Flossin and bossin in the Ville + Fantasy Football + fishing reports

So fall is slowly rolling in Northern California. The days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler and the rivers are dropping to their fall levels filling with Chinook salmon and hopefully soon steelhead. I have been transitioning between summer and fall fisheries holding on to the last vestiges of summer but getting excited for some fall fishing.

Feather River – The Low Flow has dropped down to 1000cfs and is FULL of Chinook salmon schooling up in every conceivable hole and run in the river. This is a great sign but makes me wonder how many fish are left in the high flow or if there is any fish in the low flow. I took clients out on the river this last weekend and we hooked 3 fresh steelhead and landed one. I would say it is still a bit early but there are some fish around and the ones we hooked were wild chrome bullets. The flows at 1000cfs change the game a bit but not much just add water to the normal spots don’t really created any new ones. Extend runs and make spots in existing runs deeper and more likely to hold fish. With the amount of salmon in the river and the aggressive nature of them at this stage look for steelhead below the masses of salmon and in the deeper water below runs, just kind of hanging back. All our fish came on caddis and mayfly nymphs.

First Feather Steelhead of the Fall Season

Lower Yuba River – The Lower Yuba has dropped down to 760 cfs and has been stable here sense August 31. This is a normal fall flow, really the minimum flow for the river. This flow drop should kick the salmon that are in the river up into the riffles and get the starting to cut out some redds and get to the business of dropping some eggs. I would expect the egg bit to get going in the next week or two, but I am sure the trout will start moving into the riffles looking for eggs and eating bugs as the salmon cut their redds.

Lower Sacramento River Trout – The Sac has dropped down right around 8000cfs as of August 30th. Fishing has been tough from what I have been hearing. Fishing up through redding area has been a few good fish at best and then a ton of smaller 10-12” fish for most people. Fishing down around Red Bluff has been good one day fair the next. Fishing in the lower stretches for steelhead should be picking up over the next few weeks and the egg bite is still at least a month away I imagine.

Lower Sacramento River Stripers – Fishing has slowed down a bit as flows have dropped substantially. I have heard of a few people catching fish but I have not been out sense the big flow drop so I don’t really have a handle on what is going on but I imagine fishing should remain decent until the weather starts getting cooler.

Guiding – I still have a few fall dates available and plenty of winter dates open as well. These will fill soon so if anyone wants to get out for fall or winter trout and steelhead let me know.

Nov. 17, 23-27.
Dec. 27-31
Jan. 2-12, 18-20, 25, 26
Feb. 8-10, 15, 16, 22, 23

Tales from the ‘Ville
 Flossin and Bossin on the Feather
As October approaches we enter Feather River Steelhead season…I love the feather there is no better river for getting people into steelhead fishing. There are good numbers of fish in the river each year, it is close to the bay area and sacramento, and the fish are pretty willing to eat a egg or nymph pattern. That said it runs through the ‘Ville and as I began to spend time on the river a new blog column emerges …. Stories from the Ville:

With only one day on the river so far this year I already have multiple experiences to discuss…First is the “shit house spey crew” that plant themselves in Shit House riffle full with camp chairs and coolers for at-least 8-10hours a day. If I was to fish shit house for more then an hour I may shoot myself due to the repetitive nature of  fishing the run. Second of all, shit house is FULL of salmon this time of year to the point where we call it the Oil Slick … it is just black with the backs of salmon and the lose of gear would bankrupt me. Couple all that with the fact that the Low Flow is closed to Salmon Fishing and the warden station for the wild life area is just over the levy and if they see you fighting a salmon they will come down on you like the hand of god…that said most are pretty reasonable if you hook one and break it off ounce you know it is a salmon or even if you think you have hooked a state record steelhead and fight it all the way to the bank most wardens will look at your 5-7wt rod and indicator rig with egg patterns, trout nymphs, and 2-4x tippet and know you weren’t trying to break the law.

Now the “shit house spey crew” swings flies on large traditional spey and switch rods ALL day through shit house, which I have no problem with but lets be honest if you swing flies you are going to snag, floss, and hook salmon on every drift.  Now I have no problem if you want to try to catch a steelhead on a swung fly and in the process lose a fly every cast on a salmon, totally your deal. That said these guys hook salmon and fight them all the way to the bank, tailing them with helping hand tailing gloves one after the other while hooting and hollering up and down the bank …. So I have been watching this for a few years now and if they were legitimately fishing for steelhead there is no way they would be fishing with tippet heavy enough to land 15-35+lb king salmon and spey rods that belong  in Smithers not the Low Flow of the feather. Most of the time I keep my mouth shut and assume they just don’t know any better, but I couldn’t take it anymore this last weekend. So, as much as I wanted to row a cross the river and tell them what morons they were , I politely said to one of them that the low flow is closed to salmon fishing and that you are not allowed to target salmon…This guys response was completely over the top hostile with “I know exactly what I am doing” and he got totally defensive, while he was beaching a salmon mind you, so at that point I just said for get it…my client even said “wow you were really diplomatic about that and that guy was a total dick!!!!”  So tales from the ville began… dudes flossing salmon with spey rods. Stay Classy Oroville.

Beer Report
Biggest news in Brews is the release of the seasonal release from Sierra Nevada of Flip Side Red IPA. I have had this on tap and in the bottles so far. I am really liking it! Nice smooth red IPA with a little bitter aftertaste at first but the more you drink the less that bitterness lasts. I have also had a few bottles and a few pints on tap of the Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale. I am digging it but it is not amazing…good but not great. I also secured my self two tickets to October Fest at Sierra Nevada…Pretty pumped on that.

Gods Favorite Football Team
We opened up the season with a nice win over Temple at home. Tommy looked good at QB but was a bit lacking on 3rd down conversions and lets be honest Temples Secondary is not world class. I was pretty impressed with the running back and recievers as well and of course the D was solid. Field goal kickers were a bit worrisome and in close games like we are bound to be in this year may be a bit of a concern. Bottom line is we will know what we got when we take on Michigan at Michigan this Saturday Night.

The Pictures I get from my friends when I text them "what are you up to right now"
Classy Friends I have...
The League...
So last year my fellow guide friends and I decided we needed to get into Fantasy Football...so we started a league. It started small last year with like 5 or 6 of us, we decided that fly guides can only be in a league with fly guys as we can't have any of those nerds that sit in front a computer all day checking fantasy stuff...plus we suck so we need other people in our league that suck. Hence the birth of the Nor Cal Guides Fantasy League...it has now grown to nearly 16 guides and we had our draft on Labor Day this last weekend at the Deelers house. Bottom line this thing is getting competetive this year. I have spent every bowel movement for the last month reading up on fantasy football, strategies, players, etc....Updates to come. 

Hogan Brown