Stillwater action is hot as the weather

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Well as we predicted the temps rose and so did the flows. Not to worry tho the Stillwater action is red hot. Callibaetis, ants, midges, and baitfish patterns are all fooling fish rite now. I have heard good reports from South Lake area lakes and can tell you first hand that Jackson Meadows and Milton are good to go. To fish all day a float tube or boat is good idea, but midday ant bite is just fine from shore. Just play those wind lines, no wind means no ants in the water.image
If you have never fished our private water (sawmill lake) now is a great time. We restocked last week and water temps are perfect. We can take you on a guide trip or you can fish on your own. We limit mixed groups to a max of 4 rods at a time to ensure a quality experience. Sawmill is truly Tahoes premier Stillwater and now is the time to get a taste of the best! As always give the shop a call with any questions. See ya on the water-Jay

Runoff is here

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The heat is on! We are looking at alot of warm air this week. With lots of snow still up high that will lead to big runoff. That being said check the flows before you make your plans. Better yet plan on fishing tailwaters or stillwaters. We have a lot of overlooked stillwater fishing in the Tahoe area. Give the shop a call for details, or book a guide trip to fine tune those stillwater techniques.

Far off and into the desert. Pyramid Lake, NV

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This past weekend was well spent with good friends from areas all over the states of CA and NV, some old and some new.  It was a pleasure as always.  We had good times in the wet and nasty weather as well as the calm bluebird weather pyramid is not known for.  I learned a bit on the vice from a very talented young buck, Austin Lindsay Jr.  This kid has the drive you see in a cougar stalking a deer.  So cool to see.  The passion is there in a mean way.  It makes you want to step it up a notch just to stay ahead.  But its also a real pleasure to see the younger generation engaged so deep into a sport we all love.  If your reading this I would assume you have the drive us fly nerds, geeks, enthusiasts, junkies and die hards all keep pulsing through our blood.  The passion is so thick, it’s not just a sport anymore.  Its a lifestyle.

This weekend was one of those for the memory books.  Not only was the fishing great, but the time spent with old and new friends was more than memorable.  The shore fishing is tough out there now. But if you can get out in a tube, kayak, boat, etc the bite can be one to remember. Strip that chub pattern like you mean it! Pyramid Lake, I love you.

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Fly Fishing tail waters in the Sierras

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This week we went off and explored some temperamental tail waters.  Not all tail waters are so inconsistent.  But in a huge drought year everything can be all over the place as far as flows.  We have the Little Truckee river for instance being a tail water that is a bit more consistent, than say the East Walker the past few years.  All these streams or rivers rely on flows being released from lakes via dams.  Being that we have been in a bit of a drought the last few years we have had very little water to let loose on these streams.   Some of these water sheds are managed a bit differently than others, in return they fish differently as well.

Yesterday we were able to go and check out some tail waters that were way too low this season for fishing at all.  With that being said a few of them have been rippin the past few weeks.  Water is being sold down stream and the fish are loving it!  The cool thing about some of these sections is the numerous types of trout that hold in them.  If persistent one could snag a hat trick on a single river.  That’s right…rainbow, brown and even a brook trout.  With that being said, these tail waters turn off at the drop of a hat.  So do some research before making that drive.  Or better yet, pop on in the shop  to bs or spend a portion of your day with one of our guides.

Early bird gets the worm.  High alpine lakes.  Tahoe-Truckee area

The alarm goes off.  It’s 4:58am.  This morning we are off in search for big trout in our High Alpine lakes. The rod is rigged with a fresh streamer tied from the night before. This morning we are looking for that one eager fish.  The one that is willing to pummel our fly.  This type of fishing is all about the chase!

While stalking the shoreline, climbing up giant granite boulders looking for another deep channel to huck our bugs into.  We notice the serenity the new fall weather is bringing us.  The holidays have past.  It’s quieting down around here. I like it.  And so do the fish.

Taking it all in we pull that fresh streamer off the guide of our fly rod.  Strip some line off and begin flailing and waving in attempt to get some line out.  We get lucky this time.  It doesn’t tangle up in the trees behind us and lands out just where we hoped it would.  As we strip our fly back to us we think about nothing.  All thoughts are focused on this moment alone.  We strip our fly back. Nothing. Go figure.  Throughout the morning we see numerous prudes.  Snobs I like to call them.  Seeing that monster trout swim up from the depths with its eyes locked in on your streamer, only to see him turn around and swim right back down where he came from.  As if his nose is held up high like he is too good for you or your bugs.

But sometimes we get lucky.  You got to look at it like a hunt.  After all we are hunting for that one nice fish.  And when it all comes together it can be very memorable.  We at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters are all about making memories.   Good ones.  So come join us in the fun because we would love to show you a good time out on the water.

Kids love to fish!

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No question folks, kids love to fish! Truth is a lot of the time they do better than mom and dad. There is no better time than the warm days of summer to get the younglings out on the water. And no better way than booking a guided trip up at sawmill lake. Call the shop to book or to get more info!

Scouting for Trout: Exploring Tahoe’s High Lakes

In anticipation of moving from Colorado into a full summer working at the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, it made sense to shelf my dog-eared John Gierach books in favor of a new local fly fishing demigod: Ralph Cutter. Before arriving, I’d worked my way through a good chunk of Cutter’s book Fish Food , which revolutionized my appreciation for understanding bugs. I was amazed, as a relatively new fly fisherman, how someone could take something as potentially dry as an in-depth look into entomology, and create a page-turner of a guide that actually made me laugh out loud. His work has taken the intimidation out of stopping by the fly shop to pick through the hundreds of tiny bins of flies, and has certainly made me more confident in sharing my excitement for the “fly” part of fly fishing with our customers.

As an avid backpacker and someone with an acute interest in exploring my new high altitude backyard through the lens of fly fishing, Cutter’s chapter on Upslope Blow-In grabbed my attention. It’s a short passage about struggling to find – and nearly giving up on the search for – a storied lake full of chunky goldens who feed on unexpected fare. His small midge emergers are refused repeatedly until he stops, skims the surface, and is stunned to retrieve a handful of PMDs, carpenter ants, beetles, grasshoppers and caddisflies; all of which are lower altitude insects that get blown in from miles away.

This lake, in his words, “did not want to be found”, which provided a suitable challenge for my last two days off. I paired down my usual busting-at-the-seams fanny pack of fly boxes (a hard move for any well-accessorized fisherman who is ever fearful of not having “that one bug”), grabbed my 6 piece backpacking rod, and drove up to the trailhead for an overnight trip I’d hope could produce some trout. Simply the hike in provided good learning: check the forecast ahead of time for gale-force wind conditions (usually not detrimental when just going hiking), and when approaching a rain-swollen lake that you plan on sleeping next to remember your bug spray. (Oh yeah, it’s June.)

Arriving at the first lake was a good sign, although after quickly taking a look over the map and taking a bearing to our destination lake, we realized this probably was not the lake that “didn’t want to be found”, although it shared the same name. It was too easy to get to, contrary to Cutter’s description. After another quarter mile of navigating around beautiful granite outcroppings and scaling a rock slide, we peered down to see a well-protected tarn that looked ultra-fishy. Suddenly I didn’t care what the lake was called or who’d been there before and written about it; it was gorgeous and I felt certain there were fish in it.

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“I’ll set up the tarp if you want to go do your Trout Whisperer thing,” allowed my boyfriend, which made me laugh but also reminded me that I wasn’t on a roiling stream: I did need to approach the very clear, still water with slow, cautious movements. I recalled one of our guides during the shop’s Guide School demonstrating the way to creep up on any clear body of water, so not to spook all the fish. It also dawned on me again that it’s not as obvious where a fish will be in a lake, compared to the streams I’d been learning from lately. You really do need to scout for your trout in these lakes, particularly if they’re not rising up to say “Hey! Here I am!” I proceeded to creep around with my pocket full of new bugs, looking for any sign of which ones to use.

The fishing turned out to be incredibly fun. I found a drop off near a gurgling inlet just tucked out of the consistent wind, put on a size 14 Cutter’s Ant I’d picked up at our shop. I let out some line with a small false roll cast to set up and while reaching up to send line with a real roll cast I missed an unexpectedly explosive strike. This was a real tone setter, it’s on! Every other cast from then on produced beautiful, fat, foot-long dancing brookies that clearly spend their days watching the surface for those blown-in bugs. This was the type of fishing that gets one less worried about size, and more excited to quickly get that bug back out on the water for the next strike. I found myself changing flies just for fun, to see how many different species I’d brought with me that they’d hungrily hit.

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One of the many hungry brookies caught on a blown-in bug pattern.

Although Cutter’s hard-to-get-to-mystery-golden-lake-of-the-same-name still stands elusive, I was pleased to head back towards the car the next day after two solidly educational and rewarding fishing sessions, a refreshing night up in the high country, a reminder of how just beautiful those brook trout are and why I’m inspired to get out there and seek contemplative wilderness experiences, now with my fly rod. Gierach captured it completely when he wrote, “Trout are among those creatures that are one hell of a lot prettier than they need to be. They can get you to wondering about the hidden workings of reality.”

Fly Fishing The West Carson River

The West Carson River has been fishing really well. The runoff is incredibly mild and wet wading in the slow, shallow sections is even possible and not numbing. CA DFG has put in some 12 to 14 inch Lahontan Cutthroat that are really pretty and fun to catch. There are also some larger Rainbows in there as well. I have seen a couple of adult Stoneflies and some Caddis already so dry fly fishing should be just around the corner. The fish have been eating large Prince Nymphs, Large Copper Johns and a variety of small mayfly, caddis and midge imitations. Get out and enjoy this early fishing. It is not very often that you will get to fish in Hope Valley in shorts on a May evening!