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Post Info TOPIC: Knowing Putah Creek


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Knowing Putah Creek
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Hey Guys,

So I am sure most of you have seen all of the people on the creek recently. It seems that your typical runs that are easy to access are always filled up bright and early and it's like a race to try and get to the run first or you are out of luck. I have had to think outside of the box to get to some spots that don't seem to receive as much pressure and have had some decent success. How many of you have explored all 4 miles of Putah? Would we see less pressure if there was better access along both sides of the creek so more people could spread out? Do you think most of the good runs are well known, or are there some hidden gems that take some bush whacking to access? Just something I've thought about for a while. The thorns, rattle snakes, and poison oak seem to keep most people from going to far off the beaten path. 

 

Phil 



-- Edited by hares_ear on Sunday 19th of May 2019 07:52:19 PM

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My personal take is that the better and easier the access gets, the more crowded the creek gets. So, I would say no to the idea of increasing access points.

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Skol Bandit wrote:

My personal take is that the better and easier the access gets, the more crowded the creek gets. So, I would say no to the idea of increasing access points.


 Truth



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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

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Yeah, I cannot say I haven't thought about that either. I am sure it would help for a season to have easier access on the creek, and then it would probably get even more crowded than it already is now. I do wonder if the $10 parking fee that is coming in July will make the crowds smaller. I have to say that coming from the Bay Area and paying the toll fee to cross the bridge, plus the parking fee is a big turn off. I can drive to other rivers that are another 40 minutes out and skip the parking fee, crowds, and the toll fee all together. I do love Putah and the community of solid people that are around, but I sometimes just need isolation. Not complaining at all. Putah is a gem and it has a place in my heart for sure. 

 

 



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Bad idea. The fishing pressure is intense now. I've explored alot of the river on both sides over the past 50 years or so. I get to the other side only when the water is low. It takes a little know how and ability to wade agressively and cross at several spots. You're talking about access on both sides of the river to help (pardon me for saying it) the lazy person find new spots. That is the same logic that saw people go into several access points 20 years ago, or so, and use chain saws to clear out the trees and brush that made it difficult for them to fish. Once productive spots became unproductive because there was no protection for the fish. Yes, the pressure on the fishery is intense. Making it more accessable is only going to cause it to deteriorite more.

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Learning the creek is very important. It may take a few years and lots of conversations with all the people you meet, but it is well worth just taking a day or 30 bushwacking. At this point I just drive up the creek and see where the fewest cars are. Some spots are better than others, but sometimee spots that get hammered don't produce.  Same as any other river or creek.  Also if you new to the Creek you should hire a guide like Greg Bonovich who runs this site.  A great guy and has a lot of other knowledge about the local area.



-- Edited by Otter on Monday 20th of May 2019 09:39:22 PM



-- Edited by Otter on Monday 20th of May 2019 09:51:25 PM

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chris


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Because of health issues with both me and my wife, I don't fish Putah very much any more.  However, over the last 20 years I have fished it over 250 times.  Of course, bush wacking and hiking a lot can find you productive spots.  However, "learning Putah creek" is sometimes more about SEEING productive spots that others don't see.  Here's an example.  I know of a spot that is only about 20 feet from the path leading down to the creek.  When I first found it, I thought it seemed a little shallow and a little too swift to hold good fish.  In any case, I fished it.  The first time I fished it I hooked three 17 inch fish, landing only one.  The next week I fished it and landed another 17 incher.  The next couple of trips I landed a 16 incher and a 14 incher.  All of these fish came from a spot I had initially thought was "too shallow and too fast".  So my point is that even though this spot was virtually in plain sight of anyone who walked down that path, this spot produced because most everyone ignored it.  So, as the late Mike Fong once said, what separates the productive fisherman from the others is quite often the ability to SEE.  



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Great post Nohackle. Take the guide hole below deer sign for example. We used to access it just above the large hole and come up from below. Get in the water and follow the brush line on the road side until about half way up and cross over. I did try Gregs rope bridge "once" :)

There is some skinny water on the far side where we would cross over but there was (probably still is) a little shelf in there perhaps a foot tall and 6-8 feet long. We soon learned to come up from below it and fish from the knees for a low profile. It always produced some nice fish that others would walk right through.

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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

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I leave no water untouched. I've seen trout sitting and cruising in 8" of still water clear and muddy, and I've seen trout smacking dries in the fastest of riffles that I couldn't possibly believe a trout could hold in let alone see and hit drys in raging turbulent white water.

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This might be considered unsportsmanlike, but find a cliff or hillside to climb up or a bridge, take some binoculars and some polarized sunglasses or better, polarized industrial goggles and look down on the water. You'll see fish all over the system. Now getting them to eat or not spooking them is a different story and up to you.

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I too have wondered about this issue...I started fishing Putah last fall and this spring I’ve been really trying to learn the creek itself. This has led to lots of dead ends, thorns and ticks on me after fishing. Is it ok to come through with a machete to hack my way into some spots? Also, how is this new fee going to be enforced? Having to pay each time to fish Putah is a huge turn off. It already costs an arm and a leg to reach the creek and I like to fish it often. Maybe the fee will help a little with the intense pressure the creek has been receiving. Personally, I haven’t had any issues with crowds fishing during the weekday especially early morning. I am also trying to figure out and find more fish lies in places other people overlook or deem too inaccessible to fish. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be on the weekends...

I also had a time where I thought I fished a spot thoroughly with no takes. However, I crossed the creek and fished it from another angle and found a deep eddy flowing under a low hanging tree right next to the little pool/run I fished. I drifted my nymphs with the eddy current (opposite of the overall current of the creek) and as the nymphs reached depth under the tree, I landed my two largest Putah trout one after the other. I’m not sure if I was in a popular spot, but definitely it was a spot that many people must pass through and I’m guessing overlook. In a “spot” there might be “micro spots” where fish may be hiding that other people are just not fishing for.


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Remind me to never tell you guys any info. If any five people who really know the creek were to give out their secrets, that place wouldn't be worth the drive. And even though it's a release fishery, those trout don't come with grommets in the sides of their mouths to expedite release. If they get too stressed they DIE. So in summation, let the newbies figure it out on their own. And don't be like some people and post anything over 12" on instagram.



-- Edited by mudhen on Thursday 23rd of May 2019 08:30:35 AM

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So much anger, mudhen. Do you have a "Get Off My Lawn" sign in your yard?

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don't need it. I just stick the barrel of a shotgun out the window. Works like a charm.


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