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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

Gusto, try the East Fork. Try to arrive early for a parking spot, since it tends to fill up fast. Just hike in a mile or so and find a nice spot and start working up stream. Usually lots of willing 6-8 inch fish with the occasional 12 incher tossed in.

Sean
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

What are the "must carry" patterns in this area? I fished up from the parking area for about 2 hours today and just missed a couple. One of those was on a #12 letort hopper and the other was a strike I detected too late on a #14 bead head hares ear.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

I don’t claim to an expert on this topic or the area, so take this for what it’s worth - free advice. I’ve caught fish on Adams, Griffith’s gnats, elk hair caddis, orange stimulators, yellow and red humpies, muddler minnows, and a few other patterns that escape me at the moment. In my experience over the past 2 years that I have been fishing the area, they will pretty much bite on anything “buggy looking” depending on their mood. One thing that has worked better for me is smaller flies. I’ve had consistently better success with hook sizes 16 to 20 on both the west and east forks. On the west fork I use a 6x or 7x tippet on a relatively short 6’ leader + tippet and a 6’-6” 2 weight rod. The low trees and overgrowth make casting anything much longer a bit of a challenge. On the east fork I use a 7’-10” 3 weight rod with a 6’ to 8’ leader and 6x tippet since there isn’t as much low foliage to grab your fly.
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Last edited by Mudboy; 06-24-2010 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

Let me preface this by saying I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, but I have had some luck in the past couple of weeks on the west fork. Just adding to what mudboy said, I've also had luck with #12-14 royal wulffs and cinnamon flying ants (#12-14). I even caught a couple on a hares ear soft hackle, but strikes definitely improved with the aforementioned flies.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

I know what you mean. I live at the mouth of the Canyon in Azusa and when we moved in 21 years ago, we used to go fishing up at the forks a lot maybe twice a month. Then the area started changing for the worse. Trash everywhere, graffitti. Low-lifes would go up there on week ends, take the barbques and dump the coals in the river along with the garbage and even dirty diapers. Aside from the fact of maybe getiing stabbed or shot. We stopped going up there and were thinking of trying it again, but after seeing your post, I'm not so sure. What a waste of our Natural resources.. Wish they could catch these jerks and spray paint all over them and their families...
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

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Originally Posted by we2fish View Post
I know what you mean. I live at the mouth of the Canyon in Azusa and when we moved in 21 years ago, we used to go fishing up at the forks a lot maybe twice a month. Then the area started changing for the worse. Trash everywhere, graffitti. Low-lifes would go up there on week ends, take the barbques and dump the coals in the river along with the garbage and even dirty diapers. Aside from the fact of maybe getiing stabbed or shot. We stopped going up there and were thinking of trying it again, but after seeing your post, I'm not so sure. What a waste of our Natural resources.. Wish they could catch these jerks and spray paint all over them and their families...
I definitely see what you're saying at the trailhead, but if you go even a mile or two in, it's completely different. I was just up at the West Fork again this morning for a couple of hours and went in as far as Glen Camp. It's like a total ghost town out there. (I did see some fishermen on the way out, though). Had about 8 strikes, 4 fish on, but only landed 2. One was a nice, fat 11incher, though. That would be my biggest fish to date on the West Fork.

I would say give it another try and just shy away from the trailhead.

Gusto
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

Gusto[/QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gusto View Post
Had about 8 strikes, 4 fish on, but only landed 2. One was a nice, fat 11incher, though.
I fished the West Fork yesterday afternoon, had the best luck with #16 Adams and #18 Elk Hair Caddis. The fish were willing to rise to dry flies through the afternoon and the action picked up in the early evening when they began actively feeding. The weekdays are usually pretty quite up there especially past the second bridge. I avoid the place altogether on the weekends, especially in the summer, too many people tossing trash and swimming. Gusto congratulations, an 11” trout is a “trophy” on the West Fork, I haven’t caught anything bigger than about 9”. Nice job, what fly did you use?

With respect to overuse and abuse on the San Gabriel, new nonprofit organization has recently formed (as mentioned by dryflyin earlier in this thread), to step up volunteer patrols along the river. They are called the West Fork Conservancy. You can find out more about them on their website, West Fork San Gabriel River Conservancy

It is a shame how people abuse the area, but it is a phenomenal wild trout fishery when you consider how close it is to LA and how easily accessible it is. You just have to adjust your game - shorter lighter weight rod, smaller tippet + stealthy approach. And, a 9” wild trout often puts up more of a fight than a 12” planted trout.
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Last edited by Mudboy; 06-26-2010 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

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Originally Posted by Mudboy View Post
Gusto

Nice job, what fly did you use?


You just have to adjust your game - shorter lighter weight rod, smaller tippet + stealthy approach. And, a 9” wild trout often puts up more of a fight than a 12” planted trout.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I was a little disappointed at not catching more fish, but that one was really great. My first time at the West Fork I was there for about 2 hours and caught one fish. The following time I was there for about 5 hours and caught 17. Each time after that I've averaged about a fish every 15 minutes, with the exception of the very past time when I caught the 11incher. She put up an excellent fight, even leaping clear out of the water. It was actually on a #16 Adams, which I think you mentioned in your post.

I've been kind of playing around with different patterns and seeing what brings about the most strikes. Adams, Wulffs, and EH Caddis are probably my top 3.

One thing I noticed while riding my bike in early in the morning (around 5:30am) was there was almost no surface activity. It wasn't until about 8 or 8:30am there seemed to be a lot more fish rising with, what I'm guessing to be, a lot extremely small midges hovering over the surface in clusters. I'm guessing a comparable fly would be about a #26 or so, and I don't have anything that small.

Another thing I noticed when fishing much further towards the reservoir is getting much fewer strikes, as compared to the area between the first and second bridge and just beyond. My hope is that some of the bigger fish in that area, like the one I caught, will be lurking further up where there is less pressure.

I've been reading up on different types of trout food in hopes of identifying more aquatic life they seem to feed on. It seems to me kind of odd the Adams, EH Caddis, and Wulffs have worked so well, considering I've seen very few insects resembling anything like them.

We'll see what happens...

Gusto
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusto View Post
One thing I noticed while riding my bike in early in the morning (around 5:30am) was there was almost no surface activity. It wasn't until about 8 or 8:30am there seemed to be a lot more fish rising
I have noticed the same thing as well, the action usually picks up toward mid-morning. In general the fish don't seem to be too discriminate either once they start feeding, unless there is a hatch. Last night I caught a small bluegill in one of the big pools below the first bridge at about 8:00 as the light was fading; he took a #16 mosquito. I didn’t know there was anything other than trout in the WF.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: San Gabriel River West Fork

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Originally Posted by cketh View Post
What are the "must carry" patterns in this area?
I'll back up the others in stating that Elk Hair Caddis and Stimulators have always been my most successful dryfly on the San Gabriel.

Subsurface, the dark nymphs like Princes have worked well for me. I occasionally do well with gray Hares Ear nymphs, but darker is usually better.
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