Fly Fishing Traditions

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Birthday Traditions on the Lower Sac

I've had a tradition that has gone by the wayside but was resurrected this year. My son Zack is 13 and since he was about 6 we have hooked up with my good friend and stellar fishing guide Mike Hibbard to fish the Lower Sacramento River for my birthday. I've tried for the past couple of years but Zack has been busy with soccer, basketball and life in general. I asked him about going a couple of weeks ago and he replied instantly, "Yeah, let's go!" Tradition is back!

This was and is the best birthday gift I could wish for. A father and son day fishing with a good friend and me fishing rather than rowing. The stage is set pretty well don't you think.

We arrived in Redding at about 10:30 because Mike said there was no hurry to get there as the bite hasn't really started happening until mid morning. We were doing the Possey Ground to Bonnieview float and Mike's comment was that there are a lot of big fish in the upper portion of the river and if you take off too early the resident rainbows just aren't ready for breakfast. We planned on fishing late.

We placed Zack in the front of the boat and in didn't take long until he hooked up with a nice fish. We were deep indicator nymphing and the fish took a micro caddis nymph. Now for those that have not experienced it, hooking a hot Lower Sac fish is one thing, landing it is another. Mike commented that if you land half the fish you hook up, you're doing good. We were rigged with 9 foot tapered leaders, shot and 3 flies. That puts a hooked fish anywhere from 8 1/2 feet to 10 1/2 feet down from your indicator depending on which fly it ate. Once you've worked the fish close enough and have it ready to land you've got to reach above your head to get the fish up to the net. This is pretty awkward! With coaching from Mike, Zack worked the first fish to the boat after a number of runs. Lifted as instructed and we had the first fish to the boat. Take a look at this beaut.

The fish were cooperative with my birthday wishes and we were able coax many fish to the net on this beautiful fall day. Zack had the best day he's every had on the Lower Sac, not necessarily quantity but definitely quality. Every fish we caught had been eating pretty good. Thick and fat.

We had a great day, caught fish, lost fish and enjoyed a renewed connection with Mike. I couldn't have had a better birthday.

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