Eight of our Chapter members rendezvoused in McCall Idaho at the end of July for 5 days of fishing in the area. A dedicated foursome then went on to Stanley to fish the Salmon River while two others went on to Oregon and Washington.
Contact had been made with guide Ron Howell for two days of fishing. Weather was warm and streams were low in the McCall region and fishing ended up being directed to lakes. Four members in two boats went to Brundage Lake the first day. Fishing comprised casting large flies, mostly Chernoble Ants, to fishy locations. Strikes were numerous and quick and the catch ratio was fairly low. I believe that members caught 3-10 Rainbows, Cutthroats and hybrids during the day. Two more persons went back the second day fishing similarly and caught 3 and 8 fish. Fish were mostly 10-14 inches in length with largest a beautiful 15 inch cutthroat. One angler tried using a smaller Ant and increased his catch ratio. Two anglers fished the Payette River and a small creek the first day with no success. Trout were rising just out of reach in one pool and otherwise was to low and warm. Others sampled float tubing with limited success. On the third day four tried shore fishing at Goose Lake with modest success. The others went exploring to Riggins, the Little Salmon and Rapid River. We all returned the next day to sample Rapid River(small and fast) and the Little Salmon. Rapid River was a modest climb into a steep canyon. Some caught 1-3 fish and some went fish-less. The Little Salmon was an attractive stream in a dry region. It was worked pretty hard with one 15 inch chrome beauty landed. An interesting day in new territory but a loss at fishing.
Another day of Lake fishing was attempted at Granite Lake. It sounded like a classic sierra lake but turned out to be flat and shallow located at the top of a ridge. One nice fish was caught on a first cast with no more to be found. We then returned to Brundage lake for fishing near the launch site where we caught 3-5 fish apiece. Strikes were numerous. One member had tried float tubing which was difficult in the wind. The final day we drove around the mountains to the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Salmon. The area was replete with old wildfires. The road followed the river but was far above it at many locations. We found it to be small at the southern end and growing to the north. We sampled several locations extending up to the road closure. About half the people caught 1-3 fish. Again, it was an interesting experience with limited fishing success.
We pushed on to Stanley for the second week. Navigation proved difficult due to the Pioneer Fire north east of Boise. Our best day of fishing occurred the following day when we tried the Salmon River at the mile 199 Bridge. The best water was taken by others while we rigged up. None the less we caught fish nearby. About 11 AM the others left and we proceeded to catch fish downstream from the bridge. We ended the day with people catching 6-21 fish. Again typically 12-15 inches in size. It was an extraordinary day as we found a couple of days later when we were unable to duplicate it. We fished the region for two more days mostly exploring for better spots. We caught a few fish here and there but nothing appropriate to the fishy water we selected. On the second day we had to go through a road block to return to camp due to another fire a couple of miles down the road.
All in all it was a successful journey with lots of new country to be seen and a few things learned about fishing the region. We usually caught a few fish every day with one outstanding day. Now we have a year to plan next years journey.
Tenkara is a very simple and elegant style of fly fishing. Mike Willis of Reverse Hackle Tenkara () held a Tenkara demonstration at the Bridalveil Falls picnic area on July 16. EDTU members Randy & Joyce Hansen and Pat Weddle attended along with 15 other anglers. Tenkara rod archetecture, rigging, fly types and casting techniques were demonstrated. Tenkara is basically a high stick nymphing technique using a long soft rod and a fixed rod length line. Fish were caught by Willis an outfitter and founding member of the Tenkara anglers of Northern California and Nevada. This is a technique that will especially attract the light tackle, small stream, minimalist anglers among us. Thanks, Mike, for a great event!
In 2006, the Pajaro River on California’s central coast came out of obscurity to make national headlines—for the wrong reason: it was named the most endangered river in America.
A new video from Trout Unlimited shows that, despite the river’s many challenges, the potential for successful habitat restoration in the Pajaro is strong. That’s because in 2009 TU, CHEER, and the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR) teamed up to “think big and start small” in restoring steelhead habitat in the Pajaro.
The California Division of Fish and Wildlife has recognized the benefits of Beaver in the waters of California. Beaver dams create habitat for many other animals and plants of California. Deer and elk frequent beaver ponds to forage on shrubby plants that grow where beavers cut down trees. Weasels, raccoons, and herons hunt frogs and other prey along the marshy edges of beaver ponds. Sensitive species such as red-legged, yellow-legged and Cascade frogs all benefit from habitat created by beaver wetlands. In coastal rivers and streams, young coho salmon and steelhead may use beaver ponds to find food and protection from high flows and predators while waiting to grow big enough to go out to sea.
Beaver activities can cause problems, but before beginning a beaver control action, assess the problem and match the most appropriate and cost-effective controls to the situation. There are two basic control methods used in California: prevention and lethal control. It is almost impossible as well as cost prohibitive to exclude beavers from ponds, lakes, or impoundments.
See the CA DFW WebSite.
El Dorado Trout Unlimited (EDTU) is continuing its Citizen Scientist Monitoring Program for the Cosumnes River in 2016. We monitor key parameters of the river and take structured observations of habitat and species present. Information gathered is part of a watershed assessment, in preparation for restoration work. EDTU is working with partners American River Conservancy, Cosumnes Culture and WaterWays, Fishery Foundation, and Landmark Environmental Consultants to create innovative, win/win solutions that support communities and river health. And good river health leads to good fishing!
April is "Get Ready Month"!
As April days unfold, signs of spring are arriving. Green grass, wildflowers, water quality monitors thinking of their sites by the river...AT EDTU, we're getting ready for monitoring season.
New Zealand mudsnails have taken up residence in the Yuba River — and the invasive species could pose a threat to the river’s native fish populations. This news should be a clarion call for us all to practice clean angling. Clean angling means we should clean and dry our equipment after use especially when moving to a new water. It is a modest task to clean and dry your equipment after use and it can pay big dividends.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has detected the presence of the aquatic creatures both at the Sycamore Ranch park and campground in Yuba County, and at locations on the lower Yuba River above and below the Highway 20 bridge crossing in Nevada County.
A release from the agency said it’s possible the species originated from a population of mudsnails discovered recently in the lower Feather River; the snails have been known to hitch a ride between bodies of water on the gear of unsuspecting boaters or fishermen. Read More. For more background Read Background.
TU is conducting its women's initiative to increase participation by women in fishing and the TU mission. A video by Todd Moen provides an incentive for their participation. It is also a challenge and a promise to enjoy the beauty of the sport.
Filmed on a little known mountain stream deep within Montana's back-country, this video portrays a fisher-womens solo adventure and the freedom of that particular day on the river. Reflect in the classic experience that most anglers have when they get out on the water alone with a fly rod, fish and nature in its solitude. A magic window of time and space opens up for pure reflection.
Don’t leave your pals behind. Alaska is a grand playground, especially when you share your fishing with kids.
By: Greg Thomas, Photography by: Greg Thomas, Fly Rod and Reel
Many of us travel far to tackle the great flyrod species, such as tarpon, permit, steelhead, Atlantic salmon and big brook trout, but fewer take on the true test of our angling resources, that being how to travel, fish and remain sane with young kids in tow.
I faced that challenge last June when I packed up my girls and headed to Alaska for 14 days on the Kenai Peninsula, following a road system that visits the quaint towns of Nikiski, Kenai, Clam Gulch, Homer and Seward.
The Kenai is a kids’ wonderland, with wildlife viewing available around almost every turn, including glimpses of humpback and orca whales, grizzly and black bears, long-legged moose, sea lions, bald eagles and, for the observant and slightly lucky ones, wolves. But I wasn’t on the Kenai just to see wildlife—I wanted to catch king salmon on my Spey rod and to get the girls hooked into some red salmon.
2015 was a unique year in the lateness of the run. Notes below show that a sighting on Secret Ravine on December 17th signaled the apparent start of the run. Mike Healy of CDFW speculated that water temperature caused the delay and noted that runs were late in other watersheds also.
Because it was hard to know when fish would be present we weren’t able to recruit enough volunteers to cover many reaches, but we greatly appreciate those who did turn out and there were many others checking in by email. We focused on Secret Ravine and upper Dry Creek which are usually most productive.
In trying to compare this year to other recent years it looks like the total would have at least doubled if we had been able to cover more reaches.