Sac, Yuba, and Feather to remain consistently good through the middle of May.
The Lower Sac is blowing up. The caddis hatch is in full swing and the fish are chowing down on various prince nymphs and rubberlegs. The last week I have really been focusing on the Anderson to Balls Ferry section of the river. This is one of my favorite sections during the early spring. I am excited for this week coming up with all of the warm sunshine in the forecast. This week there should be great caddis and pmd hatches on the river. Get excited because I think the nice weather of April is finally here.
On Monday I had two newbies on the water on a half day trip. Both of these guys caught on to the techniques of indicator nymphing very quickly. These two newbies blew me away when in 5 hours of fishing they had landed 20 rainbows and only lost 1. I don't think I have every experienced this landing ratio even with the most veteran of anglers. Needless to say I was very impressed. I guess the hook setting techniques that I teach actually do work.
Another memorbale time I had on the boat this week is when I was able to take out Ted and his grandfather Stacey. I think it is so cool how generations can bond together through the sport of fly fishing. There was some major joy between these two guys when Ted landed a 23" rainbow. This is his biggest rainbow ever on a fly rod. Needless to say after this fish was landed there was a celebratory drink of whiskey between grandfather and grandson. One thing I love as a guide is the ability to bring people together in a memborable experience in the boat.
For those of you guys interested in doing some short notice fishing I will take $100 off March 31, April 1, and April 12-14. Hope you guys are getting some fishing in!
Monday, March 16, 2009
The last seven days on the water have been divided between the Lower Sac and the Feather. It was really great to get out on the Feather and chase some early spring steelhead. It seems like the first major push of fish is in the Feather. As we get closer to April more fish should start coming in. Those spring fish on the Feather are some of the coolest specimens in the Central Valley. One of my clients landed a 20" fish that took ten yards of backing off his reel. The great surprise this week on the Feather was when one of my clients hooked and landed a wild 27" hen. This is a huge fish during the spring on the Feather. In three days of fishing we were averaging between 10-12 hookups per day.
The Lower Sac was fishing great with the warm weather. The fish were really grabby and we boasted some huge numbers on Thursday and Friday. The story was a little different when the cold weather front moved in. It seemed like the fish really tightened up when the temperature dropped down into the 50s. This weekend was much more difficult to get the fish to eat. Expect great things this week with the 70 degree weather in the near forecast.
One cool story from the weekend on the Lower Sac was that I guided Marjory on her first ever fly fishing trip. We took a few minutes and taught her the ins and outs of fly fishing. She caught on quickly and had a great day. The first rainbow she landed was a nice 20". Second rainbow landed by Marjory was a great 21". Third rainbow goes 20" again. Fourth one she hooks and loses was close to 23". It is absolutely crazy that this lady on her first day of fly fishing ended up landing four rainbows all over 20". I can't even remember the last time that one person in my boat landed that many big fish. I guess there is something to that beginner luck thing.
For anyone interested I will take a $100 off any trip done on the Feather or Lower Sac on March 22, 24, 31 or April 1. Contact me asap if you want to reserve one of those or any other days.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Here is a quick report on the clarity of the Yuba. I fished the Yuba on Saturday and there was about one foot of clarity. The water was definitely brown. It was not even close to green. The odd thing was the edges of the river were clearer than the middle. On the edges there was about a foot and a half of visibility. There were definitely some bugs coming off though with a handful of PMDs, March Browns, and even a few Skwalas. Needless to say with the tough water clarity the fishing wasn't good. In total we got three rainbows. I guess three is better than none. At least there was no skunk left in the boat. As deer creek gets lower the clarity on the Yuba should start improving. I would expect the Yuba to be in prime shape by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hopefully someone can add some input on the clarity today. I will be back out there tomorrow.
For anyone interested in booking March 16 or 22 for the Yuba, Lower Sac, or Feather I will take $100 off.