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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lake Davis Fishing Report 9/15/2016

It’s been cold in the mornings at Lake Davis with air temperatures in the low 30’s, and because of such the water temps at the lake are down to 62 degrees. Fishing pressure has been very light, on Tuesday my guests and I had the only boat out on the water.  The populations of large trout are fewer, but the sizes of the rainbows are huge, 3 to 6 pounds! The Department of Fish & Wildlife did plant on May 15th, and June 15th, though I do not have the numbers that were put in. The lake is at 57% capacity. 

Hatches have started again and there are blood midges in the morning, and a decent callibaetis spinner fall in the late afternoon. We had a rare fall treat on Tuesday at the dock, I looked down and there was a male Hexagenia dun mayfly, we brought him along for a boat ride. Fish are scattered right now, with some in summer mode and hanging out in the channel, while others have migrated back over to the west shore feeding off the ledges and flats. Effective flies have been Albino Winos, red Copper Johns, cinnamon leeches, Sheep Creek Specials, and flashback pheasant tails. Honker Cove boat ramp is still operational, as is Camp 5 but the dock was never put in this year and can be challenging for the less experienced operator backing up a trailer. Grizzly campground is closed, but Grasshopper and Lightning Tree are still open. There is a new DFW survey box located at the Honker Cove boat ramp, and I encourage all anglers to fill out the survey honestly.

Wildlife observations have included a Mountain lion crossing the road in front of me at o’dark thirty, the coot are back in good numbers but not like last year, The falcons are also back as well. Lots of deer roaming the area with some big mulies, and the coyotes have been howling at around 5am, serving as my alarm clock. Ospreys are starting to leave as they make the big flight to South America, which leaves the bald eagles without an easy meal to steal from.

I have a two days open for September, and 12 days open for October. If you wish to book a trip I’d advise to do it quickly. More than just an average guide trip, I teach my guests about the lake with access areas, rigging, flies, and other techniques, and if you need help on your casting, we’ll work on that too. I’m excited to be back on the lake, it’s so beautiful, and such a special place to fly fish.

This past weekend Lance Gray of Lance Gray & Co. and myself did a two day workshop on the Truckee River near the town of Hirschdale. Day one was the Nymphing School were we taught about high stick nymphing, and the dead drift indicator system. It went really well and all nine of our guests learned about different leader set ups, reading water and seams, what areas to concentrate on with warming water, and the flies that are effective on the Truckee river. As always with our clinics, schools, and workshops, a streamside lunch was provided with a little shade.

On Sunday we had another six guests for the Streamer School. Many fly anglers do not fish streamers which is a shame, it's a active and fun way to entice large apex predator trout to grab your fly. We covered all the different presentations, leader setups, floating and sinking lines, and the go to Truckee River meat flies. It was a big success to say the least.

Lance and I will have another two day workshop on the Truckee River in September 2017, dates to be announced. It's a great feeling to teach our students, then watch them progress throughout the day. Special thanks to all those that attended, we sure had a blast with you!

The North Fork Yuba is still fishing well. I had a 74 year old as my guest on Monday and he hammered them! We will have another warm up so the upper watershed will still fish well. As I stated in my last NFYR post, it is not necessary to be on the water early, 10am is perfect. Same flies and techniques apply as well.

The October caddis has started to hatch on the banks of the North Fork Yuba River. I finally solved a riddle that I have seen in past years. I've found empty cases of the October caddis on top of large flat boulders from time to time. Now, I know that these caddisflies crawl out of their case and emerge on the sides of rocks right above the water line, and not on top. I was studying a water ouzel, commonly known as the dipper bird and saw the proof. The dipper would go underwater and come out with an October Caddis in its beak, it then placed the case between his feet and pulled the pupa out from its case and gobbled it down. Really cool.

Lots going on in fall for the fly angler, I'm looking forward to grinding out my trips, then getting a little play time for myself on the Trinity River. See you on the water...


  1. Nice report. Heading up to the north fork later next week. Any knowledge on what's working at the smaller lakes basin lakes? Always appreciate the updates. Thanks again.

    1. Small Zebra midges under an indo, or buggers, leeches, and wiggle tails in burnt orange, black and fiery brown. Cover water. Best of luck to you! - J.

    2. Thanks for the info! Very much appreciated!


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