Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A bit delayed but never stale...

So I have been a bit lax on my blog posts…I apologize…but I jumped right into the month of June with no desire to stair at a screen anymore then I absolutely had. That said I have been overwhelmed with guilt and am going to hammer out a blog post.

Summer so far has been great. While the drought is becoming a reality there is still fishing to be had and places to escape the reality that will I am sure hit everyone come late July/August…That said there has been some good news with regards to a possible El Nino year coming…A few of my good friends that spend countless hours guiding and fishing the Southern California Salt have been seeing signs of El Nino like they have never seen before over the last few months. Pelagic fish species that usually follow warm water currents well off shore are within yards of the coast and warm water currents are pushing up against the beaches and coast lines. While I understand very little about any of this people that I respect and who do KNOW about this have been telling me El Nino is coming…I hope they are right.

Rivers like the Truckee and smaller streams are in big trouble. It is truelly saddening to see such a California Fly Fishing staple like the Truckee River essentially slowly die. I am not sure really what can be done or said then repsecting the fishery while it struggles and supporting the organizations that are tasked with protecting the fishery and who will be asked to rebuild it when the time comes.

All this said there is plenty of fishing to be had my lack of blog posts is due to guiding and fishing so let me get to the reports…

Lower Sac Striper Fishing – There is a TON of young stripers in the river right now. Lots of shaker size fish and 17-20” fish. The big fish seem to be slowly coming out of their shad coma and getting on the feed. I have had clients land and loose a few nice 20+ pound fish and have seen some pics from friends of bigger ones caught but I still think the big ones are yet to get going really well as the shad are just thinning out. Late June –September is prime time and things are shaping up for a great striper year on the Lower Sac.
typical lower sac line side

Nice fish my friend sent me that his buddy caught...they are out there

Not a bad schoolie fish...fun fish!

Lower Yuba River Trout – Flows on the Lower Yuba are at a really good level hovering around 1000cfs. I had high hopes for the fishing to improve as flows were raised to protect the king salmon moving up river but have yet to see the fishing really improve. I guided out there 2 days over the last week and fishing was fair at best. Morning was best and the bite seemed to get pretty tight midday. Hatches are minimal if non-existent from what I could see. That said there is a TON of caddis on the rocks and I have not been staying until dark when the caddis and PED hatches usually come off. I have been throwing some golden stone dries and hopper patterns in likely holding water as with the higher flows fish have been moving along the bank for shade and cover but had no luck. Most of my fish are coming on rubber legs and various caddis patterns. Not sure what to expect over the next few weeks to be honest on the Lower Yuba.

Lower Sac Trout – spent a day or two floating from Jellys to Bend and summer fishing in that area is in full swing. Trout are in the rocks and swirls eating rubber legs, small stones, and caddis patterns. If you can stand the heat floating down low on the sac during the summer is a great option and should remain good through August.

Pit River – Spent two days up on the Pit River floating Pit 1 and walk and wading Pit 3 for Clear Water Lodge last week. Both fished well and were a ton of fun. I love the Pit River and while fishing was a bit tough midday with the heat it was a pretty good. I think the Pit will be turning into a morning evening deal, like it usually does this time of year, pretty quick. One thing I do on the Pit when the bite gets tough is go down to a lighter tippet, makes it tough in the pocket water with a nice fish on but I’d rather have them on and loose them then not.

Music Report – So I have been listening to a few older albums…Dave Hause’s Resolutions album a TON. This was released in 2013 but is one of my all time favorites. Just great Rock and Roll about life. Also I am digging the new Lucero song “Went Looking for Warren Zevons Los Angeles” they released off their new album coming out Sept 18 called All a Man Can Do”. The song reminds of older Lucero…That much Farther West era. The next release I am salivating over is Jason Isbell’s album coming out July 17th…Something More then Free. The two songs he has up on I Tunes so far are as good as anything he has ever released which to be honest is some of the best music out there I think.

In my own music news my new project Royal Oaks is up and live on Facebook. We recorded 3 songs a few weekends ago and played our first show…we are now official. Check us out. https://www.facebook.com/RoyalOaksBand?ref=hl

Sports Report – Giants are doing it man keeping in the hunt with realisticly pretty limited tools….2 starting pitchers down and Hunter Pence down and hanging a game or two out of first place in the West. In reality we seem to have no problem beating the dodgers what we need to work on is beating the rest of the division…getting swept at home by AZ and then taking 2/3 from the dodgers in LA is a bit weird but who knows. All I ask for is interesting and meaningful baseball through mid September and I am getting that.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1st - Official start of summer....in my world.

Love fishing the flats...
Summer is here. In my mind June 1 is the official end of spring and beginning of summer. That said the weather is still spring like as is the fishing…Lots of mid to high 80s and Low 90s in the forecast for the next few weeks fishing all over the place should keep plugging away…Here are some reports and what is coming up.

Lower Sac outside of Chico:
Shad fishing remains fair to good. There are still plenty of fish around and    while numbers    caught each night have taken a bit of a dip the size of fish has    increased with some nice females in the mix on most nights. I would imagine that shad fishing should remain fair to good over the next few weeks and began to tapper off the 2nd or 3rd week of June.
Hooked up on a nice Shad
Hooked up on a nice Shad...again

            Striper fishing is starting to pick up as some smaller keeper fish and shaker size are starting to be caught. I imagine fishing will get good over the next few weeks as the shad thin out and fish began to go on the feed. Best time of year for striper is June-September. There are still some prime dates open in June-August.

Love these guys
        Large and Small Mouth Bass fishing remains good. We are starting to see some smallies up in the shallows and catching a few large females full of eggs as well as some smaller fish in the creek mouths and shallows. Sight fishing   for largemouth and top water fishing for largemouth continues to be a great option on most evenings as well.

Small Jaw from the Lower Sac.
Nice top water slough Largmouth on the Lower Sac
Lower Sacramento Trout: fishing has been fair to good. Pretty standard numbers of trout being caught on most floats. Options for numbers and size of fish right now just depends on how one floats and fishes the river. The Lower Floats are a great place to fish June-August. I look forward to getting out of the motor boat mid summer and floating Jelly’s to Bend each year and fishing for trout.

Clearwater Lodge Water: Pit River, Fall River, and Hat Creek are all fishing well from what I have heard. I will be up there guiding a few days in June and look forward to getting my feet wet and running my raft down the Pit. All these rivers are such a treat to go fish as they are one of few places I get to go “close by” that feel like I have traveled “far away”.
Love floating the Pit

NF Feather River and NF Yuba River from what I have heard are both fishing well. Both fisheries will be in trouble this summer with the low water so get your licks in over the next month as I imagine these will get tough come July/August.

Time to get out on the NF Feather!

Lower Yuba River is fishing fair to good depending on the day from what I have heard. I have not been over there lately but flows are hanging around 850cfs which is low but not “I wouldn’t go” low. June is usually a GREAT month on the Yuba as it gets very little pressure as people are fishing on all the mountain trout rivers and pass right by the Lower Yuba. There is plenty of hatches and opportunity to fish some great Caddis hatches in the evening.

Sports News: The Giants are playing great baseball even though they split a 4 game series with the Braves over the weekend. They had the shot to win Sunday but an bad error by Ryan Crawford cost them the game as well as the fact Sergio was not able to pitch left Casilla in some unfavorable matuch ups. Not a problem though they are .5 out of first and have been looking really good through the month of May. Curious to see how 3rd base shakes out now that Casey is down in Sacramento and how Cain comes along. Overall when I look at the pitching rotation they have been rolling out and the line up they post every night I am pretty stoked to be only .5 out of first place.

In other sports news this last weekend was one of the best for college baseball, the Regional Round of the NCAA Div 1 College tournament. I would say it rivals the basketball tourney in my book…even may be cooler sense I am not as big a basketball fan. The college game of baseball is so much fun to watch as it is so fast passed compared to pro ball. The aluminum bat changes the game in huge ways for the hitters and pitchers. I watched a lot of innings of college ball over the last 4 days, even a 14 inning Cal Bears WIN over Texas A&M at Texas A&M.

Music News: So, Summer is concert season right…so I have already bought some tickets to see Built to Spill in Sacramento in July and put a Rocky Votalato and Dave Hause concert in SF on the calendar for August. Jason Isbell is also playing in Reno August 9th and I haven’t got tickets yet but I am sure I will.…I also put a bunch of local chico bands that I like on the calendar for local shows. Also my new band Royal Oaks is recording in June and should start playing some shows in June/July around chico…so lots of music over the next few months.

Also some new albums coming out I am fired up about. Jason Isbell has a new album “Something more then Free” coming out July 17. Great summer driving music, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood has a new album coming out tomorrow June 2, just in time for long summer road trips.

Friday, May 15, 2015

All the things I write about...fishing, sports, music.

One of my favorite times of year is May…Shad fishing, top water bass fishing, smallmouth fishing, carp come off the spawn at the end of the month…Trout fishing on the North Fork Feather is prime and the weather is AMAZING. Warm days, cool evenings and nights…just perfect. All that said I have been spending lots of time on the water guiding and with my kids fishing and enjoying May…Good news is it is not even half over yet.

If you would like me to take you fishing, share knowledge about fishing/rivers/and how to catch them with fur and feather along with hearing my opinions on baseball and music here are my available dates…

Open Dates:
June: 10-12, 17, 18, 22, 29, 30
July: 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19-23
August: 5, 6, 8, 9, 22, 23
September: 5-7, 19, 26, 


I have been spending all my time on the Lower Sacramento outside of Chico. This is prime Shad, Largemouth, and Smallmouth time on the Lower Sac. Shad fishing has been good to great some nights. It definitely has gotten going early this year by about a week or two. Water temps are mid to high 60’s already and flows are around 5500cfs. Best bit has been about 5pm to 7pm on most nights and on most nights by 730pm it is nearly impossible to get a grab. Most of the shad are medium to larger males. I have yet see what I would call a “big” female.
lots of shad around on the Lower Sac lately 
Most evenings with clients we have been fishing for shad from about 5-7pm and then throwing top water for bass from about 7pm-8pm. Topwater bass fishing has been exceptionally good with good numbers of fish in the 1-5lbs range. The sloughs have a bit of color in them and weeds are not up yet so fishing tight to the banks and timber has been best. As usual big frog patterns striped aggressively is catching the most fish. Some just crush it and some come up and inspect and count legs and then turn or sip…had a few monster come and inspect and turn away already this year.

Even smaller bass eat frogs..s

Nice Sac Slough bass on top

Eat your meat TINA!!! 
This guy beat out a MONSTER for the frog...fun when two fish compete of your fly
Stripers, Smallmouth, and Carp have been hard to come by. I am having trouble finding the smallmouth…still might be a bit early but not sure. Midmay is usually go time for smallie fishing. The Stripers I think are fat and happy digesting small male shad so tough to get a grab on a clouser. Carp are rolling in the sloughs and back waters which usually means they are spawning and not interested in eating. Prime Striper Time is mid June - September

No Trout reports as I have not been on a piece of trout water in a few weeks.

Still rocking the new, yet to be released, Chuck Ragan Album, and the new Red City Radio CD…I did listen to a bit of the new Mumford and Son Cd on You tube and I was totally bummed….no bueno. Seems like a commercial sellout but who am I to judge.

The giants are playing well. Yes they are in 3rd place in the West, one game under .500, and 5 games back but they are playing good baseball. Their starting pitching has improved, situational hitting has been better – though the last week they have left A LOT of runs on the bases, runs they needed to win games, and Pence should get back soon providing a shot in the arm. The questions continue to rise about McGehee, how long is the leash with a .187 average after 27 games that and Duffy is hitting .297 with 25 games played and lately has been clutch.
The news of Everet Golson transferring came as a bit of surprise but not really I guess after the bowl game against LSU last year and Kelly not naming a starter yet. I am a bit bummed as he seemed to have potential but I have to remind myself of sitting in the bleachers at last years ASU game, watching the turn overs ALL season, and wanting kill him on many Saturdays.  Zaire is a good QB and with Golson transferring now Zaire will get all the work from here on out. Plus he will be with us for 2-3 more years. I respect Golson for graduating from ND and coming back after the academic suspension…anyone that gets a degree from ND and manages to play sports has my respect. He was a good player and helped turn ND back into a national power so good luck to him.

Monday, April 27, 2015

fishing reports, sports, rock music...essentials minus oxygen and food.

I must say I am a bit delinquent on blog posts but here is the deal, I absolutely love spring and have a really hard time getting motivated spending any more time then I absolutely have to staring at a screen…unless the giants are on or a short list of TV shows I DVR to watch late at night is on. The weather has been awesome and though I have a guilty feeling every time I revel in it as I know we are in a terrible drought and that we need some monsoon esque storms to move through….75-80 degrees and sunny. Fishing has been off and on but for the most part pretty damn good…I haven’t heard much about the opener but I have a hard time believing in drought year where most rivers, creeks, or lakes are fishable throwing flies at fish that haven’t seen them sense November good go bad. Here is my reports and what has been going on along with news on other things of great importance…sports, music, things.
Lower Yuba River – So the Yuba is UP! Yay! Flows are up to 1100ish cfs but I am not sure how long that will last…hopefully awhile as it is nice to have the river back looking like a river and the Yuba I know and love. I don’t go there if the flows are around 500-750cfs…I hate it that low. I floated it Saturday with clients and the fishing was pretty damn good, as the Yuba goes about as good as it gets. We hooked lots of fish and landed multiple fish in most runs and many of the fish were in the 16-18” bracket with 1-2 that were pushing 20”. The fish seemed to be podded up but were moving into the flats and runs that had not had current in them at 500cfs. First time in months that I had fished the flats on the Yuba…loved it! Hot bugs were mayfly nymphs in the morning and caddis and rubber legs midday into the early evening. There were a few PMD’s and Caddis on the water from morning to midday but I couldn’t buy a fish on the surface. We got a few refusals that seemed like the fish were pretty apprehensive to eat a dry fly…from what I have heard they got pounded on dries for a good month. Afternoon and evening had a good number of little yellow sallies flying around but again we couldn’t get a fish to come up.

Lower Sacramento River Trout – Fishing seems to have calm down from the ridiculous fishing that March and Early April were offering. Fishing has been good during specific windows throughout the day on different stretches. For example fishing can be tough in the morning then good in the afternoon or vise versa on other stretches. That is pretty typical of this time of year as May can be a pretty tough month on the Lower Sac for trout. June-August fishing will pick up again in the lower stretches.

Lower Sac Stripers, bass, and shad – fishing tightened up with the cold front that moved through that last week. I struggle to catch fish on the front or back end of a cold front out here. Prior to the cold front fishing was decent…getting a few stripers and bass and hearing rumors of shad. Water temps are in the 62-64 degree range which should get fish on the feed here soon as the weather stabilizes. Water clarity is an issue with a  1-2” of viz and a brown color to the water but with stripers I don’t worry to much about that…bass and shad I would feel better with some clearer water.

Lower Feather River Spring Steelhead – They are in and the recent rain moved a few fish around and up. Swinging flies and nymphing with caddis and basic attractors is still catching fish. Fishing should continue through Mid May but May slow down earlier with warmer weather as the flows are low and water temps could warm up.

Water that is open – My goal is to get up to the NF Feather over the next few weeks as that is one of my favorite trout rivers to fish right after the opener as with the drought I think it is going to be a short window up there this year also I am looking forward to floating Pit 1 and getting my feet wet on Pit 3. I have a few dates booked up at Clearwater lodge so soon I’ll be up there.

Music News…I have kind of been in a music funk lately. Listening to a lot of oldies but goodies and not really connecting with much…Until this weekend I hung out with my buddy Chuck Ragan and he gave me an advanced copy of his new disc “The Flame and Flood” and it is SICK! It maybe that nearly all the lyrics were written while he would camp out on the Lower Yuba River so every song even the instrumental ones have this river/fishing vibe that I love! The lyrics all relate life and lifes ups and downs to rivers man it is awesome…I also discovered this band the Red City Radio and their new Self Titled album. Pretty damn solid. Good mid tempo punk rock in the Gas Light vein. I presently listening to it over and over on youtube…I should buy it here and stop stealing it online…

Sports News: All I have been watching is the Giants… So I would like to make a strong statement in that I was not one of the people pulling the fire alarm after we went 3-10 or even now that we are in last place 3.5 games back and sitting at 8-11. There are so many good things happening!

Justin Maxwell?! Who would of thought. Our “thin” outfield now when Hunter comes back is all of sudden thick with 4 guys that can get it done and rotate throw keeping injury prone Pagan healthy and I don’t have to yell at Gregor as much or with such passion as I can just say oh he is a bench player giving a guy a rest…I can swallow his 0-5 and 1-4 nights much easier if I know he won’t be back in the line up for another week.

Chris Heston…what a stud. Yes he had his “welcome to Coors Field” night but he still battled and kept going after hitters and getting it done. I worry a bit about Casey but hell Bochy has faith in him and I have faith in Bochy…though when Duffy comes in and plays so well it is hard to watch Casey hit into double play after double play. I am a bit concerned about the Vogie spot in the rotation but he did well last start and it sounds like they will let him start in LA against the Dodgers Wednesday against Greinke…we will see.

Bottom line I love baseball and I am pretty confident when we get our guys back (Cain what is the deal with him) and our hitters start hitting we will be fine. That said the West is going to be a brawl. The Padres are for real, the dodgers are stacked and hell the Rockies and DBacks are not going to roll over this year.

Other News…
If you would like me to take you fishing, share knowledge about fishing/rivers/and how to catch them with fur and feather along with hearing my opinions on baseball and music here are my available dates…
June 10-12, 22, 26, 29, 30
July 9, 10 , 12, 14, 17, 19-23

August 8, 9, 22, 23, 29, 30