Friday, March 13, 2015

My conversion to "Flash Light Epoxy"...and the retiring of my epoxy wheel and dusty baker tooth pick holder bobblehead.

So I have been a little late…like a few years or so late…to as I have called it, the “flash light epoxy” party. I have had my reasons…when I look in a fly shop, online, in a catalog, or any other retailer I have NO IDEA what I need to buy nor do I want to pay what a flash light and what amounts to epoxy costs. I don’t know what I want…thick, thin, brush on application, squeeze bottle, magnum light….I have followed the basic if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, we don’t leave fish to find fish, and what works works mantras.

My epoxy turner and 2.99 tubes of 5 minute epoxy from Lowes work just fine…I have a stack of 3x5 cards and toothpicks to mix and apply it and put my flies on the wheel ounce done. I actually have the whole process down to a science for the most part…a beautifully efficient and coordinated dance…I may be a little enamored with myself or have a self inflated opinion of my epoxy application to over glorified craft materials on hooks but the bottom line is I had a good program working.

Finally after seeing enough posts on Instagram and Facebook of REALLY COOL bait fish patterns with these supper clean built up epoxy heads and realizing that ounce again water is going to be low this year and I am going to have to fish some light lines and light flies for stripers on the river I broke down and said “I gotta figure this out”…cause I am going to be straight up here…when I apply epoxy to my clousers they look fine, just as good as any “flash light epoxy” thing…when I try to build up a epoxy head 9 times out of 10 they look like crap and get hung on the wall as “decoration” or as “gifts” to my son, and even my 6year old looks at a few of them as “ya dad uhhh I might never ever fish that…but I’ll take it anyway….even though at 6years old I can tie one that looks WAY better”

So, I got in touch with my buddy Matt Callies who works for Loon…Now there are a few of companies that make this “flash light epoxy” stuff but I know Matt and I felt completely comfortable admitting that I am a complete neophyte and still in the stone age using expoxy so I hit him up. That and Loon is the leader in consciously produced fishing products…like floatant that dosen’t leave an oil slick in the water coming of your dry fly, so I felt pretty sure that the stuff wouldn’t cause chemical burns, the light wouldn’t burn out my eye balls, or the fumes wouldn’t poison my children.

Matt is not only an AMAZING and INCREDIBLY innovative fly tier…and in my opinion very under appreciated and recognized…he is very good at teaching complex fly tying in a simple straight forward manner. He basically told me I need the Loon UV Clear Fly Finish thick and think …..there was two bottles of stuff I needed “thick” for head build up and “thin” for like epoxy heads, backs, and thin layer stuff and of course a light…get the big one he said…the MAGNUM. If there is a magnum size offered why would I buy any less right.
Flash Light Epoxy...I am a convert...and yes that is a Dusty Baker tooth pick holder bubblehead in the background that has become very insignificant now.
So I tried the Loon UV Clear Fly Finish thick this morning for the first time. I had tied up some small baitfish patterns to fish for small and largemouth bass on the river next week and figured this was a good time to try the stuff out. My “epoxy build up head” fly repertoire is pretty limited and most of my baitfish flies have lead eyes. The flies I decided to try the Loon UV Clear Fly Finish thick on were just basic glue some stick on eyes and build up a head around it flies…pretty simple stuff. I can happily report that all the flies I have deemed fishable and went into to one of my boat boxes to be fished. The process was pretty simple, squeeze bottle in one hand light in the other and lay down some goop, hit it with the light, lay down a bit more, and hit it with the light until I got the head I wanted. This seemed to be the easiest and cleanest way to do it…I tried laying down all the goop at ounce and then hitting it with the light and that worked, but the material shifted a bit as I laid more and more down on the head …I liked the lay a bit down, hit it with the light, lay more down, hit it with the light better, this approach created a more uniform head.

Not a bad first batch...not perfect but fishable

Baby bass...aka striper food 

Baby bass...aka bigger bass food size
My deduction is that I am going to use this stuff a lot more and realistically tie many more flies that have epoxy heads vs. lead eyes as now it is MUCH easier and much more efficient. I think that will open up some new fishing opportunities for me as over the last few years I have really started fishing shallower water and submerged weed beds on the Sac for stripers with a lot of luck with a fairly limited fly selection. I will try the Loon UV Clear Fly Finish thick and think on a bunch more stuff…mayfly/stonefly backs, my clousers, and a few bass flies I am sure. I’ll get some more pictures up as I work with this stuff. Old Dog learned new Trick.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Reports, Baseball, not much else...fewer words but same value.

So, rain seems to allude Nor Cal but the mountains got some snow last weekend which is much needed. I just pulled up the month long forecast on Accuweather and it does forecast some coming storms in the coming 2 weeks…that would be very nice. That said this weekend and next wee we will see highs in the Mid 70’s…beautiful weather for March! This weather is definatley getting fishing going in many areas! Here is what is going on and what is coming up!

Lower Yuba River is fishing good. I have not been on the river much but have talked to Ryan Johnston, Jon Baiocchi, and Dave Barbieri who have and the fishing is good. There have been plenty of march browns around and fish are CHOWING on the nymphs…Ryan J who helps me develop and fish many of my flies said the March Madness Nymph was working really really well out there. I know Kienes Fly Shop in Sacramento will be getting some of the first shipments of these flies from Montana Fly Co. so give them a call and order some if you want to give them a try. Dave B said that the dry fly fishing and nymph fishing have been all good basicly the fish are on the feed again…which means go out and fish how you want. That is the beauty of the Yuba when the fish are eating there is a lot of ways to catch them. Fishing should only get better through March and April, especially if we get some Rain!

Lower Sacramento River Trout – Fishing has been good just a bit weird. River is fishable and clarity is about 2-3 feet but fish are not keying on the bugs yet. Caddis, Baetis and a few March
Nice Lower Sac March Trout
Browns are out but all fish are eating is eggs…kinda weird to be honest. Fishing should only improve over the month of march as the fish get on the Caddis, March Brown, and PMD hatches.

Great size spring run fish

Lower Feather Spring Steelhead – there are fair numbers of spring steelhead in the feather river right now and nymphing and swung fly fishing is catching a few. I prefer to swing flies on light spey/switch rods and with warmer weather the fish are getting grabby. The Month of March and April will see the bulk of spring half pounders and adults move up into the river.


Stripers – No reports of pushes of migratory stripers moving up through Colusa but with the water clearing and temperatures warming resident fish are getting active. March and April are great months for migratory and resident fish before the shad show up.

Shad – should be a nother good year for shad with the lower flows…may will be here soon so get your shad fishing planned.

Full Days Open:
April 19
May 2, 3, 16, 23-25, 30
June 6-18, 22, 25-30
July 1, 2, 6-10, 12, 14, 17-23
August 4-9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
Evening Dates for Shad and Bass on the Lower Sac
April 14-16, 21-24, 27-30
May 4-7, 14-15, 18, 19, 21, 22-25, 26, 28, 29
June 1-4, 6-18

Sports Report: So two cames into spring training and the best looking pitcher so far…Tim Lincecum. He looked GOOD coming after Mad Bum gave up 1.2ip, 5h, and 4r. Peavy wasn’t much better yesterday either though his line would of looked a lot better if Adrianza hadn’t booted a double play ball…What ever though it is 2 spring training games in and I am just happy to have baseball back on the radio each day, Murph and Mac talking to Kruik and Kipper each morning on my drive to work, and Baggs writing a column to read every morning…Vogie takes the mound today against the, ounce again, revamped cubs so should be interesting to see how that goes. Crawford and Romo have sore shoulders but should be OK…I am really waiting for the debut of Cain in a week or so…I love baseball!

Fly Update: Many of my new and revisions of old patterns are shipping out in the next few weeks to dealers that ordered them for March Ship dates. Locally I know Kiene’s Fly Shop will have some in the Sacramento Area and available for order I am sure if you call.  Toll Free (USA):+1 (800) 400-0359

If you local shop does not have new flies like the Amigo, March Madness, Spring Creek Geek and others ASK for them! They can always place fill in orders or add them to existing pre seasons possibly!

CAST HOPE Fly fishing Show After Party!
Thanks to all that came out to support cast hope at the after party event or stopped by the Cast Hope booth at The Fly Fishing Show – The even was great and we raised a good amount of money for Cast Hope! So Thank you to all that supported the event. We will be hosting an after party next year as well so if you didn’t make it this year make sure you make plans for next year as the event will continue to grow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cast Hope Event, Reports, Upcoming fishing, Light to moderate Alcohol consumption, and sports reports

Yes we need rain but gosh the weather has been beautiful...we need rain so bad and the weather has been so nice I have felt guilty enjoying the weather as I know its needs to be miserable with rain. That said there is no sense fighting or worrying about things we can't control, like the weather...though I worry anyway.

CAST HOPE: Beer, Sliders, and Wings at the Pub! 
Cast Hope is hosting an "After Party" on Saturday Feb 21 at Handles Gastro Pub in Old Town Pleasanton (855 Main St. Pleasanton) from 4-8pm after The Fly Fishing Show this weekend. Tickets are $20 and $10 with Fly Fishing Show ticket stub. This includes food and more Beer than you can drink and legally operate machinery or an automobile. 

There will be AN AMAZING raffle and silent auction with some ridiculously cool stuff! Cast Hope will have a booth at the Show and be selling tickets there so stop by and see us and hope to see everyone at the event! 

For more information, to bid on an item online, or buy raffle tickets (you need not be present at the event to win) visit the web site HERE

Nice Yuba 18"er from this weekend

Lower Yuba RiverSpent the last 4 days or so on the Lower Yuba River guiding clients. Fishing was fair to good depending on the day it seemed and the mood of the fish. Water clarity is about 2' with a nice green tint and flows are at 750cfs. Fish seemed to be podded up, atleast actively feeding fish, and working a run that has fish in it I found to be the key. Our "grabs" came all at ounce in certain runs and then not at all for a while. Bug activity was pretty good but really mixed MANY different types of mayflies were out...a few march browns, PMD's, Baeits, Brown Drakes...and I am sure some more I didn't know. Skwalas are about done as the ones I did see were spent on the water after laying eggs and I did not see any in the rocks. I also saw a decent number of caddis and fish eating the caddis at times. They are the small early spring tan body dark winged caddis, like a number #16...For flies I couldn't find any pattern day to day or even throughout the day. Fish were caught on march brown nymphs, baetis nymphs, olive caddis pupa, red copper johns, rubber legs, and a few different egg patterns. I switched patterns up ALOT trying to find a pattern and the pattern seem to be there was none, seemed more important to find feeding and willing fish. Dry fly fishing was poor on most days I think based on the clarity but we did get a few fish to bump a low riding skwala pattern. Tried fishing caddis and mayfly dries with no luck, that said I never did find consistently rising fishing just typical yuba one and done fish. 

Upcoming Fishing
Hard to forecast much with regards to fishing as so much of it is water dependent but here is a try...

Lower Yuba River: Fishing should stay fair to good throughout the spring but really how things go depends on if we get some rain. Low Flows (below 1000cfs) are brutal on the Yuba as the fish see a TON of pressure so the fish can get pretty moody.

Lower Sacramento River Trout: Clarity is the issue here and as long as we get the rain we need that will remain an issue as the lake muddies up. That said from what I have heard clarity is getting better on the upper river, but that is a double edge sword as better clarity will mean we are not getting the rain we need. March is usually one of the best months of the year to fish the Lower Sac so we will see...

Lower Feather Spring Steelhead: March through mid May is best out here and this is going to be a good year hopefully if water conditions can improve a bit. Swinging flies is my method of choice out here on the switch rods as I have found over the last 3 years these fish will eat a swung fly just as well as they will a nymph on most days.

Striper, Shad, and Bass: Spring is prime bass time and the shad should be right around the corner from that as well as the migratory and resident striper fishing. This fishing is probably the easiest to predict as flows on the Sac are going to be stable and low most of the spring and summer no matter what we get for water as dams and pumps will be working over time hold or store what ever water we get...Clarity can be an issue but with stripers clarity is not much of an issue in my opinion, Shad clarity can be an issue and bass on the rivers clarity is a mild concern.
- Shad fishing will kick into gear early to mid May and last through mid June
- Migratory striper fishing will kick into gear mid March through Mid May
- Resident striper fishing can kick into gear Mid march but mid June through september is prime time.

Open Dates:
May 2, 3, 9, 16, 17, 23-25,
June 6-18, 22, 25-30,
July 1, 6-12, 14-24
August 4-9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

Sports News...
Such a great time of year! I got the recruiting issue of Blue and Gold Magazine with all the news on the Notre Dame recruits and impending quarterback controversy/competition between Golson and Zaire...Going to be a great spring practice and game this year. I am not sure who I am pulling for I think the 6-0, last second loss to Fl St. Golson can lead us to the playoffs but the 22 turnovers Golson of the last half of the season that made me want to jump of the hey 20 bridge could kill me if I have to watch another season of that...Zaire is a stud and runs like a horse but it is very clear from what I have seen he doesn't have the arm or knowledge of the Offense that Golson does .... I don't I just want to win and not watch us throw games away like we did ALL second half of last season. 
Two Great things...beginning of baseball and spring football at ND

Also in sporting news TODAY IS THE DAY! pitchers and catchers report for the SF Giants and our World Series Defending season....I know nothing really happens for a few weeks and spring training games are really not the regular season but atleast I can read, listen to talk about, and follow baseball again. The NBA makes me sick and college basketball is fun and I follow ND basketball, who is tearing it up this season, I just can't get into basketball like I do baseball. I have no predictions about the giants this year as my mantra is "Trust in Bochy"...I am curious though to see how Pagan, Cain, Timmy, Hudson, Vogie, Belt, Panik and SO many other players show other news looks like Pablo showed up in shape to boston camp...

designated hitter written all over that physique
Light to Moderate Alcohol Consumption I have quite drinking for the most part. No beer. Way to many calories and in my quest to loose weight I can't do it...beers are like potato chips, I can't have just one...not like I am going to throw back a 6 pack every night but I could have a nice IPA or 3 every night or so if I let myself as I LOVE good beer. That said I did get a few nice bottles of scotch over the holidays and I have let me self enjoy ONE glass or small sniffer of these a few times over the last few months. Macallan 12 and Four Roses are the two I have been enjoying the most...Four Roses is a new one to me and was a gift from a good friend. It is REALLY GOOD! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Storm, Rock and Roll, and Haymakers Punch.

Here comes the storm…
So the storm is coming today and in some areas it may already be here. We need the rain bad and it seems funny how this year we may get our water and snow pack in big storms not steady medium to small storms…what ever I’ll take what we can get. Here some reports and what is coming up…
 Lower Yuba River – I have been on the Lower Yuba River a lot lately. Flows have been as low as I have ever seen for a while now, 550cfs. Fishing has been tough but rewarding. Low and clear flows create  challenging fishing, but I will say the fish we are catching are good quality fish. Most days we are nymphing, fishing dry flies, and swinging flies with some success. With the low flows I have been getting out of the boat a lot wade fishing runs before I put the boat down them then fishing the deeper water out of the boat. Fish have been in most of the runs, but I would say they are in water that provides cover and food. Deep runs, which there at not a ton of at 550cfs, and up in the fast water in the buckets is where I have been seeing most of the fish caught. 
Great swing water at 550cfs on the Lower Yuba
Hatches have been decent but inconsistent. On warmer days there are a few skwalas out and about and most days I see a few fish eating them with big splashy rises. Most days if an angler wants to commit to fishing skwala dries they will rise a few fish. The most consistent dry fly fishing has been the Baeits and Brown Drake hatches in the slicks. In various areas fish will consistently come up and feed on duns, cripples, and emergers but they are about as picky and spooky as it comes. 6-7x is mandatory on a long 12’ plus leader on an down stream presentation. I put a pod of fish down the other day by slowly hand lining my anchor down about 60-80’ away from them …tough fish. 
Best nymphs have been small, size #16 and smaller mayfly nymphs have been best. That said I have caught a few fish on bigger attractor nymphs and rubber legs but not many. The best skwala dries have been one with a nice low profile and I think finding a willing fish is more important then the pattern. I have had some decent luck with fish eating mayflies by dropping a no bead no flash #16-18 PT off the back of a hackle stacker. 
The coming storm should add some flows as Deer Creek will most likely blow out and this will add some color to the river. I imagine the river will fish really good with some color and additional flows but I imagine the river will drop and clear pretty quick without consistent rain. 
Lower Sacramento River Trout – A buddy of mine guided the Lower Sac for 3 days last weekend from Posse Grounds down to Balls Ferry fishing was poor to fair. Clarity got better the farther down river as the Lake is still blown out. That said he did get around 10-15 fish one day which isn’t bad but it is not great for this time of year on the Lower Sac. I imagine this big storm coming in is going to put the river back to square one though as it will blow out the lake more, all the tribs, and muddy everything up again for a while…not looking good for trout fishing in March which is one of the best months of the year on the Lower Sac. 

Lower Sacramento River Striper – For winter striper fishing it has been fair. The fish are around and we have been averaging a few opportunities a day with a few largemouth and smallmouth mixed in. Most fish are good fish but it is obvious that the 55degree water still has the fish a bit lethargic as grabs are not very aggressive and many fish come unbuttoned pretty easy. The hatchery released the yearly salmon smolt Tuesday so with any high water over the next few days should push those fish down river and get the resident stripers keyed up over the next few weeks. Clarity has not been much of an issue down out of chico as by the time the river gets down here it clears enough to feel confident the fish are seeing your flies. Striper and bass fishing is going to be one of the more consistent fishing I think over the next few months. 
Chuck searching for stripers
Rock and Roll Report – One of the best bands I have found in the last year is American Aquirium…The CD Burn, Flicker, Die has been in steady rotation for awhile now. This CD is great…they went into record it with Jason Isbell as their swan song. Record the songs and be DONE! And the Cd has that finality and intensity. They kept going though and their new CD Wolves that just came out this week is an amazing “at piece” type of album, at piece with their lifestyle choice, carreer, and their place in music. Both albums are ones that I put on and listen to from start to finish, no bad songs. 
I also started both my boys in music lessons…building the family band. Beckett has been pounding it out on the drums and Ollie has been learning “Smoke on the Water” and the “Spy Hunter” theme…good stuff. Been watching some sweet Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix videos on You Tube which is pretty fun. 
Just a few gigs away from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Fitness report replacing the booze news – Still working on eating healthy and running, I have made a deal with myself that if I get to my goal weight I get some new ink…that said I refuse to start looking at, or thinking about drawing up what I want until I am consistently at my goal weight…that said I did have to buy  5 new pairs of pants as many of my old ones don’t fit so that was rewarding. 
Home Brew Switchel

I also am completely into brewing and drinking Switchel or “Haymakers Punch”…my buddy Chuck shared his home brew with me on a fishing trip and I am completely addicted to this stuff. Part of it is the historical significane of it being the original gatorade but I won't lie it is really refreshing and tastes good. Also I won't like it is kinda cool brewing something and putting it in mason jars.
Sports Report - Sucks to be Pete Carol or a sea hawks fan...that said who cares pitchers and catchers report in roughly two weeks and national signing day was yesterday so baseball and college football talk is all I care about. Notre Dames class did not get the normal top 10 ranking, but 13 is nothing to bat an eye at. I think a lot of it is they went Offensive and Defensive line heavy. They did land a few nice WR and a TE that I think might make somes contributions in the next year or two. Big question with ND is who is going to play QB. 

Giants...lets just get the gloves, spikes, and bats and start playing. Need to see who shows up and what they got to really have any opinion at this point. Cain, Lincecum, Mad Bum, Pagan, Belt, what are we gonna get out of these guys. I did get a nice all weather wifi speaker so all game time guide trips will come with a free radio broadcast of the days game via the MLB package on my cell phone...Free with Purchase of guide trip, no extra fee! if you are a fan of another team you still will listen to my team, sorry.

Monday, January 19, 2015

reports, sports, lack of booze news...

Here we are mid January and things about how they usually are mid January the last few years…there are some options, though limited and weather dependent, AND in need of rain….

Lower Yuba River - I spent two days on the Lower Yuba River over the weekend and fishing was poor to sorta fair. The river is low 550cfs and clearing everyday. I would say that it is about a few days away from gin clear. There are bugs out and fish eating but I think the low and clear flows are starting to really affect the fishing. I have yet to see a skwala adult but have risen a few fish to skwala dries, nothing I would term as "good skwala dry fly fishing" …. that said I am of the opinion that the skwala hatch is one of the more overrated hatches on the Yuba. I think many anglers get blinded by the throwing of big dry flies in january and forget about how many fish they actually rise or catch on a skwala dry…that said there are good days but it is pretty inconsistent compared to other hatches. 

Most fish that I saw come to the surface were taking Mayflies. There are some darker traditional BWO's in a #18 coming off at times, some lighter size #16 mayflies coming off in what seems better numbers, and there are some bank emerging mayflies in a size#12-14 that around. They look like gray drakes but I think they are some sort of Isonychia. I saw a ton of them on rocks right at the rivers edge drying their wings and then got a picture of some schuks on the rocks as well.  We tried fishing #14 may fly and a #16 in likely mayfly water and did not rise a fish. Most of our fish came nymphing with rubber legs, egg patterns, and variations of flash back Pheasant Tails in sizes 16-14. One thing I did have to do with the lower flows is lighten up my weight and go to a much smaller nymph rig…smaller indicator and lighter weight. 
Looks like Isonychia schucks to me…not sure though
Not many fish but some nice ones

With the current flows I think the wade angler has the advantage in most spots as banging a boat down a run and then fishing it is a little tough and there is not enough flow in the flats to make the deeper water a likely holding place. I think the best thing for a boat angler is to actually get out and wade fish the runs before putting the boat down them. Just my 2 cents. 

Nice close up of a great fish

Butte Creek - We need rain!

Lower Sacramento River - As many know Lake Shasta is blown out and this is resulting in the river from Redding down being really muddy. This could take months to clear up and that is a pretty crappy situation. That said a few guys are going out and trying to catch fish with very very limited success. Not good news for February and March which are GREAT months on the Lower Sac for trout. 

IN other Sac news the salmon smolt are making their way out and I have made a few jaunts out to see if  some of the bigger stripers are feeding. I have had some luck finding fish but not much luck getting them to eat…saw some blow ups and got a few half hearted tugs last time I was out but that was about it. 

Music News - discovered a great band…American Aquarium from Raleigh North Carolina. GREAT americana, southern rock style band. They have a few albums out but have new one coming out Feb 3 that I am anxiously awaiting. Just great songs about life with 3 guitars, keyboard, and lap steel!…can't go wrong with that combo. Check out their website and watch the videos for "Wolves" and "The Man I am Supposed to be" off the new album coming out plus they have all their previous albums to listen to as well via sound cloud. Good stuff.

FITNESS NEWS in Place of Booze News…Fitness news, not proud…So, I am pretty good about getting my yearly physical in August and this year my doctor in my home town laid it out for me…I have had the same doctor sense I was like 18 and he is about as avid a fly fishermen as there comes…owns property on the Madison, Fished spey rods back when Sage made the Traditional and European Action models…built his own wood drift boat…so when he lays it down, he doesn't hold back…we got history. So he told me I had some high cholesterol, was one percent away on my BMI from being obese and I wasn't getting any younger…He basically told me what I knew….. I was 35 eating, drinking, and living like I was 25 and I needed to make a change…"I row a drift boat for exercise" didn't really work anymore. 

Now don't worry I didn't go join one of those meat head gyms or drink the coolaid at one of those Cross Fit Cults that think jumping up and down on a box is a sport (Cross Fit games is not a sport - just saying)….though I did buy a fitbit aka the over 35 soccer mom watch. What I did do was really start to watch what I eat - no cheese, fried food, limit red meat, no snacking, no desert, and a whole lot less drinking - really no drinking. I also started running about 2-3 miles everyday I am not guiding…good news I have lost 20lbs or so, bad news it sucks. As Darrin Deel said with complete seriousness and honesty, "you know Gabe would call you a pussy"…I hung my head and said…"yes, yes he would" 

running sucks, not drinking sucks, eating healthy sucks - someone asked me are you training for a marathon or race…no just long life and many fishing trips with my kids. All that said I feel better then I have in years, have more energy, sleep better, recover faster from activity, you name it…I love scotch, onion rings, and butter but feeling good is worth it! --- Long way around the "I have no booze news" news. 

Sports Report - I have some issues with what the giants are doing for 2015 but I have no critique as I have put all my faith in the organization and am residing myself to just wait and watch…no bitching with 3 world series under the current regime. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mid Holiday Drift - Fishing reports, music, sports, rambling...

So, here we are in the “mid Holiday drift” between Christmas and new years…one more blow out on New Years before we settle back into the grind of the new year. Christmas with my two boys is always a TON of fun. At 4 and 6 they are in the middle of the childhood frenzy that surrounds Christmas, Santa, and all things that surround the holiday. Things are settling back down though, the legos have been built, the toys have all been assembled, and the total overwhelmingness of mass amounts of new toys has subsided. My wife went on her post Christmas neurotic cleaning binge removing all signs of Christmas from the house and putting things back “in order”…. Living with an interior designer is nice, works for her to as I could care less about most things and she gives me my office to do what ever I want with, granted it is in the back of the house and she keeps the door closed at all times.

I took a few days off but got back on the river yesterday and will be back out again the rest of the week after a day off today. Really the only place in my neck of the woods to fish is the Lower Yuba River and Butte Creek. The Lower Sac is muddy with a little less then a foot of visability as from what I have heard Lake Shasta is blown out….at this point it may be a while for the L. Sac to get back to fishable. No word on the Feather but I imagine it is some what fishable if you want to go to the opener chaos on Jan 1. Here are some reports…

Lower Yuba River – Flows are around 700 with good clarity, there is color to the river but that perfect dark green color that allows fish to see your flies but not get totally freaked out with a low flow and clear water. All my clients fish have come on nymphs or swung flies. Best nymphs have been egg patterns, stonefly nymphs, and any attractor nymph. There has been a sparse baetis and gray drake hatch but I couldn’t get any of the fish to eat smaller mayfly nymphs and medium size mayfly nymphs. I looked in all my normal spots for fish to be sipping the baetis and drakes but never found any, not to say they aren’t there they just weren’t when I looked. Clarity may still be an issue. Also no skwala sightings yet either, in reality I usually don’t see many unitl Jan or feb.

Not bad for an 11year old...
Maxine getting it done on the Lower Yuba
This is a great time of year and the river is in great shape to get out and swing flies on a light switch or spey rod. Most of the fish we have hooked on swung flies have come on olive’ish streamer patterns, something that looks like an Alvin or salmon smolt. I have yet to try swinging stonefly nymphs but I will soon as the skwalas make their migration to the bank over the next month.

Swing'em up
Yuba Trout
Butte Creek – I have not been out sense the last rain but the flows are stable at about 250cfs which is a great flow for wade fishing. Talked to a buddy who floated the creek and he did OK, fish he said are pretty spread out so if you go cover water. I am thinking another good rain is needed to move some fish up from the Sac but who knows. I will be out there in a week or so pretty heavily as Jan is the month I fish it the most.

Sports Report – BOWL SEASON…a true Christmas present. So far so good with the bowl season. Notre Dame Plays today and lets be honest I have no idea what to expect…coach Kelly is starting a new QB and LSU’s Defense is NAILS so might get ugly but hopefully we have healed up on Defense over the break and can hang with a sub par LSU offense.

Also been enjoying watching the Warriors. I am not a huge NBA fan but the Warriors are fun to watch. It is also fun having a team to root for during the time between College football and spring training…NFL is not my thing though I watch it a bit if I am home. Yes I do play fantasy football but really only to talk smack to my buddies as I have finished last place in my league the last two years…might have something to do with the fact I draft based on if the player went to Notre Dame or not, if they played for a hated rival they have no shot. I then set my roster like ounce or twice in September and then don’t pay attention to it at all. I really see it as a gift to my buddies who are, lets be honest, WAY obsessed with the whole fantasy football thing. For me it is a little to close to 16 sided dice and painting figures of wizards while carrying a fat stack of pokemon cards in your back pocket if you know what I mean.

Music – Lots of tunes have been rotating through my ears…Really been getting back into built to spill, dinosaur Jr, and centro matic…Fuzzed out mid tempo guitar rock for guys that grew up in the 90’s. The Centro Matic channel on Pandora is GREAT! I am digging on that right now, the Ryan Adams channel usually gets me going until I am through with my first cup of coffee though. Haven’t really bought and CD’s lately…On that note I hate not having a record/music store in chico, maybe I am just getting old and should completely commit to this whole digital music thing but I am still like having a CD. May need to make a trip to Sac of SF to Amoeba or something and just spend a few dollars.

Get out there people! No one ever said they fished to much

Saturday, December 13, 2014

delayed because of the perceived apocalypse...

So this post was suppose to go up Wednesday to keep in line with new fly wednesday and all but the arrival of the storm of the century it has been delayed…It was a big storm here in Nor Cal and yes every river is raging but in the grand scheme of things it was a normal storm…Rain was concentrated in a short period and really helped with our rain totals, reservoir levels, and such but at least in our area the wind did not materialize as forecasted and that is really what wrecks havoc. So here goes...

I am going to combine some posts here…in honor of the storm of the century that is rolling into to Nor Cal tonight I am going to provide some reading material for the public…not fine literature or anything more like dribble to drink coffee, whiskey, or beer to…wine may be a bit to high class for this so if you are drinking a glass a wine while reading this do one of two things…1) pour it out and get a beer or glass of water 2) set this blog aside and look at CNN, BBC, NPR, or Fox News/MSNBC (what ever your hideously biased political website of choice is).


In honor of my promise to bring “new flies” to the public under the auspice of "New Fly Wednesday" I will introduce my spring creek geek in PMD and BWO. This is a very special fly to be as its origins can be traced back to a late night tying session in the guide house at Clearwater lodge with my good friend Gabe Duran who passed away almost a year ago this winter. Gabe and I were messing around with tying PMD nymphs and I was explained to my theory on  keeping nymphs trim and how using only 3 PT fibers on your basic Pheasant Tails for the Fall River keep the standard PT much trimmer – like the PMD nymphs in the river. He shared a new dubbing he was using to dub the body of his PMD nymphs so I started tweaking with some ideas and the first versions of the Geek were born.

Spring Creek Geek - PMD
Spring Creek Geek - BWO
This fly was originally designed as a really stripped down bug to fish the gin clear, slow moving waters of Fall River and Hat Creek. It is trim with no bead and one strand of flash. I have found that fish get hip to copper and gold beads at times, especially while eating small PMDs and BWOs in the flats. I tie this fly on a scud hook as it is a pattern that I fish leading up to, or during, a hatch and a scud hook best imitates the nymphs as gas builds under their exo-skeleton and they make the migration to the surface to emerge. As the season went on I also tied this fly to match BWO and Baetis hatches that fish would key on as the weather got colder.

I have fished this fly on the Lower Yuba, Lower Sac, and Feather for spring steelhead as well as the Pit, NF Feather, NF Yuba, and a few other places. I added the tungsten bead based on Jake Chutz recommendation at MFC. I am not a big tungsten guy but in many areas of the west tungsten beads are key to getting flies down fishing dry and dropper rigs. I fished the tungsten bugs on the Lower Yuba this last winter and spring and it fished just fine. Overall this fly is very effective nymph or dropper off of a dry fly during or prior to a hatch where fish are a bit skeptical of beads and flashy flies. 
Spring Creek Geek Tungsten - PMD

Spring Creek Geek Tungsten - BWO


Everything blew out big…wait. With this influx of water we should have a great late december early january this year. Flows will drop as reservoirs are low and as the Yuba, Sac, and butte creek clear fishing should be good - May even get out for some winter striper fishing the feather and sac if the flows cooperate. Either way should be some great swing fishing, skwala fishing, and maybe even a baetis hatch. 

Open Winter Dates:
Dec 23, 27-31
Jan 2, 4-10, 18, 19, 24, 25
Feb 8, 9, 14-16, 28


Been listening to some great new music…

NORTHCOTE - aka Matt Goud - I discovered when Gas Light Anthem announced he would be opening for them on their next tour leg. He is offering his EP "Invisible Diamonds" on his website as a free down load and after I listened to that I bought his most recent album on iTunes - "Northcote". He is from Eastern Canada, but don't hold that against him. Great song writer and great mix of rock, americana, indie rock, and country. Check out the videos on his website of the lowville sessions…really really good!

AMERICAN AQUARIUM N - found these guys over iTunes…kinda country, southern rock, indie rock, alt-country…still sorting through these guys albums and songs. they have a new album coming out soon that I may wait for.