NEVER NOT KNOW A SHAD GRAB (2016 Alosa sapidissma update)

  • Shad Camp 2016
  • Shad are in!
  • Here's to another great shad year!
  • 2016 Shad mug
  • Steve Hopkins and friend
  • Scott Watson with a dandy
  • Shad on!

We just completed our sixth and final 2016 Shad Camp. What a blast! While many were in question about the severe drought and possible impacts to this year’s shad/striper runs Ma Nature took everyone by surprise and served up healthy late winter rains and snowpack’s that translated into quality spring river flows, temperatures, unseasonably cool weather (making for ideal camping) and highlighting conditions, for the past seven weeks, with some of the best shad/striper runs we’ve experienced in many years. Go figure. From a fisheries biological standpoint, most interesting and comforting, was the diversity of shad/striper year classes (1-3yr.) that returned; all representing healthy stocks, and with a significant number of smaller one year stocks in the mix, at this time future returns appear promising. Other than few rattlers scorpions, spiders
unidentified critters, UFO’s, occasional broken rod and, at times, dangerously low ice stocks, there was never a dull moment; everyone experienced good times, gourmet meals, solitude, unique beauty and fulfilled their stoke with tight lines and screaming reels.

What is a shad camp? I started Shad Camps, in 1983, with the concept of a multi-day/night riverside camp designed to allow anglers to relax and enjoy the hang loose camp vibe while experiencing the scenic beauty of the river and its surrounds, gourmet meals and, ultimately, maximize optimum fishing time on the water, sun up to sundown if you dare, fly fishing for shad; more often than not experiencing some of the very best shad fishing available. Shad are an exciting fly quarry with a strong steelheader following. I’ve always preached “most steelheaders are shadders and shadders steelheaders,”—it’s all about the GRAB! Right from the get-go the camps have been a success and all camps (6) have been booked solid for the past twelve years by the same devoted shadders and steelheaders. Far from all fun and games, the camps prove labor intensive and I must mention would not be possible if not for a superior staff, popular guide Kit Kreick and rubble-rouster and the grill master Alan Guggia; both rare talent and always aim to make it happen. Revealing any more may breach the camp oath, “What happens at shad camps stays at shad camps.” So let some of the 33 yr. memories do the talking.

TRINITY UPDATE (in a nutshell) – Trinity lake is clear and firing off with quality bass fishing early and late. All tributaries have subsided and river mouths (East Fork-Swift Cr.-Stuarts Fork) are all producing a mixed bag of trout and bass (Boats and floating devices recommend for keeping the odds in your favor). Upper headwaters are now fishable for small colorful natives on a variety of high riding dry flies and terrestrials. HWY 3 is now completely open, with no detours or delays, for ALL vehicles including trailer rigs (Boats-Rv’s etc.)—YA-HOOOO!!!!

Sediment plumes, from last winter’s low Trinity lake levels and runoff, are slowly purging therefore Lewiston Lake is taking its time clearing, yet very fishable. Some fish are being caught throughout the lower flats by both bait and fly fishers. Late evening’s midge hatches are providing some surface activity. Future flow reductions will greatly improve conditions. Trinity River flows have dropped, currently 1600cfs. and will drop 100cfs. each day, (holding at 700 cfs. until July 27 and finally drop to 450 cfs. Aug. 2.) TR is still slightly turbid, coastal green color and secondary tributaries have helped to improve clarity. The “Fly Only” Waters are high but fishable along the soft edges; pressure light to non-existent. Spring-summer chinook/steelhead are currently filtering through the system, pods sighted and caught, Burnt Ranch falls up through Del Loma, and should be trickling through the upper river anytime. The entire watershed, head to tail, is slowly blossoming and should ripen within a few more weeks. Get Out There!!!

C- with the shad grab!

C- with the shad grab!