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California Fly Fishing Reports

  • Brookies & Bent Rods...Truckee Area

    California Fly Fishing Jun 14, 2019 | 15:59 pm

    Brookies & Bent Rods...Truckee Area I love fly fishing small waters...been doing such for eons in the Truckee area. There are numerous  tiny brooks and creeks within a hour's drive of my home. Some are "secret"...others not. If new to the region study your topo-maps and start exploring. A few provide us the chance of bringing-to-hand the area's "Hat Trick"...brookies, rainbows and browns. In the near future Lahonton Cutthroat will be available; creating the area's unique "Grand Slam". A trophy is  in the 12"-13", most are 6"-10"...perfect quarry for a 3 weight rod...and dry flies.There are important  considerations when seeking such waters. Below is an excerpt from my Destination Theater's presentation at Pleasnton CA's 2019 Fly Fishing Show: INSIGHT #2SMALL WATERSa) initially, the water temps are too cold and flows are too highb) then, the flows are ideal, but water temps remain too coldc) finally, flows and water temps are optimum for about 10 days ONLY...then flow and temps are too low and warm!if there's water , there are troutYour first cast is the most productive for these opportunistic feedersAbove and below..."pan-size" or shall I say "hand-size" stream-bred trout"OK, rise again..."

  • Lower Sac & A Near Death Experience?

    California Fly Fishing Jun 11, 2019 | 11:24 am

    Lower Sac & A Near Death Experience? The Lower Sac...sort of reminded me of southern Chilean PatagoniaRecently, I've been spending some time fishing well-known tail-waters of the West; the Beaverhead,  BigHorn, Missouri and the Green in Flaming Gorge; the latter three being BIG, tail-waters, below really huge dams within sometimes wide and sometimes narrow terrain.  (see images at bottom).Then I realized we have a famed and productive tail-water in the Lower Sac; right in our proverbial "back-yard".Mike Brugh with a typical LS RainBowSo recently I spent two fun-filled days drifting the Lower Sac with members of the local fly fishing group; Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers. Suffice it to say; we netted respectable numbers of RainBows which made long runs, pulled hard and were healthy and strong. The LS is an "urban" fishery...along Interstate 5The fallen tree, right-side of image, just missed the drift-boatPeter, the fella in the center of boat has new name, " Woody". The fella in the stern was brushed by the tree as it broke into pieces as it hit the port-side of the drift-boat.…really lucky nobody got seriously injured. We were up river around a bend and our guide Shane received a cell-call from Peter. The other boat in this image was drifting behind[…]

  • Sage Words from the Icons #15

    California Fly Fishing Jun 6, 2019 | 13:06 pm

    Sage Words from the Icons #15 "I fish because I love to fish. Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are  invariably ugly.Because…my fishing is at once and endless source of delight and an act of rebellion…because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed, or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility, and endless patience…Because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters…in the woods I can find solitude without loneliness…finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important, but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant …and merely not so much fun"ROBERT TRAVERNOTE: All images of southern Chilean Patagonia...There's absolutely no  need to travel to the distant southern hemisphere...beauty and great trout fly fishing is in your backyard...seek it!

  • Early Season: Truckee & Little Truckee Rivers

    California Fly Fishing Jun 6, 2019 | 12:18 pm

    Early Season: Truckee & Little Truckee Rivers          Let'em Breathe!Relative to this year's huge snow-pack and the melt that we're currently experiencing; my March 3 2019 post, Springtime Trout Fishing...Timing, Venues & Strategies remains spot on.For sure, a minimum of 4 weeks, more likely 6 weeks, behind a "normal" season remains a viable/reliable prognosis...gleaned from my four decades being laser-focused on Truckee area waters.In lieu of late-May thru July, I project early-July thru August being prime-time for all tactics; entailing "dredging" or "purist" dry-fly angling in the north Tahoe area; especially the LT nd BTIn the "Grand Canyon of the Truckee"...fall-time, not now!     "...May to the start of June can be an “iffy” proposition for the start of optimum fly fishing conditions; wholly dependent on what remains of the previous winter’s snow-pack, its percentage of water content and resulting melt/run-off. During this period, one’s best methods are to hug the river’s bottom strata; where the fish rest.     Waning spring marks the arrival of the unbeknownst, but locally beloved, “Big Bugs of June”; Western Green Drakes, Golden Stoneflies and huge, winged, Black Carpenter Ants. The Green Drakes and Golden stone adults do not appear in great numbers, but they are present and the[…]

  • Ants!!...Truckee Area

    California Fly Fishing Jun 4, 2019 | 22:15 pm

    Ants!!...Truckee Area Today is my first sighting of the Flying, Black Carpenter Ants, one of the three infamous "Big Bugs of June". I didn't notice them yesterday on the LT. Now, we await the Green Drakes and Golden StoneFies on the BT to make their sparse and unpredictable appearance.As for Truckee area's fly fishing. This is the opportune time to encounter a hefty river trout; not numbers, but quarry measured in pounds. Our second opportunity occurs at lake inlets in fall.Well, we're experiencing still heavy flows on moving waters and the still-waters are at near-maximum pool; both water-types make for challenging conditions. It seemed the snow-melt/run-off was waning and then we had an uptick in with the melt this last week. There still remains a lot of snow at the higher, north-sloping mountain peaks. Prior to the increased river flows we had some mid/late-spring, dry fly action; BWO's and March Brown and the occasional terrestrial pattern. Both huge attractor/indicator flies to sparsely dressed, small emerger patterns all fooled the sighted surface-feeders. Netted trout were RainBows ranging from 12"-19".Guess I'm going to fashionably "redact" my 5/7/2019 post saying "Now, water temperatures supplant flows as the more important consideration...most especially on the BT."  Flow[…]

  • Being A California "Old-Timer" Fly Angler

    California Fly Fishing Jun 3, 2019 | 15:19 pm

    Being A California "Old-Timer" Fly Angler You know you're an "Old Time" California fly angler when:1---You fished  the Upper Sac starting in  '70 way before "the '91 spill"2---You fished  Martis Lake at its "Wild Trout" opening in '79 and  it's hey-day of the '80's3---Your first flyrod was a fiberglass 8' 6-weight...'704---Your first graphite rod was the industry's first production rod by Fenwick...'745---Fished  the Truckee River before there were special regulations...'70's6---Fishing the McCloud River before at the arrival of the Nature Conservancy...'70-'737---The nostalgia of "Opening Day" in California; when there was no winter trout stream angling8---Being one of only three (3) fly fishing guides in the Tahoe/Truckee area...'84...currently a joke!9---Reserving a cabin and fished Hot Creek as early as '72...using the hot springs before its closure10-Fishing the Merced River in winter; outside western entry to Yosemite, highway 120...mid '70's

  • Lest We Forget...

    California Fly Fishing May 26, 2019 | 16:09 pm

    Lest We Forget... ...what MEMORIAL DAY is about. It commemorates and honors those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today...Never forget them.For those of us who stepped-up, got drafted or did not serve;  never forget the close friends we have lost.

  • Watching the Truckee River's Flows

    California Fly Fishing Apr 15, 2019 | 14:09 pm

    Watching the Truckee River's Flows Ideally, a smooth melt; as opposed to an erratic melt...is preferred during this early-spring on Truckee area waters.Pre-melt angling HAD been picking-up...until the rising waters that have occurred starting the 1st week of April...It has been changing day to day. With the receding snow; access is readily available.There are two phenomena I observe this time of year; water flow and water  temperature. Right now, of the two, water temps are of lesser concern. Tactically, with high-volume, early-melt flows...simply, look for the proverbial "soft-water". Something to think about...the "precise holding water changes with the tempo of the snow-melt and rise and fall of the flows" (quote...Dean da Raven).Along the Glenshire sector at 1800cfs..                                         Lots of water to share...right now

  • Skwalas

    California Fly Fishing Apr 5, 2019 | 14:15 pm

    Skwalas Recently Jon Baiocchi wrote an extensive article in California Fly Fisher magazine about Skwala stoneflies.I saw the below, succinct fishing report about Skawala angling on Montana's Bitterroot river from an old acquaintance from my Hat Creek days in the '70's, Chuck Stranahan . Chuck owned Hat Creek Anglers and moved to Hamilton Montana in the early 80's (?).I though I'd re-post here because it is very timely advice right now...in the Truckee area."Dry fly skwala action continues on the Bitterroot - in spurts, but it's great if you catch it right. You have to be out there casting. Early afternoon, when water and air temps are best, produce the best dry fly fishing. Nymphs, from #8 skwalas to small food-form nymphs, soft hackles, and (ugh!) pink San Juan Worms work best when fish are not on top.Sunny days are slow on top, overcast days are best. Fish are robust and in great shape."5


    California Fly Fishing Mar 12, 2019 | 12:12 pm

    FRANKISM #3 Let'em Breathe!This Frankism  seems to work considerably more than the  majority of the time... Use of Weight:"When in Doubt...Add"