Northern California’s Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

Join me at Spey-O-Rama April 22-24th

Amy Hazel throws a lazer loopSpey-O-Rama @ Golden Gate Casting Club

San Francisco, April 22-24

I will be visiting the historic Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club to attend the Spey-O-Rama this coming weekend.

Anglers from across the globe gather for an extended weekend of friendly competition, camaraderie, and the opportunity to sample the wares of the leading developers of two handed toys. Join me for one day or more, it is a relaxed and fun affair in a beautiful setting.

You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and compare notes with a number of friends and associates, including the maker of magic wands, Gary Anderson of ACR, champion caster, instructor & proprieter of Lost Coast Outfitters, George Revel , and the author of A Passion for Steelhead, Dec Hogan.  Just watching the amazing casts made by these talented competitors and teachers is worth the price of admission. Oops, I almost forgot to mention it’s free!

Klamath River Chrome

BlueHeronSpey

Photo courtesy of fly fishing guide Brandon Worthington

April 15, 2016

I fished the Klamath a few days this week.  The river dropped again and flows are now at 1420 cfs with water temps at 54-55 degrees, which is ideal!  The water color is still a bit off at one and one half to two feet or so, I prefer water that has 2-3 feet of visibility.  On these trips we caught bright, well conditioned adult steelhead each day, along with a few juvenile fish.  As is typical this time of year each angler enjoyed two to six grabs a day on the swing with half to a third of the fish hooked, not outrageously great but consistently better than most other steelhead destinations I know of this time of year!  I still have a few dates open in the coming weeks drop a line if you are interested in joining me.

crystal Klamath steelie

Photo courtesy of guide Brandon Worthington

A Winter’s Tail: Steelheading in Southern Oregon

UmpquahenApril 4, 2016

Amazing weather has arrived in Northern California and Southern Oregon and steelhead rivers, including the Klamath have come into prime shape after weeks of high off color water.  I took the opportunity last week to take the advice of my good friend and fellow guide Brandon Worthington to visit the Umpqua River as he had enjoyed some recent success. He pointed me to some good runs, suggested strategies and flies and put me on some active fish, everything but cast the rod for me.   It couldn’t have gone much better, I went one for three in a day and an evening, and was able to tail a beautiful and sizable hen in the exact spot she was supposed to be, in the heart of a run below the shade of a magnificent overhanging Cottonwood, on a fly recommended by Brandon.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

UmpquarunUmpquahen_1I had such a good time, I am headed back to fish the river again tomorrow with Brandon and my good friend, Tim, hopefully with the perfect conditions we’ll find a few more. Give Brandon a shout if you’d like him to take you out and show you a few of his secrets.

The Klamath River dropped into shape in the last few days and I’ll be checking it out on my way back home.  While many steelhead will be spawning, the Klamath continues to get fresh fish all spring.  I have always ceased nymphing for steelhead in the spring as it is difficult to avoid the spawners, but by editing the water I fish and swinging flies the past few seasons I have been successfully able to target the fresh fish and avoid hooking spawners.  If you’d care to join me, just drop me a line.

 

Chasing Chrome Ghosts on the Oregon Coast

Brandonhen2_1March 21-24

Local rivers including the Klamath have been quite high and off color due to recent storms so when I received an invitation to join some close friends to chase Steelhead with two handed rods this week on the Oregon Coast I topped off the tank and headed out.  Chasing winter steelhead is not a numbers game, a fish a day is considered extremely good fishing.  The first challenge is to find rivers that have fishable conditions, then to find a river with decent numbers of fish and finally to entice steelhead that are not eager to grab a fly into taking yours.  It feels a bit like chasing ghosts. Four days of fishing with a bit more than a 1,000 miles of driving yielded two fish for me as well as a few for some fine friends as well as a new friend, including a hot hen that jumped seven times for fellow guide Brandon Worthington that I will not soon forget.Brandon admires his bright hen

Southern Oregon Steelhead guide Brandon Worthington enjoys the hotest winter steelhead I’ve seen!

Brandonhen2Coastal ChromeBrandonhen_1

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Tim swings a tailout under the canopy of the upper river.

Many thanks to kind friends Tim, Katie, Brandon, Crystal and Gui for the invitation and some awesome time together in a magical setting as well as new friend Jay for hosting us and sharing his knowledge on his home river. Contact Brandon at http://www.worthingtonflyfishing.com/ for guided steelhead trips on the Rogue, Umpqua, Applegate and Klamath Rivers.

Winter Steelhead flies & fly fishing report

Upper SacramentoMarch 11, 2016

March has come in like a lion with heavy rain across the shadow of Shasta and snow at higher elevations.  With a mild February we had dropped below annual averages for rainfall and snowpack but recent storms will bring us a bit above the average.  Flows on local rivers have been high and off color, with even the Klamath blowing out.  I checked on the Klamath yesterday and the water out of Irongate is steelhead green with the creeks, including Bogus (just below the dam) pushing in all the muddy water.  This means that the Klamath will likely be fishable, perhaps as soon as tomorrow if the current storm is not too strong but certainly by midweek when the storm system is scheduled to pass and March goes out like a lamb with daytime temps pushing 60.  The coming weeks will be your last shot at winter steelhead and I still have a few dates available, drop me a line if you are able to join me.

Sculpin tubeTo prepare for the coming weeks on the Klamath as well as some Oregon steelhead streams, I have been enjoying some time tying flies, including a few new tube fly designs that I have been pleased to find to be  quite effective on the Klamath as well as some rivers in Southern Oregon. Come join me and tie one on!

Chart tubeorangetruderNow is also time to schedule a spring trout trip on the Upper Sac or McCloud as my schedule typically fills early. The Upper Sac will clear quickly, and the McCloud opens April 30th.  With current water conditions, it appears that spring (May & June), when we have our most productive hatches will be the best season to visit.  Drop me a line for details and available dates.  Blue tube

As I mentioned previously, I have made some changes to Shasta Trout beginning this season. I have joined my good friends at Flywater Travel as a commissioned agent selling worldwide fly fishing travel adventures. While I will continue to personally guide trips on the Upper Sac, McCloud and Klamath Rivers, all future bookings with local guides who worked with Shasta Trout will now be scheduled through Flywater Travel.  I am also able to expand offerings to schedule trips for you with many other local Northern California guides.  In addition, I will be hosting a few trips to select destinations this season including a steelhead trip this September to the Skeena & Bell Irving as well as a trout trip in August to Montana.  If you are interested in an adventure or just care to chat, please drop me a line.

Bugs & Brews at the Ashland Flyshop

February 27, 2016

IMG_2053I took some time off yesterday from rehab on my torn rotator cuff therapy to join some friends at the Ashland Flyshop for their Bugs & Brews fly tying workshop hosted by Southern Oregon Steelhead guide and shop guru Jon Hazlett.  Charles Gear, who I work with at Flywater Travel, was the featured tier.  We were joined by Will Johnson, the owner of the Ashland Flyshop, Brandon Worthington a local guide , Dylan Thomas from Flywater and about a dozen local anglers.  Charles demonstrated an articulated Intruder and a General Beauregard.  I picked up a few new tying tricks (including mounting feathers flat & spinning hair & dubbing) and enjoyed pizza & a beer while sharing tall tales (all completely true) in an informal and friendly setting.  What a great time. Thanks guys!

IMG_2056If you are interested in attending upcoming Bugs & Brews sessions (or one of their other events) here is a link: http://www.ashlandflyshop.com/classes-and-clinics/  or just drop the shop a line, I hope to see you there!

Shasta Trout Fishing Report & Flywater Travel News

February 26, 2016
Upper SacramentoI haven’t posted in a while as I’ve made some changes to Shasta Trout beginning this season. I have joined my good friends at Flywater Travel as a commissioned agent selling worldwide fly fishing travel adventures. While I will continue to personally guide trips on the Upper Sac, McCloud and Klamath Rivers, all future bookings with local guides who worked with Shasta Trout will now be scheduled through Flywater Travel.  I am also able to expand offerings to book you with many other Northern California guides as well as trips to destinations worldwide you might be interested in visiting and fishing, such as Trout and Salmon in Alaska, Steelhead in B.C., Wild Trout in the Rockies, Trophy Trout in New Zealand, Trout and Exotics in South America, Kamchatka, Mongolia, Slovenia, well, you get the idea.  If I don’t have the answers someone at Flywater Travel has been there and does. In addition, I will be hosting a few trips to select destinations every season.  Each week I will be sending you the latest Flywater Travel News along with a note about where I’ve been fishing and how it’s been.  I hope to hear from you.  If you are interested in a trip or just care to chat, please drop me a line.
IMGP2370IMGP2368I have been fishing the past several weeks for steelhead both on the Klamath and on some new water in Southern Oregon with mixed results which is typical of winter fishing as we are chasing water conditions as well as fish.  Southern Oregon is just turning on with fresh steelhead starting to show in the Upper Rogue, Applegate, Umpqua as well as on the coast. Conditions on the Klamath have improved with lower flows, clearing water, warmer temps and fresh fish. Guests new to Spey fishing this week went two for four and I expect it to only improve.  Now is the time to schedule your spring trip. Drop me a line for available da
TRUSTED ADVICE – EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

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The winter steelhead season is underway and, in typical fashion, conditions have been in constant flux. One of the things we love about the spring steelhead season in British Columbia is that there is a lot less variation in water conditions. Here is an overview of the prime spring steelhead openings in BC this year.

Skeena Spey
A great riverside lodge on the Skeena with skilled instructors and stays of any length welcome.
Available dates:
March 20 – 25: 1 spot
March 26 – 31: 3 spots
April 10 – 16: 6 spots
April 17 – 23: 3 spots
Rate = CAD$5,400 + tax per person for a 6 night / 5 day package 

Spey Lodge
The most upscale of the Terrace operations with a loyal base of international guests.
Available dates:
April 24 – 30: 2 spots
Rate = CAD$5,450 + tax per person for a 7 night / 6 day package

Nicholas Dean Lodge
A proven year-round salmon and steelhead operation with great meals and accommodations.
Available dates:
March 20 – 26
Rate = CAD$4,750 + tax per person for a 6 night / 5 day package 

Skeena River Lodge
A fabulous value with a rock solid fishing program and some of the most productive guides in BC.
Available dates:
April 23 – 30
Rate = $3,800 + tax per person for a 7 night / 6 day package

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Why would you travel into the jungle, stay in a rustic and simple lodge and often blindcast for hours to tarpon that has so much natural food that they can be hard to tempt with flash and feathers? The answer is simple: Because these jungle tarpon are big. That’s right; B-I-G! Genuine 200 pound plus fish swim these waters and fish of 150 lbs or more are hooked on most weeks.

Interested in catching a tigerfish of a lifetime? Simply put: The Mnyera and the Ruhudji rivers are the best it gets. This is the only destination on the planet where you can target tigerfish that consistently reset the bar as to what is possible tigerfishing.

A float trip down Alaska’s Kisaralik River offers an unparalleled wilderness fly fishing experience. This is a pristine wilderness river, consistently providing Alaska rainbow trout and salmon fly fishing that is off the charts. The only way to truly access the potential of the Kisaralik River is to float it, there are no lodges on the river. For this reason you will rarely see other people out there, making the Kisaralik River ideal for an Alaska wilderness fly fishing float trip.