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Bigfly 04-09-2011 04:07 PM

Struggled a bit on where to post this.
Youth, Spey, fly, etc..

This week the Truckee river went bank to bank, and a little more.
The grass at the edges that was trying to turn green, is submerged.
The water color is off green/tan and challenging wading.
Still fish-able though.
I was using a personal best 7 AB shot and a 12' 3x leader. on my 11' switch rod.
Trying to sink a sz6 dbl bead skwala nymph, and a sanjuan dropper to the bottom of a flood.
Both on the menu at a high ratio... logical.
Risking it wading around, difficult casting/drifting . No fish.
I get a 1/2 day trip with a 15 yr young fly-fisher.
I'd gone out with him before with dad too.
Now, were on our own. Big water.. short guy.
We fish with his gear for a while, nice gear, decent game for his age.
Hooked 2 biggies very close to shore..
Light weight, shallow rig, a cray and a birds nest......big nonheadshaker types (he uttered the special words "I think I hooked the bottom"), both got off in the heavy current.
But, his 9' rod and his leg length limited us some.
We couldn't wade safely more than his knee deep (12-20"), if that.
Out came the switch.
I re-rigged with 2ABs, shorter leader, bobber, and a cray.
It took a few minutes for him to translate the tricks he used on his rod.
Lob, water load, and a roll cast. Later a little snap-T.
After an hour we'd hooked no more fish, (I do my best) but he had a good time throwing the "big stick".
We called mom for an extra hour.
This was the first time I'd handed one this young, this rod.
He could stand in shallower water (safer) and not have to extend his short arms to the sky constantly to effectively mend.
The added leverage allowed him to turn over his leader, etc...with two hands, in one-hand style. Clearly easier for him.
His range was greatly increased, and he was a little proud to successfully wield " a grown-up rod.". (Same reasons I use it.)
Back at home debriefing with mom, he chimed in about how fun it was,"especially the switch".
As a guide you have to improvise sometimes, clients come in all sizes and abilities, and conditions. This time it came out OK.
Spring season fishing/wading is tough/scary, for us all, just thought this might help some. The moral I guess.. is fish close to shore in a flood (I knew that)...
and don't be afraid to switch things up..


MoscaPescador 04-09-2011 08:18 PM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Good read, Jim. I'm not sure if you noticed today, there should had been a lot of flatlanders up on the Truckee. Everything you mentioned (big rods, heavy tandem rigs, fishing close to the shore, readjusting rigs, wading safely) confirms what we have been telling people at the shop.


Bigfly 04-10-2011 11:24 AM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Thanks Dennis, couldn't decide if it was a youth, casting, fishing, or wading safety report.
Just threw it all out there. But, like you, I try to be accurate.
Although only a few forum members fish the T, many have to deal with Spring high water where they live.
This may not be "dry fly time", but the fish still need to eat.
We just need to adjust our tricks to the conditions at hand.
To me, that is what fly fishing is about..


fredaevans 04-10-2011 11:53 AM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
I think it will still be a month from now before you see 'REALLY BIG WATER.' Much of your local mountains have as much as 600 INCHES of snow on the ground.

Sooner or later it's got to go somewhere. Another Fora I post on has a fairly large group who live in the Sacramento River area. I've advised each and every (even if there 10 miles from the river and on flat ground) to purchase a Flood Insurance Policy. If you're not in a 100 year Flood Plain it's 'cheap as chips.' Should also advise there is a waiting period (save for new home loans) of (I think) 10 days. For obvious reasons.

Similar situation as was the case in the late 1980's when the Sacramento river flooded hundreds of square miles. With the 80's flood 60 per cent of the policy claims were paid to folks who weren't required to same. They just looked around and said: "Um, that's one damned big river and there's a lot of flat ground between it and me.'

Think about it.


Bigfly 04-10-2011 12:15 PM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Fred, I wouldn't live in a flood plain, it might not happen for a hundred years, but it will happen. That's what a flood plain is for.
I think the final snow total is nearer 725", maybe third biggest (Although the NWS has only kept track for 124-5 ? years. (HA!))
(The scary part is, we didn't get any snow for 4-5 weeks in Jan, and a couple of the last storms were light enough to fish through.)
A portion of the snow pack has already settled, melted, evaporated.
It is still very big up on the Sierra crest. The resorts here won't stay open for it ($), but you can ski the 4th of July this year if you're inclined, hell even Sept..(There's typical local ski/fish all the year.)
Out sheds, decks, and cars have been crushed. Some houses with 13' on top of the peak. Cornices almost too big to drop (ski term). A roof can unload on you while shoveling......multi-story icicles...
People up higher were going in and out of the second story doors on the deck. Or, digging down to the front door through a tunnel. No light in the first story windows. Serious cabin fever.
Personally, I have reached my life tonnage. I will shovel no more. (Besides, my snow shovel blew away while camping out at Pyramid Lake.)
It has been freezing hard at night, so "for now" we have a time delay release. Perfect so far!!
The fear is that we get a drenching tropical rain from Hawaii, or that it turns 80 degrees, or both.
That basically almost happened in 1996-7. They don't know how big it got up here, because the gauge (the one high on the bank) washed away. Lost a small diversion damn too. And nine out of twelve bridges between TC and Truckee.
They don't fill the reservoirs now, till late spring, if at all. They fear not having anyplace to put all the water after MAX capacity. If that happens, don't wait for a warning, just head for high ground.
They are going to raise the top of Stampeed damn, not for permanent storage of water, but for increased capacity, in case......the term I use is, catsrophic melt.
It pretty much blows out the fishing too.


fredaevans 04-10-2011 12:20 PM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Roger that Jim. Just (new thread) posted up the head page for all the USGS river gages. Just click on the State and start the search.

And as to you 'it will happen,' if you're in a 100 year flood plane and take out a new home loan .... you have about a ONE IN FOUR chance of collecting on it in any given year.

Them's crummy odds.


Bigfly 04-10-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Fred, I'm math challenged, but the insurance guys wouldn't offer flood insurance cheaply if the risk is high.
(I hung out with an insurance actuary one time, and talked stats. A reality check.)
I'm sure some areas near Sac. are pricey though. Down there, I would fear the Sac. river near capacity, then add a shaker.
You could just station one of those marine survival rafts on the roof.
Keep a back-up rod and stuff in it. :rolleyes:


HuronRiverDan 04-10-2011 05:15 PM

Re: Switch-Youth-Fly
Good story Jim...It's fun fishing with kids...


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