Saturday, September 14, 2019

End of Summer Report 9.14.19

Putah Creek Flows: 351

Hey Everyone this is my End-Of-Summer Report on Putah Creek. It's been a long productive summer! Lots of really nice fish in the 16-18 inch range although the higher flows always make it a bit more challenging to land them; lots of really good days on the water with clients and my fishing buddies. With the high summer flows, you need more weight on your rig which changes how the cast and drift is gonna fly and move in the water so its a delicate balance. I also have been rigging shorter this summer, trying to not worry so much about being on the bottom as being in the feeding areas-middle section- of the creek. Flows are starting to decline finally as we move into the fall season. With all this heat, morning and evening have definitely been the hot ticket as fish are more active in the water column; whereas midday is pretty slow. Caddis are staring to show up the last couple weeks. As we move into the Fall season, please be aware of the possibility of fish egg nests, called Redds in the river, which you do not want to step on as it kills the eggs and the next generation of trout. And starting December 1, I stop fishing the creek due to the active Redds and Trout Spawnning season through March 1; and I recommend you do as well to give those beautiful trout a chance to reprodue in peace.

I want to put in a plug for the CA Coastal Clean Up, locations all over the bay area on September 21. Puath Creek Trout will be cleaning up at Putah Creek; so please consider helping out at Putah or one of the many Bay Area locations. Here are the details for the Putah Clean Up from the Putah Creek trout Website and Dr. Dan:

Friends of Putah Creek: Putah Creek Trout and Fly Fishers of Davis are cosponsoring a cleanup of the Inter-dam Reach of the Creek on Saturday, September 21 beginning at 9 AM and finishing at 12 noon. Meet at Fishing Access 5 by 8:45am to sign the liability release form, get initial directions, pick-up materials, and divide up into teams. Children are very welcome, under 12 yrs must have adult accompany them

Other than that, I do have dates available for September, October, and November; but October weekends are filling up fast. Give me a call or email if you want to get out on the water before the holiday season! Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides 707-294-4738; #frputahcreek #lostcoastoutfitters #napavalleyflyguides #fishinglife

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Grass is always Greener

Napa Valley Fly Guides June Report

                                                    The Grass is always Greener

It seems like every summer mid-day fishing slows down; temps spike and the new underwater grass growth make doing any serous nymphing problematic as flows ramp up. On the good side, the days are so much longer and that means that much longer time to seek and catch beautiful rainbow torut. On the tougher side, you need more and more weight with longer leaders and then of course I start picking up tons of new growth grass. So, in these summer months I sometimes start my fishing sessions later in the day while fish are relatively active or and useing a balanced amount of weight to lessen dragging the bottom and getting all that grass. I see this every year. As a guide I am obligated to fish under conditions that aren't always optimum but by perservering I still usualy find a fish or two willing to play ball regardless of temps, flows and other adverse conditions including heavy fishing pressure but all these can and do affect the bite so I am starting to bring different rods and a good selection of heavier flys to get into sections of pocket water not easily fished with an indicator. Not that I don't bring my usual rod I do but it pays to have a few tactics and a willingness to fish in spite of the current heat and higher flows, 500 cfs as of today.

I've included a picture of one of the fish of my clients hooked and landed and was caught around 3 pm in the afternoon during the hottest time of the day so that just goes to show a great example of those surprises that I love about fly-fishing.

The grass is here to stay as long as we have spring and summer it actually helps the fish by providing cover for fish habitat for bugs and is just part of a healthy river and ecosystem; futhermore it forces me to explore sections of river I would otherwise pass over.

If you want to get out there, feel free to give me a call or email:


or call 707-294-4738 and ask for Richard

#thingstodonapavalley #frputahcreek #flyfishinglife

Monday, May 27, 2019

Spring Putah Creek Report from Napa Valley Fly Guides

Spring Report with Napa Valley Fly Guides

Hey everyone, I want to report my latest intel over the last few months. Starting in March, Winter flood waters started to come down and flows fluctuated in the 600 cfs to 400 cfs range. The side channels did not disappoint me or clients; after a few attempts we found a few really nice 15 inch Rainbows willing to play two days in a row both days on a midge pattern but not under an indicator, instead utilizing high sticking techniques.  <*)()(>< On one of my days, we missed seeing an 18 before I could tempt it with a fly and it moved away, sensing our presence and became unwilling to play so it pays to really slow down and scan the shallow edges of any run.  I am continually reminded how elusive and on guard these wild Putah fish can be--remember they are a prey species and food for many other animals so they are really good at spotting threats sneaking up on them from the sides or from behind especially in shallow water riffles.

Being sneaky is the rule when working your way up to head of a run and having a second rod for high- sticking pocket water really helps by not adding an indicator to the mix but high-sticking has its limitations as well; covering distance being the biggest ones so don't get rid of your indicators yet. While I'm talking about indicators, they can spook fish and if not set properly create a delay fish can exploit and you may not ever see the take so I carry several different sizes and colors to match conditions like glare from the sun or them being pulled under by hydraulics, either way, they have a few pros and cons.

April and May brought much lower flows and the one of the nice side channels became a great spot to spend a few hours and I was pleased when a few clients landed some decent fish; also with the lower flows a lot more of the river opened up and fish became much easier to locate in one 4 to 5-hour session we hooked 12 or 13 fish  all but one were directly in the main stem on an indicator  and one just upstream high sticking All OF THOSE FISH WERE IN THE 16 TO 17 INCH RANGE .. so keep in mind you will get better results as you fish different spots.

 If you want to find a spot to fish you might need to get an early or very late start as the pressure is fairly heavy so be prepared to fish water you need to spend time finding a way into; after eleven years I am still seeing sections I have never fished but want to fish. Lastly, Late May brought much lower flows so the side channel just below the resort is almost dry now and the fish have moved on to another hole.

So if you've been waiting to book a trip for yourself or a family member, now is the time; give me a call/email and let's get you out on the water! Fish on! Richard Loft 707-294-4738;; #frputah #putahcreek #napavalleyflyguides #flyfishinglife

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Putah Creek Wildlife Report

Hey everyone Richard here I want to do something a little different this week- I want to offer a mixed report on some of the wildlife present on Putah Creek. We all get lots of fishing reports and we all look forward to them but thats just part of what ive come to love about fly fishing. For example, earlier this summer, I was on the creek with my client who is a state land manager in pennsylvania, and he hollered to me "Look a Mink!" Well, we have Mink I didnt know we had Mink! I wasnt able to get my camera out fast enough to get a pic but how awesome is that? So I watched it scrambeling along the opposite bank and got a great show-- it must live near there as I have seen it a few times since. I might get lucky and eventually get a picture but it will take a while because most of the time im fishing when these things happen. So dont miss out on the magic and keep your eyes open.

Another species is the Banna Slug; I see then a lot on the trail going down from the bridge along the creek. Sad thing is I often see them after someone has accidently stepped on them and killed them so I am very careful not to > Lets all keep our eyes open and be careful and tread lightly when ever possible if you know what to look for , I see them squashed all the time so I just thought i would mention it.  

Heres possibly my favorite : Mountain Lions. Well I always wanted to see a mountain Lion and never have; well this may be the closest I get. I did not take the picture, and I want to thank Wayne for letting me use it.

I did get to have a close incounter with a Bobcat last year when I was alone on a very quite section of river .  Ive noticed , Things are different when you're alone and you're just taking it all in on a quiet afternoon.....

Proof of the existance of River Otters

Thanks for reading and next time my regular fishing report will return. The flows will start to come down and fishing continues to be good; If you want to get out on the water, do some fly-fishing AND see amazing wildlife,  I do have some dates available so feel free to reach out to me Richard Loft, 707-294-4738; or

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Summer fishing report for July/August 2018

Napa Valley Fly Guides

Hey everyone I just wanted to check in and report my recent fishing adventures for the last few outings; Putah Creek flows are still holding fairly high and making it tough in the deeper water but with persistence you can find a few willing fish or two to play in the deeper water-- give the fish an advantage and they know just what to do! Recently I was fighting one in deeper water and next thing I knew it was in the air snapping my line. A couple points I want to make about this: to get to a fly near a fish in  6, 7, or 8 feet of water your leader needs to be at least that long and longer ! This longer leader creates an extra advantage so a fish can take a fly and you may not see it register at your indi due to this added distance compared to winter/lower flows. So make sure you set on little indicator ticks you might otherwise not set on. Believe me I was fishing Putah at the Bridge the other day and I saw what must of been the slightest tick of my indi and then 4 or 5 seconds later a really nice fish jumped right next to my drift; well I got to thinking and decided to check my flys and I found a single translucent scale on my hook! Oh no, I thought to myself, think about it all that extra leader makes it very easy for fish to take your fly, feel something's wrong and spit your perfectly selected fly long before you see any indication of any fish at your indicator.

 So welcome to summer fishing & my second point for today: fishing deeper water gives fish a second and third advantage; fish now have a lot more room to work their magic and get up to speed when doing the jump we all love so much; setting you up for a snapped leader so I give way just a bit and lighten the pressure ever so slightly at the rod tip. But keep in mind the hook might go one way and the fish the other if this done incorrectly. I don't claim to be the end-all know it all of fly fishing on Putah Creek but I have spent the last eleven years fishing Putah Creek all through summer and these are just a few of the things i have come to come to understand, most of the time when I just lost a really nice fish.

So with that remember to not overlook the riffles fish can and do hold in this faster moving water
watch the flows, and if it looks like a nibble: set! you just had a take. All in all, the heat makes midday fishing rather difficult; your best bet is AM or much later in the day, and a few, well chosen, personal favorite flies. In another month, the flows will be down and things will be much different. Give me a call if you want to try to hook in to these spunky Summer trout! Until next time....Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides; 707-294-4738;;

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Napa Valley Fly Guides Report for June and early July

Hey everyone I just wanted to give a brief Putah Creek report for the last few weeks. Flows have held pretty steady between mid 500cfs and mid to high 600cfs so I am getting a few fish most days with a few in the 14+ inch range. I have had a few bigger fish on but at these flows it tough to get a decent set and easier for fish to come unbuttoned shortly after hooking up. This Tuesday I tried using one of my seldomly used flys and immediately hooked up on a really nice 14 then 5 minutes later had a 19, or so go airborne on the same fly.

On another note due to the flooding of winter of 2016 and the recent fires over the last 4 years accesses five and four has had major changes to the riverbed causing a couple large trees to fall across two of my favorite riffles at access 5 and at 4. Great right? Not so fast--a few fish are still getting caught at both spots so lets just wait and see how this pans out at lower flows. Things will always bounce back after major environmental events like fires and floods so its our job to adjust to those changes or look at fishing other spots or other rivers.

For me I'm sticking to Putah and on occasions the Lower Yuba and more recently Lake Hennessy where I have started targeting Bass and Crappie on the fly with mixed results. Ill keep you all informed as I continue to press my skills at Hennessey; for those of you that dont know Lake Hennessy in just south of Calistoga &  North of Napa- a great option during the High flows of Summer. July is pretty full, but I have dates available in August. Come on out and let's fish!, Richard Loft, 707-294-4738. #frputahcreek #flyfishnapa #fishingreport