Thursday, May 17, 2018

Putah Creek May 17

Napa Valley Fly Guides report for Putah Creek 5/1/2018 to 5/17/2018

Hey Everyone I want to give my Putah Creek report for the last two weeks. It's the most beautiful time of year on the Creek; whether you catch fish or not it's the best place in the world to be; standing in the middle of a river, casting to wild rainbow trout and listening to the sound of flowing water. I love it every minute of it!
So summer flows are definitely here; in the mid 300s and still climbing upwards of 460. Wading is still possible if you know where to cross so I am still taking clients across at some places and getting into some fish with a few in the 15 to 16 inch range, one of my recent clients best was a nice 16 incher on a #14 soft hackle pattern as soon as I changed out flys. With that said, things can be tough every time flows go up above 350 to 400 cfs and not only for my clients, but the word I am hearing from my fishing buddies is that fishing has been a little slow for everyone with a few reports of good numbers.  In my experience this is where the learning really happens; when my numbers go down i try new stratigies not used when fishing numbers are high and the usual techniques are working. So in these high summer flows and hotter days, I also fish water I would normaly overlook so its about staying on the water trying new things.  So remember to move around to different spots; streamers have produced a few fish as well as high sticking in water you might normally overlook. Try going to a yarn indicator and fish softer water or rigging a shorter leader with a very small indi and fish the edges. At the end of the day summer fishing fishing can be challenging so look around and fish water or rivers you might otherwise overlook and try new techniques....the list goes on and on. Whether or not we might not want to admit it, in the art and sport of fly-fishing, we are all continually learning or at least I think we should be. The creek is pretty crowded these days, so if you'd like to book a day with me, the weekdays are best since there will be less pressure and more available spots. The weather is good, you can still fish the high flows, and enjoy the best sport in the world! Please feel free to call/email for my available dates. See you on the water! -Richard Loft, 707-294-4738; napavalleyflyguides@gmail.com #frputahcreek #flyfishinglife #napavalleyflyguides


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Putah Creek <*)()()>< Report for April 2018

Hey everyone I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would post an update.  I'm not going to cover the bug info, which was nicely covered by my colleague guides already; but I'm going to give my current tips and access points for Putah this Spring.

Access #5 produced a 16 in fish hiding in a riffle I have fished many times in the past but so much of the river has a new look to it I am still developing the perfect drift in these new area.  My advice is always take it slow pay close atention to your indicator size and location; if you're fishing 20 to 30 inches of water keep your leader just long enough to reach bottom but not so long you wont see a grab when a fish takes your fly. Remember we all miss the short subtle takes trout do-- then reject by spitting out-- thats the downside of indicators; also they can spook fish so use the smallest size you can get away with out it being pulled under.

Access #4 was producing very well last Oct but has slowed considerably but still does produce some fish if your willing to spend the time. But remember its hit and miss as far as it being open the last few times it already being fished by someone else so I try to be respectful and just move on. With these higher flows, more of the river is becomming open so no need to crowd someone already fishing a riffle! Yesterday I landed a very nice 16 in fish after I moved on, so remember by just moving around you can find fish very willing to take your fly in water overlooked by others but its Putah Creek and its getting a lot of pressure right now until april 28th and many of the other rivers opening will help relieve much of the pressure on Putah.

Access # 1  Still seems a little low but I still love that riffle; last winter after the flows came back down I had some good luck at one but it is a tough riffle to fish. I find fish willing to take when other places are full.

Side note # 2!  As we enter warmer days flows will go up making it harder to wade and your flys to get down so consider ( High Sticking/Czech Nymphing )and or using bigger flys from time to time streamers, soft hackles and beadheads its just a sugestion in soft water; start with you normal flys-midges as of today the flows are at 260 and I was able to wade across the staircase but soon this wont be an option.

Side Note: Hey watch out for rattlesnakes out there; a kid almost got bitten yesterday and I picked up one out of the road today. Be safe!

When you decide you want to get out on the water, feel free to reach out to me- it's a beautiful time to be on the Creek! Thanks for reading. I have dates available. Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides, 707-294-4738; www.napavalleyflyguides.com



Monday, March 5, 2018

Introducing Our Outdoor Adventure Package!

Hey Everyone! Wejust began offering a new Outdoor Adventure Package with flights and fly-fishing trips! Don't worry-I'm not the pilot-- I'm partnering with Mike Whalen and the Napa Jet Center. Check it out and please forward on to any interested friends or family. Fish on!  
#napavalleyflyguides #putahcreek #flyfishinglife #napajetcenter#mikewhalen #airtours


Or just click this link to learn more or book your trip: Outdoor Adventure Package. Fish on!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Report Putah Creek

Hey everyone I just wanted to check in and let you all know whats going on at Putah Creek this month. Flows are still really low between 63 and 55 cfs hardly worth the effort but I have still need to keep doing a little fishing here and there just to keep up my game. Making sure to stay away from the spawning grounds at #3, Deer sign and the Bridge while still getting my necessary fishing time in. It helps keep my attitude up. So I have noticed fishing seems really slow at my usual winter spot so yesterday I ventured and found a riffle after loosing everything at the last spot so I grabbed my spare rod and headed down to a spot I fish less often and  started playing with flys with no luck and just befor dark around 5;30 I added a splitshot changed my bottom fly to a  #16 Beadhead PMD and moved over a foot or two made a few casts and saw my indi twitch so of course I set and was pleasently surprised when a fish just simply broke me off as it swam away ,,, Nice fish. I love it when that happens. Call me crazy but.... 

I would like to make a few points I think are important 

First, I had been getting a little lazy with my leader rigging; don't do that! Remember you never know when your going to hook up on a really big fish  I had a short section of 5X above my tippet ring just 5 or 6 inches and then rest was 8 pound test above to my indi  Guess where my line broke? Yup! the short section of 5x I know better I just wasnt expecting to get a big fish and my leader was a little sloppy so I lost a really nice fish. 

And secondly when flows drop to this level and spawn is in full swing its best to give the fish a break and either find other river to fish until March but if you decide to fish watch out for the trout egg nests in the middle of the river; called, Redds. I saw a guy two weeks ago fishing just above the staircase standing literally in the Redd; fishing! What the hell ?? I know its a little hypocritical of me to complain when I still fish the creek here and there, but I stay well away from the Redds and never walk in them so lets all be aware that there are and spawning fish so please be careful out there. I resume guiding and seriously fishing on March 1. If you want to book after March 1 on Putah or now on the Yuba out of Marysville, I do have availability so call or email me direct. 707-294-4738napavalleyflyguides@gmail.comwww.napavalleyflyguides.com . #napavalleyflyfishing #lostcoastoutfitters #flyfishinglife

Thanks for reading & Fish on!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Winter Report ; December 2017

Hey Everyone- Theres not a lot to report on Putah at this time of year-- the flows are really low and the trout are spawnning so we try to leave them mostly alone until the beginning of March-- but I still like to check in periodically. I drove up to the creek Saturday and checked out a few access points ; first stopping at the bridge where I ran into one of the Putah Creek Trout volunteers doing a few drifts and not having much luck after doing his volunteer survey work with PCT. We chatted a minute then moved on walkng and taking a few pictures; some underwater-- hopfully catching some of fish--and then moved on to our next stop. I like to visit the creek whether or not i'm guiding or fishing as it helps me understand her moods and what the river channel bottom looks like and keeps me current with whats happening with PCT as they are still doing their monthly river surveys with 10 more still pending . I am seeing some active Redds(Trout Egg Nests) here and there but unfortunately I don't see large numbers of them yet hopfully we will see more soon. Please keep your eyes open and don't walk through or accross Redds because it kills hundreds of trout eggs or fry. And if your not sure what to look for please feel free to reach out to me and I will make a date to walk the creek with you in the next few weeks early to mid January. Please keep in mind this is to help our fishery so newcomers learn how to identify Redds, not walk through an active Redd, and not to come back later and target fish on or near Redds; theres already enough guys doing that. So to sum up, this season is a mostly watch and enjoy Putah Creek; try to fish other rivers until March so the trout have a less stressful place to spawn. Feel free to call/email me to fish the Yuba outside Marysville or to do the walking tour of Putah without fishing. Richard Loft, 707-294-4738, napavalleyflyguides@gmail.com.
You can also book me through George or Art at Lost Coast Outfitters if you are interested. Fish on!
www.napavalleyflyguides.com


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Early Fall Report on Putah Creek

Hey everyone I just want to check in and report conditions post-fire and prior to our current drop of flows to 50cfs:

First of all, we are safe and well following the firestorms on the North Bay, thanks to the amazing and tireless work of the first responders from all over California and the country! The town of Napa proper was untouched by the fires, and Putah Creek thankfully, did not see any fire damage at all this time around. I fished my way through the weeks of the fire with no problems and had great luck landing fish.  September and October have been great in terms of numbers of fish landed and outstanding bug life for some reason-- BWO hatches have been stellar in the am and later in the day at near all the riffles and  even though the creek flows fluctuated between 200cfs and 400cfs; also I have seen huge hatches of midges like never before so all the usual flys are getting the attention from fish: really small midge patterns and also try any emerger patterns.  Now that the flows have dropped due to annual SID irrigation canal cleaning, you'll have to check out areas of deeper water until the flows come up again. They are likely to come up again in the next 30 days. In addition, I encourage you to consider fishing other rivers during the winter trout-spawnning season. The Yuba outside Marysville and Lake Hennessy are good options to try.  In order to continue having a nice and prolific fishery on Putah, the mature fish need to spawn and new eggs and fry have to be able to survive until the following Spring and Summer seasons. When people crowd in to the creek during the active spawn, it's too easy to accidentally walk right through the trout nests, called Redds, and squish the entire next generation of eggs under your boots. Or when fishermen target spawners, the trout guarding their nests will be tired out as you fight them on your line and may not be able to properly guard their eggs. So to sum it up, nice hatches and if the flows go back up, Putah is fishing well. As we get into Winter, consider other rivers to avoid negative effects on the trout spawnning season. Call me if you are ready to talk fishing on Putah, Lake Hennessey, or the Yuba. Fish on! Richard Loft, 707-294-4738; www.napavalleyflyguides.com



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fly-Fishing Film Festival Event!

Hey Everyone! Here's an upcoming event with Putah Creek Trout & The Davis Fly-Fishers that will be a lot of fun and all things fishing. Napa Valley Fly Guides will be there--come by and say hi. Please come out and support the creek that provides us with a beautiful fishery year after year.
Re-posted from Dan Brugger, of Putah Creek Trout:

"Join Fly Fishers of Davis and Putah Creek Trout Saturday September 9, 2017 3 - 9pm for an afternoon of fun, food, casting competition, raffles, gear reps and the only showing of the 2017 Orvis "Down the Hatch" film.  The location will be at the Davis Veterans Memorial Auditorium.  The movie will be presented ~ 6pm.
Here is more information on the Putah Creek Website including the link to purchase tickets: