Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Blog on Wordpress, New Website

To my few followers, I have started a new blog and have a new website. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook -

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dry Fly Fishing Yosemite

We're going through runoff in California so the larger rivers that course through Yosemite are a little high. Some friends and I fished small creeks in the park last week and it was great. The small wild fish were eager to take a well presented fly. We fished mostly ant patterns but I threw on a #12 beetle pattern and was having success with that also.
One awesome thing about fishing the park is that its never crowded. Most tourists don't even think you can fish in the park and locals don't want to pay or deal with the traffic so most of the time you can have these streams to yourself.
Stealth was the key for catching these fish. Even though they will readily take almost any fly as long as its the around the right size, they are so spooky that any hard footfall, shadow, quick movement or poor cast will spook them. You can see in the first picture below how skinny and clear the water is. Even standing 20 feet away the fish will spook if you're not careful. Dark clothing is key as well.
Being able to make very light bow and arrow casts and having a longer rod help also. A lot of people will use shorter rods when they fish these tiny creeks but I've found that being able to reach over a rock or bush with a 9 foot rod will get you better presentations (on average) than a short rod.
Its nice to have a short rod when you're whacking through brush, or if you're making overhead casts under trees but if you can sneak up on the fish you're targeting a longer rod is best, in my opinion.
This creek was so small you had to walk up stream and hide behind rocks/foliage  and use the rod length to place the fly up stream of the fish. Small bow and arrow casts of 15 feet were helpful. 

Here I am making a reach mend over the fast water to fish a small pocket of still water on the other side. With a longer rod I can keep the line out of the fast water after the reach mend.

This shot shows how clear the water is. In this particular creek the water was moving fast enough  that you didn't have to be quite as stealthy, and the fish were less picky about presentation.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Eastern Sierras for Mothers Day

My mom came out to CA from WI and said she wanted to see some of the places that I fish. I decided to take her and my wife over to the Mammoth Lakes area. We fished the Upper Owens and Hot Creek since those two rivers are very user friendly for beginner fly casters.
Below are some pics:
 On the Upper Owens I had them fishing small wooly buggers just to get them used to dealing with the fly rod. We didn't catch any fish in about an hour of fishing so I put on a couple of nymphs, still nothing.

 Hot Creek was much better fishing. We used a dry dropper set up with most fish hitting an olive caddis emerger pattern like a spotlight caddis or an EC caddis in sizes 16-20. A few fish were hooked on the dropper which was a caddis pupa, also in olive.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tulum Mexico

Ok so I haven't been Striper fishing as much as I thought I would. I have made a few attempts after my last post and genuinely want to get out there but the wind in late March and early April was relentless. I decided I would just take a couple of weeks and prepare for my trip to Mexico.
My wife and I had planned this trip way back in late December so by April I was so anxious I could hardly bare it. This was not planned as a fishing trip but I did get out for a few days to take a shot at some bonefish for the first time. I also had a couple shots at some big permit but didn't hook up.

We miraculously landed in Cancun on the 10th of April. I say that it was miraculous because I'm afraid of flying and every time I touch down I can't help but thank god that the plane didn't fall apart mid flight, causing a pressure suck that first takes the people wandering around in the aisles, then those who didn't buckle up tight enough, and then finally causing so much damage to the plane that it breaks in two and we fall from the air for a few minutes before splattering on the ground, or ocean we were just 30,000 feet over. But I digress.
The landing was pretty scary since the wind was howling at a sustained 20-25 mph. My first thought was, "shit, there goes my evening beach fishing session." But since this was NOT a fishing trip I wasn't too bummed.
We got our rental car after paying about 10 times the amount we were quoted online, they always nail you with the insurance, and got out on the Mexican highway on a 1 1/2 hour trip to Tulum. It was about 85 degrees and humid but we would be damned if we were gonna turn on the air condition. After all, we had been waiting for this kind of weather since December.
We arrived at our hotel at the end of hotel row at around 6pm. Tulum, if you've never heard of it or been there, is nothing like Cancun or its closer neighbor Playa Del Carmen just to the north. The hotel row in Tulum is what Cancun was like maybe 30 years ago. No buildings are higher than the palm trees and they're all ran on wind or solar power. Our particular little bunch of villas are built on the west side of the little beach road, about 10 kilometers outside of the town of Tulum. They have thatched roofs and no windows, just screens with shades you can pull down.

The whole Yucatan Peninsula is a dense jungle that pushes all the way out to the ocean. There are a shitload of bugs in the jungle so the mosquito netting on the bed came in handy. Also, it keeps out more than just mosquitos, which is nice.
We just chilled on the beach for the first few days. It took me a couple of days to acclimate to the hot, humid weather. I couldn't wear a shirt at all for two days because I'd immediately sweat through it.

The wind continued to howl without much let up which was nice for sleeping and laying on the beach, but I wondered if I'd ever get a shot at fishing on this beach. I decided I needed to get it out of my system so I called a guy named Craig that I had heard about who guides the flats that are only a half hour drive from Tulum. (tulum.flyfishing@facebook.com) He had some availability on Monday so I booked him. He only charges $200 bucks for the day and guides from a Canoe which I thought would be great.
He picked us up at about 730am on Monday morning. I didn't see a canoe on his jeep so I was wondering what was up but he stashed it in the jungle by the flats.
Since it was windy it was tough to see the fish, and they were a little cagey. There was also a good amount of cloud cover which again inhibited our visibility but we had a blast.

Even though I had heard a million times about how hard bonefish pull, i was still shocked at the strength of these little fish. I had two make runs that were so hard and fast I though they were gonna be 16 inches long, but as you can see in the pic, that fish was only about 12 inches! They are amazingly strong fish. I can only imagine what it would have been like if I had hooked one of the big 10-12 lb permit we saw. I guess I'll have to wait for another trip to find out.
I went out on my own for a couple of mornings after my trip with Craig but was unsuccessful. If I had had more time I probably could have hooked some more fish but I had to take off at around noon, just when the sun was its highest and the visibility was getting good.
It stayed windy for the whole 10 days we were there so I never did fish the beach.
We miraculously touched down in San Francisco last night and now I'm covered in a wool blanket, in sweat pants, sitting on my couch writing this while Sports Center plays on the T.V. Back to reality.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stripers in San Francisco Bay

I'm no longer employed by one of the worlds largest fly fishing companies. After 10 years on our current lease in San Francisco, Orvis decided that the rent went up to much and shut the store down. While I am a little bummed that they couldn't figure out how to open a smaller store and keep us employed, I'll never say anything bad about Orvis as a company. They treat their employees well, or as well as any other corporation I guess.
What I'm most bummed about is the lack of money going into my bank account every 2 weeks. Don't worry, I've got some stuff in the works for new revenue streams. However, until that happens I have decided that I will stick close to home, save gas, and study the pursuit of Striped Bass. 
I have a few buddies who know some killer spots in the Bay Area for Stripers. I had some success fishing yesterday just before high tide on a chartruese and white clouser tied on a 1/0 hook. I was stripping in fast with a pause every few strips. I have heard of other stripping techniques and I think all can be productive although the fast, hard strip seems to be what most guys are doing.
Today, I went out with my buddy James and when we left the house, it was warm, sunny, no wind. As soon as we parked the wind came in strong and we were pretty much doomed. It was blowing right at us, angling in from the west. I was hauling pretty hard when a gust came up and blew my fly right into the path of my right hand. If you've never buried a 1/0 hook with barb into your hand, don't start trying. And remember to de-barb your hooks. That's all I'll say about that. After I pulled this thing out and cleaned up the blood all over my rod and hands I re-tied and fished for about 20 minutes. Didn't touch a thing.
I look forward to posting more reports in the near future. I will be fishing a lot until I'm tied into another job. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

San Diego Bay and the Truckee

Went out with Bob Day of "En La Mosca" fly fishing outfitters in San Diego bay a couple of weeks ago. Bob is an Orvis endorsed guide and I highly recommend him if anyone wants a nice easy day of fishing while in San Diego.
I took my buddy Latane who had never caught a fish on a fly rod. Latane used a spinning rod most of the day but asked Bob if he could use a fly rod. Bob had him casting a 300gr sinking line in about 10 minutes and Latane landed his first fish on a fly rod...awesome.
Bob put us on tons of fish, he knows the bay really well. We also boated a yellow fin croaker, lizard fish and a bunch of smelt. We used small to medium sized clousers and the bass were hitting pretty much anything. Even after my little clouser was totally trashed and hardly recognizable they kept biting.
I used a 6 weight which was perfect for the 12-14 inch bass. They put a nice bend in the rod.

A few days later I was with my brother and we were on our way up the hill to Reno NV. I had never fished the Truckee outside of CA and was really looking forward to exploring some new water. My buddy Jan at Orvis in Reno gave me some great info on flies and access points so I was pretty sure we'd get on fish.
If you've never been to Reno, its kind of like a trashier, smaller Las Vegas. The casinos are pretty nice though and the hotels are cheap which is awesome since the Truckee access points are only 15-20 minutes from downtown Reno.
The fish were in slow water and on the first day we saw a decent BWO hatch and hooked up with some nice fish. The weather was awesome, warm and sunny.
Saturday was really tough. We fished a spot that was super snaggy and I lost tons of flies. There was trash everywhere and the fish must have had lock jaw. The only fish caught all day was a nice fat bow that carson hooked on a little wd-40.
This is a section of the river closer to Reno. Most of the river didn't look this trashed. A fucking disgrace.
On Sunday I was really hung over. We spent a few hours at the casino on Saturday night and when I woke up I knew it was gonna be a challenge getting to the river. I pushed the curtains back on the window in the hotel room to reveal a cloudy, rainy day. I had heard about some recent epic BWO hatches on this stretch of the river and knew that today might be the best day yet.
I nursed my hangover at Denny's for about an hour and a half and then we hit the river around 10am.

This section is where we fished on Friday and hooked up using small black mayfly nymphs in the slow water.

It ended up being the best BWO hatch I've ever fished. It wasn't easy hooking up but we both hooked and landed some really nice browns and rainbows. Mostly on dries but also on small black emergers.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yuba 2/1/13

Well I got skunked on the Yuba again. I committed to throwing dries and I guess my patterns weren't up to the standards of the fish this past trip.
It was a great day though. Sunny and about 70 degrees. 1400 CFS.
Everyone I spoke to on Friday was having a pretty tough day.
The Skwalas are around but not in big numbers. I saw a lot of Skwala nymphs under rocks so I think its only a matter of time before it really gets going. It will definitely be crowded though, even with the slow fishing on Friday there were probably more than 10 boats on the water and a healthy amount of wade fisherman. I was wading also and found some nice big stretches of water to myself.

Can't figure out how to get the Macro working

If you go and want to catch fish I'd stick with nymphs. Small mayfly patterns and stones, unless of course you see fish rising.