Spring Fever Clinics are back coming this Memorial Day Weekend. Things will be a little different than last year. Last year we tried to cram everything into one clinic, this year, I’ll have multiple clinics. Three different clinics on three consecutive days. As always this won’t be the way your grandpa fished, but a newer progressive way to fish. Classes will be limited to four people and will be between 4-5 hours. These clinics are intended for anglers with some experience. Though you don’t have to be a pro, they aren’t for beginning fly fishers. Classes will be on the California side and the cost will be $200 per day. We will fish, but the emphasis will be on learning. These classes will go fast and unlike classes I’ve done in the past these will be a one-time deal; one weekend and not on consecutive weekends. To reserve your spot, I’ll need half the deposit up front and the rest the day of. I will have rods to use, please let me know if you will need equipment when you reserve your spot. You can take one day out of the series or take all three. You will step up your game with these clinics.
Sat. 5/25 -Nymphing Clinic: This will be a clinic on nymphing strategies, flies, leader setup and rod choices. We will use single hand rods and switch rods. I will show you how to make your own leaders, nymph deep water with an indo, and high stick with and without indos. We will use things like tippet rings, swivels, and braided line. This class is a must if you want to step up your game and get into some big fish on this river. A 9 foot or longer 5-6 weight rod with floating line is recommended for this class.
Sun 5/26-Dry Dropper Clinic: This class will change the way you fish. Every year I get my biggest fish on this rig. The bank eaters. I will show you how to set up a few different dry dropper rigs with multiple droppers. I will show you casts to get power and properly turn it over and not tangle this rig. I will show you leader set up and flies and most importantly the type of water where I like to fish it. I like a fast 9 foot rod in either a 5 or 6 weight with floating line for this class.
Mon 5/27-Streamer Clinic: This class will be all about fishing and throwing a big chunk of bunny. We will use single handed rods and switch rods with tips and without. I will show you how to work and make your streamer come alive. I will also show you a few different lines to use on this river where limited back casting can be difficult. Streamers don’t always produce fish but when they do they can be big. A switch rod with appropriate Skagit-Scandi type line is recommended. On the single hand front, a 9 foot 5-6-7 weight rod is recommended with floating and or sinking line. Either set up will do.
As a guide sometimes you’re a rock star, and sometimes you’re not. Sometimes we get into fish, sometimes we don’t. It’s never easy on this Truckee River. We have been catching fish this week, but it seems we always work for them. Spring is a good time to catch bigger fish, but the water is still cold and not every fish is active. Sometimes in spring we’re dealing with fluctuating water flows, and most of the time wind, making it tough for the fly angler. We all have a great time in what I call “my country,” or at least I hope. Some photos from the week.
This early spring weather that we’ve been having here in the greater Truckee-Tahoe-Reno area on the Truckee River has been great, but the fear of another lousy snow year has been on the back of my mind. Thankfully snow is in the forecast for next week. Lets hope it dumps, but not into June which can be the case around here. Right now though the Truckee River is fishing great. Blue wings galore, and fish munching on the nymphs and floaters. The next three months are the shoulder seasons, and you can experience great fishing as long as the weather is descent. Matt with a few healthy bows.
We’ve been in a deep freeze, Artic style. Not good if you’re a fly angler in Truckee. Plumbers though have probably been killing it, racking in lots of overtime with all the broken pipes around town. This is the kind of cold where you’re car may or may not start, and if you run out of wood, or propane, you’re basically screwed. Fishing, well that’s been out of the question. -22 here in Hirschdale the other morning. A man gets a lot of flies tied in this kind of weather, hopefully some of them will be in fly bins across the country next fall. I’ve been on the river five times in the last month and I live on it. The weather has just not cooperated. It is warming today, and by the end of this week we will back near the 40′s in Truckee. I’ll be back at it with classes and guide trips at the end of this week. Before you know it, the big midge clusters and blue wings will be hitting the Nevada side, and the Skwalas won’t be far behind.
Winter Clinics January 19th and 20th
This is your chance to hang out and get schooled up by yours truly on some winter fishing tactics. You will see the set-up I am using right now; rods, lines, leaders, and how I approach the river in the winter. The main points we will cover are type of water to fish, flies, and rig setup. Classes will be a bit smaller than my spring fever clinics. It will be limited to four people. The cost is $150 a head. We will start at 11:00 and go to 3:00 pm (truly whichever four hour time period happens to be the warmest time of the day). We will mostly cover nymphing techniques however streamering and dry dropper rigs will be talked about as well. Remember, you do not have to be a pro, but at least have some solid fundamentals down. Of course have your own gear. A 5-6wt single hand fly rod or lighter weight switch with a floating nymphing specific line is recommended. I have rods if need be. I can provide flies, but you should have tackle with you, shot, tippet, etc. Right now, I will plan to have it on the Cali side, but if there is a lot of snow along the banks we will switch it to the Nevada side. You will be fishing folks, not just standing around listening to me ramble. I’ll need half of the cost up front as a deposit with credit card to secure your spot. One of the reasons I’ve never done a winter clinic is the possibility of bad weather. This could happen and if so I will reschedule for a different weekend, or if you cannot make it the second time around you can apply your deposit towards a guide trip, a win, win situation. If you like sticking big fish, learning to fish the Truckee River in winter will open up a lot of doors for you.
I love it when guests come back and get a little redemption. Jonathon lost one of the biggest browns we hooked that year in summer of 2010. It’s not easy landing a big Truckee River fish. What you see on this blog are fish we do land. The fish we don’t land stay on my guests mind for a long time. Hell, they stay on mine. You remember the fish you land and never forget the ones you didn’t. A little redemption for Jonathon on a nice Truckee River bow.
Guides count hookups as fish, guests count fish to the net as fish. I figure I did a good job as a guide if we’ve hooked fish. I know guests get bummed, and even think the fishing is lousy if they’ve only landed a couple fish, but if they’ve hooked 8-10, especially on this river, then they should feel pretty stoked. We ain’t on the Mo, or the Green, or the Lower Sac, the Truckee is simply not that type of fishery. If you’ve hooked fish you should be happy. Some of those fish you’ve hooked would pull most other fish in the West around by their tail. We have hard fighting fish here on the Truckee, and they are not easy to get in. Don’t get poopy pants, keep a good attitude, and enjoy the scenery. Go fish the Lower Sac if you want to slay fish all day. Come fish the Truckee if you like a challenge and a shot at some monstas. Micheal has fished with me a few times over the years, always keeps a good attitude, and always lands a monsta.
There’s nothing like the feeling of holding a big fish and watching it swim away. Fortunately I figured out catch and release at a young age. For me now, it’s about that tail kick, you know, when they punch out of your hand and swim away. If they kick hard you know you’ve done a good job of releasing and reviving your fish. Never throw a big fish back in the water without reviving it first. Hold the fish by the tail near the anal fin and slowly move him back and fourth. When the fish is ready they’ll kick out of your hand and swim away. Despite a drastic drop in flows here in the Hirsch today, I did get that feeling from a nice rainbow.
Had the pleasure of taking out Bob and his buddy Keith the last few days. Both great guys to spend some time with on the water. Bob’s been around a while, and like myself, loves the craft of fly tying. Bob gave me some original Al Troth flies that Al tied for him some years ago. Al originated the Elk Hair Caddis. Al has recently passed away but his flies will have a good home in a shadow box overlooking the Truckee River. BTW, the fishing is very good up here.
I think being a good guide means keeping no secrets. I share everything. All my secret spots, all my flies, and techniques. I keep nothing from anyone who comes on a guided trip. I don’t save water to go fish with my friends the next day, or take people to the same generic place that everyone else goes. Around here that would be the Glenshire bridge. I basically heard that said from famous Henry’s Fork guide Mike Lawson. I built my business model from that. I simply take people to the best place I can, on any given day. It could be in front of my house in Hirschdale, or 4o miles downriver in Nevada. We work for it. We might slay it, we might not. Hopefully, if you come out, and I do take you somewhere bad ass, you build yourself a template and go explore other areas of the river to fish too. That’s the real fun of fly fishing. A few fine fish from the last few.
Glad that August is almost over. The heat, early wake up calls, crowds, rafters. August is my least favorite month to be a guide on the Truckee River. We do get some nice fish, but it’s a hard month to consistently find fish. They get on the move. One day they’re there, the next day they’re not. They go looking for cool water, they eat at night, they sometimes gorge themselves on crayfish. Sometimes a sz# 16 caddis pupa is the last thing on their mind. Everything I feel is working against me in August. It’s also my busiest month of the year, and by this time, right now, I’m ready for a day off and one final push into September. Our heater in our house kicked on this morning, first time in months. 34 degrees this morning in the Hirsch, I know fall and consitent fishing is around the corner. Doug and a few fine fish from today.
Robert got this baby on his third cast today. Sometimes the Truckee River kicks some monsters out. 30 inches of brown trout. Robert put the wood to this monster and we landed him before the fish took off into fast water. Good job Robert. Nights have cooled, and the river is starting to fish again.
My buddy Morten from Norway made it up to Truckee for a few days. Not really sure if Vikings are from Norway, but I know he likes Whale meat. He catches some big ass Atlantic Salmon back home on the two handers, so tackling some Truckee trout wasn’t a problem. We lost some nice fish and caught some small ones, typical Truckee River style. Stoked we got a nice one today before he left. The Truckee is fishing well, Caddis, Crays, and Stones.
Remember folks, still working towards 500 likes on facebook and a drawing for a free half-day trip. Thanks for all your support homies!
Alright, I have something like 70 likes on my Gilligan’s Guide Service Facebook page. I don’t even know how we get Facebook here in Hirschdale, but we do, and people say you need a lot of likes on your page. If you go to my fan page and click the “like” button I’ll put you in a raffle. The first 500 people to like my page will be entered into a drawing for a free half day guided fly fishing trip with me. 500 may seem like a lot but that’s about how many people view this site a day, if you like the blog, do me a favor and like me on facebook.
Spring Fever Clinic on the Truckee River. Class will be limited to 6 people. This will be a intermediate to advanced level class, and we will cover mainly my rigs, and how I fish them, with what type of rods. This won’t be the way your grandpa fished, but a newer progressive way of fishing: nymphing, long line style, under an indo, preferably with a switch rod. Streamer fishing, newer techniques with large flies and sink tips. Dry dropper rigs with multiple droppers. You will learn what flies to use with patterns that I developed for the Truckee and when to use them along with the techniques listed above. We will be locked and loaded and everyone will get a chance to fish. I will have rods rigged up, but if you have a 6wt, nymphing specific rod, or lighter grain switch rod, please bring it. This will be on the California side as there will be more areas, and open water to fish. The price is $125 per person. It will be an all day class. Slots are filling fast and it will be first come first served. If I have a lot of interest, I may do a second class on Sunday the 29th. This will be a fun way to learn the techniques and flies that I use on Truckee River trout. Please email me if you would like to sign up, or call. I’ll need everyone to pre-pay, simply because if someone flakes out then someone else missed out on this awesome opportunity to spend the day with me.
Snuck a session with a client in today between storms, on a very cold and windy Truckee River day. We should get a good dumping the next few days. Won’t really hurt the fishing as long as it snows, which it will, snow good, rain bad. Access, of course, will be an issue up on the Cali side, but the farther you go down the hill it should be fine. Stoked, we need some snow. Things look like they will thaw out by this weekend. Ron with a nice bow from today.
No, not really, but I did get into some fish this last week up on the Trinity. The main thing about this trip was me getting to spend time and fish with my Dad I never wanted, Joe Cerniglia. Since having a bum knee, we really haven’t fished together in almost two years. Joe’s got a new knee, and new outlook on life, especially after he landed a nice fin clipped female of 29″, on our first afternoon. Fishing was fair, and we all managed to hook fish. I was mostly looking for Bigfoot, and not at my indicator. It’s also tough rustling up the nerve to fish the ultra foggy water. I’m sure we could have done a lot better if we did. I ran into a Truckee friend who guides for Clearwater Lodge, Jason Cochram, he rowed me through a run and I got this nice clipped male to hand. Give Jay a call at Clearwater and hook up with him if you are needing a guide for the Trinity. All in all it was a good trip, the crowds weren’t bad, the fishing could have been better, but really, that’s not what mattered.
I met a dude back in January, the 1′st to be exact. We went out and fished the Truckee River. It was cold and I was hungover. We had the usual small talk, got any kids? wife? did you grow up in Truckee? We also talked about music, and than realised we had similiar interests, other than fly fishing of course. This is Justin’s new blog, a harmony of fly fishing and music, Reel Grease. Make sure to give Chuck Ragan from down the hill in Grass Valley Ca a listen. A good friend, fly fisherman, and longtime frontman for the one and only Hot Water Music.
Looks like this will be that last week of Indian Summer, highs will be in the 30-40′s, with snow and rain for the rest of the week here in the Hirsch. I’m actually a bit excited about it. Clouds and snow mean two things this time of year, streamer’s, and b-dubs. G.G.S. headquarters will have the fire stoked, and the beer cold. Elliot got her last fix of the sunshine today, not so sure if she’s pumped for winter. It’s hard enough trying to get her to get her paws wet in the summer, but she’s a trooper, and she logs more time on the river winter and summer than most people I know.
Larry and I, the little brother I never wanted, hit the conservancy for a few hours the other day. We hit up America’s next top run, and though we didn’t kill it, we still manged to catch a few. Larry’s off again, Monday, to ride his bike to South America. Second times a charm I guess. If he makes it through Mexico, I’ll be impressed. People don’t always understand why I hang out with Larry, he never has money, doesn’t have a car, never has flies, or beers. But I only fish with two dudes, and when you fish with someone, well, I guess it’s just something I can’t explain. Good luck Larry, I’ll miss you buddy, the Truckee will be here when you get back.
Here’s a little video I shot the other day. Troy is fishing a dry dropper rig, actually two droppers off the back of a big dry. I like to get a 7.5ft 4X leader, and cut it back a ways. I use 3-4 feet of 4X flouro to the first fly, a good sinking nymph like a copper john or something, and then about a foot of 5X flouro to a G-6. You can fish water that you just can’t with a nymph rig. We hooked about 6 fish in that slot.
Ain’t too many times when someone shows me where to fish, so when a friend calls and says, “you want to hit this creek” then hells yes, I’m down. Crick’n is fun and when there’s some big fish in it it’s even more fun. I ain’t gonna tell you where I was, but if you get off the grid there are lots of rad creeks in the Tahoe area and this year they have tons of water. The Truckee has come down a little today and next week it’s only supposed to be in the 60′s, let’s hope. This is Tony one of the dudes you talk to at the fly shop at Mountain Hardware in Truckee.
Been feeling like I’m in a 12 step program around here lately. The water’s been so high for so long, I’ve just been taking it one day at a time. I even had to resort to some stillwater fishing with some folks. The Truckee River has been in the 2000 range for forever it seems like. Unless you got mad skills, or know the river like the back of your hand, the fishing is very tough. Up on The Little Truckee River it is up to almost 900 cfs. I don’t think it’s been that high since ’06. Usually here in the Hirsch, it would look like a summers day at Coney Island, folks swimming, fishing, rafting, etc. Ain’t no one on the river. It’s been hot up here the last few days and flows have spiked again, maybe this will be the last big week of run-off. We have caught some fish up here though. These are some photo’s from the last few days. Nate holding a nice slab of a brown from the Truckee River.
More snow, more rain, and the river coming up nearly 1000 cubes again. Is this really June 6th? Time to stay higher up on the Truckee River until flows drop again. Like I said, higher flows = streamers, and to fish streamers you have to stay committed. You might, or might not get a fish to chase, but when they do, it’s life changing for some. Dylan from Davis stuck a nice fish on a streamer today, his first streamer caught fish, and I’m sure not the last. I’m guessing it was worth camping last night in the rain and snow. Dylan was even kind enought to bring some limited edition brews from Anderson Valley Brewery.