The Current Magazine Winter 2016/17 - Page 40

Weather and fish

Weather this past autumn was curious and fascinating. October caddis season on both the Upper Sac and McCloud was sparse and eratic. As anglers and river folk, high water on both streams seemed unprecedented. Yet we seemed to find micro windows of opportunity to get out on the water. What we got was the typical beauty of these streams combined with the adventure of watching nature doing it's thing.

Along the Trinity and Klamath rivers, runs of steelhead we had become accustomed to, even throughout the drought, were sparse and head scratching. Fish that were in the rivers were spread out; flows were all over the map, and all drifts seemed the same, even to the river gurus.

The fall back stream turned out to be the Lower Sacramento, around Redding. While the water was big, this remarkable fishery lived up to it's reputation and we hit it during both storm and bluebird days.

Following another storm, we trudged back to Klamath basics. Carl 'The Pig Farmer' guide lives overlooking the river. So we caught it on the drop after a few phone calls and chasing weather reports. The air was cold and the river empty. Patience and persistence is an old rule. A nice pulse of fish were in, and they seemed less than particular about our fly patterns.

Weather and fish. Chasing steelhead is never supposed to be easy. Turns out that's true. Welcome to California, where water and weather are as extreme as the landscape.

Craig's Corner

by Craig Ballenger, CalTrout Ambassador