We never thought social media would turn into such a chore and mind suck. Following this and following that, working for that next sweet image or grip n grin just to keep traction and continuing growing. Sounds fun right? Then you learn that if you post too much or not enough or at the wrong time or if your fish isn’t in the water you are penalized or reprimanded by the ever changing algorithms or the authorities in charge of the circus that so many of us seem to be addicted to. Did you tag everybody, what about hashtags? Were they the right ones? Why is that person bashing us, we don’t even know them? What’s a troll? Ugg. At first it was entertaining and actually amusing seeing what our friends, family and other fly anglers were doing in the fly fishing community. It slowly turned into a job, a slow burning addiction and a quest to make our posts look as good as possible and keep up. Keep up with who though? Does anybody really care? When it comes down to it, how real is this stuff? Is the quality of life now measured by how many followers you have? Or how many likes you get from a post? Is the”need to belong” and stay up to date, perpetuating a fear of missing out? Having a business, people will tell you its mandatory to have social media and to be honest if we didn’t have our guide service we would probably abandon it all together. But for what we do it is necessary, to a point. But where does that point end? We try to keep our posts positive and celebrate the experience. That part is fun, creative and enjoyable because we love our job and we most definitely love our office. The experience we share with our guests, friends and with ourselves on the water is truly precious. No words or images can ever convey what that is besides being there. But where does this endless cycle become overwhelming and too much in this modern 24 hour world with social media dominating the lives of so many of us? Like many things in life, balance is critical. Do you have a balance with social media? Do you wake up and check it? How about before you go to bed or have a spare second? So we started tracking how much time we were spending on social media. We were completely surprised by how many wasted minutes, turned into hours and were exhausted for what? Nearly all of our phones currently have ways to track usage and the amount of time spent at each place. We challenge you to track it for one week and see how much time you spend and where. You might be surprised as well. So here we are, writing some random words for a paradoxical post on a media site telling you not to do it so much. Like our stuff, follow us, tell your friends but stop using social media and your phone so much (laughing). If you don’t find the absurdity in that Catch-22 funny, we are 100% making up for you as we write this conflicting and laughable blog post. With that, we leave you with an evening photo session on the Lower Sacramento River at the finale of a hot summer day. The caddis were popping and instead of trying to get the perfect shots that people would love on the intraweb, we took some snapshots. So go, get outside as much as possible, even if you’re busy, capture it and share it! But do it with good people and try to turn off your phone as much possible. Social media and your phone are a huge mind suck. Find your balance, whatever that may be and go fish.
So go, get outside as much as possible, even if you’re busy, capture it and share it! But do it with good people and try to turn off your phone as much possible. Social media and your phone are a huge mind suck. Find your balance, whatever that may be and go fish.
Nearly 170 years ago in the Sierra foothills, hordes of immigrants flooded to the famed gold fields and rich mineral deposits nestled near the Yuba River and its hills in hopes of striking it rich. The gold dust has settled and the scurry for its bounty has busted. Dusty and unwashed gold miners are nowadays traded for often dread locked and tie dyed marijuana cultivators and trimmigrants. But that misleading cliche is not exactly the truth currently, even by a long shot. Tourists, retirees and residents dominate and roam the quaint downtown streets. The gold rush has been replaced by the pot industry’s green rush. And even that entity is fading with changes in legalization and stricter regulation. The renewable resource that has taken a stronghold on the area and isn’t going away anytime soon is tourism and it’s a flourishing enterprise. This doesn’t come close to painting the entire picture, but this is a hasty slice of the post California Gold Rush-era town of Grass Valley and surrounding Nevada County.
The town is a modern hodgepodge affair and supports a wide assortment of locals and visitors alike, boasting a variety of businesses and events, acclaimed festivals, restaurants and boutiques. Some visitors come for the historic downtown accoutrements and fabled celebrations vigorously touted by the likes of Sunset Magazine. Some come to the area for an entire different reason.
Grass Valley is situated only 56 miles from Sacramento and approximately 88 miles from Reno which makes it the prime jumping off point for the Yuba River watershed and various other fly fishing locations full of hungry trout and bass.
Looking down, approximately 2,500 feet to the Central Valley floor from the vast pine forests and outdoor enthusiast haven, there is one other critical element besides the gold laden hills that brought people to this area and still continues to do so. Water! The area is surrounded by rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. Some are easy to get to and many lay hidden off of the numerous dirt roads and old trails that riddle the mountainous terrain in the adjacent vicinity. If you’re looking for a basecamp to go get lost from, this just might be the right area to commence your fishing or outdoor adventure.
Late in July, my girlfriend Chelsea and I had a trip planned to take her mother fly fishing for the first time. Looking at 108 degree temperatures on the Lower Sac in Redding, we opted for a closer option and possibly a shorter day from her mothers residence. The weeks prior we had been bouncing all around the West doing overnight float trips with friends on rivers that weren’t typically doable this time of year thanks to a monstrous winter season which left the Sierra loaded with a colossal snowpack. We definitely didn’t have a recent finger on the pulse of a particular section of river in the area so we made a quick call to the local fly shop in Grass Valley, the only one in the county. The owner, Tom Page answered the Reel Anglers line, a friend I’ve known for a while from industry events and outings but somehow had never been into his shop to visit. He gladly gave us the low down on the current conditions over the phone that he and his guides had been recently experiencing. His willingness to share and assure our trip was successful was unparalleled and a throwback to what use to be standard for fly shops of the past. After giving us the skinny, he recommended some specific flies. I had most in my umpteen boxes with me. But the hopper patterns I knew I didn’t have. When I asked him if he had some of those patterns in his shop he simply replied, “Nope, I am all out.”
When I asked him if he had some of those patterns in his shop he simply replied, “Nope, I am all out.”
We arrived the next morning with all the hopper and dry fly imitations we could muster, from fly patches on the boat and random ones we had put away into the wrong fly box. Many had been clearly abused and probably put away wet at the end of a day some time back. Neither of us could remember for sure but the tooth markings on the foam from some of the flies indicated a past story of trout hammering dries on a summer day, somewhere West of the Mississippi and East of the Pacific. Most were faded, mangled, missing legs and had old pieces of tippet still attached. Upon entering the shop we were immediately greeted and Tom had something in his hand. He rolled them out onto the fly shop counter and said, “These should work.” They were flies he just custom tied the night before for our trip!
Neither of us could remember for sure but the tooth markings on the foam from some of the flies indicated a past story of trout hammering dries on a summer day, somewhere West of the Mississippi and East of the Pacific.
I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always work out this way. Growing up in a fly shop since I was a kid and working in the industry for over 30 years, this is above and beyond. Most of the time, on such short notice, fly shops or owners, can’t just whip up some technical flies. But this is a testimony to the Reel Anglers Fly shop and owner Tom. A good fly shop will do anything they can to get you what you need or improvise. If you are able to give plenty of lead-way before your trip, whether it be a fly that is out of stock or a specific product they don’t carry on hand. These guys can probably take care of it for you. Just let them know ahead of time and they will try and accommodate your needs.
Local fly shops are a critical resource for the fly angler and if we want them around in the future, we have to support them in any possible way we can. Wherever your travels take you, always make it a point to stop in the local fly shop and show your support, even if that means buying a few flies to add to your fly box or replacing a spool of tippet. The first hand information you find here is irreplaceable and cannot be replicated, period.
Wherever your travels take you, always make it a point to stop in the local fly shop and show your support, even if that means buying a few flies to add to your fly box or replacing a spool of tippet.
So we loaded the boat with tasty bites, cold beverages and some custom tied flies and took off for a float on the Yuba River starting out near the famed Highway 20 bridge. We had a little bit of a breeze with some summer heat, which proved to be a perfect combination for hopper fishing up on the flats and in close to the graveled banks. Unfortunately, Chelsea’s mother wasn’t feeling well so it was just us on the float. We had the river to ourselves, minus a few kayaks and a couple of families visiting a local swimming hole.
Although this section of the Yuba is easily accessed from rutted roads paralleling the river on the south side, hiring a guide to learn this section can help tremendously and be invaluable to the first time visitor or the returning angler. The Yuba can be a tricky river for the wading fly angler as seasons and river conditions change. Like most places, a local expert like the Reel Anglers Fly Shop or hiring a guide can save many frustrating outings and give you information that may take numerous visits to acquire.
Although this section of the Yuba is easily accessed from rutted roads paralleling the river on the south side, hiring a guide to learn this section can help tremendously and be invaluable to the first time visitor or the returning angler.
When I decided to learn how to fly fish a few years ago, Tom’s shop (Reel Anglers) was right down the street. I took a casting class and a few float trips later was all she wrote. The addiction began…
Chelsea Baum, fly fishing enthusiast
Unfortunately, it’s been a bit of a reprieve from our blog as much of our engagement has flocked towards other forms of social media. But there is something more inviting and intimate with this format here in our opinion. We are not waiting for likes or comparing how our post does in relation to others. It’s also not just a trophy shot with a few words typed in to add to the hype filled with hashtags etc.. Although places like Instagram, Facebook and others all have their place. We feel we can present information via Fish Kennedy Brother’s blog in a more useful way that is more authentic and informative. One thing is for sure, although it is significantly more laborious, there is some personal enjoyment in showcasing photography from the rivers edge, sharing local information and tips and telling stories. What happened to story telling? When we are guiding full time, seven days a week and don’t have the time, others social media sites definitely make it easy and quick to share but not devote as much time as a blog post requires. We can’t promise or guarantee but we are going to try and dedicate some more time and energy here. We are always open to suggestions and want to know what stuff interests you. Love it, hate it? Want to see more of this and less of that? Please let us know, we always enjoy hearing from our loyal clients, occasional cruisers and the random reader. Whether it be your first time visiting or hundredth. Wishing everyone an awesome summer!
Warm Summer Floats Trips and Rising Rainbows,
The Kennedy Brothers
For those who still want the snapshot or from our adventures or highlight reel, if you will. You can still find us on Instagram:@FishKennedyBrothers
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 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”.
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.