The Ups and Downs of 2021
Well, we made it another year. I hope all of you are healthy and happy. This last year has been a challenge for all of us in one way or another. I am so thankful for all that God has blessed me with in so many ways. The health of my Family being the number one thing. I am also thankful for all of you and hope that this past year has kept you healthy and prosperous. Lastly, I am thankful for all of my sponsors and the products that I use throughout the year. Those include, Douglas Rods, Atlas Mike’s, Owner Hooks, PLine, Shimano, Beckman Nets, Willie Boats, Pavati, RMI Outdoors, Mad River Manufacturing and BnR Tackle. Remember, if you are in the market for any of these products, please take the time to visit them and buy their products. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you all for making my job so enjoyable and for the friendships it has created. Now onto the year in review.
The 2021 season has got to go down as one of the slowest in recent history and this does not just mean in our area alone. This was the case for the entire West Coast. There were highs and lows for sure, and some really nice fish caught throughout the year, but overall it was one of the lowest returns that I can recall in a long time. The lack of rainfall and the drought conditions from years past, I believe, finally caught up with us. The one bright star, so to speak, was the quality of the fish we caught. Absolute beauties and in great shape. The other highlight of the Winter season was how long it lasted. I was still catching nice fish into April on the streams that remained open. Not in large numbers but still, nice fish. As for the upcoming Steelhead season, the early rains have brought our first round of Winter Steelhead into some of our rivers. Let’s hope this is a sign of good things to come.
Trout and Kokanee
What a fun fishery this is and three options for my clients. I fish the Sacramento River out of Redding for the trophy wild rainbows. These fish always impress me. Just the colors alone, are simply amazing. You just never know if that next hookup is going to be a 5lb or 6lb Rainbow trout. The second option is Whiskeytown Lake for Kokanee. This lake a has an abundance of good eating Kokanee. They range in size from 10-15 inches with an occasional fish in the 15-18 inch range. Limit is 5 and they are, in my opinion, the best eating salmon there is. The third option is Shasta Lake. I am super happy that I was able to offer this option this year. It was a fun fishery as well. Lots of variety to catch. You just never know what’s going to bite your hook. Trout, Kokanee, Brown trout and Bass. Limit is 5 fish. The size of the fish at Shasta are generally bigger. Fish in the 2-5 pound class are not uncommon and are very good table fair as well. Fun fisheries and great weather.
Overall, these two fisheries were pretty consistent and productive. Although the salmon run on the Klamath was a bit up and down, the steelhead fishing made up for it BIG TIME! August steelhead fishing was the best I have seen it in many years. I can’t tell you how many times I said fish on. It was just plain CRAZY! The estuary fishing for salmon of both the Klamath and the Rogue were very good with lots of nice sized fish being caught. Upriver was a bit slower but still had some nice fish around. This is always one of my favorite fisheries and times of year to fish.
Late Fall Salmon
Because of the lack of rainfall over the last 3 years, we were unable to get on the water and fish for the Monsters of the Fall. But this year, Mother Nature gifted us with some much needed rainfall. With the early rains came some nice chrome King salmon. Most of the rivers up and down the coast had their fair share of the chrome bright beauties. This fishery has a much shorter time frame and you really have to be on it shorty after each major storm hits. This provides for the best opportunity, good water conditions and fresh fish entering the systems. Always fun pulling on these big fish.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyous New Year! I look forward to fishing with all of you again this season and continuing and building our friendships. I thank and appreciate all of you.
Thank you and Tight Lines
P.S. Don’t forget those loved ones. I have gift certificates for all those special occasions.