Fly Fishing,    Fishing Report,    Road Trip,    Upper Sacramento

It's like thunder, like lightning

By Tom Chandler 6/28/2006

Upper Sacramento cloudsAs thunder continues to rumble overhead and a little rain sneaks down, spare a thought for Underground Reader Greg, who hasn't fished the river in a while, and managed to schedule his one day trip up here to coincide with yesterday's electrical storm and rain. Just in case he *was* going to fish in the rain and lightning, the fates threw in an injury to his foot.

Greg is today's recipient of the Underground's Exceptional Timing Award, which - if we weren't too lazy to find one - would include a broken alarm clock and a 2006/2007 calendar with around-the-house chores filled in on every square.

The storm and rain has knocked the record-setting temperatures back and spiked the river just a little. It's the kind of "spike" that would send Ian Rutter scrambling for his streamer fly box, reasoning that the little boost in flows can get the big fish moving. Ian's rarely wrong about this kind of thing, and if I get out tonight, I may chuck a streamer for a while if the bugs aren't showing. Probably a little behind the curve...

The McCrowd
Wayne Eng guided the McCloud yesterday and reported nine cars at Ash Camp and three more along the way. The "McCrowd" apparently is fishing well, but is also living up to its nickname. Still, everything's coming into shape, and it's even time to consider some of the higher altitude places, though many still are snowed in. The LT Nancy and I aren't sure what we'll be doing to beat the crowds this Fourth of July weekend, but a couple of hikes to remote lakes might be on the menu.

Today's Underground Entertainment
From Ted Williams' most-excellent conservation blog, news of a really, really responsible daddy who was cited for climbing over a fence and pushing his 6 year-old daughter into a herd of calving elk so he could get a picture. Nominations for "Parent of the Year" anyone?

MidCurrent sends us on to Ed Dentry, the Denver Post outdoor writer who lets us know the streams on the East Slope of the Rockies are finally rounding into shape. Of course, that's news that we already knew simply because our wandering correspondents Chris Jack have been fishing them and sending back cell-phone images. Once again, the Underground scoops a major metropolitan newspaper on an item of critical fishing news. (So when am I going to start making the bucks on a par with their publisher?)

The Raine Road Trip continues... (all photos J. Raine)

Jack Raine doing... well....With D-Day almost at hand (the day Chris drops Jack at the Air Force Academy), our Lewis-and-Clark-esque adventurers continue to frollick amongst the West's biggest tourist attractions, beginning with what appears to be a Colorado petting zoo (no, I'm not making this up -- look at the picture).

Fortunately, we then move to the Big Thompson, where Jack sends us a picture of one of his fish. Chris has really taken to the Big Thompson, even to the point of donning a hardhat and light and fishing it at night. Or not. That's probably just some weird picture of Chris "Sparky" Raine taken at a gift shop somewhere, but at this point, who knows?

I'm never sure what's going through Chris' mind even when he's sitting across the room and talking to me, so divining the course of this trip via Jack's cell phone pictures is a little like playing chess by mail with the post office losing half the postcards.

Alas, with Jack entering the Blue Zoo today or tomorrow, I'd say the steady flow of photographic evidence from the Raine Road Trip has come to an end. No longer will we at the Underground be treated to pictures of trout from other rivers that look just like our own trout, or shocking images of broken Airstream trailers.

Still, it's been a great ride, and young Jack Raine is to be commended, both for serving his country in the Air Force and for his steady diet of photographs (though one wonders if the Air Force will still want him after seeing the petting zoo picture).

Ciao, you crazy kids...

Chris "Sparky" Raine

Rainbow trout from the Big Thompson
A Big Thompson rainbow, courtesy Jack Raine


Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

Glad you enjoyed it despite the weather. Nothing but sun forecast through the weekend.
To paraphrase Mae West. Exceptional Timing had nothing to do with it. Even though one afternoon is way too short a time to even begin to find any good spots or figure out how to fish the Upper Sac it was well worth my time just to make the trip. Having worked my way into one of those nasty little corners in life where everything is just lousy I needed to be standing waist deep in a good trout stream ... more casting a fine cane rod to regain some grip on the more positive aspects of life. The afternoon thunder shower came along at just the right time to offer some relief from the heat. Sorry I missed the riot at Ney, but Tom gave me a blow by blow account over burgers at the Black Bear.

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