Fall River Fly Fishing Report: 11/18/15

Fall River is closed for the 2015 season. Opening day is Saturday April 30th 2016.

Hot Flies: Harrops CDC Emerging Midge #20, Tilt Wing Dun – PMD, #16 Brown Micro Mayfly, #18 Red Copper John, #18-20 Black Zebra Midge, Jay Fair’s Olive Wiggle Tail, Zack’s Damsel Leech #16 Brown or Olive Micro May, Hogan’s S&M #16, CDC Rusty Callibaetis Spinner, Beaded Mini-leech, Mohagany Duns.

“I can help any angler improve their understanding of this complex fishery. I encourage new anglers to spend a day here – with me. You will definitely go away a better angler.” Call 800-669-3474 or e-mail me!

All flies mentioned above can be found here:The Fly Shop


Fall River Northern California
Fall River Scenery

Some of the very best fly fishing of the spring and summer 2016 season will happen on this spring creek that sits in the broad, wide open valley of Fall River Mills, CA. The days can be warm, but come expecting wet weather and cool temperatures. As always, Fall River can be busy with many anglers, but solitude can easily be found by motoring in the opposite direction of everyone else, and that would be “upstream” for the masses. After a productive day on the water, enjoy dinner at the relaxed and cozy “Crumbs” in the neighboring town of McArthur, CA. A glass of Malbec will make it a perfect day!

I own my own 16′ Jon boat with a 25hp motor, trolling motor. I have rods, reels, various spools of floating and sinking lines. I have flies, drinks, lunch. You just need a fishing license. The Fly Shop will help you find me at our meeting spot, called “Riverside” on Fall River at 8:00 AM and I will take you for a relaxing day of fishing on Fall River. I encourage beginners to sign up for a day on this river because you will truly fly fish here and not watch an indicator…which is great fun, but indicator fishing is indicator fishing. Fly fishing is casting to rising fish and that’s what we dream of! And that’s why I fish Fall River. But then there’s steelhead fly fishing, and that’s another story kids! A word to the experts out there…Bring It!!  Let’s go! Let me be your friend!!

Please visit the The Fall River Conservancy website here: FRC. Donate! The Fall River Conservancy is a group of dedicated anglers, hunters and conservationists that have a genuine love for Fall River and the Fall River Valley.

Fall River, in Fall River Mills California, is a completely unique stream! In my experience, Fall River is the best spring creek in the US. Dry fly fishing happens here almost everyday of the season. The rainbow trout average 16″. We can stand in my jon-boat and spot the fish you will cast to.  We will spot rainbows rising to PMD duns, BWO’s, Baetis and Caddis.  Tight loops, precise fly placement and good timing contribute to, and usually equal successful fly fishing.

There are 6,000 rainbow trout per mile on Fall River. If they were easy to catch, there would be far less! This river offers astounding beauty, incredible views, lots of wildlife and rising trout! The angler who loves to cast a fly rod, fish dry flies to rising fish and is willing to put numbers of fish aside, will love Fall River. Feeding trout are driven by the hatches on this spring creek. Everyday, hatches of PMD’s provide our chances at catching fish on dry flies, swung nymphs or suspended nymphs under indicators. Stripped leeches consistently work when nothing else will. The Hex hatch from early June through July offers what is called the “signature hatch” on Fall River. I fish this river out of a 16′ jon boat. No wading here.

We will anchor the boat and fish downstream to wild rainbow trout.  No planted fish on this river.  Fall River is my personal favorite river to fish for rainbow trout. The season on Fall begins last Saturday in April and ends November 15th. May offers amazing dry fly fishing. June through July is Hex hatch time, August-September is least crowded with good fishing and hatches. October-November 15th is cooler, good insect hatches and more good fishing.

Equipment: 5wt rod, floating line, uniform sink type II line, clear sink tip, type IV sink tip, 9′ 5X leaders and 6X tippet. 9′ 3X leaders for the Hex hatch.  Bring some insect repellent if you are fishing the Hex hatch with me.

Trout Fishing Fall River
Fall River Rainbow Trout

I recommend spending more than a day on this river.  Sometimes day one is spent learning the ins and outs of the presentation.  The hatches start around 9:30 Am and last until the wind blows or 2:00 PM.  The only exceptions would be the Caddis and Hexagenia or “Hex” hatch that starts around 6:30 PM and keeps us out on the water until after sunset.  Sometimes an angler is just starting to play a strong game by 12:30 and with an hour or so left in the hatch, well you can see if you had one more day, a memorable experience can be changed into an incredible one!  Ability levels aside, Fall River is the best river I can think of for beginning anglers.   A new angler will learn so much here.  There’s real casting going on, we can see fish eating and holding in select runs.  Various presentations can be employed through out the day.  Sure, on the Lower Sac I can put a new angler on many fish, but they will only learn how to fish from a drift-boat, and those skills don’t translate to wading a small streams or fishing a lake.  And if your an experienced angler, well Fall River has what you are dreaming of. It’s all here.

My equipment list for Fall River:

  • 4/5 WT Rods
  • Floating line
  • Type IV clear sink tip
  • 9′ tapered leaders 5X
  • 6X-7X Tippet
  • #14-18 PMD dries
  • #14-16 Zug bugs
  • #16-20 PT nymphs (some beaded, some not_
  • Green leeches
  • Hex emerger (June-July)