Fall Edition

Fall Edition
Fall Edition

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Truckee River Guide Tips ~ Winter Season

Though the calendar still shows that we are technically in fall, winter is here, even during this brief dry spell. Northern California has seen some significant precipitation early, so much that many small tributaries that feed into the big rivers of the Sacramento, and Napa have seen good numbers of salmon showing up this fall. Many of these small tributaries have not seen salmon in the last 8 years. Water brings life, and why a good snowpack in the Sierra is critical for healthy watersheds during the warmer months. 

Many fair weathered anglers think the northern Sierra is done until after the runoff of spring has come to an end. In reality, there is still fishable conditions to be had  in the Tahoe-Truckee area during the winter, and mix that with a morning getting some turns in on the mountain and you've got a double header. When I lived in Truckee from 86 through 91 it was all snowboarding 24/7 for me during winter, that was my life. It's too bad I did not take some time to make a few drifts on the warmer days. Now that winter fishing has gained more popularity on the Truckee, I'd like to share a few tips from myself and my colleagues that will help you enjoy your time on the water even more.

  • Fish during the warmest time of the day, an increase in water temperature by a degree or two can make a world of difference.
  • Moist cloudy days can produce better hatches of baetis mayflies, let the hatch intensify, then look for snouts and rise forms. Fly first presentations are a must, plan your drifts with care as not to spook other fish.
  • Nymphing will be your number one producer with your flies being presented near the stream bottom, if there is a hatch, drifting a bit higher in the water column can be more productive.
  • Swinging streamers is an option, floating lines and heavy flies, or a RIO Versi Tip with a slightly lighter weight fly.
  • Flies; Juju Baetis, Juju Midge, WD-40, San Juan worms in red and pink, X-May in purple and black. Think small ball and go with darker colors.
  • Dries; Sparkle Dun, Loop Wing Baetis, Hackle Stacker, Parachute Midge Emerger, and midge clusters. Run a small size, If you are having a hard time seeing the fly, drop it off a bigger locator dry fly.
  • Streamers; Slumpbusters in olive and black, Bunny Leeches, Stanley Streamer, and minnow patterns. Bright day bright fly, dark day dark fly goes a long way, but do not be afraid to present a rainbow fingerling on a dark day - anything can and will happen.
  • Nymph the slower deeper water near the tail out of a run, trout will gang up in these areas. Depending on the clarity of the water, you may be able to sight fish for individual fish.
  • With snow on the ground, rubber soled boots are best and will avoid the clump up that comes with felt soled boots. If your walk is of great distance to the river, consider snowshoes to avoid post holing.
  • Inform yourself a few days before you get on the water with the current flows and weather. Dress for conditions, and keep an extra set of dry clothes in your vehicle in case you take a spill in the water.
  • Never wear cotton, it is the cloth of death.
  • Don't put on too many layers of socks, you want to be able to wiggle your toes. Too tight of fit results in poor circulation and colder feet. Try toe warmers instead.
  • Work the water slowly and methodically, if you don't get a grab, change your fly and work the same water again.
  • Bring a backpacking stove. Hot food like soup and chili keep you in the game, add some coffee in the mix and you'll be even more stoked.
So there you go, a few tips for more productive fishing on the Truckee River. Notice I did not say anything about the Little Truckee river, that's because in my opinion the river should be closed from November 15th to the last Saturday in April as it was back in the day. It's true that heavy winters keep most anglers away from the Little Truckee, but I still believe that we should put the river and the fish first, and not our fishing - give them a break. The resorts are open, and a morning of blower pow combined with a baetis hatch in the afternoon could be the best double header you've attended all year.

Squaw Valley, 1989

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lower Yuba River Fishing Report 11/22/2017

I finally got a big project finished I started a few weeks ago, and accomplished a brand new PowerPoint that I will be showing at fly clubs, and the fly fishing show at Pleasanton, Ca for 2017. Creating a new presentation from scratch is hard work, but I enjoy every bit of it, it’s like tying a complex articulated streamer with stunning results. I’m back on the Lower Yuba River and today (the 22nd) did not disappoint. Let’s first talk about the flows on the main river that were jacked from 800 to 1600 cubes on the afternoon of the 20th. During our last storm Deer Creek rose to 803 cfs, but has mellowed out again and is currently down to 25 cfs. Deer Creek travels a long way from Scott’s Flat reservoir and into Lake Wildwood before entering the Yuba. During its travel, the creek has dozens of other creeks (some seasonal) that add even more water. The old rule of thumb was to add the flows coming out of Englebright Dam, and then adding in the Deer Creek station (Mooney Flat Road) to get the total cfs; Deer Creek. There is another station located at the Parks Bar/Highway 20 Bridge that combines the two and gives a more accurate reading of the flow down to Sycamore Ranch; Parks Bar/Highway 20 Bridge. Keep in mind there are other creeks flowing in this section like Brooks Creek (the one that blows out the washout on Hammonton Road), and Dry Creek that splits Hammon Grove, and Sycamore ranch. Be sure to bookmark all three of these sites for your future endeavors on the Lower Yuba River. Water clarity was really good today with a slight tint to it and a visibility of about 4 to 5 feet.

These are less salmon in the river and more spent carcasses on the banks, the seagulls and turkey vultures are doing a great job of cleaning things up, and other critters like bears. I found a few big poop piles from those guys today. Bacon and Egg rigs are still effective under a bobber, but with the higher flows make sure to add some more weight to your leader to get down. A good egg color right now is peachy king with an eye spot.

This time of year to early spring, baetis nymphs become more active with hatches and spinner falls. Most anglers forget about the behavioral drift that occurs in the morning and evening. Make sure you have some BWO Hackle Stackers and Film Critics in your box in case of an emerging hatch. So if the egg is not working for you, try Hogan’s Little Amigo, or his staple S&M nymph, both are great BWO imitations.

Today while scouting the river I stuck with a gold cone head Bunny Leech that has a gray/dirty blond with a copper flash scheme to it. It’s an all-rounder type of fly that could be taken for a minnow, or a flesh fly. Swinging and just enjoying the day was the perfect therapy after being in my office for so long. I received far more tugs than anticipated, a few LDR’s, and a humiliating break off. That was fun to experience today.

There is nothing that bums me out more than coming upon a pile of beer cans, and other remnants of a party scene. Most of today’s youth just do not get it. You should always bring a trash bag with you for occasions like this, though I picked it all up, it’s still a sour thing to have to encounter.

Fishing pressure was light today and I only counted 5 anglers from the bridge down to just above Hammon Grove, I did not see any boats on the water as well. No reports from any of those anglers as they were too busy at the task at hand. I would rate the fishing condition of the river as fair, but being the Yuba, anything can happen at any time. My aquatic sampling today revealed the two bold players that have been dominating since the big floods from last winter and are still out in force, the free living caddis, Rhyacophila, and baetis. I was surprised to see even a few skwala stones in the mix. A few March browns and PMD nymphs were also present in the sampling. Lots of rain forecasted for tonight, and through the next week, so if you plan on fishing the Lower Yuba River keep an eye on the river with the links I provided. See you out there…

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mastering The Dry Fly ~ A Visual Experience

I just completed a very detailed new PowerPoint program titled "Mastering The Dry Fly - A Visual Experience". It's the best program I've created yet, and I'm excited to share it. In the program I start with a brief history of the dry fly, presentations from simple to complex, different water structure and the hidden areas that are best for the dry fly, rise form identification, tips & tricks, and my favorite patterns for eager to educated trout.

I've also included detailed animated slides that give the audience an even clearer understanding of the topic at hand. Step by step, the animated creations explain the exact approach, and solutions for many dry fly puzzles. If you would like to see this amazing presentation talk to your fly fishing club's program director and get me on the calendar for 2017.

So far my 2017 presentation schedule is; 

My presentation appearances are listed below, note the number preceding the club is the number of times I have spoken there.

-Aguabonita Fly Fishers (1)
-Amador Fly Fishers (3)
-California Fly Fishers Unlimited (2)
-Carson Fly Fishing Club (2)
-Chico Area Fly Fishers (2)
-Deep Creek Fly Fishers Club (1)
-Delta Fly Fishers (2)
-E.C. Powell Fly Fisher’s Club (1)
-Flycasters of San Jose (1)
-Fly Fishers of Davis (1)
-Fly Fishing Club of Orange County (1)
-Gold Country Fly Fisher’s Club (3)
-Golden State Flycasters (1)
-Granite Bay Flycasters (1)
-Grizzly Peak Fly Fishers Club (2)
-High Sierra Fly Casters (2)
-ISE Sacramento, 2016 (1)
-Kern River Fly Fishers (1)
-Kienes Fly Fishing Expo (1)
-Lincoln Hills Fishing Club (1)
-Napa Valley Fly Fishers Club (2)
-NCCFFF Festival of Fly Fishing (1)
-Pasadena Casting Club (1)
-Peninsula Fly Fishers Club (3)
-Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show (2)
-Reel Anglers Fly Shop (3)
-Reno Fly Shop (5)
-Russian River Fly Fishers (3)
-Santa Barbara Fly Fishers (1)
-Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen (2)
-Sespe Fly Fishers (1)
-Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers (2)
-Sierra Pacific Fly Fisher (1)
-Stanislaus Fly Fishers (3)
-Tahoe Truckee Fly Fisher’s Club (4)
-Tri-Valley Fly Fishers (2)
-Trout Unlimited Feather River Chapter (2)
-Tracy Fly Fishers (1)
-Wilderness Fly Fishers (1)

If you're interested in setting up a date, you can contact me at 530.228.0487, or emailing me at baiocchistroutfitters@yahoo.com

Sharing the knowledge, and my passion for fly fishing to you is very important to me, I hope you have a chance to see "Mastering The Dry Fly - A Visual Experience".

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Redington Sonic Fly Wader Review

When my dad started fly fishing in the late sixties he bought himself a pair of Seal Dry waders that were like wearing latex gloves for your pants. They were a big deal for him because our family was poor then, and with four kids and a wife to take care of, every penny counted. He could not afford waders for the rest of us so we wet waded in cut off Levis, even during the cold months. My first pair of waders were the James-Scott brand bought by my dad in 1974, I strutted around the rivers of northern California like a proud rooster. 

I soon upgraded to the Simms brand in the mid eighties with the classic brown neoprenes, and kept with the brand for another 30 years. One pair of my G3 guide waders lasted 8 years with no problems except minor leaks caused by my own abusive style of fly fishing, and wading. My next pair that I bought in 2013 developed a major leak after a few weeks where the neoprene booty welds to the Gore-Tex. Being on the water 24/7 I had no time to send them back, so I repaired them, which I'm really good at. I'm not bashing The Simms product at all, they make some really cool innovative gear for the fly angler. Maybe I got a bunk pair, but who knows?

I was ready to try something new, and after talking to factory representatives, I was graciously given a pair of Redington Sonic Fly waders, and a pair of Prowler boots (I'll be reviewing these in the months to come). First off the fit of the waders were very comfortable, and there was no struggle with putting them on, even where the booty/wader junction meets. The fly is the greatest thing on earth, as us men age, we got to take a leak more frequently then when we were younger. With the fly I do not need to remove my jacket, or my vest, just unzip, clip off the belt and go. The wading belt itself is very nice because it is wide, and when unclipped it does not fall out of the retaining straps. One of the best features are the pockets. There are two inside pockets with velcro closures, I like to keep my GoPro camera in one, and a snack in the other. The front pockets offer a zippered waterproof on one side, which I keep my phone in, and a mesh zippered pocket on the other. The shoulder straps are very comfy and keep their elasticity quite well.

On November 6th I was on my boat guiding a guest at Lake Davis when I turned the key over to start the motor a very loud "pop" erupted. The #1 battery had exploded with both ends of the battery sheared away, exposing the core. It was a freak accident and luckily there was no fire, and nobody was injured. The blast was contained within the battery box, and all the acid from the cell was held within it. After getting on dry land I had to remove the battery from the storage area and in doing so dripped acid all over my Sonic Fly's. I did not get a chance to rinse them for another hour. The following day I noticed that areas of the fabric had a slight melt look to it with obvious white blemishes. I've since used them several times and still there are no leaks from those affected areas of damage. Even on the inside you cannot tell there is any evidence of battery acid. That says a lot to me about the durability of the Redington Sonic Fly Waders. 187 days on the waders, no leaks, minimal abrasion, no delamination, and no troubles. I'm very impressed with them, and I have decades under my belt when it comes to wearing waders. Check out a pair of Redington waders at your local fly shop, try them on, and you too may be struttin' around like a proud rooster. You can also check out the entire line of Redington soft goods and rods by clicking the link below - J.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Frenchman's Reservoir Fishing Report 11/7/2016

I've been doing select trips at Frenchman's Reservoir for the last few months for those that are willing to hike, and do walk and wade trips since launching my boat is out of the question with the very low water levels. You can still launch boats at the main ramp in the southern portion of the lake that are small, or something like a Zodiac. The lake has been fishing well for rainbows 12 to 18". You'll catch 3 times more fish at Frenchman's than Lake Davis, but they will be much smaller, and with less girth. Water temperatures are ranging from 46 to 49 degrees. Because of such the fish are in the shallows and skinny water from mid morning to early afternoon. Fishing pressure is moderate with mostly bank fishers using bait, and lots of areas to find your own water for the day. 

Stripping flies with a slow to medium speed with plenty of pauses, and using a floating line has been producing the best. The same flies you use at Lake Davis work at Frenchman's, but the staple flies here are Sheep Creek specials, olive wiggle tails, and cinnamon buggers. Fish are scattered in good numbers around the lake, and some areas do produce a little better than others; If you're catching fish, stay put. If not; move. The grabs are on the light side, so strip set, and if you feel nothing connecting, keep stripping. There has been no sign of shore ice yet, but it's only a matter of time. Fall colors are all but gone, but Frenchman's Reservoir has a unique scenery to it, it's different. I'm available for walk and wade trips here until the lake ices up, give me a call and reserve a date with me - 530.228.0487. See you out there, I'll be combing the banks of the little desert lake.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

RIO's "How To" Videos ~ Episode 1 ~ Swinging Soft Hackles

RIO products has come out with a new series of "How To" videos that will shorten the learning curve on many fly fishing techniques. In each episode Simon Gawesworth explains the proper tackle, rigging, and technique for success. In episode 1, Simon explains the simplicity of swinging soft hackles. It's an easy technique for beginners to learn, and for more advanced fly anglers it offers the opportunity to cover more water when searching. The Lower Yuba River is an excellent place to swing flies with it's long runs. Click here to see the video;

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Baiocchi's Troutfitters Resources Page

Your typical fly angler is always on the search for any information that will increase their skills, or enlighten their outings on the water. The internet provides so much information that it can overwhelming at times. I created a resource page on my website to help my guests and the general public to better plan for their getaways with the least amount of hassle. As many of you know I love to share the knowledge, so this addition to my site was a no brainer. I've listed everything you wanted to know about the areas, stillwaters, and watersheds I guide on. I've included the very best services you can find. On my resources page you'll find;

  • Fishing license information.
  • Driving conditions.
  • Fishing reports.
  • Stream flow information.
  • Northern Sierra visitors information.
  • Fly fishing shops & supplies.
  • General fly fishing resources.
  • Fly fishing manufacturers that I network with.
  • Fly clubs that I belong to.
  • Weather for the northern Sierra.
  • Mapping of the northern Sierra.
  • USFS Ranger Districts.
I also include watershed specific resources that include, Lake Davis, the Middle Fork Feather River, Frenchman's reservoir, the Tahoe/Truckee area, the North Fork Yuba River, and the Lower Yuba river. Listed under these waters includes;

  • Lodging.
  • Campgrounds
  • Restaurants. 
  • Other recreational activities.
This page is incredibly useful when planning your fly fishing trips, and if you're on the road, it eliminates excessive searching on your phone as I have it all dialed in for you. Click here to view my resources page and start planning your next adventure today; Baiocchi's Troutfitters Resources Page

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Trinity River Fishing Report 10/23/2016

At last, a vacation for myself on the Trinity River after grinding it out for 8 plus months. It started last Friday as I made the journey to Weaverville where my long time guest, and buddy Dave were to make our home base. Upon reaching Whiskytown Lake there were warnings about a 45 minute delay from the ongoing Buckhorn summit road construction, Sure enough it was a long wait sitting in the truck. And a creeper of a ride over the summit with traffic control. When the project is completed, it will save so many minutes from traveling from the bottom of the hill to the summit. The extensive work that has been completed is amazing. As a child my dad and I use to travel over Buckhorn summit every 2nd week of June to fish the upper Trinity River upstream of the lake for a few weeks. The road back then was a narrow 2 lane road with switchbacks that would cause road sickness to those in the less than hardy category. Now it’s a piece of cake with big two lane sweepers all the way up the east side. We stayed at the Red Hill motel/cabins which is perfect for serious steelheaders, simple, warm, and just the basic needs. 

Our guide and friend Jason Cockrum picked us up in the early morning as we made our way to Junction City to begin our float. There were no crowds like last year mainly due to the fact there are very little steelhead in the system, even after our last big storm. It was a beautiful and peaceful float with fall colors blazing away and the soothing sound of riffles and runs. The weather was really nice as well, partly cloudy with sun in the afternoon and just a puff of a breeze.

We fished indo rigs with large stones, nymphs, and egg patterns and adjusted the depth and the amount of lead depending on the run. We caught plenty of smolts, especially after retrieving line after long bump mend drifts. It was rather annoying. Dave’s only fish was a juvenile and not what he was looking for, it was his first time fishing for steelhead  and I so wanted him to hook into an athlete. I was lucky enough to hook into a nice wild buck, about 7 pounds and 28”. He was a real bully that fought down and dirty with some good runs. We worked our asses off all day with little to show. Still, I had a great day despite a low number. Others were struggling too.

I can’t say enough good things about Jason, he knows the river incredibly well, has the right flies, the knowledge, and is extremely good at directing your casts and instructing you in improving your faults. He is so attentive during the entire float – He’s got game. I highly recommend Jason, but he is booked pretty solid. He does network with a good group of quality guides so he can place you with one of them if he is not available. Oh, you need to see his new and improved Jaydicators, the best bobbers out there! Thanks again you guys, that was awesome, I’ll be back next year for sure!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lower Yuba River Update 10/18/16 ~ The Spirit Of The Salmon

I worked the Lower Yuba River today for a special guest who wanted a private one on one pontoon workshop. It was a glorious day with sunshine and beautiful cumulous clouds lining the north eastern skyline, and highs in the lower 60’s. The flows were running at 1530 cubes, and the water clarity was surprisingly good after the onslaught of our last big storm. It had a nice green tint to it with about 4 feet of visibility. Fishing pressure was very light, I saw a total of 4 other anglers, and one drift boat.

Conditions have changed dramatically in the last two weeks on the Lower Yuba River, there is way more salmon in the system, and many redds in the tail outs. I realize that I and others keep preaching this, but it is important for walk and wade anglers to be able to identify the redds of salmon and steelhead, and not to wade through them. It’s best to completely avoid them at all costs as the offspring is the future of the river’s ecosystem. If I had my way the river would be completely closed to all fishing and boat traffic from Duguerre dam up to Englebright dam from August 31st to January 1st. The health of the river is far more important than our needs for fishing, guiding, and running a business. That’s just my opinion.

The resident rainbows are definitely locked in on the “egg bite”, we had a huge BWO spinner fall for a half hour today and only one rising fish in a known productive part of the river that always holds big numbers of trout, and rhythm risers. Indo rigs and short line high sticking techniques with a combination of bacon and eggs is ideal right now. Don’t forget about the Flesh Juan worm, red is not always the best color to present.

It was busy on the river today, and I’m glad the goal for my guest was learning all the parameters of safely drifting down a big valley river in a personal watercraft, and not numbers of fish. SRYCL had one of their “Salmon Tours” today after cancelling their original October 15th date due to weather. I like the idea of the tours as it raises awareness on how important the salmon are to the Lower Yuba River, explaining the complete life cycle from egg, fingerling, juvenile, to adults returning after a period in the salt. To make things even busier, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife had a research vessel out with both biologist, and aids counting salmon, and marking redds with GPS equipment. I realize the importance of their job, but they do disrupt and push resident trout away from prime feeding areas when they buzz by and zig zag all over the river.

Once again I got to see Outcast’s Pro Stealth frameless boat in action, and it’s time to retire my 19 year old Camo Cat 9 and buy this craft. The ease of inflation, and setting up the boat for the river is remarkably quick and easy. It has less contact on the water’s surface making it a faster and a more maneuverable machine. It’s got plenty of room for cargo as well. For those inclined to float still waters, or rivers, you really need to check out the Stealth Pro. I’m impressed.

After 7 months of grinding it out, I finally get a small vacation starting this Friday as I head up north for a guided trip with Jason Cockrum of Clearwater Lodge on the Trinity River. Reports before the storm revealed very little steelhead in the system, I sure hope the big storm drew some good numbers of them upstream. When you book a trip a year in advance you get what you get, I know I’ll be enjoying myself and making the most of it, that's for sure. Tight lines and I’ll see you on the water…

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lake Davis Fishing Report 10/14/2016

So far, the fall season at Lake Davis has been better than expected. The fall colors are turning on but this year has seen uneven colors, with many trees already dropping their leaves. Fishing pressure remains light. Water temperatures are 51 to 55 degrees. It needs to get a little colder for the rainbows to remain in the shallows all day long. Hopefully after this weekend of intense precipitation that will happen. Speaking of which, you’re better off staying indoors and tying flies than at the lake. Big wind is forecasted throughout the weekend.

Fish areas and coves on the west and north shores that are not receiving pressure. There have been pods of fish rising in select areas; seek them out before they travel elsewhere. Sheep Creek specials and wiggle tails in fiery brown, burnt orange, and rust are hot right now. Drop to 3x, the rainbows are letting their guard down, typical of the fall season.

I’ll be putting the boat away when the first big snowstorm hits, though I’ll still be doing walk and wade trips for those hardy enough. Give me a call if you’re interested, and if you want in on my Lower Yuba River skwala trips book now. Best of luck to you all, enjoy the fall, and enjoy those pumpkin trout. See you on water…

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lake Davis & North Fork Yuba River Fishing Report 10/3/2016

The last few weeks at Lake Davis we saw above normal temperatures with some days of light wind. During this time there were fish in the shallows until about 1pm, then returning to the first ledge in deeper water from 8 to 15 feet. Water temperatures went from 60 to 64, then 58 to 62 degrees. Currently after this last storm rolled through, the water temps dropped down to 55 to 58 degrees. The lake received 2 inches of snow last night, and it was in the low twenties this morning. Conditions will be warming up and by this coming Friday, it will 70 during the day and 32 at night. 

Fishing pressure has increased as well, there are more trailers in the lot at Honker Cove, and popular areas like Jenkins and Cow Creek are seeing a few vehicles parked there. Honker Cove is still operational, but the Forest Service refuses to move the dock out further into the lake. If you tie your boat up at the dock you may not be able to back your trailer into the correct depth, in other words, you are going to hit your boat. Camp 5 is still operational as well, but there is no dock in the water, it’s on the concrete ramp as the Forest Service never put it in this year. Your tax dollars, hard at work.

The lake is fishing better than expected and with the water levels at 56%, it is fishing like a typical fall. The last two fall seasons were absolutely dismal with the lower water levels. During those two seasons there was a bunch of fish in front of Long Point, and Lightning Tree Cove, this year I’m seeing many anglers who caught fish back then returning, and not finding the fish. Different levels of the lake will have an effect on where the fish will be. I have seen the most populations from Eagle Point all the way up to Cow Creek. There is some fish up in the northern lake, but I think we’ll see them gang up there in the future as they normally do in late October. Overall fish are scattered and some areas have a higher percentage of rainbows than others, pods are coming into the same shallows to feed day in and day out. This may change after this last storm, and lower water temperatures, I've seen it happen many times before.

A week and a half ago we had warmer temperatures and some glassy days with a Callibaetis hatch from 10:30 to just after noon. The mayflies were very small in a size 18, and the last brood of the season. We had some incredible sight fishing with both nymphs and adults on the surface, with fish in 1 to 3 feet of water. It’s always more fun when you have targets to cast to. There have been a few blood midges out, but the hatch has been sparse. I’m seeing snail shells on some banks in the north end of the lake, which is cool to see. Some of these shells are extremely large and offer a good meal for a trout with one bite. If it is flat calm out in the morning don’t forget about scum lines in deeper water, sometimes this phenomenon can happen on the east shore near the island. The fish are taking leftovers from the day before, and these “dumpster divers” are actively rising and finning on the surface. Pro tip; don’t anchor, and just free float, be prepared to make 60 foot casts or further with a high amount of accuracy. Buggers leeches, and wiggle tails are becoming more effective during the autumn season, and the classic colors for this time of year include burnt orange, fiery brown, cinnamon, rust, and black.


Big wind and big water punished the lake last Friday through Sunday. It was ugly, and along with the low pressure the fishing was off. Friday’s winds gusted to 40 mph, Saturday was a little less violent but the bite did not come on until 2pm. You never know when the switch is going to be turned on, and sometimes it pays to wait the day out instead of leaving. With Sunday’s wind it was near impossible to anchor, so my guests and I used a technique I have not practiced in a long time, using a wind sock and drifting with the wind. The sock slows the boat down as it’s pushed through the currents and parallel to the wind. The angler will cast either to the bow or the stern of the boat and let the line swing until it’s straightened out. Then pulling more line off the reel until the flies are about 50 feet away from the boat. For your presentation, strip the flies in for a few feet, and then allow the line to be sucked back out. Repeat. I’m going to use the wind drift much more in the future as it allows you to cover plenty of water, and not have to hassle with weed choked anchors.

Look for fishing conditions to improve during this week as warmer weather fills the day, and if you’re not getting takes, move to a different location. See you on the banks and the fertile flats of Lake Davis.

North Fork Yuba River

Before the last storm rolled through, the weather was extremely warm, and the fishing on the river was on fire, even above Sierra City. Dry / dropper rigs were very effective with the usual flies as last reported. One dropper fly that outshined every other nymph tied on was your basic Copper John, size 16. Water temps in the upper watershed were 55 to 61 degrees. The flows were good too. There was zero fishing pressure, and even the campgrounds have thinned out. This will all change with the last storm, and with snow on the higher peaks you can expect some melting on south and west faces for the next few days. Water temps will drop with a slight increase with the flows, and the savvy angler will work the river lower in the watershed.

The October caddis has been out for the last two weeks, I’m seeing a lot of shucks and a few flyers in the air. The fish are not keyed in on them as they are taking anything they can get. Pseudocleons, little Blue Wing Olive mayflies are dancing above the water with a spinner fall when air temperatures are between 58 and 68 degrees. 

Hoppers are still out during the warmest time of the day, and if the wind blows you can have some great action. Now is a great time to fish the North Fork Yuba River, no crowds, and enticing up the larger rainbows and browns with the big bug.

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