Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Sunday, July 29, 2012

North Fork Yuba Entomology Class A Huge Success!


The Wild Plum area on the North Fork Yuba River offered 5 students the perfect ambiance to increase their knowledge on the aquatic insects that reside there. Biologist, educator, and entomological  illustrator Christine Elder (http://www.christineelder.com/) led the lecture segment of the class teaching simple solutions for fly anglers for making positive identifications of the bugs.

Her highly informative hand outs and anatomically correct illustrations gave the students the necessary tools to be able to refresh their memory well after the class was done.

A booster pack hooked up to a power inverter supplied the juice to run an aerator to keep the live aquatic specimens in good condition. We added chunks of ice to cool the the water temps as well.

It was amazing how the golden stones would sit right on top of the aerator taking in large amounts of oxygen to satisfy their needs. All bugs were released unharmed back into the same stretch of water where they came from. This set-up kept the bugs happy and the students could check out how each bug's gills worked with the assistance of a magnifying glass. They found it really fascinating!

Our group of beginning anglers said they were amazed to be shown the high density of aquatic insects inhabiting just a short reach of Haypress Creek, including the prolific populations of the dobsonfly (hellgrammite). The main stem of the NFYR had an abundance of net spinning caddis, and Baetis nymphs.

Our complete species list included October caddis, Glossosoma caddis,  Rhyacophila caddis, net-spinning Hydropsychid caddis, Epeorus mayfly, Baetis mayfly, Drunella mayfly, golden stone, Isoperla stonefly, Alloperla stonefly, and midge & cranefly larva.

I went over fly patterns for the major groups from nymph to emerger to adult stages right on through to the egg laying spent adult. I also covered reasons why certain patterns work so well, like how a flashback pattern simulated the gas bubble trapped under an emerging insect's skin. I also performed on -water demos with effective presentations for the students giving them some new skills to try on their own.

At the end of the day Christine pulled out the flash cards and gave the students a little quiz to access the knowledge gained over the day. They passed with flying colors! There where lots of laughs with this simple game and each student won one of my custom flies for their efforts. 

It was such a rewarding day for Christine and me to be able to share our knowledge and to see our students gain a real appreciation for the diversity of insects upon which trout depend! 

Announcement - We will be doing another class on Saturday August 25th on the North Fork Yuba River at the same location. Click the link below for more information, we hope to see you there!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Olivia's Big Catch!

I have had so many great guide trips this season. Just when I think another trip can't be topped, it is! Today was no exception as I guided a family who had never been fly fishing before yet had done their home work, especially Olivia. I taught them the simple game of short line high sticking with a hopper and a dropper. The learning curve with this technique is so sharp, and with eager fish the reward is instant. It fuels the fire to stick and move and dance up the staircases of trout, with a hope for a rise. Olivia caught and released 6 rainbows with one at 14" all on her own today! She is a very smart girl with an appreciation for nature and the great outdoors. That's special to me.

Her parents have given her the greatest gift you can give a child, a true understanding of all things flora and fauna. I know first hand, my parents gave me the same gift and it will be with me forever. At the end of the day there were smiles all around, everybody hooked into a few, learned so much, and caught trout fever with a fly rod. As we were about to part Olivia gave me a tight hug and said "Thank you so much Jon!". A tear came to my eye, and it was so beautiful. "Your welcome fish queen" I said. On the drive home I rode the high that a fly fishing guide experiences on a great trip, and the smile I left with is still on my face with no chance of going away. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Truckee Area and a Guide Named Frank

I spent my first real vacation for the summer season in the Truckee Area for the past few days with Frank Pisciotta, long time fly angler and guide. Frank has been fishing up there since the early 70's and guiding fly anglers on the surrounding waters since 1984. I spent two days on the Little Truckee with Frank as he deciphered every run, rock, riffle, and hole for me. I've been fishing many waters where the fish are small and easy, and here it's just the opposite; big fish, technical presentations, and a test of skills. I passed with flying colors thanks to my guide, and my fly fishing experience I've dragged around with me for the last 40 years. Other than fishing the area, we also had a blast just talking shop, and the finer points of Prawns Diablo (I really like it hot!).

Frank's guide service Thy Rod & Staffand my own Baiocchi's Troutfitters, will be doing fly fishing tours next season for 6-8 anglers stretching from Tahoe National Forest to Plumas National Forest. Rivers and Lakes that will be included will be; The Big & Little Truckee, North Fork Yuba River, The Middle Fork Feather River, Lake Davis, Frenchman's Reservoir, and many small creeks in both forests. We will keep you updated on Rates and Dates next season with all the details. The tours will focus on access areas, equipment, flies, and the best times to fish theses featured waters. The tours will also eliminate countless hours of research for fly anglers new to these areas so they can get right to point of catching fish.

Friday, July 6, 2012

North Fork Yuba River Fishing Report

The wild trout are looking up on the North Fork Yuba River and it's all about the dry fly now. I've been guiding and fishing both below and above Sierra City with great clients and enthusiastic hungry rainbows. Water temps in the morning have been 56.3 rising to 61 degrees in the afternoon. Flows are near perfect conditions, personally I like the flows just a tad less which makes for better dry fly fishing. Fishing pressure remains light and those who are fishing are staying in one spot. My advice and Cyberfly's motto is "Stick and move, stick and move" which boils down to work your way upstream and cover a lot of water for big number days.

It's a banner year for the Golden Stone, I've never seen so many shucks on one rock before! Plenty of female adults ovipositing during the day. Overall Caddis flies ranging from #12-18 are the most prolific aquatic insects right now, Yellow Sallies are not far behind. PED spinners are out in the evening mating and laying eggs as well.

Wild rainbows range from 5-12" and are very eager for anything on top. I have caught all my fish on my foam hopper, gray bottom with hints of yellow through the mid section, and a tan top size 10. For my clients I used the same fly but with a BH PT flashback dropper in a 16. We found fish in the usual spots, the deeper slicks and riffles. But many fish were in skinny shaded frog water, and when that hopper was drifted through they would dart out from their cave and attack! Some trout took the hopper so slow and confidently that you just knew they thought it was the real thing - I like that!

The PCT does not provide good fishing access because of "The Gorge", it's impossible for an angler to navigate around. But it's worth the short hike down to see Loves Falls. While your down there check out the drift wood high on the rock walls upstream of the PCT bridge; That will give a picture of the huge volume of water that passes through here!

Drop everything you're doing, now is the time to fish the North Fork Yuba! The river will fish well all summer long but keep in mind as the weather gets hotter it's best to move up the water shed with an emphasis on mornings and evenings. Attractor flies like red and yellow humpys size 14-18 will be productive during the day when the hatches are sparse, or try the club sandwich hopper - Just keep it on the small side.

I absolutely love this river, it's loud, rough, and so damn beautiful! The best is yet come as the Seep Spring, Scarlet, and Lewis's monkey flowers have not even popped yet. I'll be back up this coming Sunday introducing some more fly anglers to this most amazing river, and at the end of the day I get to hear them scream "This place rules"!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plunge Pools All Day Long

Fishing for small wild native rainbow trout in mountain creeks is not for everyone, it takes a certain person who is willing to put up with bush whacking and descending steep unstable terrain for a 6" trout. Last Friday I finally got a break from guiding to sample 3 of my favorite creeks in Eastern Plumas County; Jamison, Gray Eagle, and Frazier creeks. It's so much fun to drop deep into one of these creek canyons and completely loose yourself for 5 hours, total solitude; Only the birds, bugs, and beasts know you're there.

The wild rainbows of these creeks are beautiful, colors so vivid, and for their size they put up a good fight on the 3wt. Effective flies were Club Sandwich Hoppers, Orange X-Caddis #14, and Yellow Sally stone flies #16. Hatches were light with the Yellow Sally stoner being the most prolific. Terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants will be of the up most importance in the next few months.

All the plunge pools were major homes for the trout, often having a dozen or more fish occupying the area. Water temps ran 54-55.6 degrees! That is what I love about high mountain creekin; Crystal clear cold water. This is where one goes on a hot day to escape the furnace in "The Central Valley", though this summer so far has been mild as was last years was - Climate change is real.

I'm not sure of the name of these spiders but they construct their webs across big boulders right above the creek making a perfect trap for flying aquatic insects. Their web is so strong and gives some problems to fly anglers as these webs block off casting areas. It takes a few casts to punch through the sticky fortress, and thankfully these trout will rise even after you have flogged the water while cleaning out the cobwebs.

This creek at it's head waters is a spring creek with many channels that are deep and full of timber making it very technical. This is a brown trout fishery, the flow is slow and the banks have a barrier of high grass. These fish are spooky and very tough to catch. The brownies range from 6-18". I hooked two that day after some serious stalking, they both spit the hook and that's fine with me; Conservation releases are better for the fish as you do not have to handle them.

This brown trout is tough to see but these were the conditions that you had to deal with; So technical! This brown trout was rooting through the grass knocking off back swimmers and very small aquatic beetles. Wearing camo clothing is a must. This isn't just fishing, your hunting for a wild animal.

If your looking for adventure, solitude, unbound beauty, wild critters, polished granite, and lush foliage it's time you take up Creekin with a small light weight fly rod and your favorite dry flies. Always remember to carry lots of water, the ten essentials, and let someone know what your plan is for that day. You're also going to want to get to the gym are at least be in good shape for this style of fishing as you're not just sitting in a drift boat puffin on a cigar; You'll be where the wild things are, and if you're lucky you will lose all sense of time...

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