May….for fun!

The flows are coming down…….694cfs today, a beautiful green color. The water temp is coming up, 49deg. and “nearly” wet wade-able. We shouldn’t have more seasonal flow peaks after this week. The majority of the snow pack is gone for another year. The feeder creeks are running, but are quieter than they were a couple weeks ago. Those that have small creek fever, it’s about time to fish. I focus on the main stem because it’s the hardest water to fish well. Hard is good! The bugs are really getting going! Golden stones are now on the menu. A dry fly stone is worth a try, but with these flows it will be less likely to work. Fish a nymph for better odds. It is the month of big bugs….we are waiting on the Green Drakes now.We’ve had numbers of fishers on the water, so I can say we are clearly entering the sneaky season. Rule #1 is don’t tell the fish you are coming…rule #2, don’t fish like the other guy. About half of my three hundred days on the water I spend watching people fish….I say you can’t learn to fish while fishing. Only when you watch how the average guy fishes, do you see the gaps in your own game. Having spent thirty years watching, I can say “hi, I’m Jim, I’m a universal fisherman”. My only advantage is that I know it, and might possibly avoid the normal fishing faux pas, like…..walking near the water, wading like a buffalo, and then flogging the water with two hundred casts. Avoid this “normal approach”, and I’ll bet money you get better results. I’ve helped create several dangerous fishers already this year. Let me know if you burn to learn as well……..

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They’re here…….

The Carpenter Ants are flying! They are here for two weeks or so. Get after those fish with a dry fly, or a drowned one……fish love them. My indicator for this food form is a Stellar Jay. Very few times do you see them feed on the wing like a perch feeder. Flying up from a branch and back for a bite. They do this behavior for a Termite emergence as well.

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I just post what I see……Looks like Summer today. Full T-shirt/shorts weather. Bugs are starting to pop in numbers. The flows are back up after the cloudy and cooler temps. 628cfs this morning. Green color…..very fishy looking. March brown mays, BWOs, and the occasional Caddis (in two sizes). The risers don’t like to go to work in these flows, but if you sharp eyed, they are lurking back under the bushes. Some require a nearly impossible drift. My newest protege worked for about a month to hook a 20 inch Brown troutski. It was a fine example of butter love. (Pic to follow.). Many fisherman would feel thwarted and wander on for a fish that can be caught. My newest student has been fly fishing since Nov. The majority of fishers of any age do not have the patience to spend time stalking a wild fish. That is what I teach. Anybody can catch truck trout……there is no challenge to it….consumers just want a fish, connoisseurs want the best,….after they earn it. To catch this fish, it required sitting and watching for days. He charted the fishes daily feeding schedule, also monitored the bugs appearance times and type and stage. He learned a new cast to deliver the fly, and perfected his drift. His approach to the fish slowed way down, and made fewer drifts overall to hook up.The fish rose twice to his fly, but he missed it both times. Altogether, this performance warranted his promotion to fish team 6, and player of the year award! The ability to catch the impossible fish doesn’t come overnight, you have to work for it. When you decide to chase your impossible fish, let me know and we’ll get started………..

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Sun and snow…..

Reports are good for about an hour this time of year….It might snow, it might not. Got close to an inch of snow dust last night, by noon it’s almost gone. Weather is going to be unstable till later this week. Bring a coat. A warm layer underneath your wader is a good idea. I still get people who think a pair of jeans is enough insulation when the water is 43 deg. Buy some fleece so you can still feel your feet after 20 min of fishing. The good news is fish can live in cold water……..the bad news is we have to grind a bit for them right now. Small bugs are the tip right now. March Browns steady but not profuse. BWOs are happening with almost every cloud. Flows are still a little high for risers, but it’s coming down quickly. 609cfs now, the river was 1000cfs a couple days ago. We just keep fishing……but you will need to bring some serious split shot with you. I use multiple ABs or AAAs in these flows. Folks that use a couple of BBs are going to be ineffective. I have lost count of the number of times on the Truckee, I added one more shot and caught a fish……..A while back, I had a client who worked up through one shot, to two, and then three shot on his 5wt “White Lable” rod. At three shot he could no longer do any casts other than a water-load. Then I handed him my 6wt switch. He exclaimed “This is easy!” I sell more rods that way………Better drifts, more range, more payload, and a longer leader. What’s not to like? Unless, you are a universal fisher, with only one trick in your kit. You’d be surprised how many people argue against change. You can lead a fisher to water, but can’t make them think. Ha. Let me know if you are ready for CHANGE!!!!!! I’m here to help.

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More May

The Truckee is at 912cfs in town, and rising……Bring your bigboy wading pants. March Browns are happening…BWO’s are popping. Seeing a Caddis or two. The Carpenter Ants almost flew yesterday, the cold breeze shut them down just before takeoff. I could see them ready to go.They will have a wait this week with snow coming…… Afternoons slow down a lot. No risers. It will be rowdy weather this week. The little snow we get will immediately melt, so there will be a spike in flows. The tough will get going this week. I’ll say high for you…….Next weekend will be stable enough to play.

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Flows are holding at 700cfs in town, 1010cfs in the canyon.. That is bigger than most folks can wade in. So, we don’t……We use a big stick and stand back. Fishing is a challenge for shorter rods now. Mid-morning seems best….in the afternoon, you will see the flows go up from snow melt., and if you have been checking water temps, it drops from 48deg. down to 43deg by the end of the day, and seems to put the risers down. We are seeing March Brown mayflies a bit more, BWO’s too. Bugs slow way down around 2:00 I’m still dreaming about Skwalla’s at night, but not seen in daylight lately. I will have to wait till next year to see them again. We are on to the next Big Bug of love!!!! Seen a few Midge Hoppers…they are coming. I’ve also seen the warden several times lately, so make sure your fishing Lic. is current, and I recommend avoiding a fine of $528 by pinching those barbs. I check every fly on my pack to be sure I’m good to go.

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less snow…..

We got a short blaster of snow, which has melted mostly. The river is up to 660cfs and the color is good. Wade boldly, and you may need dancing shoes, and then a PFD. A wading staff is a good call for normal humans. This is a good time to break out the longer rod, to fish the water more efficiently.
Folks that field a standard 9ft rod are limited in range, and length of leader, and payload in these flows. The menu is varied now with all the scouring done by higher flows. Bug wise, we have the occasional March Brown, a few BWOs. I saw one Skwalla last time out. They are about done. Seeing crayfish parts, so they are now on the menu too. In higher flows the fish are holding tight to the bank under bushes. Bring a sharpish cast to deliver the “pizza”. The fish are already on their game for the season. They are intolerant of bumbling waders, flashy dressers, splashy casters, and crappy drifters. Bring your best skills…….the game is afoot. A budding fish ninja I’m coaching has found four risers to work out with….. one, is about 19″they are in their respective lye, everyday about the same time, and eating the same favorite bug. With a week of after-work lessons. The fish are still safe. This river is great place to dial in your fishing skills.

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More April snow……

I don’t really mind whimsical weather, but it is hard to predict fishing.
Two days ago it was windy and cloudy and we had some snow on the ground, higher tan-colored flows, with a spinner fall benefiting a couple risers. Yesterday afternoon it was blue skies, no snow, lower, clearer flows, and nary a bug to be seen and no fish eating. Water temp went from 43deg, to 50deg. Getting closer to happy fish temps.
Another Grass Hopper spotted……seems a bit early. The little blast we are getting the next few days will punish this early arrival. When I seine the water for bug info, I get very little to look at. When the water comes up in the grass, I seine some grass on the bank. Yesterday we found March Brown May Fly nymphs up in this new niche. They shouldn’t be too long now.
BWOs are still a main course if a cloud comes by. No sign yet of the Carpenter Ants….gotta be a little warmer for them. There are little black/red ants around now, small epoxy ants might be worth a try. Still seeing a few Skwallas around, but they seem about done for this year.
Sitting on a run yesterday watching…….an Osprey landed in a tree across from us to watch as well (Or better)….
We sat for 20 minutes together, then he dropped in right in front of us. He missed the fish, but my friend thought he enjoyed the show as much as catching a fish. I like watching them too….because they go all in….feet first.
I fish year-round, and this is the time of year I like best. It’s getting fishy out there Fish now!.

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Snow cont.

No serious snow fall yet. In the last few days we have accumulated about 2 inches total. Most has already melted. Calling for a little more today. Roads are clear and wet, but not too bad. Sunny spots will melt out with sun, but there will be some snow in the shade. Bring a coat! Should have some warmer weather next week. We have nice flows at 400+cfs in town. Air temp 29 deg., water temp 45deg. Clear/green. Bug wise, it will slow a bit today. The Skwalla are still around, waiting for some sunshine to emerge. March Brown Mays are becoming more available, and BWO’s are a close second in these cloudy conditions. All techniques are working right now. Dries, Indy, Euro, and swinging streamers. It’s going to be a very short fishing season on the Truckee river. We have a fishy window for the next few weeks……..don’t wait, fish now!!!!!!

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April snow….

Yesterday’s eater of a Skwalla dry fly.

Yesterday was summer, today we have snow……it won’t last long due to warm ground, but may require a ride in my snow plow tonight. They are calling for 3-5 inches. Roads are slippery, be safe! The river is really nice right now. Fish are reaching the state of paranoia with all the attention they are getting. Been seeing refusals, and fish “go off”, hoping to get off when hooked. Fishing pressure is heavy due to poor skiing conditions. Bring some sneak with you. The river is at 440cfs and clear green in town. Bugs are popping. Midges early morning. Skwalla show up mid-day. BWO’s are sparse, but still here. March Brown Mayflies are starting, I’d go with a nymph for now. Some Micro Caddis are around too. Most all our birds are back doing business. Geese are nesting, try not to bother them. Gnat catchers are perch feeding on mayflies. Robins are hunting Skwalla near shore. Swallows are back this week, feeding on the wing. Where they are flying, is where the bugs are hanging. I’m watching the Stellar Jays for an indication of hatching Carpenter Ants. The Jay’s will switch to perch feeding if ants fly. It’s the only time they do it. With this snow, we will push back their emergence for a week or so. Fish now!!!!!

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