The usual

The usual catch on my usual spots near Redding, CA   I’m trying to decide if having a “usual” is a good thing, or an indication of deeply rutted habits which lead to predictability and ultimately stagnancy. Stagnancy might be a little harsh because there is a difference between doing the same old things and…

Pro for a day

I was feeling pretty good about myself. It happens every one in a while, because at some point thanks to sheer number of hours on the water, a day eventually culminates better than one you’d call great. Great had been surpassed with the releasing of an 18-inch rainbow with deep, elegant colors broken up by a…

Upper Sac road trip

Since the first time I drifted a wet fly in the swollen flow of the Upper Sacramento, and netted the biggest brown trout of my life (at the time), I’ve always been drawn to its shores. So while I would never say I’d rather be on the Upper than back home in Alaska, walking the…

The previously unknown option C

The Upper Sacramento River turns back and forth in riffle, run, pool sequences for thirty-some miles providing a buffet of great fishing opportunities. I’ve caught big brown trout, and big rainbows. Nothing of epic, wall-mount size, but a few of each that are a season or two from 20-inches. I love rainbow trout, but because…

Upper Sac and McCloud River recap

There is no better way to start summer than hot dogs cooked on a campfire after a day of fishing. Tuesday my buddy Kurt and I drove to the Upper Sacramento River for a three day, two night trip. It took all of five minutes to net the first fish just up from Lake Shasta….

Getting knotty on the Upper Sacramento

For the first time since February I braved the high, off-colored waters of the Upper Sacramento river. It didn’t disappoint, though a certain decision of mine involving a knot did. Before I get there, here’s some context. My buddy Kurt and I left Manteca at 4:30 a.m. and were exiting I-5 four hours later just…

How to lose a fish in 10 ways

I’m an expert at losing fish. I’ve lost trout on sticks, twigs, rocks and roots. I’ve lost salmon to sea weed, stumps, trees, broken rods, broken hooks, broken reels and hungry sea lions. I should have considered that nauseating “What just happened?” feeling when I saw a knot in my leader an inch above my…

Saturday morning…

I used to take my light blue blanket into the living room for Voltron and The Smurfs when I was a kid. I liked cartoons, but I don’t remember longing for Saturday’s animated pictures on a Wednesday, or Thursday. Granted I was only six, or seven so who really knows if I sat in Mrs….

Deadline Trout

It’s tough to know where to chuck a fly on big rivers that are impossible to cover. I stood knee deep in the Lower Sacramento River where it slices through the town of Redding and drifted a tandem of nymphs. There were a couple of drift boats around, and one had beached on the opposite…