Winter Edition

Winter Edition
Winter Edition

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Fly Fishing Update 10/26/2017


The last week at Frenchman's Lake has seen many different conditions. This past Friday was extremely cold with a few inches of fresh snow, the first snowfall of the season did not last long except on north facing areas in the region. With the snow and the cold front that moved through, there were gusty winds as well. A few days later, unseasonably warm temperatures along with plenty of sunshine provided for gorgeous days. Highs have been in the mid 70's, with light breezes.



It's been so warm out that water temperatures climbed back up a little from 55 to 57 degrees. Fishing pressure has been up and down, mostly tubers and not many anglers working the shoreline. I like being on the bank because I can observe conditions much better and obtain a better understanding of what's going on. 


The Eagle Lake rainbows have been eating well and putting on some girth. The strain is an angry trout, and they fight really aggressively. Some days have been off the charts, while others just ok. If you're not hooking up, move to a different location. Everyday is different, change up your stripping speed until one works. Yesterday it was fast, today just a crawl.


Big population of snails available for the fish, and sparse callibaetis and blood midge hatches. The trout are spooky when glassy conditions exist, they'll get more grabby when there is a ripple on the water. The wind can be your friend at times. Burnt orange, olive, and black are the best colors for buggers and wiggle tails right now. Sheep Creek specials tied on a 2457 makes a great snail imitation.  


Mornings and evenings have been the most productive, and the afternoons seem have a slight lull in the action. There has also been some dry fly  opportunities when the wind lays down in the evening. Heave it and leave it with a twitch actually has been better than beating the water with repetitive casts trying to chase rise forms. 


EL rainbows have not been leader shy at all, you can use rope (3x) while stripping, and 4x when fishing dry flies. There are times, like dark cloudy days or evenings when a fly angler can get away with 2x. An advantage when stripping fast and the takes are violent.


More warm weather though the weekend, then a slight cool down with much colder temperatures at night in the high 20's. Chance of rain around the 4th of November, but still a little too early to tell. I'll be up in Redding starting tomorrow for the big Trout Unlimited California meeting representing the Truckee TU chapter #103. I'm looking forward to meeting new people who have a vision to conserve and protect what's left of our salmon, steelhead, and wild trout.


I'll be bringing my boat back down to Nevada City for the winter in a few weeks. It's always a gamble to wait until the latest time to do so, wait too long and towing a boat over the summit with snowy conditions is not fun, and very nerve racking. I'll still be offering walk and wade trips which can be very successful if the ice does not come on too early. I've got open dates on my calendar for November if you're interested in being guided at Frenchman's Lake, hit me up at 530.228.0487 and let's go fishing!

See you on the water... 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Fly Fishing Report 10/19/2017


Much better weather in the last week with glassy conditions has allowed for some incredible sight fishing opportunities. There are many more fish in the northern part of the lake and it seems much of the population is ganged up there. Most of the trout are in the upper water column with many of them right on the bank in skinny water, you’ll also find the rainbows in deeper open water rising in the middle of the day. Areas with flats and weeds are the most productive when fishing the shoreline. 



Water temps are 52 to 54. Light hatches of blood midges, a much smaller creamy midge, and a few callibaetis are out. Shorter leaders and heavier tippets will work now as the trout are on the fall grab, their greed in fattening up for winter is their downfall, and an advantage for fly anglers looking for a bent rod. Big buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown and rust, sheep creek specials, Hare’s Ears, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been the most productive. 




Mornings have been really cold, but as of late the days are nice and warm if the north wind does not howl. I would rate the fishing as damn good, and if you want a great stillwater experience, you better get up to the lake as soon as possible


I did another video shoot with Greg Stevens of Photoflight Productions at Frenchman's lake for a upcoming promotional piece for my website. Greg and his assistant, Greg Garrison, do some amazing work! Check out Greg's website at http://www.photoflightproductions.com/ I highly recommend Photoflight Productions and would encourage you to hire them out for any drone work, mapping, or other related needs.


See you on the water...

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report 10/19/2017


The upper watershed is blazing away with fall color right now, and it’s quite impressive. There is no need to get out early as water temps are very cold right now, 48 degrees in the morning rising to 55 by the late afternoon. You’ll want to fish from 12pm to early evening. 



There are good numbers of the October caddis flying around. They love sunny sections of the river and are most active in the afternoon. The wild rainbows have been keying in on them while they oviposit in the tail outs of major plunge pools and runs. Short line high sticking an adult pattern and bouncing it off and on the surface will get the trout’s attention, and a grab. Keep in mind the big bug lives a long time and will be present until the area gets a few days of a hard freeze.




Orange Stimis, parachute Adams, and the Purple Haze are great choices for dry flies right now. Time is running out on the North Fork Yuba River and those spectacular fall colors, it’s now or never.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chico Area Fly Fishers Presentation 10/12/2017


This coming Thursday the 12th, I will be speaking at the Chico Area Fly Fishers. It's always great to present to the first fly fishing club I ever belonged to, for me, it's a sort of home coming. The Chico club is rich with history and many members of the club have went on to legendary status as anglers, guides, conservationist, rod makers, and an important part of the fly fishing industry in some form or another. It's a special club.



My new PowerPoint program was especially created for numerous fly clubs looking for a more technical program on fishing the dry fly. It's been receiving rave reviews all over the state from numerous fly clubs and trade shows. “Mastering the Dry Fly” entails a brief history of the dry fly and the pioneering anglers who were involved from the beginning. You'll learn about simple to complex presentations, understanding rise forms, approaching water structure, tips & tricks, and my favorite patterns for eager to educated trout. Beautiful images and new detailed animated slides provide the audience with clear and concise information for future endeavors on the water while matching the hatch. This will be a program you do not want to miss! 

I will tying flies before the meeting at 6:30 pm, and presenting my PowerPoint program shortly after the regular meeting which starts at 7:30 pm. This event will take place at the California Park Pavilion located at 2526 California Park Drive, Chico, Ca. Guests are welcome and the presentation is free to the public. I hope to see you there!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Frenchman's Lake Fly Fishing Report 10/9/2017


It’s been a wild week at Frenchman’s Lake with wind events that made fishing much like being on board a crab boat from “Deadliest Catch”. The north wind made its presence known last week and yesterday with wind chill in the teens, so cold it cuts right to the bone. Frenchman’s Lake is much more open and prone to getting hammered by north and east winds, there are simply very little areas to hide in. Water temperatures have been as low as 54 and as high as 58 depending on wind and air temperatures. The trout are still somewhat scattered but there are less in the southern lake and more in the northern lake, and most are in the upper most water column. If you are not recording marked fish on your electronics it’s a good bet that the majority of the fish are near the surface, and that’s why you are not marking them. 




There is way more fish in 1 to 3 feet of water than last week, and fishing off the bank has really picked up. The fishing has been pretty good when the weather cooperates. We’ve had some stellar days with fish cruising the shallow flats sipping callibaetis, it does not get any better than that. The most effective fly of late has been a simple non leaded pheasant tail presented on a floating line, no need for an intermediate line. Fishing pressure has increased on some days, and on other days it is very quiet. Fall colors will be peaking this week in eastern Plumas County, time to load up the vehicle and make a run to the hills. See you out there.

Little Last Chance Creek Canyon

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Northern Sierra Fly Fishing Report 10/5/2017


Frenchman's Lake - The past few days has been really tough and slow, a unusual characteristic of this lake, but true. Big winds with rollers and whitecaps dotted the lake on Tuesday making conditions unfishable. It was ugly. On Wednesday it was very slow and mimicked the last few days of some seasonal change. More fish are migrating to the north end of the lake from the south, and typical of this time of year, the trout are way up in the water column despite the depth. Water temperatures are now at 55 degrees. Great game in the skinny water at first light,but you need some serous game. Look before you present, and make a game plan, it's a wise choice. My guest today reminded me it's all about the experience and good times, and not the catching. When it's slow it hurts me more than them. On the other hand, for those that get the true meaning of the "experience" truly understand life at its greatest platform. The above picture says it all, a glorious warming trend after a morning in the low teens, fall colors, the warm Autumn sun, and quality time with a dude wiser than you. It's the way it should be, the way it was 30 years ago before the competitive internet "Look at me" social media way of life. I get it, that's for sure. Same standard techniques and flies as always for fall apply, just need the fish to really get on the fall bite. It'll happen soon enough. Be patient.


Lake Davis - Last Monday was not so good with only slivers of a shining light, first light had risers in the shallows for about an hour then gone. Marked a lot of fish in the old creek channels, but no takes. Those fish marked have to be bass. Observations this summer walking the shoreline revealed so many juvenile bass that it boggles the mind. What has happened to our pristine blue ribbon stillwater? Miss management form DF&W says it all, and for now, they ruined the most beautiful lake in all of northern California lake. Thanks.


The Little Truckee River - is fishing well despite the large numbers of anglers. Last week I counted 33 vehicles from the top lot to the outlet. Lots of pressure, but unique in the realm, you can find your own space - Do not despair. TBS; Tiny Black Shit with a worm for indicator rigs is the producer. Lot of aquatics out, October caddis, BWO's, Mahogany duns, midges, hoppers, and more caddis like the smaller false October caddis. Water levels are a good flow at 169 cubes. Show respect, good stream etiquette, ask first, and be a true river steward.

Bobcat prints linking the shoreline at Lake Davis


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