New Beulah Platinum Series Spey Rods

I was able to get out on the local sewer the last couple of days and test out Beulah's new line of Spey Rods. The rods are all 4 piece and come in three sizes from 11'7" 5 wt, 12'6" 6 wt, and 13'2" 7 wt. These are medium-fast action rods that are very crisp and extremely light in the hand. These rods are finished in a deep grey/charcoal finish with clean wraps and some of the most beautiful cork on the market. Not only do these rods looks good, but they cast great!

This mornings trial run was with the 13'2" 7 wt. and a Beulah Tonic head and a 10' 150 grain tip. This was an extremely smooth casting setup that was very light in the hand and threw a ton of line. I would say this line is a bit on the light side for a Skagit setup and I much preferred an Airflo Compact Skagit 540 that I tried later on. The 540 loaded a bit deeper into the rod and I would say that a 570 head is not out of the question. As for Scandi style lines this rod matches up well with a Beulah Elixir Spey 7/8. Add a 14' poly leader and you have a summer/fall setup that will throw a country mile.

The 12'6" 6 wt. is a sweet little stick that will cover a variety of situations on small to medium sized rivers. This rod has enough backbone to land a strong summer or winter steelhead and is light enough to have fun fishing for half pounders. This rod matches up well a Beulah Elixir Spey 6/7 for your summer and fall fishing. For winter fishing or situations when you need to throw bigger flies or get down deeper, an Airflo Compact Skagit 450 is a perfect match. While I have not tried a Beulah Tonic on this rod yet, I can bet there is one that is a great match for this rod. This is a perfect rod for rivers such as the Deschutes, Grande Rhonde, Rogue, Trinity, and Klamath.

While I have not spent much fishing time with the 11'7" 5wt, I was able to cast this rod a little bit this summer on the North Umpqua. This rod is fun to cast and will be perfect for trout, half pounders, and smaller summer steelhead. A Beulah Elixir Switch 5/6 is a great match for this rod that will fish well on rivers like the Rogue, Klamath, and Trinity. I can't wait to spend more time with this rod swinging flies for trout and steelhead on the Lower Yuba in the next couple of months.

These new Beulah Platinum Series spey rods will be available soon and if you would like to give one a test drive, feel free to contact me. Happy holidays and go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick


A few images from the Summer/Fall 08' season

Trinity River Wild Summer Steelhead


Steelhead Bailout. Why Not?

Hen closeup


California's North Coast Winter Steelhead

California's North Coast rivers offer a great opportunity at hooking winter steelhead on the fly in a beautiful surrounding. Many of these rivers run through some of California's largest redwood forest and provide an amazing backdrop when fishing for winter steelhead. Rivers such as the Eel, South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Mad, and all host good returns of wild steelhead and offer the chance at hooking the steelhead of a lifetime. While most winter steelhead in these rivers average 6-8 lbs, fish in the 14-20lb range are hooked each year. The down side of fishing these North Coast rivers is that they tend to blow out rather easily when we get rain and can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to come back into fishable shape. When they do drop into shape the fishing can be great as many fresh fish will pour into these systems after a storm. Some rivers clear quicker than others and can provide fishing for a lot longer period of time than say the main stem of the Eel. The South Fork Eel is one of those. We tend to spend more time of the SF Eel than any other system because it clears quicker and stays in shape longer.

Because of this I usually do not book trips too far in advance. What I am going to do is put together a call and email list of those intretsed in trips on the coast and or specific rivers one would like to fish. I will give you 3-7 days notice of when a system will drop into shape and a fishing forecast. This will allow us to have good fishable conditions and not have to worry about a certain date being blown out and having to rebook. That being said, if you do want to book a date so that it is reserved that will work as well.

These rivers are a great place for swinging flies on spey rods for chrome bright winter steelhead. We utilize spey and switch rods on the 10'6" to 14' range and skagit style fly lines with heavy sinktips to target these flies. This style of fishing is not for the faint of heart and typically requires casting skagit style lines with 10-12' of T-14 and flies in the 2-6 inch range to target these winter steelhead.

For those interested, please send me an email with a contact number to get a hold of you when these rivers begin to fish. Our time frame for fishing these rivers in from mid December to March 31 when most fo the rivers close to fishing. Thank you and happy holidays. Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick


Fishing Report

Sorry for the lack of reports the last few weeks. The season is winding down on the Trinity with very few fresh fish showing which has made for some tough fishing. Last week Rob Elam was able to hook three adults landing two in two days of fishing along with a few half pounders. Rain might help the fishing a bit but it looks like just an average year for steelhead on the Trinity. The good news is that we are still seeing good numbers of wild fish which bodes well for the future of the Trinity River. If we get a good push of fresh fish on the Trinity in the next week or two I will keep you posted.

On the other hand, I have spent a considerable amount of time on the Klamath in the last few weeks. The fishing has been pretty good with most days seeing one or two adults to hand along with some nice half pounders. Most fish have been caught on floating lines and small wet flies but with the air and water temps cooling I would look at fishing a sink tip from now on. The upper Klamath near Iron Gate is seeing good numbers of steelhead in the 16-22" range and are very aggressive towards a swung fly. For those looking to get a late fall fix, this is the place to be until mid December.

Next on tap is coastal winter steelhead. My favorite time of year! As soon as we get some more rain we will see fresh steelhead enter our North Coast rivers. These early season fish are extremely aggressive and are a blast on the swing. For those interested in winter steelhead trips please send me an email so I can put you on the winter steelheading list of those interested in trips when the rivers drop into shape. I will send an email out to those interested about the details of those trips around the first of December. Until then, Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick

Steelhead Bailout

I had the pleasure of fishing with Rob Elam of Propel Biofuels last week. I knew it was going to be a couple great days of fishing with Rob when we meet Wednesday morning and he was wearing a Vote Steelhead Bailout hat! In Rob's words...."With Congress bailing out so many companies, why not bailout steelhead? Think of all the things we could do to improve wild steelhead runs throughout the Pacific Northwest with a Billion dollars." I think your on to something Rob. I couldn't agree with you more! VOTE STEELHEAD BAILOUT.


Johnson's Steakhouse, a great place to dine while fishing on the Trinity!

When you are up in Weaverville or just passing through on your way to fish the Trinity River, make sure you stop by Johnson's Steakhouse for dinner. Johnson's Steakhouse is in their second year of business and in my opinion has the best food in town and has a great sports bar with two flat screen TV's to watch your favorite game. They are well known for their steaks that include top sirloin, rib eye, Fillet Mignon, and their prime rib. Two of my other favorite dishes have to be the Bourbon seared pork chop and the Chicken Tetrazini. If you are looking to just grab a burger, I recommend the Barbecue bacon burger.

The restaurant is open Tuesday thru Saturday for dinner. Mondays, the bar is open for Monday Night Football and has homemade chili to go along with your favorite beer. The bar is a great place to have a beer and talk fishing. Will Johnson, one of the owners, is a great steelhead fisherman and spey caster who loves to talk steelheading with anyone who comes into the bar.

Johnson's Steakhouse is located just off the main street on Glen Rd. at the Trinity Alps golf course. This is a great place to have dinner or just hang out at the bar and BS with a few other fisherman.

Jason Hartwick


November is here are so are the storms we have been waiting for here on the Trinity River. This has been a welcome change from the warm sunny chamber of commerce weather we have had. Not that I am complaining about bluebird skies and warm days but the river has been so low and clear the fishing has been really tough the past week. That has all changed now as river has gone from 400 cfs to over 2000 cfs and blown out in the lower reaches. The river has now started to drop and is in good condition on the Junction City area. This should pull in some fresh steelhead and salmon.

This past week I was fortunate to fish with Keith Kaneko of Angling on the Fly. Keith is an excellent spey caster and was bombing out some tight loops and long casts, covering the water extremely well. Despite the tough fishing, Keith had a couple of good solid pulls and also landed a couple of nice half pounders. Keith also had the chance to try out a Beulah Elixir Switch 7/8 line for the first time and was very impressed with it. He paired this line with a Sage Z-Axis 7110-4 switch rod and it was a fantastic combination. Beulah's Elixir lines are extremely easy to cast and can help one speed up the learning curve when beginning to spey cast. The added bonus is the fact that these lines can cast heavy poly leaders and bigger flies as opposed to many other Scandi style lines on the market.

This next week we should see some excellent fishing after the water drops and clears a bit. Water temperatures are still great and we should see many more fish on floating lines and even a few come to the skated dry. Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick


Fall is Here!

The colors are beginning to change, temperatures are cooling and the air has that crisp feel in the morning. The steelhead are starting to show in good numbers and are settling into traditional holding lies. This is my favorite time of year in the Pacific Northwest and on the Trinity River!

In the last week or so we are seeing the plants and trees beginning to change color which makes for a beautiful setting while fishing the Trinity. Some salmon have been spawning and from what I hear there are more working their way upriver. We are also seeing more and more steelhead working their way up from the Klamath. So far this year the salmon and steelhead returns seem to be about two weeks behind which should make for some great fishing in November and even into December. Even with fewer fish so far from last year we have had some great fishing on floating lines.

Fishing this past week was a bit up and down. After the water dropped out of the dam to 350 cfs we saw tough fishing for a few days after that. Mid week we saw temperatures in the evening drop a bit and help bring water temps down a little and the fish perked up a bit. Thursday and Friday we headed out for some new water that recieves very little fishing pressure and it paid off. We found a few pods of fish and landed some very nice fish in the 7-12 lb range. Big fish honors of the week went to Will Johnson who landed a 32" hatchery hen. The other nice thing is that we are still seeing a lot of wild fish in the system. This is great for the future of the Trinity River fishery and is a bonus when you hook one as they go absolutely nuts!
We should continue to see some great floating line steelheading here on the Trinity for about another month. November can be a great month as we should see some more rain and more fish entering the system. I have open days available so please call or email if interested. Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick


Trinity Report

This past week has seen some up and down fishing throughout the Trinity River system. After cooler temperatures last weekend the water cooled a bit and saw some god fishing early in the week. While out with first time spey caster Joshua Schwartz, he managed five grabs and landed two big wild hens. Picture above is Joshua with a 8 lb wild hen.

Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to hook a handful of fish and bring three to hand. I could tell on Wednesday evening that the fishing might slow a bit as we saw high pressure move in with warmer air temperatures. Over the last few days the water had dropped a bit and warmed up. This has made fishing a bit tougher but there are still plenty of fish around. Friday, Will Johnson and I were able to hook three fish but none made it to hand. We are still seeing all our fish come to wet flies on floating lines. Once the water temps begin to stabilize a bit more we should begin to bring a few fish to the surface. A little rain wouldn't hurt anything either. Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick


Evening Steelhead

Sorry for the lack of reports lately. I have been on the river the past week and the fishing has been up and down. Last weekend saw the first good rain of the season here on the Trinity and it was much needed. We saw over 1" of rain and the river came up from 680 cfs to over 1400 cfs in Hoopa. I was hoping it would bring a little color to the river, which it did but not by much. This helped bring in some new fish and get some of the fish holding in the gorges to move upriver. While I expected the fishing to be great after the storm it was actually pretty tough. In two float trips in the lower river we watched a couple hundred steelhead each day moving upriver and unwillig to take a fly. In two days we managed to hook a couple of half pounders and one adult for a brief second.

The last few days has seen a change in the weather and water temps. The last four mornign we have had temperatures near or below freezing and this has helped to bring water temps down a bit which has helped fishing. On Thursday we were able to hook two nice steelhead on wet flies but were unable to land either. We also saw a few other anglers hook up as well. This has been a change from the past couple of weeks which has seen tough fishing for everyone.

Today I was able to get out for a couple of hours and fish with my good friend Will Johnson. The first run we fished Will was able to land a nice 4 lb wild hen that took him way into his backing and came out of the water more than a few times. I was also able to hook a fish in the same run but cam unbuttoned after a long battle. In the second run fished I was able to land this large wild buck. I wish I had a better picture of this fish as it went 29-30" and was in the 9-10 lb range. Both fish I hooked took a #5 Purple Pill.

Fishing is picking up on the Trinity. The next month should provide great fishing on swung flies with many opportunities at fish on a skated fly. So far this year we are seeing some larger than average size fish and some nice wild ones to boot. The mid-lower Trinity is a great place to swing flies on both spey and switch rods. This is also a great place for a beginner or advanced spey angler to have an opportunity at hooking fish on floating lines. Go for the grab!



Trinity Update

We are finally starting to see some steelhead in the lower Trinity river. While fishing is by no means red hot there are fish to be caught. There are both hatchery fish and native fish moving into the river right now. The good sign is that we are seeing more wild fish than hatchery fish right now. On a recent trip I was fortunate to land a nice bright native in the 4 lb range that took a red humbug on a floating line.

Along with a few adult steelhead we are seeing some nice halfpounders that are a blast on light spey rods. They seem to be traveling in small schools and when you find them, it is possible to hook multiple fish.

In the next few weeks we should see some great Steelhead fishing on the lower Trinity river. This is predominately floating line fishing with opportunities to hook 4-8 lb. steelhead on skated dry flies. The lower river is well suited for small spey rods and swung flies. If you are interested in learning to spey cast and fish, an intermediate or expert spey caster who wants to hone their skills, or just flat out fish and have a good time, there is not better time than the month of October on the Trinity. Not only can we have some great fishing but the scenery is downright beautiful. October dates are filling fast so book you trip soon! For more information feel free to contact me at speybum@gmail.com or call (916) 838-2496. For more information on trips or to see more photos check us out at http://www.steelheadonthespey.com

Go for the Grab!
Jason Hartwick


Quick Trinity Report

Spent the day with fellow Steelhead bum Kevin Giusti floating a section of the Trinity. It was a great day to be on the river. Not only did we find a few fish, but we had a good 45 minutes of heavy rain which was not fun to float the river in, but was well needed. In the third run of the day Kevin managed to hook a halfpounder and two adult steelhead landing one. A hatchery fish going 5-6 lbs. and full of spunk. Unfortunately no fish photo although I got one of Kevin hooked up.
The fish are starting to show on the lower Trinity. We saw quite a few salmon and some really nice steelhead. From here on out we should see some great fishing on floating lines.  


Lower Trinity River Update

Late August into early September usually marks the first big push of steelhead into the lower Trinity River. This past week I made my way up north to do a little "scouting" work and see where the fish might be. The first day out my friend Will and I floated a 6 mile section of river. Our goal was to fish a few runs and snorkel a few looking for fish. We managed to spot a few salmon while snorkeling and a handful of steelhead holding near tailouts. While we didn't manage any fish it was nice to be on the water. 
The next couple of days I was able to fish with good friends Adrian and Teresa Psuty. Our goal was to hopefully find some chrome in the lower river and get Teresa into her first adult steelhead. Teresa might possibly be on the best female spey casters around, so all we needed to do was to locate a few fish. Conditions proved to be tough as we had warm weather, high pressure, low water, and very few fish around. We fished hard for three days and only managed a couple of half pounders. We spotted a couple of adults but they didn't seem to want to cooperate. Here's a pic of Teresa launching some line in a prime run.

My last day out I was able to fish a couple of runs early in the morning and managed to boil a nice steelhead to a skated muddler in a tailout. After switching flies a couple times and going back thru the tailout, I was unable to bring the fish back. Oh well, it is always a blast to see that swirl under your fly whether you hook up or not! 
This year we have seen very dry conditions which are having their effects on our North Coast rivers. We are seeing some of the lowest rivers levels I have ever seen. The water temps have been pretty good since we are seeing shorter days and cool nights. Very little rain and low water could be keeping many steelhead out in the ocean. Right now it looks like the run might be a couple of weeks behind, but we should start to see some good pushes of fish into the Klamath and Trinity in the next couple of weeks. I plan on starting my guiding season around September 20th and we should have a good number of fish in the lower Trinity by then. From then until the middle of October is the best time to get out on the lower Trinity River and fish for steelhead on spey rods and floating lines. Go for the grab!

Lower Klamath River

This past week I was fortunate to be able to fish the lower Klamath River out of Klamath Glen. We took my good friend Will's sled out for the day and were able to locate quite a few half pounders. These fish were chrome bright and full of spunk. Despite not locating any adult steelhead, I was lucky to hook and land this chrome bright Jack Salmon. While is was only about 6 lbs. it put up one hell of a fight on a 5 weight spey rod. 
A little later in the week, I had the privilege of fishing with my good friends Adrian and Teresa Psuty. After a couple of tough days on the lower Trinity, we decided to drive down to Johnson's on the Klamath and fish a few gravel bars. We were able to locate a good size school of half pounders and hooked into 20 plus fish, landing about half. Most fish were in the 14-18" range and dime bright. All fish were taken of lightweight spey rods, floating lines, and peacock bodied flies. These fish are a blast on light gear and will run you well into your running line and backing on the initial grab. While we did not land any adults, I hooked into one and had it one for a good amount of time and lost it after two blazing runs. Looked to be in 22-24" range but we will never know for sure as she waved goodbye from the other side of the run! Here are a couple of close ups of how bright these half pounders are. Check out the reflection of the fingertips off the side of the first fish. Looks like a mirror! 


Summer Steelhead and smoke on the Trinity River

Well it is about that time the summer and fall run steelhead of the Trinity River should be making their presence known. Unfortunately the only thing around in abundance at the moment is SMOKE! There are still a few god size fires in the big bar area up in the hills which is creating thick smoke from Del Loma to Weaverville. The smoke down in the Hoopa valley is not nearly as bad and on some days when the breeze blows in from the off the coast the smoke is non-existent. 
Here is a photo of my friend Will laying out some line in a prime tailout. You can kind of see how thick the smoke is here in the mid river.

Now to the fishing. At the moment, I would say that we are in between pushes of fish.  The big push of wild sumer run fish that came in a few weeks ago seem to have spread out and probably moved into the cooler tributaries. There are a few hatchery fish being caught but they have been spread throughout the length of the river. We should see a few good pushes of fish in the next few weeks and fishing should pick up in the beginning of September. Remember, late September thru October are prime months of the Trinity for fishing floating lines and dry/wet flies. Book your trips soon, as these dates will fill up fast. Go for the grab!

Jason Hartwick