Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Sunday, May 27, 2012

MFFR - Prime Time Starts Now!

After a good soaking of rain, thunder and lighting on Friday I flew up the hill early Saturday morning to meet Dan for a glorious day on the Middle Fork Feather. The rains brought the river up about 6 inches from the previous day and the water temps started out at a cold 48.6 degrees. We fished the water around the town of Graeagle and after hitting 3 runs with not a bump I recommended we go to another spot, adding the time traveling will be to our benefit to let things warm up and get going. When we arrived at our our new spot the water temps had already climbed to 51 degrees. I also noticed there was not a fresh foot print to be seen at our new location - "This is a good sign" I said to myself.

Right away Dan was into his first of at least 30 hook ups today, to be honest we lost count - It was that good! Yellow Warblers, Western Tanagers, and many other song birds gave us an orchestra of delightful melodies the entire time on the water, it was the perfect setting for an angler's first time on the MFFR. Dan possessed some serious fly fishing skills which enabled us to really decipher the runs and riffles, breaking it all down and presenting our flies to the correct water. We high sticked nymphs under an indicator with a little lead. Effective flies were PT flashbacks with a clear bead #16, Z Wing caddis emergers #12 in olive, and the San Jaun worm in earth color.

There were so many different bugs out like this March Brown above, PMDs, Green Drakes, BWOs, Little Green Stones, Caddis, and Midges were seen hatching throughout the day. To my delight Ameletus (the brown dun) mayfly nymphs were actively swimming about in the side water, for a bug connoisseur like myself it was the icing on the cake! A few risers were present, but those rainbows really wanted it underneath today.

This is your average sized wild rainbow of the MFFR, fish today ranged from 10-14 inches and full of fight. We had multiple aerial displays right in front us with many fish leaping out of the water more than once.

The fish are stacked up in pods at the tail outs of runs like this one above that had sufficient holding water with depth associated with it. We found different runs produced better than others, often times giving up 3-5 fish in a very small piece of water that would measure 10 x 10 feet.

Today was one of those days where your client can do no wrong, a day I will remember for a long, long time!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Like Night & Day

What a difference a week can make! Warm temps and plenty of sunshine has baked up some scrumptious conditions on the waters of Eastern Plumas Co.

Lake Davis; Water temps are now running 58-60.5 degrees and the water clarity has vastly improved. The fish are looking up now as I saw numerous rising trout beginning at 8:30am today. Blood midge and the little chartreuse midge (#18) were out in good numbers for a long time. Presenting flies 3 feet down from the surface in 8-20 feet of water got the grabs. Calibaetis are very active as well from 11:30 to 1pm, Z-Lon sparkle nymphs #16 in dark olive/brown was winning. Weeds still have a ways to go but just to see active feeding fish on the surface was a real treat - I'm so ready for some dry fly action! Anglers using indicators seemed to be having the best catch rates, and did even better if they found a nice pod and put the float tube in "park".

MFFR; Water temps are running 52-56 degrees and the flows are coming down and shaping up nicely. The same bugs are out as my previous reports with a few minor adjustments from mother nature. The Gray Drakes seem to be petering out. Golden Stone nymphs are starting to stage on the sides of the river awaiting their emergence. When these stoners get going in a few weeks it is crucial to fish the evening as this is when the majority of the ovipositing is done by the females.

It's been a weird spring altogether for both the lake and river, nothing is quite on cue and some things are early, and some late. It's best to really scan the area you want to fish, make a plan, and be flexible in your approach. What's next week going to bring? Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lake Davis / MFFR/ NFYR Update

Lake Davis; Water temps back up to 57 degrees, water clarity still off colored. Fishing was slow for me and others on Friday. Fish are still scattered at all depths but concentrations of them are being found at the Freeman Creek area. Hatches of Calibaetis and Blood midges are increasing and I saw two fish rise while I was out there.

I'm getting outstanding reports for Frenchman's Reservoir in the north end of the lake by many anglers, 10-20 fish days using basic still water flies with a intermediate line.

MFFR; Water levels in the upper river are way down from last week but still a tad high. Water temps are up to 52 degrees. Hatches continue to be good and the little green stone fly was out in big numbers on Saturday. This stone fly is not to be confused with the Yellow Sally, it is a size 12 and hatches mid stream and not on the rocks. A gold bead head PT was working for the emerging stage of the little green stoner. Fishing pressure remains very light

NFYR; Raging and cold! Water temps were 48 degrees. I wanted to wet a line here on Saturday but the flows dictated that it was un-fishable. Another 3-4 weeks away from good fishing here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lake Davis & MFFR Fishing Report

I checked conditions and fished a little bit on 5/3 and 5/4 during a horrendous wind storm that brought some intermittent snow squalls. It was a cold wind and dropped the water temps from 56 to 52 degrees. Water clarity is murky, and the north end is worse around Grizzly creek and Freeman creek. Not many bugs out during my time there, a few Calibaetis and Blood Midge came off but were quickly carried away to the east shore at light speed by the wind. Needless to say I got skunked.

The spawn is winding down and many of the snow melt feeder creeks are getting low. There are still fish ganged up in certain creeks and they may be left high and dry as the flows drop. The good news is that DFG staff and volunteers are doing fish rescues to get them back in the lake, the pelicans will appreciate that.

Current conditions are such; Fish are scattered through out the lake at all depths. You may be lucky and find a small pod at a productive location while fishing, if you do - Stay put! We need warm temps and sunlight to get the aquatic insects going and the weeds to grow; which in turn will get the fish over to the west and north ends. Most of the runoff for the lake is done but Smith peak still has snow so Dan Blough creek will be pumping in some off colored water. I think we are about 3 weeks away for some really good fishing and hatches at the lake, as long as we do not have cold weather come in. 

The Middle Fork Feather River is high and cold, water temps range from 47- 49 degrees. Feeder creeks such as Gray Eagle creek and Frazier creek are running at 44 degrees. There were some incredible mayfly hatches between 1:30 and 3:30 pm. BWO's, Gray Drakes, and March Browns hatched in big numbers. I took the time to watch a small riffle and you could actually see the March Browns "pop" right before your eyes - Really cool! This always happens in the early season of the MFFR, the hatches are there but the water is too cold for anybody to look up.

Fishing was surprisingly good despite the conditions. I swung a gold cone head black bugger with a clear camo int. line in the soft water that had some depth to it. Had about a dozen grabs landing 6. Fish ranged in size from 12-16", with one brown at 10", most were fresh planters. Many fish are hanging out where the feeder creeks are coming in but you have to fish the seam of water where the cold water meets the main current of the MFFR.

Here is a tip for you. If you can find side channels like this one above you will find many fish, the water temp here is 51 degrees. With warmer water temps and little flow the fish can feed without working hard against the main flow of the river's current. This particular side channel is about 10 feet deep, I used a Rio express sink tip to get down and had something flash my fly in the 20 inch range! Mr Big did not give me any more chances so I get to have him haunt me at night while I try to get some shut eye. Look for June and part of July to be the most productive time to wet a line here, and hope we do not get any more cold storms so the water temp can come up. Oh, by the way; never saw another angler fishing the entire time. I'll take solitude and  hungry trout anytime!

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