A Native Northern Californian with 47 years of hands on fly fishing for trout, Jon Baiocchi carries on the tradition of sharing the knowledge and the passion passed down from his father; a fly fishing hall of famer, and a legendary voice for saving California fisheries. Jon’s home is the rich flora and fauna of the foothills to the Northern Sierra. Fishing, guiding, public speaking, tying, writing, and teaching. The legacy continues.
For the fall season Sierra Pines Resort is offering fly
anglers a special package to experience the beauty of the North Fork Yuba River
and the wild trout that inhabit the river. Guests will able to access the river
right behind the resort. Anglers that take advantage of this great deal will
also receive 10% off a half day trip with Baiocchi’s Troutfitters. The Sierra Pines Resort package includes meals and a room for both single and double occupancy;
River ViewForest ViewRestaurant Level
Single Occupancy (including taxes)$160N/A$130
Dbl Occupancy / person (including taxes)$105$100$95
-Single Occupancy rooms are King Beds with coffee and
-Double Occupancy rooms are Two Full Beds with coffee and TV.
-Meals are open to the entire menu.
Gratuity not included. Dessert
and alcohol will be purchased separately.
What a glorious last couple of weeks it has been
while roaming the Lost Sierra with my guests. I get a lot of satisfaction
sharing the natural wonders of such a special region in Northern California,
and to see others appreciate my passion for such makes it so much sweeter –
They get it. Summer rhythms are changing slowly, subtle differences like where
the sun rises and sets, animal & bird behavior, constellations of the stars
shifting, and late season wild flowers popping open. You’ll notice things like
this when you’re living where the wild things are on a day to day basis.
Currently, we are experiencing some unseasonably cooler
weather for a few days. The low temperature in Nevada City this morning was 54,
and a crisp 34 in Truckee. We’ll take it, though it would be nice to see some
summer monsoon moisture race up from the south along the crest, and spill over
into the region. If you haven’t broken free of your commitments in everyday
life, you’re running out of time to escape into the summertime of the Sierra.
On a special note, I’ve made a great connection and have partnered with SierraPines Resort (formally Herrington’s on the NFYR) to offer some fall specials, and for 2020,
package deals that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, a room, and a reduced
guide fee for a half day. Stay tuned to my website under “Destinations”, or the
North Fork Yuba River – Flows are perfect, and surprisingly angling
pressure has been light. Water temps in the upper most water shed are 58 in the
morning reaching 62 in the afternoon. Downstream they will be a bit higher,
especially near areas like Convict Flat and Rocky Rest. Caddis patterns
continue to dominate success on the water’s surface. All over the Northern
Sierra it’s been a big caddis year and they will be active well into the fall
season with the king of caddis, Dicosmoecus (October Caddis),making the last stand until the first
snowfall. Hoppers have been out, yet I have not seen as many in years past, and
the fish are just kind of interested in them so far.
Midges have been very prolific this year as well, and they
are big! What the trout are really interested in is ants, and for whatever
reason trout love the taste of formic acid. To really be well equipped with ant
patterns, one must carry many different sizes from size 10 to 18 in both black
and red. My new UV Ant Bomb prototype has been crushing trout from Truckee to
points north of Plumas National Forest.
Dry/Dropper rigs continue to be the
most productive, and it makes a difference with the length of your tippet down
to your dropper fly depending on the water type (riffles, pools, slots, shallow
side water, etc.) or where the fish are eating in the water column relevant to
emerging aquatics, or lack of.
Sierra Creeks - Going off! Same
conditions as the NFYR, water is clear and cold, especially on those creeks
that are spring fed. I can’t remember a better year for wild flowers, so many
of them and lasting so much longer than usual. A little color spot on the banks
of a trout stream is the icing on the cake. Jamison Creek has been producing
the biggest creek trout out of all the Eastern Plumas creek drainages, and the
flows are still in great shape. Gray Eagle creek water levels have come down in
the last two weeks, but the fishing is still good to great.
find more brown trout in the meadow sections which will require more stealth in
your approach. Frazier creek has also dropped and you’ll want to find the deeper
pockets and pools where the trout will be more concentrated. Frazier is fishing
well too, but this creek is very slippery when it comes to traction while
wading as the bedrock and surrounding boulders are mostly Basalt. Even aluminum
tractor bars on your soles will slide, so take caution.
0 to 3 weight rods (bamboo, fiberglass, or old school to
modern graphite), 5X tippet, and a hand full of attractor dry flies and flashy
nymphs is really all you need. You might want to check out John Quigley’s
furled leaders which are not made to the usual specs, but totally custom and
preform extremely well. Escape the crowds by hiking further, and immerse
yourself in the Lost Sierra, where native rainbow trout call home. See you where the wild things are...
Diamond Clarkia ~ Clarkia
rhomboidea on the banks of Jamison Creek
The creeks of the Lost Sierra are absolutely perfect right now, my guests and I have been having some epic trips venturing deep into the canyon water. Three things that are most prevalent on my guided creek trips are unbound beauty, eager small wild trout, and solitude. We have yet to see any other anglers on the water, and have only seen a few footprints. Most of the time I'll sacrifice the larger fish and crowds of the Truckee area for the simplicity and enjoyment of the creeks. Pretty damn cool.
Water temps are still cold as most of these creek are spring fed, no Hoot Owl closures here due to warm water. Summer 2019 has been a big caddis year, E/C caddis and Elk Hair caddis patterns in amber, olive, and gray are the preferred flies. In the afternoons ants and hoppers are a great choice. Don't waste your time on skinny water sections, pick the pockets that have some depth or unique structure to them, and look for dark water against the faces of large boulders - Prime habitat.
My trips are rugged and remote. An angler that fishes with me needs to be in good shape and can navigate rocky/steep terrain. wading staffs are a must no matter your age. It's not easy, and why I don't see any other anglers or the few authorized Plumas USFS permitted guides out there. My best advice is to book now for the summer of 2020, yeah, my canyon water trips are THAT sought after. Also, get to the gym, or put some time on the bicycle. It makes your creekin experience that more enjoyable.
I’m deeply entrenched in the busy season of guiding beginner
to novice fly anglers and the same minor problems of casting, presentation, and
fighting fish just to name a few, become apparent. These are easily fixed by
actually getting out and experiencing different fishing situations. Fly fishing
is a perishable skill, and the more you practice (fish), the more proficient
one becomes to achieving a higher level of mastery. As a long time guide (going
on 23 years to be exact), I have learned to break down problems into smaller
fragments for my guests, and to also imagine what it’s like to be a rookie all
over again to help them understand more easily. Explaining the concept or a
solution to the problem as simply as you can, often results in a quicker
progression rate of learning. Telling your client “Oh, that’s easy” is not the
There is a lot going on at the same time for a beginning fly
angler to comprehend. Just the process of catching a fish has many detailed
steps to see success. First you must select the right fly, make the needed
proper presentation, achieve a solid hook set, playing the fish without breaking
it off, and lastly landing the fish in the net. I’ve made a list of the
problems I see that leads to failure in many different ways. I know other
guides will probably disagree with me with this post and to be honest, I could
care less. My sole purpose in life is to share my 46 years of knowledge with
all things fly fishing, instruct, and carry on my Dad’s legacy of helping
others and fisheries conservation. Posing with large fish is great for social
media satisfaction or your guide business, but learning and teaching the proper
ways to fly fish is more important in the long run as these skills will carry
you through a lifetime of enjoyment and success.
1) Casting Indicators – Bobber rigs have many hinge points
in the system starting with the fly line/leader junction, added split shot, the
first fly, and the second dropper fly. An off shoulder “Lob” cast is best with
an open loop, and your rig should be elongated and stretched out through the
lob while in the air. If an angler fails to keep the rig stretched out and
taunt, and allows the indicator rig to collapse upon itself, will lead to a
major bird’s nest of tangles. This is no place for false casting tight sexy
2) Mending – Some of my students pick this up quicker than
others, and the principal of placing the fly line/leader upstream of the
indicator, or dry fly, for a drag free drift is critical for success. Most
importantly, the first upstream mend sets the tone for the entire drift. When
making the first mend, keeping the rod tip higher will result in lifting all
the line off the water, while sweeping the rod upstream to achieve the most
efficient motion. A drag free drift of 10 feet beats a 30 foot drift that is
compromised by constantly moving the bobber or dry fly through insufficient
3) Line Control – Is everything! A constant awareness of
your fly line and what it is doing (or going to do) while making presentations
is critical. Having too much slack line between the rod tip and the fly will
result in missed hook sets. Not having enough slack between the rod tip and the
fly will result in drag, and your fly will look unnatural and be refused. Line
control also involves your hand that is in direct contact with the line whether
you are stripping in line, feeding line out, or micro managing it at your feet.
4) Setting the Hook – While drifting indos, or tight line
nymphing, a sweeping downstream and to the side 45 degree angle motion is the
preferred way to set the hook, by doing so you’re setting the hook into the
side of the trout’s mouth as it is facing upstream in the current. For dry
flies, it all depends on whether the presentation is upstream or a fly first
down and across. The key here is to evaluate the take in a millisecond, which
only comes with more time on the water. The smaller the fish the quicker the
reaction time, the bigger the fish requires a slight pause to allow them to eat
your offering. Day in and day out, I see my guests pull the fly right out of
the mouth of an 18 inch or larger fish.
5) Fighting Fish – Many different topics here to discuss
that must all be executed properly to see your prize find the landing net.
First off, don’t horse the fish in if your using 5 or 6X tippet, take your
time. The biggest problem I see when losing fish is not keeping a tight line
down to the fish and allowing slack. A size 18 fly that is barbless will
quickly come out of a trout’s mouth once a slack line is employed. Keep
Tension! Allowing the fish to take line when it is aggressively swimming
upstream or downstream is a must. I’ve seen far too many nice fish lost due to
the “Death Grip” of pinching off the fly line on the handle of the rod, or
simply holding on to the line for dear life. Your line control hand must use
different levels of pressure on the fly line to achieve the fine balance of
keeping a taunt line yet enabling the fish to take line without any slack.
Lastly, once you have control of the situation and the fish is tiring, bring
the rod over to the side of the river you are on and gently steer it into
calmer water for a successful landing.
6) Landing a Fish – As a client you can help your guide out
immensely by lifting your rod and getting the fish near the surface so the net
operator can make the “scoop”. It helps even more if you can plane the fish on
its side at the surface (where it has little power or control) and slide it
into the net. Often times a fish will seem tired just before the net job, and as
the net operator goes for the scoop, the fish makes one final burst of speed to
get away from the net. Be prepared for this, and allow the fish to take line
out while keeping tension, yet not too much as it will result in a dreaded
7) Tangles – Beginner to expert, it makes no difference;
when you see a tangle develop, stop everything you are doing. Continuing to
cast will make it worse, or flipping/bouncing the tip around like it will
magically make it better will always make it worse. If your tangle takes a
minute or longer to unravel, clip the flies off. It is much quicker to do so
and tying clinch knots are faster than unthreading twists and other monofilament
nightmares. Some of the tangles I see defy the laws of physics with what seems
an origin of the twilight zone.
8) Rod Control – Being smooth is everything while handling a
fly rod. Unnecessary movements will be transmitted to the tip of the rod down
to your presentation, or if you’re trying to string up your rod for travel to
the next destination. Slow down, and be aware of your rod handling movements.
9) Clean Flies Matter – On tail water and most freestone fisheries
there is an abundance of organic material. Moss, algae, rock snot, salad, or
whatever you want to call it will prevent a trout from taking your fly if it is
coated with it. Not all algae will come from the bottom of a river. There are
also situations where it is free flowing in the current. Depending on the river,
I will check my flies about every 3 to 12 presentations to make sure they are
free of any accumulation of foreign material. A technique I learned decades ago
on the San Juan River and aptly named “The San Juan Slap” is to swing your rig
in a circular motion downstream and raking your flies and split shot across the
surface of the water in a quick motion while it is coming back upstream. Your
rig must be extended and taunt during this maneuver or it will collapse upon
itself and result in a bird’s nest. If you cannot master this, simply lift your
flies out of the water and manually remove the algae with your hands. Before
you make your presentation, do not let go and allow your flies to drop into the
idle water you are standing in. They will plummet to the bottom of the river
due to a non-existing current, and instantly become “Goo’d Up” with crap. Hold
your clean flies in your line control hand and as you make your initial cast,
let go and watch them enter your intended target area of your next presentation
10) Mind Set - The vibe you give off and your mental state has a lot to do with how successful you are. If you have a shitty and pissed off state of mind, you will most likely be unsuccessful in the catching department. But if you feel the stoke and have a calm peace of mind, yet are totally focused at the task at hand, you will be more successful. Woman fly anglers both novices to pros are so good with this positive state of mind. Countless times I have witnessed them out fish their male fishing buddies. Women possess the ultimate Mojo in fly fishing aura.
My guests and I have been having some great sessions on the North Fork Yuba River. The flows are perfect, the bugs are out, and those small wild rainbows are eager as ever! Fishing pressure remains light in the less traveled areas and during mid week. Water temperatures in the upper watershed are 57 in the morning rising to 61 degrees in the afternoon. navigating the NFYR (especially the upper section) is just plain gnarly. A wading staff and good boots with maximum traction both in and out of the water is a must. An angler needs to be in good physical shape to proficiently boulder hop and reach the more secluded sections of the river, yep, it's time to hit the gym if you're not.
There are a ton of caddis on the river right now! From a size 10 to a size 20 in colors of amber, gray, olive, and tan. Your everyday Elk Hair Caddis will do the trick, but up your game and put on Ralph and Lisa Cutter's E/C Caddis. The golden stone fly was hit hard this winter during the high flows as their population is not that great. Stream sampling counts with live specimens, and evidence of shucks from prior emergence reveal truthful findings. Crane flies are also abundant with a size 10 to 12 rusty colored being the most prolific, a Stimulator would be a the perfect go to dry fly. Lastly, the favorite of the NFYR rainbow, the mighty ant has proven to be incredibly effective once again. Fishing has been good morning, afternoon, and especially in the evenings. This will all change in about a month or when the weather becomes "Africa Hot" and it's a morning and evening scenario.
I'm booked up for the rest of July and August, but if you're interested, still contact me to be placed on the cancellation list - First come, first serve basis. Also, if you want to get on the water with me for the fall season, now is the time to secure your date. Don't procrastinate, get ready to drop into a gorge of sexy pocket water and dominate! See you where the wild things are...
Mark your calendars
for August 10th at the Truckee Regional Park down by the river. This is TTFF's
primary fundraiser for the year. Donations collected from the event go to youth
fly fishing programs, conservation, and programs for members just to name a few.
As a proud member of the club I always look forward to the annual BBQ, It's so
Lunch includes grilled fresh wild Coho Salmon and smoked
Tri-Tip with all the usual sides and dessert! Soft drinks and beer are
provided. BYOB other adult beverages. Live music by Fire in the Kitchen! Our raffle is going to be bigger than ever
with a wide variety of fly fishing supplies and tackle, golf outings, landing
nets, fly shop gift certificates, guide trips and much, much more! We will do
our regular $10/$5 tickets where you pick what you want. You do not have to me
a member to attend, but after socializing with members and finding out about
the great opportunities available, you'will most certainly sign up to be a
member of TTFF!
systems go for the Middle Fork Feather River! The fishing is really good right
now and the flows are much lower than weeks earlier and quite perfect. There is
minimal fishing pressure on the river, especially off the beaten path. Tired of
the crowds in the Truckee area? You’ll find plenty of solitude in the Lost
Sierra, one of the many reasons I made it my home base for 14 years.
this time of year the MFFR can be broken into two different sections. Let’s
start near the top of the watershed from Clio down to the Jamison Creek
confluence. This section is perfect right now and will only be good for another
few weeks as the water temps will rise significantly and most of the heavy
hitters will travel downstream to find cooler water, swifter oxygenated runs,
shade provided by the canyons, and pocket water. Thick lime green algae will
soon engulf this section of the river thanks to golf courses and other human
influences like increased populations. In decades past we never use to see
these conditions of the green goo. The rock snot chokes out the bugs and does
not provide the best habitat for them, even so, they keep surviving and
perpetuating. Many juvenile rainbows will still remain in the area as they do
not have to compete for prime lies and food from the big boys and girls. From Clio upstream to the A-23 Bridge 4 miles east of
Portola provides sight fishing to the highest elevation carp in California, and
top water action (think poppers, and sliding frogs) to smallmouth bass in the
morning and evenings.
Downstream of Jamison Creek the water will be a bit cooler.
Yesterday the water temps started at 57 in the early morning and rose to 64
degrees by the afternoon. Put those waders away, wet wading is the standard now
and good advice is to wear non cotton underwear and quick dry pants. Water levels
are higher than normal right now, but it’s so fishy! You’ll find trout in all
types of water including faster riffles, pocket water, slower side water with
structure (high grass, willows, or rocks), and transition zones of shallow to
deeper water near the head and mid-section of pools and deeper runs. Your
approach to start the day is to fish early! The best grab was from 7am to just
before noon, and tight line nymphing (Northern California style nymphing) out
preformed any other rig used (and we used them all). There is a trico spinner
fall in the morning until the air temps reach near 70 degrees. Amazingly my
guests and I saw very little rise forms, even throughout the day.
Afternoons tend to slow down with minimal action with the occasional fish. With a rise in water temps and a high sun in the sky, the fish tend to lay low during this time. The trout have not totally keyed in on terrestrials quite yet. The last two hours of light provide some awesome dry fly action and rising trout. This is when the Middle Fork Feather really shines. An angler can work a section of the river during the day and catch fish, but come evening the whole scenario changes with increased activity.
Aquatic insect activity has been just normal I would say.
During the day there are a few caddis out with a slighter higher amount of
Yellow Sallies and Little Green Stones (Isoplera),
and the much smaller Little Yellow Sally (Alloperla),
plus the occasional Golden Stone adult clumsily flying to its next destination.
Evenings provide many more little stone fly adults, increased caddis both
emerging and ovipositing, and more Golden Stones laying eggs.
These last couples of trips have brought back some fond
memories of when I started my second segment of fly fishing journey on the
MFFR, and when I returned back to my native Northern California in 1996 from my
days of yesteryear finishing out my professional snowboarding career in Summit County,
Colorado. You always hear old timers tell you how good the fishing was when
they were younger, and it’s true, especially on this river. Though it’s not the
same as it used to be, it’s still a special place. Being knee deep in the water
making presentations in a canyon setting with lush green native grass serving
as the peanut gallery… The ambiance of it all overtakes you. Remote solitude
coupled with songbirds and warblers providing an orchestra of melodies with the
sounds of wild trout splashing after a hook set remains in your mind for weeks
well after the trip. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? See you on the water…
North Fork Yuba River Update:
Upstream of Sierra City
The flows are still a little bit high, but near perfect with
plenty of fishable water. The tighter the canyon section the more white water
you will encounter. Below Downieville the flood plain spreads out a little more
and there is even more fishable water. Water temps in the upper watershed are
54 to 59 degrees, and in the lower watershed, 57 to 62 degrees.
Upstream of Downieville
Aquatic insects include Golden Stones, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Crane Flies, and Midge. Fishing
pressure is light during the week days and moderate pressure during the
weekend. For those that know the river intimately you’ll notice both large and
minimal changes from the high flows of winter. Exploring those changes is
always a cool thing to do. It’s time to start fishing the NFYR, and it’s only
going to get better the deeper we go into summer. We're stoked!
hope everyone had a good 4th of July! I took the week off and got to
fish with a special friend that I use to race motocross against from 2001 to
2006. Just like racing moto, she is equally talented at fly fishing. On one of
those days off, we revisited a very secret and rugged creek in the foothills I
found several years ago that is not on any map, yet full of wild bows. What an
awesome adventure that was!
With summer in full swing, I must say that it has been
unseasonably cool for the most part, and the weather has been as perfect as it
gets. Flows are finally coming down for the most part, yet some watersheds are
still a little high, but hey, that just means the dog days of summer may only
be with us for a very short time. Lots of fly anglers out on the water and my
phone has been ringing nonstop for late trip requests. You’ll see many guides
like me advertising “Book Early” in February and March, and there is a good
reason for that – I’m booked up for the next 4 weeks straight with limited days
after that. Keep in mind I am a true ambassador for fly fishing and will always
take the time to answer your questions if I cannot fulfill your trip, “Sharing the Knowledge” has been a part
of my family’s mantra since the early 70’s – Like father, like son. Email is
best to get a hold of me. So let’s get on with a report from the Northern
Sierra and the waters I have been guiding, fishing, and executing missions of
Fork Feather River – Flows are perfect in the Graeagle area, and a tad high
downstream of the Jamison Creek confluence. Water temps have been in the high
50’s to low 60’s. Downstream of snow melt feeder creeks will be bit colder for
a ways, and vice versa, stretches of water downstream of long pools stringed
together will have warmer temps due to solar radiation. There are lots of
smaller rainbows which is great news for the future of the MFFR as long as they
are not harvested. Active hatches include Golden Stones, midges (mostly in the
early morning), caddis, crane flies, Yellow Sallies, little green stones, and
any day now Sulpher mayflies in the evening.
An angler will want to nymph in the early morning, and
then switch to a dry dropper just before noon until evening, at which point the
beautiful marriage of dry fly dreamin and the magic hour of last light end the
day. Most of the larger trout are likely headed down to the canyon stretches
but there may be a few around in the deeper pools, so don’t put away those
streamers away quite yet. I have some upcoming trips in the next week so look
for new intel on California’s first adopted Wild & Scenic river in the next
North Fork Yuba – I have not been back to the NFYR in about
2 weeks, and the gauges still show the river higher than I’d like it to be. A
few friends of mine have been doing pretty well when they can find the right
water conditions (walking speed flows with some depth), or mellower pocket
water. The trout are starting to look up, and with good hatches of Golden
Stones, caddis, Yellow Sallies, and the tail end of the Green Drakes (think
spent spinners on top) the game will only get better as summer marches on.
Fishing pressure is light in the more remote areas, but the campers are out in
full force at the more easily accessible areas. There will be no “Dog Days”
this year on the NFYR, but when it gets Africa hot, mornings and evenings will
produce the best and find those springs that enter the river. With over 30
miles of river bordering Hwy 49, you can always find your own spot on one of
the most amazing watersheds in Northern California.
Plumas Creeks - Most of the creeks that flow into the Middle Fork Feather River
are in prime shape right now, and the creekin season begins. The harder the
access is, the better the fishing, not just now, but all through the season.
Which reminds me of lessons learned by my Dad in the 70’s where we would
venture down steep slopes to sections of the East Branch of the Feather River
off Hwy 70 and never see a human foot print.
Fishing the creeks does not
require technical rigging or exact imitations on the end of your line. These
wild trout are eager to feed as their season is often much shorter than your
typical salmonid of a Sierra freestone river.
Attractors, terrestrials, and caddis patterns are all that
you need. I’ve been using the Redington Classic Trout 8’6” 3 weight matched
with the 2/3 Zero reeland it is the perfect tool for plying creeks – and it
won’t break the bank. I also use this set up for my guests on guided trips
where dry fly fishing is the norm. So many bodies of water are perfect right
now that it’s difficult to choose which one to fish. Go with your heart, and
I’ll see you where the wild things are…
The flows are still a tad high on the Middle Fork Feather River
in the Graeagle area, and downstream of Jamison creek the volume of water is
nearly double and very high. Water temps will vary depending if you are
downstream of a major feeder creek like Gray Eagle, Jamison, or Frazier, or
after long sections of frog water the solar radiation of the sun will heat up
the water by a few degrees. I found the water temps to be at 57 to 60 degrees.
Water is clear and looks great. The riparian habitat along the banks of the
MFFR have grown so much over the last 5 years, and this spring is probably the
most growth I have seen on the river in all my years fishing there. Like they say, just
add water and sunshine.
Hatches are light, very few golden stone shucks on the
rocks, a few caddis, little Yellow Sallies, Little Green stones, and the most
prolific bug was the tiny Blue Wing Olives (Pseudocloeon # 20).
A few rising trout, and most of the small rainbows ate Carpenter ants with
Hogan’s S&M nymph #18 as a dropper 24 inches below. Fishing pressure was
extremely light, and no human footprints in the more secluded areas. First
or second week of July will be prime time for the upper Middle Fork Feather
River, especially the evenings, and downstream near the of July.
Some of the creeks in Eastern Plumas County are starting to
draw down into shape and are fishable. Jamison and Little Jamison are ready to
go right now, while Frazier and Gray Eagle creeks are still pumping with heavy
flows. Typical small water tactics apply and are so good for beginner fly
anglers to learn from and gain confidence. Speaking of which I still have some
spots open for the August 7thGreagle Creekin Tour, inquire within
if you are interested – 530.228.0487 / firstname.lastname@example.org
I finally got up to Lake Davis to host the Gold Country FlyFishers for their 3 day fish out last week, and just as I suspected the usual
culprits of a high and cold water year were not favorable for good fishing. The
lake is 97% of capacity. The fuller Lake Davis is, the less coves, peninsulas,
and fertile shallows there are. Weed beds are also extremely deep as the water
levels rose during late winter into spring. Surface water temps are already at
67 degrees rising to 70 during the heat of the day. Not very many hatches with
good numbers at all. Just a few blood midges and Callibaetis, but there were
many smaller midges in the morning and evening. On our second day I started to
notice freshly hatched damsel adults on the submerged willows that are lining
the shoreline. I did not see any damsels swimming, and I’m thinking they were
emerging undetected in the willows crawling up the branches underwater. A few Hexes
emerged in the evening near Honker Cove on the east side of lake but the
rainbows, birds, and bats were nowhere to be seen. I have seen this type of
scenario before both at Lake Davis and Lake Almanor in the last 3 decades. Late
hatches of Damsels and the Hex, yet the surface temps are so warm that the
trout prefer to stay in their deeper air conditioned restaurants down below off
the first major ledge. All of the fish that were being caught were down 20 to
25 feet. Full sinking express lines and slip bobbers were the tools to get the
grabs. Sheep Creek Specials, Zebra Midges, and Albino Winos were the effective
Ca DFW has made 3 plants of 18,000 pounds of Eagle Lake
Rainbows since May, both catchable and sub catchable. This fall should fish
well once the water cools down, and by that time the shallows will be full of
aquatic insect life and much more fertile. If DFW keeps up on the planting
schedule we could see Lake Davis near her former glory like in years past. I’m
looking forward to seeing the most beautiful lake in Northern California
rebound and provide my fellow fly anglers some positive stillwater experiences.
See you out there in the autumn sunshine.