Northern California’s Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

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!

Deschutes River Wilderness Fly Fishing Trip

TaylerDeschutesApril 28-May 1

I had a last minute cancellation so when I got a phone call from a friend to spend an extended weekend on the Deschutes River I jumped at the opportunity.  The Deschutes is my favorite river outside of my homewater in Northern California and so I make the pilgrimage north at least a few times each season.  The Deschutes has it all, amazing geography and scenery, world class whitewater and camping, wildlife and birds (we saw Bighorn Sheep), great weather, good hatches and some of the hardest pulling wild trout and steelhead on the planet.

Kevndeschutes2 KevindeschutesI typically plan trout trips around the spring hatches of mayflies and caddis and the incredible stonefly hatches which are as good as it gets, bringing the biggest trout to the surface.  We knew we were a bit early for the stoneflies on this weekend so we mostly nymphed the first few days, finding several fish in each run we sampled.  The weather dawned bright and sunny on Sunday, some Salmonflies and Goldenstones took flight, so I committed to a dry dropper for the final day and was not disappointed, landing a number of hearty Deschutes Redband Rainbows.  I unexpectedly even found a late season steelhead!  Watching the sun set and the moon rise over the vermillion cliffs after one of the most satisfying days of trout fishing I’ve ever experienced made me want to howl with the coyotes.

IMGP2438 IMGP2428The Stonefly hatches will be in full swing in the coming weeks, consider this your notice to get to the Deschutes now!  If you have experienced casting huge dries tightIMGP2405 to the banks of the Deschutes you know what I mean, if you haven’t you should seriously consider adding it to your bucket list.  This is a great trip for family members, I’ve taken mine who enjoyed it immensely. As a Flywater Travel agent I work with the finest guides and outfitters on the Deschutes and they still have some limited availability for groups of two to six.   Drop me a line at your earliest opportunity to schedule a trip on this beautiful river.

Available dates:
May 9 – 12
May 24 – 31

Rate: $1500 per person for a 2 night / 3 day package (4 anglers minimum)
Note: Additional packages available upon request.

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


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

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 for guided steelhead trips on the Rogue, Umpqua, Applegate and Klamath Rivers.