Trinity River fly fishing guide service in Northern California | Trinity Fly Shop
Trinity Fly Shop


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OUR AIM IS TRUE (Last & Final Blog)

Herb and Pat Burton-38 yrs. strong and staying true to course—“Your Local Source!”

It’s been a while and despite any rumors, didn’t hock the shop or become mentally challenged, although some may disagree. We’re still around. In fact Pat and I are stoked to be back in Trinity, running the shop, pumping the oars and recharged after a long needed, off the grid, extended vacation.

For the love, passion & lifetime memories. Take time to teach the next shift How- Why- When and have a fly fishing friend for life.

It’s been a rude awakening, adjusting back to reality and work rhythms, after weeks of no television, computer and limited cell contact; virtually unplugged. So filtering thru e-mails, junk/spam, popups, robo ads and a slew of obnoxious internet investment and website solicitations, I started laughing and thought WTF is everyone inundate? Scary how all this BS and the screen have played into daily strides; makes the old occasional landline misdial or pledge seem so innocent and forgiving.

I do have to mention, we got a chuckle; a particular solicitation evaluated and deemed our business site dated, non-responsive and confusing. Wow how cool we thought, they know us only too well! Maybe our site reflects a faded BW Polaroid. And yes, our logo indicates a lot of fat numbers (est. 1982); we’re beginning our 38th yr. in business. Keep in mind several well established brick-mortar fly shops have closed and our piece of the pie has drastically diminished. Can we get some credit for keeping our heads above water even if we are far from bullet proof? Our time off the grid reminded us our identity, Trinity Fly Shop, and ability to withstand the test of time, at least to date, is not because of screen smear marketing and sales but rather a reflection of simple old school principals; passion, commitment and personalized service, catering to all anglers and skill levels and local knowledge, based upon a lifetime of teaching, guiding and lobbying to protect and effectively manage local fisheries and resources. So heading into the homestretch, sorry folks, we are going to leave glowing, big dollar on line fly fishing marketing and business prospects to the next shift and stay true to the course that successfully got us here.

Russ Chatham always had a way of capturing the moment with the reader right along aside him. Must reads for any fly fisher!

Off the grid also provided time for us to recognize how fly fishing, fly fishers and the industry have changed over the past 20 plus yrs. Mega on-line outlets have sunk many ships and forever changed the fly fishing retail industry. Another major change, we have witnessed an increasing number of anglers, especially beginning fly fishers, simply wanting to cut the fat and throttle straight to catching; using most anything as long as it is tied on a fly line and rod and catches fish. Maybe it is just eagerness, lack of patience, youth or trend, disturbing to witness people fishing $400-600 outfits and haven’t learned to cast 50 ft. Not knocking anyone wanting to catch fish. It is a natural desire and primary objective for many. However, anyone axing the learning curve, throws level of accomplishment out the window and dummies up the sport; limiting fly fishing skills, opportunities and education. Taking time to learn and enjoy how, why and where, (fly casting- presentations- techniques, recognizing water compositions-habitats, fly selection and coordination with specific water compositions, understanding aquatic entomology and hatch matching, fish behavior, lore of waters and stream etiquette) is a wealth of knowledge gained that ultimately helps advance you to become a well-rounded accomplished fly fisher.

Some of the most fun and memorable fly fishing experiences is not measured by how many caught but rather how much fun you had fishing (1990 Cira Dean River Tribe).

Cool to see how some fishing changes have intergraded with electronics. Hard copy maps are all but out and the ability to google map and gps specific target waters is awesome and very convenient. Cell phone orders, late night traveling or visiting anglers needing flies or misc. tackle goods, are definitely increasing. My personal favorite is cell orders, straight from the water, anglers fighting fish or honkers going off in the background. I just have to laugh and shake my head and remember it is one of the many advantages Trinity Fly Shop being your local source! Anyone have a line on wilderness drown operators and delivery service?

Not surprising, blogs seem to be on the way out; replaced by streamlined abbreviated script, delivering up-to-the minute reporting, often supporting mug shots for proof and hype. At a glance updated “word” for those on the run.

The past has clearly revealed fly fishing is constantly changing and evolving new directions. Like it or not makes no difference, a sign of the times and next shift. On that note, most everything eventually comes to an end, so after 38 years of delivering the local word, the time has come for me to step aside and leave the tweets, text and social media to the next shift. It’s time, besides the last thing I want to do is bore you writing about the good old days while exiting the back door. It has been a great ride and for those who actually followed Anglers Update or Currents (my blog) I appreciate you putting up with my jabber. Believe it or not, I have always tried to deliver something you could chew to help you and your friends score fun and success. I thank you.

Casting one more for the Gipper & You

Late winter TR steelhead on a dry fly is an accomplishment of a lifetime!

Zero rainfall for the entire month of Feb and unseasonably warm temperatures have got most everything I can think of, or you can image, confused and out of sync; including me. Icing down the beer in Feb? Remarkably late season steelhead fishing on the TR is still happening; just way different and ideal for low water wizards. The TR, as you might imagine, is low glassy, fish spooky yet bug hatches well ahead of schedule and inspiring some unique big fish small fly opportunities for those willing to lay down the big sticks and target mid-day hatches with their trout 5-6wt rods and dry flies.

Although far and few between, TR lock-levens occasionally enter the feeding lanes and test your light tippit talents.

Callibaetis mayflies, Hydropsyche caddis, Calineuria stoneflys and critters I’ve yet to identify are main order on the menus. (Compara-duns- Pullovers- Punk Rockers-Compara-nymphs- Elkhair caddis-T-Bones-Mr. Beams) will do the job when fished on 4-5 X tippits, long leaders and spring creek approach. Remember one cast, at the right time, is better than 10 hacks. These fish are steelhead and spook at a loud fart! Hatch times vary with daytime temps, however 12-4pm seems to be the witching hr. with good burps of bugs, or left overs, going right till dark. Of course, all weather dictating bug hatch durations and feeding activity. Far from what one would imagine this time of year. So no sniveling, this is what is currently being served. Those dialing in and getting with the program are scoring on some rare opportunities. Desiring to test your mid-winter dry fly skills and talents— Look no further!

We’re here for the long double haul, so keep in mind there is always somebody in the Trinity Fly Shop available to help, answer your questions and even take on- the-water cell orders. Feel free to contact (530-623- 6757 or anytime for current up to date fishing information, conditions, guide service, casting lessons, flies-fly tackle selections, fly tying inquiries or to simply chew the fat. Stay Stoked and Solid Grabs-Herb

Russell Chatham was my mentor through the early 70’s. I was fortunate our paths crossed a few times, mostly on the river. He passed last Nov. 2019-Gone but will never be forgotten. I am grateful for all he has given us. Russ Chatham & motley shad crew living it up on one of his favorite fisheries—the Yuba River.

  • 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!