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, 

REPORTS

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.

Music…
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.

Sports…
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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kiene's Fair

Just wanted to let everyone know I will be at the Kiene's American Fly Fishing Company this saturday with the Cast Hope Booth as well as helping with the Simms Booth. 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Been a while sense my last blog post…been very busy with all sorts of things in my life, so been a bit lax on updating. Spring is here one week and winter is here the next right now. Last week was gorgeous even when the wind was ripping and this weekend in the cold weather and today a nice storm moved in though it will be back in the low 70s by the end of the week. I have spent a lot of time on the water recently so I will start with some reports…

Lower Sacramento Trout – March is by far one of the best months on the Lower Sac. I have been fishing between Anderson and Jelly’s ferry mainly but did spend one day floating from Posse Grounds to Bonnie View. Fishing has been good to very good with LOTS of opportunities each day to hook fish. On some days the grabs have been very quick so hooking up can be a challenge others they seem to jump on the fly and the molasses I am dazing off watching birds hook set can get it done. Best bugs have been rubber legs, Hogan’s Amigo in Brown, Hogan’s March Madness Nymph, RK Flutulator in March Brown, #18 Amber Wing Prince, #18 Dark Lord, and a few other small mayfly type patterns. Clarity could be an issue with the recent rain as it rained pretty hard in a short amount of time but I am sure it will clear shortly if it is colored up.
Lower Sac Trout
Lower Sac Trout
Lower Sac Trout

Lower Sacramento River Bass – I spent one day out exploring some spots for Largemouth and Smallmouth bass and it still seems a bit early. Water temps in the river are 57-59 and back in the sloughs the water temps barely get over 60 so with a window of 55-65 degrees to kick spawning in it should be any time. I fish sub surface pretty hard and found a few willing fish but no one on beds or looking like they were looking to spawn. Who knows though as the river is a tough one to figure out.

Lower Yuba River – I continue to hear that fishing has been really good with great dry fly fishing but I continue to stay away with flows around 550cfs. The word on the street is that flows will come up to 1500cfs in May some time so as the Lower Sac is traditionally tough in May I will spend most of my trout days on the Lower Yuba.

Lower Feather – Spring Steelhead -  Fishing remains consistent for adult and half pound spring run steelhead. The recent rains should help move any fish that have been waiting up river. Swinging flies and drifting nymphs have been catching fish about as equally well. The giant spring caddis have started to hatch and swing flies on floating lines and intermediate tips along with fishing dry flies should get going through April.

Not bad for the first fish of the morning.
Nice Spring Steelhead from the Feather
Trout Season – Opens here soon…a few weeks away. Fishing should be good early this year on most trout water. I will most likely get up to the NF Feather with in the first few weeks to get my licks in up there as with the drought fishing is going to be tough ounce the water warms up. I would say the best advice is go early this year. Don’t wait to long to get your trout days in as this summer is going to be a tough one for trout fishing in the mountains.

…That said spring and summer striper fishing is going to be GOOD with limited interruptions from run off the stripers will be active and fishing should be good May-September. Low water means good weeds and great bait for our resident and migratory fish. Book early this year as dates are already getting taken up.

Music Report – I have been all over the place lately…kinda on one of my Pandora kicks, listening to all my random stations on Pandora…my favorites are my Lucero Channel, Chuck Ragan Channel, and Ryan Adams Channel…… Gas Light Anthem Channel is good one to. I haven’t really bought any new Albums in awhile either even though I have listened to a ton of stuff on I Tunes looking for something to buy just haven’t pulled the trigger….

NEWS FLASH – I am really excited to announce that I have signed on with Spy Optics as an Ambassador/Pro. Spy has a long history in the surf, motor-cross, snowboard, skate, rally car, etc…with goggles and eye wear and they are getting into and developing lenses and glasses for fishing. They have signed myself and my good friend Conway Bowman from Bowman Bluewater in San Diego to help develop a fishing line of glasses. I have been working with a bunch of proto types of lens tints and have a bunch of new pairs of glasses for clients to wear in the boat. The thing I am most impressed with so far is no matter how dark the tint of the lense Spy has developed the ability to maintain true color penetration – meaning that everything stays true to its color, so changes in water color that indicate depth or the color of a bug all remain true no matter how dark the tint of the lenses…pretty cool. It is really fun to work with a company on the ground level to develop a specific fishing line of glasses. Check out spy at http://www.spyoptic.com and make sure to watch their video below on “Happy Lenses”


Appearances – IT IS FLY SHOP FAIR/EXPO SEASON!!! FREE BBQ, RAFFLES, PRESENTATIONS, AND NEW PRODUCT!!!!

I will be at the Fisherman Spot in Van Nuys, CA this weekend, April 11 and 12th, in Southern California presenting both Saturday on “Northern California Stripers, Bass, and Shad on the Lower Sacramento River outside of Chico” and on Sunday I will be working the Simms Fishing Products booth and then presenting on “Northern California Tailwater Trout and Steelhead”  - Check out www.flyfishingexpo.net for more information and full slate of presentations and events…

come one come all
I will have the Cast Hope booth at the Kiene’s Expo on April 18th promoting what Cast Hope is doing in the Sacramento Area. The booth will be set up next to the Simms Fishing Products booth. Come one come all Nor Cal for free BBQ, new products, and raffles. Plus great conversation with me and anyone else hanging around the Cast Hope/Simms Booth.


Sports Report…I am so excited for the start of baseball season. The giants looks good last night in the opener but starting pitching is going to be a questions going forward. With Cain and Peavy skipping starts with health issues I get concerned. That said the top of the order looked great last night and Brandon Crawford came through in the bottom of the line up…Casey McGehee looked decent in his debut though he missed a ball to his back hand down the line that I have seen Pablo snag MANY times. That said he followed that up with a 6-4-3 double play so what ever and Pablo when 0-5 with 3K’s and Casey went 2-3…so far so good. Only 161 games left…

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.