Fly Fishing,    blue winged olive,    fishing,    Fishing Report,    fishing the upper sacramento,    fly fishing the upper sacramento river,    upper sac,    Upper Sacramento,    upper sacramento river fishing report

Fly Fishing the Upper Sacramento For Hysterically Giggling Trout (or, The Icebreaker Cometh)

Posted by Tom Chandler 1/3/2010

I fished the next-to-last day of 2009, and because I left the digital camera at home, had to make due with my cell phone camera - which does not take stellar pictures. Still, when you make like a Russian icebreaker so you can get to the moving water (where the BWOs are), then you're not dealing with challenging subject matter:

Upper Sacramento River icing over

In that sense, my readers are lucky I only caught two trout in the 13"-14" range; you're not being subjected to really poor quality photos of average-sized trout (I simply didn't take them).

The BWO hatch was heavy. The number of rising trout was few.

You don't have to be a math geek to hate ratios like that.

It was a day I was glad I was alone - not forced to play nice with another fly fisherman (even a friend). I was able to chase the sporadically rising trout up and down the run, ultimately working pretty hard for my shot at four fish.

The trout, it seems, weren't cooperating. Despite a strong hatch, one or two would rise sporadically for five minutes, and then stop (usually about the time you slow-waded your way into casting range).

A lesser, whinier fly fishermen would choose that moment to anthropomorphize the trout. "They're doing it on purpose," he'd say. "They stop rising when I get within casting distance, and probably start giggling hysterically with their damned trout friends while flipping me the middle fin."

Like I said, a whiny fly fisherman might do that.

For sure I didn't.

And yes, some days are like that. Some days you're happy to share the fish, so when your buddy catches one while you stand to the side, it's like you caught it yourself.

Other days, well... to hell with everyone else. I need a trout.

The obligatory Big Fish Story of the Day
goes thusly; I drifted an #18 Quigley Cripple (Official Cripple of the Trout Underground) a long ways downstream, a nice fish ate it, I lifted the rod, and nothing happened.

Nothing.

That, my dear Undergrounders, is the kind of moment us effette, bamboo-waving dry fly fishermen live for.

Unfortunately, when something did happen, it involved two shakes of a big, big trout head, and the hook popped out.

Thus, one of the frailties of a downstream presentation rears its ugly head.

Sometimes the long, downstream drift is the best way catch trout on tough water, but the resulting upstream hookset means a lot of lost fish (more proof of an ironic - if not vengeful - god).

It was grey and lightly misting all day, and I was damned warm wearing my Micro Puff jacket (Patagonia). It's an ultralight, highly packable jacket that deserves its own post (which it will get soon).

I'm largely old-fashion when it comes to gear, happily cruising along with slower fly rods non-cutting edge fly patterns, but I draw the line at being cold, and some of the latest cold-weather gear is startling stuff.

More to come on that.

See you (warm and dry) on the river, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

10 comments
Very cool Tom.
0
0
I was talking to a buddy of mine lasat week about the wierd looks you get sitting 9 feet from the hole when Icefishing, and he suggested just cutting out a 20 or 30 foot strip of ice. I liked the idea, I gigure we can take turns fishing and being the ice caddy for each other
0
0
Charles: Ice fishing is so scary, if I saw a stress crack like this crap my pants Your underwear would be safe in this case - that's maybe an inch of ice I simply waded through to get to the other side. In other words, no underwear was harmed in the making of that picture...
0
0
Ice fishing is so scary, if I saw a stress crack like this crap my pants
0
0
Davem: I believe I originated the phrase “gave (or give) the fin”. If that is going to become the Official Expression of Fishy Disdain (Pathetic Fallacy/Anthropomorphical Division) of the Trout Underground, I want my due. Prove it, Verb Boy. I recall using it in casual conversation well over a decade ago, so your use of it in this comment likely violates my natural-law copyright, and you likely ... more owe me some of the vast wealth generated by storyarc.com...
0
0
I believe I originated the phrase "gave (or give) the fin". If that is going to become the Official Expression of Fishy Disdain (Pathetic Fallacy/Anthropomorphical Division) of the Trout Underground, I want my due. Which of course is nothing. I just want to be loved. Unless of course somebody has a prior usage, in which case I withdraw the claim and hereby pretend it never happened. And I am jellish ... more that you have flowing water. Again. Dave Dave
0
0
Turnip Truck Driver: Please accept my order for the soon to be released DVD, “Casting and Mending In The Icebreak.” That's "Extreme Casting & Mending in the Icebreak." It'll just sell better....
0
0
Kentucky Jim: I am not a whiny fly fisherman, and I wish you would quit talking about me like that! OK, but that means you've got to stop wearing the "I'm with whiny" t-shirt - the one with the upwards pointing arrow...
0
0
Please accept my order for the soon to be released DVD, "Casting and Mending In The Icebreak."
0
0
I am not a whiny fly fisherman, and I wish you would quit talking about me like that!
0
0

Discover Your Own Authentic Fly Fishing Experience

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.