The night temperatures, here in Northern California, have cooled and the foliage has begun to change it’s uniform to gaudy shades of orange and yellow. Fall is heavy in the air. Two inches of badly needed rain has fallen in certain parts of the area. To a serious fly fisherman in this part of the world, there is one creature that consumes all thought process beginning this time of the year. Nights are flooded with dreams and cold sweats, when sleep is possible. One might say they are haunted by this mythical being. The Russians call it Siumga, but the East edge of the Pacific Rim recognize it as a Steelhead.
For now we trade in helicopters and float planes for rafts and drift boats, as one season ends another begins. Ah the life of a full-time fly fishing guide. It’s steelhead season and we couldn’t be more excited.
We got out yesterday with a good friend, John Sherman, to whip it around a bit and skate up a few on dry flies. The Trinity River is alive. From top to bottom the river is holding pods of rolling King Salmon and we saw good numbers of steelhead moving through tailouts. In an attempt to save fish at risk of dieing from low, warm water conditions, the Bureau of Reclamation released from Lewiston Dam a flow of 3400 cubic feet per second (cfs), and yesterday the flows returned back to 450 cfs. The increase saved a lot of fish from death and disease, and just like a winter storm, it pushed a lot of them further up the river. The King runs have been projected to be great this year, which means a good egg bite and a bump in biomass for the system. All evidence alludes to a healthy river and one heck of a steelhead season. Let’s make it a great one eh.