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