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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fishing the Lower Sac

I've been talking about getting up north and fishing the Lower Sac for the last month or so. As usual talk but no action. The Lower Yuba usually wins out. It took the initiative of three friends to get 'er done. Bob Feld and Joe Byrne who are fishing buddies got a call from Northern California guide Matt Mitchell. He told them that the Lower Sac was fishing great. I was fishing the Lower Yuba with another fishing buddy Frank Rinella and we ran into them and started talking fishing. One thing lead to another and a date was set up. That was for this last Thursday. Bob and Joe arranged to hook up with Matt Mitchell. Frank called his buddy, the legend, Chris King, asked if he was available, he was, and we were set.

For those that don't know of Chris King, he's one of the premier guides on just about any Northern California water. He's guiding part time these days and we were fortunate to get him. It was fun listening to all the old stories that Frank and Chris shared.  They go back a ways. Chris is a consummate pro and just has that comfortable nothing to prove way about him. Its about having a great day out on the river and whatever comes. With Chris that means fish. He knows every nook and cranny on the river.

Chris rowed us up stream from the Posse Grounds and started on river left up as far as he could manage, We worked that area and let the hordes of drift boats head downstream. Chris and I think alike. He doesn't want to fight the crowd either.

As we fished river right Matt worked river left, which is faster current. Matt has a motor on his drift boat so he was working the other side making long drifts and them motoring up to try it again. They seemed to be hooking up regularly on the other side. Matt Mitchell is a great guide, a character, with a big smile on his face all day long. He's a hard worker and got Bob and Joe into fish all day long.

Chris rigged us up with straight fluorocarbon, with about a 6' or 7' drop from the Thingamabobber to the shot, about 3 AB's. He rigged with a non-beaded fox pupa, a queen prince and a birds nest. That was pretty much the rotation for the day. He tried a knockoff of the Red Headed Stepchild, but it didn't stay on too long. He said, "Really, have you ever seen anything like that in the river before?" or something to that effect.

As to the fishing, I hooked a nice fish right off the bat and it tore upstream. It raced upstream, I worked it back and started working it out of the current and it came un-buckled. Hmmm, nice fish, heavy, tough pull, unbuckled. A short time later, hooked up again, worked it back, got it into the soft water, headed for some brush underwater right alongside the boat, put a little pressure on it to keep it out of the wood, unbuckled. I think you're starting to get the picture. This was the kind of day it was for me. Hook up, fish takes off, goes airborn, unbuckled. Fish hooked, screams upstream, get tangled up with Frank in the back before he realizes I'm even hooked up, line tangled, fish goes air born, unbuckled. I was just sort of snake bit. Frank all the while, landed most of the fish he hooked up or at least a respectable percentage. I was batting 0% for fish to the net most of the day.

After lunch we slid into the biggest riffle of the day and I hooked a nice fish as soon as we hit the drop-off. The fish headed straight across for the big water and I was into my backing in no time. I was thinking this is going to be tough. Chris followed downstream and we rode the wave train for a good 300 yards. At least it seemed that long. Once we got to a place where Chris could eddy out I still had a lot of work to do. I'd barely got the backing reeled up and my line back on my reel. The fish was heavy and kept heading out into the current. I'd work it in to about 20 or 30 feet and off it would go again. This happened about 3 times. Once it started tiring it still was a job getting it to the net. I just kept patient and kept on working it. I lifted as Chris got ready with the net and job well done. Here's the result.

So if you have a chance get up and fish the Lower Sac try to contact Matt Mitchell, Chris King or my buddy Mike Hibbard. They'll show you a good time. It's still early, the salmon haven't shown up yet and there are many opportunities for nice fishing.

Tight Lines!

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.