Saturday, February 19, 2011

Off to Oregon

Hello dark seamers...

Been a while since I posted a steelhead report....I have been hanging out with the Family...gaining points for my next hallpass. I did manage to get out for one day before the storm arrived. Kieth and i took a day trip to the Van Duzen. Man o man it was low and clear..We did manage to entice a bunch of bright half pounders the first part of the float..Then the wind picked up....And i mean picked up!!! The pontoon was getting blown up river as well as kieths indicator. We pushed hard to get off the river before dark. There was one point when the wind died down and we fished. Kieth threw a cast right in the bucket and proclaimed "we deserve a fish after all that." Well he was inmmediatly answered with a bright hen between 8 and 10 lb...she gave us an aerial display and was gone. Technical knot failure...she took the whole rig..But it sure was nice to see an adult after getting blown around like a kite...So moral of the story is always check the wind predictions cus rowing out of 40-50 mph gusts is just no fun...!!!!

Sooooo...This system has brought a lot of water to Norhern California. All the coastal rivers are blown. The Kalamath drainage is still fishable. I heard a recent report that there is a push of fresh fish that just started to arrive on the Trinity. If you are jonesing to feel a tug that is your best bet...

I on the other hand am out....headed to the Oregon Coast. I am going to be fishing with a great friend that i have not seen for quite some time. I got the call last week that things are cracking so it is time to check it out...Tune in for my report..


i have not forgotten about the coastal glo-bug post. Just working on getting some great media to go along with is still coming...

every cast is a new day................Joshua

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yuba is clear

Well dispite the wind and the rain and the flow increase, which is right around 3800cfs, the Yuba is clear as of today. Yesterday Deer creak toped off at 1800cfs and blow the Yuba out, but with snow levels below Grass Valley and Deer creek stable the Yuba is fishable. We will have to wait and see what tomorrow will bring. As far as the Feather goes the sloughs are still pumping out rice water and muddying up the river making it real hard for fly guys. The bait guys seem to be doing ok with the bite, but we will need some clearer water to start fishing stripers again.

There is also a new flow gauge now, that combines Deer creek and the Yuba together @ Cheek it out, until next time..... Keith

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The week almost forgotten by Tom Page

Thursday 2-10-2011,

Well some times life just gets in the way, last week I spent two days guiding on the Lower Yuba. On Thursday I spent the day with two old friends Norm and Trent both locals of Grass Valley and Nevada City. Trent just purchased a Redington switch rod that we broke in nicely for him. We started our float around 10:00 and Trent hooked the first fish around 10:15 it was a good size fish around 16”. Norm soon followed with a fish a round the same size, we hooked fish all day long pretty consistently, I stop counting some were around 12. The hot flies were rubber leg stones, red copper johns, S&M nymphs, and fox pupas. All in all it was a great day of fishing.

On a side note we ran into a couple of locals that were floating the river and one of them landed a nice size brown that measured at 17”. This is now the 4th brown landed that I know of. Some people have reported that the browns are coming from Lake Englebright, but what is being over looked is Dry creek that runs through Sycamore ranch. Dry creek is the drainage from Collins Lake, and Collins Lake has a bunch of brown trout I would say more than Lake Englebright. So who knows you can be the next to catch one of these rear brown trout, so get out and fish.

Friday 2-11-2011,

Awe crap, woke up at 5 am, checked the flows on the Yuba, they dropped again another 200 cfs. My first thought was that SUCKS. So now what? What is the new game plan, do I fish the same way I did yesterday? What runs do I fish differently? Man I need some coffee! Now that’s better. I tied up some more rubber legs and red copper johns, all though I only had enough brown chenille for three rubber legs, so I then tied up some rubber legs using variegated brown and green chenille. Good call the fish were all over them.

I met my clients Bruce and Jason for a half day trip at 10:30. Bruce has been a great client over the years, he all ways brings some one new. Jason is pretty green to fly fishing, so I spent a lot of time teaching Jason. Unfortunately Jason did not catch any fish but he learned a bunch. We fished nymphs all day. Bruce hooked up on nine fish, Jason had a couple of nice fish come up to some dries, but pulled the fly away both times. It was a great day the flows did not seem to affect the fishing to much. All though we caught smaller fish or just landed the smaller ones.

Saturday 2-12-2011,

I went to the Feather River with Keith Scott and Dave Barbieri; the reports are that the strippers are being caught. Let’s just say it was a fun day with two good buddies. Keith has a nice little bass tracker that sat all winter, the 40 horse Murc ran great for setting so long. The electric trolling motor did not fear so well. Keith has three batteries and only one worked for part of the day, we noticed that there is a bad splice in the wiring so we called it a day. Keith fixed the problem at home so hopefully we will be out soon. We did see one guy fishing plugs caught a nice stripper around 15 pounds.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hey All,
I finally got it together to rally my first post to The Dark Seam and I'm stoked to have been asked to contribute to this endeavor. While I teach full time at an outdoor school fall/winter/spring, my summers are spent fly fishing moving water on the Western Slope of the Sierra's. I've been fly fishing the South Fork American River and its tributaries for almost two decades and I decided to jump into the guiding game this past season. I had a great run this past summer and I'm excited for this upcoming season. All day canyon trips as well as backcountry goodness will get things kick started in the coming months. In the meantime, I fish locally as much as possible and continue to study the aquatic insects of the South Fork and its tribs.

I was recently asked why I decided to hop into the world of guiding. I'll be straight sure isn't for the money! I enjoy sharing my home waters with others, especially in the capacity of fly fishing. I teach approximately 1,000 kids a year at the outdoor school and the thing that I love about teaching is that I continue to learn. The same goes for guiding! The more I guide, the more it pushes me to be a better angler and teacher. You'll see a variety of posts from me in the coming months on many aspects of the sport with a focus on the waters in and around the Highway 50 corridor. If you have any questions regarding my home waters, feel free to contact me.

All the Best!
Todd Gillihan (owner/guide)
West Slope Outfitters
Well my internet has been down and I am way behind. My name is Tom Page I have been a guide for 6 years now. I specialize in drift boat trips on the lower Yuba and Feather river, I also guide the north Yuba and small creeks in the area. You will also find me chasing small mouths on a local lake in the spring time. Guiding has introduced me to some of the greatest people all over our great country and as far away as Japan.
When I was asked to be part of the dark seam with Keith, Dave and Josh I could not pass up the opportunity. I have fished with all of them, and I will say they are all quality guides and fisherman.

I can post what happened last week when my net was down or I can post some up to date info. So stay connected to see what this week brings.

If you would like to experience any of the water I guide on please contact me at: or 530-913-3909

Look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Coastal report...low water

Wednesday night and I had a decision to make.
Where was I going to take my clients tomorrow?
First thought was the Van duzen. It looked to be low but was in shape for sure. The SF Eel was out...... I had not heard of any fish being caught on the fly there in a few weeks... Main Eel was in shape...So I made a few calls and made an executive decision. It was time for River X. You see, when it comes to steelheading there is some info that you've got to keep close. I packed the drift boat and headed North to Humbolt county. I met Annie and Alastair and we headed to the river. Absolutely perfect!!!!...Steelhead green...three to four feet of vis and no crowds, gotta love it!!! We took our time getting ready, cuz you know Steelies dont bite before 11:30 am. They like to sleep in and i cant say I blame em'..... Our first fish was hooked about 10 minutes into our float. Alastair missed the set but Annie got her bugs in the slot right behind and Stuck her.....30" 7-8 # downer hen... She ate a salmon roe pink bug that I had tied the night before. We were off to a good start, it was a perfect day. Bluebird skies and in the 70's but we didn't touch a fish for quite sometime... The sun was setting and it started to get a little chilly when we came up on a small tributary- it looked like a good spot...Steelhead Habitat...Sure enough, Alastair's indicator dropped, "fish on!"- a small downer buck...... We were stoked that we finished the day with another in the net.
I had a few friends that fished the Van Duzen the same day. Pretty slow on the upper river...but got a report of 10 fish being hooked on the lower float. With flows dropping each day I would not expect it to fish as well. There has been some great action on the main Eel but lots of boat traffic to boot. Still nothing good to report from the SF. There has been a lot of anglers out on the Russian all the way up to Cloverdale. I have heard of a fish here and big numbers. There are over 500 fish in the Hatchery, most arrived last week. To sum it up...WE NEED RAIN. If you know a rain is time to shake your tail feathers.....
Every day is a new cast............Joshua

PMD's, Crowds, and Brown Trout

The Yuba this week is in a flux. The flows dropped last Monday 1/31 by 400 CFS, and will drop again this Monday 2/7 by another 400 CFS, with the possibility of more flow drops later in the week. We've seen abundant hatches of PMDs, Skwalas, Grey Drakes, and Tricos.....with low flows and good hatches come the crowds as I counted over a dozen cars on the Park's Bar side of the river today. With pressure like that, a good fly and well executed presentation is the only way to fool these trout.

Here's a picture of Mark from Placerville with an unusual catch. I think the Browns are getting flushed down Deer Creek or over the top of Englebright, but that's a long fall. That's like getting thrown off a dam, wait that is getting thrown off a dam. But this is the third Brown I have seen or heard of getting caught this week, maybe it's the same one, who knows.

The hot bugs are still Rubberlegs, Copper Johns, PMD Emergers, and Skwalas.

Next week I will be fishing a new river. So stay tuned to see what next. Keith

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Muddy Waters...Coastal Report

Hello everyone...Back from a couple days on the coast. Saturday evenings storm was not huge but it sure did reek some havoc. That didnt stop me from heading north. My good friend Ernie Dennison had the day off and we were planning on fishing along with Mr Dave Holt of Cloverdale. I got up at the crack and loaded my truck in the pouring rain ....It had been pounding the roof of my house all night. All I could think was this cant be good...... but I was fishing with Ernie and anyone that knows him would agree "He is one fishy dude!" I called Dave around 6 am..."man it was coming down last night...but the charts dont look tooooo bad.................yet" We agreed that we were going for it regardless. Sun was up by 7:15...just in time to catch a glance at the South Fork in Leggit....It was green......then in Benbow the EB was blowing mud...By the time i saw the river again in Sylvandale it was chocolate...When I got to the confluence the South Fork was Green again....The mud had not made it down yet but it was on the way....Drove down to a cutty little spot on the Main Eel...low and behold there were 5 gear boats with motors tearing up the run. Its a big river.."Lets Fish".........Not 20 minutes later Ernie was Hooting and Hollering...8# hen from the bank...oh yeah! ...its on..... We decided that we were going to float the Main.....but the time we did our shuttle and got the boat in the water the mud had started to arrive. We powered our way towards green....Got to some great looking Frog water and my indicator twitched and dropped in a weird way...."Looks like you got a smolt hit" Ernie indicator was slightly swiming after i gave a light set. Then i got line started screaming.....That is no Smolt!!!!!!..High teens 36" chrome hen. by the time we were done with the excitement.....the mud was here to stay. We had a killer lunch provided by yours truely and finished our float probably passing a few hundred fish that could not see our flies.....Tomorrow was Dave Holts' day...

Dave and I grabbed a room in Fortuna....Lucky room 116...Score....had a bite and a few beers at the Eel River brewery and checked the charts. Spike-o-Rama...but there were still some options. Our plan was to check out the Duzen at first light...Morning came quick...and we headed up hwy 36. We spent some time driving around checking things out and i made the call....Lets go for it!!!! We dropped my pontoon in and started our float. the water looked good.. A little over a foot of Visability.... We had a few suspicious take downs in the first hour or two...One was very fishy.... but nothing solid till after noon. I slid the boat up to a nice slot with a drop-off and a large buck came out of the water and started trashing. Dave leaned back on his rod and the flies came flying back at us. Then he looked at me...What happened????....Dude...."You Farmed it!!!" was all i could say....but in Daves defense it was a weird few seconds with a pissed off Steelhead. We continued to change flies....picking apart all the good looking water we came upon...Pounding all the spots that have been good in the past....but no takers.....One confirmed hook up...still a good day for Coastal Steelheading on the fly....The River had spiked and the fish bolted upstream......any left behind were probably freaked out by the drastic rise and fall of the flows.....Soooo Dave Thank you for rowing the last part of the day so i could fish...FARMER.......haha!
As of today all coastal rivers and streams are dropping back in. But they are pretty low.....Lots of options this week...Get out there before any low flow closures take effect...Cuz if we dont get some serious rain it might happen. Make sure you call the DFG before heading out.....(707)822-3164 for North Coast Rivers.....(707)944-5533 for Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Three boats floated past my house on the Russian this afternoon. No happy anglers....From what I hear boats are scratching for a fish or two lower down....there are fish out just need to search em out.....I am headed North on Thursday on a Guide trip so stay tuned for some more realtime well as a post on tying coastal Glo-bugs....
Every day is a new Cast......Joshua

Dave's first post

For my first post, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself (don’t worry, after this it’s all about the fish). I’m Dave Barbieri and I’ve been fly-fishing pretty much my whole life. Ever since the day 36 years ago when I lost that first big Feather River fish, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of fishing some of the greatest trout rivers west of the Rockies, like the Madison in Montana, the Green in Utah, and the Henry’s Fork of the Snake in Idaho... Lucky for me, my favorite river - the Yuba - is only about a 10 minute drive!

I started guiding about 7 years ago. I’ve always loved fishing, but in the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed fly casting and teaching. So 2 years ago, I was certified as an FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers) Casting Instructor.

It’s very rewarding getting people into fish and even more so teaching them the skills to go out and catch more on their own. It’s a great day when someone who has never fished before lands their first hefty rainbow, but even greater when that person is casting and presenting “like a pro” by the end of the day.

Check back soon for updates on the how what when where and whys of fly fishing on the Dark Seam.