Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Putah Creek Report May 2017

Hey Everyone- The flows at Putah Creek are currently 325cfs and water clarity is fair this week. This is super exciting because this is my first real "catching" report since the floodwaters hit Putah. Just when I was beginning to worry that there'd be no good fishing this year, the rain stopped, the creek finally dropped to fishable levels, and is fishing well again. Also because of the rain and flooding, it's really a beautiful scene out there right now. Wildflowers galore, plants growing like crazy, and hungry fish ready to hit on that fly. I am always trying to narrow my tips  down to one or two things, but thats just not possible on Putah Creek or any other river for that matter. One thing became clear; after months of no one really fishing the creek, I have had a couple of great weeks getting fish to net. That said, the floodwaters have changed the river drastically. Some places I used to catch fish are empty; and some that used to be empty now have fish. I've been spending even more time on the creek than usual, re-learning some of my favorite areas. I keep saying to myself, 'If you're fishing more than three times a week, you might have a problem!' Hahaha.  The usual flies are still a good idea but leader length and a trying a few other flies can really help you out. I took out a father and his two adult sons last week and they had an awesome time. After hooking into a 15-inch bow, he lit up a cigar and just sat down on a rock and watched his brother and dad fish, with a contented look on his face. I'm always happy to see that happen on a trip. If you'd like to book a trip, please call Richard at 707-294-4738. Fish on!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Putah Creek Report for 4/06/17

Putah Creek Report for 4/06/17
Call Richard for available dates ; 

  • Hey everyone its really good to be back on the water again and now the flows are at a level I can wade at last! The flows were at about ( 751cfs ) today so overall a great day to be on the water. I had 2 clients for almost 8 hours so I was excited to have these guys for a full day as that it gives me an opertunity to help them work on their casting accuracy and drifting the fly right in that slot where I suspect a fish might be holding. We started at the bridge just working on casting and not casting in the overhanging trees. The water is still very high at 751 and that puts most of us on the edges ie under a tree so it takes a few to get your groove on and not in a bush every cast.  We stayed for an hour and moved down a few spots, and started getting a few grabs here and there- some grabs bigger than others.  I want to talk about leaders and really paying attention to leader length. I want to emphasize this: too short and not long enough to drag bottom, you're going to drift right over the heads fish you for sure dont want to miss. We ended up fishing some newer spots and fished water I normally would have walked by and my client had a 15" fish on for a few seconds, but it got away as well. Thats how it goes some days-hookin em but no big fish to net. The good news is there are nice size fish in the system and they are hungry but you need to find a place thats not too deep to wade or too deep to nymph. 
  • Here are a few pointers  
  1. In my opinion correct leader length is vital , Too short and your fly goes right over the fishes feeding zone; and too long you might not see a take because your too long ! 

     2. keep a good selection of split shot ; as you fish more you will see how important this is.

     3. Flys keep a good selection of flys. Theres nothing worse than not having a fly you find out      
         the fish are hitting on    ,   <*)()()><
     4. Check the flows every time you hit the creek; Over time it will help you understand Putah
         Creeks Eb and flows , and as of this morning  1110cfs and riseing

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 2017 report for Putah Creek

Hey everyone so it seems the rain has stopped for now and flows are on the decline. Current flows are at 1450 cfs(cubic feet per second). Last week I spoke with Chris from Solano Irrigation and he told me that at the height of the storms he estimated between 7 and 8 thousand cfs overall moving down the creek. We talked for a while and from what I understand the nozzel at the base of the dam can discharge between 700 and 1000cfs and another 700 to 1000 running the hydro turbines discharging below the water level and the rest comming down the glory hole. My guess is he is right; at the height of these last few storms we where looking at around 8000 per second  Wow! I am looking forward to seeing whats changed and whats not but we're still a few weeks to a month from anything resembling a fishable creek.  Me and a friend hiked up to the glory hole a few weeks ago and here is one of the videos I shot:

I know it'll be at least a couple more weeks before the creek is really fishable again. Once you get back out there, remember proper leader length, flies, and trial and error are essential to finding fish in the new re-designed Putah Creek. Depending on what happens, we may need to use big-water techniques and possibly bigger flies as well. As a safety side-note: dont forget that rafting on the creek is extremely dangerous at ALL times and especially at this time! Last weekend, I came upon three young people and their dog, blowing up a small rubber raft at Access #3, wearing jeans and t-shirts, about to make a huge mistake. I talked with them and was able to talk them out of getting into the river, which was flowing at 2400cfs. I've been on the creek a couple times a week throughout the season and I'm starting to see areas that I'm sure are holding fish; but getting to them is still a problem. I will continue to do exploratory fishing and keep you guys posted as the flows come down and as soon as I know anything big, you'll know it too. Until then, make a visit to Loast Coast Outfitters, Sweeney's Sports, or your local fly shop; tie your flys, watch your favorite fly-fishing videos, and get ready for Spring. For more information about Richard Loft and booking a day on the creek, check out or call 707-294-4738.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

November, 2016

Hi Everyone Merry Christmas.  Here's my Holiday Putah Creek report for November, 2016. 
Winter has finally arrived and with it flows on Putah Creek have stabilized at 80 cfs and fishing is still good. I teach an "Introduction to Fly Fishing" a couple times a year for Napa Parks and recreation and I took one of my students out to the creek and we found some fish-- one was well over 20' on a # 20  Zibra midge thanks to Lauries quick skills with the camera we got some pics And a video. We were fishing the Staircase and really working it for well over 2 hours with no action and I was really giving it the once over trying everything I could to garner a hit: More weight / Less weight, Longer leader/shorter leader. Changing flys - Soft hackles, Pheasant Tails, Midges and so on . I moved a bit then went back. I know theres fish in there whats going on ??? Hmm. My guess is this section gets pounded and maybe these fish are just not willing to take anything that does't look absolutely perfect. So I try a blk #20 with 6X and my indi didn't make it 10 ft and I see my indi shoot off to the side then go upstreem 2 or 3 ft well that was a fish and I missed the set so I reset my drift and I got a second chance and yes I got the set in time. This all happened in November and I continue to find fish when I put forth the effort . 

I would like to mention I have stopped guiding on Putah for the season, and am now guiding on the Lower Yuba in Marysville with great results. I try to move the guided trips over to the Yuba from Dec 1-March 1, to give Putah Creek a break as it is in full spawn mode and the fish are trying to spawn . So for now its the Yuba and as always it can still be hit and miss when fishing our local waters they dont get stocked and thats fishing- your never guaranteed a huge fish but they're in the system and can be found if you put in the time and are armed with a good understanding of how to build a leader set for the riffle you are fishing at that time. Obviously there are some other things involved i.e. fly selection, a good drift is always very important and a bit of luck never hurts. 

So if you want to get out and do some Winter fishing, or give a Gift Certificate to someone special, drop me a line. Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides, 707-294-4738;

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Late Fall Putah Creek Report

Hey everyone heres my report for Putah Creek 9/16 > on to end of October.  I fished much of the creek less visited most of the year. Flows where very low but if you know where to look you can find water rarely fished due to much higher flows through out the year and that made for some very interesting and productive fishing. Also I have started finding some really great fish- 4 or 5 weeks ago I hooked and landed two fish on a wd-40 and two-bit hooker; also dont forget to offer up some smaller flys if nothing else is working-- its suprising how fast you can get takes after fishing a particular run with the usual fly and get stumped until you offer a #20 or #22 and get slammed and caught off-guard with a fish you never got a chance to even get your eyes on.  Its been a month or more since ive posted a Putah Report and I going on my best memory but she has still producing even with the rain and low flows she produces good fish counts it just takes time.

The one thing I belive is overlooked far too often is Leader Construction. What I mean about that is mainly the distance between the indi to weight- if thats wrong, all bets are off it doesn't matter if you have the right flys or not your going to miss the mark by not seeing the take if your too long or in the case of too short you wont get a take on a fish because the fly is not on the bottom .

If this doesnt make sense don't worry keep fishing and thinking about why you're not catching the fish you see and hear of others doing. Once you wrap your head around some of this it starts happening pretty fast you'll be on the water and hook and land fish only heard of in your dreams out there. But dont take my word for it!  Spend more time fishing or better yet give me a call and book a date for this month, the Yuba this Winter, or Putah again starting in March.

Recomended Flys
Flashback PT #18 ,16 ,14
Soft Hackles- I like the emerging ones I've done very well with them
Mayfly patterns
Flashback wd/40s #18/20

Fish on! Richard Loft, 707-294-4738,

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Volunteer Opportunity on Putah Creek! Oct. 29 & Nov. 6

Hi everyone so in case you havent noticed the flows have dropped to 50cfs for the annanual canal cleanout between Winters and Putah Creek. Also !  We are in need of some help on Putah Creek . Steve Karr the acting president of Putah Creek Trout is asking for at least 20 volunteers to help us save this Precious River in need.  I have crossposted this from The Putah Creek Forum hoping some of you can help us out , The big Day is 10/29/2016 . So please take a minute to read the post and register to help 


All: In early March this year a heavy rain storm cell sat over the badly burned Cold Canyon/Wildhorse Canyon watershed for several hours, dumping inches of rain onto the steep canyon slopes, and heavily eroding the burned ground. The result was a sudden high pulse of mud and water roaring down Cold Canyon into the creek; within a few hours the creek flow jumped from 100 cfs to 800 cfs before returning to 100 cfs. This pulse of tons of silt flowed down the Interdam reach down to Lake Solano, deposited into new mud islands and deltas as far down as fishing access 4. Much of the silt was mobilized by the high agricultural flows, but large submerged mud bars are becoming visible as the creek level drops.

The major spawning bed at Deer Sign was buried under several inches of silt at a critical time for the eggs and alevins present in the gravel. We believe much of the 2016 spawn cohort was killed by the siltation of the beds. A recent survey of the adjacent side channel turned up "0" young trout-this had never happened in surveys from previous years. Deer Sign spawning bed is in horrible condition right now and the new spawning season is just around the corner. It is critical for the health of our fishery that we remove silt and weeds from the spawning bed at Deer sign and also at the resort. This is a call for all hands to volunteer to prevent another disastrous spawn.

The end of this month, on October 29, and then during the following weekend on November 6, we are holding work days to clean the gravel spawning beds of silt and weeds at both sites (October 29) followed by gravel supplementation at one site (November 6). We need at least 20 volunteers for the 29th and at least 60 for the gravel augmentation Sign up for the 29th bed cleaning at the link below
If not showing, click on the “Spawning Bed” tab to get to the spreadsheet

Signup for the November 6 gravel augmentation through our PCT Facebook link, using the “Going” Button; or email or call Steve Karr directly):

Thursday, September 15, 2016