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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gypsy Tour 2013; Reports and Ramblings...

The first week of my now 5 week "on the road" guiding trip has gone extremely well. My body has some what acclimated to the colder temps though I really could use a little more body fat to be honest, when you ride a road bike all the time and tip the scales at 126 there is not much fat to help insulate you. My day on the North Fork Yuba was great as I got to share fly fishing with some hardcore surfers from the Santa Cruz area. Though it was their first time these guys had serious skills and mastered perfect drifts with an October caddis adult with a wild plum nymph dropped below. 

Current conditions for the NFYR are such; Trout are in the process of migrating down stream to more comfortable water temps. The water temps are running 45-54 degrees in the upper river upstream of Downieville, downstream the temps are running 49-58 degrees. The October caddis is out in good numbers, BWO mayflies, Mahogany duns, little green stones, and many different sizes of caddis flies are on the menu for the wild trout. Fish the areas that offer all day sun if possible and cover water. The best fishing will be 11am to 5pm, the warmest time of the day. If you want a  large trout swing and strip bait fish or bugger patterns with an express sink line in the big pools.

What sets the North Fork Yuba apart from all the other watersheds in Northern California is the stunning beauty it provides like the fantastic rock formations that surround the crystal clear waters. The fall colors are starting to explode here and soon will be blazing away. A little time traveling up Hwy. 49 with the camera is time well spent.

Lake Davis; the best game in town is getting better everyday! I've been putting in long hours on the lake since the last week in August fishing on my own, and sharing the skills with my guests; to say I'm in touch with the lake is a vast understatement. This past week has seen the fall bite get much stronger, fish are still scattered all over the place from Eagle Point all the way up to Mosquito slough. The fish have yet to gang up in the north end in big numbers but it is happening right now. Water temps are running 48-55 degrees, some hatches have come back after our north east wind blasted the area during the last two weeks of September. Sparse hatches of callibaetis, blood midge, and little green midges are out and during the warmest time of the day you will have some fish rising for them. Covering water in a float tube or pontoon boat with an intermediate line in productive areas is your best offense. As the fishing peaks and gets silly, your presentations mean more than the pattern.

On Sunday I had the pleasure of guiding Frank Galusha from showing him the Jay Fair Trolling game, a simple and effective style of trolling out of a boat, or personal water craft. You can see the entire report here as reported by Frank. What a great time!

Yesterday was a special day on the lake as I scattered my father's ashes. He did so much for the public on this lake including upgrades to access areas, fishery management, riparian habitat improvements, and so much more. He truly loved Lake Davis and to see others enjoy this sweetheart of a lake.

Upon reaching the shore that I had shared many good days fishing with my dad, there was a large Blue Heron standing guard, could it be him? I then put some of his remains under an old growth lodge pole pine that over looks the lake, a tree that was like him; big and bold. I brought the rest of him down to the lake and waded out up to my ankles and let him go. The gray cloud engulfed my legs and dissipated slowly, I looked up, regained my composure and a lone trout surfaced 12 feet away in a foot water. The first thought to myself was "you've got to be kidding me!" I casted to the left of the rise form and in seconds had a hook up, it was awesome! This is no coincidence, things like this just don't happen. No, dad was there... and will be in spirit every time we ply those shores.

Stay tuned for the next week of adventures coming from the shores of Lake Davis where I'll be in the hunt until I leave for Eagle Lake on the 20th. Good luck out there and as my dad would say "Keep pounding the water!"


  1. Nice report Jon. Sorry to hear about your dad's passing...he will be greatly missed in our fly fishing community.
    So, is the "Wild Plum Nymph" something you cooked up while staying in the campground of the same name? Inquiring minds want to know...

    Looking forward to seeing you this week!

  2. Thanks Buzz, he was an amazing man. I did indeed create the wild plum nymph in the campground. UV2 purple dubbing, white rubber legs, and a green mylar wing case.


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