Gas tank holes, blown trailer bearings, fishing reports, and fly news

It has been a bit sense my last post and when that happens I have to sort through the randomness that is my “blog post material” for what I deem will be the most entertaining for those wasting time on their phone, in their cubicle, on their couch or my preferred blog reading station my couch during commercials. I am going to mix in some fishing reports, fly news, and random tales life to entertain…here goes.

Gas Tank Holes and Blown Trailer Bearings 
2 weeks ago I went out to my truck to go to band practice and I realized that my truck was really low on gas. No big deal I thought, I’ll get some gas on the way. I pulled up to the station and started pumping gas into my tank and heard the rushing sound of water…I looked down to see gas pouring out the bottom of my gas tank through a small hole. My first thought was that I punctured my gas tank while putting my boat in on the Yuba that weekend…then the guy next to me getting gas looked at my situation and said “someone drilled your tank and stole your gas”…I thought no way, not on my cul-de-sac in my neighborhood. I live in a nice neighborhood….oh wait that is where people go to steal things.

So, I drove home and parked my truck where it had been parked, got out and looked down to see a small curly cue from a drill and a small puddle of gas…shit. The only solace I took was that there was nearly no gas in the tank so at best the meth heads who stole my gas got a few gallons…when I began to think about it I bet they saw my big truck and thought they had hit meth head gas thief Valhalla and that there crappy econo line van with a generator they used to cook meth would run for years now. I even hoped that the next time they did it the friction from the drill would ignite the gas and blow them to smithereens.

With my truck out of commission I had to borrow Ryan J’s old suburban to guide…It has 290,000 miles on it and a miss firing piston that gives you a back message every time it idles and makes the check engine light blink on and off, which according to any car I have ever owned means “pull over immediately and get to a mechanic” but according to Ryan is fine.

Pretty crappy way to start a day
That Saturday I had to drive to the Lower Yuba to guide so I showed up and met my clients under the bridge and as I was driving away to launch my boat my client says “hey your tire is falling off your trailer…” I get out and to my surprise it was. I had blown a bearing on my passenger side trailer tire…Yes, I know they need to be lubricated, and yes I take my trailer to Les Schwab on East Ave in Chico ounce a year for service, but I will get to that…With a busted bearing I had to send my client home and call a tow truck. Luckily he lived just up the road in Nevada City and was fine with that. With that I called a tow truck and was told it would take 1hour for the truck to get there…I waited. Took a walk up river to watch some salmon, which there is a ton of, and waited some more. An hour and a half passed, so I called the tow truck company to find out the tow truck that was coming to tow me had broken down on the way and would be another hour or two…awesome. Eventually around noon a tow truck showed up and towed the trailer to a mechanic in Penn Valley my parents use.

Well Les Schwab on east ave had been lubing the front bearings on each tire only…not the back set as well and both sets blew. Thanks Les Schwab on East Ave in Chico, CA.

That said I got back on the road and the water this last week and here is the reports…

Lower Yuba River
The river is fishing really well. There is salmon on reds all the way from the bridge down to the Diversion Dam. Fish are eating eggs, stonefly nymphs, and small baetis and caddis patterns. One thing that surprised me was how many fish I saw in the flats eating what appeared to be small isonychia mayflies (found some schucks in the back coves and slack water that had washed off the rocks) and caddis. If I had brought dry fly rods I think the dry fly fishing would have been pretty darn good. We floated some nymphs in the film and got some grabs but not the same as getting a fish on a dry. We caught a few fin clipped steelhead on the days I was out there and lost a few big fish that I think may have been steelhead as well. Fish seemed to be spread out pretty well still even though the main food source this time of year is in the shallows where there are egg laying salmon. Fishing should continue to be good through the next few weeks as more and more salmon spawn.

Lower Sacramento River
I drifted from Balls Ferry to Jelly’s Ferry the days I was out there and fishing was good. There are fish piled in the reds eating eggs and in the riffles where there are spawning salmon at the top. Nearly all of the fish we caught came on egg patterns and in egg water. I was on the float with two other boats and both the other boats hooked fin clipped steelhead. We were not as lucky but it was good to see that they are out there and around. Fishing should continue through the fall and winter and crowds should begin to thin out as the Trinity picks up.

Feather River
The Feather River is fishing good for fall steelhead. There are fish spread out in the Low Flow and High Flow sections of the river. Most fish are being caught on egg patterns and it pays to be the first guy through the run with an egg pattern. Salmon season closed October 15th so the lower river should be a bit more open as the salmon anglers are cleared out. Fresh fish should move up river through October and rain will help. Best fishing is early and late or on overcast days.

My Flies…
With the all the drama swirling around the inter web and the water cooler in your local fly shop I wanted to fill everyone in on the status of the commercial production of my flies. For the last 9 years I have been a signature tier for Idylwilde. Idylwilde lost its production facility in the Philippines this last spring and was unable to deliver flies this summer. They worked hard all summer to get a new facility up and running to resume production and get back on track for 2014.

Signed and delivered
In the last few weeks though Idylwilde has entered in to a legal dispute and suspended production of flies for the coming year. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of Idylwilde and some long discussions with Zach Mertens, the owner and founder of Idylwidle, I have decided to leave Idylwilde as a signature tier. This comes with the blessing and understanding of Zach and in the end with Idylwilde suspending production and embroiled in a legal battle Zach thought it in my best interest to move on. I honestly can say that this was one of the harder things I have had to do. I have broke up with girlfriends that were easier…lets be honest though with my looks and addiction to catching fish I was usually the one getting dumped.

Over the last few weeks I have been fielding some offers from various fly companies, and have really struggled with what to do…I thought about giving up on the whole business of flies and just make up the income writing more articles or guiding more, but then people wouldn’t have my flies to fish and I may get kind of complacent and stop coming up with flies, which could affect my clients success on the river. In the end I decided to sign with an established company named Montana Fly Company. I have always respected Adam Trina at Montana Fly and thought they had some great patterns. Many of them I fish on a weekly basis.

The nuts and bolts is that I am sending in this week over half a dozen new patterns, and discussing what patterns I will bring over from my old catalog at Idylwilde. The goal is to have the new flies and some of the old ones in production by 2015. Most fly shops will be able to begin ordering flies this summer. Check out Montana Fly on the web or Facebook and hgb fly-fishing on Facebook or this blog for more information as it develops…

Hogan Brown