Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going Back To Cali

Year after year, fishing the same runs, the same river, it never gets old. It's different year to year and when you walk up on a run you haven't fished in six months, but have fished hundreds of times, it's a feeling you can't explain. We had a long hard winter here in Truckee, biggest in twenty five years, shack nasties type of winter, but today with temps in the 60's it was a day only someone that's been through a hard winter can appreciate. Winter ain't easy in the mountains. I got friends in the city that complain because they can't find a place to park, please. When you do get a taste of spring it's worth all the shoveling and power outages and frankly I wouldn't trade it for nothing. It's all about Cali now on the Truckee River. Sure, it's gonna blow out at some point, but for now, it's good. This brown welcomed me back home today somewhere on the Cali section of the river.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Flows Are Good Folks

The flows are good in Cali. We will have to wait and see what happens this week in Nevada. It was near 70 today in Reno and I wish I'd worn my summer straw hat. Today might just have been the last fishable day in Nevada for awhile. Lot's of snow melting. If it gets above 600 cubes in Reno then it gets hard to fish. If it stays below 600, it's on, I'll keep you posted. On the California side things are good though, a bit off color, but good. The river in Cali looks like what the steelheaders like, a bit green and real fishy. Bugs everywhere though down on the NV side and fish rising despite some high flows. Couldn't keep the skwalas from crawling down my neck, kinda good. They'll be marching their way up the river towards California with this warm weather. This is Dave from today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hopper Droppers

A few years back, my friend Colin and I took a trip to the East Walker in his old Winnebago. While on the trip, Colin came up with a drink he called the Hopper Dropper. Freeze some ice in a glass, fill with your favorite whiskey, and eventually the ice rises and the whiskey drops, hence the Hopper Dropper. If Colin's not waxing his Mercedes, or on Facebook, we do manage to get a little fishing time in when he comes down from Portlandia. I watched in awe today reminiscent of the old days as Colin handed it to some Truckee River fish. Though I'm sure he'd much rather been watching a Gwyneth Paltrow movie, we had fun, the sun was out, first time in weeks, and the Truckee River is in great shape. The flows are actually perfect right now, both states, and they look to stay good for awhile. Skwalas and blue wings are on the menu. I'll be out a lot this week and I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

Finally we had a break in the weather and I managed to sneak a guide day in today. If it hasn't been the river being blown out, it's been driving snow and winds for the last two weeks. The Truckee is in great shape though, flows wise, in both states except East of Reno. With continued snow in the forecast it should stay good for awhile. If you fish the CA side there is very limited to no parking and snow shoes are a good idea. We have three more days of strong pacific storms coming, but after that fishing will be good. They say it's the biggest winter in the sierra in twenty five years. The top photo is of Frank with his first fish on a fly rod, not bad. The next is of his dad with a nice Truckee River Rainbow. It's great to see the kids fly fishing and not on those damn video games. Fishing was pretty good and fish were where they were supposed to be, eating my dubbed out prince.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

They're Here

My signature flies arrived at Mountain Hardware in Truckee, not all of my patterns, but some. Flies that I've cut my teeth with over the years on the Truckee River. Blue Collar flies so to speak. Everything from March Browns, to October Caddis, to PMD nymphs. Over the years, I've only used my own flies when I fish and guide. It made me a very proficient fly tyer, but it also gave me the ability to test and tweak my patterns. All my nymphs are tied on heavy wire scud hooks with tungsten beads, so they drop in the big deep buckets of the Truckee. Drys, well, I still like deer and elk hair on my drys. If you're a wade fisherman we all know that the all-foam-flies really don't work, they sink, and if you can't see your fly, then you can't set the hook. Nothing beats the natural hollowness and buoyancy of deer, or elk hair on your dry flies. All the patterns have been refined over the years, streamlined so to speak and now they're ready for you to fish. Of course every fly is just a copy of someone else's. I didn't invent the wheel, but I tried to reinvent it a bit. They will also be available at California Fly Shop in the Bay Area and Fly Fishing Specialties in Citrus Heights shortly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Could Be a Tough Run

Yeah, could be a tough run of it this spring on the Truckee, flows wise that is. With all this snow melting and continued storms in the forecast you're going to have to choose your days wisely. Always check the flows before you come up and fish. Snow is good, rain is bad. Along Glenshire the river is best under 300cfs, Hirschdale below 600, and in Reno below 500. We're looking at 1,200 cubes here in Hirschdale, but it looks like we got past the hump and it is lowering. It doesn't get bad until you see Noah floating down in his Ark, which I've seen a few times here. Of course you can fish the river when it's high, not this high though. We'll get some clarity back in a few days, but it will probably take five to seven days to come down to fishable levels. The river will start slowly coming down when it freezes hard for a few nights. A lot of big fish do get caught in high off colored water. Leave the sz #20 zebra midges at home along with the 5wt and throw the big and uglys at them, fish streamers, stones, and big copper johns. The fishing will be good when you can time it right, I think a lot of big fish are going to be caught this spring. They're putting on their feed bags now on all the food getting flushed through the system. The wife took a photo of this guy cruising through the yard the other evening. Apparently he likes taking naps under our Ponderosa out back.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Larry, Again

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

Oh, it's Larry again, you know the dude that makes a mean sandwich. He came up and fished today with me down on the Nevada side. The river rose over a hundred cubes overnight and had muddied up a bit. Needless to say we had a tough morning. After a break and an LOG sandwich we managed to find a few fish despite the conditions, mainly the wind. I did manage to bum an original Cal Bird fly off him. Cal Bird was from Verdi Nevada and is the man that came up with the Birds Nest. He fished the Truckee long before me and it just happens that Larry was friends with him. You don't know how stoked I am to have that fly. That fly will be in a shadow box hanging in the living room looking over the river that Cal used to fish. These videos are from today of a nice male rainbow in full spawning regalia. The fly is a Truckee River Coachman from the man himself.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fish Are Look'n Up

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

Fish are looking up, not all, but if you play your cards right you can have a pretty good day of dry fly fishing down on the Nevada side of the Truckee. We are getting a pretty good bwo hatch mid-day with an occasional skwala stonefly drifting by. If the water warms a little more, which it will shortly, the skwala hatch will intensify. I also like to work the edges with a dry dropper rig because you never know who will pop there nose up for a big dry this time of year. Tie up some sparkle duns, or better yet some of my baetis emergers and go do a little head hunting. This guy ate my baetis emerger in a sz #16 today.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Images, Not Too Many Words

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

It's about to get really good on the Nevada side of the Truckee River. These are some client photos from the last couple days. All we need is some warm weather and consistent flows, which looks like will happen this next week. Skwalas and BWOs are on the menu.

Friday, March 4, 2011

People Ask Me All The Time..

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

People ask me all the time which fly is your favorite, you know, if you had one fly which one would you use on the Truckee? Well, all the flies I have in my boxes will work at certain times. If fish are munching on caddis pupae like they do all summer then I'll fish a caddis pupa, and so on and so forth. Usually though, my dropper fly is almost always my black baetis in sz #18 or #16. Fish feed on baetis nymphs daily. There are baetis hatches mid-day just about all year long. That fly catches 70% of my fish, hands down. Big ones, little ones, it doesn't matter. My baetis nymph will be available at finer Nor Cal fly shops this spring. It's dark with a tungsten bead and shiny wing case, just like the naturals. This rainbow today liked it in a sz #16.