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Jeff Putnam fly fishing school has one spot open!

Spey casting class with the incomparable Jeff PuthamSpey casting class with the incomparable Jeff Putham
Casters, I have one space left for this weekends Spey Casting Camp. Its a 2-Day, spey filled school taught on the American River that will allow you to immerse yourself in "everything spey", both double handed and single handed rods. We'll even cover fishing and maybe even catch a shad or two. Cost is only $350 for both days including lunch and gear if needed. Check the following link for more info (or call me at 916-366-7554 for the last reservation):
http://www.jpflyfishing.com/groupclasses/onthewaterclasses/speycastingca...

Thank you, Jeff Putnam

Brownlining - Fly fishing in Urban Napa for Striper

Monday marked my first California brownlining experience. I fished the Napa River with Mike and his boy Joshua, who kept us entertained the whole time.

For those unfamiliar with brownlining let me explain. Normally when you're pouring over maps trying to figure out how to access a stream you're following the little blue lines on said map. And likely that river is fairly blue. Brownlining however is just what is says. Rivers whose lines run brown instead of blue. Usually running through an urban area visibility is limited to a foot or two. Mud, industrial pollutants, lawn chemicals, golf course runoff are all responsible for this. Tires, empty Thunderbird bottles, hazardous waste containers, broken washing machines, the ubiquitous plastic bag and crazy hobos yelling about their favorite Harry Potter character are standard sights. Many fly anglers look at brownlining with the utmost contempt since Carp are often the target in such fisheries since trout are a little too fragile. And the resilient striper in the Napa. That's good for them. Let them battle each other for a 50' stretch of water on Hat Creek. Carp and stripers are just like dragging in a boot after they're hooked anyway. Oh, wait...

Anyway, on this trip we rowed our pontoons around downtown Napa trolling and casting and stripping in the holes. We hooked a few small fish on the rising tides but later as we began to cruise back down river with the outgoing we started whackin' 'em pretty good on chartreuse/white and olive/white clousers. Nothing too big but we definitely hooked some fish that corked an 8-weight pretty good. All in all a great day brownlining as evidenced by the photos below.

Hogan says it is time to wet a line...and we agree!

Fly fishing with Off the Hook and guide Hogan Brown: fly fishing photo from the Lower Sacramento RiverFly fishing with Off the Hook and guide Hogan Brown: fly fishing photo from the Lower Sacramento River
With June 3 weeks away summer is nearly officially and un-officially here. Many rivers are coming into shape as run off subsides but with reservoirs feet from being filled I imagine there maybe a second wave of run off when we get some consistent HOT weather and the night time temps stay hot as well. Here is what is happening and what is coming up.

Lower Yuba has dropped into shape and is stable at 2337 cfs with good clarity. Fishing has been good. Hatches should pick up over the next few weeks as the river settles into the new flow. We are entering prime time on the Lower Yuba for spring/early summer hatches. The weeks following run off see PMD, caddis, stoneflies, and all sorts of mixed hatches kicking into gear. Fish will be on the grab coming off high and off color flows and fishing will only get better as we move through June and July.

Nice Lower Sac BowNice Lower Sac Bow

Lower Sacramento River is still fishing consistent for trout up through redding but I have began to turn my attention to the lower river looking for shad, stripers, bass, and carp. Shad fishing is picking up as people are starting to catch a few here and a few there down around Princeton up through chico. Flows have been hovering around 10,000cfs coming out of Keswick but drop down to around 7000cfs around Ord Bend as we are in the middle of Rice Irrigation season. Once that is over here shortly the river down by Chico/Ord Bend should jump up moving fish up the river. This will also help move the migratory stripers up river and give the resident fish a bit more water making them a bit more comfortable. Smallies and Big mouth bass are waking up in the sloughs and I have seen a few fish up on beds and cruising the shallows. It is going to be getting really good really soon out there.

Yosemite Range of Light

Take a couple minutes from your day to watch this outstanding piece (do it in full screen). Any stress you are dealing with in your will be knocked down a notch or two after this.

Dynamite Anyone?

Just found this piece from the Seattle Times through The Drake website. It's a subject dear to my heart as a former Grande Ronde guide and angler as well as Save Our Wild Salmon volunteer for over a decade. I hope the documentary will make waves. It's great to finally hear someone with real government influence advocate removal of the four lower Snake River dams.

Judge Redden is arguably the most well versed person in the world on this subject. He presided over the enormous case of the fight for removal of the dams, their violation of the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, failed scientific plans of both Bush and Obama and he heard arguments for all sides for over a decade.

It's actually a shame now that he is not in charge of the case, but again it's good to hear someone with his knowledge of the issues say the dams need to come down. It needs to happen and soon! All anglers should educate themselves on this issue, it's as big and important as the Pebble Mine, sacred headwaters mines and public access rights. This is the present and future our our fisheries.

Brett

Snake River dams should go, says judge now off the case

The Snake River dams, the subject of litigation between salmon advocates and hydropower supporters, ought to be removed, says the federal judge who until recently presided over the case.

By Craig Welch

Times environment reporter

The federal judge who presided over a court battle that pitted Columbia River salmon advocates against hydropower supporters told a television interviewer that four controversial lower Snake River dams should be removed.

In his first interview since stepping down from the case last fall, U.S. District Court Judge James Redden told Aaron Kunz, of Idaho Public Television in Boise, "I think we need to take those dams down."

During the interview for a documentary to air later this summer, the Portland-based judge, who presided over the Columbia River case for more than a decade, said the government and the Bonneville Power Administration had made vast improvements for salmon by increasing the flow of water through the Columbia's hydropower system.

They have "done things with the dams, spent a lot of money on all the dams, the Columbia and the Snake River — the spills, which they do not like — that has been very helpful," Redden said. But "I think we need to take those dams down."

Redden seemed to imply that removing the Snake River dams could make a significant difference in the health of threatened and endangered salmon runs on the Columbia system. "Those four Snake River dams don't really get a lot of — it's not that needed," Redden said.

The judge's comments, released this week by the station as part of a collaboration with Northwest public-radio stations, seemed to suggest he agreed with environmentalists and salmon supporters who have argued for years that salmon declines won't be reversed unless the dams are removed. The statements prompted immediate praise and criticism.

"It's certainly a welcome announcement to see that's what he believes after basically studying this issue for 10 years," said Nicole Cordan, policy director for Save Our Wild Salmon. "It's reaffirming to have this very smart man who came to this issue unbiased and over the years has looked at the law and the scientific and policy choices and come to this conclusion. It feels good."

But Terry Flores, with Northwest RiverPartners, a group representing farmers, electric utilities, ports and others opposed to dam removal, said she was taken aback by his words.

"All of us who have been putting years, literally, into working together and looking critically at the science and frankly seeing these huge investments being made to change dam operations — we've been scratching our heads over why the judge seemed to struggle with endorsing the plan," Flores said. "But his remarks explain that he apparently had a certain mindset. He clearly harbored strong feelings about dam removal."

Chompers!

My buddy Chuck, actually my protege who took over my position at Creekside Angling Co. in Seattle when I moved down here, sent me this fly and I have to say my heart skipped a beat as soon as it fell out of the package. I got a little light headed at the thought of getting a sharp tug in the midst of crashing waves on the CA coast. Makes me shudder now, writing about it.

He actually grew up in the Bay Area and is very familiar with the striper game. And I'm amped to strap this sucker on and not get it stuck in my scalp as I try to launch it with a 10 weight (I hope it won't fold the rod like a cheap suitcase). After all stripers like big meals and I'd like to oblige them. Chomp!

Brett

Truckee River Part Deux

Ok, second posting attempt...

In keeping with the Truckee theme, I fished it and the Little Truckee the last two days. The weather was perfect and fishing was good. Saw some small, dark stones, caddis and BWO's but everything was under a bobber with a load of lead.

The water was in great shape (about 500cfs at Boca Bridge) though with the weather now the graphs are on a sharp incline. The dam released water on the Little Truckee yesterday morning while I was on the water. It got dirty and fishing was no bueno after that. Good thing the main river was still in good shape. Though I didn't land either of the two jumbo pigs I hooked I popped some really nice fish. It was a great time. Here's some Sierra love.

Brett

PS-Ignore the blurry spot on some of the photos. My camera is trying to die. So much for water/shock proof.





Fly fishing footage from Truckee and Pyramid Lake from Gotta Stay Fly Productions

Now is the time to hit Pyramid. The weather is getting more predictable and slightly warmer.

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