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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pro-Tips Revisted...Early Spring

Bright sun and trout 

A beautiful spring snowfall in Truckee! We received 4" last night at my  6500' home. Sun is out now.

Thankfully, because of 2018's MIRACLE MARCH; there will be sufficient water flowing during spring.

Below is a "Pro-Tip" excerpt I authored that appeared in the Spring 2012 Sierra Fisherman magazine. The advise provided are point-on suggestions and concepts we fly anglers consider during spring's snow-melt/run-off during high flows/pool on running and stillwaters; respectively.
High Water of Spring in the "Fornicating Rock" area of the Big Truckee

Early Spring
Most freshwater fly anglers anticipate springtime.  Unfortunately, every year’s conditions are unpredictable; dependent on the amount of rain or snow that has fallen during the winter. Eventually both will run-off immediately or melt into the waterways and lakes; respectively.  It is important to remember that the snow-pack’s melt in the higher-elevation mountains is weather related; it can be steady and gradual or unpredictable and erratic. One general assumption is that the waters in early spring will be high and cold; eventually subsiding and warming by early summer.

So how do we strategize our fly angling? For a start, this issue's pro contributors provide you with their astute advice. (will send upon request...Frank)

Water volume and water temperature are key factors governing strategy. In streams consider venturing-out at mid-day seeking warmer water exposed to solar heating. You’ll find warmth in “soft water”; mild currents such as edges, eddies, slow moving runs and pools. You can “load & lob”, fishing with big/small, tandem rigs or strip streamers. Whichever technique used think “low & slow”, but get it down along the bottom…where the fish are.
During springtime it is a good plan to fish lower elevation waters first.  As the days get longer providing more solar heating, start venturing out of the foot-hills and into the mountains. There, the hope is the waters have warmed, the melt has subsided, flows are ideal and the trout’s feeding metabolisms are in high-gear.

Frank R. Pisciotta
During the “early season” of spring, lake levels are rising, full or overflowing. In the mountains there will be super-cold inflows from the melting snow. Look for warm water. A productive strategy is to stalk along the shoreline’s shallows; frozen edges of melting ice/open water or visible underwater shelves that drop-off into deeper and darker water. Exposed shallow water along shorelines have warmer water temps, vegetation...and bugs, which trout eat.   
At ice-free shallows, solar-heating will provide a temperature comfort-zone for cruising trout in search of vulnerable food-items. Here, assuming the visibility is clear, an angler can sight-fish to slow-moving, foraging trout that feed sub-surface or in the top-water, surface-film. Also, in these areas the drop-offs and lateral shelves into deeper water provide a quick escape route for cruising trout wary of airborne predators.

Tactically, determine a cruiser’s direction, speed, and distance between rises and or sub-surface moves. You want to intercept these susceptible trout by presenting your fly ahead of the feeder; letting them come to your current-menu imitation. Dead-drift or impart movement as appropriate and let the trout ingest the fraud; merely lift, tighten-up, ”give it head” on its first surge if it is a powerful fish.
da Dean
Shoreline angling during high flows of Spring at LT inlet at Boca

NOTE: Tahoe-Truckee Fly Fishers member, Jon Baiocchi, has authored a very thorough article on High Water Tactics in the 2018 March-April California Fly Fisher. Additionally, he will be conducting two clinics; Streamer Fishing and High Water Tactics during spring of 2018. For details go to                 

Monday, March 26, 2018


Put'em Back Alive!
We'll take it...The water forecast for this coming trout season has improved substantially since March 7. Then we figured the melt into our trout-sustaining waters to be 43.7% of historical average. Now 20 days late,r we're at a projected 75.4% of normal snow-melt/runoff. Mother Nature has made a nice recovery in the Truckee area from an initial sub-par precipitation year. 

da Captain and da Entertainer discussing tactics for the high flows of springtime

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

After Blizzard Briefing

...guess I'm due for a post...been awhile.  I became focused on my re-hab on my new bionic hip and the Fly Fishing Show last week in Pleasanton CA. Now, "doing taxes", later in the month going to Virginia seeing close friends then looking forward to a mid-April trip to th BigHorn River in Montana....praying for decent weather, lots of BWO's and rising trout.

Yeah, we still need snow and hope for a Miracle March
...front door during our recent 3-day snow-event...actually a color image
To date, via the nine (9) measurement sites in the Truckee area at elevations of 6436' to 8801'... we're at 59% of the historical, median snow-water-equivalent and 72% of total precipitation.  Personally my focus is: How much water for the melt and run-off?...for the fish. Here's how I look at it; .59 x 76= 43.5% of projected water...Geez, we're hoping a  MINIMAL 50%!

Always some nice scenery in the mountains during and after the storms...from within a warm home and outside...
...back deck looking into the forest and  & "Donner Trail" to the Alder Creek camp-sight
One of our "north windows" during the storm

Again; there is a need for a Miracle March...NOT March Miracle!

Friday, December 1, 2017

2017-18 Snow Fall

Last year's snow-fall was record-setting and unbelievable...Curious what the 2017-18 will bring. Personally, I'd prefer an "above normal" year of precipitation/snowfall; for my sanity, in the hope of avoiding a severe case of "shack-nasties" (coined by da Yoda of the Yuba; Ralph Wood)...we mountain-folk are susceptible to such afflictions.
2016-17 snow-pack on north-side of my home at 6500'...early spring

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Received a new, bionic hip last Tuesday; November 9th.
Today is my 7th day of in-house re-hab. I get the staples taken-out this Thursday. I have six (6) specific, physical therapy exercises; three times 3 per day/15 repetitions. I, slowly, walk... sometimes zip around at warp-speed.. around the house in a walker or cane.

I over-did it yesterday; remaining on my feet for extensive amounts of time. STAY OFF YOUR FEET!! Thus far no serious pain, hence no narcotics. Everyone seems pleased with my progress...especially my personal Florence Nightengale...Karen...can't get it any better! 

Thus far I'm very pleased with my progress.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sage Words from the Icons #12

"Never display knowledge...share it"


Doc Robie and son....The "shareable world"...especially with the next generation

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Prepping for Winter

Don't want to think about it...but we have to prepare for winter. I'm almost finished hand-splitting the tree we felled this spring. Then I'll put the tarp over it.
Friday, October 20's snowfall

I also have to put "outdoor stuff" under cover. Looking forward to a few days of sunshine.   OR over-cast skies, ideal for targeting surface-feeders eating the numerous emerging bugs.

Not a bad "either or"
 "HawkEye" hooked-up