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Current Fishing Report

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12
Okay

Today my guests Larry and Al were fortunate enough to get reservations at the Nature Conservancy, so I took the long and bumpy road down to fish this storied section of water. They wanted to get a jump on their Diablo Valley Fly Fishers club outing and also get dialed in on how to fish the McCloud. Al landed a small fish on one of his first casts, then hooked some larger fish and quickly learned just how hard they fight! Larry hooked a few and landed two decent fish, making the long drive and long hike worth the effort.

Larry with a nice McCloud rainbow
Larry with a nice McCloud rainbow
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

Today was my first day on the lower McCloud this season and it did not disappoint for my guests Ron and Steve. Ron was tightline nymphing and it proved to be quite effective. Late in the day we switched over to a dry-dropper and caught fish on both flies. For Steve, it had been a couple minutes since he last fished so we started with a dry-dropper, and he had some success on both flies. After lunch, he switched over to an indicator rig and started hooking fish right away. I was very impressed with the size and quality of fish they hooked today. If you’re planning to fish Ash Camp – it’s going to be crowded so expect to see other anglers and please, try to communicate with them and work together! Trust me, there are plenty of fish for everyone to have a great time on this beautiful river.

Ron with a nice McCloud rainbow
Ron with a nice McCloud rainbow
Another nice fish
Another nice fish
Steve with his biggest of the day
Steve with his biggest of the day
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

Today was an amazing day on the McCloud for my guest Ian, and his son Daniel.  We started our day fishing a dry-dropper and both hooked a lot of fish on both flies.  Ian and Daniel both landed some small, but beautiful brookies!  After lunch they only fished dries and what an afternoon they had.  The fish weren't very big, but the action was non-stop all day.  At the end of the day, Daniel hooked into a very nice 12-14 inch fish, but it managed to spit the hook after giving him the "middle fin" while jumping.

Daniel casting to rising fish
Daniel casting to rising fish
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

I had a really fun day with my guests Nate and his daughter Paulina.  This was their first time fishing the McCloud and I think they were overwhelmed by the beauty.  Fishing a dry-dropper was very productive in the morning with a pretty equal number of takes on both flies.  After lunch, there were lots of caddis around so we switched to an Elk Hair Caddis and the number of grabs was insane!  Even for as hot as it was today, we found the best way to beat the heat was to wade the McCloud!

View Brian Kohlman's Calendar

Leslie and I had a great weekend with some good friends on the historic Bollibokka beat of the famed Lower McCloud.  After fishing and guiding on the Mac for 18 years, this was my first opportunity to fish this private and remote property.  What an amazing stretch of river, with every water type you could ask for in a trout stream.  The upper beat is limited to the six anglers who stay at the Pumphouse cabin, which is an monumental amount of water to explore.  Like every stretch of the McCloud, the catching of fish is totally dependent on if the fish are eating.  If they are, you get em, when they aren't, you don't.  If you are lucky enough to stay overnight on the Mac, take a break in the day to enjoy things other than fishing.  Perhaps a mid day siesta, hiking the trails to find new water, or relaxing under a tree with a book between 1-5 is a good program.  On hot sunny summer days, focus on fishing first light to lunchtime, and the last 3 hours of the day.  That still gives you 9 hours or so to fish!  It also gives you an opportunity to take a moment and experience the magnificent wilderness that you are in.All freestone techniques work very well on the McCloud, especially dry flys in the evenings or cloudy afternoons.  Classic dry fly patterns bought at brick and mortar fly shops actually work the best.  McCloud fish never eat flies bought online, or from big box stores like lame Cabellas and Sportsmen's Warehouse.  When the sun is on the water, fishing a dry/dropper is very efective if you can wade aggressively and cover the rugged pocket water short line fishing.  You can break out your trout Spey rod in the appropriate water type and productively swing streamers, which like dry fly fishing is most productive when the sun is off the water.  You can high stick nymph or Euro nymph all day long and find fish if that is your thing...use lots of lead to get your flys deep.  Bring lots of rubber legs and bird's nests, you will go through them.  The McCloud is the perfect western trout stream, with the most famous and historical strain of rainbow trout on the planet.  It has a wonderful wilderness aspect to it that reminds me a lot of New Zealand, except for the daily encounters with rattlesnakes and poison oak absolutely everywhere....but its worth it.

Leslie in a classic McCloud pool
Leslie in a classic McCloud pool
Old school Sage gear
Old school Sage gear
Fishing Report Image
Evening New Zealand style upstream dry fly fishing
Evening New Zealand style upstream dry fly fishing
Sightfishing is possible on the Mac
Sightfishing is possible on the Mac
Bring a wading staff...
Bring a wading staff...
High stick dry fly
High stick dry fly
Fishing Report Image
The remote beauty of a perfect trout stream
The remote beauty of a perfect trout stream
View Dax Messett's Calendar
Good

I had a fun day on the McCloud with my guests Greg and Kurt. They were camping in the area, so they booked a half-day trip so they could get dialed-in on the water around Ash Camp. We got into some nice fish in our first run, with Greg hooking into two very nice fish, but learned just how hard they fight. It was a great day, but the hike back to the vehicles was long and hot!

View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Slow

I had the pleasure of guiding Glenn and Tim on the McCloud today. This was the first stop of their 3-day fishing adventure. We pulled out all the stops but the fishing was pretty slow. They prefer tight-line (ESN) nymphing to fishing indicators. This is usually extremely effective technique, but they hooked a handful of fish each. We tried streamers and struck out. A very brief hatch came off, but was over by the time we made the switch. Towards the end, Tim switched to an indicator rig and started hooking fish. They worked very hard but the fish were not on the job. On to the Rogue with Leslie Ajari!

View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

I had the pleasure of guiding Vik on the McCloud today. He traveled from southern California hoping to discover some of the fisheries in the north state. The temps were extremely hot, so it was a relief to get in the water. Our morning was pretty slow, but things really picked up after lunch. We were hoping to have a chance to fish dries, but see didn’t see any fish rising. It’s always a great experience fishing the Mac! 

Fishing Report Image
Fishing Report Image
View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

I guided the Ah-Di-Na area of the McCloud today.  It's a long drive down to the campground and it was plenty HOT, so the cold water felt really good!  All the guys hooked into multiple fish in the 6-10 inch range fishing nymphs.  The McCloud is a beautiful river and in my opinion, a "bucket-list" river for any fly angler.

View Brian Kohlman's Calendar

The road to Ah-Di-Na will be closed for construction on Sept 13/14.  For more information, call the Shasta-Trinity National Forest McCloud ranger station at 530-964-2184.  

View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

Hed the pleasure of trying to beat this heat with client Len from Ohio.  We spent a morning and some of the afternoon on the Upper McCloud.  Although the temps finally did reach triple digits, the canyon and water of the McCloud made for an enjoyable day.  We spent our day throwing dry/dropper rigs.  Len hooked into some nice Upper Mac Rainbows on the dry fly and then did battle with a few smaller fish on the nymph as well.  Good times!

One of Len's rewards for throwing dry flies.
One of Len's rewards for throwing dry flies.
The beautiful, and somewhat cool, Upper McCloud River.
The beautiful, and somewhat cool, Upper McCloud River.
View Mike Wright's Calendar
Good

I guided Martin and Ford on the McCloud the past two days.  They fished very hard and both were rewarded with some beautiful fish.  The cold water was a welcome relieve from the heat!  Bring lots of water on these hot days.

View Brian Kohlman's Calendar
Good

One thing I love about fly fishing is how many ways there is to enjoy the sport.  Last week, we were drifting down the Lower Sac at 115 degrees for linbacker trout with large nymphing rigs, and yesterday I got to spend a great day with clients Lynn and Helena from Los Angeles on the Beautiful Upper MCCloud River, a perfect high altitude trout stream.  What a difference in fishing styles, but equally enjoyable.  Lynn and Helena had a great day learning all of the various techniques that can be used on the Upper McCloud to catch fish.  We fished dries, nymphs, and dry/dropper combinations. We caught wild and planted trout on all set ups and I really enjoyed their enthusiasm and interest in learning the river.  So fun.  

Lynn with a dandy!
Lynn with a dandy!
The beautiful Middle Falls of the Upper McCloud.
The beautiful Middle Falls of the Upper McCloud.
Spending all day in the shadow of Mt. Shasta
Spending all day in the shadow of Mt. Shasta
View Mike Wright's Calendar
Okay

Conditions are great on the McCloud right now.  The water is off-color, but just the right amount.  I took brothers Scott and John down to Ash Camp today and it fished pretty tough.  We mainly found fish in the not-so-obvious holes.  Our big fish of the day was a 10" rainbow, although we hooked a couple that were a little bigger.  No matter how good the fishing is, the trip to the McCloud is always worth it.  It's a beautiful river, albeit moody, and any day on it can yield an incredible fishing experience.

Fishing Report Image
Scott caught this fish on a nymph
Scott caught this fish on a nymph
Fishing Report Image
Fishing Report Image
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Great

Had a great ending to this year's trout season on the McCloud river. The Golden Gate Angling Club was up from San Fransisco for a two day clinic. We went over wading safety, proper rigging, fly selection, and most importantly we got to explore a lot of the upper and lower parts of the river.  A mixed group of beginner and expert anglers, I really enjoyed spending time with everyone. I love teaching new skills to beginning angers and refining skill sets for the more experienced angers. We even got some much needed rain on the second day; nothing beats fishing in the rain! Looks like the rain dance temporarily worked, but I'll keep up the effort as we can always use more precipitation here in northern California. Now for full throttle steelhead season!! The fishing on the Trinity has already been very productive, and will only get better as the season progresses and we get more rain. 

Patrick, Ling, Renee and Roger were a great group for day one.
Patrick, Ling, Renee and Roger were a great group for day one.
Day two's group: Kevin, Debbie, Bob and Brad. Another amazing group of avid anglers!
Day two's group: Kevin, Debbie, Bob and Brad. Another amazing group of avid anglers!
Fishing Report Image
Fall colors are poppin'
Fall colors are poppin'
Using dry fly techniques on the upper river
Using dry fly techniques on the upper river
High sticking pocket water down near Ah Di Nah
High sticking pocket water down near Ah Di Nah
View Leslie Ajari's Calendar
Good

We had a fun day on the McCloud today.  My client Lisa was determined to catch a fish on her Tenkara rod.  We fished a section of smaller pockets that was ideally suited to the technique.  Lisa got the hang of the casting and by the end of the day she had landed at least half a dozen trout, including two 12 inchers and a brown trout.  Landing fish with a Tenkara rod is kind of a train-wreck since there is no reel and you just have to grab the line and pull it in hand-over-hand until you can grab the fish.  We had a few Now What? moments after hooking up.  Lisa's friend Maya also gave the Tenkara rod a try and caught a fish immediately.  The ticket was a size 12 humpy with a small nymph dropper.  The two biggest fish ate the dry and the rest ate the dropper.

tenkara works great on the McCloud
tenkara works great on the McCloud
Lisa with a nice fish landed on her new tenkara rod
Lisa with a nice fish landed on her new tenkara rod
View Andrew Harris's Calendar

There was a large mud flow on Mt. Shasta starting Saturday around 3pm.  For more details, follow this link: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4120/24594/ The forest service reported yesterday:As of this morning, the Forest Service reports that sediment from Mud Creek has reached Lake McCloud and the lower McCloud River. Sediments from Mud Creek will likely impact water quality and fishing by creating turbid conditions in the River below Lake McCloud for the next several weeks. 

View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

The McCloud fished really well for us the last two days.  I guided some great clients on the Nature Conservancy Preserve both days.  We fished the pocket water and smaller pools with nymphs, dries, and dry/dropper techniques.  Most of our fish were small to medium, but there were a few fish over 14 in the mix, too.  Small mayfly nymphs worked great under a small corky indicator.  The hopper grab was good in the afternoons, too.  The fish were pretty grabby for the McCloud.

Jeffrey landed many fish
Jeffrey landed many fish
Gina with her big fish on her first cast
Gina with her big fish on her first cast
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

I had the pleasure of guiding some great clients on the Bollibokka Club on the McCloud River today.  The river is back to normal in terms of clarity.  The ash flow is over and the water is clear - perhaps too clear!  We fished a lot of great pocket water today.  My experience on the Bollibokka is that the pocket water is much more productive than the really obvious buckets, although the fish in the pocket water are smaller.  We did best in the morning hours and productive flies included psycho princes in yellow, brown rubber legs, and red copper johns.  We landed fish up to 18 in the morning.  In the afternoon we did a lot of hopper-dropper fishing.  A few fish ate the hopper, and a lot of small and medium-sized fish ate the dropper.

Scott with a rainbow caught on a red copper john
Scott with a rainbow caught on a red copper john
John caught a lot of fish today
John caught a lot of fish today
Tony playing a fish
Tony playing a fish
Tony with his big fish of the day
Tony with his big fish of the day
Lots of great pocket water on the Bollibokka
Lots of great pocket water on the Bollibokka
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
Good

I fished the McCloud River today with Ross and Nick from Texas.  They are well on their way to their California Heritage Trout Challenge certificates.  The bagged their 4th fish yesterday by catching some McCloud Redbands.  Today we hit both the upper and lower McCloud for some good old Shasta rainbows.  Wet wading was really nice today.  We caught our best fish on a dry fly today but we caught the most on small nymphs fished through the pockets.  The size 6 Chernobyl Ant was popular as an indicator dry, too.  Lots of ladybugs in the air today.  The Nature Conservancy Preserve was a ghost town this afternoon - only three other anglers out.  Not bad for a Sunday in June!

Nick caught this one on a dry
Nick caught this one on a dry
Ross hooked up on a dry-dropper rig
Ross hooked up on a dry-dropper rig
View Andrew Harris's Calendar
12
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