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California Fly Fishing Reports

  • The Ants!...The Ants!...Truckee

    California Fly Fishing May 29, 2020 | 18:17 pm

    The Ants!...The Ants!...Truckee With this warming weather the Winged Black Ants have made an appearance in Truckee...in substantial numbers. How long they'll be here is anyone's guess; they're unpredictable. They can make an intense 2-3 day appearance and quickly fade. Or, not as intense, but spread-out over about 10 days...then gone.These huge ants (#10-12's) are the first of the Truckee's "Big Bugs of June" to make an appearance locally. Now we're looking for the other two Big Bugs; Western Green Drakes and Golden Stoneflies. Both adults can be "phantoms"; most especially the Drakes.June is an angler's first chance of "searching" the water and hooking a large trout at the surface.All the stream occupants are aware of and on the look-out for the Big Bugs, and the opportunity to ambush such high-caloric meals. The Truckee's out-sized trout in the 18"-25" range, are known to leave the bottom and eat aggressively on top...most of the time. A client once had the rare exception of a subtle take; on the flat-water of the LT's Bluff Slick. A perfectly dead-drifted #8 Green Drake Quigley-Cripple simply disappeared, sucked-down and absolutely no water displacement.Historically, the Ants always proceed the Drakes and the Goldens. The Green Drakes and Golden Stonefly[…]

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  • Honoring the Fallen in Truckee

    California Fly Fishing May 26, 2020 | 03:13 am

    Honoring the Fallen in Truckee      Honoring War Dead In Old Town Truckee. Less we forget, many have made the "ultimate sacrifice" with their lives; preserving the freedoms we have in the US.I may have unintentionally ruffled some feathers today when I innocently made a comment on FaceBook to clarify who is honored on Memorial Day. Today is the day for  those who literally lost their lives while in foreign combat zones. This is a very special day for them and their families. It is not a "Happy Memorial Day!" salutation that our tone-deaf chief of state intoned today. All of us military veterans, some who lost friends and served "right or wrong" are honored on Veterans Day in November... not Memorial Day in late May.

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  • Guiding on Tahoe National Forest

    California Fly Fishing May 8, 2020 | 03:20 am

    AS OF May 7, 2020: NO GUIDINGON THE TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST An e-note excerpt to Special Use Permit holders from the Truckee Ranger District:"This message is to clarify that all outfitter guide and recreation event permits are still in non-use status.  Regarding Governor Newsom’s press conference today: Governor Newsom announced that county officials can decide the pace of moving into Stage 2 of reopening. The Truckee/Sierraville Ranger Districts will be relying on updates from State/County Officials to determine when guiding and recreation event permits can re-enter use status.  The expectation is that when the permits re-enter use status, there will be operating restrictions such as social distancing measures and the use of PPE. In the meantime you can start to develop a modified operating plan that will describe how you will employ these operating restrictions..."

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  • Fish "The Drop" in Truckee

    California Fly Fishing May 5, 2020 | 21:52 pm

    Fish "The Drop" in Truckee Let'em Breathe!I've been reviewing the flow charts as they pertain to the Truckee watershed.  The peak snow-melt and corresponding run-off is subsiding. There is a downward trend-line in the peaks of the  "peaks & troughs" on the water flow charts. As I mentioned in my last post "...fish the drop" in the smaller streams and progressively the larger rivers...AND do not dismiss the stream inflows into the local still-waters. IMO, we're still about 3 weeks plus/minus from the start of the optimum conditions at moving waters in the region.Unquestionably until that time, the most productive method will be sub-surface fishing. So now is the time to continue probing the depths with big/little searching rigs. As of yesterday there are few consistent bug emergences and their corresponding top-water, feeding  Wet flies displayed at last season's Devin Olsen's Euro-Nymphing clinicThus far there has not been a profusion of wildflowers; even those ubiquitous ones imaged below have not yet made a noticeable appearance. I've been reminded of a small hard-bound book in my fly fishing library which is about "a method of meeting and matching the super hatches of the West" This 1995 book is entitled  THE PHENOLOGICAL FLY Our state flower...sparse here but[…]

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  • In Melt in Truckee

    California Fly Fishing May 4, 2020 | 02:33 am

    In Melt in Truckee Let'em Breathe!Snow is melting quickly in Truckee at the mid-6000' elevations. It is now melt-and-rising-rivers-time. I'm still "sheltering-in-place" with an occasional venture into town for mail and needed supplies...wearing my Buff and gloves. I'm waiting for a gradual lightening of Pandemics behavior from the responsible agencies.I haven't done much angling recently; but have been reviewing/purging my image files of such. I've had nice recollections of past early seasons' fly angling within range of town.Now is the time to explore many of the local Small Waters. If there is water...there are trout"...melt and rising waters"Small Waters are most productive on the "drop"...look for low-gradient flowsSome isolated Small Waters remain productive into early summerStream inlets produce well during  run-off conditions; regardless of water clarity. Find the biggest entry channel and then locate both "...feeding & sheltering troughs".Solitude...Social-Distancing?Boatial DistancingYou 'old-timers'...Remember Martis Lake during '80's?

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  • Truckee Area MOODS...Pre-Melt Throw-Back

    California Fly Fishing Apr 10, 2020 | 17:43 pm

    Truckee Area MOODS...Pre-Melt Throw-Back One thing about sheltering in place is that you start reminiscing about past, early-spring, pre-melt, fly fishing sessions in the Truckee region. My climatic preference is sun, sparse cloud-cover and minimal wind; mid-days. Access points are still few.When this Pandemic subsides I'm in an anxious MOOD to breathe fresh air while tramping through snow to a favored holding water, with my dry fly rod in hand (...see NOTE); looking for snouts at the surface... sipping first-brood BWO emergers and fully-developed duns. Well, OK, if I'm really anxious for the tug; I'd carry a second rod, set-up for a more consistent method that will produce "da throb of the rod".IMAGES from the past follow editorializing...NOTE: Selected excerpt from MOODS article in Sierra Fisherman, July 2014"Moods take many forms...Head-Hunting: There are times when I've walked a river for three hours, without casting once. I did not see a single trout rise. We are entitled to being a "purist" whenever we wish.We all experience fishing moods; whether seasonally, day-to-day or spur of the moment. Each mood fits a current mind-set. Yes, moods can be fickle, prolonged, short-lived and will draw us to different types of water...these moods can overshadow what may be a[…]

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  • A Modern-Day Evolution of Fly Fishing Gear

    California Fly Fishing Apr 7, 2020 | 17:57 pm

    A Modern-Day Evolution of Fly Fishing Gear A Yuba Rocket....or "1/2pounder"?Does the hackneyed "back-in-the-day" refer to pre-2000 or post 2000?Today I read a blog post by fellow angling friend/guide; Jon Baiocchi. It was a thoroughly informative post on new-age and old-day fly rods relative to their dynamics, preferred selection and  methods used. In the intro Jon recollects his early days of fly fishing with his dad and the gear they used. It reminded me of an article I'd written for the Spring 2012 issue of the now-defunct Sierra Fisherman magazine. Some of you "old-timers" will relate.  Here is the article; sprinkled with attempts at humor...sans images:A Time Perspective on Fly Fishing For those of us who have been fly fishing for a few decades, there is a point in time when we realize we are of the “older generation”. Our fly angling psyche has changed; influenced by the introduction of modern methods, concepts and gear. With the mid-90’s advent of the Internet, the learning curve for those of us very experienced or novice is now quicker and steeper. We grizzled fly anglers accept this …maybe reluctantly…and recognize that our passion has been and will continue to be a dynamic sport; although some things may remain constant in our minds.[…]

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  • Truckee Area...Winter To Spring Transition

    California Fly Fishing Mar 27, 2020 | 20:02 pm

    Truckee Area...Winter To Spring Transition Let'em Breathe!AS OF MARCH 26-APRIL 30, 2020: NO GUIDING*ON THE TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST Report violators (aka Scammers) tothe Truckee Ranger District* E-note excerpt from the Truckee Ranger District on 3/26/2020:"On the Truckee Ranger District we expect that all outfitting and guiding and rec event operations are suspended until the State shelter in place order is lifted"Yes indeed we'll  take it!...sort  of a minor Miracle March. The recent snow-storms have been most welcomed.  Prior to, we were at 50% of historical average snow-pack to date; as of today it's been bumped-up to 63% of normal and at 67% water-content (was 43% on March 13th!).  Still low but an improvement. The storm-door seems to be open until the end of the month... Maybe we'll break the 70% mark.front door...end of stormDuring the first "good dump" two weeks ago I got  4' of new snow at my place at 6500'. I'm guessing there had to be a minimum of 6'-7' of new "white gold" at the higher peaks. Wonderful for the forest and fisheries...not to mention skiing. Unfortunately for the latter, whether skiing or gliding, the north Tahoe resorts  are all closed...da VIRUS thing; of which I 'm not going to dwell upon here, remaining up-beat, […]

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  • Truckee Area...Late Winter

    California Fly Fishing Feb 21, 2020 | 04:27 am

    Truckee Area...Late Winter Let'em Breathe!My wish is a March Miracle (...not Miracle March!). It has been 3-4 weeks since we received any significant precipitation that deposited snow on the ground that didn't melt-off in a day or two.Back-yard forest...Normal snow amount in late February...Ain't happening!Right now, my prognosis is the fishing will start in earnest 4-5 weeks ahead of normal...assuming we don't experience my above wish. I'm thinking...hoping...we're currently experiencing a "false spring".Truckee's watershed's eight (8) monitoring sites are cumulatively measuring 60% of average snow-water content. Total seasonal precipitation is also not spectacular at 56% of historical average to date.My unscientific snow-melt calculation .60 x .56 equates to 34% of normal melt.  Yikes!! Fortunately, we've had two of three "good water" years.My preferred "early-season" flies...via "old-school" High-Sticking"There's been no dramatic change in the fly angling since my last post of 1/31/20. There are less Little Black Winter Stoneflies flitting about and a slight up-tick in sightings of its larger relative, the Skwala Stonefly. BWO's are a good choice to imitate; either on the surface; during the sparse hatch/rise activity you can encounter, or, trailing a large Stonefly nymph or Flesh Juan Worms when dead-drifting "Low & Slow"; probing the bottom on the stream...where[…]

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  • Truckee Area...Winter Bugs

    California Fly Fishing Feb 4, 2020 | 19:34 pm

    Truckee Area...Winter Bugs Personally I like to fish dry flies in winter...if conditions and access permit. Locally, in the Truckee area, currently there three aquatic bugs to consider if you're looking for surface feeders. I'm intentionally not mentioning midges because they are ALWAYS present, 365 days per year. I haven't observed intense bug hatches, but the below bugs are emerging...and trout are selectively eating them at the surface or in the surface-film.Best time-frame to be at the stream has been noon to 3PM. I prefer a bit of cloud cover because there is less solar-heating to dry the adults' wings;  their wings have to be structurally sound before they  alight off the water. The longer they drift, the more susceptible they are to be eaten.NOTE: Unless specified the images are mine taken in Truckee areaLittle Black Winter Stoneflies:When they are about, you'll see them "peppering" the snow-banks; either crawling about as winged adults or as nymphs preparing to split their thoracic wing-case to emerge.  Today they were fluttering at the water's surface in slow-running runs; otherwise they are very difficult to observe in the drift. Trout, generally, ingest these diminutive insects with gentle "slurps". Thin, 6X tippets are suggested for these size 16-18[…]

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