Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Happened to La Nina?

If you live anywhere in California then you know how crazy the weather has been this last week. The weather people say La Nina is suppose to leave the Southwest dry and bring the moisture above Ca and into the Pacific Northwest. I guess they where wrong. Since last week we have been getting pounded by very strong Pacific storms, bringing up to 10 feet of snow on the summit. The Truckee River rose to about 1,400 cubes near Hirschdale during the storms. The river has dropped and cleared some since last week, though high for this time of year, it is fishable. Today, I thought I'd hit up some runs down from my house (mostly to get away from the wife baking cookies). The river actually fished well, not what I expected at all. Since most of the storms where warm, most of the lower river is easily accessible. I fished two runs and hooked several nice browns, all on my beatis nymph #18. This brown acted more like a summertime fish, making a few long hard runs. Not bad for December.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Silver State.

I spent a little time down on the Nevada side of the Truckee River today. I really haven't been focusing on fishing lately, more on fly tying, locking myself to the fly tying table for hours on end. It's hard not to want to go fish though with the recent mild weather we've been experiencing. The river was pretty high last week with the rain, I didn't miss out on anything. This time of year the river always fishes better on the Nevada side. Water temps can be 5-10 degrees warmer than the river on the California side. Good nymphs are worms, small baetis patterns, zebra midges, and winter stones. I often fish big golden stones, and dead drift streamers in winter as well. Sometimes the fish like a big meal floating by. There is a winter storm warning out this week and it looks as if we are in for some nasty weather again, but that's what the fish need, lot's of snow.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nevada 2011.

It's official, I just received my Nevada Master Guides License in the mail today. It has always been a goal of mine to be able to guide the Nevada side of the Truckee River. I've spent a lot of time down there probing the waters and have showed a lot of friends that there are big fish in the desert, but the cost of the license and paperwork has always been a deterrent for me. The Nevada side is what some rivers in Montana where like twenty years ago before the crowds. Down in the desert it is still relatively undiscovered and a good angler has a chance at a legit twenty fish day on the Truckee River. Don't get me wrong, the stretch from my house in Hirschdale down to the state line is in my soul, my favorite water anywhere in the country, but it can be tough and can harden a fisherman. The Nevada side is a great spring, winter, fall fishery and often times in winter temps are mild and fish are active, much different than the California side. I'm offering my winter rates of $225.00 to fish the Nevada side starting Jan 1st. If you're game come join me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Slow and Low that is the Tempo.

Yeah, winter fishing, you either love it, or do it because you have cabin fever. To be honest, after all the winters I've spent on the water winter nymphing really doesn't do that much for me anymore. I stare at indicators all summer, so methodically staring at one in the winter just doesn't turn me on. Sometimes it's fun when big midge clusters are floating down the river and fish are munching on them, but that's about 6 weeks out from now. This time of year I do like to go out to test new lines, rods and flies. Swinging flies is an alternative to nymphing and usually is what I choose to do. I just got the new Sage TCX switch rod today and took it on a test drive, wow, what a cannon. I really think it will open up some previously untouched water. It casts a Skagit Short line a hundred feet easily. My bunny leech went to some far away places today. Remember those fish ain't gonna run down your streamer, a slow strip on the bottom is what it takes this time of year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fly Shops.

We just recently had an area fly shop saying they were closing down by the first of the year making me think what it takes to make it as a fly shop these days. The big box stores don't help the little guys, Cabelas, Scheels, Bass Pros. Not to mention when you walk in those types of places they usually don't know what the hell their talking about. I've heard some Walmarts have fly shops in them. The two things you need from a good fly shop is great customer service and local knowledge. When I walk into a fly shop I expect a hello, where are you from, and maybe some general advice. For example on my recent trip up to the Missouri River in Craig Montana there are three fly shops in a row. The first shop we went into I got a hello, and a go screw yourself type of attitude. We then walked down the street and ended up at the Headhunters Fly Shop. What we got there was a map of a good float, some tips on what streamers to use, and great customer service. By the way, all of which you can get in Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee. Since it is 22 degrees at my house this afternoon with anchor ice blocking my good holes, I'll leave you with some grip and grins from the mighty Mo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes it Just Ain't Trout Fishing Weather.

We just received several feet of snow in Hirschdale, elevation 5,500 feet. I'm sure they got 4-5 feet by now at lake level. I can't remember this much snow so early in the year. When I worked at Boreal during the 94-95 season (yeah, I'm old)I remember it dumped before Thanksgiving and never did stop that year. We need this snow. The fish love it. This last Summer was epic with all the high water. Go enjoy the pow right now until some spots get plowed out where you can actually park and get to the river. Bring some snowshoes because you will need them. I like to drink beer, run the snow blower, and tie flies on days like these. Sometimes it just ain't trout fishing weather.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nature Boy Designs.

My boy keith over at Lelands in S.F. has started his own fly fishing gear company. With the holidays coming up you can now tell your friends and significant other how big that fish really is. I'm sure we'll see some more cool stuff from NBD in the near future. Here's the link,

Nocturnal Stones.

Ever wonder why when your fishing the Truckee River in the Summer months and you see big stonefly schucks all over the rocks and no adults flying around? The answer to that question is they hatch at night, a nocturnal stone. Trust me, it took a while for me to figure this out. The class of stones is called Claassenia sabulosa, but who cares, they have short little wings and don't fly well. Most of the hatching and egg laying activity occurs after dark. July and August are prime time. This year because of the high water it was in the middle of August and everyone was wondering why their dumb ass Pat's rubber leggs where working so good in August. So next Summer when your tossing your hopper around in the mornings in July fish are probably taking it for a nocturnal stone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Strange Coincidence?

I was out tinkering with the new Rio Switch line today (which by the way is the best line I've found yet for nymphing with a Switch Rod) when across a far seam the ole indo went down. When I landed this nice male Rainbow we had an incredible kipe on his lower jaw just like a fish I caught two years ago near the same run. It had to be the same fish. It was good to see him again nice and fat and a few inches longer. I might have hooked some more nice fish, but as I was trying to land that fish I fell in and then realised Elliot had rolled around in a dead dear carcass. About the fishing...I've had a few people call lately and what I tell them is that yes, you could catch some big fish on warmer days, like today for instance. You want to fish at the warmest times of the day. You might do well and you might not. You might just catch Whitefish all day. Is it as good as it is in Spring, Summer, Fall, no, but it's still fun to be out there. Winter fishing is much different than other times of the year and you need to adjust you tactics accordingly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Transition Time.

With the last recent cold front it is that time of year again when fish transition from their late Summer, Fall holding lies, into their Winter holding lies. The water temp was at 51 degrees before the last storm and now a chilly 46 degrees. While 46 degrees doesn't seem bad, that is at the warmest time of the day. I'm sure it is much colder in the early morning hours. Right now it seems as if the fish don't know what to do. In the last week the water has risen, then lowered, and got cold. This time of year fish like the soft inside seams of runs and pools. You might have to lighten up the tippet a little and fish a little more methodically. Fish will still eat your flies though. Here's a few photo's from the last few days.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Always seems to be a Little Melancholy.

November for Trout fishers is a little melancholy if you live in the Mountains. The Cottonwoods are deeply golden and are devoid of most leaves. The rivers get low and the crowds are gone. You know Winter is looming. Though most of us fish in the Winter it's still not the same as fishing big drys or nymphs, compared to tiny little Midges. November is still a good month to fish depending on how long the weather holds out. In November, I usually go out and fish the spots that I couldn't because I was guiding all Summer, or afraid that I would stick the fish that one of my clients could catch. Now, at least for me, is the time to go out and just enjoy being on the river along with my dog Elliot before the first big Winter storms. Oh, and by the way, the fishing is still pretty good.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Web Dude.

I'm often asked who did my website. Well, it's one of Truckee's own, Paul Hamil. He's taken care of me on many occasions when I need things tweaked on the web site so a little float was in order today. We didn't get any real big fish, but it was still a fun day on the water. I did get a little brown on the new fly, it's not a nymph or a streamer, but looks great in the water. I'll be fishing them this Winter, we'll see how they do. Paul's design company is, check it out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Eleven different Mountain Ranges, broad plains, Griz, and endless rivers, that's Montana. I just got back from five days of fishing with my buddy Chris on some of the West's best Trout waters. The weather was nasty and everyone was out Elk hunting. We had the rivers all to ourselves. The Madison was great between the lakes and of course at Reynolds Pass. We took the boat up to the Mo, and if you've never been to the Missouri you need to go. Hard, and I mean hard fighting fish. Stop in at Craig and go to the Headhunters Fly Shop (More on them later). No BWOs on the Mo, but lots of strong fish. Chris got about a 7lb brown near dark and the next morning I had at least a 10lber on that I watched sail away with all my shit attached to him. We saw no one else fly fishing on our two days there! It was great to hang out with an old friend, drink good beer, eat shitty food, and of course catch fish.

Friday, October 22, 2010

End of the Season Through the Miracle Mile.

Had a great day today through the Miracle Mile as my friend Joe likes to call it. Lot's of hook ups and lost big fish for my clients. The Hirschdale area gets pretty hammered all Summer, but now crowds are gone and hardly anyone is on the river. The fishing is much better. This will be my last post for a week or so as I'll be in Montana visiting my buddy Chris. Even though I guide in the Winter my main guiding season is coming to a close as Winter is looming upon us. I want to say thanks for everyone who has came out to fish with me this Summer. The Truckee is tough, but hopefully everyone had a good time and learned something. It has been my busiest season to date. November looks like it could be cold, but the fishing should be good for the first few weeks as the browns are spawning late this year. See you guys when I get back.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Homey

First cast this morning I had a huge shadow chase down my big caddis dry about 10 yards, but since it had drag the fish didn't eat. Second cast, bam, the fight was on. This brown took the soft hackle baetis, or better known by my friend Keith as the homey. I was lucky to land this thing on an old ass leader and old 5x tippet, but I got lucky. It's called the homey because it doesn't come by and drink your beer and look through your refrigerator, it's your friend, your homey. The homey likes to kick it and catch fish.

October Caddis.

This is my fly of the week and it has caught a lot of nice fish in late Fall over the years for me on the Truckee River. We really don't get a big October Caddis hatch, for example like the Upper Sac or McCloud, but fish really like munching on the Pupa in late Fall. I think a lot of the patterns you see at the fly shop are to bulky. I like a muskrat and rabbit blend and a thinner profile. This is also a good fly to use behind a streamer.

Hook: Tiemco 2499, or 2457 Sz#6
Body: Any buggy nymph type dubbing, orange or cream.
Shell: Wapsi Thin Skin, brown
Ribbing: UTC Wire, copper brown
Collar: Hen hackle, brown
Eyes: Black bead chain eyes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baetis Weather.

Overcast skies the last few days have made for some good dry fly action. The Little Truckee has some phenomenal Baetis hatches when it's overcast. If you know where to go around the Truckee area there all also some spots where you can find great dry fly fishing. I like my Baetis emerger #16 followed by my soft hackle #16, about 10 inches behind. Mid-day on the Truckee River is when I switch to my soft hackle Baetis and fish it deep, it seems to usually do the trick this time of year. We are starting to hook some big fish again on the Truckee.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Old Guys Rule.

I've been taking out a lot old guys lately. I like the old guys. They usually have good soft rods, rods that used to be made in America. They have cool hats that they bought back in West Yellowstone in the 80's, you know the ones with the flaps on the back. The old guys can usually fish to, some just need a little tune up like my old Toyota. What I like about the old guys is they are just happy to be out on the water enjoying life in their retirement. They all have good stories and if you listen you can actually learn a bit form them. This is a photo of Dwayne from Walnut Creek with fish on.

Friday, October 8, 2010

On Fire.

The fishing that is...When you hook multiple fish in just about every spot you fish you know the fishing is good. That's what happened for Loren from San Jose today, lots of smaller fish, but at the end, a couple big boys that shook off. I was happy for him as it had been a tough year on him and this was his trip for himself. All I can say is cancer is fucked, but fly fishing is good therapy for that shit. Cheers to you Loren.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Head Hunt'n.

A good head hunter must be quiet and stealthy, observe and watch for rise forms. A good dry fly fisherman can distinguish rise forms and know if a fish is eating the adult dun, an emerger, or a nymph caught in the film. You also should try getting into the best position possible to get the best drift. If a fish is rising rhythmically he will not pay much attention to you. You would be surprised how close you can get to the fish. If there are a ton of bugs on the water it might take a while for the fish to eat your fly even though it has drifted over the fish a dozen times. Most fish go back and forth between eating the dun and the emerger, with most fish eating the emergers instead. This fly is my no#1, and is the fly of the week. If fish are eating emergers tie it on, duns, tie it on, it don't matter, they will eat it. This fly is like crack for my buddy Joe Cerniglia and he is always hounding me for some. This fly is tied comparadun style and is just a Sparkle Dun rip off. The best dry fly on earth. I tie the body first and the wing last. One thing to remember when you fish emergers ONLY PUT FLOATANT ON THE WING. The bottom half rides below the surface. BWOs are out in full force, tie some of these up and get in on the action.

Hook: Tiemco 2487, Sz#16
Body: Uni 8/0, Olive Dun
Ribbing: UTC Wire, Sz Small, Olive
Shuck: Z-Lon, Grey
Wing: Ca Coastal Deer Hair
Thorax: Muskrat, Olive

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Finally Some Fall Weather.

With record heat up here last week it finally looks like some Fall weather will stick around for a while. The rest of the week looks like it will be cloudy and cool. B.W.O.s should start pop'n any day now and I would be looking for heads mid-day on the Truckee River. The streamer fishing is also picking up a bit. Got this descent size Bow on a sculpin pattern today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fly of the Week, Baetis Nymph.

This time of year this fly is usually on the end of my rig. Whether it be on a dry dropper rig, or a nymph rig, this fly works. A lot of the Baeits nymphs on the Truckee River are dark colored. I think the trigger for this fly is the black wing case made of Thin Skin, a product by Wapsi. I use Thin Skin on a lot of my flies it holds up and is shiny just like the real bugs. I usually fish a Sz#18 before the hatch and switch to a larger nymph, Sz#16 during the hatch. I've caught fish all over the West on this fly. Tie up some of these guys this Fall and give them a try.

Hook: Tiemco 2457 Size #16-18
Bead: Tungsten Gold 2.0 mm
Body: Uni 8/0 Black
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire, Size Small, Olive
Tail: Hen Hackle, Black
Thorox: Blue Ribbon Flies Zelon Dubbing, Longhorn Green
Wings: Hen Hackle, Black
Wing Case: Thin Skin, Black

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bankers Hours.

A.m.'s are cold on the Truckee River and I would advise you folks coming up here to sleep in and start a little later in the morning. It might be nice at your house, but at mine things are cold. This time of year we usually have a thick fog blanket looming over the entire river in the mornings. Fishing is best in the mid-morning hours. The fishing is very good on the entire river. We are starting to see some nice Baetis hatches, and a few October Caddis. These are a few photos from the last few days with Tom from Los Gatos with a nice Rainbow on a micro may.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Could be You.

Guess what happens when you cancel on your guide the night before a trip? He calls up his buddy and goes fishing. I had a chance to fish with my good friend Keith from Grass Valley yesterday who is also a guide on the Lower Yuba River. We had a fine day and lot's of big fish where hooked, but not landed by Keith. Good flies are rubber legged stones, micro mays, and small princes. I got a few fish to chase a streamer, but no big fish yet. Get up here this Fall and insert yourself in this photo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fly of the Week.

I think I'll start the fly of the week and see how it goes. This is my Baetis Soft Hackle. This is my no #1 fly in the Fall on the Truckee River. I fish it deep on a nymph rig, or sometimes higher up off a tippet ring on a nymph rig. You can fish it off a back of a dry in the film, or swing it through a pod of rising fish. It just works...

Hook: Tiemco 2487 size #16
Thread: Uni 8/0 Gray (head)
Body: Uni 8/0 Iron Gray
Thorax: Wapsi Life Cycle Caddis Dubbing Gray
Colar: Whiting Farms Hen Hackle Medium Dun
Tail: Hen Hackle Fibers, Medium Dun
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire Size Small, Green, or Olive

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Little Fishing for Myself.

Man, it's been a while since I spent the day fishing for myself. I have had a busy Summer. I put my boat in today with Elliot for a little solo mission. I must say I was a bit out of practice, but it didn't take long to start hooking fish. The fishing was exceptional, the landing part wasn't so good though. I did have a two foot brown eat a PMX in some skinny water which was very cool, but he took off downstream and came unbuttoned. The weather has been perfect up here and the fishing is very good on the Truckee River.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Things are Changing for the Better.

Looks like we're in for another cool down up here. It doesn't take much to get the fish active. Last night was somewhat cold and today was a good day on the river. Fish are still eating crayfish and rubber legged stones. I also like small princes as dropper flies this time of year. We've had a few big fish chase down some streamers lately, but no eats, that should change with some cooler weather. I think this next week we will see some big browns getting active....These photos are of Dan from Berkely.

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Early Taste of Fall.

The last few days we had our first cold front blow through leaving a dusting of snow high up on Mt Rose. Water temps on the Truckee River have lowered into the mid to high 50's. With overnight lows in the 30's, I think our Fall fishing is here. I know it's Fall when a Bear gets in my neighbors garage, which he did a few nights ago. I then heard a shotgun blast upon which the Bear got loaded with rubber shot. Get those streamers tied up and be ready, Fall ain't that far away. Got this guy yesterday just up from my house.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pompous Ass Fly Fisherman.

Admit it, most of us are pompous ass fly fisherman. I myself try not to be one of them. Today I took a couple dudes out on a guided spin fishing trip, yup spin fisherman. I mean what's the difference if you hook a fish with the a Mepps, or a frigg'n san juan worm? These guys always practice catch and release and pinch their barbs just like us. They worked there rapalas and mepps through the runs and pocket water, and came out with what was Louis's biggest Brown he has ever landed. A twenty four inch, five pounder that ate a four inch shad rap. Even the little fish ate the damn thing. It was fun to watch fish come flying after these things. We have to remember that we're all sportsman and we can work together to save our rivers from greedy corporations and not fight each other over which way is the most dignified to fish.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's 18 inches!

Every fish is eighteen inches when your eight years old and you just landed a fish on the Truckee River. I had the privilege to take Rich and his eight year old son Shane out this morning on the Truckee. Shane is one heck of a little fly fisherman and just a great all around kid in general. It's great to see a Dad take his son fly fishing. It reminds me of me and my dad when I was young fly fisherman and it truly is what fly fishing is all about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What do I do!!!

What do I do! is the first thing I hear people yell out when they get a big fish on. When you get a big Truckee River fish on it feels like a wild Steelhead racing against the weight of all the current. These fish fight hard and most people have never had a freight train attached to the end of their fly line. Like I've been saying for the last month turn their head and keep them out of the current and you have a chance. I taught Andrew how to fly fish a few years ago and today he got a nice Brown that got his heart going. This photo was taken with an I Phone since I blundered the camera again. Fishing is good, and the bigger stonefly pattern you got the better.