Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tying The "Never Sink" Hex Cripple

The Hex hatch is a must experience for any fly angler. These Mayflies are the largest to hatch in North America, and in Northern California we are lucky to have a few hot spots to find them - Lake Almanor, and the Fall River. I came up with this pattern after many store bought patterns failed to float for hours, this fly will never sink and holds up well after many fish have chewed on it. I chose the cripple because for whatever reason trout know that a cripple is helpless and easy prey. With so many natural adults on the water after the emergence at sunset, it helps to offer the fish something different, yet something they are accustomed to seeing.

The key to this bug is the hard marine foam that is glued on the back of the fly after it is done. I use super glue gel. Another thing a tier can do is painting the foam with some glow in the dark paint. Even in the dark the fish are still chomping away but with the help of your head lamp, this fly glows and gives the fly angler a huge advantage of seeing their bug and hearing the take, when the glow is gone it's time to set the hook and hang on! I use this foam for smaller dries, floating snails, and indicators - Use your imagination and see what you can do with this highly buoyant foam.

-#6-8 dry fly hook, I like the mustad stinger.
-Camel 6/0 thread.
-Brown marabou for the trailing shuck.
-Yellow stretchy foam cross ribbed with thread for durability.
-Grizzly and yellow dry fly hackle for the legs.
-Yellow deer hair for the wing.
-Hard marine foam, shaped and cut flat on the bottom.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fishing Report - Lake Davis

I took my Dad out for a few hours to troll the shallows and drop offs. It was a cloudy day with a few threatening clouds and a couple drops of rain. Not too much wind as well, just enough to put a ripple on the water. There are many rising fish off Jenkins in deeper water midging on the blood midge and the little green midge. Long leaders and a zebra midge with no indicator worked well for a few anglers I saw.
There are some damsels out, but I would rate the hatch as very light. Fish are starting to work the skinny water next to the shore, but again not the amount of players I would like to see. So we have 5-6 feet of "new" water and this makes the shallows now not very fertile. I know there are damsels in the deeper water's weed beds - But they still have to come to shore to hatch! I would like to think that the coming weeks will show more damsels - Only time will tell.

We trolled 3 feet down with full dressed damsels, 11 fish to the boat "14-18". We missed many more. I would rate the lake right now as good and improving. It's just great to be out on Lake Davis. The sheer beauty of the place, the birding, and the bugging makes this lake so intriguing! Until next time..........

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Using The Wind As Your Friend

It has been a windy, blustery Spring (if you can call it that...) to this very day. I fished Lake Davis last Tuesday, the 15th of June. After a delightful launch at Camp 5 with a single pram guy in the whole facility, I went north to the bays and buckets between Jenkins and Cow Creek. As I settled in for a perfect morning of fishing for risers I knew the damn wind was gonna blow at 15-24mph - But When? NOAA does a great job with local wind forecasts, but even they can't give it a game time. This is often the guessing game at Lake Davis, but it depends on the game you play if the wind will help, or hurt you. The wind can help ripple a lake with a very slight breeze to give the fish more security and feed more actively. It can also help distribute food like blood midge, and snails. There was a time from 1998-2,000 when I would anchor my jonboat sideways to the wind with an anchor on the stern, and one on the bow, and the wind to my back. This would create a "soft window" in the water in front of the boat that entices fish to come up and feed. All I fished was a brown Jay Fair snail that takes under a minute to tie. Just cast out to rising fish, feed the line out, and hang on!. Times have changed, and things are not good with the local snail population ( I could rant on this for a good three days...).

I fished hard for about 15 minutes when out of the west - BAM! Big Wind (again...). I fumbled a bit then made a good decision to harness the wind to my favor. I set my rod up with a camo int. line and a full dressed damsel. I then motored up a cove to the very west edge shallows I could go, cutting the motor I steered the boat sideways to the wind and let out the Drift Sock! If you make a good drift you can cover so much water that it makes this technique highly effective. Once the boat is in drift I cast sideways to the wind so that the line is off to my right , and let it rip. Once the line settles in the water I let it sink and feed out additional line, sometimes up to 20 feet. As you drift your fly it will settle in to the port or starbird side of the boat beyond the wind sock at x amount of feet. You can strip and cast, or twitch/pause your fly. The wind can effect your depth of line as well with the speed of the drift - The heavier the wind the faster sinking line you need to keep your fly in the strike zone. It is a great way to fish and worry free, the wind is your team mate and powers your drift. This technique brought 5 fish to the boat when all other hope was lost. When it comes to wind on a productive trout lake, it pays to adjust, and adapt.

Fishing Report - Middle Fork Feather River

Today I took a few hours to fish and evaluate the current condition of the MFFR. A bright sunny day with a bit of a breeze and air temps around 75. The surrounding land is SO green, and wild flowers have just started their dance. Water temps are still hovering around 55, slightly warmer in skinny slow areas of the river. I high sticked with a baetis flashback nymph in a #16, a golden stone nymph #8, and two splitshot. The river is high, but very fishable, it took much effort to land a few bows from 8-11". I saw BWO's, and PMD's hatching, but even then it was very light. I have not seen one riser so far this year, which is a disappointment - When you see a head it can give you hope, and there was none of that here today. Though the fishing was off the birding on the banks of the MFFR have been off the Richter scale! I have never seen so many warblers in the thickets, many times you can't see them but their calls are so loud and charming that you can't help but not to notice.

CARP! Yes, there were many carp in the slow skinny tailouts of major runs! I put on a Burk's bottom roller in brown with a bunch of lead 8 inches in front of the fly and sight fished to numerous cruisers. It took a while but I finally put my fly in front of a 23" golden ghost, and later a 18 incher. Carp are smarter than trout and hard to catch, and they do have a great fight in the beginning of the battle often stripping your spool out - That was the beauty of it all today - a total surprise of hungry carp. I would rate the fishing right now as fair and improving. It will not be long before things "pop" and fishing will be on fire. I now know that yes indeed we will have a great evening dry fly game that may go until mid August.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Carpenter Ants Have Emerged!!!

The Carpenter Ants are out as of yesterday and this means the fish will be looking up for them. The Middle Fork Feather is still high and cold, I fished it yesterday and though there were Carpenter Ants and adult Golden Stones on the water I could not get a fish to rise to my flies. Lake Davis is another story as fish are already rising to Blood Midges and Calibaetis Mayflies. The Carpenter hatch will be out for the next week and as the fish key in on them they will be the preferred meal of the day. After the hatch is done the fish will still be looking for them so by all means fish these patterns. A great rig for Lake Davis is fishing a winged version in a size 10 with a sunken/spent ant as a dropper 18" below your first fly - Cast to rising fish. The first visitor of the "Big Bugs of June" are here, just what we have been waiting for!

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