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Greetings from the land of Twlight vampires and big steelhead.

It is 7 am and everyone is finally out the door, into the trucks and off to the rivers. The local Elk herd has moved into the field behind the house. It is quiet and the dust is settling, so I am having my 3 cup of coffee and catching up on some email action.

I arrived here Feb. 1, my car packed so tight that opening a car door meant major spillage. Having been here before I knew what kitchen items weren't here, so I brought at least half my kitchen with me....and I'm glad I did. It took me a good week to re-organize this kitchen to my comfort zone. The cook top sucks...electric...but there are two ovens, which I consider a bonus. The house itself is pretty cool. Big 6 bedroom place just off the Bogesheil river, about 10, minutes outside of Forks. You can see better pictures than I can send if you go to http://Brazdasflyfishing.com
and click on the Bogey House link.

Jeff and Aaron had already put up the fish pictures from past seasons and I was honored that my picture from last year was hanging in a place of honor over the bar.

I stayed in the house the first couple of weeks since we weren't full. I have since moved to a fifth wheel trailer about a 1/4 mile up the road, parked at Three Rivers...convenience store, gas station, cafe, campground, small cabin rental and RV hook-ups. There is a large sign at the turn-in stating it is the Treaty Line...No Vampires Allowed Past This Point, so I feel perfectly safe from any vampire/werewolf crossfire. The trailer is comfy. I am only there at night, the rest of the day I am at the house.

Since I'm at the local grocery store, Thriftway, almost every day I've become pretty good friends with everyone in the meat department, the produce manager and most of the cashiers. The town of Forks is very small. A logging town still trying to ride the coat tails of the Twilight books and movies, but that is fading fast. The economy has taken it's toll on many of the businesses along the two blocks of downtown. Although the Dazzled By Twilight store, and it's rival, Native By Twilight across the street, are still open. The Twilight tour bus is still in business and you still see Twilighters, girls between the ages of 12 and 18 with their mothers, wandering down the street now and then. The people here are tough and very friendly. It's interesting to read some of the faces I see....past drug use, current drug use, hardship, man problems, drinking problems, poverty, kindness, wisdom, survival and friendliness. To live here you have to be tough, and and it shows.

A couple of weeks ago I went into the little local sporting goods store to check it out, introduce myself and buy a few flies. I met Gordie, who used to be one of the local guides, and his wife. About three years ago Gordie took a fall and landed on a pile of boulders. He lost the use of one side of his body, the sight out of one eye and has some difficulty talking. I asked him what flies were the hot ones to swing here and he pointed out three, one of which he ties. I bought all three and then Gordie and his wife told me that they live along the Calawah river in town and that I was welcome to fish one of the good holes behind their house anytime. Good people, and I will take them up on their offer with a bag of cookies in hand. I walked out of that little, cluttered place and reminded myself that I am blessed in so many ways and that meeting someone like Gordie is another blessing to be thankful for.

I was able to fish the second week since we had a couple of cancellations. I fished with Aaron two of the days on the Sol Duc and Calawah. Caught awesome fish both days. One of the fish on the Calawah was a 38.5 inch buck. Freakin huge! I couldn't get my hand around the tail to hang on to it. Really liked the Calawah. Smaller river and rather technical. Incredibly beautiful. We have been pretty full since so I haven't been able to fish, but it's fun to listen to the stories of the day as everyone sits around the dinner table. One of the guides said he would take me on a little tour of walk-in places close by so during the day I can go swing for an hour on my down time.

Still working on that down time thing. My days are long. Up at 4:30 to have breakfast on the table by 6, hence the three cups of coffee by 7 am. After everyone leaves for the day I clean up the kitchen, catch up on some stuff, do some grocery shopping, baking, etc. I usually start dinner prep around 3 pm, serve appetizers around 6, dinner around 7, dessert around 8 or 8:30. By the time I have cleaned up and prepped the coffee for the next morning it is often close to 10. Now and then I'll get a day off and Jeff will cook, but dealing with the aftermath of him in the kitchen is almost worth volunteering to just do it myself. The guys have all been pretty good about helping out, but this is like taking care of a group of 12 year old boys. Sometimes it is just easier to do it myself. I suppose I should be napping, but I am not a napper, so I did the next best thing and joined the local gym in town for $40 a month. Yes, that's right, $40. It's Forks, what can I say. I find that working out is better than napping and the gym is really nice. Great equipment, never crowded and I can pay for just the months I am here. Awesome.

The weather has been typical OP. Cold, raining like hell, then windy as hell, and a little of everything else in-between. There is snow in the forecast tonight, but if it does it won't be much.

As I said before the guys here have been great. Of course being around guides and fisherman all the time has enlightened my vocabulary immensely as far as swear words are concerned. I probably hear the F word used in every other sentence and have learned new and amazing ways the word c....sucker can be incorporated into a conversation. I'm sure sooner or later I'll be in the produce section at Thriftway, pull an orange from the geometric pile, and as the oranges then start to tumble and fall around my feet utter the words, "Who the hell stacked these f....ers anyway?" It's then that I'll realize, well...got my picture over the bar and I'm sleeping in a trailer. Wooo Hooo!

More later. Just started to rain and I have breakfast dishes to do.

Miss and love you all!

Big Fish Annie

At the Vise

A couple of flies I tied today while praying for rain so I can go fish the Russian and capture some chrome.

Tube FlyTube FlySpey FlySpey Fly

Lower Sac is on!

The lower Sacramento has been fishing really well lately! It doesn’t hurt that there have been lots of Caddis, Blue Wing Olives and PMDs hatching.
Caddis season is in full swing!Caddis season is in full swing!
John Dietz at The Fly Shop in Redding encouraged us to pick up a few dries when we were in the shop this week! And right he was! Small dark winter Caddis were hatching in the morning along with some PMDs followed by Mothers day Caddis with the green egg clusters came off starting around 2:00 p.m.
A colorful Lower Sac Rainbow!A colorful Lower Sac Rainbow!

Putah Report

Fished Putah yesterday with Mike. Though the fishing was sub par, it was a fun and pretty day. The Man cut the flows Tuesday night from 120-ish cfs to 67cfs. Not fun if you live in the water. So I think it kinda freaked out the fish a bit and maybe put them off. Or I can just fess up and admit I'm just a sissy and couldn't figure out what the fish really wanted yesterday.

Either way we did manage to hook a land a couple of pretty fish. And of course I didn't bring a camera, which usually means one of us would've roped a super tanker. But alas... We saw some jumbos for sure, like fish over 20", but they were either obviously post spawn or mega spooky.

Can't complain though, a pretty day in a pretty place with good friends. What more do you want? Oh, uh-huh, consistent water flow you say? Is that really too much to ask? No, but I'd like to own Hot Creek Ranch too. I mean, it could happen buuuut not too likely.

Lower Sac fly fishing guide Redding

Our Lower Sacramento fly fishing guides are some of the very best in the business! As Northen California locals they are consummate professionals and take pride in sharing their passion for fly fishing with you. They know the water from Redding California all the way to Red Bluff like their back yard, because well... it is their back yard!

Guide Billy Downs with a nice Lower Sac RainbowGuide Billy Downs with a nice Lower Sac Rainbow

Yuba River dry fly fishing

Here are a few photos from a recent Off the Hook trip on the Yuba River on Feb. 12. Fishing has been consistently good recently and with mild winter weather we have had some amazing days!

Stan the Man

I had the chance to fish the Lower Stanislaus a couple days ago and thought I'd file a report. The gauge it Ripon read about 550cfs, pretty typical for February I believe and I fished mostly up around the dam.

First of all, it was 70 degrees. It felt like summer, in a weird way like I've spent so many summer days fishing tailwaters or small mountain streams hiking and sweating, slathered in sunscreen. But it's not summer, it's freaking February! So yeah, it was kind of surreal for a Northwest kid. Anyway, I hooked a few fish in the am on top with #18-20 Parachute Adams and midge patterns. I found a big foam swirl with a pod of fish going off. Problem was it was across 500+ cfs of deep, fast water with little backcast room and little line control. So lengthy, wild casting ensued. But I managed to hook a few bows in the 12" range.

Later I lost a gagger after it ran me under a log and down a riffle, hooked on a tiny Zebra Midge on 5x. It was pretty awesome though, sight casting to a fish that big, watching him swim up and chomp down.

The rest of the fish I hooked were on small mayflies and midges. They didn't seem to want the worm at all but maybe it just wasn't a wormy day. I ran into a guy that asked me, "what size hooks" I was using. It was kind of comical but he was nice enough. Anyway, long story short, I hooked probably a dozen fish in t shirt weather in February on a pretty canyon stream. Does it get any better? I doubt it.

Fly fishing knot - No Slip Loop

We had some request for help with knots at Putah Creek fishing and wine event. Here are a couple videos that should help you learn them. Remember "practice makes permanent" so practice them a bit right now in preparation for Spring and summer fly fishing applications.

Hint: Always moisten your knots before you pull them tight to preserve knot strength.

Fly fishing California Coast for Steelhead is red hot!

Here are a few shots of Josh Schwartz's clients from the last few days of fly fishing for Steelhead on California's North Coast. There are a number of rivers in Mendocino and Humboldt counties that are producing good numbers of fish and multiple fish days! These wild Steelhead are chrome bright and go ballistic when hooked!

Now is the time to get out and chase them! Give us a call at(877)228-2477 for more info or to reserve your day with Josh.

Enjoy!

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