West Carson river 07/06/08 Early AM

Sunday morning outings are becoming a tradition this season.  I really enjoy getting up and out early and then getting back to house before anyone is even moving.  So this in another one of those up at 5:30am and driving by 5:45am mornings.

So it is back up to the West Carson.  A new section is in order.  I figure that I will head upstream from my usual starting point at the gauging station, into the canyon and end the morning at the bottom of hope valley.  As I drive up the road, I wave to my trusty spot and head towards the more pressured waters to try my luck.

I arrive at my starting point, and again, it is windy and just a hair too cold for wet wading.  Back into the waders and out to the water I head.  Again, despite the best efforts of the wind to blow all the bugs off the water, there is good bug activity and I can see some fish rising in the soft water near the far banks.  I start by tying on a #18 E/C Caddis (out of general principles) and begin the morning.  The thing that I love about being the first to fish a spot is that you can usually raise a fish on the first couple of drifts.  This is no exception.  A nice 10″ Rainbow takes my fly and starts off the morning on a positive note.

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West Carson River – 07/04/08 Early AM

Independence Day!  My favorite holiday of the year.  And of course, a tradition for me is to fish on the 4th.  Funny thing is…the rivers are never crowded on the 4th.  If I had to guess, I would assume that people would be more interested in beers, beaches, and partying with crowds versus fishing on empty rivers.

So the plan goes as follows – up at 5:30AM and out of the door by 5:45AM heading to the West Carson.  I decided that I was going to hit the gaging station, get setup there, take some pictures for this blog and then head to one of my secret spots.

I arrive at the gaging station and am disappointed as it is windy and too cold (relatively speaking) to wet wade at that early hour.  So I get suited up and head to the usual starting spots.  Before I string up, I take a bunch of photos, but as it the case with me, I get too impatient to do a good job.  Time to fish.

I wade into position in my first hole and see little to no bug activity…probably because it is blowing pretty hard.  Not wanting to fish a nymph, I tie on a #12 Elk Hair Caddis and a #18 Flashback PT as the dropper.  Third drift and I hook into a nice 7″ Rainbow.  A quck move into the next hole upstream and the same rig gets me another small fish.  But I did not plan to spend the day here, so I head back to the truck to head on to the next spot.

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West Carson River – A photo Essay

I have been busy as of late.  I have about 4 posts in the draft bin to finish to get caught back up on my fishing chronicles, but wanted to start by showing a few pictures of my most fished spot.  Enjoy this photo essay.

Gimme Power!Water Flow measuring pole

This is why this section is called the gaging station section…in case anyone was wondering.  You can clearly see the green power outbuilding from the highway, but you have to get a wee bit closer to the river to see the actual gage…not much more than a post that sticks into the water.

Fly and Line eaterWC Looking upstream from the gaging station

Here are your upstream and cross stream views of the gaging station area.  The upstream view should give a good indication of the type of river the West Carson is in the canyon section.  This is a pocket water creek that holds smaller fish, but they are normally more than ready to hit dries and they can be fun to fight with their crazy acrobatics and spirited runs.  Some people do not like to fish here because there can be some pretty difficult rock climbing and some of the holes are hat floaters.

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North Fork American River (6/29/08)

I fished the North Fork of the American River at the Iowa Hill Access on Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7 PM.  Bugs were not coming off, so I decided to nymph the pools.  From my experience a week earlier, I drifted a two fly rig using a Solitude Tungsten Golden Stonefly (#8) with an Angel Cased PMD (#16) dropper.  Within minutes, I hooked up and landed a 15″ Rainbow Trout.  For this size river, this is a large fish.  As I worked my way downstream, I hooked up with two more 8″ trout.

The North Fork headwaters start near Donner Summit in the Sierras and finally ends at Folsom Lake in Placer County.  The areas that I fish from Lake Clementine in Auburn to the Iowa Hill access near Colfax is home to Smallmouth Bass and Rainbow Trout.  It’s great fly fishing when the water flows subside after the winter runoff.  The best trout fishing runs from May into July.  During the rest of the summer, the water flows are low and warm.  Trout can survive in the deep holes, but they just hunker down.  During this time, it’s Smallmouth Bass time, baby!

Here’s a picture of the Iowa Hill Bridge with a lone fly fisherman starting to rig up.Iowa Hill Bridge