Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Trout Unlimited Truckee River Survey

I would like to invite all anglers that fish the Truckee River to participate in a survey for a future road map that will help Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter 103 on future in-stream projects. As a TU Truckee Board of  Director, and a decades long angler of the river, I feel it is important to reach out to the fly angling public and ask for providing critical comments on a variety of topics that effect the health of the Truckee River, macroinvertebrates, trout, riparian zones, and good habitat for all. Take the survey and make your voice heard!

An important message from the President of Trout Unlimited Truckee:

Dear Truckee River TU member,

First off I would like to say thank you for your continued support of the Truckee River Trout Unlimited Chapter. Below you will find a link to a survey I am asking each of you to take. It’s not long.Your views on the health and well-being of our local waters are important, and will be used as a guide to create a road map for our Chapter’s growth and conservation efforts going forward. The Board is going to use your feedback to create a strategic plan for the Chapter, and it will serve as a road map in our efforts to protect and enhance our precious fresh water resources in the Truckee/Tahoe region. 

Many thanks in advance,

Trevor S. Fagerskog
Trout Unlimited, Chapter 103


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report 9/4/2018 ~ Change Is In The Air

The canyon was buzzing with people over the holiday weekend and the river was fished over well in the more popular access areas. Change is in the air, and the seasons are shifting into the fall pattern, the second season is under way. Water temperatures have dropped in the upper watershed due to colder nights, now at 56 in the morning, and 62 in the afternoons. Flows are at an all time low for the season, in fact some creeks like Salmon creek is done. Fishing has been good using dry dropper rigs, and nymphing is much better now in the big deep pools. The river is in a transition period where fishing the middle and lower sections of the watershed will produce better. 

Fall fishing on the NFYR requires a different approach. You’ll want to fish in the middle of the day and choose areas on the river that receives plenty of sunshine. It’s a known fact that the October Caddis adult thrive in sunny sections of a river. Their still in pupation sealed up in their fine pebble cases, you can expect them to hatch at the end of the month.  The same dry flies and nymphs listed in my past reports are still effective, but switch that yellow Stimulator to an orange color. It’s wise to choose the hard to get to sections after a long summer of fishing pressure. Keep it real and find your water. See you out there…

California Fushia ~ Epilobium canum

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Yuba Fest 2018 ~ Conservation Awareness

This coming October 13th, the Yuba Fest is a transformation of the Yuba Jubilee that focuses on purely a conservation theme instead of self promotion of guides and businesses. What the first intentional thought from myself, is now becoming a reality. The Yuba Fest is for individuals who recreate, fly fish,  and protect and enhance the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest is co-hosted by Fly Fishing Traditions  Gold Country Fly Fishers, Reel Anglers Fly Shop.

The festival will run from 9am to 4pm at the Sycamore Ranch County Park on the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest will showcase fly clubs, local guides, and conservation orgs that I'm involved with like Trout Unlimited, and the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), and other non profit environmental groups, and state agencies that are connected to the Lower Yuba River.

The Lower Yuba River is a great place to recreate, fly fish, hike, and drift. We want to protect the Yuba watershed ecosystem for future generations. The most significant aspect of the Yuba Fest is educating all those involved for a healthier environment of the river.

Admission to Yuba Fest is free to all who would like to participate! We will have workshops to learn about fly fishing and to enhance your fly fishing skills. Our “Fly Fishing for Kids” element will include fly casting, fly tying, and lessons about the bugs that trout eat. Yuba Fest is for those individuals who recreate, fly fish, protect, and enhance the Lower Yuba River.

I will be providing an entomology class for both the kids and adults, and also technical rigging for “Tight Line” nymphing, and for dry flies. I will also be offering a Dry Fly Workshop on Sunday the 14th from 10am to 2pm in conjunction with the Yuba Fest. A special price of $40 (all proceeds go to conservation measures through Gold Country Fly Fishers) per angler will get you an informative handout, rigging supplies, and complete instruction. Limited to 6 anglers on a first come, first serve basis. Contact me in person at the Yuba Fest on the 13th to sign up.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fly Fishing Resources ~ Baiocchi's Troutfitters

This link will hook you up to all your needs when fly fishing in Northern California. From fly shops, fishing reports, fishing licenses, road conditions, stream flow data, Northern Sierra visitors information, and much more. Also included on the Baiocchi's Troutfitters fly fishing  resource page is specific areas including the Graeagle area, the North Fork Yuba River area, the Truckee area. and my home town of Nevada City near the Lower Yuba River. Great information for the fly fishing angler on the road!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report 8/22/2018

Conditions remain the same for the North Fork Yuba River with a few slight changes. There is a Trico spinner fall when air temps reach 65 to 70 degrees. The trout are rising to spent spinners in the film, Also, the little western Green Drake is out in very small numbers. Now that the kids are back in school there is very little fishing pressure on the river. Another consideration now that the days are getting shorter is starting out at around 9am. 

It’s weird, those rainbows actually prefer sun on the water, and your catch rates increase because of such. I’m finding more trout in idle calm frog water just slowly finning and looking for terrestrials. To catch these fish one must be extra stealthy. I tested the Sage Dart 0 weight rod last week and what a sweet little rod! You can read my review here;

As we creep into fall, you’re going to want to focus on the middle and lower sections of the NFYR watershed. There are bigger October caddis hatches in these areas, and overall bigger fish in the system. In late October into November brown trout will be swimming upstream to spawn downstream of Downieville to sections of the river that follow the Cabin Creek trail. A good tactic is to spot fish in the tail outs of runs using binoculars high up on highway 49. When the sun is overhead, they can be easy to spot in the gin clear water. I hope I have some time to do this myself. See you on the water…

Lewis's Monkey Flower ~ mimulus lewisii

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sage Dart 0 Weight Rod Review

I’m a huge fan of lighter weight fly rods, small wild trout, and complete solitude while picking pockets in Sierra canyon water. A day off during the summer grind is an invitation to lose myself and explore more unknown sections of the North Fork Yuba River. But this trip was even more special because my small water weapon was the Sage Dart 0 weight. Thanks to Sage and RIO Rep Alex Ramirez of Outdoor Specialty Products, he offered me the opportunity to test and review this awesome little rod.

The Sage Dart series features a short-range fast action for chasing wary trout in still and clear water, close quarters, or obstacle-ridden streams. This innovative rod is specifically designed to drive precise loops under the branches of a conifer while still providing delicate presentations and delightful feedback to the angler. The KonneticHD materials combined with performance-friendly fast action gives fly anglers the ultimate competitive advantage against highly selective trout. The 0-4wt models at 7'6" provide the backbone of this family with ultra-light performance. These rods come in 3 piece sections allowing for a truer action without sacrificing a ferrule in the middle of the critical flex zone.

In the first 5 minutes of fishing it was apparent that this was not like any other small water rod I had ever casted. The overall flex pattern felt a little less than full action with a softer tip, yet a hearty butt section. The first noticeable difference was the pin point accuracy. I could deliver my #10 Stimulator with a dropper to technical pockets with ease, over and over again. Secondly the rod was perfectly balanced with the smallest Sage Click reel in a 0/01/02 size. While holding the rod in the center of the Snub-Nose half wells grip it was as level as can be. 

The rod was so much fun to cast and make presentations with, but the real pleasure was playing small fish. I could really feel the weight of the fish and the rod was bent over in a beautiful arc, yet the backbone was powerful enough to land each wild rainbow quickly and easily. I never knew fighting an 8 inch trout could be so exciting!

The Sage Dart 0 weight exceled even more with higher performance, matched to RIO’s new Creek line. This line has an aggressive head which loads the rod quickly at a shorter distance, but keeps a nice loop while casting at a greater distance. It was a breeze to be able to cast 40 feet with the little Dart. The Creek line will open doors for any lighter weight rods. I plan to buy this line for my vintage Walton Powell first generation graphite 8’ 4 weight and cannot wait to see the difference. For the 7’6” Dart I used a 7 foot leader to 5x which made a big difference with effective turnover rates.

The lightest, most precise casting small water rod I’ve ever fished, the Dart is destined to become a cherished tool in the small water trout angler’s quiver for years to come. I rate this rod at 5 stars.

Dart Features:        

-KonneticHD Technology
-Sapling Green blank color
-Bronze thread wraps with Gold trim wraps
-Fuji ceramic stripper guides 
-Ultra-Light hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
-Tan rod bag with brown logo and model tag
-Portobello colored powder coated aluminum rod tube with Sage medallion

Alex Ramirez ~ Outdoor Specialty Products

Thursday, August 16, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report - 8/16/2018

It’s been fun on the North Fork Yuba River, especially with guests who were visiting from upstate New York. They were pretty blown away at the beauty of the canyon, the watershed, ample amounts of small wild rainbows, and not seeing any other anglers – The complete opposite of our previous day fishing the Truckee area. The flows on the NFYR have dropped even more, it’s better to concentrate on areas that have sufficient holding water and passing up those super skinny areas.

Attractor dry flies with a sunken terrestrial dropper has been very productive, the fish have been crushing ants, beetles, and hoppers. Caddis flies are the most prolific aquatic insect out right now and a standard Elk Hair caddis in gray or olive is ruling. 

Seasons are ready to change, the tussock caterpillar is out so using a Buzz Hackle or Renegade in black and yellow would be a good choice. October caddis have currently sealed up their cases as they undergo the pupation cycle into an adult. If you haven’t been up to the NFYR yet, put it on the list as time is running out. See you in the canyon water…

Tussock Caterpillar ~ Lophocampa maculata

Sunday, August 5, 2018

North Fork Yuba River & Eastern Plumas Stillwater Update

Water levels in the upper watershed of the North Fork Yuba are at their summer lows. The wild rainbows and occasional brown trout are now concentrated in the deeper pools, slots, and runs. Still plenty of caddis out, especially in the evenings. Terrestrials are receiving lots of love now and become an important diet for trout during the dog days of summer. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and inchworms. Sometimes these patterns are even better if they are drowned as a dropper off your main dry fly. Water temps are 58 in the morning rising to 65 in the afternoon. Fishing pressure has been extremely light. I still have a few open dates before summer runs out. The earlier you book, the better chance you have to come explore the canyon water.

I received some great news last week from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. They stocked Lake Davis with 12,000 pounds of catchable rainbows! This will bode well for late fall into spring of 2019. They also shared with me that they planted Frenchman Lake during the 3rd week of June of this year, and that makes sense as my guests were catching 10 to 12 inch rainbows from then until the end of June. If you want a stillwater trip, I would advise booking now - They go quick. I'm excited to get back on the boat once the weather cools down, and the water temperatures start to drop. See you on the water...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Voluntary Hoot Owl Closure ~ Truckee River

The warmest July on record for the Tahoe basin has been all that, and we still have a ways to go before the weather cools. Surface temperatures for Lake Tahoe during last year was 68.4 degrees, a rise in 6 degrees from the previous year. Not sure what the lake's current temps are, but I bet it's near those numbers of last year, or greater. On July 14th I recorded the Truckee River water temp at 64 degrees at 10am in the Glenshire section, yesterday a colleague of mine recorded 66 degrees at 10:30am in the same area. It's time for a voluntary "Hoot Owl" closure on the Truckee River for the livelihood of wild trout within the system. You can do your part by doing the following:

  • Carry a thermometer and take readings on the hour
  • Fish at first light until 11am
  • Use bigger tippet sizes to fight fish more quickly for a safer release
  • Stop fishing when water temperatures reach 67 degrees or higher
  • Educate other anglers on water temperature etiquette

With hot water temps, there are other alternatives when it comes to fishing for trout. Fish the high alpine lakes, tailwaters that provide cold water, rivers that are spring fed, or have numerous cold inflows of feeder creeks. Your actions dictate the future of wild trout in the Truckee River.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Report 7/25/2018

Fishing remains good on the North Fork Yuba even during this everlasting heat wave thanks to deep subterranean springs that feed the upper watershed. The flows have dropped a little, so focus on the deeper slots, runs, and plunge pools were the native rainbows are concentrated. Fishing pressure remains light, there seems to be more swimmers than anglers lately. Water temps near the Sierra City area are 57 in the morning rising to 64 degrees in the late afternoon, and you guessed it - 8am to 1pm is best. Afternoons slow down until the last few hours of light, and the action increases into darkness. All of my trips have been a blast, and it is so satisfying to see my guests truly appreciate this grand watershed. It always brings out the best of fly fishing experiences.

Still running dry/dropper rigs, but I switch to a terrestrial dry near noon as the dropper fly - only submerged. Beetles, ants, and hoppers being the best choice. Since it has been such a big caddis year I'm favoring the standard Elk Hair caddis over the yellow Stimulator. Purple haze, and Adams parachutes have also fished really well. Effective dropper nymphs include copper and red copper Johns, Hogan's S&M nymph in black with a black bead (could be taken for an ant), and the Psycho Prince.

Use stealth in the big clear slow moving pools, but in the pockets with rougher blury water you can stand on top of them, they don't seem to spook as easy. No rattlesnakes so far, just the occasional single flip-flop resting on a gravel bar. I've got some open dates in August for a serine wilderness fly fishing adventure, and I've got all the put ins and take outs wired for the 8 beats I'm working. If wet wading, dry flies and eager wild trout intrigue you, give me a call at 530.228.0487, or email me at to secure your date. If you haven't been to the North Fork Yuba River, now is the time to escape the heat, and explore new and fascinating water.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Creekin Report, Native Sons Tour, Diablo Valley Fly Fishers Workshops, 7/20/2018

The creeks in Eastern Plumas county are in great condition right now, average summer flows and colder water abound. Frazier, Jamison, Gray Eagle, Grizzly, and Little Jamison creeks are producing good fishing. My guests have been catching bigger than average trout this season, something I have not seen in the last 22 years. It's safe to say that the creeks have rejuvenated since the last drought.

Dry flies and dry/dropper rigs have been the most effective. It's a huge year for caddis, and don't forget about ants and hoppers. Water temps are 58 in the morning and climbing to 64 in the afternoon. Fishing pressure is non existent, the further you hike in the better it is. Get out there and get involved, prime conditions will not last long.

I've got some open dates for the creeks in the next month if your interested in a small water matrix. Yesterday I guided the Graeagle Creek Tour which was a big hit! Access areas, rigging, handouts, lunch, and terminal tackle provided. I will be providing another tour next year, July 2019.

The Native Sons Truckee Tour was a real treat for our guests this year. Frank Piscioatta is a encyclopedia of the Truckee area and his knowledge is incredibility vast. Simply put, Frank is the man! We cover all access areas of the Big Truckee from town down to Hirschdale, and the little Truckee. Handouts, mapping and guided fishing completes the tour.

The evening before the actual tour is special treat with a hosted get together at Frank's house complete with a light dinner and a thorough PowerPoint presentation on the Truckee area and the Northern Sierra watersheds. We have 4 spots open for the August 17th & 18th Tour. September's tour is booked. If you want in, just email me at

The guided portion of the Native Sons Tour went well. Frank and I never guarantee fish, but we always guarantee you will learn something about fly fishing. Fly anglers crave to seek knowledge these days, and we provide the very best of such.

Diablo Valley Fly Fishers dry fly workshop was a huge success, all participants learned so much and had a great time. We will be having another workshop this coming Sunday and two spots are open. Email me if you're interested in joining

Good fishing is happening now, get it while the getting is good. Water temps on the Big Truckee are rising and very soon voluntary hoot owl closures will occur. Escape the crowds and book a trip with me on the North Fork Yuba River or the creeks of Eastern Plumas county for a remote fly fishing experience. 530.228.0487 - Join me where the wild things are...

The Scarlet Monkey Flower/Mimulus cardinalis amoung the cobblestones of Jamisom creek

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report 7/11/2018

Summertime mode is in full swing on the North Fork Yuba River, and the fishing is very good. The flows have dropped dramatically in the last two weeks making for perfect conditions. Water temperatures are starting out at 57 in the morning and topping out by 62 in the upper watershed. Fishing pressure is moderate in the easy access areas and next to nothing in the more remote areas I like to take my guests.

Dry flies and dry/dropper rigs is a staple here during the summer months. I like to increase my dropper length to 30 inches in the deeper runs and pools, which has been much more productive. I got a chance to fish my guest's Sage SPL 0 weight yesterday and what a fun time. I will be picking up one of these very soon for the NFYR, and general creekin. Keep in mind a shorter leader will perform much better on shorter rods, a standard 7.5 leader to 5x is a good platform to start with.

Active aquatics include caddis, crane flies, little yellow sally's (aloperla), and the occasional random mayfly. The hoppers are out, and an abundance of both black and red ants too.

Western Azalea ~ Rhododendron occidentale

Flora and fauna observations include western azaleas, crimson columbine, seep spring monkey flowers, black bears, kingfishers, and the always present water ouzel. Unbound beauty, luscious pocket water, and fun fly fishing is what the North Fork Yuba River is all about. I've got some open dates for the next two months of prime time, give me a call at 530.228.0487, or email me at to book your wilderness fly fishing adventure. See you where the wild things are.

The gatekeepers of Northern Tahoe National Forest 
The Sierra Buttes

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