Busman's Holiday: A vacation or form of recreation that involves doing the same thing that one does at work. Except on this trip I was the guest for two days of guided fishing on the Trinity River. Joined by my long time buddy @shogun_of_denver, we had the odds stacked against us. Bright warm sunny weather, low clear flows, and not many fish in the system due to the tribe opening up the weir downstream a month late (politics). None of these factors could deter my annual trip to such a beautiful classic Northern California watershed, besides we're chasing steelhead, the unicorn of freshwater fish.
On Day 1 we floated the lower river, a little more water down there, but still pretty much bone dog flows. Fishing pressure was extremely light and there were very few steelhead to be seen. We boated some Halfers and Tweeners, and a few adults came unbuttoned. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, not a puff of wind either. Warm in the sunshine, and in the shade, much cooler.
On Day 2 we floated the upper river launching from Indian Creek Lodge (best place to stay and eat in the area) and were into fish right away. It seemed for most of the float that this section had the most salmon and steelhead, but conditions change daily on where the fish hold on the Trinity. Here to today, gone tomorrow, and always on the move. More bent rods than the day before, including 4 adults, but just could not get them to the net. Oh well, this is my vacation, easy come, easy go. Go to flies that produced were big dark rubber leg stones, and eggs. I might add there was zero fishing pressure, we did not see another angler all day.
All in all, a great trip. Bent rods, I went for a swim, a phone went for a swim, and all was recovered. We can laugh about all that now. The one thing I left with is just how amazing and beautiful the Trinity River is. I sure hope in the next decade that future restoration projects will have more thought put into them, and the politics with the tribe can be smoothed out for the benefit of everyone. I'm no stranger when it comes to such as I watched my own father wage a 40 year war against all odds for the better of all watersheds in California, putting the habitat, the fish, and the entire ecosystem first. At least now NGO's, state and federal agencies, and the general public are working together. That's much better than the dog and pony show and back door deals from the good 'ol boys that occurred decades ago. There is hope.
Special thanks to Brian Clemens of Nor Cal Fly Guides for another great trip. This guy works much harder than most, and sets the bar extremely high for what a guide should bring to the table. Honest, reliable, and just a fun dude to be with on a river. Until next time, may the skies open up and drop some rain on our parched Northern California landscape. Good luck out there steelheaders!