Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Truckee would actually be pretty good, flows wise, if all the creeks weren't pumping. I should say the Truckee is good up along Glenshire, a bit high, but not bad. The rest of the river is pumping due to the two major inflows. You have Prosser Creek coming in at nearly 400 cubes, and the inflow from the Little Truckee below Boca which is nearly another 400 cubes. The clarity is good though even down towards the stateline. I have been out a bit here and there and have been hooking some big fish, but it's been hard turning 'em in the heavy current, most of them have popped off. Careful though along the river, one bad move and that's all she wrote. If you fall in at these flows you ain't getting out. I think the big run-off will happen about the third week of May, there's still a lot of snow up top, but all of the low lying snow is gone and melted. The whole river will open up this weekend, as it's the traditional opener of trout season in CA. That will open up some more water to fish around the Truckee area and also open the rest of the Truckee River up top. The top photo is the inflow of Prosser, a bit of a mud line, but not bad. The bottom photo is the river at Hirschdale.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blue Diamond Phillips

I might as well do the fly of the week again as the Truckee's still pumping and there ain't a lot of fishing around here except for the LT. I guess I could get creative, but I'd rather go shred some dirt on my niner. This fly has wrecked 'em the last few years, looks like a beatis to trout, but hell, I'm not a trout so..I even tie these guys up to a size #6 and fish them deep in the big holes up from my house, works well. I gave it a nice 70's look in the photo. Put a little hard as nails or epoxy over the sili-skin, so them toothy critters don't chew it all up.

Hook: Scud, Heavy sz#16-18 (for baetis)
Bead: Tung, Silver
Thread: Uni 8/0, Black
Body: Blue Mylar
Rib: Blue Ultra Wire, Small
Tail-Wing: Hen, Brown
Wingcase: Metz, Sili-Skin, Opal
Thorax: Simi Seal Dub, Purple

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Meanwhile over on the Little Truckee, being that you can usually find me on the Truckee. The Little Truckee is a great place and could be one of the finest tailwaters in the state. Problem is everyone else feels the same. Seems like you can't even find a spot to park in the upper lot anymore. Big hatches of Honda Prii on the weekends up there. Since I made a vow to never fish the upper lot below Stampede anymore, I have a renewed interest in the lower stretches again. I have had a lot of great days out there and I've honed a lot of flies on the LT over the years, like my cripple series, and green drakes. I guess the reason so many people fish it is the size of the fish, which on average are pretty big. You'll find me over there a little more the next few months as the Truckee's pumping and time will tell when it will become fishable. These are some photos of today and Keith's best impression of running down the man. Keith lost some really hard charging fish, but did land his first brown on a fly rod.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leland Expo

Hung out with the FFO crew down in Sonoma this past weekend for the inaugural Leland Expo at their Sonoma Valley Ranch. After awile, you don't get too stoked on these kind of things, but this was different. There seemed to be a younger crowd, people that actually fly fish, not a bunch of crusty old dudes cruising around looking for the bathroom. When Leland does things, they go big and this was no different. If you've never been to the FFO ranch, it's pretty awesome. The weather was nice and the beer was cold. I gave a few casting tips to Tim Rajeff, told George Revel that distance casting is a thing of the past and drank some Trout Slayer Ale on tap, I mean if the shoe fits. I got to hang and watch Val Atkinson's slide show, the dude is an amazing photographer and even nicer fellow. If I can get Keith Westra out of parking patrol, Val's going to come up and shoot some photos with us on the Truckee this summer, stoked. Jim and Rachel Andras, guides from Oregon, are real nice and it was great to get to know them. The film tour was fun to watch, though after a few films they seem to get a little redundant. Elliot drank a lot of spilt beer too and got herself some leftover chukar which didn't settle so well. I'm already looking forward to next year which I'm sure will be even a bigger blow out than this years. Also stay tuned for some new Red Truck gear that is in the works.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Like Advertised

I like to give an honest assessment. When folks call, I tell it like it is. You might, or might not hook fish this time of year when the Truckee's running high and cold, but when you do they will be big. If your a novice fly angler and you've never landed a big fish usually the death grip ensues and you lose them. I see it happen time and time again. You can be like Matt today who just kept yanking on his trophy rainbow and ripped the fly right out of his mouth, we got a good laugh out of it. Let the fish run a bit then chase him down and regain your line. We've been hooking big fish each time out, just not landing. It can be tough bringing them back through all the heavy current. If you're wondering about fishing the Truckee, I know this river pretty well and we can find spots even in the heavy water below Boca. Is it as good as summer, no, but it beats sitting on the couch all day. Matt hung in there today and did end up with a nice wild bow for the camera, good job brother. These are some shots from the last few days.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Logo

New Logo on some new tee's that you can pick up at Leland's Expo in Sonoma this weekend. I'll have them available for sale off my blog shortly.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Despite The Conditions

Despite the conditions, we're still putting fish in the net. Like I say, if you want to fish the Truckee you're just going to have to deal with the high water. It's not always easy finding a good spot to fish in the high flows, but if you do you can usually find a few willing fish. I like to go big to small, hell, I always do. Big stones, or wire worms, or copper johns, to something a bit smaller on the bottom. The flows have ceased a bit with this recent cold blast, but they will return. The good news is shortly the river will be open up along 89 and that will open a lot more fishable water. A few years back I got one of the biggest browns for that year along that section. Had a few younger guys out yesterday and the Truckee ended up giving us some nice fish. The brown ate my baetis nymph #16. Always amazes me that those fish can see such small flies in off colored water.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Old Man Winter

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

We have another shot of winter coming through the Truckee area again. This sucks, and it always does this time of year. You know, when it goes from the 60's, back into the 30's. We ain't out of the woods yet, I've seen it snow well into June. Last year was a good example. Nothings changed on the Truckee, it's still charging, and for most folks the river below Glenshire is damn near unfishable. The Shire is a good bet if you do come up and fish the Truckee, there is always some fishable water even when it's this high. The Shire is really not my cup of tea though. I will fish it, but you usually can find me down river somewhere even in high water. It's a gamble below Boca this time of year and sometimes my schemes pan out and sometimes they don't. After a morning down a long game trail that didn't pan out, Charlie got this nice gal all colored up in some high water in what had to be my coldest guide day of the year. The bottom photo is of Matt the other day nymphing a nice slot along the shire.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You're Gonna Have To Get Used To It

Yeah, we got some water this year, and with these warm days, the Truckee's pumping. It does have some clarity though, and if you stay above the major creeks, Juniper, Grey's and Bronco, it's fishable. You're going to have to get used to these high flows, they will be here all spring and well into early summer. The trick is to fish places where you think fish can get out of the current. Your normal spots might not be fishable, explore some different water. The fish will get used to it, the high flows that is, and settle in. The good news is when you do hook fish they will be big. The fish are big and healthy this spring and they are getting bigger. High flows means a lot of food is getting pushed through the system. Work the edges and don't give up. Got this nice male brown today on the last cast off a dry dropper rig, right tight to the bank.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dry Droppers

Untitled from Gilligans Guide Service on Vimeo.

I love fishing the dry dropper rigs. Actually, I'll fish two droppers off a big dry such as my skwalacator dry, which floats like a cork and has a big poly yarn post you can see. The big fish that I catch are usually all caught in five feet or less of water. Big fish like to hang in shallow water, riffles, banks, etc. That old story about Walter living at the bottom of some big hole just ain't true, big fish are always on the move. Of course big fish winter in holes, but that's another topic. I fish my dry dropper rigs upstream along banks and things, long hard casts with a 6 weight rod. You're able to cover water with a dry dropper rig that you would have otherwise thrashed around if you were using a conventional nymph rig. Learn how to cast far in the wind, big fish require stealth, like bow hunting. Don't go using a 9 foot 5x leader, cut a 7.5 4x leader down to about 6ft so you can throw some junk around in the wind. You have to be able to turn over a big dry and nymphs especially if they're heavy ones. I'll be down at the Leland Expo in Sonoma on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of April doing a presentation on dry dropper rigs and how to fish them. This brown, one of my neighbors, ate my sz #18 baetis nymph in about two feet of water today.