Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Upcoming Presentations ~ Lake Davis ~ Lower Yuba River

I have some upcoming Powerpoint presentations in April on Lake Davis, and the Lower Yuba River. On the 14th I will be at the Reno Fly Shop presenting my popular Lake Davis program. I will walk the audience around on a virtual tour explaining access areas, entomology, gear requirements, specialized techniques, tactics, and how the fly angler approaches the different seasons. Vibrant colorful photographs, maps, and diagrams give the audience clear and useful information for future trips at Lake Davis, located in Eastern Plumas County.

Insider tips and current information will also be shared like the new Hexagenia mayfly hatch at Lake Davis, and the increasing populations of snails that are making a comeback. Also covered will be all the details of the much anticipated Damselfly hatch in the spring and summer months. The biomass of the lake provides this fishery as one of the healthiest and most productive still waters in the North state of California. This is a must see for those attending who seek to learn more knowledge about Lake Davis located in beautiful Eastern Plumas County. The show starts at 7pm, for more information contact Jim at the shop 775.323.3474 http://renoflyshop.com/

On Wednesday the 20th I'll be at the Tracy Fly Fishers regular meeting presenting a double header program on the Lower Yuba River, and Lake Davis. I'll be sharing the same great information as mentioned above.

High in the Sierra Nevada mountains three watersheds and the rivers that drain from there come together to make one vast river; The Lower Yuba. Snowmelt and springs are the beginnings of the North, Middle, and South Forks of the Yuba, as gravity pulls the precious flows down to the Sacramento Valley. As the forks of Yuba come together they rest in Englebright reservoir, it’s below this flood/silt control dam where the Lower Yuba River is born; a tailwater fishery that is both complex and very moody. 

The river has an extremely rich aquatic insect population, strong wild rainbow trout, and Chinook salmon and steelhead. The lay of the land is the start of the Sierra foothills, with its rolling landscape, native grasses, valley oaks, and cobble stones for miles.

The Lower Yuba River is a must fly fishing experience. It’s a river that has all the essential qualities that makes it a top destination spot, and offers fly anglers many different opportunities to choose from. The highlight here is the winter dry fly fishing, where hunting heads and technical presentations reward the angler, whether it is stalking the banks, or drifting by boat. The Lower Yuba can be fished year round and is a destination spot for many fly anglers of the central valley, and the Bay Area to the greater Sierra region. For more information on the Tracy Fly Fishers meeting place click here; http://www.tracyflyfishers.org/

I hope you can make one of these events, and I look forward to sharing the knowledge with you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Understanding Trout Habitat ~ The Merry Go Round

Back eddies on rivers, small streams, and creeks offer wild trout the perfect habitat by providing a steady stream of food, protection from predators, and retreat from heavy currents. My colleagues and I like to refer to such areas as "Merry Go Rounds", because of the circulating movement they possess. Natural foam is the key ingredient here, emerging insects, adults, and spent spinners, along with terrestrials get caught up in the foam and are trapped. As the smorgasbord of food revolves overhead of a wary trout, it can take its time and selectively feed. Often while watching Merry Go Rounds, slight dimples, and snouts can be detected within the surface film. The other advantage to the trout is the foam acts like a safety barrier, and because of such they feel more secure. Think of a Dorado hovering below a kelp patty in the Pacific Ocean. 

Whether I'm guiding or fishing on my own, I always keep an eye out for back eddies, or areas with foam lines. "Foam is home" couldn't be truer words spoken. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reno Fly Shop Podcast w/ Jon Baiocchi ~ Episode 15

Listen to my latest take on the Lower Yuba River, Lake Davis, and the North Fork Yuba River.

"Jon and I cover a ton of detail on these three waterbodies.  Hatches, leader setups, time of year and best flow conditions. This is an episode you will most likely listen to over and over. I suggest you grab a notebook to take notes. Jon isn’t your typical western trout guide. He won’t spend a lot of time on your shoulder hollering ‘set! set! set!’ or ‘mend! mend! mend!’. He will share all of his knowledge on fly fishing techniques, tactics, flora, fauna and the biology of the surroundings. Most of all he accommodates his guests interests, and abilities to a great day on the water".- Jim Litchfield, Owner, Reno Fly Shop

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Take On Fly Fishing ~ 2016

 Last week I had a guest ask me "What does fly fishing need to reach the next level, what’s missing?"

“I would say it’s more about what fly fishing doesn’t need. Fly fishing is just fine. I have no problems with it. It’s an amazing lifestyle with historic values, but there are a lot of pieces to it that aren’t necessary. It needs less bling, and more soul—that’s what it needs. 

It comes down to aspiring new anglers, and veteran individuals of the fly fishing community pushing the industry to new levels of productivity, and creativity. Right now all the brands, shops, guides, and manufacturers are competing with each other because they see themselves as an eternal part of the industry. They are all trying to bullhorn their message, many with little experience, or shall I say roots. In a perfect world, if we were all working together, the way that the industry started, we would probably be a lot stronger. When we all strive to teach, educate, preserve the waters we fish, and share fly fishing, everybody wins including the fish, the bugs, the public, and the rest of the industry.  

Fly fishing needs to inspire more participants to be passionate enough to spread their love of sharing the great outdoors and fly fishing, and the species of fish we seek to catch to the masses. As an industry, we’re spending all our time trying to steal market share from each other and not enough time trying to grow the actual market for a solid future. It’s been better in the last few years with some positive individuals, clubs, nonprofit orgs, and others rising to the top and spreading the good word. Giving up on that positive goal can’t be an option.”

RIO Powerflex Plus Tippet Review

The leader and tippet is the most critical part in connecting our rod, reel, and fly in being successful with when hooked up to our quary. We ask a lot from our leader systems these days from the "turnover" ability, to the suppleness of a fly first presentation as it tames the micro currents through the drift. Lastly, the most important element is strength. RIO's new Powerflex Plus uses a new manufacturing process with VHT technology, a new technical modification of the nylon copolymer formulation that gives the material 20% greater strength.

As a RIO ambassador, I received this new tippet before the general public. I've been using this tippet for many months now, and have found it to be the strongest of its kind on the market. I'm honest in my reviews, and if it does not make the cut or perform to my expectations, I'll speak my mind. So far I'm impressed, but we'll have to wait and see after further testing, like those savage takes from those rainbows at Lake Davis during the damsel hatch.

What I like about the new Powerflex Plus is the way the knots seat down, I get a cleaner and more compact knot then with regular fluorocarbon or monofilament. I'm also impressed with the strength to diameter ratios. Sizes 4x through 7x will be game changers, especially the 6x at 4 pounds. I'm looking forward to presenting very small dry flies on the Little Truckee River, and the Fall River in the upcoming season with this new revolutionary tippet. Those trout are going to wish they never heard of VHT technology. Check out the table below and the incredible breaking strengths offered.

Check out the video above as Simon Gawesworth walks you through the key features of RIO's Powerflex Plus tippet and leaders.


Visit these excellent fly shops to see the latest from RIO Products;

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Latest Fly Fishing Articles

Check out my latest articles on Lake Davis and Pyramid Lake. Lake Davis is still mostly iced up, but Pyramid Lake is red hot - Go now! Special thanks to all of my friends who contributed!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lower Yuba River High Flows 3/6/2016 ~ Round One

The first big event of the "Parade of Storms" came rushing down all the forks of the Yuba River last night creating another blowout. Englebright dam topped out at 17,502 cubes at 8am this morning. I drove down from Nevada City and took some pictures of the high flows. Hammon Grove and Sycamore Ranch were both closed from flooding, at Sycamore I could see the campground was under water.

At approximately 2am this morning, Deer Creek got as high as 5,410 cfs. The above picture shows the creek a little above 2,000 cfs. The highest amount of flow as recorded by the Parks Bar bridge real time station was 19,633 cubes at 8am today.

As I was making my way down Hammonton road on the south side of the river when I came upon this scene. Why anyone would camp next to the river during a strong storm that had forecasted warnings of the river rising is beyond me. I called Yuba Co. S.O. and notified them of the situation.

Hammonton Road blew out again at the wash out, nobody had tried to get through the fresh cuts when I got there. Equipment will be needed to smooth things out as they did before.

A short clip from the Aquarium to Miner's Corner

Round two just arrived here about an hour ago and already we've had periods of heavy rain. I'll be back out tomorrow to see the damage, and take some pictures. Batten down the hatches...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lower Yuba River Fishing Report 3/2/2016 ~ Really?

To be quite honest, the Lower Yuba River has been extremely tough the last week. I’ve thought of dozens of possible scenarios that could be affecting the river, but one fact remains; their staple diet of the usual aquatic insects has changed due to the high flows that have scraped most of them away downstream. I don’t pump the stomachs of the wild rainbow trout, never have, though I’m curious just what they’ve been eating. I’ve tried to play the small ball game with tiny midge pupa thinking that was the most available and preferred food item, to rubber legs, and worms. Nothing really seems to be the go to fly right now. My guest and I have had the most success with the Skwala adult, with little to show in the numbers department. Reports from my crew told me a few fish have been caught using Salmon fry patterns, but again in very low numbers.

I got a report from a past guest of mine form last week, here is what he had to say; “Today I fished the UCD section with the club. Fishing was not easy today especially in the morning with clear skies. Caught three 15-16" fish indicator fishing using the rubber legs in the Yuba fly set. BWO hatch started about noon probably extended early afternoon when cloud cover and air temp dropped. Found a pod of fish and caught three more on flashback PT nymphs. One angler had good luck with Skwala dries in the afternoon.”

The skwalas are still out, I’m finding a couple dozen during a session and it’s just so damn frustrating that most of the fish are still not looking up. A few pinkies today brought a few risers up with their famous “one and I’m done” behavior. A few bwo’s as well, but I’m seeing more spent spinners in the back water than emergers in the film, and adults riding high down the micro currents. The water has really cleared up, almost too clear. Flows have been steady around 1,070 cubes, and Deer creek has not been an issue with the lack of precipitation of late. (Note: as of 3/3 the flows have been jacked up to 1700 cfs to make room for the onslaught of precipitation coming in) Yesterday my guests and I saw no other anglers except one boat, today was different with 3 anglers on the bank, and two boats. That says a lot right there.

This will all change during the next 10 days as a series of strong storms will be pounding the region, even though the wildflowers are blooming with Pipevine swallowtails flying about. Nature says spring is here with the melodies of songbirds, and both Sandhill cranes, and Canadian honkers flying north. Weather forecasters are calling for 6 to 8 inches of rain here in the foothills, and 5 to 10 feet of snow in the Sierra. Another miracle March may be happening again, though I have read that a ridge of high pressure may dominate the latter half of the month. I expect the Lower Yuba River to blow out several times. It is what it is; time to find some other water with a hope the river will come back into shape. Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of tying and writing in the near future.

In other news, I had a great time seeing my friends and past guests at The Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton last weekend. We are all so busy during the year sharing and teaching fly fishing that we do not get to hang out as much as we would like to. The Pleasanton show makes up for lost time and swapping stories. I got to talk shop with Simon Gawesworth, Jamie Lyle, and Lincoln Gray at the RIO booth, as well as Jay Beebe from Redington. The show this year had a real positive vibe to it, industry reps, and the general public were all wearing smiles. It was an awesome time for sure.

Finally a special thanks to George Revel of Lost Coast Outfitters for this trick thermos he sent me in the mail with his trademark slogan "Life is better around a campfire". If you live in the city by the bay and fly fish, visit the shop. 

See you on the water...

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