Monday, December 17, 2018

Pyramid Lake Fishing Access Map

Pyramid Lake is a remnant of an ancient lake that covered the majority of northwest Nevada during the Pleistocene/ice age era. Pyramid Lake covers over 120,340 acres and is one the largest natural bodies of water in Nevada. The lake is home to the world's largest cutthroat trout the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. This particular species of cutthroat trout spent thousands of years evolving into the most dominant predator of the Pyramid-Tahoe-Truckee River system. Unfortunately due to over fishing, damming, and the introduction of other species, the original strain of these fish were nearly declared extinct until recent rediscovery of the strain near the Utah-Nevada border. This strain of Lahontan's that evolved in the lake today are called the Pilot Peak strain. The Pilot Peak cutthroats grow at an astonishing rate and have topped off to nearly thirty pounds putting this fishery on the map as one of the greatest in the world.

Pyramid Lake is a large lake that is has many beaches and points where anglers gamble to try and catch the fish-of-a-lifetime. I've created a Google map to show different locations with a brief descriptions.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Braving The Winter Cold At Pyramid Lake

Many sources describe Pyramid Lake as a winter fly fishing destination however I find that the lake, like many fisheries, tends to fish better in the spring and fall. The true definition of Pyramid lake as a winter fishery means big Pilot Peak quality over the average Summit quantity. The weather is near freezing, the chilling wind can burn wet hands, and the fishing is slow but if you can brave the conditions you can potentially catch the fish of a lifetime.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thoughts On Crab Snaring & Bodega Bay Crabbing

This past Veterans Day weekend my wife and I spent sometime in Bodega Bay attempting to get away from the wildfire smoke and catch some crab. November is the beginning of crabbing season and from this experienced I've learned that it can be a hit-or-miss.

Crab snaring is a fun way to catch crabs. It's kind of a silly way to catch a crab, snaring it by the legs or claws with monofilament loops while it eats bait in a cage. This technique is one of the significant pros that makes crab snaring worthwhile. However other than the snare itself it's essentially bait fishing which means a lot of patience and luck.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Steelhead Swinging Fever

It's been over a month since I've put my full effort into fly fishing. I've fished a little bit here and there but my heart wasn't into it like it usually was. The question I kept asking myself was how do I top driving around California looking for native trout and catching them in their native drainages? Finding an answer was difficult. Occasionally I looked on Google Maps to find destinations that would be interesting to fish however I didn't feel like it would be quite the same as the Heritage Trout accomplishment that I had achieved. It wasn't until I felt the first raindrops of fall that I started to get the fly fishing spirit back into my body. I believe the best remedy to get back into catching fish is swinging flies for steelhead.

I've been fishing the Feather River for the past couple of weeks on the weekdays strictly swinging flies. Earlier in October the fish were taking caddis patterns however as more and more salmon have made their way upstream the fish are now eating eggs. The amount of returning salmon in the Feather this year is amazing. I've only been fishing the Feather for a couple of years now and this is the most salmon I've ever seen returning to the river. The salmon must be in by the hundreds because I can't swing around them without flossing and losing my flies. An indicator is a good option when trying to fish around the salmon as the presentation is more of a line than a quarter circle swing making it less likely to foul hook a salmon.

Full Of Salmon

So far my catch rate this fall hasn't been very good. I've lost more flies and fish than I've kept and landed. I've been hooking into two or three steelies each visit but they are proving to be quite difficult to land this year however when swinging flies the take is all that matters. Here's to hoping the salmon die off soon because I'm tired of losing flies.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


I'm on a bit of a hiatus at the moment. With fall in gear I'm definitely going to try to get out to and get into some fish. I have plans right now to visit some familiar waters that I haven't fished in the fall. As of right now things are a bit slow so I'm just playing the waiting game. Tight lines.

Monday, August 13, 2018

California Heritage Trout Challenge #5: Goose Lake Redband Trout

The last species that I needed to complete my heritage trout challenge was a Goose Lake Redband Trout. These trout are endemic to the Goose Lake watershed. Goose Lake is a body of water that has had quite an interesting history. Goose Lake is a large shallow turbid alkaline lake that shares both the California and Oregon border. The lake is rarely full although it has had times in the past where it would fill and allow an abundance of Goose Lake Redbands to inhabit the lake. These fish are normally less than 8'' however when they are able to travel into the lake freely they are known to get hefty up to 24''. The lake has also dried up in the past during severe droughts threatening both the fish and wildlife in the surrounding Goose Lake area. A trout that is able to survive in both extremes is truly amazing and I was looking forward to catching one.

Friday, August 10, 2018

California Heritage Trout Challenge #4: Warner Lakes Redband Trout

After catching my first coastal cutthroat trout near the California North Coast it was time to move forward with catching my last two native trout for the California Heritage Trout Challenge. The next species that I targeted was the Warner Lakes Redband Trout. Although the majority of their native range can be found in Oregon the Warner Lakes Redband can be found in a several small streams within a few miles of the California-Oregon border.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

California Heritage Trout Challenge #3: Coastal Cutthroat Trout

The stars aligned for me this month and my opportunity to finish my first Heritage Trout Challenge journey had finally come. Two years ago I completed my first two qualifiers for the challenge: the McCloud Redband and Lahanton Cutthroat. My eyes were set on three native trout that inhabit the upper portions of Northern California. My first attempt to complete my challenge would be catching a Coastal Cutthrout Trout. The coastal cutthroat is unique in that they are semi-anadromous meaning they live part of their lives out in sea however not to the extent of steelhead or salmon. Their native range in California ranges from the Northwest California-Oregon border down to the Eel River. With a migratory nature and such a large range, I knew they were going to be somewhat difficult to find. Factor in a mess of rainbow trout and you've got yourself perhaps the most elusive heritage trout to try and capture.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

In Search Of Gold At Glacier Lake

Glacier Lake is a high elevation lake that sits at about 7,200ft within the Grouse Ridge recreation area. It is said to be one of the few lakes within the Northern Sierras that is stocked with golden trout. The golden trout has been on my bucket-list since I started fly fishing and I wanted to give Glacier Lake a try for my first.

Monday, July 30, 2018

How To Avoid "Stripper Finger"

Strip, strip, strip. That's what you've been doing for the past several hours just hoping to feel that line come tight. As the day goes by you soon begin to notice an uncomfortable pain in your line guiding finger. One look at your finger and you find that your fly line has burned itself right through your skin. These are all symptoms of what I like to call "Stripper Finger."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hiking and Fishing Lake Marlette

Lake Marlette is a high elevation lake in Nevada within the Carson range. The lake sits at about 7,841ft and the only way to get to it is to either hike or bike. Lake Marlette is known for its brook trout, rainbow trout, and Lahontan cutthroat trout that are used as brooders for Nevada's fisheries. These fish can range from very small 6'' fish to large trophy size 20''+.

The hike up to Lake Marlette begins at Spooner Lake and is about a ten mile round-trip; five miles of steady uphill and five miles back downhill. The elevation gain is about 1,140ft. The hike up Lake Marlette is half the experience of fishing the lake and though it was pretty tough it was worth it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Re-enter The Pit

The Pit River has some of the best nymphing fishing in California but it is by far the most physically demanding river I've ever fished. You can fish an entire section of water and feel like you've waded a mile only to find that you've moved a couple yards. Boulder hopping, blind wading, bushwhacking, and endless waves of trout define this river.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Yuba Hopper Bite

Grasshoppers are a prominent food source for the fish on Lower Yuba during the summer months starting in June. Although considered terrestrial insects that live mostly on land they will often accidentally find themselves in the water from time to time after a hop in the wrong direction. Hoppers are one of the few dries you can have some success with blind-casting on the Lower Yuba during the summer. Hoppers can be both productive and fun to fish when you get the timing just right.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Fly Fishing Oahu: Freshwater Exotics

The island of Oahu has very few freshwater streams however where there are streams there are exotic species of fish to catch. One of the most popular freshwater species that was introduced to Oahu is the peacock bass. There are currently only two places in the U.S. where you can catch a peacock bass, Lake Wilson in Oahu, Hawaii and various canals in southern Florida.

Fly Fishing Oahu: The Bonefish Blues

Bonefish are one of the most prized and sought after saltwater fish that fly angler's target. They are notorious for cruising shallow flats, rocketing off as soon as they are hooked, and only taking flies that are presented properly.
During my time in Oahu I was finally able to meet these fish in person and see what all the buzz was about.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Butt Lake Hex & Middle Fork of the Feather River

Butt Lake

I've read and heard that the hex hatch happens on Butt Lake about two weeks before it starts on Lake Almanor. Prior to heading out I checked to see if there was an updated fishing report on the area from Lake Almanor Fly Fishing and to my surprise the report read that the hex hatch was beginning to happen. This would probably be my only chance this year to fish the hex hatch so I decided to give it a shot despite not exactly know what I'd find.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Visiting Fly Fishing Country

Baum Lake Run

I wasn't able to get out very much last month and haven't had too much time to work on my writing, I blame it all on adulting. Thankfully things have settled down and I can finally get out and fish again.

June in my opinion is by far the best month to go fishing. This is the last month before summer kicks in and the fish and bugs know it. Many of the most famous hatches such as the Hex hatch and damsel migration occur during this month and the top-water bite for bass can be phenomenal.

My wife and I just recently purchased a new SUV more suited for our outdoor adventures and I believed that it was my job to put it to the test. The Cassel/Burney area was my destination and I planned on visiting both Baum Lake and Hat Creek.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Shad Hype

Female Shad

I've been getting a lot of taps and landed a few takes my last couple of outings. So far I've only been able to get out midday and the fishing has been fair. It's been a good mix of hard fighting females and males. As always it feels good to connect back with these amazing fish.

Male Shad

Please try your best to minimize foot traffic and keep our wildlife safe. I had to call the fire department after I found a small brush fire starting to blaze. A fisherman had been fishing in the area where it started and no one called despite having a clear view of the fire.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Fishmas On A Lake

It's every fly fisherman's favorite time of year, Fishmas! Marking the end of winter and the start of spring, Fishmas is the last Saturday in April trout opener for the majority of streams, creeks, and rivers in California. My last few years of Fishmas have been spent on a creek however with many creeks and streams running either too high or too cold, I decided I wanted to try something different and fish one of the few lakes in California that opens on Fishmas Day.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fly Tying: S&M Nymph

The S&M nymph is a pattern designed by local celebrity guide Hogan Brown. This is a superb blue-winged olive nymph that Hogan created specifically for the Lower Yuba River. Not only does this pattern work well on its home river it also works on any river or stream with a significant BWO population.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

First Trip To Baum Lake

Nestled just a few minutes outside beautiful Burney, California lies Baum Lake a spring-fed lake that is interconnected with the Hat Creek watershed as well as the Crystal Lake hatchery. The lake hosts both wild rainbows, hatchery rainbows, and brown trout that are all known to get hefty due to the abundance of aquatic life. Baum Lake has been on my radar for quite some time and I was finally able to make my way up there to check it out.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Orvis Battenkill Fly Reel II & IV Review

The Battenkill is a solid click-and-pawl designed by Orvis. It is one of their entry-level models coming in at about $100 - $150 but don't let the price tag fool you, Orvis is known for their quality. I currently own a Battenkill II (WT 3-5) and Battenkill IV (WT 7-9). Both are great reels and get the job done.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Fly Tying: Dancing Damsel

Damselflies will often make their first appearance when the water temperatures rise in the late spring and early summer. Although they can be found in virtually every body of water they are particularly abundant in weedy shallow lakes. The great damsel migration begins when large numbers of damsel nymphs begin to wiggle away from their underwater homes to try and reach the shore where they will molt into adults. Aquatic predators will key in on the migration and gorge themselves until the migration is over.

The Dancing Damsel is a pattern that I came up with to try and match the naturals that I observed. During the migration the fish aren't too particular about what patterns you use however they soon wise up as the fishing pressure increases and they are continuously fooled.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Get Ready For A Blowout

An atmospheric river is suppose to roll in within the next couple of hours and increase local river flows by a significant amount tomorrow. Not only will we see high amounts of rain but also lots extra run-off as it melts the snow up in the Sierras. This means that all the rivers will be blown out for at least a few weeks. And things were just about to get good...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Good Morning Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach is an easy day trip from the Sacramento area that we've made several times within the last few years. Although the drive is always worth it we wanted to try something different and stay the night at one the local hotels, the Sandpiper Hotel. With spring in the air and no pressure to get home before midnight, I was going to fish the hell out of the Stinson Beach.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Low Flows On Putah Creek

Do yourself a favor and wait. Putah Creek was bumped up from 80CFS to 100CFS a few days ago and I, along with many other anglers, took the bait. The creek looks great but the fishing wasn't too good. The combination of heavy angling pressure along with the fish not being spread out makes the creek a tough place to fish.

I fished on a weekday which I was hoping would have less pressure however there were at least three or more cars parked in every access and an angler in every one of the few fishy spots. Minimal flows means that the fish will be stacked up in the deepest runs and pools below well-known riffles; this essentially means that the early angler who gets first pick of these deeper areas will catch a lot of fish. The positive side of low flows is that you can easily cover water and eventually hook something if you're persistent enough. Try the pocket water, nooks-and-crannies, everything in-between, and be prepared to lose a lot of flies.

If I were to go back out there I would try fishing a small streamer instead of nymphs. There were too many nymph anglers out there with "rootitis" that made covering water by nymphing very frustrating. The creek is pretty much a stillwater at these flows anyway might as well strip some streamers. Let's hope we get 200CFS soon before the weather warms and I'm out fishing for bass and bluegill instead of trout.

Friday, March 9, 2018

In Search Of Springers

The first big storm of the year finally passed through adding much needed snow to the higher elevations and rain relief to the valley. When it comes to steelhead fishing rain is what triggers movement. My last couple of visits to the hatchery section of the Feather River have been fruitful however my most recent trip yielded no grabs. The fish that were holding in this section most likely finished spawning and fled downstream back to the ocean during the rainstorm.

One of the things that makes the Feather River a great system is that it will always have andramous fish in it. The absence of the winter-run simply means that the spring-run are well on their way.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fly Tying: EZ Alevin

Salmon alevins are a staple food for trout and many other species when they are available in the winter and early spring. These young fish are poor swimmers that become easy prey when swept out into the current. Alevin patterns are not only fun to tie but also fun to fish. It's a fish eat fish world out there and getting a grab from a voracious predator can be quite thrill.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Steelhead Streak

Nothing beats the feeling of having a hot hand swinging flies for steelies on the Feather River. My steelhead card is marked with at least one steelhead landed for each day I fished which is the best I've ever done. All of the fish I've caught are hatchery fish which means winter steelheading tactics; cover water and be prepared at all times.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Swinging Alevins On The Feather

As the main source of where the Oroville Dam diverts its water, the Lower Feather was pushed to it's limit at 100,000 CFS last year during the flood crisis. Trees were ripped from their roots, gravel was flushed downstream to the delta, and the town of Oroville was close to being underwater. The faucet was kept off and on for months after the flood crisis in efforts to control the devastation of mother nature's gift of rain.

Unlike the Yuba River much of the Lower Feather River surprisingly remains the same. Many of the same riffles, runs, and pools are still there and holding fish. We have the riparian habitat surrounding the river to thank for that. The Feather fished well last year during the fall salmon run and continues to fish well.

I've come to terms with just purely swinging flies on the Feather to challenge myself and give the fish a good fighting chance. February is alevin time and getting a grab from a baby eater was what I was looking for.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Stupid For Skwalas

It's been a little over a month since my last fly fishing outing. My fishing gear and fly tying table have been collecting dust due to my work and family schedule however I was fortunate enough to sneak out this week to check out the Yuba for the first time this year. The flows are in the 900 CFS range with makes for easy and comfortable wading. The big talk of the town right now is that the skwalas are out and are making for some good fishing. With the early spring-like weather we've been getting it was time to check it out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Do I Fish This: Middle Fork Feather River

The Middle Fork of the Feather River is one of the three forks that feed into Lake Oroville. It is the only fork that is undammed therefore it continues to remain truly wild and scenic. One of the first rivers to be officially designated by the national government to be wild and scenic, the Middle Fork is divided into three sections: the upper Middle Fork of the Feather River that runs through the towns of Portola, Clio, and Graeagle, the middle of the Middle Fork from Graeagle downstream to Sloat, and the lower section that runs below the town of Sloat to Lake Oroville. The Middle Fork is home to both warm and cold water fish making it a unique fishery through and through.

The Middle Fork of the Feather River is one of my favorite fisheries because it rewards exploration. From it's accessible upper half to it's steep lower canyon, the middle fork is full of riffles, runs, and holes that receive very little pressure throughout the season. The fish run wild on the Middle Fork of the Feather River just as they have for thousands of years making it a fishery full of healthy hard fighting fish.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Attempting Lake Amador

Lake Amador is a small reservoir located outside of Sacramento in Amador County. There isn't much to the lake aside from its self-claim as one of the most planted trout lakes in California. The lake use to plant a unique strain of trout called the Donaldson trout however it's been years since the last plant. The Donaldson trout is a "super trout" that was created through selective breeding between strains of both cutthroat and rainbow trout. These unique trout made Lake Amador famous whereas they were known to grow into hefty, hard-fighting, and trophy fish. As far as I know these fish have not been planted since the drought.

I've been meaning to check Amador out for a while now and though my chances of catching a trophy trout were very low, there were plenty of planted Mt. Lassen rainbows to target... or so I thought.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year's Beach Day

We are all finally in 2018 and what's a better way to start a new year than taking a trip to the beach? Stinson Beach as always was our destination and we were set for some fun in the sun.