American River Spring Steelhead Special

As March approaches we typically begin to see some spring steelhead or supercharged half pounders in the American River. These fish respond well to a swung fly and will even take dry flies on the surface as the weather warms and the caddis begin to come off. Most of these fish average 16-20" with fish up to 6 lbs. Many of these fish have just arrived in the river and are extremely bright and full of fight.

I will be offering a spring special for those interested in fishing for Spring steelhead. The focus of these trips will be swinging flies on single or two handed fly rods with floating lines or light sinking poly leaders. The trips will run about 3 hours in either the morning or evening. We will target a few of the prime runs where these fish tend to hold. Cost is $75 for one angler and $100 for two anglers. This is a great way to refine your techniques for swinging flies for steelhead and learning about spring steelhead fishing on the American River.

Jason Hartwick


Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show

The Fly Fishing Show is in Pleasanton, CA this upcoming Friday thru Sunday February 27-March 1. For those of you that might be attending, I will be in the Beulah Fly Rods booth. Come by and say hi and check out Beulah's new line of Platinum Series Spey rods. These are one of the best new models of spey rods on the market right now and are extremely smooth and easy to cast. Not to be overlooked by their great Elixir and Tonic lines, switch rods, and Bluewater rods. I hope to see you there.

Jason Hartwick


Winter Update...

Again, sorry for not keeping up with posts and reports. Between the few days of fishing we have had and trying to get the Kiene's online spey store up and running, I have been pretty busy. But enough of that.

Right now the rivers are all high and brown and look like they will remain unfishable for at least a week if not more. So far, we have had brutally tough fishing conditions this year. The water has either been low and clear or high and muddy. Both make for tough winter steelheading conditions. This past week we had maybe 1 or 2 days of fishable conditions but the reports I have heard back were not that great. Gear guys getting a fish here and most fly guys striking out. I have to believe that once the water drops after this storm and hopefully we see more than a few days of good conditions, that there should be plenty of fish around and fishing should pick up.

I have spent a little time on the American River in the past week and was able to watch Ryan Miller land a couple of nice fish on the swing. The fish are there and those that are putting the time in are finding a nice fish here and there. Black leeches in the 2-3" range have been working well. Soon we should start to see a few spring fish and then its time to start swinging some smaller leeches and even drop a caddis pupa off the end. I will keep ya'll posted as fishing and conditions change.

Jason Hartwick


Finally some rain! It seems as though it has been months since we had seen our last rain, but it has finally arrived! While the forecast is not calling for a huge storm, every little bit will help. Lets just hope the rivers rise a bit and put in a little color without them blowing out.

In the last few weeks we have seen extremely low clear water conditions causing many rivers to close because of low flows. What few rivers remain open have seen some pretty decent fishing for the few that have been out. Last week we spent four days on a well known North Coast river and had some beautiful chrome bright steelhead come to the swung fly. While fishing was not red hot, we averaged 1 steelhead each day which is great for winter steelheading. With a little rain the forecast, I anticipate fishing to pick up in the next week and many new fish to pour into many of our North Coast rivers.

I was fortunate to spend some time last week with Jeff Bright. For those of you that don't know Jeff, he is an accomplished steelheader, photographer, and graphic designer. Jeff has spent a lot of time fishing for steelhead throughout the Pacific Northwest and hosts trips to both Blackwell's Lodge and Nicholas Dean Lodge in B.C. He has also spends a lot of time working with the Wild Steelhead Coalition and other various conservation oraganizations to help protect wild salmon and steelhead. When you get a chance, check out his website. www.jeffbright.com