Reports, Rock music, gathering of the tribes...fresh and unedited.

So here we are the second of February and once again I am writing my blog post on the eve of an apocalyptical storm. After a week or so of FREEZING cold weather here in Northern California were expecting BIG pine apple express style storm over the next few days. It should drop a TON of water and even worse melt a BUNCH of low elevation stow compounding the affect on our rivers. I imagine most rivers and lakes will blow out but who knows…there was supposed to be big storm hitting us this last weekend and it was sunny and cold all weekend without a drop of moisture. All we can do is plan for today and today is good…many life lessons to be learned from this thing called fly fishing.

Personally I haven’t been out on the water much that last week as I got a wicked cold/virus and basically canceled all of my plans except breathing, eating, sleeping, disposing of human waste, and watching obscure sci fi Netflix – yes even the ones that most people think look really good and then play episode one and the whole thing is in some foreign language and uses subtitles which then makes them scowl and turn it off after about 30 seconds. I am proud to say I have watched whole seasons of post-apocalyptic goodness via subtitles.

That said I have been out a bit before the viral coma I went into for a few days and as I have sense come back to life I have talked to some buddies about the fishing…

Lower Yuba River – Most of my trout fishing this time of year is on the Lower Yuba River and the Lower Yuba has been fishing pretty darn good lately. Flows on the Lower Yuba River got bumped up to 3350cfs yesterday from about 2200cfs and Deer Creek is flowing at 250cfs. 3500cfs is about the top end of where I will float the Yuba and guide it. That said the river channel has changed a bunch over the last few years and widened in a lot of spots making it much easier to fish and float at higher flows. What I assume is happening is they are dumping water to make room for the low elevation snow melt and rain that is coming. This is not a bad thing as Englebright, hopefully will not over flow and that any color that comes down from Deer Creek will be heavily diluted and pushed down the system pretty quickly helping the river recover and become fishable much quicker. My hope is that the heaviest rain is supposed to fall mid-week and Maybe just maybe we may get to fish this weekend…maybe.

I have heard there are some skwalas out but with the high water and off-color conditions it is mainly a Rubber legs, egg, worm, and attractor nymph game the last few times I have been on the water. Also!!! Swinging flies on light spey or switch rods is a good option this time of year when the clarity is off and the flows are high. Fish move into the edges and soft that are easy to target with a swung fly or even a light streamer fished on a single-handed rod.

Winter Striper Fishing – Seems a lot like winter steelheading this year but that is normal when we actually have a normal winter. Timing is everything. If you can get a day when the river is fishable the fishing can be good. We have not been getting the HUGE fish of previous winters as the river has a lot more 5-10lb fish mingling around this winter that came up river from the Delta is my theory BUT we have been getting some trophies when the conditions are right and people put in their time. The river is still the best striper fishery on the west coast I believe but it is also INCREDIBLY dynamic in how it changes from season to season and year to year.

March and the arrival of the migratory fish is right around the corner and summer/fall season will be here before you know it so if you are looking to get in my boat reach out and get a date on the books as they will fill up.

Lower Feather River Spring Steelhead season is coming up and I only have a few dates left…I guide this for the months of March/April. It is primarily a swung fly fishery as these fish eat the swung fly better than any steelhead in the valley in my experience. Great opportunity to use light spey, trout spey, and switch rods.

Open Dates Spring Dates
March 9
April 19, 20, 27,


My band Royal Oaks has been working on some new demos to prepare for recording our second album…going to be a 5-6 song deal. We are really pumped about the new songs and will be releasing some of the demos via our sound cloud page…Also we will be announcing some spring and summer shows throughout Northern California soon as finalize them. Check out the sound cloud page, our last album on apple music or bandcamp or really any music streaming service or follow us on Instagram or facebook.

Instagram: @_royal_oaks_

Also, been listening to the new Pedro the Lion album. First in a few years he recorded and wrote with a full band so it is a much fuller developed sound. That said it is Pedro the Lion so rainy cold damp downer weather is a must for listening. Also bend listening to a new band to me called Blank Range from Nashville Tennessee. There new album In Unison was just releases and is pretty damn good so far.

Upcoming Events…

The annual gathering of the tribe at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing show is coming up on February 22-23 at Alameda county Fairgrounds. Cast Hope will once again have booth there and I will be in the booth all day Saturday as will the Barbless Podcast crew doing some interviews and talking fishing. Ryan J will be in the booth Friday and Saturday and I am sure Chuck Ragan will be meandering around the booth as well.

Cast Hope will also be hosting our Annual Pleasanton Fly Show After Party on Saturday February 24th at the same location as always – New Name Club House Bar and Grill – Tickets are $20 and free for show vendors with a vendors badge. This event we put on the best raffle and auction we put together ALL year! It is truly FULL of stuff…guide trips, flies, sporting event tickets, full on destination trips…ALL SORTS of cool stuff. PLUS, BEER AND APPS for all!!!!...Plus some new cast hope movies, presentations, stories, and just all-around good times.

Also, the Cast Hope Pyramid Lake Tournament is coming up. We have totally re-invented this event this year and titled it Chasing Giants…it is a BIG fish tourney this year and will have a full-on fireworks display, pool tournament, and all sorts of cools stuff attached to it. If GIANT fish and desert lakes are your think this is a fun tournament.

Hogan Brown