Revised sturgeon story - w pictures
This is a little late posting but I needed my wife to help with the pictures.
Two weeks ago I got word that a good bite was on below Tisdale on the Sacramento river. It’s been a tough year with the low water flows to get the stripers to come up river, neither the Sac or the Feather.
Bill Siler and I got to the ramp early and surprisingly there were very few trucks in the lot. The big school had spread out and moved out but there’s always a few around. We began our usual drift along the rock walls and headed downstream.
About a mile downstream from the ramp I get my first grab. Not a hard grab but definitely a grab. I set the hook and it felt soft but suddenly there came the head shake. I set harder a couple more times and then things exploded.
Directly in front of the boat a huge sturgeon comes flying out of the water. Bill’s yelling “that’s got to be 7 ½’ long! “ I hung on and she jumps again at least 4’ out of the water. “That fly is IN his mouth! Not snagged” I lean back on my 8 wt. for all I’m worth with little affect. The sturgeon is doing anything it wants to do. Over, under, around the boat, and back again, and again, and again. It was in total control. Thankfully Bill took control of the boat and we stayed at the side of the fish as best we could putting as much pressure on the rod as possible.
She jumps again several more times (six actually) and every time we look to see where she’s hooked. We both confirm that leader is in her mouth.
As the fight goes on we are drifting downstream, or being towed downstream. It’s at least two miles from where we first hooked up, and over an hour and thirty-five minutes in time. We’re now at an area called the “mud flats” and it gets shallow with only two or three feet of water under us. The sturgeon doesn’t like this and makes a panic run across the river and into some snags. The fly line gets drug through some old lines in the trees and my sturgeon goes free with a final splash and flip of it’s tail.
My arms are quivering. My back is in spasms and all I can do is sit down. Bill gives me a drink and we go back to looking for the stripers we came for.
Another mile downstream Bill gets tight on his first striper of the day, a nice 10 #er. A couple more smaller ones and we decide to call it a day.
Enough for one day, Tony
Feather River Fly
Yuba City, CA.