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Fishing Reports by Dax Messett

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Great

My annual trip to British Columbia this year was as fun and eventful as always.  The theme this year was high water for the most part, as some biblical rain storms pummeled the region.  The mega storm arived just when Andrew Harris joined my group at Skeena Spey Lodge.  The storm was truly exceptional, blowing out bridges and necessating helicoptor rescue for some unfortunate campers on nearby rivers.  Drew and I did some epic recon to a remote part of a skeena tributarty to make the best of a blown water day.  Its always a pleasure getting to fish and spend time with Andrew, our fearless leader.  

When conditons were fishable, we hooked, landed, and lost some truly epic steelhead and bright Northern Coho.  I saw Leslie Ajari catch her first giant BC fish on a skated dry fly on a river with just a foot of visibility.  Hard core angler and trip regular Doug Rohn seemed to hook fish every day of his trip, regardles of conditions.  Ted always seems to hook a monster or two, some make it to the net, some don't!  Dennis is always a pleasure to watch speycast, cover water, and spend time with on and off the water.  Just a super group of guys.  Next year I have another few prime weeks at Skeena Spey with a spot or two open for likeminded anglers who appreciate the pursuit of BC steelhead on a spey rod with our crew at the best lodge in British Columbia .  Contact me for details and availibility.

For a sense of what BC is like, check out a little video I made at https://youtu.be/19vsZIhnBGU

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The Skeena River valley is one of the most beautiful in North America
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Leslie with a mega steelhead on that ate a skated dry
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Throwing some tight loops with the orange Rio Scandi
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The Skeena is know as the River of Mist
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Doug with one of his epic fish of the trip
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The Kalum is one of my favorite lower Skeena tributaries
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Bodie waiting for some action
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a view of the river on Andrew's first day, looks a little off color...
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Red Hot

A very cool gathering t is happening this weekend!  This has become the premier spey casting event in the Southern Oregon/Nor Cal region.  

From our friends at Ashland Fly Shop:

It’s time for the 3rd annual Rogue on the Fly! Held at Indian May Park on the Rogue River, ROTF is bigger and better than ever! A weekend long event, ROTF includes Spey casting presentations from some of our region’s experts, booth presentations from our products reps, fly-fishing games, fly-tying demos, great food, live music, camping, and more! 

Leslie Ajari and I will be doing a presentation with a very, very special guest on Sunday called "Make Your Casting Great Again".  

When: Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24

Where: Indian Mary Park

Cost: Free!

Steelhead fishing on the Upper Rogue has been pretty good, and should only get better over the coming weeks.  Leslie and I are now available to guide these next few prime weeks before we head to the Grande Ronde next month.  

 

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Doug's fish lives in BC, I just wanted to get your attention
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Spey Camp is for everyone, and the time is almost here!  We have a just a few spots left for our 4th season of Lower Klamath River Spey Camps.  These popular camps are perfect for the following anglers:

Beginners: Learn the basics of casting a two handed rod.  Learn how to read steelhead water and how to fish it.  Learn the terminology of spey casting and understand the gear used.  No need to bring gear, our camps are sponsored by Sage, Rio, and Redington...we have a mega arsenal of fun toys for you to try before you buy them.  

Intermediates: Take the next step up in your casting game.  Are you just doing the same snap t or double spey over and over again?  Time to learn some touch and go casts, refine your sustained anchor casts, and get more proficient with the scandi lines and lighter summer set ups.  Bring your rod and get it dialed in with the right line, we have dozens of Rio lines you can demo to balance your set up.

Advanced: We love to cast, and we love help anglers achieve their highest potential in their casting and angling techniques.  The advanced angler will enjoy the amazing home water we have right in front of camp, fishing for chrome bright fish a few miles from tidewater.  Also explore the classic swing runs that abound on the Lower Klamath Wilderness River, only reached by boat.  Demo the newest rods from Sage like the X and the Mod.  Have casting "jam sessions" with three expert instructors who's passion is spey casting and swinging for chrome bright steelhead all over the Pacific Northwest.  

Everyone: All meals, spey rods, reels, spey lines, flies, and elite instruction included.  Just bring a sleeping bag and appetite!  Our wilderness camp is already set up with comfy tents, cots, and Leslie's legendary camp chef meals.  When not fishing, relax and watch the river go by or nap in the shade.  In the evenings, sit by the fire and take in the beautiful coastal sunsets are followed by superb stargazing in a place where light pollution is far, far away...you will sleep well.

Open dates: 

July 21-23  Weekend Spey Camp.  Quick and easy trip!  Arrive Friday afternoon, settle in and fish the evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning then head back home.  

August 9-12 Spey Camp, 3 nights, 2 half days & 2 full days of fishing.

River flows are the best they have been in years for the Lower Klamath, giving us excellent conditons for our camps.  Spey Camp is an easy trip from the Bay Area, and the best value in the industry for a multi day instructional spey experience.  Couple this with a shot at chrome steelhead a few miles from the ocean, this experience is hard to beat.  Contact me with and questions. 

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After a week on a remote island near the equator, I came to a truly hot climate here in the Fall River valley.  
The hex hatch has been a little erratic, but worth the effort.  It is starting late, around 9:20.  Many of the fish have been tight to the banks, so you actually need to cast to these fish to get the big grabs.  As always, opportunities to catch large fish are there, Bob from Chicago landed a fat one over 20 inches last night.  Daytime fishing on Fall is a bit scratchy and hot...
The Mac is fishing decent, with some lingering salmonflies around and some mayfly hatches in the afternoon, especially when clouds are around.  Dry dropper rig and covering water will work very well, Fish the shady spots in the afternoon, or nymph the deeper buckets and pools, or get out of the agonizing sun and nap until it cools off!
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It's time to fish the epic Hex Hatch on Fall River.  I have a few nights available on June 26 & 27 and July 11 & 12.  I've been fishing this unique hatch for 15 years, and it still is as exciting for me as it was on day one.  The good thing about this hot weather coming up is that the hatch should go off!
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Red Hot
Christmas Island is on every saltwater angler's Bucket List, and it will stay on mine as a place I will certainly visit again.  Our group had about as good as a remote destination trip we could get, experiencing great weather, incredible fishing, and a great time off the water.  
The trophy fish in CXI is the elusive GT, which we all had multiple shots at every day.  While hunting them we would encounter and catch three other types of trevally, all of which are incredible fighters and beautiful fish.  We hunted the cool and elusive trigger fish, and the huge numbers of bonefish on seemingly endless flats CXI is famous for.  We also fished the ocean side for GTs in the beach break, which was exciting, technical and just awesome.  It reminded me chasing roosters on the beach in Baja when they still existed there. This diverse fishery is a superb saltwater trip for anglers of all skill and experience levels.  Contact me with any questions about this venue and to help you book your trip.
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My first and best fish of the trip
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you can catch these fun little bones at will on cxi
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Doug was the top rod of the trip, landing the most GTs
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We weren't under gunned for gear!
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Jon with a larger bonefish
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The flats in cxi are vast and beautiful
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One of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet
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Our taxi to the endless flats
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Stalking multiple species in perfect conditions
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Great
No need to travel all the way to the Deschutes or Montana to fish the Salmonfly hatch...it is going off on the Upper Rogue and Klamath Rivers right now.  The fish are just starting to look for them these past few days on both rivers.  The Klamath has finally dropped down to a very fishable 1500 CFS at Iron Gate.  The upper Rogue is at perfect flows to both fish big drys from the boat, and get out and swing trout spey rods to very eager fish.  I floated with Ashland Fly Shop's John Hazelett on Monday, we hooked dozens of trout on big Salmonfly patterns and swinging stonefly patterns on 4wt spey rods.  Most of these fish are between 9 to 12 inches, but we hooked a half dozen or so in that 15 inch range.  All these fish were nice wild rainbows or beautiful cutthrout trout.  The hatch should go for a few more weeks.
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Great
I had my first Fall River guide trip of the season yesterday with Mike Wright and his fun crew.  Fall River is in the best shape I've seen it in for June 1 in years.  The fish are spread out through the whole system, but there still are more fish up high that will be coming down as the season progresses.  
We absolutely pillaged in every spot we fished from 9 to 5, with no breaks in the action.  It was pretty hard to beat.  Not a ton of rising fish, but there were some baetis and pmds around.  Damsels will get going soon when the weather starts to heat up more, and hatches should get more consistent as the weed beds grow in.  
I'll open my schedule to guide some select days in late June and July.  Contact me if you're  interested.
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Dr. Wright with a beauty
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We hooked many, many of these fatties yesterday
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Shasta looking beautiful covered in snow
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Upper Mac is finally wadable
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Okay
This winter has been more challenging than usual for die hard Pacific Northwest steelheaders.  Every time the rivers dropped into shape, you had a quick window before another mega storm would hit.  If your timing was good, you had water you were able to stand in an enjoy the whole process and surrounding environment, maybe even swing up a chrome winter fish of a lifetime.  Or, you were in a wet tent, camper, motel or cabin drinking and playing cards waiting for the rivers to drop...which is still better than sitting in trafffic in my opinion.  The winter game isn't for everyone, thank goodness.  This upcoming week looks more of the same, Inquire about future availability for the Olympic Peninsula, we have a few more weeks here if the weather and fish are both going in the right direction.
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The unicorn we are all chasing in the winter
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Great

Last week was superb...
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We just finished up another fantastic guide school.  Aaron, Rob, Dylan, and Drew was the dream team of students, who will all be guiding someday in the near future.  All venues fished excellent for us this week.

 

The Pit River is fishing excellent.  High stick nymphing is the most productive technique here until the caddis hatch is the evenings.  If you cover water and have good presentations, you will find plenty of fish.


The McCloud River has also been fishing excellent.  Dry dropper is my favorite rig here.  If they aren't eating on top, go to a high stick nymph rig and cover water.  Every evening on the Mac provides good dry fly fishing this time of year.  Stick it out!

 

Fall River has had some fun head hunting opportunities in the mornings for large fish eating calibaetis emergers and spinners.  Its a tough game to play, but more rewarding than just staring at a bobber and cleaning weeds off of it every cast.  Sinking line techniques are also working, pulling damsels and leaches.  Fishing has been shutting off by around 2pm, so good time for a break then go fish the hex in the evening.  It's been starting really late this year, at around 9:15 so don't pack it in too early.

 

Hat Creek has been fishing great in the mornings and evenings.  Excellent trico spinner fall from about 8 to 10.  Fantastic caddis hatch in the evenings with a smattering of mayflies to keep you busy.  Mid day has been slow here. 

 The upper Rogue has started to get steelhead trickling in.  I'm heading up there this weekend.  Mornings are the best time to swing one up this time of year up there.  I will be back to guide it for the month of November after the Grande Ronde in October.

Reports from the lower Klamath are good!  We start our spey camps down there August 1st and have one open spot left.  Contact me for details.

 

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Leslie releasing a Fall River beauty
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Small creek fishing has been excellent
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Aaron rigging for success on the Mac
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Leslie and Rob working on dry dropper guide techniques
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Dylan and Drew figuring out the best lie
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Good
After the busy 4th of July weekend, the weather has cooled off a bit and everything is fishing pretty good in the Intermountain area, especially the hex hatch on Fall.  We have some prime available dates left in July before we kick off our steelhead season in August on the Klamath.  We still have a few spots open for Speycamp, please contact me with any questions.  
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The McCloud is one of the most beautiful rivers in the states
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Tony hooked up on the Mac
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Tony from SF anticipating the best hatch in the West
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A dog makes the hex hatch more fun!
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Hat Creek has been good mornings and evenings
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The weather has been very sporadic in June here in Nor Cal.  Mt. Shasta got a beautiful blanket of fresh snow a few nights ago.  It makes for beautiful sunsets on Fall River as you await the hex hatch.  Some of the windy and cooler nights this past week kept the hatch from happening, but overall its been a superb hex season despite the unseasonal weather.  The hatch is happening both above and below the confluence, which makes for a nice displacement of pressure.  Don't drop right below somebody when there is two hundred yards of open water above them.  Llights!  If you don't have proper lights on your boat, at least have headlamps and flashlights.  Better yet, Shasta Angler in Fall River has the proper lights for you, the game warden and other anglers don't care if your crappy rental boat isn't properly equipped with lights...its the operator's responsibility.

Hat Creek has been decent in the mornings and evenings, kinda tough during the day.  The warmer weather will help hatches.  The Mac has been the typical McCloud.  At times you wonder if there are any fish or insects in the place, then all of a sudden it turns on and you are hooking fish all over the place.  Afternoons have been better recently for me.  

 

I only have a few more days available for trout season.  Fishing should be great these next few weeks. 

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Our pet hex!
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Leslie on a remote Nor Cal freestone river
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Hiking around in the beautiful forest the Mac runs through
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The Mac!
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My favorite hatch of all time is on Fall River, 20 minutes of glory!
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Leslie and Alex Ferber casting dries on the Fall
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Great
Leslie and I had a day off today and spent it fishing, of course.  Not much dry fly happening where we were today, but the streamer grab was excellent.  We also did very well on the dirty nymphs.  Fishing was best between 11 and 2 today.

I expect another epic hex hatch tonight, it has he best early season hex hatch I've seen in my 14 years on Fall River.  It's even been happening with the cooler evenings that we've been having.
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Leslie landing an epic Fall River rainbow
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Great
The hex hatch has been going off!  My clients Dean and Clayton from Washington landed 4 very large fish last night on their first ever hex hatch.  Pressure is very low.  I've been out the last 10 nights, and the hatch happened on 8 of them, so it's pretty consistent.  During the day the Fall has been kinda moody.  There has been some great hatches on some days, nothing on others.  Sinking lines and nymphing are catching some fish when there are no bugs on top.  Pressure is extremely high on the upper river, mellow on the lower river.  If you are patient, you can headhunt for very large rising fish from 10 until about 2 and search for the moments.  My client Tom Donnely hooked and finally lost a truly gigantic fish, who ran him through his full spool of backing.  The battle did not end with the fish in the net, but it was an amazing fish and battle.

Hat Creek was good last week, but slowed down the last few days.  Powerhouse Riffle is crowded, shallow, and fishing good in the mornings for tricos and in the evenings for caddis.

The McCloud has been going off on some days, kinda tough on others.  The best fishing is In the evenings and whenever the fish are looking up for stones and mayflies.  Ask us about our camping options for the Mac.


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Great
The epic Fall River hex hatch started early this year!  Book a trip if you want to get on it, it's been excellent this past week...
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Great
Days off are nice on the OP...
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Thanks to Leslie for the help landing this unreal steelhead
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Great
Had some amazing conditions these past few days on the Olympic Peninsula...I would really like to thank the crowds for finally not showing up...
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A few highlights from the last few weeks on the Olympic Peninsula...
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Good
Finally a break from the endless rain this past week which led to some amazing conditions on the Olympic Peninsula.  Next season is already booking up, so contact me early if you want a spot for 2017.
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