Gearing down for mountain water

I approached from down river. Behind a mess of branches twisted next to a stump, a few trout were taking flies off the surface of the slow-moving Stanislaus River. It was an easy cast, but one that had to be precise. Sierra Nevada trout don’t like to see thick, green fly line three inches above…

The float – full version

The entire forest and water wasn’t even whispering. They even got the birds to cooperate in the early morning hush as I stood on the shore of the Thorne River. A deer stood in tall grass a hundred yards up from me, an eagle stared. The flow was slow and deep in this portion, which is…

Floating the Thorne

A few years ago I floated the last nine miles of the Thorne River with four other friends. It was awesome. My buddy Josh and I caught salmon from our kayaks and in the twilight around ten we ate then around a campfire. Saturday I carefully settled into a $49.99 inflatable raft for a solo…

A bad rap

Dolly Varden have a bad rap. They don’t get huge (back home on Prince of Wales 20-inchers are common) and are largely an after-thought. They don’t have the vibrant colors of a rainbow or cutthroat trout and taste good only when cooked stream-side. The biggest indictment of the Dolly was their purpose in relation to…

Just relax and fish

I was going through leader like a kid through candy corn. Drift. Drift. Drift. Drift. Tie. Drift. Drift. Drift. Drift. Tie. I wasn’t really only giving my flies four drifts then changing, but in the context of a day fishing, it was pretty close. I spent October 15 through 20 on the Upper Sacramento and…