Fishing Reports - Most Recent
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I took Bill and John striper fishing today below Red Bluff. Our quarry was nowhere to be found, but we did have some interesting shad fishing. I was surprised to see shad still in the river in late July. There are thousands of them still in the Red Bluff area. We landed a couple, including Bill's first ever shad. I also landed a pristine 20" wild rainbow trout on a shad fly on 12# maxima. On the retrieve!
Bill's first shad
The Lower Sac fished well today. Regulars Bill and John wanted proof that they were actually fishing today, so we took photos of their first fish of the day. No really big fish today, but we did well on the rubberlegs stone. Bill hooked about a dozen trout while fishing without an indicator - nice job! No other boats out today on our float.
Bill with his first fish of the day
John with fish #1 today
We hooked and landed a lot of quality fish today on Fall River. My clients Gene and Roger hadn't been on the river since 1998, which was about when I started guiding up here. There was a good callibaetis hatch in the morning and Roger landed several very nice fish on nymphs. Gene had a hot streak fishing streamers after lunch and landed 21" and 19" rainbows. Roger finished up with back-to-back hookups on nymphs.
The evening fishing was very good also. The hex hatch is still going strong and we had at least two dozen grabs on our big dry flies.
Gene landed this one on a big streamer
21" rainbow on a streamer
Roger with a big one
I had a great day on the Lower Sac today with mother/daughter duo Margo and Lily from Marin. Lily had never caught and landed a fish all on her own until today. Lily figured out the drift boat casting and mending technique right away. Her first two fish were a little on the big side and got away right at the net. Throughout the day she managed to land 4 wild rainbows and one giant Sacramento sucker. Margo did very well also.
The fish were hitting smaller flies (size 14 and smaller) for the most part today. I saw a few caddisflies but not much bug activity overall.
Lily landed several wild trout today
Lily's big fish of the day was a big Sacramento sucker
Margo with a nice bow
Lily with her first fish today
Our typical fish today
Margo with another one
The weather in the Fall River Valley has been great this past week. We've got some much needed rain with afternoon thunderstorms and some great fishing during the day between 11 & 2. Not much dry fly action, but great streamer grab. The hex hatch has been high maintence and tough with wind and clouds the last 6 nights, making visibility tough...but we are still hooking nice fish. Not many hexes in the upper river this year, stay below the confluence and you'll find em.
Tony with an awesome Fall River Rainbow
I had the opportunity to spend a few days fishing in the Boise Idaho, Eastern Oregon area and the fishing was great.
Spent the first day on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon, and the fishing was incredible. Big Browns mixed in with a few rainbows all day long. I caught fish on drys, nymphs, swinging streamers, and the big thrill of the day was stripping salmon fly dries on the surface and getting crushed. Huge grabs! The scenery was incredible. An unbelievably beautiful river in the middle of a high mountain desert. What a unique place to spend a day fishing. Definitely a busy river this time of year.
Day two sent me into a whole different type of fishery. I drove up the Payette River canyon. The area was referred to me as the "Tahoe" of Boise. This was a beautiful river separated into a lower section that was more of a meandering meadow stream, winding its way through pastures and ranches, and an upper section that was a beautiful alpine river. I drove to the upper stretches, and although the river was flowing at whitewater rafting flows, it was a great evening chasing rainbows with a dry fly in the slow edges.
Day three was still another unique fishing experience. I decided to wear the hat of Urban Angler. Woke up, got my Starbucks, and walked into the Boise River minutes from the state capitol and right behind Boise State University. Had a great couple hours pulling up rainbows on various nymphs, and as the weather got warmer, I had a nice PMD hatch to enjoy.
Overall, a great trip to a great part of the country for anglers with a fly rod. I definitely will be back.
Crushed a skated salmon fly! 10 of these in two hours. Whee!
The beautiful Owyhee!
Did they film Stand By Me on the Payette?
Fishing in the shadows of Bronco Stadium.
Gorgeous way to beat the heat.
Had to check out my "other" job.
Lots of these on the Payette & the Boise!
Nabbed a tagged one on the Owyhee...of course not worth $.
Venti rainbows to go please.
This is apparently not a river.
I just got back from a last-minute trip to Bay Flats Lodge in Seadrift, Texas. I got them all set up with LodgeRunner.com, my software package for fishing and hunting lodges. The lodge owner, Captain Chris Martin, treated me to a day of fishing and I had a blast. Bay Flats Lodge is located about half-way down the Texas coast, about a 3 hour drive south from Houston. They have over a dozen guides that specialize in redfish and sea trout. The fishery down there is incredible. There are endless shallow flats that are teeming with redfish, sea trout, and many other species. I spent a day wading and started off on an ankle-deep sand flat and would have sworn I was casting to tailing bonefish. They were actually tailing redfish, and I started hooking them as soon as I put on a shrimp pattern. The tailing fish were mostly small ones 16" or so, but there were a few mixed in that were much larger. I landed one about 21" and broke off a really big one. Later in the day I saw a lot of fish crashing bait on the surface, so I switched over to a small saltwater popper. I had a ton of action with that thing. The skipjack, which look and act like baby tarpon, would hit it before I even had time to strip it. I landed a few of those, broke off another big redfish, and landed a sea trout on the popper. I almost always had targets to cast to and made blind casts the rest of the time. The wading was pretty easy. There are a lot of sand flats and a lot more weedy flats. You could wade for days on end out there. The guides say that the fishery is productive throughout the entire calendar year.
I wholeheartedly recommend this fishery and Bay Flats Lodge. The accommodations are very nice and the lodge has great food, a great management team, and excellent guides. I can't wait to go back.
They use pretty sweet boats down here
Steelhead season the rivers of the Pacific Northwest is just right around the corner. I spend my time chasing steelhead with a spey rod on the best rivers in the Pacific Northwest, during prime time on those watersheds. I had an incredible overall season last year, and expect a very busy season this year. I just opened up my online booking calendar for my season, and bookings are very limited for these venues. Please contact me with any questions and more details regarding my venues, and if you wish for me to hold some dates. Here is my upcoming calendar:
July/August: Spey Camp on the Lower Klamath. Just a few spots left. Join fellow Confluence guides Gino Bernero and Leslie Ajari for the one of the best on water spey casting and swing angling instructional opportunities in the business. Super fun camping experience too! Just bring a sleeping bag, we have everything else.
September: British Columbia Hosted Trip . This trip is full, as always. Inquire for next year. I will be several different lodge based and camping trips on both the Lower Skeena and Upper Skeena System.
October: The Grand Ronde. This will be my 5th season working for Scott Odonnell's Speywater Lodge on one of the coolest and most celebrated steelhead rivers in the States. There are some spots left on my multi day float trips, one of the best steelhead experiences in the business through a remote wilderness canyon. Lodge spaces are also available.
November: The Trinity River. The closest and one of the most productive steelhead rivers to the Bay Area. A superb place to learn how to spey cast and swing for steelhead.
December-January: The Southern Oregon Coast. Chasing winter fish on the diverse rivers on the Oregon Coast is one of my favorite venues. Just a days drive from the Bay Area, these rivers are more stable than Nor Cal rivers. Very limited openings this season.
February-April: The Olympic Peninsula. I've extended my season up here in the land of the winter giants that run through these amazing rivers. These famed rivers that come out of the rainforest hold the biggest winter steelhead in the world. Epic swing water abounds. This venue is for serious swing anglers looking for a specific fish, a specific moment in their steelhead journey. Not for anglers who still want to fish from a boat and have their guide row them into a fish. You need to stand on your own two feet to get them here.
Southern Oregon Coast chrome
Spey Camp on the Klamath with Gino and Leslie
British Columbia Hosted Trips are my most popular trip
Mist on the water, a Hardy, a dry fly...heaven
Southern Oregon small stream swinging is something special
The Lower Klamath is an amazing place to camp and swing with Confluence
Trinity River in November is still home
The Trinity isn't just a bobber fishery! It has excellent swing water.
Olympic Peninsula is a must for every winter steelheader
Hoh River sunrise in the rain forest
Steelhead Green on the O.P. Epic.
British Columbia is the mecca for every steelhead junkie
Andrew, Bob and I had the Fall River to ourselves today and it was the best grab in two weeks. Sadly, not much dry fly action but the sinking line and nymph grab was on fire from 10 to 1:30. Overcast helped. Hex hatch has been excellent. Keen anglers Steve and Jon absolutely crushed the other night. Landing ratio isn't always great for the hex, but lots of eats if you can cast accurately, aren't in a tangled mess, and don't thrash the water aimlessly before the hatch...
Took Rob from Sacramento down the Lower Sac and we had a great day! The weather was warm, but the water and the breeze made for a great day. We saw only one other boat all day and Rob hooked up on 6 quality fish in the 14-16 inch range. Fish were along the edges and really liked our prince nymphs.
It's been hotter on Fall River the last few days than it was for my epic hosted trip to Central America last month. The good news is that it makes for good hexing, my favorite hatch of all time. Bad news is that fishing during the day just has been tough on Fall, both the fishing and getting pummeled by the heat in the boat. Some big fish are still getting hooked, but not the dry fly fishing we usually expect this time of year. The Freestone rivers in the area have been fishing pretty good, and are much cooler, especially if you wet wade!
Expect mega crowds for next holiday weekend. The hex will be happening, but daytime on Fall will be tough if it doesn't cool off.
High sticking on the Pit
Nothing like a Fall River sunset
A break from the heat on the Pit
It cooled off a little on Fall River today, and fishing was pretty decent in the morning. The hex hatch has been happening every night, lots of bugs below the confluence, almost too many at times. Be ready right when it starts, which is your best shot at hooking up. It has been starting after 9. Cripples have been working at first, then have a rod ready with an adult as the hatch goes on, or when you get in a tangled mess. The sunsets have been epic with the cloud cover and lightning storms...
The hex hatch has been very thick the last two nights. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. If it's too thick your fly is simply outnumbered and your odds are pretty long. We've also been dealing with changing winds during the hatch. We had it just right the last two nights and had a ton of action. Dan from Folsom landed several fish over 18" tonight and hooked half a dozen more. The wind made things tough at first, but the trick is to find a place where the wind concentrates the bugs. That made for good fishing for about 20 minutes, then the wind died and we were able to cast into the glare of the setting sun for the rest of the hatch. The hatch started really late but it was really good.
Typical size fish during the hex hatch the last two nights
Tim with a nice fish tonight on the hex
The Pit River fished well for us today, although the obvious nymph buckets did not produce very well. I waded my client Tim to the far side of the river and we had excellent action on a hopper-dropper rig. We did very well in the shade and in the water types that are too shallow to fish a nymph rig. Fishing slowed down around noon so we moved over to Burney Creek. It was nice to cool off in the spring-fed water and catch some nice fish near the waterfall. We saw some golden stones and green drakes flying around, too.
High-sticking the Pit River
cooling off in Burney Creek
It was a superb evening on Fall river. The sunset was gorgeous and the Hex hatch was happening. I love watching the large, shapely profiles of the flies floating delicately down the river. Had some epic takes by large fish. This hatch is truly worth experiencing.
Fishing on Fall River has been all over the map the last two days. The hex hatch has been complicated by overcast skies the last two nights. It's much more difficult to see the flies without the glare of the sunset in a clear sky. The hatch was pretty weak last night, but was really good tonight. My clients Ken and Bob had lots of grabs this evening on a variety of hex dries. The best one to make the net was about 19" and heavy.
Daytime fishing has been great at times and very difficult at other times. We had a two-hour stretch where we hooked fish on almost every drift yesterday and then the bite shut off really abruptly. Today we worked hard for our fish during the day but landed a big one about 20" and hooked some other very nice fish.
The hex hatch is red hot right now on Fall River. The bugs are hatching around 8:50pm and the hatch lasts right through the legal limit an hour after sunset. A variety of patterns are working well - it's early in the hatch so the fish haven't seen all of them yet!
Doug with the one that wasn't as big as the one that got away.
I hiked up to the Soldier Mountain fire lookout today on my day off. Great view from up there!
Frank with a Fall River bow
One of our fish coughed up this huge leech! That is three inches of dinner for a trout.
20" hex fish from 30 minutes ago
The view from Soldier Mountain fire lookout. You can see the entire Fall River Valley.
I recently took a trip to majestic Utah with my raft in tow and floated and camped my way down the Green River near Flaming Gorge. I love the scenery on this river. It is absolutely breathtaking with red cliff canyon views, gin clear water, and lots of fish. Not sure if it was the cicada hatch that brought all the sports to the river, but the river was extremely crowded. At any given moment on the A section, you could look up and count 14 boats in one half mile stretch of water. And I thought the Trinity could get crowded!
Despite an enormous amount of pressure and crowds on the A section of the river, the fishing was still great with proper rigging, line control and a good reach cast. The cicada hatch was popping in the morning with fish hitting big bugs on top, but by mid afternoon, the fish were eating sub surface. Sight casting streamers to fish hanging near the bank was very effective and it was nice to pull over and let the crowds drift by.
We camped at Big Pine II campground (float in access only) on the beginning of the B section, and this part of the river was much less crowded. Fish in this section were much grabbier, and you could tell they had seen quite a few less flies recently. Less dry fly action (this could have been the stormy weather and less of a hatch), but they were eating nymphs very consistently. In the slower water, a spring creek nymph rig caught fish almost every cast. Bellow red creek the river was murkier, and the streamer bite in this section of the river was insane. Some of the best streamer fishing I have encountered. The camp/float section of the trip was a huge success.
Up in Wyoming, the fishing on the Green was also great. Despite a recent increase in flows, the fishing bellow Fontanelle Reservoir was excellent. I brought my spey rod and swung streamers with quite a few grabs. There was even an epic thunderstorm late in the afternoon that kept things interesting. Nothing like brandishing about a 13' metal composite rod in the midst of a electric storm....
The first chunky 'bow of my trip.
This fish crushed a streamer and then put up a serious fight!
You can see where the river gets its name
One of my favorite Scotch's cooling to perfect temperature
A nice brown landed at the camp home water
Rainy days in Wyoming!
Fishing was so-so this morning but we had a 5-star hex hatch this evening. My clients Frank & Doug landed fat rainbows up to 20" on hex dries and had tons of grabs. The hatch was pretty huge, almost too many bugs. There are a lot of big fish in the lower river right now and I expect the hex hatch to be productive through the 3rd week of July at least.
The Lower Sac fished a little slow for us today...it was Hap and Mike from Santa Rosa's first trip to the Lower Sac and the fish failed to show them any love ! I don't know what had the fish off of their game today ? lack of insect activity most likely but that's fishing !
The Guys still enjoyed a beautiful day on the Sac, even with the temps hovering around the century mark in Redding it felt more like the 80s on the river.
There is no denying that California is in the midst of a historic drought and many rivers and streams throughout the state and especially in the Sierra are running at a trickle but there is some bright spots in the North State. The Lower Sac for one is currently running around 7000 cfs, great flows and chalk full of wild rainbows, the Fall river in Eastern Shasta County is full to the banks with clear cold spring water and is loaded with wild rainbows as well and finally the Trinity... the Trinity's flow regime is set in place and being controlled by the dam at Trinity Lake, there is water in the lake to maintain the flows through the Summer, Fall and Winter. Steelhead will start arriving in the Trinity in numbers by late September, the water will be there the fish will be there... Will You !!!