Trout Fly Fishing Locations & Reports

Madison River 2012 at Valley Garden – Ennis, Montana

Today was a banner day at Valley Garden on the Madison River near Jeffers and Ennis.
Even though we got a late start, the brown trout didn’t seem to mind. It was a 90° Montana scorcher in the midday. Fished 2 1/2 hours using Zugg bugs & lightning bugs.
Caught a nice 18-20″, one 12-14″ & three 8-10″. Of course all were released without harm.
Check out the picture of the nasty Madison beaver.

More to come

Gone fly fishing,
EARTHangler

Russian River & Steelhead Park, Sonoma County / Forestville, California

My goal for 2012 is to fly fish at least one day each month. Of course, I will fish far more that 12 times, but the goal is to at least fish one day in each of the 12 months.

So, for February’s fly fishing day I fished the Russian River for Steelhead at Steelhead Regional Park in Forestville, California. This is a wonderful river to fish with a great deal of easy access that can easily be fly fished from shore or waders. This is a great location and a world class river right in the middle of Sonoma County wine country. There are several great places along the river in the area to fish, but with limited time I chose the highly reputed Steelhead Park.
The weather was typical early spring type in CA… 60 degrees and sunny. Fly fished for about 3 hours with various pink & orange streamers, articulated steelhead flies and an occasional double bunny. I saw only one float go down river, no waders and about 5-6 guys fishing with jigs and floats. I saw 3 fugly fish slowly swimming down river, even smacked one of them on the back without disturbing his oblivious travels. All three were certainly past their due dates. I could tell I had missed the run and read reports that fishing was better either several miles up river or closer to Bodega Bay. Being there for business I didn’t have a lot of flexibility, so this was as good as it was going to get. No fish caught today, but the good news is that it is quite easy to cheer up at any one of the 500+ wineries within a 10 mile radius or the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa & the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma. Highly recommended to all.

FYI: Do you like chowder? Try Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay. It is without a doubt the best I have ever had anywhere on either coast. Well worth the 30 minute drive after fishing.

EQUIPMENT REVIEW: Today, I had much better success testing out the new Sharkskin Steelhead Fly Line. Check out the review on the EARTHangler fly fishing gear & equipment page.

GPS:38.496627,-122.899354
Address: 9000 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436, USA
Time: Sunday, January 1, 2012, 12:45-2:30pm
Weather: 58-60 F
Water: 45 F, low, clear
Access: Great
Rig: Steelhead flies
Notes: This is a GREAT place to fish, the park has ample parking, BIG boat launch, picnic tables & nice public bathrooms


-gone fly fishing,
EARTHangler

Skykomish River – Sultan, Washington

Happy New Year – Time to start 2012 right by Steelhead fly fishing!!!
Fly fished the Skykomish River for Steelhead on the south side of the river & east of Mann Rd. Bridge. There is a nice trail that leads to a great sand bar area that can easily be fly fished from shore or waders. Location is pretty much directly across the river from downtown Sultan, Washington.
Today was so damn windy it wasn’t even worth it. Fly fished for about 1.5 hours with various pink & orange streamers & articulated steelhead flies. The wind was so strong that you couldn’t even cast more that 5 feet in front of you. And lag between 30-40 MPH gusts was so rare that you would only get 1 1/2 decent cast every 10-20 tries. Totally worthless, but still better that many alternatives. Caught nothing. I saw only 1 drift boat go down river, & one wader on the south side & one wader on the north side of the river. Only saw one fish & it was “a real beaut, Clark”.

Today was supposed to be a test of my new Sharkskin Steelhead Fly Line – well, we will have to wait until next time to get a real verdict. Not much use in 30-40 MPH winds.
You know what they say – “A bad day on the river is still better than a good day at work!”

GPS:47.859912,-121.812783
Time: Sunday, January 1, 2012, 12:45-2:30pm
Weather: 39 F
Water: 40 F, High, swift, & a bit so-so on the clarity scale
Access: Great
Rig: Steelhead flies
Notes: This is a great place to fish, close to Seattle and surrounds


-gone fly fishing,
EARTHangler

Winter Fly Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Each year the week after Christmas, the family heads to the Olympic Pennisula for a little R&R and fly fishing. In general, this is Steelhead country & some of the finest fishing in the world.
Well, our annual trek on 12/26/11-12/29/11 couldn’t have been more soaked. Rain in the Ho Rain Forest is expected each time we visit. But, generally there is enough decent water in some river to find fish.
This year it was raining hard, really hard. All day. Every day.
Every day we went in search of a river that wasn’t at flood stage or filled with mud. Each day we looked for any sign that there might be fish that could see a fly that didn’t smack it in the eye. We went to the Ho River, we drove to the Clearwater River, we checked out the Bogachiel River, we drove to the Calawah, and we drove to the Sol Duc River.
After hundreds of miles of surveying we finally gave up. We left the rods in the truck and decided that we need to try somewhere new next year.

On the bright side, we did find some new spots that would be great to fly fish if the rivers were’nt flooded. See below.

Condition: FLOODED
Notes: Check water levels before driving the distance


-gone fly fishing,
EARTHangler