Northern California Fly Fishing Guides Trip Reports

Hat Creek Brown Trout on a dry Father and Daughter continue the legacy Leslie with a dry fly trophy 'bow

Trip Reports for May 22 -May 31st:

The fishing has held up surprisingly well considering the unseasonably cold and wet weather we have been experiencing recently.  Hatches have been erratic at best but when they come off we have experienced some of the best fishing ever.  Surprisingly flows are not an issue on any of the area streams with the exception of the Upper Sac which is best left to whitewater enthusiasts.  With fair and much warmer weather in the forecast it appears even better fishing is arriving this weekend.  Click on any pic above to see more photos from last week’s outstanding fishing.

Melodie with a Klamath River Spring Trophy Guide Craig Nielsen started the week with a superb day with Scott and Melodie on the Klamath River.  This delightful couple very much enjoyed all that the Klamath offers this time of year.  Scott is an avid angler while Melodie most enjoys bird watching.  They both enjoy each other’s good company and appreciate the other’s passion, so Melodie caught some nice fish while Scott and Craig attempted to id birds. We did not get the dry fly action we had hoped for but the nymphing was superb, we even managed to hook and land a few spring run Steelhead.

Craig finds a McCloud Trophy Rainbow on his first visit On the following day Craig spent a fruitful day on the McCloud River with an enthusiastic angler, Craig M. an experienced angler who is just getting into the fly fishing game.   The McCloud has been very technical of late but Craig M. opted to give it a go and he was not disappointed.  A quick study, he enjoyed a steady grab all day, hooking fish in most every run and he played well enough to land several including a couple beauties.  The weather held off and magical but moody McCloud was generous to the Craigs on this day!

Don finds a Hat Creek Dry Fly Beauty Don, a seasoned angler who has been a bit too busy to fish regularly of late, fished with Craig the following day.  They divided their adventure,  sampling the Pit River in the morning and Hat Creek in the afternoon.  It was one of those days you dream about, good nymphing in the morning and several fine fish to hand with an afternoon dry fly bite on Hat Creek that was simply silly good.  Don commented that it was his best day of fishing ever.  We are looking forward to getting out together again soon!

Paul peeking over a Rainbow ;>) Paul, a phenomenal friend and regular guest, arrived later in the week with the plan to sample the best fishing in the Shadow of Shasta as well as a first visit to the Fall River.  Unfortunately thunderstorms were in the forecast and sitting in a boat with a graphite rod is tempting fate a bit too much.  Instead Paul and Craig fished the McCloud, Pit and Hat Creek.  The McCloud and Pit each took a litte time to get going each day but then turned on.  As it had earlier in the week, Hat Creek was magical the first day, while the second day required droppers off of dries to manage a consistent grab.  Paul was rewarded by some nice fish, though a few real brutes escaped, he moved his dry fly game up a notch or two in the process.

Guide Aaron Graviel poses Ben's 'bow Leslie with her A well earned trophy For the weekend, it was back to a little known section of Hat Creek with a delightful family of anglers and finally a little sunshine.  Craig Nielsen joined fellow guide Aaron Graviel for some of the finest dry fly fishing imaginable.  Hatches of BWO’s, PMD’s, a few Green Drakes and evening Caddis brought fish to the surface but fooling these fish was no easy task.  Great imitations and perfect presentations were key.  A few of the seasoned family members in the group enjoyed immediate success while others learned the game.  Everyone turned out to be up to the task.  Brooks mentored the newest fisher in the tribe, while Ben caught several fish, including his first trophy wild Rainbow on a dry fly.  Kirby was a quick study and was able to draw a number of takes, hook several as well as landing a few very fine fish.  Leslie was the star student with some well earned fish to hand including a trophy Rainbow that gained her entry into the ShastaTrout Hawg of Fame.

Guide Rick Cox has been focusing his efforts on the McCloud River with good success.  While the fishing has been technical and challenging for even seasoned anglers Rick has used his years of experience to find willing fish for even first time fly fishers.  Roy enjoyed fishing this legendary river with Rick and he was also able to bring his first wild trout to hand on with a fly.  Guide John Rickard also had a great week on the McCloud as well, including some superb days with dry flies.  Unfortunately he had a little misfortune and lost a full box of flies.  If you or someone you know came across it, he is offering a reward.

Alan  Blankenship and Tom Peppas have been plying the Pit River.  They enjoyed great fishing everywhere but on the lowest section of Pit 5 where the water was high and discolored due to tribs.  Most all of the action has been nymphing with the bite a bit quirky, going on and off without much rhyme or reason.  By the end of the day rods had been bent plenty and fun was had by all. Gabe Duran has found the bite consistently good on the Lower Sac even though the flows have come up significantly.

Fred Gordon and Wayne Eng have taken a different approach sampling a different fishery each day.  Wayne has been on the Upper and Lower McCloud, Upper Sac, as well as some local stillwaters and creeks.  Fred spent a few days each on the Lower Sac with Steve and Bill and McCloud Reservoir where the fishing was outstanding including a few nice Browns such as the one Ken is posing in the picture.  He also sampled the McCloud and Pit and was even able to find a few fish on the Upper Sac.  By the end of the week both Fred and Wayne had whitewater with trees floating down the Upper Sac just a few steps from their doorsteps.  It will be several days before it fishes again.

The National Weather Service is calling for warmer weather, today’s rain followed by a couple days of sun and then chances of showers become slim with daytime highs in the upper 70’s and 80’s.   We expect these conditions to make for some very special days on the water, we hope you can joins us soon!  For the latest conditions and to check availability for any of the finest local guides drop us a line!

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