Monday, September 22, 2014

AC Fly Fishing - Summer on the Lower Sacramento Video

This summer I had the opportunity to film my buddy, Anthony Carruesco, guiding on the Lower Sacramento river. The Lower Sac is an amazing fishery and provides fly angling opportunities 365 days a year. Even in the dead of summer, fishing on this river can be phenomenal and in the few days I filmed, we experienced just that. There were lots of hookups and even a few hogs found their way into the net! However, the Lower Sac can be a humble experience if you don't know the river like Anthony does. He knows where your flies need to be at any flow, any condition, and/or any season. Do yourself a favor and book him for a trip! You won't be disappointed!

AC Fly Fishing

I'm hoping to make this a 4 part series chronicling the 4 seasons on the Lower Sacramento, but we'll see!  Lots of other video project ideas in the works as well!

Stay fly,


Monday, May 12, 2014

Stanislaus Fly Fishers - DamNation Screening

DamNation Poster for SFF
On 5/13/14, the Stanislaus Fly Fishers will be hosting a screening of DamNation.  This film challenges the notion that dams, the once prized feats of engineering and human achievement, are in fact crippling environmental ecosystems and killing off once plentiful and abundant salmon and steelhead runs by blocking access to miles and miles of prime spawning grounds.  An old theory that "the damage is already done" and that these species can't rebound by dam removal, is shown to be proven wrong is this film as well.  As fly fisherman, our thoughts and actions simultaneously fluctuate with the rivers we fish.  For myself, this ultimately means that many of my days on the water change with the season and also unfortunately with the scheduled flow releases from our dams nearby.  I've often pondered what life was like here in our Central Valley when our rivers ran free.  In the fall, when I watch what few salmon are able to navigate the seemingly unnavigable local rivers, I think back to my childhood when my dad would take us to the Knight's Ferry bridge to watch the salmon spawn below.  I would always stand there in awe of these marvelous creatures and only now as I've grown older does my appreciation for them deepen.  There are countless threats against these fish, but undoubtedly the damming of our rivers were the first proverbial shot fired.  If you think about rivers as the veins and arteries of this earth, than unequivocally, dams are the plaque build-up, that over time painfully leads toward a slow death.  Just look at anadromous fish population records over time if you don't believe me.  Sometimes a metaphorical quadruple bypass is needed and dams should come out.  The time for this action is now, before we lose what we barely have left.  Come to our screening of DamNation and see for yourself what our future could have in store if the right actions are taken!

May 13, 2014
6:00 PM

Mill Creek Church
147 Auto Center Ct, Modesto, CA 95356

FREE! (Dinner will be optional for a small cost)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Anadromous Rods - Rivers of Recovery Fly Rod Build

I had the pleasure of teaming up with Holland Ney of Anadromous Rods and filmed the process of building a custom rod from start to finish. Unlike just a normal build though, there were many intricate facets added to this rod and well thought out design features. Holland is a master at his craft and it was a blast to witness the high attention to detail he put into this rod as well as all the rods he builds.

The canvas that was to be built upon was a Sage Method 590-4 and because of the fact it is a red blank it fit perfectly with the Rivers of Recovery theme. Rivers of Recovery also donated a custom matching Abel reel to cap off the build. The rod and reel were made to be auctioned off at the Modesto Fly Fishing Film Tour on April 17th, 2014 and one lucky soul walked out with one of the best setups you could dream of!
Check out Anadromous Rods on Facebook!

Stay fly,


Saturday, March 22, 2014

DIY Drift Boat/Raft Anchor

So this little project started off because simply because I can be forgetful at times.  I really didn't need a new anchor, nor was I thinking of upgrading, but after a float one day on a local river I just totally forgot to pick mine up after I took it off at the take out.....

Well obviously then I needed a new one, so I started looking at prices online and saw that a replacement would run me $80+!  I figured it couldn't be all that hard to make one, so I set out to do just that.  Let me preface that to build an anchor requires some know-how or at least have friends with the capabilities.  I saw some anchors that had steel housings filled with lead and this sounded like a good route to go for multiple reasons.  Simply put, it would last longer since straight lead anchors have a tendency to chip away in the rocky river bottom.  Plus, all those lead chips pollute the river, so having a steel case would eliminate that from happening.

Being that I am not a welder, and don't happen to be very good at it, I talked to Daniel and he said he could make that part happen.  As an added bonus, he had some scrap steel from a job site that would fit the bill for the casing.  For the lead fill, that can be the expensive part if you don't have access to scrap.  Luckily, my dad is a member of a gun range that allows foraging for scrap bullets and casings.  It just so happens too that he recasts lead bullets and reloads his own rounds, so we have plenty of scrap lead lying around.  The last part I needed was a ring eye bolt.  After a quick trip to the local hardware store and $6 later, that part was taken care of.  Now that I had figured out the logistics and acquired the materials, the build came together.

1.  Scrap steel ready to be cut.
Acquire Steel
2.  Cut steel and tack weld in place.  (The measurements for this anchor were 5.5" x 5.5" for the top square, 3" x 3" for the bottom square, and 4" tall.  This configuration yielded a 28lb anchor.)
Cut and Tack Weld in Place
3.  Weld up all of the sides.
Start Welding
More Welding
Finish Welding
4.  Use a grinder to smooth out the rough edges and welds.
Use Grinder to Smooth out
5.  Drill a fill hole and start smelting the scrap lead.
Drill Hole to Fill
6.  Fill anchor with hot lead.  (Make sure to be very safe and use protective equipment.)
Fill with Lead
7.  Place the ring eye bolt in the lead while it is still hot.
Place Ring Eye Bolt in Anchor
8.  Remove the excess lead and let it all cool and harden into place.
Let Cool
9.  Ready to hit the water!

All in all, this build wasn't terribly difficult if you have access to all the right tools and materials.  Basically most of this anchor was made from all recycled materials that were essentially trash before they were repurposed.  As far as cost goes, I only ended up having to buy a ring eye bolt and that was it.  So far, this new anchor has been on around a half dozen or so floats and has performed and held up perfectly.  If you're in need of a new anchor or want to upgrade, think about building one before you buy!

Stay fly,


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mercer's Missing Link

The Missing Link
After a solid year of "testing" this fly, I've realized its potential and it has become a go-to staple in my box.  It has effectively replaced quite a few flies that I used to throw and those that haven't tried it, need to!
Bunch of Missing Links
The Missing Link was developed by Mike Mercer and was a variation of Ralph Cutter's EC Caddis.  The EC Caddis is an excellent pattern in its own right, but the changes made by Mercer in the Missing Link make the later the best of the two, in my opinion.  Originally developed as a sort of caddis cripple imitation, the Missing Link has evolved into a pattern that can be utilized in many different hatches.  I believe that it's many features helps it be effective in all those different circumstances.  It utilizes the wing of an Elk Hair Caddis, the hackling of a Parachute Adams, spent wings like a spinner, and a slim body like an emerger.  I have fished it in both caddis and mayfly hatches with success and even fished it a few times where there wasn't a hatch and got a few fish to come eat it.  It truly is that effective sometimes.

Anyway, here's a short video I put together of the tie for those interested in adding some to their box.  Truth be told, I now carry about 6 dozen Missing Links in various sizes and colors!

Click HERE and check out our friend AC Fly Fishing's latest post and look closely to see what fly is in the mouth of the fish in the photo.  I'm sure you can guess what it is!

Hook:  Tiemco 100
Thread:  Uni 8/0 Olive Dun
Rib:  Pearl Flashabou or Pearl Krystal Flash
Thorax:  Ice Dub - Peacock
Spent Wings:  McFlylon, Antron, or Z-Lon
Hackle:  Dun
Wing:  Elk Hair

Stay fly,