Monday, October 31, 2016

Short Fall Outing On The Middle Fork

It's been a while since we've had a truly wet October. I was fortunate enough to catch the eye of the storm up in Plumas County which allowed me to fish the MFFR for a few hours. The canyon was at it's fall prime with beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red, and green.

Fall On The MFFR

Nature's Beautiful Transition

The flows have gone up to spring-run off levels which is amazing. The river is at least two feet higher than the last time I was there in September, any higher and I would have just gone home. Wading was tough, the flows were up, and the water was moving fast but I still managed to find a few hungry fish. In hindsight I should have brought my 3WT but the 2WT managed just fine. I saw a few caddis and BWOs coming off which was a good sign. Fly fishing Plumas County in the fall is simply the best.

Fish Of The Day

Saturday, October 29, 2016

CA DFG Fishing Regulations: Feather River & American River

Feather River

Both the Feather River and the American River rely on landmarks to mark areas that are either closed or open to fishing. Sometimes it can be difficult for anglers who are unfamiliar with these landmarks to know which section they are fishing. Here is a bit of a cheat sheet to help pin-point the sections and fishing seasons of both the Feather and American river.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sifting Through Trash For Feather Steel

Earlier this week I fished the Feather again for the ever elusive steelhead. I wanted to give the high-flow section another try since the low-flow section has been packed with anglers in almost every run. I stuck to swinging my Sculpinno the entire day as I worked my way up the Oroville Wildlife Area. Although I didn't hook any steelhead I caught fish.

Right Between The Eyes

Yellow Steelhead

From past experience I've found that spring-run steelies like to hold in the high-flow section more than their fall-run cousins. After this trip I'm going to call it quits on steelhead fishing until the salmon die off. I wonder if I'll be more successful once the salmon are gone...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fly Tying: Sculpinno

Introducing the Sculpinno

Spey casting and swinging big flies is my favorite method of taking fish on a fly rod. Although the number of fish I land while swinging is low, the takes are absolutely heart-stopping. There are thousands of streamer patterns that have been designed to catch fish on the swing but with so many on the market it can be difficult to find "the one".

The Sculpinno is a pattern I designed specifically for swinging. My Hero Sculpin was great for stripping however it was a bit too heavy for swinging. It took a few trips before I was confident in the Sculpinno but it has since proven its design.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

First Rainfall Of Autumn

Yuba River

I can't remember the last time it rained... maybe in April or perhaps as far back as March? Fortunately Northern California got a lot of water during the last El Nino storm in March that filed many of the local reservoirs. It's been a long hot summer but thankfully fall is starting to show its colors.

The first rainfall of autumn usually signals the opening of the fall steelhead season. Fall is infamous for the "egg hatch" that happens on rivers where salmon are present. Both resident trout and anadramous steelhead key in on these nutritious red eggs that are dislodged below the salmon and their redds.
After fishing the egg bite for several years I've simply grown out of the hype. It can get crowded with anglers camping at the most productive holes both nymphing and swinging in addition to boats drifting through them. Early bird gets the fish I suppose.

Monday, October 10, 2016

First Casts On The American

American River

The Lower American River is one of the shortest main tributaries of the Sacramento River from it's mouth to Folsom Dam. I've always looked at the American River with a bit of skepticism since the Sacramento area isn't quite the ideal fly fishing destination. What the American lacks in scenery, it makes up for in fish density. The American boasts runs of anadromous fish such as American shad, striped bass, salmon, steelhead, and the famous Eel/Mad-River strain steelhead.

This was my first time wetting my line on the American River and I was ready to explore and find out what makes this river so special.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Just Another Day On The Yuba

Blue Gin Yuba

I spent a few hours on the Yuba trying to figure out where the fish live around Hammon Grove. I'm at that point where I don't really care if I catch a fish or not, therefore I'm just swinging big flies. There are a few salmon around but they aren't cutting redds yet. I was able to get one grab and a few nips.

I'm getting a bit bored of the Yuba so hopefully I can find some time to get to the North Fork of the Feather soon. The fall egg bite is meh.

Tug Is The Drug