Happy New Year 2011! Thank you all for fishing with me during 2010. We had some epic times! I am once again starting to think forward to fly fishing the Lower Sac this coming March and April and even into May when Fall River will offer some of the best dry fly fishing found in the west! If you haven’t fished the Lower Sac in March, this should be a great year! All the water should keep the Lower Sacramento up through the spring, producing good fishing similar to what we had back in ’03, 04. I hope 2011 brings all of you the very best! Let’s plan a fishing trip!
What an amazing season it has been on the Trinity! Steady rainfall almost everyday has kept water conditions warm and ideal. Lot’s of steelhead moving through the Trinity river system. Over the past week, a majority of the steelhead in my net were headed to the hatchery, which makes me think, over recent weeks I thought just about all the hatchery fish had run through since almost all the fish I found were big wild steelhead typical of what I see in January. I speculated that all the water in the river hastened the winter fish run. And that may be true, but the last of the hatchery fish typically show up in January preceding the big winter fish. I am now seeing more hatchery fish, so, more of those big winter Trinity steelhead should still be out there, swimming up from the coast. Three things to remember when it comes to steelhead fishing 1: If it comes from the sea, you can’t trust it. 2: Nothing is what it seems. 3: You have to go in order to know.
My calendar has some availability for January and February. To find out more, call 800-669-3474
Most anglers are getting into more than a few fish. Seems like everyone is experiencing great fishing as I write. The fishing has been far better than it was in November!! Lots of smiles on the faces of anglers at Mountain Valley Grill! I think the fishing will be just fine over the next couple weeks. I can think of one or two anglers this week that missed their only chance for the day and went home without that epic photo with Trinity’s finest. I hate to see that happen! It’s easy for me to sit in my boat and be critical, but I understand that for most anglers, each run is a mystery, a new experience. Fishing with a fly rod isn’t easy. For me each run is like an old friend, different, but predictable. I am reliving the hunt every day. The best anglers always go into each run believing they are going to catch one, focused, instead of thinking well, we didn’t get one in the last six spots, so why will this one be any different. I believe in every single riffle, run and pool I have my anglers cast into. Each run is a real chance not to be squandered, but at times I sense we are not on the same page and that is when results are less than they could have been. All said, on any given day, angling results are rated as poor, fair, good. But they are always less than they could have been. That’s fishing! Results are in proportion to conditions and what we bring to the game. I understand that a fishing trip is also a vacation for you. I can’t expect everybody to be as focused as I am, but it’s my daily purpose to take the fishing seriously and fish every real possibility.
A few new anglers fished with me over the month of December. It’s so rewarding to watch an anglers game improve after learning a new way to mend, or watching an anglers face light up after discovering an easier way to set the hook. A good hook set relies completely on a good drift! But just because a good presentation is produced, the hook set still needs to be addressed and often isn’t. It goes without saying “The better the hook set, the better the results”. Once an angler understands how to visualize the hook set at any given moment, as the presentation evolves, that angler will achieve desired results that often exceed expectations. Why is a bump in the river that we think is “the bottom” on some days, a fish on other days? A good hook set is often the reason. Not just a fast hook set, but one that is lined up with the indicator. Get the fly line arranged just right, and the hook set gets easier and precise! You ask how? You have to come see me. I can tell you more on the river than I can write!
I went to visit the Lewiston hatchery with my son last week finding hundreds of steelhead at the gates and one beautiful native Coho holding in the viewing area..????! I think he missed his tun off!! I wonder how many native fish swim into the hatchery? I wonder how many hatchery fish swim into the tributaries?
Looking into January, It’s difficult for anyone to predict what will happen with the Trinity and the weather. We can count on more rain and snow. Big winter run steelhead will arrive. More steelhead will throw the hook, break us off and some will make it to the net. What’s amazing is how well the Trinity has held up so far. Typically, many of the Tributaries between Lewiston and Douglas City will introduce muddy water into the Trinity after 1 inch of rainfall. Rush Creek can be expected to spew muddy water after a good dousing, but this tributary has run pretty clean all season. The rainfall this season has been steady, but on the light side. Instead of getting 1 inch of rain in 3 hours, it’s 1.5 inches over three days. The Trinity finally blew out in big fashion yesterday after about 3-6 inches of wet snow fell late in the day after raining all day. As of today, the tributaries have dropped and river conditions are good and getting better. Wading the Trinity is tough right now. With more rain/snow on the way, many of the known wading spots along the river are under vast amounts of moving water. There are safe, productive wading spots out there though.
The crowds of anglers found in November are off skiing by know. Some anglers have decided to ski instead of spending their money on the Trinity. Works for me. If you want to enjoy uncrowded, solitary fishing on the Trinity, come between now and the end of February. February is my favorite month on the Trinity! February offers a longer day, dry fly fishing for brown trout and some of the baddest steelhead of the entire season! Water conditions could be excellent. Hopefully, releases from the dam will be increased producing fun streamer fishing for brown trout in between bouts with steelhead!!
BTW-Has anyone seen my camera? It had an orange flotation strap attached to it. It’s been missing for a couple weeks. Send me your fish pictures so I can use them in my emails. I will buy another camera after we recover from the holiday spending!
For now, best flies seem to be #6-8 brown rubber legs, #6 TB Golden Stone, brindle bugs and various egg patterns. I have been running 1x-2x leaders. If the flows increase from the dam, bring clouser’s minnows!!!
Be well and go fishing!