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Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm Not Dreaming of a WHITE CHRISTMAS...

I'm living it!
...the back deck
We're in the middle of the first serious winter storm. 3'-5' of new snow is anticipated at the upper peaks. So far we've received at least 18"+ at our place at 6500'. This should last through Sunday the 23rd. Then on Monday, hopefully, the roads and our driveway will be cleared and we head west "down the mountain" visiting family in Auburn and then to San Francisco to my natal North Beach (...this IS a fly fishing blog, so might as well include a  biological fishery term). We''ll indulge in a Christmas day supper at my sister Rita's home.  For the first time we'll meet a new addition to the family, our grand-nephew Arim. 
Our "northwoods" view from the warmth of our great mountain home
Prior to this blizzard Karen was one of Santa's elves...making sure everyone was nice and not naughty. He flew in for the day and appeared at the Truckee airport. Karen helped with the wish-list writing.
 Click-on the above for larger view of what is requested of Santa
Karen and I wish everyone a safe, happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2013
...a friend's Christmas tree...we've lit-up live ones in our "northwoods" forest
...might as well do a FLY FISHING REPORT: 

Best to ski and glide in the Tahoe-Truckee area right now and for the next couple of months; there will be limited access with an occasional "window" of opportunity. This past week trout were eating midges and San Juan worms. Sub-surface nymphing at mid-day has/will be best. As the winter progresses start looking for black winter stoneflies....water temperatures/sun exposure are key.

Contact me for a reliable update on potential conditions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Definition #16 "RUN FOR DA SUN"


A phrase used during late fall and nearing the winter solstice by mountain fly anglers as they fish a north/south facing stream . Then, the setting sun is very low in the southern horizon. As the sun gets below/behind the mountains/ridges, the air temperature plummets.

The angler then follows the sun, upriver before it sets; using the warmth provided. Then the angler yells to their fishing partner; Let's make a "run for da sun!"

Friday, December 7, 2012

DEFINITION # 15 "WHAT DA @#$% !!"


A water-side exclamation an angler blurts-out at the  totally unexpected moment of a hook-up and head-shakes at the most unlikely and improbable part of the drift. Can also be used as an adjective when used as a preface to "trout"; as in "That was a one heck of a What da @#S% !! trout."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012



How many sides does a snow crystal have?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Truckee Fly Fishing...Betwixt & Between...

...rain, sleet and snow. Or as Kenny Rogers' song intones "...know when to hold'em...fold'em and when to walk away". Well, yesterday (11/28) after a brief one trout session on the LT; I decided to walk away....I haven't put-on my studded tires yet. I have to start thinking about winter fly fishing gear, garb and being comfortable.
wet, cold, sleet-snow
Prior to I experienced three nice sessions and fine weather...betwixt and between
The day after Thanksgiving Pancho and I ventured into the Grand Canyon of the Truckee. We timed the outing hoping to find some surface feeders eating BWO's...never happened. The bugs appeared at 1 PM but no fish ate on top, So we adapted; going down. The two brought to hand, a 15" brown and 13" RB ate a #14 Flesh Juan, under an indicator with two BB-shot.
CyberFly!!...studying a long deep riffle 
Pancho taking a break at a placid pool 
On Monday me and El Presidente (Tahoe-Truckee Fly Fishers current chief) crossed the border into Nevada and  fished the BT east of Reno in the "Mustang" area.
El Presidente worked a long run and hooked-up on some RainBows using a new #12 WhiteFish Egg Pattern he was field-testing. Then Gilligan (aka...da Sheriff of da Canyon) showed-up with  some anglers.
They disembarked and preceded to fish a very nice pool; a quick in-flow at the top with a very nice seam on one edge and a distinct foam-line trailing; a place for some nice Rainbows and big Browns in the quieter water in the gut or tail-out of the pool.
a decent RB was netted and a couple of other hook-ups were LDR'd 
Knowing some weather was approaching I fished the "lower-upper" beat  of the LT on Tuesday, 11/27. It was productive. The cfs was just ramped-up from its near 2+-months of 47 cfs to 87 and then 123..."worm-time"! Yes a #14 Flesh Juan got attention resulting in a quick-action, 2-hour,  7 hook-up/5 land  session of both RB's and Browns from 12"-18". Two browns fell for a trailing #20 BH Olive Midge.
a worm eater
...a slabby RainBow
da midge
da worm

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"General" Season Over...Party Season Starts

Fly fishing continues in the Truckee area, as weather permits. There are windows of opportunity in-between the rain,sleet and snow. ...Please see next report at end of the week. But the party season has begun earlier than normal.
Prior to Thanksgiving we had snow falling,  This year was the first Thanksgiving we stayed on the mountain; merely driving 2 miles to our cousin's place. There we feasted with guests from Ireland, New Zealand, Oregon and the Bay Area. Generally this is the first gathering of friends and families. This year, the mountain party season started at da Artiste and Sakura's wedding party at the former's work studio. Normally we play poker Texas-Hold'em there, but for this occassion it was cleared-out and festively decorated for fun by iconoclist gathering of Truckee folks, Sakura's relatives from Japan and da Artiste's family from Clevland Ohio. Images below reflect the hazy, frolicking time had by all.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trinity Report

da Consigliere laying on the pressure
"Cutting to the chase" is said; we hooked 16 and netted 5; loosing 2 at the net, during three days of floating on the Trinity. Four were hooked/2 landed while "swinging". My noble contribution to the numbers was 5 hooked...ZERO in the net.Four were played for extended amounts of time...aerials, long runs, rolls at the surface etc. Lost one in a willow root, one on an aerial and two merely uncorked. We heard reports of severe numbers such as 32 and 16 hook-ups in one day; but otherwise, overall, our numbers were typical of all the people we spoke with. There was a ton of spawning , dead and dying salmon.We drifted the Sky Ranch to Lime Point area.  We did catch about a dozen "Tiny-Tims" (8"-10" steelhead smolts).

Productive flies were an elognated, #8, 3XL, rubber-legged, dark streamer while swinging a 15' sink-tip via a single-handed rod. For indicator fishing the effective flies were #8 Peach or Pink egg patterns, Prince Nymphs and a #10 Yellow Copper John.
Al Go Fish...going into his backing...on the swing
(click-on image for a clearer image of the line)

The weather was nice with fog in the AM's and clearing in the afternoons. At one time Al Go Fish and da Consigliere were fishing shirtless! I left Weaverville CA at mid-morning and headed home on Thursday (11/8); just ahead of the snow we received here in Truckee during Friday-Saturday.
A rare,wild (intact adipose fin), tagged (blue wire at dorsal) Steelhead
"The moment of truth" the net
A hatchery fish...clipped adipose 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Da Tug is da Drug!

Well I'm off to to the Trinity River in Northern California; staying in Weaverville for some exciting steelhead fishing. For 3-4 days I'll be floating the river with  two good fishing buddies; Da Consiglier and Al Go Fish; both have ventured to Chilean Patagonia with me in the past. From reports we're receiving it may be a re-run (pun intended) of the incredible 2007 season...lots of fish in the river. We'll see. Eventually, I'll post a report with images.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall is here

We had been enjoying a nice Indian summer with clear skies and sunny weather. The fishing has been decent. The main Truckee has produced more willing trout better than the Little Truckee.
The trout have been active and feeding and they've been fooled during late-mornings to mid-afternoon. Deep, sub-surface angling is the best method with an occassional fish taken at/near the surface with downwing patterns trailing size 16-18 droppers...imitating smallish caddis and mayflies or the large October caddis which is available, but in very sparse numbers.

Then Sunday night it started snowing and currently at my home at 6500' feet...thus far...11" of heavy, wet snow has accumulated on my "measurement rail". So, it is officially FALL; according to both the calendar and my personal progostication.
Geez, it sure looks like winter right now though. back deck and the "measurement rail"
at 10"+...with a bit more due
This snow will burn-off in a couple of days and then we'll have a few weeks of fall fishing conditions...and hopefully big trout...It is that time of year.
...before the snow

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Sign of Fall

A sure sign of Fall is when one gets split-wood delivered into your drive-way. Then you laboriously move it..."moving da Pile"...and then stacking it neatly where it is easily accessible during the anticipated snows of winter. One has do do this early just in case there is an early snow-fall during October...such as 2010.
It is a slow process!
That eventually ends-up with a full wood-locker outside our front door.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Some rain this morning,  mild winds have started-up starting at noon, waters are low & clear. There is a changing weather pattern, but not autumn...almost. Very few peope on the local waters so one has options to fly fishing numerous places; both lake inlets and moving waters...take your pick.

Here's are recent e-communication Q & A:


"Got any tips,
Best times; late morning to mid-afternoon.

 ...where and what?
Above Boca inflow; below is higher more difficult wading…most productive method this week has been indicator rigs, 2 BB-shot, San Juan trailing # 16-18 Flash-Back Pheasant-Tails or Hare’s Ears. Dry/dropper has produced fewer takes, hook-ups and lands. “Stick & Move” and cover the water methodically. There are few, if any rising fish right now on either BT or LT although progressively were seeing more Psuedocleons,  Mahogany duns (?) and smallish caddis with an occasional larger ones, Olive Stones and of course midges (LT) although I personally have not seen any October Caddis on either water. Largest trout thus far this week has been 18” RainBow. And yes, we’re starting to observe Browns migrating…in pairs…preparing for the spawn; but not on redds yet….if so LEAVE THEM ALONE!"

 OH, Sunday may not be a good day to be on the water. It is Truckee River Day on the 14th....there will be 400-500 volunteers doing various projects on the watershed."
"Thanks for the report. Probably coming up next week. I’ll check with you then see what’s up.
OK, I’ll be guiding Monday- Thursday so I’ll have an idea what’s happening. Call, I’ll try to get back.

Little Truckee fishing well??
It has been tough...only 47 cfs. There are bugs ,but few risers.; even with the presence of adults of all four aqautics! Midges are dark and tiny at #20-24 (larva and pupae patterns are best options), PsuedoCleon mayflies sized 20, caddis from 20 to as big as 12's...personally have not seen the October Caddis (the "False-Fall caddis", yes) and #18-20 Olive stoneflies. Fished hooked have been sub-surface...with an occassional at the surface.

The Truckee is just starting to produce…sometimes we have to work for the fish. 

 Heard there are caddis hatches on the upper Sac.
Probably an early appearance of the October Caddis.

Does that occur this time of year up there as well???
There are October Caddis here but in sparse numbers compared to the upper Sac or McCloud."
 Nevertheless, fly fishing is now productive and will get even better during the next 8 weeks...before the snows fall in earnest...big trout time of year! Timely is critical, best to be at the start of the up-swing than later; it could really bust-out any day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nearing the "Second Season"...

The ground vegetation, alder, cottonwood and aspen, are changing colors; the leaves are progressively being blown free when we get the occcassional brisk wind. We are experiencing some early fall weather with mild winds and warm sun late-morning to mid-afternoon. Right now we're experiencing warm days and few clouds, but last week there were late-afternoon dark clouds with no precipitation..a precursor of autumn. Regardless, we're really not into the 'second season' in a bit of wet weather; preferably drizzly and frosty mornings. Both we fly anglers and the trout love damp weather and clouds.
Overall fly fishing is definitely improving in the Truckee area. The waters are cooling, although low and clear, the trout  are progressively feeding more on the slowly increasing aquatic emergences we're starting to observe. Fall is in the air and the trout feel it. It is a great time to be in the mountains; few anglers, pleasant days and venturing-out mid-morning in lieu of early mornings and/or dusk fishing.

Per my recent magazine advertisements

"Solitude...long leaders...short days...stout tippets..."picking pockets"...and other opportunities"*
    Myriad Choices:

Tantalizing, Agressive Pre-Spawn Browns with Streamers

"Picking Pockets" with Dry/Droppers

Casting "Far & Fine" with Tiny
BWO's being Slurped by Sippers
Swing Ascending October
Caddis Pupae in Tail-Outs
...and other options"**

*  Sierra Fisherman...Fall 2012
**October 2012...California Fly Fisher

Friday, September 28, 2012

Busman's Holiday Epilogue

 What a great holiday! A week in the really High Sierra; the "eastern-side"...along interstate #395. We camped  at 9550' (Tunbull Lake) in the Virginia Lakes area, northern Hoover Wilderness. Access was west of Conway Summit (8300'). We hiked and fly fished at Blue and Red Lakes; 10,100' and 10,500'. Yes, I was very winded even though the treks were less than 2 miles. 
Hoover Wilderness sign on trail 
                                                           Virginia Lake...a drive to
Blue Lake...10,100'...Brookies
        Red Lake...hike to above 10,000'...looking for cruising Brookies from a high-vantage point
The Brookies...and the fewer Goldens (...from 20 Lakes Basin of SaddleBag Lake area, below) were in the 7"-11" range and they ate both on the surface via dries or sub-surface via varying retrieves. Surface patterns were # 18 ParaChute Adams and #16 Elk Hairs. Effective nymphs were #18 Chartreuse Copper Johns and #20 Black Midge Pupae.
                          Salmo Aqua Bonita (current scientific name?)
                                                         ...California's state fish
After three nights of car-camping we went to a friend's very nice condo in Mammoth Lakes. From there we drove to the SaddleBag Lake area (southern entrance to the  Hoover Wilderness) and took the taxi across SaddleBag Lake, disembarking, then a vigorous 1-1/2 mile hike on to Conness Lake
Conness Lake (10,500')
 The short hike through granite...


There is a great article in the October '12 issue of California Fly Fisher magazine about planning a self-guided trip along highway #395 and accessing all the fabulous, high-elevation waters on the "east-side" of the central High Sierra.