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Northern California: , by Luke Geraty: Trout on the Sac, Steel on the Trinity!: 4 stars

Tom and Cheryl joined me again for two days here in Northern California, fishing on the Sacramento River and then chasing steelhead on the Trinity. We were on the Sac on Friday and the river had a bit of color in it when we first started but it wasn't blown out and we hooked a lot of fish throughout the morning. I think by 9am we had probably put fifteen fish in the net and had lost a bunch more. Getting on early has its rewards. By the end of the day the river had definitely become much worse and visibility went from around four feet to less than six inches. All that ash and mud had finally made its way through Keswick down to Redding and definitely made an impact. Despite this challenge, Cheryl still managed to put the largest fish of the day in the net.. a heavy 'bow that taped just under 24 inches, what I like to call a "two hander." Of course, as a "professional," I had to grab a quick photo with one hand when we were letting it go... and as the fish was safely returned to the river and we watched it swim away, we all smiled.

Now I've been telling Cheryl and Tom about the Trinity for the past month and a half, so with the increasingly blown out Sac, it seemed to make sense that we go over and check it out. So on Saturday we made our way up and down Buckhorn to float the Trinity River and chase some of those elusive steelhead, the next stage step in Cheryl's discovery of fly fishing. Tom has caught salmon and steelhead before, so he knew what we were in for. The weather was supposed to be a bit rainy but we ended up dodging the rain and even enjoyed some mid 60's temp, with the sun poking its head out the clouds. Fishing wise, Tom and Cheryl quickly learned about how challenging the Trinity can be, especially since it has a lot of shallow runs and trees have a funny way of popping out just at the last minute. But we found fish! Overall we hooked five adults and landed one of them, a smaller adult that gave up one of the hardest fights I think I've seen. I was shocked at how hard that thing pulled and how long it took us to put it in the net... but we did! And while that was a really cool experience, the moment that's replaying in all of our minds is when Tom hooked what was possibly the largest fish I've ever seen on the Trinity. After I had floated through a productive run, I rowed back up and on our second pass, he hooked the giant leviathan of a steelhead. It immediately jumped twice, making massive splashes as it's 10+ pounds of weight crashed back into the river. Tom played the fish for a few minutes and, as he turned it perfectly away from a number of logs, the fish jumped one final time and broke him off. That final jump continues to replay in my sleep and we spent most of the day talking about that fish. We also hooked a number of half-pounders, fish that are potentially the fastest grabbing fish in existence. Hook sets have to happen quick or those things will shake off!

The Trinity is definitely fishing well, so now's the time to book a trip! There should be steelhead in the system for another four months, so let's get something on the books!

Sometimes you hook trout while stripping your flies in to recast
Sometimes you hook trout while stripping your flies in to recast
This taped out at just under 24 inches, quite a handful.
This taped out at just under 24 inches, quite a handful.
Another boat told us we were must have found a. “honey hole” because they watched us hook five, ha!
Another boat told us we were must have found a. “honey hole” because they watched us hook five, ha!
Lassen has snow!
Lassen has snow!
Cheryl has become a pro!
Cheryl has become a pro!
One of the hardest fighting Trinity steelhead I’ve seen, despite it’s size!
One of the hardest fighting Trinity steelhead I’ve seen, despite it’s size!
Photo bomb!
Photo bomb!
It was about 8:55am when Tom got this in the boat and we’d already caught about 15!
It was about 8:55am when Tom got this in the boat and we’d already caught about 15!
A beautiful sunrise!
A beautiful sunrise!
Next 10 open days for Luke Geraty: Aug 29, 30, 31, Sep 1, 5, 23, 24, Oct 5, 6, 7
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