Friday, February 5, 2021

Napa Valley Fly Guides Winter 2021 Report


                                2021 February Report By: Richard Loft  > Napa Valley Fly Guides

                                                                      Winter Report  

Hey Everyone I just wanted to check in and  report whats happening on Putah Creek flows are holding right around 105 cfs as of 2/03/2021 and not seeing fish many fish hanging around the redds so I am assuming the Spawn is winding down as it normally does this time of year. So it's watch and wait until flows start to climb again in Spring March/April.

Living in Napa and fishing the creek as much as I do- maybe 100 days a year or more, its still hard to put my finger on it. But it seems like this time between end of the Spawn and summer can be a little slow; its fishable but it just seem like the river is trying to heal itself and fish metabolism is much slower in winter and it just takes time to get back into Spring through Fall when fish are feisty and when it all starts over again. 

Access points and Flows:

 Between Monticello Dam and Lake Solano there are 5 marked points to access and fish the creek #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 but remember there are 4 1/2 miles between the dam and Lake Solano so you really need to walk and hike to find the holes to fish. The flows dramatically effect how a area fishes so check the flows every time you go and before you leave the house.  I use Dreamflows so you can develop a sense of how an area fishes at a given flow, Remember it takes some time but it is one of many factors that help me when I'm thinking whether or not to fish on a given day.


Remember to adjust your leader length, indicator size and amount of weight as flows change.

Flys: As always, one of my go-to flys is the Cravens JuJu Baetis and or WD40 I found gray a great choice. Black Soft Hackle with green foil body. That got immediate results and of course a Black Zebra Midge is a must have. 

Of course there are many great flys to choose from and I have surely forgotten to list a few so definitely ask the guys at Lost Coast Outfitters for some help 

* Mending;  One thing I've noticed time and time again is clients over mending or mending in the wrong direction throwing huge mends the the left as soon as the Indi hits the water, Not necessary, try making smaller adjustments as needed or doing a shorter cast and keeping you'r arm elevated to minimize the amount of line on the water 

Environmental Factors:Time of Day, Seasons, Weather, Fires and floods. Flows; (cfs) Check Check Dream Flow.

The Quail Fire

* Fires,  As most of you know we had another huge fire again last summer and you would think it          would have negative effect on the fishing. Nope Think again! I was on the creek the day it started and was actually guiding a husband and wife from Texas well my clients got nervous and left. So not wanting to let a little fire ruin a good day of fishing I stayed and fished and had an awesome day on the water. 

* Weather; Wind speaks for itself if the wind interferes with casting then I might adjust my day, or work     on my casting Proper casting mechanics helps by properly loading the rod and staying low and under the                                          main gusts of wind and increasing accuracy and distance. ( I can help with proper casting during a guided trip ). 

*Time of Day; Time of day effects where the sun is so I will adjust where I stand so the sun doesn't cast my shadow on the water if at all possible. also I do really well mid day but in July Augest its so hot mid day this no longer applies and I fish mornings or dusk to avoid midday heat. I think it drives fish down reduces fish in the riffles until dusk when things turn on that last hour or so of the day. 

* Time of Year; Spring is probably my favorite with Fall a close second. 

* Euro Nymphing  I really started spending more time looking at my leader construction and how to fish water not  effectively fished with an indicator and was stunned by the results a month after the Quail fire in August.

I hope this helps and gives you something to think about when you're on the water.

For available dates or pricing for a guided trip with me, contact; Richard Loft, Napa Valley Fly Guides, (707) 294-4738;

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Putah Creek Pre-Spring Report

                                                      Putah Creek End of Winter Report

Hey Everyone Just checking in with current Putah Creek ; Flows and other fishy news 

                                                                     Putah Creek
   2/08/2020 Tail water flows are still bouncing  between 44cfs and low 80s so I am just watching and waiting for weather to warm up when the flows will follow as things warm-up , Water temp around 56 deg , I was at Putah last week and saw really nice hatches of midges and the occassional BWO so I will be keeping a close eye on things and give more reports as things evolve; 

Also I noticed that the fish have left the  spawning beds so I think the spawn has mostly finnished but be carefull when wadding so we dont step on those eggs or fry and think about joining and get to know a few of the guys we do a picnic once a year plus there is always oppertunitys to help with conservation efforts on the creek

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Putah Creek 12/07/2019 Report

Napa Valley Fly Guides last report for 2019 

Hey Everyone I just wanted to say Merry Christmas as I am ending my 2019 fly Fishing season on Putah Creek until March in Past years I did fish clear through but decided to give it a break 

As for the fishing report last Saturday as it rained off and on all day I was blessed with a great day on the water starting with my usual nymphing rig with an indi tossing #18 &20s midge patterns I got broke off a few times but still getting a few in the net with one or two of them in the 16 to 17 in range Pictures to follow. 

After a few hours I decided to try High-Sticking with Tungsten flys I recommended below I had good results landing some and loosing some I think 5 in total over 16ins Crazy good fishing probably 10 or 11 fish and most of it while it was raining some of it heavy rain. Crazy day !!! 

I have been using the
#18 BH Perdigon Zibra Rider
#16 BH Perdigon Dilated Pupil 
#14 BH Perdigon Carrot Stix
and a few more for good messure are : #18 BH Perdigon Peanut
# 18 BH Perdigon Kilowatt
Please feel free to call if you would like to book a trip this spring 

Thanks for reading : 

Napa Valley Fly Guides
Richard Loft 

--------------*. <*)()()(><

Thursday, November 21, 2019

                                     Napa Valley Fly Guides
                                     Reports for November

Hey everyone so Flows have been going up and down for several weeks between 50cfs then low 80  then up to 140 then rising to 180cfs in less than 12 hours The funny thing is fishing has been really good. I have heard many times that these types of drops and increases will always negatively effect the fishing well that has not been my experience here on Putah Creek or on the Little Truckee. I have found that I just need to adjust my positions where I fish and ! and what technics I am utalizing and of course always keep a really good selection of flys,split shot, Tippet  So Also be willing to put in some effort moving around This does not mean Flows don't impact the fishing they do I'm just saying it has not always been my experience

Top Water Action   Think dry Flys
Also on another note  I am seeing a lot more top action so consider bringing another rod and I like to keep a separate fly box with a good selection of Elk Hair Caddis # 18 and if you can find some other really small options  like a size #22 or #24 knat or other very small flys get a few of those to temp these elusive fish. I have had some success on the #16. Caddis so I am just saying im seeing a lot more action this last year over previous 10 years Ive been fishing

Lastly Much of my recent success has been High Sticking with Tungston beaded fly like the  

Frenchie #14,16
Perdigon #14,16
Perdigon Zibra #16,18
To name just a few all  Tungston bead heads
Check with the gang at Lost Coast Outfitters for help picking out fly if you need And
At the end of the day Learn the creek, Check the flows everytime you fish the creek and cover the water well before you leave to fish another spot. -------------  <*)))))()><  

Don't leave before the merical,
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to book a trip and I will do my best to get you on some Putah Creek Wild Trout

Call Richard Loft
      (707) 294-4738
or email me @
I will be unavailble Dec 15 on to january 10th

November report from Napa Valley Fly Guides

                                                         Napa Valley Fly Guides
                                                           November Report

Hey Everyone Flows have been supper low at 51cfs then up to 82cfs then back down jumping back up to 140 and up again to 180cfs Well A common belief I have heard so many times before is these type of fluctuations negativly effect the fishing. Funny Thing is fishing has been Really Good lately and it goes with my personal experience on Putah Creek and other rivers like the Little Truckee. It is my belief that first  I need to just adjust my Tactics before I leave a run I happen to be fishing, Changing my weight is one of the first things then moving on to flys, Then leader length, I might spend two hours without a fish before moving on to another run if I like my drift and like the scenery Other times I may move on right away due to conditions not being favorable such as super heavy hydraulics or glare on the water making it difficult to see my indicator or I may just go to a larger indicator but I will most often find another spot if glare makes it too difficult to see my indicator because there are too many other options

Top Action
I don't know if anyone else has noticed but I am seeing a lot more fish actively feeding on really small Emergers maybe Tricos or something I don't know for sure they seem to be very small maybe size #22 I am seeing mostly small fish on the drys but I have heard of much larger fish in the 20 in range and I landed a little13in on a #14 Elk Hair Caddis

 Finally I want to mention that I am bringing my 10.6 4 wt Echo Shadow II it first it was just a pain getting the leader just right then it was to long or short but after a year of working with it off and on I seem to be getting better results picking up fish my Indicator rig misses so consider looking at getting one of the rods out there

Here is a few of I would recommend

Any of the Echo series I have the  Echo Shadow II 10.6 4wt But any of these other rods will do the trick the idea is to get more reach so just ask any of the gang at the LCO shop and I am sure you will find one that will do here are a few more but at the end of the day any one of these will do Just ask a staff person for a peak    : A Sage ESN or one of the Clearwater series .  The rod gives you the reach and the fly punches you through

 As for flys I have been using the Tungston Beadhead fly and have been getting some super nice fish

Heres a few flys have used for high sticking on Putah don't worry about the fly as much as getting the one your using on the bottom with a good presentation you need to get some penetration on and get through to fish holding on the bottom

I have been using the
#18 BH Perdigon Zibra Rider
#16 BH Perdigon Dilated Pupil
#14 BH Perdigon Carrot Stix
and a few more for good messure are : #18 BH Perdigon Peanut
                                                              # 18 BH Perdigon Kilowatt
There are many to choose from don't get stuck on having the perfect fly just get some fly and get on the water and see what clicks and go from there

Please feel free to contact me
Richard Loft
(707) 294-4738
or email me @

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Putah Creek Report October 2019

Napa Valley Fly Guides

October Report for Putah Creek

Hey everyone I just wanted to check in and report that flows are between 53.7 and 88 cfs pretty normal for this time of year , but fishing has held steady with good numbers to net all last month and so far November is still producing good numbers and a few really big fish in the system willing to play ball if your willing to put in the time as always Putah Creek is and has always been a river to fish  with it being only forty minutes from my house I get lots of practice. Over the last few weeks I have been really focusing on getting more familiar with high sticking and with these low flow conditions it seems to be a great option with low flows it helps present a much cleaner drift but the big fish seem to be holding in the deeper runs . With that I am out so I look forward to seeing you on the creek and look for me and Rusty my constant companion and best friend
Richard  and Rusty

Please feel free to contact me for a guided trip at (707) 294-4738 and ask for Richard or Rusty

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