If April showers bring May flowers then December storms bring sea-run steelhead home! Currently a heavy “pineapple express” weather system is lowering its crosshairs into Northern California and bringing heavy precipitation and deep snow over the upper elevations. Look for high and off color conditions in most of the rivers also with some roadways being closed or with major delays throughout and after the system. Although this new front will blow out most of our rivers for steelhead, minus perhaps the very upper reaches, there is good news. The severe storm fronts that blast the State of Jefferson bring in fresh fish from the ocean and allows fish already in the river system to get up into the tributaries and spawn safely. After five years of drought this is just what we needed. And although it’s not the best for fishing this week it may prove to make the New Year and without question years to come successful for steelhead and other anadromous friends.
So what is happening with the weather? We find ourselves explaining the situation via e-mail, text, phone and social media outlets. As much as our job requires us to be on top of the weather it’s better left up to the professionals. Here is a short video clip with some diagrams explaining the basics of the storm system that is slamming Nor Cal through the week and possibly into the weekend.
One road condition which has plagued us most of the last several weeks has been the rockslide on Hwy 299 west of Weaverville and just east of Del Loma on the Trinity River. Known as the Big French Creek slide this area is highly unstable and doesn’t look to improve anytime soon. Currently it is closed and will be at least into next week. Although one lane traffic may commence eventually, until this mountainside is stabilized it will be a reoccurring event like many slides on Hwy 299 have been in the past. Plan ahead and ensure enough time to go the long way around.
Our hope is always to write more and share more photos detailing our adventures but as usual we find ourselves utterly buried in working the river and enjoying its critters. We would like to thank all the people who made this past fall season and the ones previous unforgettable. We are truly blessed and constantly amazed to be surrounded by such great people, from our families, friends, clients, anglers, fellow guides, co-workers and everybody else behind the scenes. The fishing family here in Northern California is truly special and our life would not be nearly as enjoyable as it is without the faces behind it. You make it possible and we are grateful. Sending the best wishes to all those who make the river flow.
Recent downpours of heavy rain for the month of March so far have sent lake levels in the Northstate through the roof and still we are not done yet. Will Shasta Lake overflow? There is a good chance if we can keep pace. Officials said it would take at least three years to fill up California’s largest reservoir but it’s happening at a much quicker rate than expected.
Early Monday morning, Shasta Lake was at 79% of capacity and 103% of historical average for this time of year which puts us on a good path towards reaching peak levels and possibly over flowing it’s spillways with future storms and snow melt.
Nothing haunts me more than the beasts that live in the emerald green waters. But the hunt is going to have to wait. At least for now.
Much of the West Coast has received copious amount of rainfall in the past 48 hours. Currently, most rivers are high and not fishable, except for a small handful of tailwaters fisheries up near the dam. Oh and lakes too. There are a few dandies out there right now if you’re willing to partake in the changing weather conditions. The Trinity was hardly fishable at the top end of the drainage above Rush Creek and the Lower Sac was fishable today but saw severe winds which made boat accessibility down right dangerous. Brutal beyond belief. The Lower Sac had fishable water down to I-5 but saw extremely dirty water from the mouth of Churn Creek down. More moisture is on the way and it will determine the outlook for this next week. So far it’s looking like a great week for more rain which we still need.
It might be a good time to find a great book and sit by a warm fire! Has anybody read these?
“Look, do you see that?” I said while breaking the quietude as my client remained laser focused, head down with extreme execution staring into Continue reading
The two weeks of delightful hiatus free from the wicked clenches of El Niño’s wet spell was an unspeakable dream, but we are ecstatic to report he’s back again and hopefully with a vengeance. For those of you who joined us on the rivers during the short sleeve section of February, you lucked out, and we hope you appreciated the fantabulous fishing and the warmest winter steelhead fishing known to man. The surplus of both vitamin D and chrome unicorns was truly a special event. We apologize for having you bring all that Gore-tex and quality Simms gear, but maybe next time we’ll have to use it. It’s common for El Niño years to harbor warmer weather in the Winter months; it doesn’t always translate for the hardcore weather sessions that we envision. You never know, so always be prepared for any weather condition Mother Nature can wheel at you when you are outdoors this time of year, regardless of the forecast. Speaking of water, how much do we have?
In this report we are going to be looking at current conditions for fly fishing Northern California, including the Lower Sacramento River and Trinity River for both trout and steelhead. We’ll also take a peek at drought stats, road conditions, river flows, fish hatcheries and at an exciting new chapter of Trout Unlimited starting in Redding. There’s some river news and a little something addressing “on the water” ethics as well.
The predicted El Niño of 2016 has shown it’s soaking potential, dropping much needed precipitation across the West Coast. Rain, sleet, and snow and typical winter storms have had their affects on waterways and roads leaving a trail of swollen rivers and treacherous highways in their wake, confirming that winter steelheading is not for the faint of heart. If you are up to the challenges and ready to face the caveats, rewards are present for the taking.
We’ll try to keep this one cut and dry, unlike the current weather forecast for the State of Jefferson. The Trinity river has been Continue reading
The rains have come in large amounts here in Northern California. The rivers are swollen, high and off color, battered by the recent snow and rainfall, blown out by most accounts. A steelhead fisherman, an optimist by origin, holds a different outlook. Where one warms by the fire with frozen toes and fingers deflated, cold, and cracked, waders frozen or even worse off, hanging in the corner, a new air of life is breathed into ones soul in stormy times. They are coming, an army of silver apparitions riding waves of muddy, leaf and debris speckled water in search of their natal birthplace.
El Niño is here and the “little boy” has brought friends Continue reading
It’s no secret that California has been drought stricken for the last few years. With small cold storms almost on a weekly basis, recent conditions in the Northern California region have been wet but Continue reading