Why Do Rivers Bend?

Here is one of the many questions that come up while guiding clients on the river.  Why don’t rivers run straight, why do they bend?
So what causes a river to bend in the first place? In a nutshell, all it takes is a little disturbance from a plethora of variables and a whole heck of a lot of time.  We can write a bunch pages and give plenty of reasons but this short three minute animation encapsulates the basics and gives some concrete and easily understood facts on why rivers bend.



Below: A classic example of river meandering through the valley and around mountains.
river meandering


Below: Diagram of a meandering river and associated landforms.meandering_diagram


Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

 

McCloud River Flow Advisory Notice

The McCloud River is a frequented hot spot in the month of October and into the first two weeks of November for many anglers.  The river is home to the world’s most famous rainbow trout and the watershed is a magical destination particularly when decked with brilliant fall plumage.  Whether it be camping at Ah-Di-Nah campground and fishing the Nature Conservancy or staying at one the private stretches like the Bollibokka Club we know there are many folks out there with plans for a visit before the end of trout season.  For those planning a visit please take a look at the notice below before making the trek.  Predicting weather is always tough, so at this point it’s only an advisory.

McCloud reservoir spillway

McCloud Reservoir Spill Expected this weekend as weather systems pound Northern California.

McCloud Reservoir Spill Notification from PG&E  

“This is an advisory notification only.  Based on the upcoming storms and the James B. Black Power House Unit 1 outage, PG&E may be spilling McCloud Reservoir over the weekend. With the amount of rain forecasted, the unusually high flows on the McCloud River are expected to last through the end of next week”.

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fly fishing McCloud Reservoir

Still one of our favorite photos of McCloud Reservoir with fly fishing guide Greg Dean making the cast from his red jet boat. His wife Kimmer captured this awesome shot.

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

 

 

Nor Cal Fish Report October 2016

There is no question that fall in Northern California has settled and taken up residence while overtaking the higher elevations and slowly infiltrating the parched valleys below.  Temperatures have cooled the mornings and evenings.  The heat of summer has left us basking in the glorious season of seasons.  Plus a heavy weather system is en route.  We are excited, are you?

sunset over Redding, CA

The weather, fishing opportunities, fall colors, cool mornings and spectacular sunsets are all great in October.  The list of greatness in this month is longer than a California Steelhead Report Card.  If we became President we would make October three to four months longer for all to enjoy.  Vote for Kennedy! Ha, yeah right.  This may not mean as much to others as it does to us, but with October also comes postseason major league baseball.  San Francisco Giants Baseball!  San Francisco Giants logoIt’s often asked in the North state whats the difference between Giants hotdogs and others teams hotdogs? Giants hotdogs are available in October!  There is still a long rough road to the World Series and first we have to get through the plagued Chicago Cubs, the team that is most synonymous with losing.  Sounds easy right?  The Cubs haven’t won a World Season since 1908 and haven’t even played in one since 1945.  Despite the final outcome, we still relish in the Giants making it in 2016.  This years Cubs have proved to be a formidable force to be reckoned with, and their talent is stacked deep. They are one of the most complete teams to come through baseball in quite a while.  We kind of have a soft spot with the Cubs as we grew up listening to Harry Carary and the famous seventh stretch rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”  *The Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants in the 9th inning of game four. Uggg.  Well, at least we still have steelhead.

 

 

Weather: There is a storm a brewing!

We’ve enjoyed a ridiculously amazing fall season so far, and we have even been blessed by a decent rain storm earlier in the month which helped kick off the celebrations and the coming of the steelhead. We are as giddy as schoolboys as we head straight into our super busy season.  There is a major system brewing in the Pacific, and the forecast confidence is HIGH.  As with the San Francisco Giants, we are going to have to wait to see what really happens as the storm approaches Northern California.  One thing is for sure though: this baby is opening up the storm door leaving the opportunity for an early onset of precipitation far after the first front hits.  cloud with rain icon

National Weather Service Weather Summary
FORECAST CONFIDENCE…
*HIGH CONFIDENCE

TIMING AND STRENGTH…
*SEVERAL WAVES OF PRECIPITATION POSSIBLE THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
*1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY, 3 TO 8
INCHES OVER THE MOUNTAINS
*BREEZY SOUTH WINDS ACROSS THE VALLEY, WINDY OVER THE MOUNTAINS
*SNOW LEVELS MAINLY ABOVE 7000 FEET
*COOLER TEMPERATURES (VALLEY HIGHS IN THE 60S)

BIG PATTERN CHANGE IS EXPECTED LATE THIS WEEK, AS A SERIES OF WEATHER SYSTEMS MOVE INTO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. SEVERAL WAVES OF RAIN ARE EXPECTED, STARTING LATE THURSDAY AND CONTINUING INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. PRECIPITATION CHANCES DECREASE LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. SNOW LEVELS LOOK HIGH AT THIS POINT, MAINLY ABOVE MAJOR PASS LEVELS. SEASONAL PASSES SUCH AS SONORA AND EBBETTS PASSES MAY BE IMPACTED, AS WELL AS LASSEN NATIONAL PARK. COOLER TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO ACCOMPANY THE PATTERN CHANGE.

Lower Sacramento River:

Just as the Cubs are synonymous to losing in October, the Lower Sac is synonymous with the salmon egg bite this month.  Yeah, it can be a good time to fish the river but it’s also the most popular time and the river is commonly overrun with every guide and fly angler within driving distance.  It’s not nearly as good it used to be.  It wasn’t that long ago the river was quiet and the community was small.  But all things change, and one thing is for sure, we are fortunate to have this impressive year round trout factory.  If we all take care of it maybe it will survive the current wave of pressure it’s been receiving and continue to produce memories and enjoyment for the generations to come.

chinook salmon eggs

Overall the river has been fishing good to great with some inconsistency throughout the week.  Fishing suffered to a degree on days where the water flows were not steady or dropping.  Also the aquatic weed hatch will continue to increase which isn’t a major problem but be sure to check your flies and remove all debris.  On days where an abnormal amount of weeds are cut loose it seems to effect the overall bite.   Caddis have still been pumping particularly well on the warmer days and seem to be more prolific on most sections of the river after noon.  Although in some stretches they are available almost all day especially near heavily oxygenated water.  fish don't drive posterSmall mayfly and decent midge hatches have littered the river sporadically these past few weeks.  One point of interest this last week which we don’t remember encountering this time of year was a flying ant hatch.  Although it didn’t bring the monsters up it did provide some excellent dry fly opportunities in the shallows and flats particularly near the edges.  Not sure if anyone looked up from the indicators and noticed but hopefully some got in on the action.  Getting away from the old bobbers and cannon balls is always a sweet treat.

The egg bite and the amount of salmon above the Barge Hole has been light although gradually increasing.  Not to say it isn’t happening here and there but its definitely worth noting the lack of salmon in the upper system.  Typically by this time we have more established salmon redd’s and more active chinook spawning.  The salmon are far and few between but there should be more coming up the system.  Expect this year to be especially light compared to previous years.  After talking with several sources with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife it looks like many of the chinook salmon destined for the cool riffles of the upper section near Redding appeared to have taken a detour.  It is suspected that the trucking of fish down river in previous years, attempting to increase salmon survival rates numbers, may have caused the fish to imprint on rivers further down in the system like the Feather and the American rivers.

 

Chinook salmon and fly fishing

So there might not be as many salmon in the Sacramento River spawning this October but they are still around. Check out this fly caught chinook from down river!

 

 

Trinity River

The Trinity has fish!  Although conditions are not currently prime, pressure from anglers seeking steelhead has been light.  Most of the salmon guys these last few weeks have been out on the river by day break and haven’t been a factor.  Nymphing, swinging and dry fly fishing fishing have been productive for anglers and guides able to find fish.  There have been pods of both wild and hatchery fish moving up through the system with some large fish showing.  One hatchery fished that reached the hatchery earlier was taped at a whopping 43 inches!  That’s one big fish and one helluva bbq!  The best success for swinging has been below Junction City with the best results coming from below the gorge.  There are fish spread out from the top of the system all the way down to the confluence with the Klamath.

The Trinity is low and clear.  Stealth, long leaders and smaller flies come to mind.  For boaters, be aware of new obstacles.  The river has changed in a few spots and could pose serious threats to anglers not ready for the changes.  Look for conditions to improve after this next storm system and for fish to head into river.  There are also a ton of smolt balls around so be prepared to deal with the little guys, they are voracious and attack.  Take the time to treat them correctly and ensure their survival.  The best part of October on the Trinity? Shorts, sandals and swinging for steelhead!

fly fishing guide with steelhead

Shorts, sandals and swinging for steelhead!

 

 

GOT OCTOBER CADDIS?

caddis-october-caddis-larva_fotor caddisfly-october-caddis-pupa_fotor

Like to fish big dries? Now through mid-November can be a great time on the Upper Sac, McCloud and other rivers in Northern California to throw the big bug.  Target late evenings and hitch a dropper off the back for a deadly little twist.

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guides in Redding , CA

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

 

 

11th Annual Redding Community Creek Clean-up on the Sacramento River

Come join our local community on Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 8:00 AM – Noon, as we tackle the litter and invasive vegetation that has become overgrown and reduces visibility of the Sacramento River.

2016-community-creek-cleanup-51

Creek Cleanup 2016 will focus on the north side of the Sacramento River Trail, between the Market Street Bridge and the Arboretum Trailhead.

During these four short hours, hundreds of volunteers will gather to help remove trash and invasive vegetation, opening up the view of the River along this section of the Sacramento River Trail.

This year, the Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers will lead a river-based clean-up effort. Volunteers with jet boats will be on the water retrieving debris from areas not accessible by land.

Bring your water bottle, wear closed toe shoes, long pants, plenty of sunscreen, and come out and help restore the riparian savannah along the Sacramento River Trail. You can make a substantial contribution in the heart of Redding during a single morning of labor involving hundreds of your fellow citizens.

Event organizers will have gloves, safety goggles, buckets, and garden tools available for use.  Please bring your own if you have them.

CONTACT INFORMATION
ph: (530) 225-4512

CommunityCreekCleanup@cityofredding.org

MEET LOCATION

Sacramento River Trail
Registration/Check In – 1500 Quartz Hill Rd.
Redding, CA 96003

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Refreshments sponsored by Shasta Association of REALTORS and Dutch Bros.

 

Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers logo

Fish Kennedy Brothers
Fly Fishing Guides in Redding , CA

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

Fly Fishing Film Tour Comes to Redding!

Come down to the Redding Civic Auditorium this November 3rd 2016 at 7PM!  Get your tickets, bring some friends and kick back with a beer and enjoy the show.  F3T is nearly a decade deep and this event helps support our local Trout Unlimited Shasta Trinity Cascade Chapter. Come out and show your support!

The original and preeminent exhibition of fly fishing cinema, The F3T is a one of a kind experience. Each year, fishy folk of all ages gather at premieres to soak up films from around the world, spin a few yarns amongst friends, and dream about casts still unmade. Since its inception in 2007 The F3T has grown more than 30% each year; reaching nearly 50,000 anglers across North America last season. 2016 marks the F3T’s 10th lap around North America and this year’s lineup of films is without question the best the Tour has ever presented! f3tlogoWith backdrops ranging from Bolivia to Saskatchewan, Montana to Virginia, Patagonia to the Seychelles, these films feature fresh, dynamic stories amongst some of the best fishing footage that has ever been shot. From the hunt for the world’s largest brook trout to the pursuit of billfish on the fly, gargantuan pike, acrobatic golden dorado, ferocious GTs and herculean BC steelhead, these films showcase remarkable places, larger than life characters, and fish that will haunt your dreams. This year’s film festival is brought to you by Trout Unlimited Shasta Trinity Cascades Chapter. This newly formed chapter joins over 750 chapters nationwide to protect vital fishing habitat. Come to find out more about plans for the new chapter and how to become involved in our incredible local resources.

 

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Fly Fishing Film Tour

Redding Civic Auditorium

7:00 PM November 3rd 2016 

 

 

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Watch Some Trailers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guides in Redding , CA

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

The One That Got Away From Chuck

Every so often in the fly fishing game you come across a particular fish or run that will haunt you. The haunting often comes because the fish can’t be caught or because maybe you’ve managed to trick the fish into eating your fly only to have it break you off or throw the hook.  Either way, the proverbial fish that got away keeps you coming back if it doesn’t drive you crazy first.  One of our good friends Chuck has a particular run he likes to fish at a particular time. There is one fish that has eluded Chuck many times so he comes to visit his fish for about a week straight and studies him as he begins to slurp down caddis in the surface film when the the sun leaves the water.  It’s a love affair that has grown over the years and as Chuck has become a proficient angler, the fish in this run to say the least have become very savvy to any angler attempting to even get close.  The fish that resides on the far bank is not the biggest in the river but because of the location in the current it is a very difficult spot to get a good dead drift.  With a dry fly it requires getting the fly at least 10 to 15 feet upstream with a series of perfect mends and line feeds while also allowing the fly to drift well past the target before being picked up.  One bad cast or missed mend and the fish usually go down and its worthwhile to pick and move to another location .  Typically, like pictured below after a good presentation one of the unseen rainbow minions grab the offering which offer a consolation prize but also spooks the run and put the wiser fish down.

trout in hand rod in mouth

Meet Chuck, and the fish he wasn’t going for although Chuck is delighted with anything pulling on the other end of the line. Chuck enjoys the pursuit and everybody involved loves the Chucky factor.

 

One evening Chuck was making crisp casts and presenting the fly cleanly to the far bank with impeccable precision.  As Chuck took his time watching the rhythm of the rises we took some video knowing it was finally going to happen.  Chuck took 3 or 4 minions from the edges and patiently waited for the nose he was hunting to show back up while letting the run rest and watching the insects drift down the far seam. After numerous attempts we started running out of storage on the memory card and it appeared that Chuck was going to have to come back tomorrow and try his hand at another river poker game.  With the camera off of course Chuck’s next cast just like the one before that and the one before hit the target and drifted flawlessly into the impossible seam.  Boom! Fish on! Watch what happens next….

 

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Professional Fly Fishing Guides

Northern California Trout and Steelhead

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

 

10 Essential Items For Fly Fishing in Kamchatka

So you’ve succumbed to the stories and reports of the fantastic fly fishing and booked a trip to Kamchatka, or maybe you’re embarking on a journey to a similarly remote fishing destination.  Do you have everything you need?  We can help.

Russian Rainbow TroutPacking for such an adventure can be a daunting and intimidating task.  By now, you probably have received a mile long packing list of items that you may or may not need.  It is very easy to overpack, and minimalists, in an attempt to shed some frivolous pounds, often skip a few necessities.  The last thing you want to do is forget a key item that could put a damper in you trip, so here are a few things that are “must haves” when en route to the Motherland and similar locations around the globe.

Continue reading

Fish your Feet

We bush wacked our way downstream into the flat where we could see heads softly nudging and sipping the PMD spinners under the elephant ear. And of course, the fish consistently rising were on the far bank.  It was easily a 50 foot cast, which was at the extreme end of my clients powerhouse.  The problem would be in achieving the perfect drift in the flat velvety water even if the fly hit it’s target.  Immediately my client wanted to deliver a cast. I told him to wait and lets just see what else we are missing. I knew if we made a cast to the fish on the far bank we would most likely spook the entire flat and particularly the fish that might be in between.  As we sat there, the fish on the far bank continued in synchronicity, gently sipping and following into rhythm while throughly taunting us.  My client was like a quivering labrador retriever and those fish were the tennis ball that was just thrown across the river, he couldn’t focus on anything but the prize on the very far side.  I couldn’t blame him, they were getting to me too.  I could feel his impatient desire to get it done and at the same point also slowly starting to loath his guide.  I wanted those fish on the far side but I wanted to pick several opportunities and turn this flat from a one fish run into a multiple fish run.  Several minutes into the silent recon a subtle head showed in the shallows behind a small rock on our side, a small lie that looked too shallow to provide enough protection to hold fish. Thirty more seconds and another rise on our side but from another fish. The fish on our side had slow rhythm and only broke the surface every 3 to 5 minutes but they were there and they were moving around. If we would of waded out for the fish on the far side we would have never seen them.  We lengthened our leader by putting on some fresh Rio Tippet, pulled out some extra fly line and devised our plan of attack on the fish closest to us.  It would be a one cast shot, high sticked and then the rod dropped followed by an all out feed maximizing our stealthy drift without notifying other fish we hadn’t seen.  His first cast fell short and I hastily blurted, leave it!  He followed through with our plan even though it didn’t reach its destination and bam!  A nice fish slapped his dry fly, fish on. I let out a silent sigh of relief.  We kept the rod tip downstream and towards the bank and angled the fish towards us and away from the others.  We admired the moment and the freckled rainbow with a small dry fly hanging from the upper mandible.  We continued this game and started playing “battleship.”  A-1, A-2, A-3 and so on.  We were able to get 6 different fish to take our fly with a few refusals.  Eventually 30 minutes or more later we were at the fish on the far side.  He made one of the best casts of the day and hit the target. But in attempting to make the mend to the far side in order to get the perfect drift he spooked the wily fish.  It was an almost impossible shot. We let them rest and changed our attack but they never took our fly that day.  Fish your feet, be patient and work slowly into a run.  And most important enjoy the hunt and everything it encompasses.

Fly fisherman high stick fishing in the McCloud River on Bollibokka

Notice the small burble on the surface of water just below the anglers line? This was just enough to hold a few fish before we attacked the small seam under the elephant ear on the far side.

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides

Trout and Steelhead

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

 

Video

Upper Sacramento River: Whitewater and Trout

Set on the southern skirts of Mount Shasta the Sacramento River is California’s largest river.  It has been touted as the Nile of the West.  It flows for about 445 miles from Shasta to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  For this adventure float trip  we are focusing on the Upper Sacramento River above Lake Shasta.  We started our adventure float trip below the town of Dunsmuir and ended near Lakehead.  The Upper Sac is a deceptive river and loaded with tons of class 3 and 4 rapids.  We recommend using one of the outfitters for whitewater trips.  Combine it with some of the best fly fishing and it makes this trip one of our favorites!

 

How did the Sacramento River get its name?

Gabriel Moraga a Spanish explorer in 1808 was searching for locations to setup missions and was likely the first foreigner to visit the river.  Judging its immense size and power he named it Rio de los Sacramentos, or “River of the Blessed Sacrament.”

How long is the Sacramento River?

445 miles (716 km)

When is the best time for whitewater trips?

Typically April through mid-June but every year is different based weather conditions from the the previous winter.

When can you fish the Upper Sacramento?

The Sacramento River from Shasta Lake to Lake Siskiyou is open 365 days a year.

 

 

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guide Trips on the Upper Sacramento River

Whitewater Adventure Fly Fishing

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com

In life and on the River

There are times where you might find yourself with a definitive goal in mind. Or perhaps, focused on a specific prize or result. Often while in the pursuit we come across something that wasn’t in the scope of our intended target, whether in life or on the river. Some may scoff and others may rejoice. In this particular instance depicted in the photo we had already experienced an epic day chasing trout and the occasional steelhead while enjoying the bounties of Northern California in the springtime. Yes, we target trout and steelhead. But don’t forget about the other species that inhabit our waterways. And remember, when you focus on a specific prize, don’t ignore all the other wonderful discoveries that may go unnoticed. In life, or on the river.

fly angler lands huge carp on Lower Sac river

A sweet specimen tackled by Lowell on the Lower Sacramento River on 6 weight and light tippet.

 

carp lips and smiling angler

In 1653 Izaak Walton wrote in The Compleat Angler, “The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised.”

 

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guides in Redding , CA

Trout, steelhead, salmon, bass and anything that swims

www.FishKennedyBrothers.com