\Reports from clients and guides alike have been that fishing is pretty spotty. Numbers range from getting skunked to 5 or 6 “hookups” a day nymphing.
At last, a vacation for myself on the Trinity River after grinding it out for 8 plus months. It started last Friday as I made the journey to Weaverville where my long time guest, and buddy Dave were to make our home base. Upon reaching Whiskytown Lake there were warnings about a 45 minute delay from the ongoing Buckhorn summit road construction, Sure enough it was a long wait sitting in the truck. And a creeper of a ride over the summit with traffic control. When the project is completed, it will save so many minutes from traveling from the bottom of the hill to the summit. The extensive work that has been completed is amazing. As a child my dad and I use to travel over Buckhorn summit every 2nd week of June to fish the upper Trinity River upstream of the lake for a few weeks. The road back then was a narrow 2 lane road with switchbacks that would cause road sickness to those in the less than hardy category. Now it’s a piece of cake with big two lane sweepers all the way up the east side. We stayed at the Red Hill motel/cabins which is perfect for serious steelheaders, simple, warm, and just the basic needs.
Our guide and friend Jason Cockrum picked us up in the early morning as we made our way to Junction City to begin our float. There were no crowds like last year mainly due to the fact there are very little steelhead in the system, even after our last big storm. It was a beautiful and peaceful float with fall colors blazing away and the soothing sound of riffles and runs. The weather was really nice as well, partly cloudy with sun in the afternoon and just a puff of a breeze.
We fished indo rigs with large stones, nymphs, and egg patterns and adjusted the depth and the amount of lead depending on the run. We caught plenty of smolts, especially after retrieving line after long bump mend drifts. It was rather annoying. Dave’s only fish was a juvenile and not what he was looking for, it was his first time fishing for steelhead and I so wanted him to hook into an athlete. I was lucky enough to hook into a nice wild buck, about 7 pounds and 28”. He was a real bully that fought down and dirty with some good runs. We worked our asses off all day with little to show. Still, I had a great day despite a low number. Others were struggling too.
I can’t say enough good things about Jason, he knows the river incredibly well, has the right flies, the knowledge, and is extremely good at directing your casts and instructing you in improving your faults. He is so attentive during the entire float – He’s got game. I highly recommend Jason, but he is booked pretty solid. He does network with a good group of quality guides so he can place you with one of them if he is not available. Oh, you need to see his new and improved Jaydicators, the best bobbers out there! Thanks again you guys, that was awesome, I’ll be back next year for sure!