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

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; #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;

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. . #napavalleyflyfishing #lostcoastoutfitters #flyfishinglife

Thanks for reading & Fish on!