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Thread: Russian river Update

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    261

    Default Russian river Update

    Went up to the hatchery on Saturday to have a look. Water is clear coming out of the dam and into the creek. However, there were very few steelhead up there. I spotted a group of about 15 identical sized fish (7-8lbs) sitting in the creek, but that was it.

    Spoke to a guy working there and he said that the fish are definitely late this year. Seems to be the same for all rivers in CA.

    As for conditions, the river looks good. It's green with good flows. Saw a couple driftboats launching at Healdsburg this morning.

    ~Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    20,302

    Default

    Thanks Jeff......

    Russian river is the closest to the Bay area and Sacramento for high quality winter Steelhead, wild and hatchery stocks.

    It would be good to go with a local fly fisher or a local guide to get connected to this fishery.



    Some of it is tide water fishing that is completely different from up river angling with riffles and runs.

    Tide water is almost like still water fishing with some slow movement.

    A common or popular line for tide water is a full length or shooting head that is clear slow sinking.

    In tide water fishing you strip the fly more through the swinging, if there is any flow, to keep it off the bottom?



    Jeff Putam said these fish can be very hot because they can be caught close to the ocean.
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    North bay
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Rivers starting to look much better here in Guerneville.

    Bill, I've wondered about folks fishing the tidewater, I've heard stories about people doing it in the old days but haven't seen anyone fishing near Jenner ever. It seems like it's so much water itd be hard to intercept one down there, especially fly fishing. I do like fishing the lower river as the fish can be very fresh; I landed a wild hen two years ago in Guerneville that was covered in sea lice.

    No Russian fish for me yet this year despite fishing it very hard, I did have a heck of a fight this weekend with a big steelhead in the upper South Fork Eel river. Other than a couple fish that spat the fly as soon as I hooked them, this was my first real winter fish swinging flies since Dec 2017.

    Last night at Johnsons I talked to a guy with a spey rod that said hes gotten 7 on the Russian this year; he must really be doing something right or have exceptional luck, as I know guys who've been swinging flies longer than I've been alive and like me, theyre lucky to get one a year even when spending many days on the water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    20,302

    Default

    Jcolin.....

    I think you need the perfect low flow with the perfect amount of rain to get winter steelhead to stack up in the tide water.

    Thanks for the great post......



    I was very lucky to be able to fish the tide water of the San Lorenzo, Gualala, Garcia, Matole, Redwood creek, Mad, Van Duzen and Eel

    rivers in the 1970s with old time steelheaders of the Greatest Generation. Most were all in the movie, Rivers of a Lost Coast.

    I saw just enough of it to be very emotional about it's demise.



    Back then most everyone used a 9' fiberglass #9 line fly rod with 100' of mono shooting/running line and a selection of approximately

    30' shooting heads in many sink rates. Most tied their own leaders and used "comet" style flies. In the still or slow moving tide water

    most used very slow to medium sinking lines. In this, almost like lake fishing, tide water most of the time you are stripping your fly.


    Early and late in the day is good along with the tide change movement or any over cast; clouds or even fog is good.


    During these low light level times of day the fish will usually 'show' or 'roll' in the surface.


    Because the steelhead population crashed after the drought of the late 1970s today tide water Steelheading is almost a lost art.

    In Northern California and Southern Oregon there is a handful of tide water fly fishers of the Baby Boomer generation.


    Some of the ones who are left that I know personally who still fish the coast are Doug Brutocao of Aqua Flies, Bill Hutchinson of

    Fishing International travel, Carl Blackledge commercial fly tier, Carlo Bongio fly fishing industry veteran and guide. Locals.......
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Petaluma Ca
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Sounds like my friend who caught 7 fish in one afternoon from 1 hole between the first river rise and the second river rise this year.....nothing since!
    ....lee s.

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