Wednesday, January 25, 2012

American and Lower Yuba Rivers

Lots of Salmon carcasses around the American still.
My buddy Sebastian caught a nice chromer on the American last week so I decided to brave the Sacramento traffic, wind and rain on Monday morning and head over.
I fished at the end of Illinois st pretty close to the dam. There's a nice run straight out from the parking lot where Sebastian caught about a 13 lb fish.
I managed to go 1 for 2. Both on a swung Prince nymph. The landed fish was nice, around 6 lbs and pretty dark. The second one came unbuttoned pretty quick but it felt a little bigger.
It was cold and the fishing was a little slower than expected so I didn't hang around long. I didn't see anyone else catch any fish and around noon it started getting a little crowded.

American River  below Hazel Blvd bridge

Today I fished the Yuba and hooked a few fish on red copper johns and red headed step child. The nicest fish of the day came on a swing of the RHSC. I saw a nice fish jump about two feet in the air and my buddy Keith said its probably chasing caddis. I didn't have my fly box on me so I just started swinging the RHSC and got lucky.

There was a nice PMD hatch around 1 with some sporadic BWO as well. We also saw some Skwala around which was cool. 

Our aim was to hit that hatch and catch some fish on dries but the window was really short and most of the fish we saw rising were just out of reach for a good drift.
Skwala don't like to have their pictures taken

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Religious Experience

There was a moment during our drift on the Rogue on Wednesday when I thought I may have found out what it feels like to be close to God. Then I took a long drink of Scotch after releasing a beautiful wild Steelhead and I was certain.

I don't know if "Epic" is the best word to describe my last trip, but it certainly is the first one that comes to mind so I decided to look up the exact definition:


  [ep-ik]  Show IPA
adjective Also, ep·i·cal.
noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a heroin which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style:Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on thefounding of the country.
heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epicproportions.

So bullet number one definitely doesn't fit since our journey wasn't a long poetic composition. However, there were hero's as well as a series of great achievements so an "Epic" could be composed from the events that took place.

Bullet number two obviously fits (see previous paragraph).

Bullet number three? Yeah.

Bullet number four? "of unusually great size or extent" yep that fits. Those words can be used to describe the personality of the people we met, the fish we caught, and the time spent on the water.

We had decided to take this trip about 2 months ago, and the only real plan was that we were going Steelhead fishing in OR. We knew that you can't really plan exactly which rivers to fish since conditions and fishing reports dictate that.
We didn't hear much regarding good Steelhead fishing in OR the week prior to the trip and that this was due to low water levels but I didn't really care. I figured we could go to the Klamath or Rogue and catch some nice hatchery fish. I was just excited to get out of work for a week and go fishing with friends.

Then, an amazing thing happened. A guy name John Rickard came into the shop. John is a guide and owns Wild Waters Fly Fishing guide service. His guide service had just become Orvis endorsed so he wanted to take us out....FOR FREE. When my friend and store manager Steve told me this, I thought to myself, "yeah right, there's no way". Well, John came through and he even got his business partner Chuck Volckhausen and another guide Keith Lyon to come along. (Now I'm going to feel pressure to send them a LOT of business, I'll do my best fellas!)
The three of these guys know Northern CA and Southern OR like the back of their hand and I had a good feeling that we would get into fish regardless of the fact that people said the Steelhead fishing was slow.

Location: Heaven, Earth

Mt. Shasta

John Rickard

Coastal Cutthroat

 (sorry Steve, this was the best pic of that fish)
Also, notice the size of the net?? Whoops. 

Chuck Volckhausen

Keith Lyon
We fished the Upper Sacramento for trout on Monday and then fished the Klamath on Tuesday (with Wild Waters) and the Upper Rogue Wednesday (with Wild Waters), we waded the Rogue on Thursday and Friday by ourselves and fished a sick run thanks to the knowledge of Keith Lyon. 

We caught a lot of fish.

I can honestly say this was the best trip I've ever had. Not just because we caught a lot of nice fish, but for the way everything came together so perfectly and for the people that I was fortunate enough to spend those short 5 days with. 

Heroic, Majestic, Impressively Great...

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Started My Year on the Mokelumne??!!

You're goddamn right I did.
After I fished the Moke the first time I vowed to never fish it again because of the trash I encountered all over the river. My buddy Rob emailed me and asked if I wanted to go out on New Years Day (opening day on the Moke) and of course I said "FUCK YEAH!" because I have no self control when someone wants to go fishing.

Rob guaranteed we would catch fish. I know from taking people out that this is a bold statement and not to be taken lightly but I trusted him and I wasn't disappointed. We definitely caught fish. We caught about a hundred between the two of us. They were all about the size of the one in the picture above.

As expected there were a bunch of guys with spinning gear out. They were all catching the same little hatchery fish we were and only a couple reported anything bigger. We saw one guy with a little ultra light and a spinner catch a nice 18 inch bow. As soon as he landed it he put it on a stringer and started walking towards the parking lot. He came over to us (we weren't fishing at this spot) and asked if we thought the adipose fin had been cut. It had, and we told him he'd be fine taking it home. He promptly got in his truck and drove home. He must have been hungry as hell.

Holy Mother

Well, it's finally 2012. 2011 was a big year for me. My new years resolution for 2011 was to fish 100 days and I knew that would be impossible. I didn't make that goal but I did pretty well. I haven't counted the total number of days on the water but its around 60. That includes mornings at Crissy Field and basically any day I had my line in the water.
I also got engaged which is important to note, so as not to get in trouble and what not.

When I moved to San Francisco in November of 2010 I realized very quickly that there was too much water to fish and be educated on in a short period of time, so I decided that I would fish as much of it as possible in the coming year and here is a list of NEW water that I fished in 2011 (including water outside of CA)
In no particular order:

Trinity River
Lower Yuba River
North Fork Yuba River
Feather River
Mokelumne River
Merced River
Tuolumne River
San Juaquin River
Truckee River
Little Truckee River
McCloud River
Lower Sacramento River
Upper Sacramento River
Pit River
Hat Creek
Lost Creek
Lake Manzanita
Sacramento River Delta
San Francisco Bay
Bayano River (Panama)
Pacific Coast (Panama)
Sarasota Bay (Florida)
Gulf Coast (Florida)
Gordon Creek (Wisconsin)