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Fishing Report

Putah Creek Fishing Report June/July 2021

Putah Creek Fishing Report June/July 2021

Sam Arkin reports on Putah Creek: June 24, 2021

Putah Creek is a cruel mistress for this shop.  She offers some of the strongest and most beautiful rainbow trout that Northern California has to offer and flows tantalizingly close to San Francisco, our home base.  She is also notoriously fickle and difficult to fish.  We here at Lost Coast feel that fishing Putah is well worth the occasional frustration, and we want to do all we can to set you up for success.  First I will talk a little bit about gear, and then move to specific techniques that might help you run into the trout of a lifetime only a little more than an hour away from the dinner burrito at El Faralito in San Francisco that walking Putah’s banks will make you crave. 

Putah requires a good roll cast and an almost obsessive attention to mending your line especially when suspension nymphing.  The owner of our shop and our resident casting guru George Revel will be hosting a roll casting clinic at the casting pools in Golden Gate Park on Wednesday July 7th from 8-9AM- as well as the rods which we feel offer you the best chance for roll casting success here. George swears by the 10 foot 4 weight for roll casting success- and Putah's dense banks thick with underbrush require it.  Come to the clinic- you won't regret it! 

Fly Fishing Putah Image Otter

The Gear:

Felt boots are not allowed in Yellowstone or Alaska, but it is  possible they should be mandatory at Putah.  Decent current in places and New Zealand moss that grows like an 80s metal band’s hair make felt a great choice if you are going to be fishing Putah a lot.  All of our most experienced guides on Putah wear felt. We cannot recommend the Simms G4 Pro enough for Putah, even when wet wading.  

The water which flows through Putah comes from the bottom of Solano Dam, and so she remains ice cold year long.  This is great for the health of everything that lives in Putah in times of devastating drought, and especially for her rainbows.  It also means that waiters are a must, except for summer when wet waiting Putah, which is located in an agricultural valley where temperatures often spike over 100, is a must.   Dialing in your wet waiting set up for light weight and ease of access can make you feel compact and efficient on the water, which is often a real benefit on Putah’s banks which are sometimes crowded with brambles and trees. 

The Techniques: Suspension Nymphing

The tried and true technique on Putah is a suspension rig (please see our comprehensive guide to setting up such a rig here) with 2 infinitesimal midge nymphs and a worm- traditionally two zebra midges in a size 18 or smaller- and a San Juan worm.  This technique works, although on Putah especially it requires patience.  The idea of a suspension system is that allows you to fish multiple levels of the water column at once, which is a great idea in theory.  The problem is that Putah is full of conflicting currents and rocks which make perfect mending (a state very few of us actually achieve!) a necessity.  You can fish the same pool with the same suspension rig for 15 fruitless casts only to see a bobber go down on your 16th cast, the only one that featured a perfect mend.  This makes Putah a great place to learn how to indicator fish a suspension rig.  And remember to ALWAYS assume you are not getting deep enough- a snag or two on the creek bed with the bottom fly is a good place to start- move up from there.  We here at lost coast in conjunction with our favorite guides have found 2 techniques that have not conventionally been fished on Putah to be extremely fun and productive: euro or tight line nymphing and streamer fishing.

Euro or Tight Line Nymphing:

Dan Snags A Beauty on the Tight Line

This techniques cuts through the Jacques Cousteau like intricacies of the Putah water column and allows you to get your flies down where you want them.  It also relieves the incredibly demanding task of mending for a suspension rig on Putah.  Try one of our recommended euro setups just under the bridge, where slightly smaller water and pockets of boulders hold surprisingly large fish.  Hooking up with an 18-inch putah rainbow on a 4-weight euro rod is positively tarpon like, and the most fun I have had fishing in many months.

Streamers: 

For many years Putah was thought of as a place where nymphing is your only chance for success with a frustrating and brutal ratio at play: the smaller the midge the bigger the trout and the harder to land that trout becomes.  Leaches and streamers are a thrilling alternative option.  While you may not catch as many fish as the skilled suspension or euro nympher, when you do catch something it is likely to be big and ready for a fight.  Leeches in a size 8 or 10 are what we recommend to start. 

June/July 2021:

Show up early if you can! The temperatures climb steadily throughout the day, and be prepared to start with a full wading setup and transition to truly refreshing wet wading throughout the day.  Most people park by the bridge just past the camp ground and head down towards the stair case riffle- if you are looking for a change of pace and possible solitude, head across the road, across the little canyon, and make you your way up as far as you can towards the dam.  Roll casting will come into play here, but try roll casting a leech across to the opposite bank and giving it a rapid retrieve.   Again, you most likely won’t have a fish every cast.  But if you do hook into one, be prepared for a battle! And speaking of roll casts and other potential areas of life where we might want to go longer, who doesn’t want more distance? George will be hosting a roll casting clinic at the fly casting pools in Golden Gate Park on July 7th between 8-9 AM where we will tell you exactly which rods are best suited for it and why- spoiler alert- for George it is these.

Down from the bridge but above parking lot 4 are many areas which may not be suitable for suspension nymphing but have been super rewarding with a euro rig.  In fact, learning to tight line nymph opens up boulder pockets and fast water that you may not have considered fishable before 

And our final piece of advice for this month or any other month: try streamers! Typically the streamer fishing is hottest (forgive the pun) in August, but it works year round and can alleviate both nymph and mending fatigue.  Heck, it might even alleviate fatigue in general. 

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Hat Creek Fly Fishing Report

Hat Creek Fly Fishing Report

George Revel Report on 6.24.2021

Fishing was excellent mid morning from 8-11am or with some Trico and PMD spinner falls. In the evening the Pmd's and Sallys were coming off with regularity. We predominantly fished dries during these prime times. In the middle of the day nymphing and leeching was the ticket as fish moved to their deeper mid day hiding holes. 

Like clockwork, the fish start sipping trico spinners at 8am. The tricos lay trapped in the surface film of the water. Trapped after laying their eggs the night before the spent spinners float downstream and collect in the seams and swirls. 

The rainbows jockey into position to sip these tiny bugs with gentlest of ease. The gentle sip is the tell-tale sign that fish are eating spinners. With no concern of the dead bug flying away the fish can afford to such laziness in eating their breakfast. For this reason, even the slightest drag on your fly will not be tolerated by your quarry. Pair that with crystal clear water slowly meandering and you have the recipe for a chess game that can ensue for the coming hours. Stealth and presentation become paramount. Fishing become more akin to hunting. 

My spring creek spinner leader is 12ft 4x with 3ft of 6x fluorocarbon. The fluorocarbon sinks just below the surface film of the water removing the dimples the tippet causes on the surface film of the water. These fish will not eat your fly otherwise. 

To catch this fish my client and I slowly got into position and watched the pod until we spotted the largest fish in the pod. We watched him sip flies at very regular intervals. Knowing where he was eating was likely several feet behind where he was holding, we slowly positioned ourselves to make a perfect presentation. A quick pep talk about how one bad cast will put this whole pod down and description of the cast that I thought would fool the fish was spoken softly so as to keep our nerves down. We made a cast well upstream of where the big fish was feeding, trying to be careful to not put the fly in line with one of the other smaller fish that were feeding in the area. To catch a smaller fish would be failure and put this larger fish down. The cast landed exactly where it should have. The arial reach mend put the line above the fly so as to avoid a noisy on water mend. Seeing where the fly lands is so important in spinner fishing because often the fly is very hard to see as it lays flat on the water. We feed the line down to the fish with zero drag. My heart was pumping knowing that this drift stood a real chance.  Just as I was beginning thoughts how to phrase our next cast the fish rose to sip the fly seemingly in slow motion. 

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California Delta Fly Fishing Report

California Delta Fly Fishing Report

Captain Bryce Tedford Reports on 3.31.20

Spring Striper season is in the air with these warm valley days, water temperature are climbing upwards towards 55 degrees. I have been finding a fair amount of fish & prime Spring Striper Fishing is just around the corner. Delta Stripers will continue to ramp up as we get into Spring, April & May are prime Striper months & I am excited for a strong season. April is all but booked but I still have some prime Striper dates remaining in May. For June-September I will turn my focus to Topwater Largemouth
& Smallmouth trips, then I will finish out Oct.-Dec. with Striper Trips. Remaining Spring Striper dates won’t last long so book your adventure soon or get out there & enjoy the CA Delta!

 

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Putah Creek Fly Fishing Report

Putah Creek Fly Fishing Report

Richard Loft Reports on 3.5.21

Hey Everyone I just wanted to check in and  report whats happening on Putah Creek flows are holding right around 105 cfs as of 2/03/2021 and not seeing fish many fish hanging around the redds so I am assuming the Spawn is winding down as it normally does this time of year. So it's watch and wait until flows start to climb again in Spring March/April.

Living in Napa and fishing the creek as much as I do- maybe 100 days a year or more, its still hard to put my finger on it. But it seems like this time between end of the Spawn and summer can be a little slow; its fishable but it just seem like the river is trying to heal itself and fish metabolism is much slower in winter and it just takes time to get back into Spring through Fall when fish are feisty and when it all starts over again. 

Access points and Flows:

 Between Monticello Dam and Lake Solano there are 5 marked points to access and fish the creek #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 but remember there are 4 1/2 miles between the dam and Lake Solano so you really need to walk and hike to find the holes to fish. The flows dramatically effect how a area fishes so check the flows every time you go and before you leave the house.  I use Dreamflows so you can develop a sense of how an area fishes at a given flow, Remember it takes some time but it is one of many factors that help me when I'm thinking whether or not to fish on a given day.

Dreamflows:https://www.dreamflows.com/flows.php?zone=canv&page=real&form=norm&mark=All 

Remember to adjust your leader length, indicator size and amount of weight as flows change.

Flys: As always, one of my go-to flys is the Cravens JuJu Baetis and or WD40 I found gray a great choice. Black Soft Hackle with green foil body. That got immediate results and of course a Black Zebra Midge is a must have. 

Of course there are many great flys to choose from and I have surely forgotten to list a few so definitely ask the guys at Lost Coast Outfitters for some help 

* Mending;  One thing I've noticed time and time again is clients over mending or mending in the wrong direction throwing huge mends the the left as soon as the Indi hits the water, Not necessary, try making smaller adjustments as needed or doing a shorter cast and keeping you'r arm elevated to minimize the amount of line on the water 

Environmental Factors:Time of Day, Seasons, Weather, Fires and floods. Flows; (cfs) Check Check Dream Flow. https://dreamflows.com/flows.php?zone=canv&page=real&form=norm#Site194

The Quail Fire

* Fires,  As most of you know we had another huge fire again last summer and you would think it          would have negative effect on the fishing. Nope Think again! I was on the creek the day it started and was actually guiding a husband and wife from Texas well my clients got nervous and left. So not wanting to let a little fire ruin a good day of fishing I stayed and fished and had an awesome day on the water. 

* Weather; Wind speaks for itself if the wind interferes with casting then I might adjust my day, or work     on my casting Proper casting mechanics helps by properly loading the rod and staying low and under the                                          main gusts of wind and increasing accuracy and distance. ( I can help with proper casting during a guided trip ). 

*Time of Day; Time of day effects where the sun is so I will adjust where I stand so the sun doesn't cast my shadow on the water if at all possible. also I do really well mid day but in July Augest its so hot mid day this no longer applies and I fish mornings or dusk to avoid midday heat. I think it drives fish down reduces fish in the riffles until dusk when things turn on that last hour or so of the day. 

* Time of Year; Spring is probably my favorite with Fall a close second. 

* Euro Nymphing  I really started spending more time looking at my leader construction and how to fish water not  effectively fished with an indicator and was stunned by the results a month after the Quail fire in August.

I hope this helps and gives you something to think about when you're on the water.

For available dates or pricing for a guided trip with me, contact; Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides, (707) 294-4738;  napavalleyflyguides@gmail.com

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Deschutes River Fly Fishing Report

Deschutes River Fly Fishing Report

Cory Godell Reports on 10.23.20

This has by know means a record setting year in terms of steelhead numbers. But the numbers are better than last season and a good chunk of the steelhead are two salt fish instead of one salt. The problem this season seems like whenever we would get a decent slug of new fish in the river the White River would act up and blow out the Deschutes for several days. The good news right now is that the White seems to of simmered down and shouldn't act up as much from here on out. With the cooler night it should help keep things more stable in the hills, which means the Lower Deschutes should remain clear and fishable from top to bottom the rest of the season.

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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Northern California Fly Fishing Report

AC Flyfishing Reports on 10.22.20

We're entering the heart of our Fall fishing season here in Northern California. We've had some exceptionally good fishing taking place on our local rivers and the weather has been fantastic. From the Lower Sac to the Upper Sac, McCloud, Fall River, etc. There are so many excellent options this time of year. 

The Lower Sac has been one of our main rivers of focus over the past few weeks and will continue to be through November and even into December. There are good numbers of Salmon spawning in the river and this annual event makes for some very fun, fast paced fishing. Too many great fish stories to recall recently. The weather has been unseasonably warm but it's tough to complain when we get to wear shorts and sandals to the river most days. The extended forecast shows really nice weather heading our way with temperatures dropping into the 70s. We are expecting the fishing to stay good and the trout to remain on a steady egg and bug diet for the foreseeable future. There are decent numbers of Steelhead around in the Lower River, making a float south of Anderson a great option. As we get into November and December, we should continue to see more of these Steelhead trickle into the system. This is a wonderful time of year to come and experience both Trout and Steelhead fishing on the "Lower Sac".
STEELHEAD FISHING 
By late October we begin to turn our attention to the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. Steelhead are already beginning to show up in both of these systems and we are looking forward to a good November and December this year of targeting Steelhead here. You should typically expect to find larger numbers of fish in the Klamath but these fish, on average are going to be smaller than Trinity River Steelhead. You can expect to find larger fish in the Trinity but typically fewer than the Klamath. Both rivers are great options in late Fall and Winter. The Trinity will pickup as soon as we get a few small wet weather systems move through the North State. Now is a great time to plan your next Steelhead adventure. 
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California Delta Fly Fishing Report

California Delta Fly Fishing Report

Capt. Bryce Tedford Reports on 10.22.2020

Well, Fall was in the air but has been put on a bit of standby with 90 degree late Summer weather. Amazing weather but Striper fishing has been on hold a bit. Water temperature are still hovering around 70 degrees so fishing has been good in the am but challenging in PM. Cooler Fall weather is finally arriving on the Delta over the next week & change is in the air. There are currently plenty of Stripers in the system but finding size can be a challenge. That said, if a person is willing to work for them & run around, then quality fish are there to be found. Stripers will continue to ramp up as we get into Fall, November & December are prime Striper months & I am excited to finish out the year strong. October & November are booked up but I still have some Striper dates available in Dec. Remaining dates won’t last long so book your adventure soon or get out there & enjoy the amazing California Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta!

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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Chuck Volckhausen Reports on 10.15.2020

Fish are spread throughout the river.  Salmon are moving through and a few of them have started dropping some eggs.  We could use a little more rain.  The rain we did get soaked into the ground and even the creeks that drain the fire burned forests, didn’t color up.

Half pounders could be found anywhere but they are not everywhere.  Some Klamath river sized adults are also being caught.  It’s the time of year when we get to swing flies with dry lines and skaters. 

I have been seeing some algae bloom.  Both near the bottom of the river and recently up top.  Look out for this.  It can ruin your day and make you sick.  Best to avoid the places where the water is very green.  It’s late in the year for this to be happening.🤷‍♂️

McCloud River


We are excited for some colder temps to come through.  The fishing is improving on the McCloud and bugs are moving around a bit.  Back to being able to catch some fish on dry flies.

We all love the fall here.  Just one month left on the magical McCloud.

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California Delta Fly Fishing Report

California Delta Fly Fishing Report

Capt. Steve Santucci Reports on 10.15.2020

We  experienced some nice fishing on the Delta this week.  We caught good numbers of hard fighting schoolie Stirpers.  We also experienced some very enjoyable wind and weather conditions.  I am looking forward to my next outing.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.7.20

Get it while it lasts, the autumn colors that is. October is a magical time of year in the Eastern Sierra; the shadows are long, the mornings are crisp, and the mountains are speckled with the yellows, golds, and reds of autumn. The best fall foliage can be found along the S Fork of Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, and Conway Summit. Enjoy!

The Inyo National Forest has reopened, kind of….. Good luck finding some logic and continuity with the current regulations. The front country has reopened to dispersed camping, but the wilderness areas are closed until December 1st. There are no campfires allowed! None. Everything is tinder dry from a meager winter and hot, crispy summer. Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks with the pandemic. Please respect local businesses, each other, and be good stewards of the land. Thank you!

East Walker

The flows are at 19 cfs, extremely low and boney.The Bridgeport Reservoir is about as low as I have ever seen it. Personally, I am going to give the river a rest….. it was a great summer.

West Walker

I believe the West Walker has reopened (it flows thru a different National Forest). That said, having recently driven thru the canyon the conditions are low, boney, and clear. Seek out the deeper, longer runs and go into stealth mode as the water is gin clear. Walk quietly as you approach the river, maintain a low profile, use a longer rod, and wear some camo. Think invisible.

San Joaquin

Closed

Hot Creek

Closed ?

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 106 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 140 cfs. There are some big fish beginning their journey back into the river system from the reservoir. Be patient and persistent…..

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