Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

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

Friday, July 6, 2018

Wet Wading Equipment & Tips

When I started fly fishing in 1972, all of my family wet waded. As a young family raising 4 children my Dad did not have the funds to outfit us all with high end waders. We ran cut off Levi's, and the Converse high tops "sportsman" model, which were olive drab in color and featured felt on the bottom sole. My Dad even fished for steelhead in the cooler months with this outfit, but quickly learned that being cold and wet sucks.

It's that time of the year where my waders are hung up, and I look forward to rock hopping and guiding my guests on the North Fork Yuba River. When it's Africa hot, there is nothing like wet wading in the cool water. The products below have been tested on hundreds of trips, but personal preference is still a major part of choosing which name brand you desire.

I prefer to wear light weight quick dry pants instead of shorts. You get maximum protection from the sun and your legs do not get scratched up as much from branches, or abrasion from boulders. The Simms Guide Pant has really held up well and I'm going on my 3rd season. A COR3 activated fabric blend of nylon/spandex wicks moisture, shields sun, and neutralizes odor, while articulated knees and a gusseted crotch make getting into prime casting positions effortless. Storage solutions include one zip and hook-and-loop secure cargo pockets, zip-secure back pocket, slash hand pockets tailored for accessories, and an internal cell phone stash. Traditional Fit and a plush, adjustable brushed tricot-lined waist come standard. This pant is worth every penny for wet wading in 
technical canyon water.

Another option I have been testing is WaderSkins, I have mainly been wearing the leggings which are perfect for canyon water. They keep you warm, and protect your legs better than just wearing pants. Kneeling on boulders is much more comfortable and scratched up legs are a thing of the past.

Many fly anglers like to wear a sneaker or a sandal that has a felt sole for wet wading. I prefer a hardy boot that offers ankle support, and maximum grip both in and out of the water. The North Fork Yuba River is a demanding river to navigate, just getting down in remote sections is a challenge. The Redington Prowler boot offers a wider platform for better balance. I run the rubber soles with studs, and be wary of smooth studs on polished Sierra granite - Slippery stuff. These boots have held up incredibly well, but make sure you carry some extra laces as they get ground down while wading. Your boots are the most important piece of equipment while wet wading.

The Simms Guide Gard socks are built for the long haul, durable textured nylon helps these socks stand up to aggressive tromping season after season. Constructed of cushy 3.5 mm neoprene, these socks are left/right foot-specific for dawn-to-dusk comfort. You do want to make sure to properly dry the socks out both inside and out or they will stink of mildew in a short time.

WETSOX create a friction less barrier between you and your equipment so you can be in and out of your suit and boots in seconds. Easy on suits and boots. These socks make taking off your neoprene booties with ease, they also make putting on waders effortless, they slide right in with no bulk. 

Your normal fishing shirt, a good hat, and polarized glasses round out the complete package. One other piece of equipment should be mentioned - A wading staff. Good for the hike in, wading about the river, and great for the hike back up to the vehicle. A wading staff is also useful to bang against rocks to alert any rattlesnakes and the like.

Enjoy your time wet wading and good luck out there!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Tahoe Truckee Fly Fisher's Cliff Frazier Memorial

Every Summer I look forward to Tahoe Truckee Fly Fisher's Cliff Frazier Memorial, a youth program that introduces kids to every element of fly fishing. Many members from the club volunteer their time at the actual event including professionals like myself, but what people do not see is the many hours of behind the scenes work that takes place. With no money to profit from, we simply do this for the kids with a hope they will become stewards of our rivers as they become adults.

During the two and a half day event the students learn casting, knots, equipment selection, entomology, rigging, fly tying, and the process of hooking, fighting, and landing fish. We also teach them about conservation, how to properly handle fish, and stream side etiquette. The Cliff Frazier event is one of the best kid's programs in the entire country.

On day two I lead the entomology workshop which starts with a simple PowerPoint program as an introduction to the world of aquatic insects. This year we had live specimens during the program which were projected digitally on the screen in real time. After this phase of the class was done we headed down to the river to take a thorough sampling from the Truckee River.

The kids really enjoy this segment of the program, and they get so excited while collecting bugs because simply, bugs are fun. The amount of aquatic insects collected and the diversity was astonishing. The new restoration work that was completed last year on the San Francisco Fly Casting Club's property included "W", "U", and "V" weirs which created not only better habitat for trout, but also for the bugs. The stonefly population has quadrupled since the weirs have been put in due to the fact that there is more aeration which stone flies thrive in.

Day 2 and 3 was all about the catching, and the kids were dedicated to doing such. All types of rigs worked, nymphing with indicators, streamers, dry flies, and dry/dropper rigs. A record 272 trout were brought to the net! - Many hundreds more hooked but never landed. It was incredible!

For many of the students this was their first time holding a big trout, their faces hurt at the end of the day from having perma-grins from ear to ear.

I'm already looking forward to the 2019 CFM event, if you would like to enroll your special little soon to be fly angler, please contact the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers HERE.

Special thanks to Mike Brugh, the many volunteers, TTFF club members, our sponsors, and lastly the San Francisco Fly Casting Club for the use of their facility - Which is world class! See you next year kids, I can't wait!

Monday, June 25, 2018

North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report /6/25/2018

It’s that time of year when I’m done with the stillwaters of Plumas National Forest and switching gears to guide on the North Fork Yuba River, and the Little Truckee River. My first two trips on the NFYR were beyond awesome due to the fact that my guests love small water and wild trout on light weight rods. The flows are a tad high in the upper watershed which actually bodes well for the upcoming summer months. Water temperatures in the morning are 55 degrees and reaching 59 by afternoon. 

Currently there is a bumper crop of caddis on the river ranging in sizes from 10 to 18. Body colors include brown, amber, gray, tan, and olive. Golden stones are out as are the yellow sallies, and a few salmon flies are in the mix as well. There are good populations of numerous species of beetles out, and never forget those ants. 

Notice how much larger the Salmon Fly (Pteronarcysshuck is on the left then the Golden Stone (Perlidaeshuck. The golden stonefly is the most prolific stoner in the NFYR watershed.

This is your typical wild rainbow of the NFYR, brilliant colors with orange white tipped fins and clean distinct spotting and par marks. They a strong for their size, eager for a well presented dry fly, and acrobatic. 

This rainbow is a stocked variety, and most likely came downstream from Salmon creek and the Sardine Lake system. The stubby fins and tail is a dead giveaway of a trout raised in the confinements of a concrete rearing pen.

With the flows being a little high, the current can be a lot stronger than you think. Using a wading staff is very beneficial, especially if your balance is not up to par.

Dry dropper rigs to 5x is your best bet, and cover water – The more you cover, the more action you will receive. You can expect at least 50 to 80 strikes per 5 hour session with feisty small wild rainbows 4 to 10 inches. The springs are running strong and there are a few new ones I have never noticed before. Fishing pressure is light during the week, with a few more anglers on the weekend.

For a guided remote wilderness fly fishing experience contact me at 530.228.0487, or email me at, keep in mind I'm the only legal and authorized guide from the USFS Camptonville Ranger District for the North Fork Yuba River. See you in the canyon water...

A California Sister butterfly, and Checkerspot butterflies eating some River Otter poo.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lake Davis ~ Frenchman Lake ~ Creeks ~ Fly Fishing Report 6/17/2018

This morning I woke up at my usual time of 4:45 am next to Lake Davis, and cloudy skies hung low on the surrounding mountains. Just as predicted the rain started to fall minutes later. I proceeded to my daily routine, coffee, email and internet work, followed by my trek to Graeagle where I pick up my gourmet lunches from the Graeagle Mill Works. I streaked across the Sierra Valley with the boat in tow up to Frenchman Lake for a guide trip, and along the way thunder and lightning showed it's ugly face. Boating on open water with such conditions is a very unwise thing to do, and so the trip was cancelled. I'm quite bummed when such conditions occur, but it's out of my control, and Mother Nature always has the last word. Today I'm making the most of it by making a blog entry, paying bills, and returning trip inquiries. Life on the road has its limitations, and believe it or not I actually miss being in the office sometimes.

Lake Davis - I've done a few trips on the fertile waters and the lake is full to the brim at 98 % of capacity, and surface water temps are at 64-66 degrees. It will cool down a little and stabilize from the past few days of big wind and cooler air temperatures. Fishing pressure is moderate, and 10% of the habitat is holding 90% of the fish - Simply put those trout are scattered. There is a good blood midge hatch in the morning with trout feeding on ascending pupa, and adults. You'll also find in the early morning hours fish eating leftovers (dumpster divers) from the night before in scum lines over very deep water by the Seagull Island. The damsels are out, but I still feel it has yet to peak. There is a big population of back swimmers this year, and throat samples confirm the trout are eating them. I have not seen any hexes or concentrations of birds and bats feasting on them - which means the Hex food supply has not really turned on yet. There is two ways to increase your number of hook ups right now, finding pods of rising fish and working presentations by casting to rise forms, or by sight fishing to individual cruisers. The other method for increased numbers is covering lots of water. This can be done by trolling lanes in your personal water craft with an intermediate line, or drifting with the wind making multiple casts with either a floating, or a sinking line depending on the level of the fish. From dawn to about noon the trout are in the upper water column, after such you can find them 10 to 20 feet down off ledges and in creek channels. If you're camping at the lake, make sure to stop in to J&J Grizzly store for the latest info, flies, supplies, or for a juicy cheese burger. Jim and Jeanne sure do a lot for our visitors, and I appreciate their support of my guide service, and for letting me store my boat there.

Frenchman Lake - Compared to last June, Frenchman is not the same lake. Numbers are way down, which puzzles me until I think about just how many bait and gear anglers keep excessive amounts of fish. The lake was planted last week as my guests have been catching smaller fish around the 9" mark, not really what we are looking for though. Water temps are running 64 to 67, but as mentioned above they will cool down a bit with this current low pressure that produced huge winds up to 35 mph, and rain this morning.

There has been a decent callibaetis hatch and it comes off either in the morning to mid day. The trout are looking for them whether your throwing dry fly imitations, or stripping the nymph. Once the wind comes up you're screwed, so make the most of ideal conditions. The bobber rig has been just ok, hanging chironomids and callibaetis nymphs 3 to 6 feet down seems to be the most effective from morning to 1pm, deeper vertical presentations to 15 feet in the afternoon is a must. Don't forget to strip some bigger streamers and buggers as well - Not all the trout are playing small ball. We have a few more weeks at the little desert lake, once surface temps reach 70 degrees, those trout will move into deeper water during the hot months.

Master Fly Tier Bud Heintz hooked up to a callibaetis eater

Creeks - The creeks in Eastern Plumas County that feed the Middle Fork Feather River, and the creeks of the North Fork Yuba River just came into shape in the past few weeks. Water temps and levels are near perfect. You'll mostly find small wild rainbows, and in some creeks you'll find little butter browns.

There's nothing better for the soul than a remote creek that provides complete solitude, unbound beauty, songbirds, wildlife, and gorgeous trout. I really love this time of year exploring creeks, and the best thing is, it's all dry fly or dry/dropper presentations, add a 2-3 weight rod and it's a real hoot. Attractor dry flies and when it come to droppers, do not ignore sunken beetles, ants, and hoppers. Many of these creeks are spring fed and remain good all summer long. If you have an ego for big fish only, don't even bother with these jewels of the Northern Sierra.

For those that love creeks I'm offering the Graeagle Creek Tour on July 19th which encompasses the major creeks of Eastern Plumas Co. Jamison, Frazier, and Gray Eagle are really cool little fisheries. I'll cover access points, flies, rigging, techniques, tactics, handouts, and a creek side lunch. $150 per angler, 1 spot taken, and 5 spots open at this time. I have hundreds of hours on these creeks and nobody knows then better than me. To sign up just give me a call at 530.228.0487, or email me at

It's prime time, so get out there, the outdoors is free!

Lilium lancifolium - Tiger Lily

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