Sunday, June 23, 2019
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 7th Greagle Creekin Tour, inquire within if you are interested – 530.228.0487 / firstname.lastname@example.org
See you on the water!
Jamison Creek ~ Plumas Eureka State Park
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 flies.
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.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
New Interactive Watershed Map Site ~ Truckee River, Middle Fork Feather River, Yuba River, North Fork Feather River, and more!
Last week I had a conversation about what is this Guidebox thing at City Council coffee shop in Nevada City with the dude sitting next to me. That led to the topic of watersheds, mapping, and flow data. Andreas introduced me to his site https://watershedmap.org/ As fly anglers we are information junkies always seeking out the knowledge that could lead to a better fishing and life experience.
The site is a work in progress and will be upgraded as time marches on. Once you have the map up, and zoom into the watershed you're most interested in, you can then use the many different layers to find the info you need. Flow gauges, diversions, fish barriers, tributaries, mainstem rivers, and snow overlays are just a few of the many different options you can choose from. Check out the site, give it a book mark, and add it to your tool belt!
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
I finally had a chance to test the new Elkhorn 905-4 AMP fly rod and was pleasantly surprised at the performance. The rod was delivered to me by manager Dan McGann and Jim Cooper of the Elkhorn Fly Shop in Loveland, Co after learning about my misfortune last December when my truck was stolen including most everything I owned, including my guide gear. I was completely blown away at that simple act of kindness, and so grateful.
The first stage of the test was to simply cast the rod on the grass fields of Pioneer Park here in Nevada City, while varying different lengths of line both two-step casting and false casting. The line chosen for the test was a RIO Perception weight forward in a size 5 to match the official rod weight. The AMP loaded quickly and easily with about 25 feet of line out. The rod is tagged as a medium-fast action rod and I found that to be pretty much spot on, except the tip is a bit softer than most rods that I use, which I can appreciate as it protects tippets from breaking off on larger trout. The blank is manufactured in Korea to specific specs and hand built by the Elkhorn staff in Colorado.
The best way I can describe the action is very smooth and crisp, it’s the kind of rod that is just fun to cast. I set up a few targets to cast to and the AMP responded better than I thought with dialed in accuracy. When it came to distance and false casting an excessive amount of line out the tip, the rod did not collapse or wither. It actually excelled with a longer amount of line and the AMP seemed to be in its happy place. The shooting ability of line was also very good. As a big stillwater angler, this rod would easily excel at Lake Davis or Frenchman Lake when casting to far away targets like large cruising rainbows during the damsel migration.
I fished indicator rigs with added split shot and heavy flies and the AMP could turn over the entire package well, but it even mended better. In my opinion though, it excelled most at fishing dry flies. The way the fly presented itself on the water with a delicate landing and combined with great accuracy now has me reconfiguring my arsenal for this summer. The AMP will be my go to dry fly rod on the technical waters of Northern California. I honestly cannot wait for the PMDs and Green Drakes to pop and have this rod at my side. I have a good feeling about how the AMP will increase my enjoyment for such.
Aesthetically the AMP is a real looker. The rod features a really cool custom reel seat and a glowing olive green color that punches out when the sun hits it just right. Simple snake guides and beautiful wrappings round out this gem. Bottom line and overall review is…impressive and extremely versatile. Here is how Elkhorn Fly Shop describes the Amp on their website:
The new 905-4 is the newest addition to the AMP Series of rods. This 9 foot 5 weight 4 piece rod is designed with performance and aesthetics in mind. This fly rod is finished with an “unsanded” blank which adds strength and reliability to the rod while adding a beautiful olive acrylic finish. This is a medium-fast action rod with a progressive taper that will definitely suit any level of caster with its control and feel. You won’t find a better value in the market from any maker at any price if you’re shopping for a high end rod – Period!
Price: $419.00 ~ https://elkhornflyrodandreel.com/
Sunday, June 2, 2019
The CONCEPT—Through many years of guiding fly anglers in the Tahoe-Truckee and Graeagle areas; both Jon Baiocchi of Baiocchi’s Troutfitters and Frank R. Pisciotta have noticed a trend. Many of their experienced fly angling clients visiting for the first time or having previously fished the area expressed an interest in becoming more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the local “wild trout” fisheries; hoping to minimize their “prospecting” time. They engaged Jon or Frank’s services with their prime focus being an orientation to local waters; being guided and catching trout being secondary. These fly anglers want to be briefed about:
-Most productive techniques
-Local bugs and respective fly patterns
-Seasonally ideal angling times
-Key access points of selected waters
The SPECIFICS: The Tour is designed to give fly anglers what they need to know to be successful when venturing on selected special regulation sectors of the Big Truckee, from the town of Truckee to Hirschdale, and the Little Truckee below Stampede dam. Fly fishers will learn of access points, equipment, tactics, techniques, flies, entomology, and local inside knowledge. The Tour entails a “meet & greet” and PowerPoint presentation on Friday evening. Attendees receive a Tour Packet consisting of a map, essays on both waters, and a hatch chart. A bonus is a copy of the original Truckee Little Truckee Tips. Saturday we auto-caravan; participates providing their own transportation. Lunch and drinks are included. After lunch we wader up (bring your own gear) and split into two fishing groups; similar to a guide trip.
Tours are limited to six (6). Jon and Frank know they can easily enroll more tour guests, but they want to assure a high quality experience. We maintain a maximum 3-1 ratio of attendee to “tour” guide.
WHO WE ARE: Jon and Frank are the founders of the Native Sons Tours. They are “born & raised” northern Californians with a combined 58 years of guiding fly anglers exclusively on their “home waters” and a near-century, 98 years of fly fishing experience. The tour information dispensed is reliable, timely and ingrained from Jon and Frank’s vast experience. Simply, experience does count. They have always tailored guide trips to the specific desires and skills of the individual client and have planned their guest’s time accordingly.
Hence the genesis of the Native Sons Tours; to provide a group of experienced fly anglers a short learning curve and cost-effective investment in their angling time. There is nothing comparable to these tours; some have imitated and tried. The word has spread and the above scheduled tours get booked way in advance. If interested in a private, affinity group tour and your own selected dates; we are receptive…inquire.
June 28-29 ~ July 26-27 ~ August 16-17
September 20-21 ~ October 4-5
FEE: $250 per Angler
To book your spot on one of the selected dates please contact email@example.com
To book your spot on one of the selected dates please contact firstname.lastname@example.org