Friday, November 18, 2011
I fished up on one of our valley rivers yesterday. Let's just say it was one of those days where everything didn't quite go as planned. I did not plan on fishing a river. I did not plan on there being a hole in my float tube. Lastly, I did not plan on catching 15+ healthy sized bows on dry flies!!! I got lucky and happened upon a hatch coming off at around 1:00 yesterday afternoon and actually had a fly that matched close enough. All day I had be stripping streamers/watching the bobicator and only had one fish to boot. Then, out of no where, a ton of rainbows started porpoising at the end of this tail out I was fishing. I quickly noticed some duns fluttering about (which I think were BWO's) and switched out my nymph rig to a 9' 6x leader with a #18 BWO Vis-a-dun and a BWO emerger dropper. I proceeded to make a nice first cast slightly upstream, got a good drift, and BAM! Fish on! For a solid 45 minutes the fish were keyed in and I was catching fish after fish. It was quite possibly some of the best dry fly action I've ever had on a valley river.
I've always been a believer in John Barr's flies. With a classic such as the Copper John, it's hard to not love his flies. I have now tied every fly in his book, but have yet to catch fish on every fly. The Vis-a-dun was one of those flies. I love throwing just a simple parachute Adams in most dry fly situations, but for whatever reason, yesterday I grabbed a vis-a-dun. Thankfully, to my surprise, the fish couldn't say no! I shot some video of the action yesterday and I'm thinking about maybe doing a quick time-lapse movie of tying the Vis-a-dun, so check back in a few days.
See ya on the water,
Friday, November 11, 2011
Winter is definitely upon us. Rain, fog, wind, and cold ass mornings. He tried to stay away as long as possible but it was inevitable. Old man winter is here. With the lower waterways closed til Jan 1st we must search out other places to sling some line. Trout are still biting and if you can get to one of the open rivers and withstand freezing your ass off, hit it up. Browns are on the move to spawn and the Rainbows are eager slam something. Throw big buggy buggers and baitfish patterns down deep or go with a super small baetis pattern and you will be in the fish.
Striper season is near but not quite on it yet. Yes there have been some decent bass caught recently, check out Pats and Patricks nice keepers above, but for the majority the bite hasn't been good. I was supposed to go on a trip with Dan Blanton tomorrow on the Delta in search of a lunker but he decided that it would be better to wait a couple of weeks for better weather and better fishing. He says its been down right horrible out there. Anyway when that happens I will post up some video and pics from the day and hopefully land me a fatty.
So brave the cold morning, navigate through the fog and get out there and find those fish. Most believe fishing stops in oct and picks back up in the spring but I feel thats when it gets good. This is the time for the bigg'ns to be caught so man up and get out there.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
It's fall. Big things tend to go down in fall. Needless to say, despite my lack of posting, I've been on the hunt for big wild fish. Over this past year, one fishing lesson I've learned is in order to find a high frequency of large fish, one must go fish where few are willing to go. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but I've realized that here in Cali there are very few. High traffic areas complete with poachers, polluters, and punk asses have led me to take my quest for big fish elsewhere. Luckily, the Sierra Nevadas have a way of still protecting areas despite all of the aforementioned problems. The only key that unlocks these mystical spots is effort. One has to earn these large protected fish. I was fortunate enough to do some backpacking this summer and I'm quickly learning that a backpack and hiking boots are becoming a staple of my normal fishing gear. I relish in the fact that some of the spots I've come across I would not be able to tell someone how to get there even if I tried. I would personally have to show them. Recently my efforts have been pushed toward an area guarded by monster canyon walls. There is no road. There is only what is left of a forgotten trail. Steep elevation changes, copious amounts of poison oak, and fluctuating water flows are what guard this area. But.......when we do catch it on a magical day, when everything is just right, everything falls into place. Only problem is the big fish still don't come easy. These powerful fish will do just about anything to come off of the fly. Monster head shakes, 4 foot high out of water jumps, and drag screaming runs are all tools of these mysterious fish. Last weekend, I was even taken to my backing by just an 18" fish. I also hooked a monster that did one jump, screamed downstream, and with a couple of head shakes came off. I hooked another here almost two years ago now that decided to run directly upstream at mach speeds, which was ultimately faster than I could reel in line. Powerful. I dream about these experiences. I live for these experiences. Get out and explore! Quit complaining about CA and saying you "need" to move to Idaho/Montana. California still has places that can make one think they were dreaming and second guess if it actually happened or not. Get out there and the mountains will reveal their secrets.
Stay fly till ya die,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Ok so the posting thing needs to get back up to date so in my attempt I will jump on that tonight. This house work thing has really kept me super busy and have kinda pushed the blogging/editing and in some right the fishing by the wayside. So her we go, lets catch up.
Lets go back to the Kirman Lake trip for starters. If you've never had the pleasure of hauling your float tube for three miles on a warm summer morning at 7000 feet you should really try it. Kirman lake is located on the eastside of the Sierra Mountain range off of hwy 108. The trailhead is directly on the hwy and the trail is primarily flat except for a 100yd uphill push right before the lake. When we arrived at the lake, it looks more like a bass lake than a trout fishery but no bass here. I think its all the tules in there that give that impression.
Anyway no bass in this lake and for the first half of the day we thought no fish were in there at all. After kicking all around this 40+ acre for a few hours we finally found some fish. We had heard that this lake had some big Brookies and Cutthroats but we had no idea. It was all about the fly selection on this one and the little scud pattern it was. Drift that baby under an indicator and pow it was on. They weren't caught in mass quantity up there but the ones caught were quality. I have read that these fish basically gorge themselves on bugs and insects until they get heart failure and die. This is why they get so big. Thomas was first onto the gold and then I got my hands wet.
We had brought my cousin Sean up with us on this one and he never wielding a fly rod before, was itching to get some action. Oh and did he ever. He pulled the last Brookie of the day at probably around 23" and close to 4/5lbs. Not bad for your first day with a fly stick I'd say. Its hard to tell him that he'll probably be let down from here on out with all the other fish to come because he got a fish of a lifetime right off the bat. He was stoked.
So Kirman lake was a success and probably got the biggest Brooks we'll ever catch. If you're into it, take a trip over there some day and you too may just find the big boys and hook into some of the fun action. Check out the Kirman Lake video here or on the previous post. So stay fly and Ill try to hit up another trip report in the next couple of days. D
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Hey I know its been a bit and some since our last post here but I plan to work on that soon. I do have plenty of trips and video/ pics to post and will hit that when time lets me. As for now we have created a YouTube channel that you can find HERE, <<<<< CLICK HERE.... and I will go ahead and post up a video from Kirman Lake and some fat Brookies we caught there. Enjoy and Stay Fly!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Little quickie post today. I fished the upper Tuolumne for the high sierra season opener last week. Luckily the flows weren't too high and the little trout were pretty hungry.
I did however manage to hook up with a nice 14" brown! I definitely wasn't ready for him after hooking up a handful of small rainbows.
This area of the Tuolumne up to Preston Falls is beautiful country. Anyone who's interested in an easy backpack/day hike trip should check it out!
Saturday, April 30, 2011
A few weeks back Daniel and I decided to try and put together the ultimate fishing weekend and hit both the Truckee River for some big browns and bows, and Pyramid Lake for some monster cutts. Having never fished the Truckee before, and for Daniel's birthday, I got a guide for that Friday. Matt Koles, owner of Gilligan Guide Service, was dude I ended up giving a call. Matt is a chill, down to earth, guy. He'll tell you what's up on the Truckee. Living in Hirschdale, he knows the in's and out's of this river. Having never got a guide before, I wasn't too sure what to expect, but luckily Matt just gave us a heads up on rigging, showed us the spots, and let us do the rest. It was a great day! Weather-wise it was a little crazy. It started off with blue-bird skies, gradually got darker, and by the end of the day it was dumping snow. One of the fish that was still eating was this nice ~22" brown who took a size 16 baetis nymph before the snow started coming down thick.
Photo by Matt Koles
Next was Pyramid Lake. This year was the first year in 10 years (from what I heard) that the area known as "The Nets" was open. We heard quite a few amazing reports from the week before, so expectations were high. Unfortunately, it was not the case. Daniel and I had to work hard for the few fish we caught. The one good thing about Pyramid is that the "average" fish is always a good sized cutt. It was nice hanging with the few club members that made it out too. Hopefully next year we'll get that 10 pounder!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Well......it's still raining. Not much going on. It's dumping loads of snow up the hill, which is absolutely crazy for this time of year. I snowboarded at Dodge Ridge on Tuesday and I can honestly say in the 11 years I've boarded there I've never seen this much snow......and it's March!! All of our local rivers are still flowing ridiculously high and these cold temps are probably screwing with the brains of the bass who normally are in pre-spawn/spawn mode by now. Needless to say, there's not much fishing going on now. So what is there to do?? Tie flies and get crafty! Daniel's been working on a prototype stripping bucket, which is nearing completion. This bucket, when done, will be made with a significantly low cost of materials. This is a big deal considering there are crackheads in the fly fishing industry getting away with murder selling these buckets at over $100 a pop!!! Daniel's bucket will have all the functionalities of these expensive buckets as well. Not every fly fisherman is a rich doctor/lawyer type that can afford to drop $125 on a stripping bucket, but there are many of us that see the functionality of having such a bucket. I'm sorry, but those flimsy laundry baskets just don't cut it. Anyway, tonight Daniel worked on another small project and sewed up a rod sock out of digital camo fabric. It's pretty pimp!
As for me, I did some late night fly tying for our upcoming trip to Pyramid Lake. I started thinking and one of the reasons pyramid woolly worms are tied with a small tail is for short strikes and the theory that longer tailed woollies don't hook up as much. This led me to thinking about steelhead flies that are tied with a trailer hook. I liked this principle so I applied it to your traditional Pyramid lake woolly worm pattern and voila! I now have a new pattern to try out there. I'm not entirely sure if there is a fly out there like this already (but then again there really aren't too many truly new flies out there today anyway), but I've dubbed it the T-Bagger for now. Oh and the front hook will be clipped (not clipped in picture).
Hooks: Front: 5263 #6, Trailer 5263 #8
Trailer hook is tied with 2 tufts of marabou, silver mylar wrapped around the hook shank, and a hackle collar.
Front hook is clipped off and tied with a loop of backing to connect the trailer hook and the body is just tied like your traditional woolly worm without a tail.
Hopefully it will work out there!!! Stay fly
Friday, March 18, 2011
The forecast says rain for the next 11 days or so. That sounds promising for our local fisheries and flows.. not. I guess then this makes a perfect time to build that custom rod that I've been wanting to build. Oh wait, I just finished it last week. Yes I got my Sage VXP 5100-4 blank kit last week and wasted no time. It looks awesome with its real French silver tinsel accents and I cant wait to cast it and land one. Dont worry I GoPro'd the whole thing and should have a time lapse video up in the next few days. So in the next 11 days or so when the rain visits and stays around, maybe we will stock up our fly boxes. Tie up for the upcoming trips like Diamond Hair streamers and El Ratons for the Restore the Delta Bass tourney or even time up some small baetis for the Truckee. Oh and we cant forget to tie up a bunch of woolly worms of various flavors for the all too hungry Lohantons over the hill at Pyramid Lake. The next two weeks of rain should drown our rivers but we will continue to look forward to upcoming EPIC trips. Stay tuned for the Rod build video and you can be sure the GoPros will be running, gobbling up GB, creating our next awesome video short.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I did a little bass fishing on my birthday yesterday. The conditions still aren't quite ideal yet (water is still on the colder side), but I managed to get a nice little dude on a meat whistle at the secret spot. We didn't know about this spot during spawn season last year, but post spawn was awesome, so I can't wait to catch some of these fish when they're fat and pissed off when a El raton, popper, or diamond hair streamer rolls through their nest. With the next Restore the Delta tourney approaching soon, Daniel and I are going to have to get back into bass mode soon!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Coming this April 3, Thomas and I will have the opportunity for some redemption on the Delta in the the second Restore the Delta/ CSPA Benefit Bass tourney. The last tourney, check the past post about it, was pretty sad. We had one fish to weigh and the weather was pretty torrid. April should provide some pretty nice early weather for bass fishing and maybe this time the top water will be going off. Its a great benefit tourney with an amazing raffle and bbq afterward that is worth attending solely for. Check it out and if your up for a little competition sign up and well see ya out there. The Gotta Stay Fly crew and the GoPro's will be out there in full force.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Its definitely been a long time since our last post and I guess we have some catching up to do. Lets start with what Thomas and I have been up to in the last few months. Well in a nut shell here it is: Thomas built a new rod, Sage Z-axis Switch 5wt, I had a baby girl, all the local rivers have been blown so not much actual fishing, Thomas hooked and lost a trophy on the Merced, we attended the annual Fly fishing show in Pleasanton last weekend(sticker mania), and we have acquired the best addition to our gear..GoPro video cameras.(ill put up a post just on this later this week).
As far as fishing goes, yesterday was the first successful day this year for us. With it being about a month since we had actually slung any line we decided to hit up the Stan. With my new Galvan T-5 and Thomas's new switch rod along with our rigged up GoPro Video Cameras we headed into the canyon. Within minutes of getting on the water I was on to fish and with the cameras rolling we got this footage of a really nice bow. Only thing I can say about this fish is that in all the time we have fished that area, I nor Thomas have ever seen a fish of that quality caught and landed. Either he took the long trip up the river or he had fallen over the dam either way it was a beautiful suprise. Check out this video, shot entirely with our GoPros, of our morning out there and the catch. Stay Fly..D