Northern California’s Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

Winter Steelhead Fishing: several weeks remain, get here soon!

UntitledMarch 6

I just completed the longest period in recent memory without wetting a line, nearly a month.   Local river conditions have been extremely high and off color, not conducive to boating or fishing what so ever.  I had to cancel all guided trips during the month of February as a result. Flows on the Klamath River, typically one of the last to blow out and first to come back into shape, just returned to fishable levels last Friday and I am excited to get back on the Klamath over the next month to wrap up the winter steelhead season.  I do have a few remaining openings if you are anxious to feel the electricity of a steelhead on the end of your line, just give me a ring.

UntitledUntitledSpeaking of the electricity of a steelhead on the line, before the Klamath dropped last week, I took the opportunity to join my good friend (and fellow guide) Brandon Worthington (Worthington Flyfishing) who is guiding on the Oregon Coast.  The river was surprisingly low and exceptionally clear, not the conditions we typically wish for on the coast.  Brandon assured me that he has done well in these conditions and he was correct, I enjoyed the best coastal fishing I have ever experienced, particularly considering there were very few other anglers around.  In two days I hooked a dozen fish, though I only landed three.  All of the fish were of the highest quality imaginable, bright and hot with a few going well into the double digits in weight, (check additional photos on the ShastaTrout Flickr site).  On the drive back I stopped to fish the Umpqua with friend James Sampsel who has guided for a number of outfitters but recently opened his own guide service Humble Heron featuring southern Oregon rivers. The Umpqua and Rogue have also just recently dropped into shape and should fish well for another month or so.  Both Brandon and James have some upcoming dates available, I would encourage you to drop a line if you (like me) need to get your steelhead fix before the season ends.

Holiday Gift Special & Shasta Area Fishing Report

‘Tis the Season of Thanks

I am writing to give thanks for helping me to live the dream life, guiding fly fishing in Mt. Shasta California, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and traveling the world fly fishing. As a small token of my appreciation I am offering a holiday special.  Gift certificates can be purchased for a 10% discount.  I hope this might be the perfect gift this holiday for you, a family member or fly fishing friend.

Guide rates for 2017 will remain at $495 per guide per day, so this holiday special means a savings of $50.  This offer includes any available dates in 2017 for walk and wade trips on the McCloud, or Upper Sacramento, or Steelhead Spey & Switchrod driftboat trips on the Klamath River.

Purchase one day or several days, schedule your dates now for prime time on your favorite river, or at your leisure anytime in 2017!  This special discount ends December 31st so drop me a line or simply use the Pay Pal link below to charge a gift on your credit card.

Plan Your 2017 Fly Fishing Travel Adventures Now!
In 2016 I joined my good friends at Flywater Travel as a commissioned agent selling worldwide fly fishing travel adventures, while continuing to personally guide trips on the Upper Sac, McCloud and Klamath Rivers.

North Umpqua dry fly henGroups of Shasta Trout guests utilized my expertise and Flywater Travels’ extensive network to travel to several destinations this past year, including Fishing Bear Lodge in Alaska,  The Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho, the Speywater Lodge on the Grande Ronde, Morrison’s Lodge on the Rogue, the Steelhead Lodge on the Rogue, Indian Creek Lodge on the Trinity, as well as my hosted trips on the North Umpqua in Oregon, Deschutes River in Oregon, Scott River Lodge on the Klamath, Nass Basecamp and the Skeena River Lodge in BC, Oregon Coast, Owyhee River in Idaho, and Harrison’s Homestead in Montana to name just a few.

IMG_2237Now is the time to plan a fishing adventure and secure a prime date for 2017.  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, so if you are interested or just care to chat, please drop me a line.


DSCN0361Shasta Area Fishing Report.

December 2, 2016 

This fall has been unseasonably wet, much different than recent years (16.45″ vs. 1.86″ of precip last year) but river conditions have fallen back into shape quickly after storms.  Flows on the Klamath continue to be low and clear and the past few weeks we’ve seen an influx of fresh, big, bright winter fish, following one of the poorest fall runs in history.  Some guests enjoyed the first double digit steelhead day of the season this past weekend.

Fishing on the Upper Sac has moved to a winter pattern with the middle of the day fishing fair to good with mornings and evenings being slow at best.  The good news is that there are still some October Caddis about on sunny days and this is the time of year we find our largest specimens, trophy Rainbows running into the teens and a few breaking the magical 20 inch mark.

I still have a few guide dates available after the holidays, so drop me a line to join the action!

10% Off
Gift Certificates

Holiday Gift Certificates 10% discount.  Guide rates for 2017 remain at $495 so this is a $50 savings.  Offer includes available guide dates in 2017 for walk and wade trips on the McCloud or Upper Sacramento or Steelhed Spey and Switch rod driftboat adventures on the Klamath River.

Holiday Gift Certificate $445

This special offer ends December 31st, 2016.  Drop  a line at

(530) 926-5763


Or use the convenient Pay Pal button to charge your credit card.
Please mention this promotion during booking.


Summertime fly fishing in the shadow of Shasta

28575961462_000526ca80_kAugust 6th

The Blackberries are ripe, the weather is perfect (no local fires), the trout are fat and feisty and solitude is easy to find.  Fall is just a few weeks away, and we are enjoying some exceptionally fine weather after a hot spell, enabling us to wade wet on our local freestones, the McCloud, the Upper Sac, and some local creeks. As is typical of summer, this is not the time of year we expect epic days catching loads of big fish.  It is the time of year we enjoy the simple pleasures of fly fishing, the solitude of casting dries on scenic creeks to native fish, nymphing pockets for hot rainbows and perhaps even a streamside nap.  With flows at their lowest we can chose a water type and technique to suit our mood, whether it is high sticking pockets, fishing a dry dropper through a classic run, or casting tiny dries to selective evening risers.

28626726896_3ea30cd3b4_m28397601920_4ccd8ef7e4_mAs is typical in summer, fishing has been best early and late in the day when the sun is off the water.   Evening hatches have been compressed, sometimes lasting an hour or more but seldom longer, mostly small to tiny mayflies and caddis with a few lingering yellow sallies.  Nymphing, as well as fishing dry fly attractors with droppers, has been effective before the hatch as well as earlier in the day.

The Upper Sacramento River is low and clear and fishing exceptionally well with dry flies and droppers finding good numbers of small fish, while nymphing fast water pockets has found some of the larger specimens in the river.  For those who know where and how to “high stick” the fishing has been exceptional at times.  The bite has been best on Black Fly Larva imitations, small to tiny caddis and mayflies, and October Caddis case patterns.  The evening hatch has been superb but is compressed into the last hour of light.

28397593940_7e4a6b46ae_mThe spring crowds on the McCloud have dissipated and guests enjoyed some great fishing in the past weeks fishing dries and droppers as well as nymphing.  The action has been nearly non stop but most of the fish have been small, with a few fish in the teens mixed in during the day.  Unfortunately Mud Creek recently started spilling silt and water clarity dropped to a foot or two but has started to clear.  As this event has a habit of varying greatly from season to season be sure to check conditions before heading to the McCloud.

I hope to see you soon, drop us a line if you are headed our way, I am always happy to share all I can whether you are seeking guide service or not.

Annual Umpqua Steelhead Pilgrimage

IMGP2226July 15-24

20160718_063451Every summer for several seasons, Craig and Jerri have enjoyed a tradition of friends and family joining them for an annual pilgrimage to the Umpqua River to search for summer run Steelhead.  The Umpqua has one of the few remaining runs of wild summer fish in the lower 48 states that supports angling.  The fish are also surface oriented and getting one to tip up from a deep emerald pool for a skated fly can be one of the most magical moments in our sport.  The Umpqua is steeped in tradition and is famous in the lore of the sport so for us sharing this tradition with those we love is what it really is all about.  We enjoy telling some fish tales about our success or lack of it during cocktail hour, a breakfast at the Steamboat Inn or one of our evening potluck BBQ’s, perhaps the highlight of which was a whole lamb roasted Argentinian style on a cross over an open fire this season.

20160717_17090120160717_181757This year a couple dozen folks joined us for the week, most of which took the opportunity to fish.  Some folks new to the river, as well as a couple not so new, opted to fish with some great local guides who we heartily recommend, Rich Zellman and Tony Wratney.  A big thank you to Nana & Papa, Ed & Melinda, Tim & Judy, Greg & Larry, Jim, Gui, Tim, Brandon, Brian, Joel, Dave, Zach, Tony, Avery, Mike, Steve, and Ray for helping to make this year one of the most memorable visits ever. A great trip for family and friends who don’t fish as well, some folks took hikes, biked, swam, camped, ate, drank, and slept under the stars.

Walking on waterGui's HenGui's CuttFishing conditions were challenging as the weather was hot after a little rain, one of those times when “we should have been there the weekend before.”   Despite the lack of action most folks stuck to searching with dry flies and floating lines. Over the week perhaps a dozen or so steelhead were caught and released with Ed and Zach at the head of the class with three fish to hand each.  Look for reports on hosted trips to the Grande Ronde in October (still some openings, call)  and the Skeena (sold out) in late September or early October.  For more photos of this trip check out the Umpqua Selects album.

Fly Fishing Superb on McCloud and Upper Sac

IMGP2538June 28th

Conditions could not be much better on the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers and the fishing has been superb!  Flows on the Upper Sac are low and clear while some glacial melt has made it’s way into the McCloud helping to disguise anglers approach and create conditions that are much less technical than we saw earlier in the season.

GaryUSac'bowNymphing has IMGP2526produced best early in the day with dry fly fishing becoming productive once the sun goes off the water.  A few Stoneflies are still about though fish are not as keyed IMGP2503on them as they were the past few weeks.  Several species of Mayflies and Caddis are out in force and fish have been taking them all.  The weather forecast for Mount Shasta is calling for ideal weather with daytime temps in the 80’s so if you are looking to escape the heat I recommend making the pilgrimage to enjoy some splendid fishing.  I do have a few openings in the coming weeks so drop me a line if you are seeking one of the finest local guides.

Guide Report: Dry Fly Time on the Upper Sac & McCloud Rivers!

IMGP2478IMGP2496June 5: It’s Dry Fly Time!

If you are like me and fishing dry flies to eager trout on freestones releases your juices and makes you feel like a 12 year old again, consider this your invitation to get here now!  This weekend the dry fly fishing on the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers turned on.  Yesterday afternoon guests fished a couple runs (among others) that I know intimately as they are only a few minutes from my front door and I have to admit I had no clue that they harbored so many large fish (that rose to eat dry flies!).


IMGP2472IMG_2165IMGP2490The feast features Goldenstones, a few Salmonflies, half a dozen species of Mayflies from large to small, and a couple different Caddis along with some Sallies.  We have been fishing dry flies with droppers and had nearly nonstop action from early morning until dark.  It doesn’t get much better.

Sandy River Speyclave, McKenzie River & Shasta Area Report

IMGP2457May 13-28th

It’s been a few weeks since I have posted a report as I have been traveling and spending time with family as my father has been ill.  He passed peacefully on Wednesday morning May 25th with my mother and his wife of 63 years at his bedside.  He was a good man, and a great father.  He taught me to fly fish and tie flies and to play baseball though he never had a chance to do those things as a child.  He started working to help support his impoverished family in the Mission District before he was old enough to drive.  I will miss our conversations about the Giants, Warriors and Niners, he was a lifelong San Francisco sports fan, having worked at Seal Stadium as a vendor when the Giants moved from New York.  I  enjoyed a visit with him on Monday and Tuesday and was able to comfort him before his passing.

IMGP2452IMGP2466Last week I drove to Portland Oregon for the Sandy River Speyclave fishing the McKenzie River with my friends Tim, Katie and Brandon on my way there.  The McKenzie is just minutes east of Eugene and I had stopped to walk and wade it on previous trips north but this is the first chance I’ve had to float it.  This is the place where driftboats got their start and back in the day we even called them McKenzie River Boats.  The McKenzie is incredibly scenic and fishing from a boat  allowed us to experience in a historic way, at it’s best.  We took the opportunity to get out and wade a few exceptional runs but most of the time on the first day we fished indicators from the boat.  On the second day we fished further upstream where the river is faster and has fewer deep runs so we fished dry dropper rigs.  The action was nearly nonstop, there was a brief period of about ten or fifteen minutes one afternoon when no one got a grab and we were wondering what was going on.  Not to worry a quick fly change and a few minutes later we were back into them.  If you are driving north or visiting the Eugene area I highly recommend taking a day or two to sample this outstanding fishery, drop me a line and I can arrange a trip with the finest local guides.

Gary AndersonThe Speyclave was a great time as usual though the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday and Sunday when it was very windy and rained hard.  I visited with long time friends and met some new folks I hope to fish with in the near future as well.  I was able to sample some new products including Gary Anderson’s new Elite and Elite light series Speyrods.   Wow!  Gary has new proprietary graphite that is incredibly light and powerful, allowing him to build tapers that for my tastes are the best in the business.  Though I already own nearly 30 rods, including several ACR’s I need to convince my wife the need to purchase his new 12’5″ Elite 5 weight and the 12’7″ Elite Light 5 weight for this season on the Klamath.  The whole series is exceptional but the 12’7″ 7 weight is also a rod I hope to add to the arsenal for this coming winter.  During my visit I fished the Clackamas and met area guide Jeff Hickman who suggested rigging a second rod with a floating line and a muddler which paid off the following morning on the Sandy with a bright fresh wild hen, marking my first fish of the new season.  My favorite time of year has arrived, summer steelhead are on their way!

Fishing in the shadow of Shasta is taking off, the weather forecast is perfect and spring bugs are starting to pop, including Salmonflies and Goldenstones!  I have been fishing the McCloud and Upper Sacramento typically nymphing in the early day and fishing dries and droppers later in the day including a couple days when we cut our droppers off as the fish were looking up.  My availability in the next few weeks is limited but I work with the finest local guides so drop me a line if you are able to head this way to enjoy the bounty!