How motivated are you to learn?

It’s occurred to me over the last 40+ years of fly fishing that some fishers don’t want to get better at this sport….they would prefer the fish get easier…….IF THAT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR APPROACH…… can stop reading now………..I believe this sport was designed to help you face problems, and work through them…well, maybe not designed that way, but that is how it works out….

Every day I go out, it’s a different day, I do not expect the yesterday’s solutions to work today. Many fishers act like everyday is the same. These are the ones who should consider another sport (or quit complaining)….maybe take up Crocket, or shuffle board perhaps….But, if a challenge wets your appetite and you never like it the same way every time….and maybe even enjoy a little suffering……fly fishing might just be for you.

I have said many times….just not in print….that there are two kinds of fly fishers….Consumers and connoisseurs……Some buy a license and a rod, waders etc….and expect a fish, I mean, how hard could it be? They’re just dumb fish right?                       These are the folks who tend to book trips to places like Idaho and Colorado because they have 4000-6000 fish per mile….some of which, having just arrived in a truck…… are amenable to being caught. I think that was my belief in the beginning as well…..if I catch a lot of fish, that means I’m a good fisher…..or, fish-hero even…the actual fishery wasn’t a consideration…..I just wanted a fish. If I didn’t hook up, it was the weather or the fish, but not me….. I started on cute back country fish who had never seen a hook. then chased them in stocked lakes, and later stocked rivers…..not exactly a high bar setting in retrospect……Kinda like stealing cookies from girl scouts……

Now, I fish the Truckee river with 400 fish per mile, and more education than most who pursue them. There are a few stocked fish here….but those are not the ones I want to chase. These days, I don’t care if I catch fish (unless it’s Walter), but I want to know all about them, and the ecosystem in which they reside, and to have the game to catch one if I need to.

I have learned many things about myself while fishing….how to deal with failure for one thing….You won’t always catch one. How does that feel to ya? Does it make you want to book a trip to easy water, or go back to bait fishing? Or perhaps watch it on U tube?            If on the other hand, you want to learn it so bad that all other activities pale and some suffering is OK……..Give me a call, you are the student I want…….It may take a few seasons to get a handle on this activity, and this river, but in process you may earn more than knowledge of the fish or the stream……you may find yourself as well…….At this point in my life I think of a stream as a flowing reality, and I want to wade right in………



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Ok, I’m calling it……….It is so fine, that I can’t come inside….it must be spring.

The Skwallas have come through, and the fish really loved them. The problem is that everyone likes to fish dries, so after a few days they seem to prefer to eat under the water. Go figure……so add a split shot and fish it soggy…..The water in town is getting boney, and the fish are just trying to hide. Down in the canyon it looks nice, and there is cover for the fish……344cfs right now, and holding.  March Brown mayflies are on deck. This year will be hard on the fish…it looks like the drought has returned……fish now!

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There is so little snow on the ground that it’s hard to call this a winter. The fishing conditions right now may be the best all year………That’s the good news. The river is very clear and mid 40s. We have been catching fish regularly. Mostly bows, but a few browns too….It’s been the usual small bug menu. Baetis mayflies, and Midges….I love fishing midges because the fish like to eat them, by the hundreds. Always carry a dry rod rigged as well, because the fish may just start rising……A sz 20 Burk’s silhouette Dun is spot on for our Baetis hatch. All you need is a good drift.   I suspect this is the main thing that people who go fishless are missing…….Give a call if I can help you through this sticking point.

The flows are back up for the moment I say fish now!!!!

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Mornings have been nippy, but smoke on the water means time to fish! We are into small bug season……Baetis are our friends now, when a cloud passes overhead they appear…
Midges are ubiquitous…….fish them……JUJUs..zebras..tan, white, black, it doesn’t matter…..
Water is in the mid 40s and dropping….but a streamer will still move a hungry fish.
At these flows (1010cfs) Czech nymphing is a good call…..they are under your rod tip.
We have gone to longer leaders do to water volume….12-15ft.
You will need more weight………2 BBs won’t cut it….
Not much wading going on right now, the only time I get my feet wet, is to land a fish….and just barely….a long handle net isn’t a bad call.
Do not let a little cold stop you from fishing, I don’t!

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brown[1]It may not last long….but we are into Fall. Rainy, chilly, and quiet on the water.

But officially, we made it through another season…….
Met a bunch of fish….but the big ones were difficult for clients this year.
I have seen far too many fishers, dig their heals in and (try) to hold a fish in the Walter weight class. I start every trip describing how to react if it happens to you. But fishers fall back to muscle memory in the crunch……….often, raising the rod straight-up, and holding the line tight……..lifting a fish is a good way to lose them, but most everybody seems to do this. Sweep-set downstream and move with them for best results.

My buddy put on a clinic with this brown…he traveled 75 yards with him. The light wire hook used in a sz 18 soft hackle, that would have straightened, or broke off, had he tried to hold him.

When I say run….RUN!

This is the time of year to hunt your big guy…… will you react?

Pre-visualize what you intend to do IF you hook-up. Anytime I think I have a good drift going, I start to rehearse my reaction. This gives you a fraction of a second advantage ………and, a chance to meet fish of dreams.

Give me a call if you feel like hunting……………..

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Time to fish!!!!

I’ve heard the fish on the Truckee don’t have high retention rate….
Maybe they aren’t shocking the crap out of fish enough to know.
But, we have been hooking the cutest juvenile Rainbows lately.
(Not telling where though……)

Feels like the river is coming back from the drought.
It’s still a little slow mid-day, with no bugs in the seine…..
But near dawn and at dusk fish are more active, due to bugs being more active then….
Midges are one of the effective flies.
A few PMDs, and Baetis a-flyin’……
Hoppers in the afternoon once the wind comes up.
Lots of critters moving around.
Nights are cooler……………
Won’t be long now…..
Life is beautiful………
Fish now.

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Everyone was thinking we would have high flows all summer. But warm sun has had it’s effect…..The water master is holding back water to maintain lakes full, for the first time in 4+ years. The tribs are down to quiet levels and still cold. Inlets to lakes are good at dusk.    The Truckee has two different personalities right now. The upper section is lower and warmer…65 deg.  The section below Boca is cooler 62+ but is getting a tad warmer each week. Flows are very clear and so the fish hunker down during the day…Early and later is best….some hatches at dusk, with some surface activity…Fish have been sought by numerous anglers for several months…They have a spooky attitude by now..We increase our possibilities if we are sneaky. Don’t just walk up to the water….. Offer good food forms in a perfect drift……then, be gunfighter fast. Sweep set at the slightest quiver of change in the behavior of your indy. The fish suspect bigger offerings by now I think. I mainly hook up on the little dropper fly. A soggy hopper in pocket water is worth a try….Enjoy your summer….two months left before the cold returns….

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Bring your A game……

About a week or so ago…..the switch flipped. It is no longer the cool cloudy time of year. Though, not hot enough to fry an egg……it is hot enough to warm the water and slow the bite. It is early and late, with “challenging fishing” in between. If you start to feel beat up a little, try a tributary…..They are flowing well.

For our bug menu this week, we are serving Lrg Golden stones, Little yellow sallies, a few Lrg Amber sedge, and many little Glossisoma Caddis. Thought I saw a Isonychia….

It is time to include terrestrials on the menu as well……Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, and such.

No need to wear waders unless you like sweating off pounds like wrestler……..light, quick dry pants, and same shirt in drab colors.           A drab hat would keep you stealthy… sandals are nice if your toes are covered. If not, try wading boots and aqua socks…..Lots of folks on the water, and the road….

Water is over 60 deg due to surface release from the lake.                     Treat’em nice, and keep’em wet!

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Summers here….

It has been wonderfully cool, and fishy in spite of the bigger flows.
I know, I know…’ve heard it before….
They can’t quit eating or leave the river!
It’s true….
We’ve been touching fin fairly often.
They like the temps, and more water means they can move around more……
Temp varies with the time of day and location….bring a thermometer, and find slightly warmer water. Ranges from 50 down to 46….
Color is good and getting better. Green with 1-2 ft of vis.

Saw some large stones this could fish with a barge fly and a dropper in the eddies.

Green Drakes are popin’
PMDs have started as well…….
A Mahogany Dun or two, too…
and finally…a hopper. Definitely summer time!
Glossisoma Caddis and a few larger ones….
Flying Ants are done down low, but are around if you hike up to a back-country lake.
You can drown one all summer in several colors…red, black, and red and black….
Some Termites aflyin”…
The tribs a still pretty high….but I have heard some stories of fish to be had…
Lakes around here are producing Trout and Bass depending on water chosen.
Callibaetis, and Midges…

Difficult to share just how nice it is here right now.
Maybe you should come and see…..

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Big water…..

I lost my winter coat last week……..It is getting warmer every day.  The Spring melt has started in earnest! Flows are big in town at 2500cfs, and really big at 6000 in the canyon.

If you care to fish effectively you will need to modify your approach.
The normal fisher uses a 5wt rod and thinks about fishing dries………Since there are so few risers in big flows, we need to change it up.
The folks that choose to fish with an Indy, use 2BBs……which isn’t enough…..

Fishing Euro style is effective if you can find an undercut bank, and get close enough………  Using an 11ft 3-4 rod helps in this.

The other approach I use, is what I call industrial nymphing. An 11ft two-handed 6wt rod is the best bet. Being able to hold more fly-line off the water is key to a surgical drift.

The second thing I’ve noticed over the years is most don’t use enough weight……..A couple BBs aren’t going to get it down fast enough. So, I start with 3 ABs, and move up quickly….The other day, I didn’t hook-up until I had 4AAAs on my leader……another reason the sport a bigger stick.

And since a 9ft leader is good for only 6ft of water…..I end up making 12-15ft leaders. Fish are generally on the edges, or on the bottom, so get after them!       It’s empowering to be able to fish water that most can’t…….and when you do hook-up, the big water gives the fish an advantage, and is a hoot when you do land’em!

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