It is still a little too early to fish the creek right now. Most of the fish are finishing their spawn cycle and in recovery. It will be a couple of weeks before I get back out there. Typically my starting date out there is March 1st. March is really good month out there in typical years. The fish are hungry and looking to put some calories in their system.
For the most part I will only goes as low as 4x to my flies in the spring. This allows to put more
pressure on the fish and land them quicker. Trout only have a finite amount of energy they can
burn while hooked and still recover. You should have the the fish hooked landed and returned
in less than 10 minutes. I will usually really start to put a lot of pressure on a fish after the 5
minute mark. It is better to put the screws to them and risk breaking them off then play them to
a point where they won’t survive.
There seem to be more mud snails in the river now then past few years. Maybe the drought has allowed them to bloom. Either way make sure that you are taking proper care of your boots and waders. This does not just apply to Putah Creek or rivers with invasive species. You should be holding yourself accountable for properly handling your gear no matter what body of water you are fishing.
I have some open dates during the first week of March. I am really excited to get back out there and get into my routine again. Come fish this magical tailwater. You will be challenged and often times rewarded if you do it right and the fish cooperate.