Sunday, July 13, 2014

stripers, Trout, baseball, and beer...knowledge

It is the heart of summer here in Chico, CA…with weather to prove it. It has been a hot few weeks up here. Weather in the triple digits and high 90s have been the norm. With that comes good striper fishing, the opening of salmon season, and exoduses to the mountains or coast to escape the heat for most people….myself I embrace the heat and go striper fishing.

Striper fishing – Mid summer is prime striper time! I try to spend most of July –September chasing stripers on the Lower Sac from Butte City up through Los Molinos. Fishing so far has been good. There are plenty of “shakers” and “keeper” size fish with most days an angler on the boat will get a shot at a 10-20lb fish whether that is getting the fish to chase the fly to the boat, pull the fly out of the fisheses mouth right at the boat, hook and loose the fish, or if we are lucky land one. It just depends on the day it seems as to how the big fish behave.

Salmon season opens this coming week and that should change a few things on the river. From what I have heard the salmon run is going to be late this year with the low water which means warmer water, which from what some the guides I know have said will be a later run as the fish wait for colder water temps to move out of the day and up the river.  I am going to be taking the next week off and heading to Santa Cruz with the family as no matter how the fishing is or what the predictions are the river will be CROWDED for a few days until people realize there are no fish in the river yet. I will be back on the river on July 23 to see what is happening out there. As the salmon show up though most years we began to get more and more shots at bigger fish so if the beginning of the season is any indicator it should be a good year.

Trout Fishing…Lower Yuba: I did spend a day on the Lower Yuba this last week and it was a nice change of pace to get out and trout fish for a day. I would say the fishing was fair. The hooking of fish seemed to be fairly spaced out as we hooked fish in most runs. Seemed to hook smaller fish in the morning in the top part of the float and bigger fish during the afternoon lower in the float, I got no idea why. Fish seemed to be in the riffles and shallower water, we didn’t have much luck in the flats, most fish were up in the riffles or in some of the deeper slots. All our fish came on nymphs, S&M PMD nymphs, Brown and Coffee/black rubber legs, Hunch Back Flashback PT’s, and Olive Birds nest. I did have my clients throw some hoppers in a few of the best “hopper runs” I know of on the river and didn’t rise anyone. River is just about high enough to possibly move some fish into typical hopper water but I didn’t see one hopper. I also got out of the boat in a few spots I usually see hoppers most years and didn’t see any…I am not really sure how the whole hopper life cycle thing goes to be honest I just know that some years are really good hopper years on the Yuba some are terrible. Feast or famine for both the fly fishermen and trout.

Beer Report – I have been busy with the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 12 back. Full of 12 different beers brewed in conjuncture with 12 different breweries. 12 different brewers came to Sierra Nevada and brewed these 12 different beers….I have been trying to drink 2 a night and take some notes on them…here is here I am so far.
Myron’s Walk a Belgian Style Pale Ale brewed with Corriander brewed with Allagash Brewing Company – This is the first beer I tried and I won’t lie…it didn’t do much for me. Tast like the title…like someone mixed a pale ale with a Belgian ale. Had a nice fruity after tast but I though there might be a bit more furit flavor to it. On first taste it is nearly impossible to detect. Makes me wonder what those east coaster are doing and what they consider a good beer.

Yvan the Great a Belgian Style Blonde brewed with Russian River Brewing Company Now this saved the first tasting from mediocrity. This thing is good. Nice Belgian style fruitieness but not enough to linger and a nice hoppie finish. Pretty obvious these guys have the IPA American Grown Hop brew down to a science. 2 beers in to the 12 pack this thing is going to be hard to beat. I would buy a 12 pack of this and could drink this session style or with a meal.

Chico King Pale brewed with 3 Floyds Brewery – Not bad…tastes like a milder Sierra Pale Ale with a little more fruity finish instead of the hoppy finish of Sierra Pale Ale…I would buy a 6 pack…maybe not a 12 pack. It doesn’t seem to have a lasting taste, good but not great.

Torpedo Pilsner Hoppy Pilsner brewed with Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – This one is a hoppy kinda fruity lager with a nice malt body to it. I really liked this one. The big deal on the label says that it uses New Zealand hops…not sure those taste but I like the beer. I could drink these a few in a row. Good beer.

Baseball – Yes I know the giants are struggling but they finished strong today by taking 2-3 from the AZ D-Backs. I could go on about all the giants problems but lets just keep it real and say on most nights they are down right terrible…like I can’t make it past 4 innings. The real thing that blows my mind that now ones talks about is that as bad as the giants are right now they are still holding pace with the Dodgers, only one game back from them in the NL West and tied in the National league wild card race with 3 other teams. Lets have a good All Star Break, get healthy, and make a run here July-Sept!

As always check HGB Fly Fishing out on all forms of social media


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Last Minute Open dates July 11-13

Had this weekend open up last minute….

half day $325
Full day $425

Striper fishing on the Sac has been good. Trout fishing on the Yuba or Sac has been good as well. Dates are first come first serve. Email or call. 530-514-2453

….Normal Blog post full of useful information coming with in 48hours

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday is picture day…Beer Day…and Music Day...

Beer … Had a few bottle of Ninkasi Brewing Company Tricerahops Double IPA…if you have had this I must make the clarification that I did not have these "few bottles" in one sitting. There was a few 24 hour cycles between them. I have had this stuff before, first trying it up in WA about 3 years ago…Very good and very under appreciated new brewery, though they are part of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America 12 pack…they did a nice light Double Latte: Coffee Milk Stout. If you have not heard about Beer Camp Across America and the upcoming 12 pack release check it out

Music…So I am late to this band I know, but so others are not here we go. Blitzen Trapper … GREAT Rock, Alt Country, Indie Band. I bought American Goldwing and Fur but I am going to get the newest Album VII this week as well. I think American Goldwing is my favorite of the two albums I have so far…Also just bought the new Front Bottoms EP and am listening to it as I type this out…So far so good. These guys are hard to classify… kind of indie folk I guess…Great lyrics and melodies.

It is summer folks…fish, drink, listen to music. Life is short. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer: Fishing Reports, Drinking, Sports, Sons/Daughters…Things to celebrate on Fathers Day.

So, First of all Happy Fathers Day to every father out there. Enjoy the day and revile in the experience of being a father. I can personally say there is nothing that has changed my life more or made me happier then being a father. I could give everything in my life up before I would give being a father up.

Public service announcement to all fathers, get your off spring out doors! if you are reading this blog you have some affinity for the outdoors, someone created that and nurtured that in you, Share it and pass that same affinity down to your kids. This is tough, it takes stepping away from what you want to do, or your time on the water. A fishing trip becomes something different when you have young kids…believe me I know with a 3 and 6 year old. My free fishing days become swimming, rock throwing, mixed with some bluegill, shad, or pike minnow fishing (the most overlooked fish for kids). Many times I have guided Fathers and their teenage or pre teenage children on their first "fishing trip" together and some times it takes and sometimes it doesn't…a kid that has never been outdoors until they are 13-17 years old is hard to all of a sudden "get into" fishing or being outdoors. I am a strong believer in that it must be nurtured and shared early in life. There is no better fishing partner then a son or daughter, but like most relationships it takes investment. Invest when their young, share your passion, and pass on your love of the outdoors.

Fishing Reports

Lower Sacramento River 
Shad: Fishing is slowing down and fish are moving up river. There are still fish around throughout the Chico area but the bite has been late and the schools seem to be shrinking in size.

Striper: Fishing is starting to pick up for stripers. Some shakers and smaller keeper size fish are starting to be caught on a fairly regular basis and reports of some 8-10lb fish are floating around. July-early september is prime time but like most things this year fishing may get started early. 

Bass: Topwater fishing during the evening has been good in the backwaters for Largemouth bass. Frog fishing over and around the weeds has been pretty fun…good 3-4lb fish caught in the last few weeks. 

Trout: Trout fishing on the Sac has been pretty consistent and summer is one of the best times to float down through the lower river from Balls Ferry down to Red Bluff. Beautiful canyon and lots of wild rainbows if you can take the heat at times.  

Pit River: Spent 4 days on Pit #3 and Pit #1 the last week in floating and wade fishing.  Both fished incredible, great numbers of fat and wild Pit river rainbows with plenty of 14-15" trout and even some in the 18-20" bracket which are real beasts in the tight fast pocket water of the Pit. 

Lower Yuba River: With the cooler weather this week fishing has been good throughout the day. The golden stones are starting to appear and caddis, PMD's, Little Yellow Sallies, and PED's are around. Best dry fly fishing is during the evening hatch but fish are opportunistically looking up throughout the day. 

Open Guide Dates:
June 23-25
July 2, 6, 8, 9
August 2, 3, 5, 6, 16, 17, 23, 30, 31


My new favorite river beer…Hams. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. I also had a few bottles of the new Southern Hemisphere Harvest Beer from Sierra Nevada. Fresh Hope IPA…good stuff. I like the first Harvest beer this year best so far. Word on the street is there is some new small batch Sierra coming out this week as well…stay tuned.


I was hoping the Giants would avoid the "June swoon" but after watching them give up the last two games in the 9th inning blowing a 5 run lead and a one run lead on crappy pitching and defensive errors to the Rockies…. all after loosing 3 of 4 to the Nationals…both sub .500 teams, I think we are swooning fast.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reports on a tuesday...

Lower Sacramento River –
Largemouth – Top water fishing has been good during the evening in the back waters and sloughs. Weeds are coming up, frogs are active, and bass are focused on the surface. On most evenings fish are cruising the and we have been able to sight fish to some nice fish in the 3-5lb range with frog patterns.  I have also been seeing some fish chase the smaller bluegill so I am sure a bluegill pattern would be a good idea as well. Not sure how long this fishing will last as the weeds are coming up pretty good in the back waters with the lower flows and lower water.

Smallmouth – Fishing has been hit or miss…Find them one day not the next. Fishing sinking lines and weighted flies is the ticket for these guys.  A buddy of mine did pull a nice fish off a weed bed this weekend and I had clients drop a few fish crawling flies in a few runs.

Carp – Some nice carp are getting up on the few flats that have water up on them. I have had clients hook about a fish or two on each flat before they are toasted and the fish bail out for deeper water. Not sure how long this is going to last with the weeds coming up and fish getting a little spooky with the lack of water.

Shad – Shad fishing has been fair to good just depends on the night. The river has been crowded with shad fishermen most nights but there is plenty of fish and room for everyone.

Stripers – are fat and happy on the bottom of the river digesting shad.

Lower Yuba River – I have not been on the river for a while but flows are good around 1140cfs. I have heard the caddis, PMD, and PED hatches have been decent some afternoons and evenings depending on day time temperatures. Usually at this time of year the cooler the day the earlier that hatch.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Friday Eve Reports and Ramblings

So things are getting nice up here in Nor Cal. Spring/early summer is such a nice time of year. Tons of options for fishing, nice warm days with cool evenings…shorts, flip flops, and light sweatshirts in the morning and evening.  I have been spending most of my time on the Sacramento River outside of chico chasing Shad, Largemouth, Smallmouth, and stripers.

Lower Sac Shad Report – Shad are in and fishing has been pretty darn good on most nights. I have been mainly fishing out of the boat on anchor but there are some spots where anglers can wade fish for shad. I know the waders who have access to Rd.48 have been doing pretty good and people that have been accessing the river via Annie Bidwell State Park have been catching fish. Most fish are on the smaller side, mainly males, but I have caught two large females so far. The best bite seems to be about 5-630ish and has been going pretty cold by 7pm. Hot colors have been pink and hot yellow on a 240-250 grain integrated shooting head.

Big Mamma Shad

Bent rod on some afternoon shad
Bass and Stripers – Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has been good when the weather is stable. We have some fronts move in and this can mess with the fish as well as bring some serious wind and temperature swings. Was out on the river last night for about an hour amidst wind, thunder, lightening, and rain – still managed one blow up and a follow by possibly the biggest largemouth I have ever seen on the river…easy 8-10lb fish. Striper fishing has gotten pretty tight with the shad around but with the full moon there were guys pulling all-nighters throwing big swim baits that caught some nice fish.

Lower Sac Trout – floated from Anderson to Balls Ferry and fishing was pretty decent. Flows are up around 7500cfs so there much more water to fish and a longer float is not a bad idea. I back rowed a lot on Anderson to Balls while many guides were going from Anderson to Barge Hole. Caddis were the main menu item with fish coming on birds nest, Fox poopa, Yuba Pupa, the Amber Wing Rabbit , along with rubber legs.  Most fish were caught midday during the caddis hatch and averaged about 16”.

Yuba River – Have not been on the river in the last week but the flows have been dropping over the last few days from 1700 down to 1117. Not sure how low the river is going to drop.

The Giants – I am loving watching the Giants over the last few weeks…I had a bit of with-drawls last night as they had their first day off in 17 days or so. They are back at it tonight though in Colorado for a short mid week road trip to the Rocky Mountains. It has been great to see Pablo and Vogelsong come out of their early season slumps. Pablo is batting .389 over the last 9 games and Vogelsong has 1.62 ERA over his last 5 outings…Injuries are a bit of a concern with Hudson missing a start, Pagan getting a shoulder MRI, but that is part of the game. The next weeks schedule is pretty favorable after 3 games on the road with the Rockies we are home for 4 games with the Twins and 3 games with the Cubs, both sub or even .500 teams.

Tunes  – There is something about re-discovering bands or just putting on an old album you haven’t listened to in a while that was “your album” for a very seminal part of your life. I have been listening to some old Drive By Truckers discs lately, mainly Decoration Day and the Dirty South…These albums were literally never out of my CD player for the better part of a year and I could sing every song on them word for word. During my mid 20’s these albums were like a best friend, a sound track to everything I felt, was going through, or strived to be…as the band went in different directions or members left I kinda drifted from these albums discovering other bands and genres that I connected with. I put Decoration Day in the other day and it was like seeing an old friend…all the feelings, camaraderie, and singing out loud came back…Sunshine, shad, stripers, cold beer, and drive by truckers.

BBQ – I spend a lot of time on the grill this time of year. I have a gas, charcoal, and smoker that get a ton of use this time of year.  One of the simplest recipes my wife turned me on to is ranch blue cheese burgers. Get yourself some good ground beef, dump it in a bowl, put a packet of ranch dip mix in, and a tub of blue cheese – mash up, make patties, and enjoy. I prefer to top my burger with a nice thick piece of bacon and some grilled jalapenos.

Fermented liquid – My new river beer is Hams. Cheap, not bad tasting, and I can sweat it out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Early Week Report

Early to mid week reports...lost of fishing this time of year. It has become really obvious that fishing is about 3-4 weeks early this year. If you are not getting out make it happen soon! Mid summer bass, striper, and carp fishing should be good and trout fishing on the tailwaters (L. Sac/L. Yuba) should be fine but I can't see the mountain trout stuff that is run off fed lasting all summer. May rivers and streams are spring fed and those should be Ok but run off based stuff...gonna get tight. 

North Fork Feather River off of Hwy 70 - Flows are low but water is cool and in great shape. Fishing throughout the Hwy 70 corridor is fair to good. Fish seem to be concentrated in certain areas, maybe coming off the spawn. We have been catching fish on small baetis and PMD patterns along with green drake nymphs and rubber leg patterns. There are a few green drakes around, LOTS of caddis, and a few smaller baetis and PMD's. We found fish eating caddis in some of the flats below riffles and even got a few nice fish swinging soft hackles with a small split shot. Best flies were S&M nymph, Brown Rubber Leg, #10 Prince Nymph (for the green drakes), and olive soft hackle. Most of the power houses that dump into the river are not up and running yet but I am sure with the heat this week will get on line which may change flows a bit in various stretches. 

Love this gave up some nice fish.

NF Feather Pocket water...most fish seemed to be in the riffles

there was a mess of fish in the green water slashing caddis adults

Water level on side swipe hook set

Lower Yuba River - Flows are still up around 1400cfs and fishing is fair. Most of the fish seem to have moved from water I was getting fish out of a week ago. Not sure if fish are moving up river to spawn or what but it as a struggle to find fish at times. There is some decent bug activity when the weather is right and the warm stable weather pattern this week should help the fishing and hatches out. Most of our fish came on smaller #18 mayfly nymphs and various tan caddis patterns. Not much surface action with the wind but I can imagine that dry fly fishing will improve over the next week. 

Lower Sac Shad/bass - It is on and fishing is good. On low water years it seems that fish arrive early on the Sac and do not head up the other rivers as well. We have been getting into fish most evenings, we are out both wade fishing and fishing off anchor. Bass fishing has been decent for largemouth and smallmouth, top water for largemouth and streamer fishing for smallies on sinking lines has been good. The stripers in the water I fish have gotten pretty tight lipped as they are I assume gorging on shad. 

Hooked up on an afternoon Shad