2021 February Report By: Richard Loft > Napa Valley Fly Guides
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. https://dreamflows.com/flows.php?zone=canv&page=real&form=norm#Site194
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; firstname.lastname@example.org