Things aren’t bad at all

California has problems and when it comes to solving them, no one gets along. Fortunately the Golden State offers a reprieve for those who chose to pursue a slimy remedy – trout.
I’ve spent a good deal of my time fishing the closest river available (Stanislaus around Knights Ferry) with occasional longer trips east into the Sierra Nevada (Stanislaus around Kennedy Meadows) and my favorite drive north to the Upper Sacramento north of Shasta Lake.
Today I went to the Tuolumne River for the first time. It is a little south of the Stanislaus, and being that it is a little further has provided an excuse to just stay with familiarity until now.
The Tuolumne looks very natural, and though it is in close proximity to the Stanislaus, I get a completely different feel when walking the shores there. I felt like I was in Colorado, fishing a river that sneakily moves though flat country. I’ve never fished in Colorado, but remember driving over tributaries of the Platte River on the way to Greeley to visit my grandparents. You think of flood plains, afternoon thunderstorms, and wonder when the antelope will bound through.
As for Tuolumne fish, yes, they are there. The water is slow and the riffles lazy. Standard nymphs like the red Copper John, pheasant tail and prince work, midges too. A buddy of mine has had success on Adams and caddis on the surface. Put the right fly in the right spot, and you’ve got a chance at a good fish. If you need self-esteem, there are smaller, dumber fish to help that.
When I returned home today, the state was in no better shape, but I was.

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