Shad Are coming

So I am pretty much caught up on my flies so I decided to start tying some shad flies as I go through these pretty quick when guiding. I tie about 3-4 different patterns for shad and while everyone has their secret shad fly I tend to think that when shad are bitting and I am fishing over fish most anything works. I do think smaller, short shank, flies in sizes 6-10# are best as a shad's mouth is pretty small and the smaller the fly the more consitent hook ups. Also I think trim dart style flies work the best, but who knows.

I tend to stick with 3 color schemes - Chartreuse/Hot Pink, Hot Pink/Chartreuse, and Pearl/Hot Pink. I have seen people catch fish on all sorts of color schemes and flies in my boat as there are always the people who will only fish their secret shad fly - I had one guy last year that wouldn't even let me unhook or net his fish as he didn't want me to see his "secret fly" - What ever. He failed to notice that his buddy caught just about the same number of fish on one of mine. Supposedly his caught "bigger females" - Shad guys are sometimes a little crazy.

All the patterns I tie are variations of an old chico local named Bob Story's patterns. Bob use to tie commercially for shops around town. I think his wife did most of the tying and he did the selling - not sure. Idylwilde also ties some shad flies designed by Capay local Tim Fox that I have caught plenty of fish on. I prefer the Brite Shad Fly in Chartreuse the best for the Lower Sac.

The materials I use are crystal flash, Edge glow, and Ice Braid. On bead or cone patterns I use some Chenelle but not very often as I like to keep the patterns trim. Also I use barbell eyes to assure the hook rides point up.

Best time for shad on the Lower Sacramento River outside of chico is the end of May through June and while that is a month or two away I am getting excited for some warm days and nice evenings anchored up swinging flies for these big slabs.
Hogan Brown