I am back from Alaska and right back in the grind of Northern California fishing. I took the past
week to unpack, see my dog, and catch up with my family. But most of the time I have been
fishing and catching up on the state of the rivers in the Sacramento Valley.
I returned to a whole new Putah Creek. While I was away a nasty fire ripped through the
canyon torching basically everything with it. The once lush overgrown green paradise is now
bruised but hopeful. The ash will make the river muddy when we do get some rain but the
terrain will regrow. In a bittersweet way this may help the river in the future.
The fishing on the other hand has been great. A lot of areas have been cleared out of poison
oak and blackberry bushes. There are some areas that have opened up and became more
accessible. I am really excited to be able to get guests to some of the areas that have been too
hard to access. I have also found a bunch of new structures from some fallen trees which will
provide some great holding water for the fish.
There has been a really good 10:00 mayfly hatch bringing with it a bunch of young spunky 10”
fish slamming dry flies. Its pretty cool to see the bursts of these guys. The big fish are on the
move. With the areas being cleared from the fire, proceed to the runs with caution. Keep a low
profile and be stealth. Be patient and think about your approach, cast, mend, and hook set
before you start. A lot of times you only get one shot at a big Putah fish so make sure you make
the most of it.
I have a list of flies that I like to use on Putah that you can ask George about. I get the tippet
question a lot for the creek. Putah is known for big fish breaking hearts on 6x. I generally use
4x and 5x but won’t go bigger or smaller. You might loose a big one on 5x but I can bet that he
or she would not have eaten it if it were on 3x. Learning to fight and land a big fish on light
tippet is a skill set that practiced over a lifetime of fishing. It is a skill as important as mending.
Don’t beat yourself up if you lose a big fish out there, the odds are in their favor.
Fishing should continue to be great until the end of November until the fish start spawning. Call me and let’s get out there. I love showing off the river I grew up fishing on.