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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sage Words from the Icons #11

Heywood "da Mountain Man"...hooked-up!

Fly Fishing

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

ARNOLD GINGRICH
1969
Let'em Breathe!


"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

Arnold Gingrich, 1969


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yikes..MOSQUITOS!


                             
                                                                                                             holykaw.altop.com
..they are here, they'll get denser in the coming weeks. Be prepared. They'll eat you like they did to me yesterday.
express.co.uk

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Truckee Area Angling Conditions

da Entertainer and Captain Chris at the Swimming Hole

My prognosis on Truckee area fly angling conditions are pretty much spot-on relative to this excerpt of my blog entry "Musing About Spring 2017"
(http://flyfishingcalifornia.blogspot.com/2017/03/musing-about-spring-2017.html)

"...the Spring of 2017 in the Truckee area will be the REVERSE of Spring of 2014. Angling and/or water conditions will be a minimum of  four (4) weeks later than a "normal" season...possibly even 6-8 weeks later."

...Been plying the local waters and I'm going to confirm that we're beyond the minimum four weeks behind relative to a "normal" season. Now I can verify the 6-8 weeks later seems to be about right. As of today we anglers are netting mostly RainBows to 19"...best I've heard through the "grapevine" is a 23" Brown.

My favorite "Hat-Trick" small waters are on the cusp of optimum conditions relative to flows and water temperatures. Do remember that these, IMO, have an approximately a 10-day window of prime angling opportunity. The sequence being; initially a) the water is too high and cold. b) then, fishable flows but still too cold, c) to right flows and water temps [the "10-day window"...fish it!] and ultimately, d) water is too low and too warm...forgetaboutit!

Snow-melt and its resulting run-off is...hopefully...waning. Flows on BT remain heavy with clearing flows and warming water temps. Sub-surface methods will continue to be the most effective techniques; as well on the dammed and undammed sections of the LT. Neither two rivers have rising trout pursuing bugs at the surface...yet. "Selected" stream-inlets into stillwaters have been productive to "on-fire"...
                                                                   JR hooked-up

There is currently no access to both Webber and Milton lakes.

There will be no "dog-days of summer" this year. we'll have plenty of water during the months of August and September...everything will be 6-8 weeks behind a "normal" season...as noted above.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sage Words from the Icons #10


Politics

“If the client brings it up, you can respond, if and only if, you agree. Even then, it is best to steer things in another direction. Most of us get mad when we think about politics, and angry people don’t fish well. I know, I’ve tried it.”
JOHN GIERACH
…from “Guiding & Being Guided” chapter in Sex, Death & Fly Fishing

My Comment: Over the years if a client persists with casual innuendos about politics to see where I’m coming from politically; initially I let the first few attempts slide-by, ignoring the comments. If they persist, then Frankie da Curmudgeon makes an appearance.

I’ve sort of paraphrased Gierach as in: “Politics pisses people-off. And people who are ticked-off can’t fish very well. The only politics I’m receptive to discuss, if you’re willing and you are paying for my time, is fishery politics.




Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day

Let us not forget what Memorial Day is about. It commemorates and honors those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today...Never forget them.

Some of us have served in a combat zone...and lost friends. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

NATIVE SONS TOUR in Truckee


The CONCEPT: Through many years of guiding fly anglers in the Tahoe-Truckee and Graeagle areas; both Jon Baiocchi of Baiocchi’s Troutfitters and Frank R. Pisciotta have noticed a trend. Many of their experienced fly angling clients visiting for the first time or having previously fished the area expressed an interest in becoming more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the local “wild trout” fisheries; hoping to minimize their “prospecting” time. They engaged Jon or Frank’s services with their prime focus being an orientation to local waters; being guided and catching trout being secondary. These fly anglers want to be briefed about:

1—Most productive techniques
2—Local bugs and respective fly patterns
3—Seasonally ideal angling times
4—Key access points of selected waters

The SPECIFICS: The Tour is designed to give fly anglers what they need to know to be successful when venturing on selected special regulation sectors of the Big Truckee, from the town of Truckee to Hirschdale, and the Little Truckee below Stampede dam. Fly fishers will learn of access points, equipment, tactics, techniques, flies, entomology, and local inside knowledge. The Tour entails a “meet & greet” and PowerPoint presentation on Friday evening. Attendees receive a Tour Packet consisting of a map, essays on both waters, and a hatch chart. A bonus is a copy of the original Truckee & Little Truckee Tips. Saturday we auto-caravan; participates providing their own transportation. Lunch and drinks are included. After lunch we wader up (bring your own gear) and split into two fishing groups; similar to a guide trip.

Tours are limited to six (6). Jon and Frank know they can easily enroll more tour guests, but they want to assure a high quality experience. We maintain a maximum 3-1 ratio of attendee to “tour” guide. Minimally, one of us will conduct the tour and there is a probability that both will conduct the tours jointly.

The TOUR GUIDES: Jon and Frank are the founders of the Native Sons Tours. They are “born & raised” northern Californians with a combined 54 years of guiding fly anglers exclusively on their “home waters” and a near-century, 94 years of fly fishing experience. The tour information dispensed is reliable, timely and ingrained from Jon and Frank’s vast experience. Simply, experience does count. They have always tailored guide trips to the specific desires and skills of the individual client and have planned guest’s time accordingly. Hence the genesis of the Native Sons Tours; to provide a group of experienced fly rodders a short learning curve and cost-effective investment in their angling time.

May 19-20. June 23-24

FEE: $250 per Angler

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

E-QUICKIE FISHING REPORT # 19



Today

"...BT is high, but those who move around looking for soft-water along the banks are getting decent fish and occasionally numbers. Seems that when you locate one, there will be several others in a pod.…Best method is high-stick/tight-lining; your forte.


Last week fished the LT inlet at Boca. In three, 2-hour sessions I netted healthy/thick 16”-18” RB’s...#8 Pat’s Rubberleg/SJ Worm tandem rig, under an indicator and lead. Expect crowds. Inflatables & drift-boats there. Speaking of which, I’m buying a drift-boat (15’ Hyde) to fish the inlets and Milton Lake. Anyone is welcome to fish with me; providing they row this old man (eventually will get motor) and tow boat/trailer.

The inlets will be productive ALL season!"






Friday, March 31, 2017

TRUCKEE TRIVIA #30...Answer

...was thinking this was another easy one similar to TT #28...Got to make things easier?

Answer:

Horner's Corner is  located 6 miles east of the town of Truckee via interstate #80. One first passes the "West Bridge" and after a 1/4 mile one crosses the "East Bridge", This area is known as "The Loop".

The big pool at the apex of "The Loop" (below the dripping/water stained sandstone cliff) is named after Jack Horner who originated the Deer Hair Horner fly ...alternately known as the Goofus Bug or the Humpy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Throw-Back PR #2...Early Season: May & June

Below is a loooong-ago, throw-back from Thy Rod & Staff's first, printed, 8-panel brochure; circa 1984. It was part of the brochure's The Seasons section entitled Early Season: May & June.

"Spring brings volumes of snow run-off. The main Truckee River, flowing out of Lake Tahoe, is an 'iffy' proposition. Consequently, the small tributary creeks and streams become a primary target. They host unselective, but wary, trout that can be readily taken on attractor dries or suggestive nymphs. Opportunity for performing a 'hat trick' of rainbows, brooks and browns is a likely proposition. A 14" fish would be considered a trophy.

The Little Trucke River sustains a larger population of trout. 18"-20" browns are known to inhabit some of the meadow sections below the headwaters of Weber Lake. They show themselves at dusk; about the only time they are vulnerable to a well-placed fly.

The lakes are prime during this period. After a wintry season of marginal sustenance, browns and rainbows are taken by determined float-tubers. On Milton Lake (2-limit; single, barbless artificials only; maximum 12") imitations of all stages of the Callibaetis, damsel and dragonfly nymphs produce quarry in the 1-3 pound range. If you are fortunate, you may witness a flying-ant migration; Milton Browns have been known to aggressively and steadily work the surface for 2-3 hours.

At Martis Lake (no-kill single barbless artificials only), California's first "Wild Trout" lake, the trophy 5-8 pound browns are taken on deeply sunk, properly manipulated leech and dragonfly nymph imitations. Redband Rainbows, Lahontan Cutthroat and "cut-bows" are available in more manageable sizes".

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Musing About Spring 2017

Let'em Breathe!

"With some initial reluctance, we were hesitant to write this article on spring-time fly fishing strategies on California’s moving waters. Then on second thought, considering the below precipitation and the dreaded D-word, fly anglers should envision thinking tactics 6-8 weeks earlier than a “normal” season; as in late-April and May, replicating June and early-July conditions"

Such was the opening paragraph of an article I authored entitled "Musing About Spring" which appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Sierra Fisherman magazine.

...that got me thinking; the Spring of 2017 in the Truckee area will be the REVERSE of Spring of 2014. Angling and/or water conditions will be a minimum of  four (4) weeks later than a "normal" season...possibly even 6-8 weeks later.   My prognosis is that we'll have plenty of water this season in the Truckee area. The big Truckee should fish well throughout August into September...essentially no "dog days of summer". The only caveat being water temperatures.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

TRUCKEE TRIVIA #30

Question:

Where is Horner's Corner?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

TRUCKEE TRIVIA # 29

Question:

Locally, what is the infamous "hatch of 1996"? Where did it occur?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Wintertime Fly Anling Advice

Below is a selected excerpt on winter angling on the big Truckee river (BT); from my essay appearing in the current February 2017 issue of California Fly Fisher entitled "Truckee River Primer"

Simply, in winter...Get down where the trout are!...otherwise limited success

"...Wintertime angling has been legal since the 2008 season. From mid-November through March, the savvy Truckee angler doesn’t appear on-stream until midday, when the water is warmest. Access in the snow is always an issue. As needed, I strap on snowshoes to reach my preferred water. Their use prevents “postholing” — punching through the snow crust — which can result in ankle sprains and hyperextended knees. In lieu of the snowshoes, rubber or plastic-soled wading shoes are better than felt soles, which collect big clumps of snow.

Winter trout inhabit soft water — mild currents, shoreline edges, and quiet, deep pools. There are only limited times when you can present a dry fly to surface-feeding trout, so the most productive ploy is to probe subsurface, methodically, "low and slow", because the trout will not move much to intercept your offering.

Whichever load-and-lob method you use, be it tight-lining, indicator fishing, or the currently fashionable, “Euro” nymphing, get the fly down. The fish are at the bottom of the stream, and that is where you need to present the fly. I advise fishing searching rigs featuring tandem big/small flies with lead as needed, or chucking streamers.

The aquatic bugs available to trout during the winter are the ever-present midges in all segments of their life cycle, the ubiquitous little black Winter Stonefly adults that pepper the snow banks, and Skwala Stonefly nymphs and adults. Starting in March, the angler will start seeing the first brood of Blue-Winged Olives and March Brown adults, but there will be few trout actively feeding at the surface".

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show

I'll be in my long-time Truckee Guide NetWork booth during the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show (www.flyfishingshow.com); February 24-26. Please come-by and introduce yourselves. 2017 marks my 34th year  guiding and instructing exclusively in  the Truckee area via my guide service Thy Rod & Staff.

As always, I'll be presenting in the Destination Theater.   This year's PP presentation is entitled Truckee Area Fly Angling Options. I'll be presenting at 1PM on Friday and 10AM on Saturday.

This year marks the 5th year of the best "bang-for-your-buck", Native Sons Tours. Both Jon Baiocchi and I have been guiding thousands on our "home-waters", the Truckee and Graeagle areas for a cumulative 54 years! We are energized in sharing our knowledge, local lore and fly fishing history; no revisionism.
Don't Be Fooled...Get Schooled! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Throw-Back PR #1...Angling for Good Times

"Angling for Good Times" appeared on the cover of Our Town, Truckee magazine, April-May 1994.

The Healing Art of Fly Fishing was in the issue; authored by Patrick Mooney.  Below are comments I contributed during a phone interview.

"...'Fishing is an excuse to take a walk in nature, cleanse your mind and recharge your thinking...'a total experience' in freestone and freshwater fly angling in the Truckee River...Pisciotta strives to get people 'to relax , have  a great time and enjoy the mountain angling experience'...has recommended the sublime art as a therapeutic tool for one of his clients---a psychiatrist. 'It does wonders for the mental health of harried urbanites'...'enjoy the camaraderie'

It would seem, though, that the real joy Pisciotta gets out of his guide service is not necessarily providing opportunities to people---its the friendships he builds from it. 'I'm a people person basically, and enjoy the challenge of spending a day fishing with people I've never met before'.

They may have been strangers when they hired him , but many of  Frank's clients have become friends because of the shared experience of fly fishing the Sierra together. 'As a mater of fact, I'm having dinner tonight with a couple I guided back in the mid-80''s'  "




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sage Words from the Icons #9

Dry Fly Fishing

"All first class fishermen on the sea of Galilee were fly fishermen, and John, the favorite, was a dry fly-fisherman."

NORMAN McCLEAN 
...from
"A River Runs Through It"

My Comment: One of my FRANKISMS is:

"A trout fly angler is in denial if he says he does not prefer dry fly fishing"


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

E-QUICKIE #18 FISHING REPORT


Admittedly, there hasn't been a lot of opportunity to get on the water the last six weeks; limited access and blizzard-like conditions being the main culprits. We've had a record-breaking amount of snow for the month of January in the Truckee area; 220"-plus! It still continues; albeit currently very wet and heavy (makes for labored shoveling!), turning to sleet and now a deluge of rain during the last day and predicted through this week-end. I'm not complaining, we really need it. The down-side is that we local residents then to get cases of the mentally debilitating "shack-nasties"...the cure is to go fishing.
"cuz Jeff" with a "winter" RainBow

Here's a recent E-QUICKIE:

2/4---"...limited area to fish; only one access/parking…an experienced fly angler fished 3-1/2 hours...hooked three/landed two…both 16” rainbows… indicator nymphing…cold water at 39-41 degrees…#20 black Disco Midge and # 16 Yellow Stonefly nymph being the productive patterns"


Hmmm...which way?

once there...solitude





TRUCKEE TRIVIA # 28...ANSWER

I  thought this was a easy one, guess not

Answer:

Looking downstream...The left channel of the big Truckee River immediately below the Little Truckee River inflow at Boca.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Truckee River Winter Fly Fishing Advice...In lieu of an Actual Fishing report

Actually, haven't been fishing; merely scouting-out access points for when I do get the urge.
                                                                                     John Roberts Image

In lieu of an actual fishing report I'll provide some practical Truckee River winter, fly angling advice; excerpted from an article I recently authored in California Fly Fisher magazine. 

"Wintertime angling has been legal since the 2008 season. Late-November, December through March, the savvy Truckee angler doesn’t appear on-stream until midday, when the water is warmest. Access in the snow is always an issue. As needed, I strap on snowshoes to reach my preferred water. Their use prevents “postholing” — punching through the snow crust — which can result in ankle sprains and hyperextended knees. In lieu of the snowshoes, rubber or plastic-soled wading shoes are better than felt soles, which collect big clumps of snow.

            Winter trout inhabit soft water — mild currents, shoreline edges, and quiet, deep pools. There are only limited times when you can present a dry fly to surface-feeding trout, so the most productive ploy is to probe subsurface, methodically, "low and slow", because the trout will not move much to intercept your offering. Whichever load-and-lob method you use, be it tight-lining, indicator fishing, or the currently fashionable, “Euro” nymphing, get the fly down. The fish are at the bottom of the stream, and that is where you need to present the fly. I advise fishing searching rigs featuring tandem big/small flies with lead as needed, or chucking streamers.

            The aquatic bugs available to trout during the winter are the ever-present midges in all parts of their life cycle, the ubiquitous little black Winter Stonefly adults that pepper the snow banks, and both Skwala Stonefly nymphs and adults. Starting in March, the angler will start seeing the first brood of Blue-Winged Olives and March Brown adults, but there will be few trout actively feeding at the surface."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Truckee River Trout...Love Snow!

...still snowing with an occasional break...thought it'd be fun showing what a snow-shut-in views from within
Our "front-door"...ain't going to be using for awhile...way too much snow even for my snow-blower

Our bedroom window...guessing a 8' snow-drift

Back-deck pile-up...better start shoveling or we'll be in an igloo soon



Friday, January 20, 2017

TRUCKEE TRIVIA #28

Question:

Where is this?


Snow, rain, sun and snow...

A BELATED REPORT:

BEEN REALLY BUSY SHOVELING AND PUSHING SNOW ...sometimes wet and other times fluffy..OFF THE BACK DECK...RUNNING OUT OF STORAGE/STACKING AREAS...I'M GUESSING A MINIMUM  6' AT OUR HOME AT 6500' IN TRUCKEE SINCE THE START OF THESE CONTINUING SNOWS.

Well thus far it has been an interesting New Year, geographically, socially and weather-wise.

We both attended our very first New Year's Eve wedding. The son of a fraternity brother got married during a religious ceremony, followed by dinner, drinking , dancing, fireworks (filtered)along the SF waterfront......and two nights in my boyhood room in North Beach.

 Outdoor Deck...cocktails...before, during and after food
Dancing Music 
Happy New Year!!
SF Bay...and Bay Bridge
On Jan 2 we headed back "up the mountain" into a low snow-line at Colfax at mid-day and happy and comfy at home awaiting the weather. Its been snow, rain, sun, blue skies, snow, slush on and off for the last two weeks...with a series of snow or another week. Bring it on, nature needs all of it.
Settled In...Our north windows diorama





mostly grey skies, white-outs with continued snows....and brief periods of sun and blue skis and wispy clouds


...Almost a black/white image via natural light

Black-outs, Brown-outs, no WiFi, phones (used our old land line connection), TV...lots of candles and LED solar and battery-powered lanterns. Been fun and I'm getting my exercise shoveling...I'm running out of space where to put snow off my back-deck. Fortunately we have snow-removal service for the front drive-way.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sage Words from the Icons #8

Catch and Release

"The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish caught isn't someone else's gift to you?"

Lee Wulff