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California Fly Fishing Reports

  • Egg-Time!

    California Fly Fishing Oct 1, 2018 | 15:14 pm

    Egg-Time! While many anglers are currently obsessed with the huge Lahontan Cutthroat at Pyramid Lake; now is the time some Truckee anglers start thinking about fishing for the big Browns of fall-time. Our "fly" of choice is that of an egg imitation.  Personally I do not "peg" a plastic ovum pattern. I use yarn, egg imitations; many anglers call them "Glo-Bugs". I will experiment fishing with different colors, in  light and dark shades; finding-out which produces best.Tactically, we do not fish on/in spawning redds...unethical! We look for that first riffle and/or vertex of currents below the redds. I always trail a smallish fly pattern (midge larva or BWO nymph) behind my egg fly. You'll be surprised what may eat the trailer...could be a big brown. About 10 years ago I netted a 24" Brown which ate a #20 Black Midge emerger...a unique occurrence for inclusion into the "20-20" club.ince I ...they do not always ingest the egg      Recently I received an egg-tying lesson from long-time Truckee guide and expert fly-tyer "JR" (John Roberts). I was enlightened as to how the circular, yarn patterns were made. I had envisioned the tyer meticulously scissor-cutting/trimming the yarn into a perfectly round globe...I[…]

  • Sage Words from the Icons #13

    California Fly Fishing Sep 27, 2018 | 17:29 pm

    Sage Words from the Icons #13 Let'em Breathe!"Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass without consideration."ISSAC WALTON

  • FRANKISMS...#1

    California Fly Fishing Aug 27, 2018 | 22:58 pm

    FRANKISMS...#1 Rio Simpson...southern Chilean Patagonia...circa 2006There came a point in time after numerous years of guiding and instructing experienced, semi-skilled and novice fly anglers that I realized I was espousing recurring themes and concepts. These aphorisms; simple, concise and truthful sayings, I've coined FRANKISMS. These  are exceedingly useful when I want to instill a concept that is beneficial and easily understood; an idea that I am emphasizing for a client, with the intent being that the concept/s will be subconsciously imbedded into their angling psyche.My selective use of the Frankisms is based on its appropriateness when instructing beginners with core insights or useful and adaptable to the existing skills of experienced fly anglers...taking them to another level.During my last few excursions in the Truckee area; fishing over finicky surface-feeders, I have reinforced one of my ingrained Frankisms:"Observe More...Cast Less"There are two things the fly angler has to consider when they have sighted a surface-feeding trout...before making that first cast! 1----What are the lateral perimeters of the trout's feeding lane?....One's  fly presentation has to be within those precise boundaries.2----What is the rhythm of the trout's feeding?....Time the feeding behavior of the trout  and make your cast at what you perceive as the appropriate[…]

  • "Old Timers" Perspective

    California Fly Fishing Aug 19, 2018 | 00:34 am

    "Old Timers" Perspective Let'em Breath!As I note in my previous July 17 post..."Somethings change..." Below are two commentaries/observations from a couple of "old timers".#1---An excerpt from AMERICAN ANGLER,  July-August 2018: "The kid certainly looked the part; expensive sunglasses dangling from his neck, even though we were inside on a cloudy day; fashional  fishing shirt from one of the more prestigious makers of fashionable fishing shirts.; trendy stubble on his face (I've had a beard since 1966, but have never figured out how to keep it permanently frozen at one-week length); and a look that announced to me and all the world that he he knew more about fly fishing than I ever would...--Back in the 50's my father and I used to float blue-ribbon Montana trout streams all day without seeing another angler......things have changed. Several years ago I realized that everyone in southwest Montana between the ages of 14 and 50 was or had been a fly fishing guide...No longer an obscure pastime practiced by the eccentrics, fly fishing had become a Scene...Then there was the "The Stuff"---the high-end shades...clothes...Spey rods longer than the creeks are  wide...I just couldn't understand how so many new guides could learn more after six months on the water[…]

  • Throw-Back Truckee Fly Angling

    California Fly Fishing Jul 22, 2018 | 09:13 am

    Throw-Back Truckee Fly Angling Somethings change, somethings do not...a reprint:                                                                                Paul Dillon ImageCurrently PMD emerger patterns are the most effective for surface-feeders                      ANGLING UPDATE: 17 JULY 1997*My apologies for this long delay. I was unaware how many cyber-surfers bookmarked this UPDATE, and actually read my comments! Thanks for the vote of confidence on the reliability of my written word. I will  attempt to be more timely for the rest of the season.We are now experiencing above-normal warm, mountain weather in the High Sierra. During the last four weeks we've had a mixed bag of climatic conditions; sunny and clear skies, endured rain, hail, snow in the higher slopes, blistering winds that at times made it almost impossible to cast or even lob a cast to showing fish or suspected lies. To compound matters relative to fly fishing; regulated federal flows out of Lake Tahoe into the main Truckee had been erratic and unpredictable, maxing-out to[…]

  • Summertime

    California Fly Fishing Jul 10, 2018 | 01:22 am

    Summertime Green Drakes here for 6-Weeks!...first BT then LTWell, still mobile, having pulled a calf-muscle...Nevertheless, been busy enjoying and gratified by mid-June into early July's guiding, clinics, tours and both TTFF's ( www.ttff.net) Cliff Frazier Memorial Youth program and Novice Clinic. While not "working" I made every opportunity for personal angling.The "Big Bugs Of June" all made an appearance on the BT. The Winged Blacked Carpenter Ant were first during an intense 3-4 day period. The trout were aware, creating a great surface "searching" pattern on all moving waters and lake inlets; beyond the ant's short availability.Winged Black Carpenter Ant dries also produced in creeks......and at stream inflows at lakes...best accessed via boatsMid-morning to noon emergences of PMD's and March Browns made for happy sight-fishing to rising trout.Pancho bent during the predictable late-morning PMD hatchThe trout were very selective; so we increased the odds of a grab by tailing soft-hackles or generic bead-head nymphs behind our flush-floating dries. Little Yellow Stonefly adults were and will continue to be a bug to imitate for the next 4 weeks; most especially at dusk. Also, nice adult imitation to use as your indicator fly when dry/dropper fishing while  methodically "prospecting" pocket-water. As usual the phantom[…]

  • Anting, Worming and Turding...

    California Fly Fishing Jun 8, 2018 | 02:59 am

    Anting, Worming and Turding... HINT: For eons, this time of year we fish the inlet streams into local stillwaters. For you creek junkies explore small creeks remembering that they have a 7-10 day window of prime angling conditions...your choice at a "Hat Trick" of Brookies, RainBows and Browns...a 12 incher being a trophy."                            (May 17 2018 blog post) HOW TRUE IT IS!!Both surface and sub-surface feeding trout found in the deep pools...Maybe another week for prime conditions on the  inlet streams and creeks. Water temperatures start in the high 40’s to 54 degrees by mid-day. Waters are clear and the melt is almost complete. There are a lot of aquatics flitting about BUT the Winged Black Carpenter Antabout and the fish are keyed to them…aggressively slashing at the surface. Early-season  patterns such as  San Juan Worms and "Turds" (Pat’s RubberLegs) produce in the deeper runs and pools.fast riffles..A” record”12-inch Brookie, relative to my decades of experience in the Truckee area, was netted/taped after eating a small dry in one of the local brooks....and deep runsThe BT ‘s flows are receding nicely with water temperatures nearing ideal 55+degrees. Currently we’re on the Green[…]

  • Memorial Day...Never Forget...

    California Fly Fishing May 26, 2018 | 09:40 am

    ...those who honorably served and made the ultimate sacrifice...their lives.Memorial Day remembers and honors those who died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today...Never forget them.

  • Spring FlyAngling Report & a RetroSpection

    California Fly Fishing May 18, 2018 | 11:04 am

    Spring FlyAngling Report & a RetroSpection  Let'em Breath!I've got to admit; I'm loving this unpredictable, wet, early-spring. This wet weather is really refreshing the entire region.The BT is getting into nice fishing shape. Still a bit high for my liking at 543cfs along the Glenshire stretch and 902 cfs below the LT inflow at Boca. It is remains a sub-surface game. There are few adult bugs in flight, sparse BWO's and March Browns...along with a rare, yellow, leggy CraneFly. Consistent or predictable surface-activity; still remains a minimum of 3-4 weeks away. A good sign from a recent seining reveals a dense population of both Western Green Drake and PMD nymphs. The former being one of the three Big Bugs of June; along with the Winged, Black Carpenter Ant and Golden Stonefly. Before the angling hordes arrive (pre-4th of July), explore the upper river along state-route 89;  Tahoe City-Trout Creek; flows out of Lake Tahoe currently at 195cfs. There will be wild, stream-bred trout available ...before they get harvested for the table since there are no gear or size restrictions and five (5) trout take....in the "canyon"So, currently, fish the river going down; deep along the bottom substrate... where the fish hold & rest. With the water[…]

  • Pro-Tips Revisted...Early Spring

    California Fly Fishing Apr 14, 2018 | 12:51 pm

    Pro-Tips Revisted...Early Spring Bright sun and trout A beautiful spring snowfall in Truckee! We received 4" last night at my  6500' home. Sun is out now. Thankfully, because of 2018's MIRACLE MARCH; there will be sufficient water flowing during spring. Below is a "Pro-Tip" excerpt I authored that appeared in the Spring 2012 Sierra Fisherman magazine. The advise provided are point-on suggestions and concepts we fly anglers consider during spring's snow-melt/run-off during high flows/pool on running and stillwaters; respectively.High Water of Spring in the "Fornicating Rock" area of the Big TruckeeEarly SpringMost freshwater fly anglers anticipate springtime.  Unfortunately, every year’s conditions are unpredictable; dependent on the amount of rain or snowthat has fallen during the winter. Eventually both will run-off immediately or melt into the waterways and lakes; respectively.  It is important to remember that the snow-pack’s melt in the higher-elevation mountains is weather related; it can be steady and gradual or unpredictable and erratic. One general assumption is that the waters in early spring will be high and cold; eventually subsiding and warming by early summer. So how do we strategize our fly angling? For a start, this issue's pro contributors provide you with their astute advice. (will send upon request...Frank)Water volume and[…]