California's Best Fly Fishing: Premier Streams and Rivers by Chip O'Brien

By Chip O'Brien

No matter if you need to crack the code of Northern California's mythical wild-trout waters, research the simplest floats at the Sac, or fish for steelhead, stripers and shad at the American River, this advisor is the easiest position to begin for a profitable fishing journey.

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Extra resources for California's Best Fly Fishing: Premier Streams and Rivers from Northern California to the Eastern Sierra

Sample text

For the bottom nymph go smaller and dark, such as a #16-18 Micro May or Anato-May. Sink these with three or four medium split-shot around eight feet under a strike indicator buoyant enough to hold it all up. If the water is deep enough that you can’t see the bottom, fish it. McCloud River fish could be anywhere that’s deep enough. Spring also can provide hours of dry-fly fishing on some days. Rainy days are usually better. Here is an opportunity to use your powers of observation. Fortunately you needn’t know the scientific names for what’s on the water.

On the other hand, Fall is so full of healthy trout that finding a good spot is fairly easy. If fish are taking bugs on the surface, it’s fairly obvious where they are. Because the water is so flat, it’s easy to spot rising fish from a distance. Resist the urge to chase those intermittent rises, because the river is generally full of intermittently rising fish. Your best chance of success lies in locating a group of fish that are consistently rising. Motor slowly up- or downstream keeping a sharp eye on the surface of the water.

The water looks much different than, say, a freestone stream. This is flat, deep water; every inch of it. Some areas are sandy with little vegetation or places for fish to hide. Generally these are not the best areas to fish, although fish will sometimes move into these areas to intercept bugs hatching from up above. Other areas of the stream have lush vegetation, which provides lots of food and cover for fish. Fishing Fall River is largely an act of working “the line,” that skinny playing field where air and water converge.

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