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…

It will unfortunately slow

I am on pace to fish 206 days this year. Not going to happen, but what a thought…to fish two hundred and six days in a year. That’s more days on the water than school days behind a desk. If days fishing were miles, that’s almost from Manteca to Redding; Washington D.C., to just outside…

No need to waste time

By this time last year I had fished exactly one time and caught no fish. Thankfully I’ve had the week off from teaching so I’ve been able to spend five days on the water. Today on the Stanislaus between two-mile bar and Knights Ferry was anything but easy. I had been lulled into thinking the…

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…

Being sick

I am in day two of sore-throat city that isn’t exactly debilitating but that, tied on to a general feeling of lethargy, has put me in my recliner watching Bad Santa, Mythbusters and commercials about dirty catheters because I don’t have the cable package that gets me college football. It’s about as pathetic as a weekend can get. The…

What’s work?

Upper Sacramento River – It’s not everyday you can be on vacation and forget what work feels like. Of course a couple 17-inch rainbows helps with that. Otherwise fishing has been a little slow. Dudes floating caught nice fish on Adams and caddis but it’s been all nymphs for me. There is action on the…

I just can’t…

As a young angler I chose Blue Fox spinners because my brother used Mepps, and even today I have trouble putting a Mepps on my swivel. It makes no sense, but the deep-rooted idea spawned in sibling rivalry continues. I thought about this last night as I was stock-piling caddis patterns for this weekend’s trip…

The importance of staying dry

It’s always a good idea to check the weather before a trip to the mountains this time of year, so I did. A high of 76 degrees sounded pretty nice and a bit like wet-wading weather though I still considered taking my waders on Saturday’s trip to the upper Stanislaus. But maybe lost in the…

Oh the Elk Hair Caddis

The blue copper john is my go-to pattern on the Upper Stanislaus. In fact there are days I use nothing else because there is no need. Today I had none in my box and with finger-length trout eating surface flies, I decided on a caddis despite not being much of a dry-fly fisher. I don’t…