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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;


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