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Post Info TOPIC: Fly Fishing Guide Special


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Lower Sac, Yuba, and Feather Reports
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Well.......It has been a while since my last post. Life has been really busy with Cast Hope, Guiding, and Planning for my 4th Season on the South Fork. The good news is that life is back to normal. Cast Hope had an awesome 1st Annual Benefit and Auction on May 22, 2010. There was a great turnout with over 100 people showing up at Lelands for a great cause. Plus we made some money as well. All of the money raised is going to help get youth on the water fly fishing. If you were unable to make it to the 1st annual hopefully we will see you out there next year.

Now I am looking forward to taking off to guide my fourth season on the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. In one week I will be leaving those deared indicators of the Sac, Yuba, and Feather and trading them in for big Salmonfly dries. But before I do that there is more guiding to be done here in CA.

Alright enough about me you say..........What is going on with our local rivers? Well here is what I saw this week:

Lower Sac: The Sac continues to fish well even with the high water. Currently the river is at 15,000 CFS. It took the fish a couple of days to adjust to the high water but now they are back on the feed again. This last week it seems like the majority of the guides out have been focusing on the river from Bonnyview down to Balls Ferry. It is really easy to do these longer drifts now because there is current everywhere and you get pushed down river much faster. The key to finding fish has been fishing the softer water on the edge of the riffles. I have been getting very few fish in the flats. Most of the fish seemed to be grouped up in the slower tailouts and runs. The hot bugs have been rubberlegs (8), king princes (16), tan birds nest (16), flashback pheasant tail (14), and mercers epoxyback pmd (16).

Yuba: Well currently the Yuba has BIG water with the flows at 6,000 CFS. I was lucky enough to guide it this week when the water was still at 3,200 CFS. The fishing was really good with the spring like conditions that are continuing to hold on. Like the Lower Sac most of the fish we caught came in the softer edges of the riffles. It seems like the fish were trying to hold up in the softer water just outside of the major current. I found fish in all of my regular spots. The hot bugs were the Foxy Stone (12), Red Copper John (16), and Olive Fox Pupah (16). The dry fly fishing was almost non-existent. But then again I missed the prime caddis time as we were off the water by 4PM.

Feather: I have not been on the Feather for over a month now. But I am hearing rumors that there are still some spring steelhead to be caught. Talking to another guide who fished it last week he said that they hooked 11 fish and three of them were over 20 inches. Now this is second hand information so take it in stride. So the Feather sounds like an option as well. It might be a roll of the dice this late in the season but it sounds like fish are still moving into the system with this late rain we are getting. Plus if you get a big boy then it was well worth your time.


That is all of the info I got. Still some good fishing to be had in the valley as long as temperatures stay in the 80's and 90's. Once we start hitting those 100 degree days then time to start hitting your favorite mountain streams (assuming they are not blown out from the snow).

Hope this helps.

Tight Lines!

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South Fork Snake Report & Hopper Forecast
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Well......Once again it has been a slow start to our fishing on the South Fork of the Snake here in Irwin, Idaho. Currently the river is still high at 16,000 CFS and a frigid 52 degrees. With the high and cold water our hatches have been delayed by a couple of weeks. That means no dry flies yet. The name of the game has been nymphing. The fishing has been fairly average the first couple of weeks with most days landing 25-30 trout per boat. The hot flies have been rubberlegs, San Juans (pink & red), and any small baetis nymph. The last week there have been lots of rainbows and browns caught. Not to many cuttys yet as they are starting to finish their spawning season. Right now the best fishing has been on the Lower Stretches of the river (ie: Cottonwood to Byington & Byington to Lorenzo).

The good news is that yesterday I saw my first Salmon Fly of the season. So get ready because the S. Fork is days away from blowing up. Big Dry Flies are on the horizon. In addition to the big bugs we are starting to see more Green Drakes each day on the river. So I have to assume by the middle of next week it will be time to put the indicators away and string up those dry fly rods.

I also wanted to mention that the word out here in the Rockies is that there is going to be a huge infestation of hoppers this summer. Fish & Game are calling for one of the largest hopper hatches that they have seen in years. If that forecast holds up we could have some ridiculous fishing this August. So get excited any of you that are making your way to Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming this summer. Gotta love throwing hoppers against undercut banks.

Lastly I wanted to finish my post with an awesome fishing story. Last week I guided Daniele and her husband Bart for 6 days on the S. Fork. All week Daniele was catching the largest fish of the trip. So naturally Bart was excited and frustrated all at the same time. Well the last day of the trip Daniele laid it on thick with some great big fish mojo. Her last day of fishing on the upper resulted in her catching a 19" rainbow, 20" brown, 21" brown, and 22.5" brown. It was awesome watching her pull in big fish after big fish. What a way to end the trip! Check out the two photos!

For those of you that want to come out here check out the Lodge at Palisades Creek. Also people are starting to call about CA dates in the fall so you will want to start figuring out those calendars to get in on prime dates!

Tight Lines!

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Love those South Fork Pink PMDs
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The South Fork has hit its prime. The dry fly fishing this last week has been epic. If you are into sight fishing in riffles and foam now is the time. Every afternoon from 1-4PM the riffles are loaded with cuttys and rainbows eating pink PMDs and Yellow Sallies. The trick to the game is to pick off the easy fish with the emergers. Currently my hot fly has been a pink hackle stacker. Once you have got the easy ones add a beadless pheasant tail to get the more picky fish. Then finally throw a larger dry with a lightning bug and pheasant tail behind it. This is a fun time of year because you can get the majority of the fish that you see. Find a riffle and park yourself there and wait for the noses.

As for the big bug fishing it has been hit and miss. Somedays the fishing has been really good with Chubby Chernobyls and the Eldens Ant. However there are other days where you dont get a lot of action on the big dries. The big bug fishing should continue to get better as those stoneflies make their way into the upper and upper canyon. The next week the upper is most likely going to go off. Get excited because this is when the really big monsters of the South Fork start feeding on the surface. When throwing those big dries make sure to use your favorite pmd dropper underneath. Currently half of our fish are eating the dry and the other half the nymph below. Setting the hook on the dropper eat is not the easiest thing in the world but just remember to cast every time that dry fly sinks below the surface of the water.

For those of you looking to do some fishing later this summer I will be returning to CA in September. Make sure you get your fall dates down on the calendar. Currently I have September 25-30 and October 8-11 still available for egg bite trips on the Yuba and Lower Sac. Hope you guys are having a great summer.

Tight Lines!

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Late Summer South Fork Report
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The South Fork is in its late season pattern. These fish have seen thousands of flies go over their heads. So needless to say the big bug fishing has slowed. Its not to say that the fish wont eat them but they will eat a small pmd much better. So the last week we have been fishing pink Lawsons Cripples, Hackle Stackers, and purple wolfs down the banks. It is not quite as easy to see them floating in the foam but those fish love them. Lots of the big fish have retreated to their deeper homes and are sticking to nymphs and streamers. So most of the larger browns that we have caught in the last couple of weeks have been on the infamous lightning bug.

Currently most days we are landing between 30-40 trout. Mostly cuttys this last week. But we definitely saw some great browns and rainbows. Check out some of the good ones from the last couple weeks. We caught a great 23.5 inch brown on a dry fly! Now it doesn't get much better than that.

The fishing on the South Fork should improve over the next couple of weeks. The hoppers are just starting to fly around so it should take a week or so before they hit the river. The pmd fishing will continue for another month. So if the banks don't fish then just wait for the small bugs to come off in the afternoon. The fishing from noon until 4PM is awesome in the riffles and foam holes.

The good news is that I will be returning to Northern California in two weeks. For those of you that are looking to do some fishing this fall email me for avaialbilities as they are filling up quickly. I still have Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct 31 available for some egg bite fishing on the Lower Sac or Yuba.

Tight Lines!

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Last S. Fork Snake Update for the Summer
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The South Fork has finally hit the dull-drums of summer. This typically hits about the first week of August but like everything else this summer we are about 3 weeks behind schedule on our hatches and weather patterns. The PMD hatch is pooping out and the hoppers have not started yet so the fish don't have a lot to be excited about. Needless to say we are really having to work for the grabs and those fish are becoming little picky snobs.

Currently there are no hot drifts in the river. All of the sections are fishing about the same. The upper and canyon stretches have small windows of PMD fishing in the afternoon. While the lower still has a few golden stones and the random hopper to entice the fish. I saw my first hopper two days ago. So that should reignite the river for a couple of weeks once we see enough of them. The last week I have been bouncing back and forth between the upper canyon, lower canyon, and lower sections of the river. Lots of fish between 12-18" being caught but no real big dogs of late. The hot bugs have been para-hoppers, Lawsons Pink PMD cripple, rusty spinner, and the lightning bug.

Last Sunday I got the chance to go fish with a couple of guide buddies of mine from the Lodge. We took my friends jet boat down to Tilden on the main snake. This is the land of big fish. Not lots of grabs but the ones you get are good. Between three of us we hooked 10 trout and landed 6 of them. We had 4 rainbows between 20-21". No monsters that day but the video on my blog says it all.

The good news is that I am coming home in 7 days. I am excited to take a couple of weeks off before the grind of the fall starts. For those of you interested in fishing the Lower Sac, Yuba, and Feather this fall contact me ASAP for prime dates. I still have October 25-28, 31 (Sunday) and November 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday) available. These are prime dates for either the Lower Sac or Feather.

I hope you are all doing well.

Tight Lines!

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Yuba & Lower Sac Report
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Well I am finally back on the river. It has been a nice three weeks off of catching up on overdue Cast Hope work and sleeping in. It is nice being able to get up around 8AM each morning. Not to many more days of that left until Thanksgiving. The good news is that the fall is quickly approaching and the signs of the first salmon have been spotted on both the Yuba and Lower Sac. I was on each river once this last week. Here is a detailed report of what I saw on each.

The Yuba fished well.......my clients hooked 20+ rainbows and landed about 15 for the boat. Pretty typical day on the Yuba. It seemed like the morning and the middle of the day fished the best. The fishing seemed to tighten up in the afternoon around 3PM. What was crazy is that one of my clients had two fish on the same nymph rig twice during the day. We never landed both trout. It seems like this happens periodically throughout the year but rarely do we land both fish. In 7 years of guiding have only landed both twice. The good news is that I saw about 30 salmon swimming around in the deeper water. So in about 1-2 weeks we should start to see our first salmon on redds. The hot flies were eggs, fox pupah, small pheasant tails, and copper johns.

The Lower Sac was a different story as compared to the Yuba. I had a Cast Hope trip there on Thursday and I decided to do a short float from Posse Grounds down to Aqua Golf. We fished from 10AM till 3PM. The morning was brutal!!!! We didn't even hook our first fish until noon. The fishing was so tough we pulled over underneath the Sundial bridge to pick some blackberries. I thought this would keep the youngster entertained for a while. After some blackberry picking and eating lunch the fishing turned on. The fish started to eat around 1PM and for the rest of the day it was pretty typical Lower Sac. The hot flies were tan birds nest, fox pupah, and Hogans S&M.

I will be on the water 6-7 days a week through the end of October so I will try to update my blog once a week to keep everyone in touch of current conditions.

For those of you looking to do some fishing my October is completely booked. However now is the time to book prime steelhead dates for the Feather and Lower Sac. I currently have Nov. 1-6 and 8-11 available. These are the two best weeks for steelhead fishing on both of these rivers.

Tight Lines!

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Opening this Saturday
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For anyone interested I just had a cancellation for this Saturday. Right now the Yuba is fishing really good for trout. So that is probably where you will want to go. The last couple of days out there have been impressive with 30+ hookups on great fish. If you want to go out email me ASAP at ryan@rjsflytrips.com.

Tight Lines!

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Feather, Lower Sac, Yuba Reports
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Alright.......it has been a while since my last post. I have been on the water everyday for the last two weeks and below you can find what I have seen and saw. There are lots of people fishing out there but this is an honest and straight forward fishing report. Enjoy!
 
Here is the current fishing report:
 
[B]Feather:[/B] The BIG news is that there are tons of salmon in the Feather. It looks like it did 8-10 years ago. Right now there are too many salmon in the way! So get pumped because it is setting up like a huge year over there. I have already guided it twice and there is fish in the system. One day hooked 14 fish and the other 10. A mix of adults and half pounders between 24-18". I am excited to see what November is going to hold. Hot flies are eggs!!
 
[B]Lower Sac:[/B] The Sac has had an interesting month thus far. The salmon are really late. Fish are still moving into the system daily. It is setting up like the egg bite is going to happen the last week of October. Currently we are still fishing nymphs. I had a 30+ fish day today and never tied an egg on. Don't these salmon know that it is October? Wait maybe the 93 degree weather has them confused. The egg bite is going to happen it is just going to be later in the month. Hot flies have been tan pupahs, micro mays, birds nest, red copper johns, etc.
 
[B]Lower Lower Sac:[/B] I have spent four days this week fishing below Red Bluff. The trout fishing has been solid with all days resulting in 20+ rainbows. Every day we are hooking steelhead. Once again it has been a mix of half pounders and adults. This week I had clients hook 2 big 8lb fish on this lower drift. One big buck just kicked our butt and the other hen we had right to the boat before we lost her. I was seriously heart broken. The numbers of steelhead has been good. Expect the numbers to keep increasing over the next month. The later you get into November the better this drift becomes. Hot flies have been rubberlegs, red copper johns, micro mays, etc.
 
[B]Yuba:[/B] The Yuba is back to its normal self. For those of you that were lucky enough to fish this river from the middle of September to the first of October it was truly impressive. The Yuba had a big early push of salmon and it got all of those trout fired up. We were averaging 30+ hookups for three weeks. But now it is back to normal with my last three days out there giving up about 20 hookups. The hot bugs have been eggs and small mayfly nymphs.


I have several [B]prime dates [/B]still open for November for anyone wanting to fish the Feather or Lower Lower Sac.

[B]November 1, 4-5, 9-11 (PRIME DATES!)[/B]


Well that is what I have seen.....hope this helps you guys out.

Tight Lines!



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Lower Sac and Feather Fishing Report
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It has been an interesting couple of weeks. Typically it is easy to figure out the best fishing this time of year. Do you want tons of grabs or roll the dice and try to find some steelhead? This is the question that typically answers itself in October. However the last couple of weeks have been some what of a head scratcher. Read my thoughts and outlooks below. Hope this helps you to figure out where to go next week.

Lower Sac: The fishing on the Sac has been good but not great. This last couple of weeks our numbers on trout have been down. Most days right now we are landing 20-25 trout. The egg bite is slowly still progressing and is usually better on overcast/rainy days. However the one bright spot for the Sac has been the size of the rainbows. Take yesterday for example. Just in the afternoon we landed 3 20" fish, 4 19" fish, and 3 18" fish. For the pure size of the trout it really doesn't get any better. So the name of the game has been doing a short float in the morning when the fishing is tight and then heading back up river to Posse grounds once the fishing picks up in the afternoon. The last three weeks the afternoon has been much better than the morning. Hot flies have been eggs, tan pupahs, tan birds nest, micro mays, and Hogan's S&M. I would expect the Lower Sac to stay status quo for the next couple of weeks. However those of you looking to do some steelhead fishing things should improve on the lower stretches of the river. Expect the pressure on the river to start decreasing as people move over to the Trinity.

Feather: The Feather is continuing to progress nicely. There are still tons of salmon spawning in the river. But even more exciting than that is there are still salmon in the deep water moving up. The next month on the Feather should be really good. I guided 2 half day trips on the river this week and each day we saw a mix of half pounders and adults. Monday we hooked 8 fish and Thursday we hooked 7 in about 5hours of fishing. Most of the steelhead that are in the system are between 18-23". However there are a few big fish still being caught. I have yet to go down to High Flow but will venture down there this week. The hot flies have been eggs and eggs. Every fish that I have hooked in the last four trips on the river has been on an egg pattern.

Yuba: I don't have the best information on the Yuba as I have not been over in three weeks. I keep hearing rumors that there are salmon in the lower stretches of the river by Hammond Grove. If you go over there try eggs and small may fly nymphs. This river is going to stop fishing once we get into the dull drums of November. So don't have huge expectations if you head out to the Yuba. Unless you know something that I don't. Things will pick up again in December once the winter run of Salmon start and there is less pressure on the water.

Well........that is about everything that I have seen. Hope this info helps you out. Get excited because the first good steelhead fishing of the year is just around the corner. If you are looking for some last minute openings I have November 9,17,22-23, and 28-30 available. See you out there.

Fish Hard!


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RE: Fly Fishing Guide Special
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November has been a fun month. Chasing big fish on both the Lower Sac and the Feather has been keeping me quite busy. Check out my report on all of the valley rivers that I guide. It has been another great fall. For those of you looking for a deal I am offering a discount on a few select dates.

I have had some last minute canceallations and days that I have been unable to fill. So I am offering discounted trips at the price of $275. This is $125 dollars off the regular full day price. What do you get? You get a full day of guided fly fishing at the half day cost. I provide all the gear and you bring your own lunch/drinks.

I have had some last minute canceallations and days that I have been unable to fill. So I am offering discounted trips at the price of $275. This is $125 dollars off the regular full day price. What do you get? You get a full day of guided fly fishing at the half day cost. I provide all the gear and you bring your own lunch/drinks.

Discounted Days: November 20-23, 28-30 & December 1-5

Regular Availabilities: December 17-23, 29-31 & January 1-6, 10-16, 18-31



Lower Sac: Best Big Fish Month Ever on Lower Sac!!!

The Lower Sac has had an interesting month. I have never seen this many big fish on the Lower Sac since I have been guiding the river. The upper stretches of the river by Sundial Bridge has been giving up some true trophies. Literally everyday we are catching multiple 20" fish!! The key to the fishing has been to do multiple short floats and then go up to Market Street in the afternoon. It is crazy when you are thinking the small ones are 18". Right now the river is fishing the best from 10AM until about 3PM. So there is no rush to be on the river. Hot flies are tan pupahs, olive micro mays, and birds nest.

Expect the fishing to remain solid on the river for the next few weeks. With this Indian Summer that we are having those rainbows are still chowing down on caddis. When the rain and winter finally decide to show up then it will be time to start throwing those eggs and baetis nymphs. Once we get to January then things will really start turning up.

Feather: This has been an excellent year on the Feather. We had huge returns of salmon this year and that led to lots of steelhead sitting behind them feasting on eggs. Most days we are hooking between 10-12 fish. All of the fish have been cookie cutter 3-5lb fish in the 20-23" range. These are some hot pissed off fish that like to run and jump as soon as you hook them. As of last week the river was fishing really well but all of this 75 degree weather in November has tightened up the fishing. Last day out there only hooked 5 fish. Seems like the majority of the fish have pushed up to the hatchery. However this should change as we get some nasty weather coming in for this weekend. If we get some bad weather for a while expect the Feather to fish decently all the way through the first part of December. It might not be lights out but there are going to be some great fish to be caught. The good news is that there are fresh salmon starting to spawn in high flow so eggs and bad weather for the next week could mean some really good fishing. If you go the hot flies have been eggs and red san juan worms.

Yuba: This time of year the Yuba can be a tough fishery as those fish have been gorging on eggs and have been caught multiple times. However there is good fishing to come. Not many people know that the Yuba fishes really well in December and January. If you are lucky enough to get out there on an overcast day then watch out. Those fish love to eat eggs and baetis nymphs under the clouds. Check out this fish that Bob Quinn caught from the Yuba last January on an egg pattern. If you don't mind a little cold then some great fishing can be had. If you are going out there try fishing eggs, small pheasant tails, Hogan's S&M, Hogan's Read Headed Step Child, and Skwala Nymphs.


I hope all of you are getting some good fishing in. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Tight Lines!


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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In this report you will find Holiday Fishing Discounts, Availabilities, and an Up-to-date Fishing report on the Lower Sac and Yuba.

BOOK 2 DAYS GET A 3RD DAY FREE

The Holiday Winter Special is back! Over the last 4 years this has become one of my biggest promotions of the year. How does it work. Book 2 days and get the 3rd free! If you book 2 days between January 1st and March 15th then you get the third free. All 3 days do not have to be consecutive. You could fish the Lower Sac in January during the second egg bite, then hit the Skwala Hatch on the Yuba in February, and finish is up with some spring steelhead on the Feather in March. This is a $400 value for free!

If you want to get some fishing in this winter then my openings are below:

January 1-3, 6, 10-29, 31 & Feb 1, 7-24, 28 & March 1-14


As for the fishing there are plenty of fish still be caught with all of the rain and high flows that the central valley has been receiving. Check out the current reports below.

Lower Sac: This is the time of year that we catch some of the biggest rainbows on the river. Daily we catch fish near the 20" mark. Just last week we had one trip where we landed 4 fish between 20-23 inches!!! So if you have the itch to chase some big rainbows and you dont mind a little rain then now is the time to go.

Currently the river is running at summer flows of 15,000 cfs. I have been out there the last two days and the river is fishing decently with most days resulting in 20ish hookups. The river should be dropping in the next week as these winter storms lighten up. The hot flies have been eggs, eggs, and eggs. In the next couple of weeks the second egg bite should be getting started. This means big fish looking for beads from those winter salmon. If you are going to head out there fish a little deeper and add some split shot. Remember you need to get those bugs down to the fish. If you bump them in the nose you will start fishing more effectively.

Yuba: The Yuba River was having the best winter that I could remember before it blew out this last week. We were having 30+ hookups on a daily basis out here the first couple weeks of December. Plus we were hooking a random winter steelhead. Some of these were big wild fish and others hatchery fish taking the wrong turn from the Feather. Last week we landed 2 steelhead with one going 21" and the other 22".

Currently the river is blown out but should be fishable by the end of the weekend. The river is dropping at a steady rate and we should see in the next few days what the outlook is going to be. Remember you can fish the Yuba effectively at flows below 4,000 CFS. The hot flies are going to be eggs, san juans, rubberlegs, Hogan's S&M, and small pheasant tails. Expect things to get really good come January. This is a fun time of year where fish gobble up those eggs and you have the potential of finding some chrome.

Well....... I think that is it. Hope you are all doing well.

Tight Lines!

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Ryan,

Thanks for the posts, they were really fun to read. Some great pics as well. Thats a very generous and enticing offer. The Lower Sac would be a blast.
Happy Holidays,
Robert


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That is really awesome!!! Alastair made the fish of month club on RJs report!! Look at that big smile! Nice job there Alastair!! If you haven't been out there on the Yuba, Feather or Lower Sac book a trip with Ryan. Merry Christmas!!!!

-- Edited by Otter on Thursday 23rd of December 2010 07:39:50 PM

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Ryan and Greg (Bono) are friends..Sometimes they guide together or help each other out.. He guides the creek once or twice every few years.... He spends 99.999% of his time on the Yuba ,Sac,feather and in Idaho...Ryan is as nice as they get ...Check out what else he does at "Cast Hope . org"
Mx19


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Ryan,

You are welcome to post here.  Your reports are very valuable.

Besides, this section is called "A Little Shameless Promotion"

As you remember I fished with you this past spring for Steelhead,
so I know first hand that you are a Top Notch Guide and the kind
of member that we want on this Board.


Thank you Ryan and keep on posting !!!





-- Edited by keith bigelow on Friday 24th of December 2010 08:21:16 AM

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Thanks for all of the kind words guys. I appreciate all of the support over the years and the many fish that we have been fortunate enough to catch. I hope you all had a great Christmas and happy New Year. Here is a quick report of what is coming up in the next couple of weeks.

With all of the fluctuating flows I thought that I would give you and up-to-date report on the conditions I saw early this week.

I fished the Lower Sac on Monday and Tuesday. The river was flowing at 11,000 cfs. We had some solid winter fishing on beads. Monday we hooked 25+ fish and Tuesday hooked 35+ fish. I kept trying different nymphs throughout the day but could not find one that they would eat on a cosistent basis. We did manage to catch a couple fish on Hogans S&M. But all of the typical winter nymphs like micromays, Hogans red headed step child, and gidgets did not produce. The reason Tuesday was better than Monday is due to the rain we had on Tuesday. In the winter time the best fishing happens on overcast rainy days on all of the valley rivers. So put on that rain jacket and man up!! Just this morning they raised the river to 16,800 cfs. So give the river a couple of days to settle down and then it should be game on again. Most guides fish the river with good success all the way to 25,000.

The Yuba is still blown out. In my opinion the river needs to be below 4,000 cfs to be fishable. All week it has been flowing at 6,000 cfs so with this dry weather coming we may have a small window to get out there.

Lastly the upper parts of the Feather in downtown Oroville open on Jan. 1. Currently this is probably the most viable option in the valley. Low clear water is the name of the game. Expect good fishing for 3-6lb steelhead on eggs, baetis nymphs, and san juans. This is going to be a small window so make sure to get out there in the first three weeks. After these fish have been hit a few times they will move up into the hatchery. This is a great half day trip for someone looking to work on their nymphing technique and catch a few steelhead.

Well that is about it. Hope this points you in the right direction to find some fishing admist all of the high water. Anyone looking to do a trip I have Jan 3-4 and 10-16 open for any last minute bookings.

Happy New Year and Tight Lines.

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Lower Sac, Yuba, and Feather Report
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In this post you will find discounted trips in February and an up-to-date fishing report from our valley rivers. I will give you the hot bugs and techniques so that you can go out on your own and be successful. Hope to see you on the water this spring. Get in contact with me if you want to book any trips for the spring CADDIS HATCH on the Lower Sac, DRY FLY fishing on the Yuba, or to chase some SPRING STEELHEAD on the Feather.

Now for the Nor Cal Valley Fishing Report:

Lower Sac:

The Lower Sac has had an interesting winter. Typically this is the time of year where we target those big rainbows up by the Posse Grounds. But usually we are fishing in prime cloudy and rainy conditions. This spring weather we are getting in January is affecting the fishing adversely. We want the clouds because it gets that second egg bite going. Yesterday on the river is was 70 degrees and there were summer caddis coming off. We still caught some great fish under the sun with the best going 21.5 inches. My clients and I ended up hooking 21 trout but only landing 10 fish. So needless to say that we had to work for them. It was the first time ever that I have caught a fish in the winter on a summer tan caddis pattern. The hot flies have been eggs, tan poopahs, Hogan's S&M, and olive micro mays.

There are things to get excited for with this warm weather. That means the spring caddis hatch is just around the corner. So get excited for some awesome fishing in late February through March. If you want to fish the Lower Sac during prime time then March is hard to beat. In 2010 this was the best month of the year.

Yuba:

The Yuba is in a similar trend to the Lower Sac. Lots of sun, minimal bugs, and higher flows makes for some tough fishing. I was out there yesterday guiding a buddy of mine and he hooked 6 fish in about 5 hours of fishing. Pretty tough for the Yuba but it would have been better if we had a second rod in the boat. The river is at higher flows and is currently at 3,000 cfs. It is definitely at the point where you need to fish it out of the boat. Not lots of wading opportunities at these flows. With the increased flows there are a few steelhead being caught. Even though they are rare this is the time of year this is when the majority of those ocean going fish show up. Look to find the majority of the fish in the flats and off the edges of the faster currents. At these flows fish really like to pod up. So where you catch one there should be another willing fish waiting. If the weather stays warm like this expect to start seeing some major skwalas in the next couple of weeks. I actually had a couple land on me in the boat yesterday. So it is getting close to that time. The hot bugs have been eggs, san juans, rubberlegs, skwala stones, and Hogans S&M.

Feather:

The Feather is in its winter dull drums. The next 6 weeks there is nothing to be done on the feather. There will be a random fish or two out there for the die hard fisherman. But this time of year you might as well go fish the American river. The American is a much more winter viable fishery as compared to the Feather.

Get excited though. Because those spring fish are on the way. Those springers will be in the river in good numbers by mid March. These are the hottest fish in the valley. Most days we hook 10+ springers between 14-24". If you want to catch some hot fish under the sunny conditions of March and April then this is your game. This is by far my favorite time of year to fish the Feather. There are two specials for you to take advantage of this winter:

In February I will be offering some discounted trips on days that I am having a hard time booking. The cost of a full day trip for the selected dates below is going to be $275. You get a full day trip at the half day cost. This is a savings of $125.

February 9-10, 14-15, 23

Looking forward if you are interested in doing any trips this winter or spring then my openings are below. For those of you that want to get prime weekend dates for spring fishing then now is the time to start looking at your schedules.

March 1-3, 5, 8, 12-13, 18-25, 28-31

April 1-6, 9-22, 24-29


Well......I think that is it. I want to thank all of you for a great 2010. We caught some great fish and made some awesome stories. To big fish that got away, a few beers being drunk, sitting in hail storms, breaking rods, falling in the river, and spending time with friends. I look forward to all of our future trips and memories.

Hope to see you this Spring.

Tight Lines!

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RE: Fly Fishing Guide Special
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Fly Guys & Gals,

I hope you are all having a great week. It looks like we are finally getting a real taste of winter again. Rain is forecasted for the next week. For awhile there I was thinking spring was here to stay. The big news is that all of our valley rivers are already starting to fish good. Big caddis hatches on the Sac and even the March Browns are starting to pop their heads up on the Yuba. It is a little scary that we started catching fish on our spring patterns in the end of January. The weather this winter is setting up for a great spring on all of our valley rivers. Low flows and lots of bugs! Check out the fishing reports and my openings below. I look forward to spending some time with you this spring.

It is that time of year again when the Sac, Yuba, and Feather blow up. So make sure to get in on the bite. You dont want to miss the caddis hatch on the Sac, the March Brown/PMD hatch on the Yuba, or the run of Spring Steelhead on the Feather. Prime weekend dates are already filling up. Check out my openings below.

March: 3-4, 8, 12-13, 15-18, 20-24, 30-31

April: 2-6, 9, 11-13, 15, 20-22, 24-26


Lower Sac:

Caddis Hatch in January & February? YES, the Sac is already in its spring time trends. The middle parts of the river from Anderson down to Balls Ferry have been fishing LIGHTS OUT for average sized fish. Currently most days we are landing 30+ rainbows. If you are into lots of grabs then from now until April the Lower Sac is going to be the place to be. We are not seeing lots of big fish as most of the rainbows we are catching are going from 12-14". However every day we are getting a handful of great quality trout. This last week one of my clients found and landed a late 23" clipped hen on this drift. So there are some great fish still to be caught. This cold weather will slow things down for a bit but come March time the Sac is going to be blow up! Hot flies have been prince nymphs, king prince, zug bug, micromay, and Hogan's S&M.


Yuba River:

Is the same thing happening on the Yuba? Well yes. Spring Time has hit the Yuba as well. There are Skwalas flying around, March Browns starting to hatch, and a crazy early PMD here and there. The Skwala hatch has not been quite as good this year. The word on the street is that the high flows in December probably knocked these bugs around as they started their crawling migration. However I have been seeing a few on the water. Currently most days we are hooking 15-20 rainbows. However watch out for the next set of warm weather. With this little bit of cold those bugs will be itching to do their thing when it gets back to 70. WATCH OUT BECAUSE THE YUBA IS GOING TO BE GOOD! The hot bugs of late have been rubberlegs, red copper johns, skwala stone, Hogan's Clinger, Hogan's S&M, and of course San Juans!


Feather River:

Well................It is not spring time on the Feather! The only reason is there are very few fish in there right now. Get pumped because we are about 1 month away from this place blowing up as well. For those of you that dont know this is by far my favorite time of year to fish on the Feather. There is not a hotter fish in the valley. If you are lucky enough to hook one of those Feather River Adult steelhead then that fish will keep you coming back year after year. I literally have clients that only want to fish this river with me. Typical days on the Feather result in 10-12 hookups on steelhead between 16-24". If you are lucky enough then sometimes you can find that fish that is pushing the high 20's mark. Prime time is Mid March to Mid May!

Tight Lines,
Ryan Johnston

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Damn, Brian Wilson's got a toad!

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Well today is the second day ever that I have guided in the snow. Pretty crazy weather for Redding. We started fishing about 9AM and the first 1.5 hours there was a steady snow/sleet coming down. Needless to say there wer not lots of bugs coming off in the cold. However right about 11AM the fish started to eat. We landed 5 fish in the hour on Red Headed Step Childs, Olive Gidgets, adnd Micromays. The only issue was that my client threw in the towel a little after noon. I guess all of the rain/snow/sleet got to him. Once you start shivering I guess there is nothing that you can really do except get out of the cold. I can tell you though he was more excited about the car heater than a kid on Christmas morning!!! Hindsight we should have started around 10:30 but I guess you never know. Things are looking up for the weekend if you want to fish in Redding. Looks like Saturday and Sunday the weather is going to hold up for us.

Just as a note the Yuba is currently blown out. So check the flows before heading out toward Marysville.

Tight Lines!

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Last Minute Cancellation
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To anyone interested I had a last minute cancellation for Monday. I will offer a full day of fishing at the half day cost of 275. The trip will have to be on the Lower Sac as the Yuba is currently blown out. Right now we are landing between 20-25 rainbows a day on the Sac. Plus it looks like the weather on Monday is going to be awesome. Email me at ryan@rjsflytrips.com if you want to get in on the deal.

Hope everyone is staying warm.

Tight Lines!

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February Big Fish Report
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I hope you are all having a great week. Well winter is still here in the North Valley. Hopefully you guys are not frozen blocks of ice from the cold last week. I think that my fingers are just now defrosting. The last couple of weeks have been some of the coldest that I have ever seen. One client of mine was not so lucky 2 weeks ago when we sat in 1.5 hours of snow in Redding. Yes I said snow in Redding. But even with the snow flakes we were able to find a few fish to bite. Things are starting to look warmer for the week to come but even with that there is more rain in the forecast. Well you ready for the good news...............cold weather means the hatches are going to be huge when it gets warm again. So expect the fishing from the mid March - mid April to be excellent. That means there will still be March Browns on the Yuba and Caddis on the Lower Sac. So get excited because there is really good fishing to come. Check out my latest fishing report and openings below. I look forward to spending some time with you guys this spring.

Openings:
March: 3-4, 8, 12-17, 20-24

April: 3-6, 11-13, 15, 20-22, 25-26

May: 2-7, 9-10, 17-20, 28-31

Weekend Dates Still Open: March 12-13, March 20, April 3, May 7, May 28-29


Lower Sac:

Well it has been an interesting month on the Lower Sac. The conditions have been all over the board. Warm early in the month and freezing temperatures of late. Needless to say the hatches on the Sac have also been bouncing around. We have seen some huge caddis hatches under the sunny weather and really big blue wing hatches with the rain. The hatches have been impressive for the last month. I had clients last week that were lucky enough to be in the biggest caddis hatch of the year thus far. There were so many caddis out that we grabbed a dry fly rod. In one tail out we hooked 2 fish on caddis dries. Now I know that doesn't seem like a big deal but that is more rare than hooking a steelhead on the Sac. The middle stretches of the Sac continue to fish the best with most of my time being spent on either Bonnyview to Anderson or Anderson to Balls Ferry. The hot flies of late have been prince nymphs, Hogan's S&M, Brown Micro Mays, Small Flashback PTs, and rubberlegs. Currently the river is fishing pretty normal with most days resulting in 25+ rainbows landed. Expect things to blow up on the Lower Sac when we finally get some sunny weather in the high 60s. When that happens the fishing is going to be SILLY!

Yuba River:

The Yuba has been having a rough go for the last couple of weeks. There have been small windows to fish the Yuba with major fluctuating flows on the river. Currently the river is fishable and flowing at 2,000 CFS. However with more rain coming tomorrow I expect Deer Creek to blow the Yuba out for a couple more days. Probably by next weekend the Yuba will be good to go again. It just depends on how much water we get in the next couple of days. With all of the changing conditions I have not been on the Yuba for the last couple of weeks. But if I were to go out there I would try rubberlegs, San Juans, Hogans S&M, Hogans Clinger, Copper Johns, and even some eggs. Expect things to get really good hear as well when we get some warm weather. Hopefully the flows will not be up when that happens. To be honest I am bitting at the bit to get out there.


Feather River:

Well................It is not spring time on the Feather! The only reason is there are very few fish in there right now. I talked to a guy who guided the Feather last week and they only hooked a couple of fish. So it is still to early for the Feather to start fishing. But get pumped because we are about 2-3 weeks away from this place blowing up as well. If you want to go out there scouting then throw all of your favorite green caddis patterns, Hogans S&Ms, San Juans, Birds Nest, Alevins, Etc. The Spring is by far my favorite time of year to fish the Feather. If you fish it enough then you will have one of those magical days out there where everything seems to align and there are tons of fish in the system that want to eat your fly. Hang on and don't screw up when you hit the big one. Expect the Feather to peak from mid March through April.

February's Big Fish of the Month!

The big fish award for February is going to Jesus Cardenas. Jesus has been fishing with me for about 3 years now. He lucked into this great 23" clipped steelhead on the Lower Sac the second week of February. The best part of this fish is that it absolutely hammered his fly. This fish was moving so fast that I saw it under the boat by the time he was setting the hook. The crazy part is this fish passed up the Rubberlegs to eat a small prince nymph. Dumb fish! In the end Jesus did everything right and we netted this fish right above Deschutes Bridge. Jesus will get $50 off his next trip with me. I hope there are more steelhead to come this spring! It seems like there are always a few it just depends if you are lucky enough to land one. Maybe you will be the next big fish winner.

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Lower Sac, Feather, and Yuba River Reports: Finally Fishing!
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Well............it has been an interesting month. If you haven't noticed Northern California has been getting pounded with rain and snow. Needless to say it has been a tough month. Because of all the weather and Bonnie being on the edge of going into labor I didn't guide one day in March. I had to reschedule 21 days for the month. I started to think of my break as a sabbatical from the oars. It came as good timing though with the birth of our first child Maggie on March 21. So I have had a couple of weeks to help Bonnie out and bond with the baby. To be honest I think the baby has taken more out of me then working. LOL. But even with the restless nights of feedings and trying to sleep I am over joyed with the new addition to our family.

Okay............I know get on to the Fishing! The good news is that the Lower Sac is back in shape and fishing well. So there are going to be some lips ripped in the next couple of weeks.

In this post you will find reports from the Lower Sac, Forecasts on conditions for the Yuba/Feather, Openings, and a couple discounted trips! For all discounted trips I will offer a full day at the half day cost of $275.

Dates Available:

April: 12 ($275), 17, 25-26 ($275), May 3, 6, 17-20, June 7-10

Lower Sac:

As of yesterday we have a couple rivers (Lower Sac/Feather) in the valley that is fishable. The Lower Sac is currently at 15,000 cfs and the clarity is about 6-7 feet. The fishing has been really good all week as those fish plow down on anything that lands in front of them. They finally get some rest and time to eat after the high flows. Both trips I have done this week have resulted in 30+ fish days with many others lost. With the high water the key is to find those soft edges where the fish can settle in and get out of the heavy current. It wasn't hard to find some hungry fish as they tried up to eat the yellow brain fly, the famous bead, and a rubberleg. Around 1PM there was a solid hatch of pmds and as soon as the bugs came out a flashback pt and mercers pmd caught a handful of fish. The quality of fish on the river yesterday was awesome with lots of 17-19" rainbows crushing our bugs.


Yuba River:

Well there haven't been any reports from the Yuba as it has been unfishable for several weeks now. The flows on the Yuba have been bouncing around between 5,000-6,000 cfs. Currently the flows on the Yuba are 5,200+ cfs. So this is still to high to fish the river effectively. In my opinion the river needs to be below 4,000 cfs but is even better when it drops to 3,000 cfs. Now with all of that said that doesn't mean one cant catch fish over there at this flow. With this much flow you have to focus on the slower deeper runs and plan on doing 2 floats as you will be flying down the river.

The forecast for the Yuba is still a couple of weeks out but the last couple of days they have been flirting with that 4,000 cfs mark. We are probably looking to the middle or later parts of April to get out on the river. When things finally get fishable watch out because it is going to be lights out on this river for several weeks. Lots of fish looking to eat after all of the high water conditions. Expect the Yuba to fish really well through June this year. Stay tuned for reports on my blog.

Feather River:

The Feather dropped into shape on Wednesday. I guided the Low Flow section today and found decent success. With two rookies who had never fly fished before we hooked 7 spring steelhead that were all of good size. These were not your typical 16" fish that you see over there during March/April. All of the fish were between 19-22" fat footballs. There was a little pressure on the river with 2 other drift boats and about 3 guys wading the upper parts of the drift. We had to cover a lot of water to find the fish but they were pretty evenly spread out throughout the entire low flow. The hot flies were a prince nymph and lightning bug. But try san juans, microspawn, birds nest, king princes, pts, Hogan's S&M, etc. if you plan on going over there. Expect things to get really good on the Feather in a couple of weeks once some more fish move into the system.

Well that is it. We are finally back to fishing in the valley. Expect the next three weeks to be really good.

Tight Lines!



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April Fishing Report
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April has been a great month! After a long March with high water conditions April set up to be one of the best months that I can remember. The Lower Sac was awesome and the Feather was full of fish! Never have I seen an egg bite happen in April. Those of you who were fortunate enough to hit it were rewarded with great fishing for three weeks with beads and sucker spawns. On top of all that I had an 11 year old girl name Olivia CATCH THE BIGGEST RAINBOW I HAVE HAD A CLIENT LAND ON THE RIVER!!!! You cant ask for much more than that. Plus you throw a couple trips in each week chasing those spring steelhead on the Feather and it has been a ton of fun to guide.

Keep your fingers crossed that water conditions stay stable on our river sheds so that we can continue to have good fishing through the rest of the month. Hopefully we will have a couple more weeks of spring before summer hits.

In this report you will detailed reports for the Lower Sac, Feather, Openings before I leave for Idaho, and 1 discounted trip for this Saturday, May 7.

My Openings are below:

May 7 ($275), 17-18

June 7, 9, 16-19



Lower Sac:

The Lower Sac has fished really well the entire month of April. From the bead bite, to the sucker spawn grab, and now to the pmd hatch it has been hard to go wrong on the river. Almost every day on the river the last 3 weeks has been spectacular. We have had lots of 30+ boated fish days with many more than that lost. The key right now to the Lower Sac is being on the river at the right time. The river is in its normal spring trend with most fish being caught from the morning time until about 3PM. After 3PM you can still catch some fish but things definitely tighten up. The last week

I have been spending the majority of my time between Anderson and Balls Ferry but talking to friends fishing up in town is also producing well. The hot flies lately have been sucker spawn, rubber legs, mercers pmd, and Hogans S&M.

Expect the Fishing to stay solid on the river for the next 3 weeks as long as water conditions stay stable. I expect that this is going to be a high water summer on the Lower Sac. But we are keeping our fingers crossed that they dont have to go above 25,000 cfs. If they keep it between 20,000-25,000 it could be a great summer of catching lots of big rainbows on the river as these are great flows. A lot will depend on the weather in May. If the weather gets really warm in a hurry then we might see higher flows sooner than expected. However if spring continues for the next couple of weeks then the Sac will be its normal self.

Feather River:

The Feather has had a great April as well. I have been guiding over here 2 days each of the last four weeks and there are plenty of fish in the system. Most days we are hooking 10+ spring steelhead on the river. There has been a strong mix of half pounders and adult fish in the system. It seems like depending on the day you are there what kind of fish that you run into. One day you get a lot of fish between 16-19" and one big fish and then the next lots of fish between 20-22" and a couple big fish. Either way it has been hard to go wrong on the Feather. There are fish spread out throughout the entire Low Flow System. Lots of fish up by the Hatchery and Bedrock Park. So anyone going to wade up there can expect to do fairly well. The hot flies have been tan birds nest, prince nymph, dirty bird, and Hogans S&M. One tip over here is to fish a looser drag than normal. Since these fish are so hot and fresh a looser drag will prevent those small trout flies from being ripped out of their mouth.

Expect the Feather to fish well for the next couple of weeks. So if you want to get in on the action then you better plan on getting up there soon. Because by the third week of May most of these fish will leave the system due to increasing water temperatures.

Yuba River:

Well I don't have a lot of current info on the Yuba. I actually have not been over there for 2 months now. It seems like when flows finally stabilize over there I'm on the Sac or Feather. Then once I have a couple Yuba trips come up then the flows get jacked up again. I have to admit it has been a frustrating spring over there with water conditions. Im keeping my fingers crossed as I have a couple trips on the Yuba later this week. I can tell you that I have heard good things from a handful of people. It sounds like there are fish being caught during those small windows when the water has been stable. I know the last 4-5 days water conditions are good to go again for those that own a drift boat. If you head over there try Rubber Legs, San Juans, Copper Johns, Sally Nymphs, and Golden Stone Nymphs.

Hopefully I will have more info for you guys in a weeks or so. The good news is the last time the Yuba was this high for such a long extened period of time the summer fished lights out. So you guys could luck into a great summer of fishing on the Yuba. Expect great fishing on the Yuba in June and July!!!!

Hope this helps!

Tight Lines!



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RE: Fly Fishing Guide Special
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Hey guys I hope all of you are getting some fishing. I just frustratingly had a cancellation for Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26 this week. Anyone that wants to get out on the river I will do a full day trip at my half day cost of $275. This is going to be my last discounted days from now until probably December. Let me know asap by email at ryan@rjsflytrips.com if you want to fish in the next couple of days. Below is a quick report of what the fishing has been like the last week.

Lower Sac: The fishing has been solid with most days resulting in 20+ fish being boated. The fishing around Anderson has been really good for trout in the 12-17" range. While the fishing up in Redding has been hit and miss. I had a great day from Posse to Bonny on Sunday with 28 rainbows to the net and a 22'', 2 21", and 1 20" fish in the mix. But then I had a good friend do the same drift yesterday and I guess it didn't fish as well. So it seems like the fishing around Anderson right now is more consistent but the bigger fish are up river. Hot flies have been rubberlegs, sucker spawn, mercers pmd, and small pheasant tails.

Yuba: I fished the Yuba yesterday with the flows fluctuating from 5,500 cfs to 7,000 cfs throughout the day. The fishing was extremely technical as the water is up in the bushes. Even with the high water we managed to scratch out a few fish. We ended up floating from 20 bridge down to Sycamore twice. The first pass we hooked 10 rainbows and then the second 5. Not a bad day when you hook 15 on the Yuba. But it was demanding fishing as most of the fish were on the bank next to or behind the bushes. It felt like I was fishing in Idaho to be honest. My word of caution is not to float the Yuba unless you are an extremely experienced rower. There are a handful of spots that can do a lot of damage to a boat if not handeled correctly!!!!

Tight Lines!



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Last Lower Sac / Yuba Report before Idaho
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It has been a while since I have posted a report. Life has been extremely busy in the Johnston house with lots of guiding, running the Cast Hope Annual Benefit, having a new born baby girl, and all of life's normal chores. Today is going to be my last day of guiding in Northern California before I leave for my 5th summer in Idaho. The South Fork of the Snake with its huge hatches of stoneflies and pmds awaits me. As most of you know it has been a very unusual spring for both CA and ID. But there are still fish to be caught below you can find a report of what I have been seeing on our local valley rivers.

Lower Sac:

The Sac has been good and difficult at times over the last 6 weeks. Currently the river is at 11,000 cfs but it should be going over 20,000 sometime real soon. But again we have been saying this since March but it has to happen with the amount of water they have in Shasta right now. It seems like the best plan right now is to do long drifts and cover as much water as possible. Each day you get grabs in every place you should but rather than getting lots of multiples you are getting 1-2 hookups in the good spots. It has been really hard to fish slow and do well. Almost everyone right now is fishing Posse to Anderson but I have been switching it up a little bit and doing Bonny to Anderson and RV to Balls. Going out there expect to land right around 20 fish + or - a 2-3 fish. One thing you really have to watch out for is how fast the fish are eating your flies. If you are not right on that indicator as its going under the water then you miss them every time. The hot flies have been rubberlegs, tan pupahs, mercers pmd, flashback pt, and a red copper john.

Yuba:

I haven't been on the Yuba for the last couple of weeks since it went to 8,000+ but the first of June the Yuba was fishing really well. Before this spring I thought that the Yuba was unfishable over 4,000cfs. But I went out there several times between 5,000-7,000 cfs. The river was crazy high but the fish were still there. They we stacked up in the drop offs, behind bushes, and the slow flats. To be honest it really felt like fishing in Idaho. The only different thing that you had to do was do the drift twice. So I was fishing from 20 to Sycamore twice in a day and hooking 20+ rainbows each day. Which is great for the spring time on that river and especially good given the conditions. Now it did take me a couple of trips trying to figure things out but it worked out really well. Hot flies were rubberlegs, red copper johns, tan birds nest, and san juans.

Well that is it. Just wanted to keep you guys in the loop. Right now really pay attention to the flows as they are going to be changing at any time. Be careful out there and have a great summer. See you guys when I get back the first week of September.

Tight Lines!



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Ryan Johnston
www.rjsflytrips.com
619-540-9259


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RE: Fly Fishing Guide Special
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Well..........it has been a while since I have sent out a fishing report. It seems like time is getting more precious as we try to figure out our new life with baby Maggie. She is growing like crazy, starting to giggle, and becoming much more calm. No doubt there are still lots of sleepless nights but hopefully that will improve with time. These first three months have been an amazing process. I want to thank all of you for your words of encouragement as Bonnie and I try to walk our way through becoming parents.

We left for our annual summer to Idaho the third week of June. We were scared of the drive with the 3 month old but we pulled it off in one long day. About 16 hours of driving got us back to our summer home. It was such a blessing that we made it out in one piece. We will be out here through the first week of September and then will be ready to kick off another fall guide season by September 20th.

In this report you will find a detailed report of Western Wyoming/Eastern Idaho Water Outlook, the South Fork of the Snake, Lower Henrys Fork, and openings for fall fishing.


WESTERN WY / EASTERN ID WATER CONDITIONS:

Well there is tons of water out here. According to the locals this is the most snow that they have had in over 100 years. I have heard snow totals from 175-225% of the normal annual precipitation amounts. All of the rivers from Jackson Hole to Idaho Falls are all blown out. The freestone rivers are completely flooded and water is up to the tops of the banks. A local favorite river of mine is called the Salt River. Currently the Salt is so high it has overflowed its banks and is running through hay fields. The tailwaters are still at fishable flows but water clarity is still a big issue. Most tailwaters in our local area are looking at about 10-18" of visibility. The water is not complete chocolate but definitely on the brown side.

If you are planning on coming out this way this summer then I would postpone your trip to at least the third week of July. There is still tons of snow in the mountains. Currently it looks like it normally does in the first of June. So I figure that we are about a month behind from normal water conditions. One great thing is that the late season stuff should be awesome. For those of you that love to come out to the Rockies after the Labor Day crowds should find excellent water conditions and fishing. I don't know what Montana, Western Idaho, or Eastern Wyoming look like but I have to assume things are similar in those parts of the states.

I hope this helps you plan your annual trip.

SOUTH FORK SNAKE REPORT:

The South Fork has been really tough this week. The biggest issue here has been both the volume of water and the clarity. Currently the river is running at 24,000 cfs. On the upper stretches near the dam the clarity is 12". Once you get down into the lower part of the canyon the clarity is down to about 8". So needless to say there are not lots of boats on the water. The good news is that the Yellow Sallies, Salmonflies, and PMDS have begun hatching in large numbers. Now the issue is getting the clarity of the water to a state where the fish can see them. Both days on the river we landed 10+ trout and lost several others. But as most of you know for S. Fork standards that is super tough. The hot flies were eggs, san juans, and rubberlegs. Pretty much anything big and buggy will catch fish.

Right now the outlook is by the latter part of July things should get really good. That is when I expect that the Golden Stones and PMDS should be in full swing. The Salmon Fly Hatch this year might be hit and miss due to the water clarity. But truthfully isn't that the way the Salmon Fly Hatch always is. It seems like you are always one week to early or late. That mystical hatch is one of those things where you should have been here last week.

Expect some great late season fishing on the South Fork. As I expect is the same for the rest of the Rockies.

LOWER HENRYS FORK REPORT:


Well right now the only game in the area is the Henrys Fork. The water is a little high on Henrys but the clarity is perfect. It is literally the only clear water for hundreds of miles. The Lodge at Palisades Creek was able to get an emergency permit for the Lower Henrys Fork from St. Anthony down to the confluence. So two days ago I guided my first ever trip down a piece of that stretch completely blind. I got the call the night before that they were able to get the permit and the next day I was guiding on the Henrys Fork. So I went over there having no idea what to expect and it turned out to be a decent day. When I got to the river I was introduced to the largest grey drake spinner fall that I have ever seen. The fishing was good with lots of rainbows/browns in the 18-19" range. The rowing was fairly technical on this stretch and it really made me pay attention to every rock. I have to admit that I got puckered a few times but we were able to make it down safely. It was a lot of driving from my place with roundtrip taking 220+ miles. But at least I was able to get some work in and throw dry flies. Looks like the next 10 days or so the Lodge is going to be pushing that as the guests best option. It should be an interesting learning curve.

For those of you that are looking to do some fishing this fall the sooner you book your dates the better. Weekends have already begun to fill up. You don't want to miss those prime dates for the egg bite in Septmber/October on the Yuba, October on the Sac, and November on the Feather. Below you can find my current openings with suggested river recommendations.

FALL EGG BITE BOOKINGS IN CA:

Yuba Egg Bite: September 20, 22-26, 28-30 & October 1-5

Yuba/Sac Egg Bite: October 6-14, 16-20, 25-28, 30-31

Feather Egg Bite: October 25-28, 30-31 & November 1-25

Summer 2011: Call the Lodge at Palisades Creek to Book your trip (208-483-2222)


I hope all of you have a great summer and are able to get some much needed dry fly fishing in at your favorite creek or river. Come check out the South Fork of the Snake if you have never been out here before. It is one of those special places that all people need to experience.

Tight Lines!



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Tight Lines,
Ryan Johnston
www.rjsflytrips.com
619-540-9259


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Posts: 107
Date:
South Fork Snake Update
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Well things have finally started to get good out here in Idaho. The water on the South Fork of the Snake is still big at 21,000 cfs but the clarity is now to a green 3 feet of visibility. With the increased visibility the fishing has gotten much better. The last two days on the river has resulted in hooking 30+ trout. Right now it seems like the upper is fishing the best from the Irwin Slide down to the Spring Creek Bridge. The name of the game is still nymphing but yesterday in the canyon I finally saw some suspended fish sipping yellow sallies. The yellow sally hatches have been huge so by next week I think the dry fly game is going to be on. Usually when it starts it is nymphing in the morning and then switching to dries for the afternoon hatch. That game plan lets you stay on more fish throughout the entire day. Right now the hot flies are Rubberlegs (6), Red/Pink San Juans, Lightning Bug(12), and a drowned small Stimulator. The drowned Stimi is to represent a sunken yellow sally. The good news is that things are improving. Tough fishing last week has turned into lots of smiles and trout grabs. It is definitely a relief and much easier to get excited about going fishing. Hope you are all well.

Tight Lines!



__________________
Tight Lines,
Ryan Johnston
www.rjsflytrips.com
619-540-9259


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 107
Date:
RE: Fly Fishing Guide Special
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Well things on the South Fork continue to be challenging. It has definitely not been the easiest of summers out here in Idaho. I have been on the water the last 9 days and it seems like with average clients one can expect about a 20 trout day. All of the sections seem to be fishing about the same. Section 4 from Byington to Lorenzo has finally started to fish well. It is crazy how different the river is down there it looks like a bomb went off and dramatically changed the entire river. Complete islands are gone from last year. Pretty impressive what the power of water can do. The name of the game down there has been to keep nymphing. The hot duo has been to throw a rubber legs as your top bug and then trail it by a red san juan worm. Those browns love the worm. The nice thing about the lower river right now is the quality of the fish. Seeing lots of fish in the 16-19" range. Fat and healthy browns. There are some golden stones flying around down there that will get the random fish to come up but your dry fly grabs are few and far between.

Just this week lots of other guides have started to throw dry-dropper rigs for the entire day. It is working for smaller sized fish in the 6-12 inch range. Fishing the canyon with this rig on the faster rocky and foamy banks has been producing good numbers on the lightning bug. Most of the guys who are doing this are pretty much nymphing with a dry as they are only getting 6-8 dry eats a day. This has also been a great plan in the afternoon from dam-lodge. The fishing up there has been so good in the afternoon some of our guides have been doing triple drifts. Fishing from Irwin-Bridge in the morning and then doing Dam to Lodge twice in the afternoon.

The big disappointment this year has been the PMD fishing. There are zero fish in a riffles eating small bugs. Randomly you will find one in the shallows but not anything like it is supposed to be. This has been a big bummer for me as this is my favorite hatch and it produces the most opportunities at sight fishing. I think the majority of our pmds came off in the high muddy water when the fish couldn't see them.

Well what to expect on the South Fork of the Snake? To be honest I have no idea and no other guide out here does either. This is totally uncharted waters for all of us. The water is dropping and the river is down to 9,000 cfs. So that is a good start. Hopefully once things dry out here the hoppers will show up and give us a real boost. I still haven't seen or heard one yet because of the wet conditions but I know they have to come out at some point. If the hopper thing doesn't happen then we are going to be in for a long next month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

For those of you that are more interested in California fishing then I will be returning home on September 13 and will be ready to guide again by the 20th. This is going to be just in time for the famous egg bites on the Yuba, Lower Sac, and Feather. If you are looking for prime dates for some of the best fishing of the year then start looking at your calendars now. THE EGG BITE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

If you want to book a date this fall then my openings are below:

September (Yuba): 20, 22-23, 28-30

October (Yuba/Sac): 1-7, 11-14, 16-19, 25-26, 30-31

November (Feather): 1-5, 7-18


I hope you guys are having a great summer. I look forward to getting back to CA to see and fish with all of you again.

Tight Lines!



__________________
Tight Lines,
Ryan Johnston
www.rjsflytrips.com
619-540-9259


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 107
Date:
Dry Flies Finally
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Well the last three weeks have been really solid on the South Fork of the Snake. Water finally decided to clear about the first week of August and ever since then it keeps getting better and better. The dry fly fishing is still not even close to normal but there are plenty of opportunities to get those fish on dries if that is your game. But then of course who doesn't like getting fish on dries.

Well I have to admit that is the way that I usually feel.......but if you are up for some nymphing then there are some big browns to be caught on the Heise - Lorenzo drift on the Lower River. In the last couple of weeks I have had several guests that dont mind fishing the indicator and we have hooked some huge brownies. One day we landed 6 fish 18", a 19", 20", 21", and broke off a 23" fish! Days after that my clients were hooking 21-23" daily. Now it doesn't get much better than that. The hot setup has been to have a rubberleg, san juan, and then lightning bug on the bottom. Streamer fishing down there has been solid with plenty of browns willing to chase up a meal on a bright JJ (yellow/brown streamer)

This last week the PMD fishing went off on section 3 from Cottonwood - Byington. All summer I have been waiting for this to happen as this is my favorite style of fishing on the South Fork. In the morning time all one has to do is start searching the rock/foam banks for those suspended fish in the foam. Then put 2 small emergers in front of them and they cant resist. Seriously these fish see an emerger and they move for it every time. But if you miss them once then you have to change the pattern to get them again. The hot emergers have been the pink hackle stacker and pmd challenge. In the afternoons the riffles and flats have been on fire as fish are eating emergers. There are a couple of flats that seriously have over 100 fish in them. About 3PM everything starts to slow down and those last couple of hours are pretty brutal. But who cares when you are getting a solid 6 hours of fishing dries.

Besides that things are going well. Starting to get ready for the famous Jackson Hole One Fly Tournament. This will be my first summer to guide for it. They have asked me the last 2 summers but I have opted out since I have gone home in the end of August. So this year I will give it a try. Maybe some CA kid will ruffle up a few feathers and put some pressure on these ID guides. It should be fun. Stay posted for the results.

For those of you looking to do some fishing this fall things are starting to book up. So start looking at those calendars and get your dates picked out. Below are my openings.

Prime Time Yuba: Sept 20, 23, 29, Oct. 2-6

Prime Time Sac: Oct. 11-13, 16-19, 31

Prime Time Feather: Nov. 1-4, 7-11, 14-18, 20 (Sunday)

Let me know if you guys want to book any dates. Hope you all are doing well and getting some fishing in.

Tight Lines!



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Tight Lines,
Ryan Johnston
www.rjsflytrips.com
619-540-9259
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