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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Lure Resort


I'm pleased to announce that I've donated a guided trip to The Lure Resort's 2014 Spring drawing that is good for 2014 on many different waters in Northern California!

The Lure Resort is located 1 mile upstream of Downieville, Ca on the banks of one of the most beautiful and pristine watersheds - The North Fork Yuba River. I've stayed here in the past and the resort has great fishing for wild trout right outside one of the many fabulous cabins. It's a quiet and secluded place, and acts as a great base camp for many of the exciting recreational opportunities in the area. 

The Lure Resort ~North Fork Yuba River

Besides being a known Summer destination, The Lure Resort is also open year round, Spring and Fall can be a great time to visit and stay with minimal crowds, and unique vistas during the ever changing seasons. Why not invite your favorite fishing buddies and stay in one of the bigger cabins together, where you can enjoy the healing therapy of wading in the North Fork Yuba, while plying the waters for those beautiful wild trout. 



For more information, or to book your cabin now, please call The Lure Resort at 800.671.4084. If your interested in a guided trip on the North Fork Yuba River for 2014, please contact Baiocchi's Troutfitters and reserve your date soon!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Madness at Pyramid Lake

Long before the sun rises, the ladders begin lining up at the North Nets.

Spring time at Pyramid Lake in Nevada is known for fantastic and productive fishing off the many beaches, as Lahontan Cutthroat are gearing up for the spawn, and roaming the shoreline in huge pods. I've never fished the lake in spring, so with an invite from Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing guide service, I took the opportunity to expand my horizons and learn even more about this lake, and the ancient trout.

Joining me that day was my good friend, mentor, and longtime Tahoe – Truckee guide Frank Pisciotta. Frank and I do not fish Pyramid that much, though with all the pictures of these huge cutthroats being caught in the last year, it has gotten our attention. Our day started out early leaving Truckee at 5:15am, and arriving at the North Nets access area as the sun was just starting to rise over the East skyline. Even with these warm days we've been having, it was cold out at 26 degrees. Rob Anderson, a Pyramid Lake fly fishing guide, and our host, provided us with ladders and we quickly moved them into position just shy of the drop off, where the fish like to cruise. There were already 22 ladders in the lineup, and within a few hours that number would increase to 48! 

Frank Pisciotta keeps his balance while battling a large Cutthroat trout.


Our rigs for our first session was the indicator set up, with two flies hanging six, and eight feet below, one fly just off the bottom structure, while the other a few feet above. The hot flies today were size 10 Maholo nymphs in red and wine colors. These flies feature a holographic tinsel abdomen that glow and get the attention of hungry fish nearby. Conditions were perfect, and one important element that can make a great day at Pyramid was in effect. The wind was blowing into the shore from the north east; this provides a current and draws fish into the shoreline. Many long time anglers of Pyramid track wind patterns days before a fish out, and calculate which beach they are going to fish depending on which way it blows. The wind is your friend, and it means everything


Rob Anderson's Maholo nymph is a deadly fly. Photo by Rob Anderson

Before Frank even got into position, I started to catch fish immediately with three solid hook ups. The action was hot for the next couple of hours, and by lunchtime I had caught and released 17 cutthroats. The key to fishing the indicator rig, and why I was so successful, was mending the fly line up wind so the flies sat motionless in the strike zone. If your flies drag through column from being pulled by the wind current, pushing on your floating fly line, they rise and become ineffective. There is more to it than just a “heave and leave it” bobber presentation. Mending is everything, it’s a lot work, but it keeps this style of fishing from becoming boring.



Rob is a great host and known for his fresh hot lunches on the beach for his guests. On today’s menu was venison shish kabobs with caramelized onions and peppers, wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with a creamy chipotle sauce, and fresh cut lime juice. What a pleasure it was to devour such a flavorful meal while sitting in the comfort of a nice chair, while exchanging ideas on tactics for the second session. The beach life is part of the allure to Pyramid Lake.

Your average "cookie cutter" fish from Pyramid Lake.

We mounted the ladders again and the action was pretty good, but at 2pm an afternoon bite began to explode. I used the same rig as the morning session, the same flies, receiving the same results. It was so insane! I caught and released another 12 fish in the next hour, and had others on that just came unbuttoned. One fish I hooked into was one of the monster cutthroats ranging from 10-20 pounds. When I hooked into this animal it immediately peeled line off my reel at an incredible rate of speed, while heading out into the middle of the lake. I was worried, as I was well into my backing, hoping all the knots would hold. The way this fish fought was so different than all the others I had hooked into, I had very little control, this fish owned me. After about an 8 minute battle, and doing everything right, the fly just popped out of its mouth and I was left with a limp line. Though I did not get my glory shot holding it, it was an amazing battle, and one that will keep me coming back to Pyramid Lake.

Carl Nosek with a 10.3 pound Cutthroat. Photo by Rob Anderson

I quit fishing at 3:15pm, 30 fish to the net was good enough for me. My catch today were mostly Summit strain fish, and a few Pilot Peak fish ranging from 19-26 inches, with the bigger ones at 5-6 pounds. The spawning colors these fish have are amazing; they don’t call the males “Big Red” for nothing. This was easily my best day ever at Pyramid, and it was so much fun! There is also quite the social scene at the Nets, and long time veterans know each other on a “first name” basis. They’re all characters, and I was fortunate to have met a few of these anglers, and gain some insight from their vast experience on the lake. As the sun was setting to the west my face glowed, and all those hooks ups began to sink in. What an awesome day! 

Teamwork: Rob Anderson and guest with a beautiful 15.5 pounder. Photo courtesy of Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing.com
If you have never fished Pyramid Lake, now is the time to be there. The next month is one of the most productive times for anglers to be successful. If you’re new to the lake, or want to learn more about the techniques and tactics, hire a guide! It really can make a difference. Go HERE for a complete list and links to local guides, on the myoutdoorbuddy.com version of the article. Each one of these guides has a particular specialty to share, and can shorten the learning curve of this ancient inland sea. Pray for wind.

  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lower Yuba River Fishing Report 3/21/14



Flows remain low, and the river has been stable flowing at 520 cubes, for the walk and wade angler it does not get any better. Water temps have been running 55-59 degrees, and the days have been sunny, warm, with periods of high clouds. It looks like a system will drop down on Tuesday through Thursday, and at this time total precipitation amounts is still a guess. This will be good for the mayfly hatches, adding a rejuvenation of food items for the Lower Yuba rainbows. 



For the last 10 weeks it's been the same ball game for myself and my guests, challenging dry fly presentations to professional trout. Long leaders and dry flies, like skwalas, pmd's, and bwo's patterns during the right time, brings the best results when fished to productive bank water. It's some of the best fly fishing I have ever experienced in my life, and at the same time, it puts you in your place.



Aquatic insects were on the light side today. The skwala hatch has waned, and there were only a half dozen observed. March browns have been on a steady increase, especially in the last two weeks. The duration of the actual emergence can vary, ours was short lived today though there where some solid grabs on Sparkle Duns, and Parachutes. There were not as many caddis out today as last week's flurry, and to my surprise a few yellow sally stoners were flying about.





What an awesome 2014 skwala hatch it was this year on the Lower Yuba, the amount of bugs I saw was impressive! Trips on the LY will be ending soon as I've already started operating in the Northern Sierra, and the Truckee / Tahoe basin. 

If you want to become a better fly angler, go get an education from the Lower Yuba River, and become a certified technician in trout.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Featured Article in California Fly Fisher Magazine


California Fly Fisher's April issue features an article I wrote about small stream fishing. "Creekin" is a look back into my youth when I learned the ways of fly fishing, presentations, and life. Besides some insight on where to find small creek trout, you'll also read about equipment, and stratigies for your favorite babbling brook. Look for a copy at your local fly shop, or click the link to California Fly Fisher and start subscribing today!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lower Yuba River Fishing Report 3/13/14


A beautiful day, warm, sunny, and nobody out in the area I fished. The flows have dropped down to 521 cubes with Deer creek adding an additional 35 cfs. Water clarity is perfect, about 3 feet with just a tinge of color. Skwalas are still out, I saw them flying, in the drift, and scurrying around on the hot rocks. A few PMDs but not many fish rising. Not one March brown to be found either. Water temps were 55-58 degrees. The Yuba is in great shape!



I worked the foam lines and presented the "Skwala Unit" and covered productive water.  I did a lot of blind casting today, but it payed off as I raised 8, hooked 5, and landed 4 rainbows 12-16". Fishing the Skwala dry is just plain fun, and also challenging to those wary bank feeders - It's my preference.



I'm always amazed when I hook into a Lower Yuba River rainbow, they're so powerful for their size. Big water, and strong currents make these athletes a superior specimen. 



What an awesome find today and a major reminder that spring is here, a Pteronarcys stoner, sunning its self and looking for a mate. The biggest of the big bugs.



Here is a great example of the perfect home for a trout, and one that I teach my guests when we are on the water. Notice the overhanging brush providing "dark water", the current is way slower here as well, with some good depth to it. There is also a major foam line entering the area providing vast amounts of food. Fishy.





The flowers are starting to emerge, California poppies, red bud, and many small ground flowers gave the surroundings some much needed color, among the endless sea of cobblestones and gravel.



A fruitful solo session is magnificent for the soul. Find your own adventure on a river where the trout call home, it's waiting for you...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lake Davis Fishing Report 3/7/14


Since the Lower Yuba was blown out last week, I advised my guests our time would be better spent getting up to Lake Davis. Air Temperatures were balmy in the morning and pleasantly warm in the afternoon. The wind blew lightly throughout the day from all directions that just put a slight ripple on the water, nothing to blow us off the lake by any means. Water temps ran 42 degrees in the morning and climbed to 49 by late afternoon. Clarity was good in most places, while other coves were dirty from previous rain and snow melt. The banks are soaked and gushy with mud, be careful driving your vehicle off the roads.

We chose a few select spots around the lake but the majority of the fish were on the East side at the usual places. Many of the feeder creeks were dry, while a few were just s trickle, and just enough to give the water a sweet smell to invite those rainbows with spawning on their minds. There are two different types of behavior being displayed by the trout right now, some have reproduction on their mind, and others are actively feeding.



There were numerous snails to be found, the most I've seen in the last 8 years! They are back and in good numbers. Now we are going to see these rainbows grow bigger in the years to come. What a welcomed sight.





There was a decent Blood midge hatch in the late afternoon, in fact I was quite surprised to see them pop. I also saw a few damsels swimming around. No other aquatic insects were observed.





Just as the sun dipped behind the mountains the switch turned on and the rainbows went on a all out eating spree, which was excellent to see as the day was just average. In fact it was crazy! In 1 hour 15 fish were landed and many more grabs that did not result in hook ups. Wiggle tails, buggers, and leeches did not receive much love today, these trout wanted pheasant tail nymphs and callibaetis soft hackles. The rainbows ranged in size from 17 - 22" with typical dark spawning colors. 




The lake is about 1-2 months ahead of schedule depending on how you look at it. Fishing pressure is heavy at some of the known coves, so heavy, you may have to pick a number and stand in line. Look for conditions to improve on a weekly basis as more bugs get active. What an awesome day! 



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Featured Article in Sierra Fisherman Magazine


The Spring issue of Sierra Fisherman features a great and informative article I wrote on Spring time tactics for the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Feather River. You can get a online or mailed subscription here: Sierra Fisherman SF magazine has now gone national due to it's popularity and will available at most newsstands.

For those in the Truckee area I will be the featured speaker at the Truckee Tahoe Fly Fishers March meeting on the 20th. Admission is free, and the public is welcome. The MFFR is a real gem!

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