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Current Fishing Report

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We're in our tenth season now at Eagle Canyon and this year's Opening Day was one of the best I can remember.  The fishing was off the hook all day long and the size of the fish was off the charts.  Our fish are absolutely huge this year, weighing in at a whopping 7.5 pound average!  We had 8 guests from the Chico/Orland area and they had a fantastic day, landing many fish over the ten pound mark.  Beadhead woolly buggers and other large streamers tied to 2X tippet were the ticket today.  Our guests today have been to Eagle Canyon numerous times.  They love Eagle Canyon because it's a great place to spend the day fishing with friends.  Like many of our other groups, they like to bring a grill and cook a nice lunch.  They couldn't have picked a better day to enjoy some fantastic weather, amazing fishing, and a fun day on the water.

Mark caught the biggest fish of the day
Mark caught the biggest fish of the day
Mike with one of many
Mike with one of many
Verne with his first fish of the day
Verne with his first fish of the day
Steven with a big one
Steven with a big one
Matt finished the day with this fish
Matt finished the day with this fish
Fun times at Eagle Canyon
Fun times at Eagle Canyon
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

Just wrapped up a two day swing trip on the Trinity with newcomer to spey Peter. On the first day we went over casting fundamentals on a day that seemed tailor made for swinging flies to steelhead: we had constant rain, heavy cloud cover, and a river with a healthy tea stain. Peter found a player in the third run of the day. After an epic grab followed by a brief and choatic skirmish the fish got the best of us and was off. We tried to cover as much ground as possible in hopes of intercepting another moving fish as the river was on the rise for the entirety of day one. We fished down as low as the S. Fork confluence where the tea stain turned to slate with the influence of the heavily off color major trib pumping in sediment. On day two we floated the upper river and improved on the different casting techniques we had gone over on day one. You would harldy have known that the prior two days had been nothing but rain on the float we did. The water was gin clear up above the N. Fork confluence. We fished hard but came up empty handed. Even the guys fishing from boats reported tough fishing on that stretch for the day. Peter's casting improved considerably on day two and by the last run he was sending them to the far bank with ease. Interestingly enough when I got home to check what the river had been doing during our two day trip I was surprised to see a very dramatic rise in CFS below the N. Fork confluence and hardly any substantial change above it. All in all fishing on the Trinity is solid. There should be plenty of fish making their way up into the higher stretches of the river with the healthy bump in flows. Whenever we are graced with the next round of substantial rain on the coast winter steelhead will be on the menu. Happy Thanksgiving and stay tuned! 

Peter getting bent early in the day
Peter getting bent early in the day
View Drew Griffith's Calendar
Good

I had two really fun days on the Trinity with a great group of guys. My guys wanted to focus on swinging flies, but also nymph between the runs so we did a “combo” trip.  Friday turned out to be a special day for Jeff. This was the day he would land his very first steelhead – and it was on the swing! Saturday was Frank’s day, while nymphing a run he hooked into a beautiful fish that put up quite a battle! We got some rain on Saturday and the forecast is calling for more rain this week. This is much needed and should help entice more fish to move up river. 

Jeff with his first steelhead on the swing!
Jeff with his first steelhead on the swing!
Hooked up!
Hooked up!
Frank with a beautiful steelhead!
Frank with a beautiful steelhead!
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

Karen has a bucket list and catching a steelhead was on the top of that list. Today we fished the Trinity in search of some chrome and despite the morning starting out pretty cold and her and her husband, Matt, experiencing the "steelhead-frozen-guides" situation, we had a great day! Once the sun poked its head out and the temperature entered into the "this is pretty nice" range, we set our sights on trying to catch some fish... and the Trinity did not disappoint. Karen's first steelhead was a wild fish in the 'tweener to small adult range and I kid you not... that fish brought tears to her eyes! I don't think I've seen anyone more excited about hooking a steelhead then Karen and when we were driving back to Indian Creek Lodge, she told me that the only thing she could think of being more exciting was having a baby! Mission accomplished! Later in the day Matt caught a nice adult buck that he hooked right when were going into a riffle, so we introduced that steelhead to the SRP -- steelhead relocation program. But that fish made its way to the net and after we pulled the rubber legs from its face got a quick photo before sending it on its way. So far I've been really fortunate on these Trinity trips because we've caught fish each time and the weather hasn't been miserable. Of course this is steelheading, so you have to be reasonable and remember that a little rain and some cold weather is what makes this fun (or so that's what my grandpa used to tell me as a kid). Rain is on the forecast for tomorrow and that should start to really help shape the river a bit more into what we all wanna see! I'll let you know how tomorrow's trip goes as I'm on with three other boats from Confluence and hopefully we all manage to put some chrome in the net! Until then, tight lines to you and yours!

Matt’s buck.
Matt’s buck.
Married couples who fish together, stay together?
Married couples who fish together, stay together?
Karen’s first steelhead of her life!
Karen’s first steelhead of her life!
View Luke Geraty's Calendar
Okay

I had a really fun day with my long-time guest Dick, his son Matt, and Matt’s 9yo daughter Mackenzie, who was a pleasure to spend time with! We had a nasty north wind that not only made casting a challenge, but it also seemed to shut down the bite. Our grabs were pretty spread out, but fairly aggressive when it happened. Dick landed a couple smaller fish before hooking into a very nice fish that put up quite a battle before finally spitting the hook. Matt landed a very nice fish that capped off a really fun day. In just the past few days, the weather has changed, and it’s obvious fall has arrived.

Matt with a beautiful fish
Matt with a beautiful fish
Mackenzie helping her dad
Mackenzie helping her dad
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

I spent the last two days with my guests Mark and Lisa. We fished the Trinity on Friday and it was pretty tough for us. Mark hooked two half-pounders and that was it. We decided to fish the Sac today and it turned out to be a great decision! The grab turned on almost right away and stayed very consistent until late afternoon. Mark and Lisa both landed some great fish and we had such a fun time together!

My office is pretty amazing!
My office is pretty amazing!
Lisa with a chunky one!
Lisa with a chunky one!
Mark with a nice one!
Mark with a nice one!
Lisa was very happy!
Lisa was very happy!
Mark with another nice fish!
Mark with another nice fish!
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

I have learned to manage my steelhead expectations with a simple assumption: it will be a great day if we touch one fish. You read that right... I didn't say LAND a fish... I said TOUCH a fish. Steelhead can be extremely challenging to catch because they aren't always in the river system, they can be spooky, and it's been said they are the fish of a thousand casts. Anyone who has put in the time knows that hooking them is half the battle -- putting them in the net is another story. Enter Gavin and JT, two teens I had the pleasure of guiding today on the Trinity River. Since JT's dad is a Confluence Guide (Mike Wright), I let him know that I'd be holding him to an excessively high standard and since both of them have been to fly fishing camp(!!), they had better not disappoint! Well they proved they have the skills to pay the bills... or at least catch some fish! We put in around 8am and shortly into the drift hooked a nice 'tweener that was somewhere around 16 inches long. Apparently no one told that fish it was small though and it gave up quite a fight for its size. A short time later and the "old man dad boat" hooked a nice adult fish, so the score was tied. Not bad for the beginning to a beautiful sunny day and we already had a great steelhead fishing trip on the books because we'd touched not one but TWO fish! But Gavin and JT decided to crack things open some more and within the next hour we had hooked three more adults, landing two of them! Gavin's first fish was a beautiful hatchery fish that took three powerful runs before we finally managed to put it in the net and snap a quick photo. After enjoying the moment and reflecting on just how great these fish fight, JT made a terrible cast but under my expert tutelage he was able to hook and land a fresh chrome wild buck. Full disclosure, we developed that story and I made sure to embelish it with the "terrible cast" and insert the "expect tutelage" into the story. Guides have to coach retelling stories too, ha ha! JT's fish took a run toward some branches hanging in the water but JT played it perfectly and turned the ffish and after the fish gave up some powerful head shakes, we put it in the net. Again we took a moment to appreciate that fish and live in the moment but before we could even start to think about the rest of the day, Gavin hooked ANOTHER adult! Three fish in less than fifteen minutes? Yes please! Unfortunately right when we were about to put that fish in the net, the hook pulled out and we all let out loud sigh of disappointment. But we saw it and Gavin fought it for awhile and we knew we'd just had an incredible moment. It was cool that most of it happened while "old man dad boat" was able to enjoy watching these young men put in work, plus we have a lot of it on video and I'm sure it'll make a future YouTube river report soon. At any rate, hard to complain about a day on the Trinity when you're with cool people, enjoy marvelous scenery, and know that you've touched fish that have travelled some mileage from the ocean and evaded sharks and seals and many other natural predators. The rest of the day slowed down with just a couple grabs from half pounders but no fish to net. But we were all smiles anyway because the Trinity delivered another wonderful day with lots of fun and excitement. Book your next fishing trip on the Trinity and try your hand at touching a bit of chrome steel! 

All smiles!
All smiles!
Fathers and sons on the Trinity.
Fathers and sons on the Trinity.
The fall colors are looking good.
The fall colors are looking good.
Gavin's nice adult fish.
Gavin's nice adult fish.
JT's wild chrome buck!
JT's wild chrome buck!
View Luke Geraty's Calendar
Good

After spending a little over a week in Oregon I was eager to get back up to the Trinity for a shot at some late fall steelhead. With flows down to around 300-350 wading was a dream. One thing I have noticed is how much the lower river has filled in over the last few years. Some of my favorite spots have lost a lot of the definition that I remember from previous seasons. I guess that's what happens when winter rain storms don't pack the same punch they used to? After months of blocked off access Big Rock is finally open to the public in Willow Creek. It didn't take too long before I'd released a few half pounders down low. Heading further up river through the gorge I found myself a nice peice of shadow water that reminded me of what the Trinity can be like when the fishing is good. Two adults to hand and a slew of half pounders later I was all smiles as I drove the winding road back home to the coast. I would say that the Trinity is as good a bet as any for anyone looking to catch the last bit of fall steelhead fishing in Northern California. We had a welcome shot of rain last night and into today on the coast and looking ahead into next week it's looking like there's more on the way. Hopefully we'll see our first decent storm sometime between now and Thanksgiving to kick off the beginning of winter steelhead season. Stay tuned...

A healthy wild Trinity hen that fell for the moss back.
A healthy wild Trinity hen that fell for the moss back.
View Drew Griffith's Calendar
Good

I just spent a really fun day with father/son duo Kent and Sam on the Lower Sac today.  Sam figured out the casting, mending, and hook-setting techniques very quickly.  He landed his first rainbow about 30 minutes into the trip!  It was a beautiful fall day and we spent it catching wild rainbow trout and enjoying the scenery along the river.  FYI there are still plenty of salmon on redds and I'm seeing new redds every week.  We landed about half of our fish on egg patterns and the rest on smaller mayfly nymphs.

Sam was a quick study
Sam was a quick study
Kent with a nice one
Kent with a nice one
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Great

Been a couple weeks sincce I wrote a river report, so let me bring you up to speed. Last week and the week before were either great or really good. Salmon all over the place and the trout were eating. Then I took a long weekend off to catch my breath and was back on the river the last couple of days doing the usual. That brings us up to speed, right? For today I had another great day with a father and son, Tom and Matt. We put in early and fished hard all day throwing the typical late-Fall-salmon-are-in-the-river stuff... eggs and some bugs. Today was definitely an egg grab day for us and I think all but one of our fish was caught on an egg. The grab stayed pretty consistent from 9:30am until the very end. As with every trip on the Lower Sac, we discussed whether these fish are trout or whether they are steelhead and what makes one versus the other. For those new to the fly fishing game, steelhead are rainbow trout but they go out to the ocean and come back up river to spawn (and OBVIOUSLY eat salmon eggs!!!). According to our steelhead report cards, we put a fair amount of "steelhead" in the net today (fish over 16 inches), including a few that were awefully close to 20 inches (we know because we taped 'em!). The weather was fantastic, the sandwiches were killer, and the fish were more than willing to eat and fight back. While losing fish isn't the goal, Tom hooked into several BIIIIGGGG fish that jumped out of the water and provided the proverbial middle fin to us all. But we saw them... and Tom felt them... so it could have been worse. All in all a great day. It's definitely not too late to get in on some of that egg bite action, so book a trip today... I've got some dates left this month for the Lower Sac or the Trinity and I know a few of the other guides do too! 

Matt with a beautiful 19 inch trout... or steelhead...
Matt with a beautiful 19 inch trout... or steelhead...
Tom hooked some big fish today...
Tom hooked some big fish today...
Another 19 inch steelhead... or trout...
Another 19 inch steelhead... or trout...
View Luke Geraty's Calendar
Good

I had a great two days of fishing with my very good guest (and friend) John, and his long-time buddy Scott. Given the time of year, we decided to double-down, so we fished the Trinity on Wednesday and the lower Sac today. The Trinity has been fishing very well, which means the word is getting out and I’m starting to see more boat and walk-in pressure.  Scott landed a small native steelhead that put up quite a battle. Today we enjoyed a wonderful day on the lower Sac – perfect weather and the fish were super grabby! By the end of the day, John and Scott landed some really nice fish – Scott won for the first fish, John won for the largest fish (landed), and I’m gonna call it a draw for the most fish! The colors are amazing this time of year – contact us if you’re thinking about booking a fall trip on the Sac or the Trinity!

Scott with a small Trinity steelhead
Scott with a small Trinity steelhead
John with a chunky lower Sac fish
John with a chunky lower Sac fish
John with another beautiful fish
John with another beautiful fish
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Great

Wow…what a day! After returning home from our steelhead trip on the Trinity last weekend, my very good guest (friend) Ted, decided to schedule a “spontaneous” fishing trip with his incredible wife Eloise. As guides, we all work very hard to put our guests onto fish. Sometimes our “partners” make us really work for it…and sometimes they don’t – today was the later! The bite was on right from the get-go - and it stayed consistent all day long! The only way to describe our day today is EPIC!  Our fish came on a mixture of eggs and nymphs and the fall weather was absolutely perfect.

Ted with his first respectable fish of the day
Ted with his first respectable fish of the day
Ted with another nice fish - this time including Eloise
Ted with another nice fish - this time including Eloise
Eloise crushing it again
Eloise crushing it again
Eloise with another great fish - this time including Ted
Eloise with another great fish - this time including Ted
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Great

They book a day around Halloween every year and the fishing is always good!  Doug battled a rainbow that would have easily been the biggest one in my net all year had we landed it.  The quintessential big one that got away... Perfect weather, good company, and cooperative fish were on hand today on the Lower Sac.  Barring one slow period that lasted about an hour, fishing was consistently good today and the big fish were on the grab.  We hooked big rainbows in salmon redds and in trout water today.  Frank and Doug from Sacramento had a blast.  

Doug with the first big one of the day
Doug with the first big one of the day
Frank finished the day with a hog
Frank finished the day with a hog
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

It’s always hard for me to rate our fishing trips. Is it all about the number and size of the fish? At what number does a day go from good to great? Avid flyfisher Don brought his son Ben to the Lower Sac to introduce him to the sport. Ben was a quick learner and hooked and landed fish throughout the day. We had some slow periods, and there have been days when we’ve caught more fish, but when a father and son can spend time outdoors on a beautiful river under clear skies while catching wild rainbows that’s a great day in my book.

Don hooked up
Don hooked up
Don’s leadoff home run caught in a secret location!
Don’s leadoff home run caught in a secret location!
Ben with a good one
Ben with a good one
Even the smaller ones are great fighters
Even the smaller ones are great fighters
View Kevin Kay's Calendar
Good

I had a great time today with my first-time guests Mike and Martin. The grab was a bit spotty in the morning (which has been the norm lately), but things started heating up by mid-morning! Mike hooked into a really large fish - but after a series of “mishaps,” including his running line getting stuck between his reel frame and drag knob, the fish eventually came unpinned. The grab really turned on after lunch and remained very consistent throughout the afternoon. In the end, Mike and Martin both landed some really great fish – including probably the largest (heaviest) sucker I have ever seen and even had some doubles! The “egg bite” should last into the second week of November, so if you’re looking for a really fun day of fishing, contact us at www.confluenceoutfitters.com and let’s book a trip!

We were hooking into these all day long
We were hooking into these all day long
So nice
So nice
Double trouble
Double trouble
This was so much larger than what the image shows
This was so much larger than what the image shows
Mike with a really nice lower Sac trout
Mike with a really nice lower Sac trout
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

Today was our annual Trout Spey trip with the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. My guests were Frank, Erik, and Kevin.  The grab started slow, but then became pretty consistent and everyone connected with fish throughout the day. Most of our fish were in the 12” – 14” range, but Erik landed a nice hatchery steelhead in the 17” – 18” range and Frank had a fish hammer his swung fly so hard it broke him off!  The day began a little windy but died down by mid-afternoon and we ended with a perfect fall day. 

Erik with a nice hatchery steelhead
Erik with a nice hatchery steelhead
Erik with a feisty trout
Erik with a feisty trout
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Great

Mike and Dave have been friends since school. Mike fishes a lot and wanted to introduce Dave to the sport of fly fishing. After some quick instruction off we went! The grab was on right away, and after a few swings and misses we were hooking and landing some beautiful wild rainbows. Dave had the “seat of honor” in the front of the boat, which has it’s pluses and minuses as the guide is either helping you all the time or yelling “mend, set, strip, etc” all the time, depending on your viewpoint. The grab tapered off a bit in the afternoon but we caught fish all the way to the takeout. Dave was a tv cameraman for some major sports teams, which made for some great stories, which I won’t repeat here. These guys needled each other all day, which is what good friends do. Lots of fun!

Early morning view from the bow
Early morning view from the bow
Mike opened up the scoring
Mike opened up the scoring
Mike again
Mike again
Way to go Dave!
Way to go Dave!
Even the little guys put up a good fight
Even the little guys put up a good fight
Dave was a quick study
Dave was a quick study
Wide open spaces
Wide open spaces
There’s a different way to hold a fish!
There’s a different way to hold a fish!
Hooked up
Hooked up
View Kevin Kay's Calendar
Good

I've been steelheading for most of my life now, cutting my teeth as a child when I was living in Alaska. I remember when I was about ten years old fly fishing for king salmon on the Ninilchik River and hooking a random steelhead. Even though I was using a 10 wt fly rod, that fish gave me a run for my money and I knew that I wanted to catch more. Fast forward thirty years later and my love for these chrome rockets hasn't changed. Well yesterday I was on the Trinity with Brian Kohlman and some of Brian's long time guests. Group trips are really fun because while everyone has a chance to fish there's also a lot of friendly competition. These kind of trips are where relationships are formed or solidified. At least that's what it seems like from a guide's perspective and yesterday was no different. Anyway, you're probably less interested in the social and culture experiences of fishing trips, so I'll get back to my fishing report (Brian can share about his day). The water is running around 300cfs, very clear, and definitely fishy. We hooked two fish in the first proper "steelhead" run that we went through but both fish managed to shake off. I think we ended the day with about seven or eight hook ups, including one double (we only managed to land one of those fish). Most of the fish were half pounders, both the smaller ones to the "in-be-tweeners." In my opinion, every steelhead is special, whether small, medium, or large... but there's something really special about those wild adult fish. When we pulled over for lunch, Tommy told me he wanted to keep fishing a run that his father-in-law and brother-in-law had both just fished because he said he wanted to hook one right in front of them in the water they had already fished. He was kidding... but not really, ha ha! Well wouldn't you know that while we were all eating lunch, Tommy hooked a nice adult and after I put it in the net, we got a quick picture before returning that beautiful wild fish back to the water. It's steelhead time, so hit me up if you want to get out. These fish can change your life.

Brian Kohlman with his long time guest, Ted.
Brian Kohlman with his long time guest, Ted.
Steve did really well for his first Steelhead trip!
Steve did really well for his first Steelhead trip!
Tommy's beautiful adult.
Tommy's beautiful adult.
Tommy casting while Brian's raft floats in the back.
Tommy casting while Brian's raft floats in the back.
Zach making a few casts in the pursuit of perfection.
Zach making a few casts in the pursuit of perfection.
View Luke Geraty's Calendar
Good

The Trinity River fished well for us today.  There is very little fishing pressure and there are definitely fish in the river.  We finished up with several adult fish plus numerous half-pounders in the 16-18" range and a few trout.  Our best fish of the day came in our first spot.  It was a wild hen about 6 pounds.  The adult fish are very bright right now and they jump frequently when hooked! 

Zach did well today
Zach did well today
Tommy landed this one in our very first spot
Tommy landed this one in our very first spot
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Great

Larry lives in Virginia but is on a mission to fish as many steelhead rivers as possible. Today was the Trinity’s turn. I had low to moderate expecations as the flows are 300 cfs and the visibility must be close to infity. Imagine our surprise when our first cast yielded a small but spunky adult steelhead! The action remained pretty constant all day with a good number of these smallish early adults coming to hand along with a bunch of smaller fish. Wishing your steelhead were bigger really is a first-world problem! Can’t wait for some rain......

Glad to have a raft in these low flows!
Glad to have a raft in these low flows!
Feisty steelhead
Feisty steelhead
In the net!
In the net!
View Kevin Kay's Calendar
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