Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March on the Trinity

The Dark Seam....

I said we will see...So here you go folks.. Keith and I had the pleasure of floating the Canyon with my buddy Ernie.. You see he had been promising to row me through the canyon for my birthday for the last three years. This year I was gonna cash in... If you row the Trinity then you know there are a few tricky rapids on the canyon float. I am always stoked to learn a new float...My attention will be on the dangerous zones....Catching fish is a bonus today. Keith was the first to get a bend in his rod. As we slid into a sick looking zone his indicator dropped... On the other end was a very large brown. He ate a golden stone...Another camera shy fish avoided the lens and was released. The sun busted through the clouds and some bugs started hatching. We switched over to dries for a while. Missed one small steelie...Turns out we forgot our floatant so lots of false casts to dry the flies...We made our way out of the canyon switching back and forth from nymphs to dries. Missed a few more fish but nothing in the boat. As we got into some familiar water below Evans bar ...I took my focus off of learning the float and got on the front of the boat to get my fish on...The second run I managed to hook a feisty steelhead that gave me a few shakes and came off. The next one was not soo lucky. She was spunky too..out of the water a few times and went ballistic for a minute..but i got her in the net. Man o man she was dime bright...almost looked like a coastal fish. She ate a shrimp pink micro spawn. My turn on the oars...Not too long though cuz Ernie called a spot that had been holding fish. Sure enough right where he said ,,,we hooked up...Once again a chrome fish on the same bug. Off the oars and on another "Chromie Homie" It was not five minutes later that I hooked another hot fish. Same bug....what a great way to end the day.. Good times with great friends...some Bourbon and some Steelhead. March is a sleeper on the Trinity...and the best part is we only saw one other boat. I am sitting here at my house on the Russian and it is pouring...The river is rising by the minute as I am sure a lot of rivers are right now. We will see what happens over the next few days but I think it is time for another trip to Oregon. Keep tuned in to see...







Lower Sac

The Dark Seam......

Options for Steelhead have been limited with all the weather. Had a couple guys from the Orvis store in San Francisco on the the boat last week. I made the call to float the Lower Sac. This time of year there are typically some large bows hanging around the Sundial bridge. Jared and Heinz were psyched for a day on the water. The skies had cleared up and the sun was shining. What a beautiful day...We lucked out as the forecast called for overcast conditions with possible showers. First thing was to row these guys up river to fish right below the dam. We were fishing under indicators... stones, caddis and mayflies were on the menu. Within a few minutes of floating we had our first hook-up. Jared pulled in a nice fat 18" on a size 16 s&m. For the next hour or so we continued to fish this area with lots of action. There was an insane caddis hatch that blanketed the water with casings...it lasted about 30 minutes and slowed the bite considerably. We headed down river to hit the water by the bridge. The guys got out of the boat to fish the main riffle.. It wasn't a minute later that I looked up t o see Jared hook up on what looked to be a pig. Moments later the fish had Jared into his backing. We needed to get control of this fight if he was going to land this fish. I got Heinz back in the boat quick...pulled the anchor and carefully got Jared back in the boat. We chased the fish down and posted up in some slower deeper water. By this time a small crowd had formed on the bridge. We had an audience and the show was on. The is fish was feisty..Jared did a great job keeping the pressure on as he made a run every time he saw the net, Finally we got his head up and got him in the net. Nice Buck 24" and Fat, He ate a poopah. things slowed down for a while after that. We picked up a few more fish later in the day. The wind picked up quite a bit so I rowed us out. All in all an action packed day with many fish to hand and many more hooked. This week we had even more weather. The Coast is Toast... I have a friend who headed there anyway thinking he could find some water worth fishing...He fished three days..reported high water and only one hook up..with all the rivers blowing on him by the middle of the third day.... Word has it there are still a few late winter fish showing up on the Trinity....Guess we will see....
Every Day is a new cast..........

tons of rain

Sorry for not posting lately, the storms in Nevada County have been rough.

The last storm we had knocked out two of my power poles. We lost power for over a week and the internet even longer.

With all of this rain the Yuba has been muddy for almost three weeks. Had some friends float the upper section the other day and they did alright just fishing the edges of the slow water and finding the fish using something big.
As for the Feather for stripers, Jack's slough stopped pumping mud into the river a few days ago and cleared some of the river up to the mouth of Yuba. We fished yesterday and took one to the boat with a couple other bumps, but the river needs to clear more for fly fishing.

There are a few steelhead showing up in the low flow section of the Feather, which should start to fish in next couple of weeks. Here is a pic of Tom with his first striper on a fly rod, good job Tom! Till next time.....Keith

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

California Coast

As we get into March the local rivers and streams near me start to get numbers of winter fish. These drainages are close to the ocean and have limited access. This is when the Inflatable really shines. Put ins and take outs are often tough to find and involve portages. The extra work can pay off as these fish are full of piss and vinegar...I was able to get out on a few of these rivers right when I got back from Oregon. Sad to say that we did not find many fish...Lots of smolt but only a couple of adult sightings and hookups. There will still be some opportunities as we get deeper into March. Tom and I found a few adults laying in a deep pool. The only fish we were able to keep on was a very large Kelt Buck that gave Tom quite a tussle. 36" long 22" around....If this fish was fresh we most likely would not have got it on the bank.
Tom made it out again this week and managed a smaller chrome adult...So they are out there...not in huge numbers but you never know when a fresh pod might arrive.

Oregon's" Wintery Mix"

Hey there Dark seamers....

Back from Oregon.....What a blast!!! The weather was pretty awful but the fishing was up to par for sure. I was only up there for two days this trip...Pulled an all niter getting there and got right into my buddy's raft. We floated the first day...Greg told me the weatherman was calling for a "Wintery Mix"....Not sure what this was but, well, I found out.....Hail, Rain, Snow, Sleet, Frozen rain all at once and blowing sideways. Steelheading is for folk cut from a different cloth..Chasing fish..Long days on the water often times bearing the elements in hopes of hooking a fish of a lifetime. Well day one was one of those days that belongs to the true "Steelheader." We bundled up, cracked some hand warmers and stuck it out.....and it paid off...We hooked 8 and landed 6...the largest of the day was 34" Kelt...she ate a burnt orange creme brulee. Day two we planned on walking and wading a small creek about 10 miles from the salt. Our drive in was dicey with 12-18 inches of snow on the road...but we made it. Got to the water and it looked nice but a little too low. We decided to stay and hike upstream to some deeper holes. Another day for the serious steelhead angler...Hiking trough snow and ice traversing the water...ain't no trails here. Then the snow came...We got in about 2 miles before we found the first deep run. I threw in and wham!!!! Fish on...great fight, tough fish..about 32" kelt buck with a bright red stripe..unfortunately he was camera shy...managed to swim away as I was getting the camera ready...Back to hiking hole to hole- it was getting late. We got to a series of deep pools with falls between them. I made my way to the top pool and made a cast.....Indicator went down like a ton of bricks and then a large fish came out of the water. This fish was pissed off and I had him in a very small pool. Not a good recipe for landing it. I managed to keep this guy in the pool for 4out of 5 runs....The fifth run he went over the falls. Oh well, it was a great fight- the one that got away...always keeps you pumped to return. And that I will! Already planning the next trip up there. Hopefully it warms up cuz I am over the "Wintery Mix."

Every Day is a new Cast.......