Leland fly

For all things fly fishing... and Maybe a Little More

Two Handed or “Spey” Casting Tips – Video

Have you picked up a two handed fly rod or commonly called a spey rod and confused about how to use it correctly and efficiently? These few tips might just help you.

Remember, a fly rod is simply an amplifier. A longer, two handed fly rod is just a larger amplifier to make casting with little back-cast room easier. They are also great for casting sink tips and weighted flies. The principles of casting remain the same. Remove slack > “Pull” Rod > Stop Tip. However, many who pick up these longer rods quickly start to develop bad habits due to the size and nature of the rods and their grip. Although the cork grips are long and ask for a 10 fingered baseball grip, forget about that! They are just designed for different arm lengths and grip positions. You want to place the rod in your hands lightly, even at your fingers. If you golf, you know what we mean. This way you’re free to move the rod freely and it can pivot any direction. Hold it just enough so that it doesn’t drop or slide through your hands. Finally, consider your top hand your pivot hand, it stays put. This is the fulcrum in which the rod moves about from and your bottom hand is the one in control (forward, back, left, right, etc). Remember, a little movement down low on the rod = big movement at the tip. Think of your top hand as the center of a teeter-toter. It stays put while the rider moves up and down only that this is a teeter-toter that’s a little offset and your bottom hand is one rider and the tip of the rod is the other rider.

If you have any questions we’re here to help. Want a video made based on your question? Just ask.

Leland Emerger Kids Rod… Not Just for Kids

Look closely for the bright blue rod. Yup, that’s our Leland Rod Co. Emerger Series 7′ 9″ 4-weight handling big wild rainbows in Alaska. This video is brought to you by a good friend of ours, Ben Paul who co-owns OPST. Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics. Him and his crew create specialty steelhead products for the avid angler and fly tyer.

Northern California Fishing Report 9/20/2015

This informative fishing report it brought to you by NorCal Fly Guides and Brian Clemens the owner / operater. Brian is a reputable Northern California guide who prides himself on educating while on the river along with having good times with his clients that keep coming back for the knowledge, fishing quality and skills.
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Hey Folks,


With the weather cooling it has brought a crispness in the early morning air that only means one thing, fall is just around the corner. With that comes some great fishing. Right now fishing is pretty consistent, and just around the corner its going to be great.


October 2015 Fishing Report:


Feather River: This is where I am spending the majority of my time right now, and that will continue till May/June 2016
Despite the hype, the Feather is fishing pretty good right now. Over the past week or so the amount of steelhead in the system has increased to the point of targeting them all day long. Now by no means is it a walk in the park or a home run, you still have to put in some good drifts and have the right flys on, but with a bit of work on both our ends, you can definitely have a fun day sticking a good number of steelhead. The chrome domes range from 12″ to 26″, but the average is 16-22″, and full of steelhead spunk as the Feather steelhead are known for. We hooked one the other day that put us into our backing within seconds. Right now there is very few people fishing the Feather, but that will change in a few weeks when the egg bite really turns on. Looking to experience steelhead fishing at its finest, look no further than now as well as October to November during the egg bite. I still have a few prime dates left in both months.
Nymphs: Eggs, Caddis, Mayflies
Swinging: Egg Sucking Leech, tan soft hackles
Guides Tip: I like swinging a soft hackle egg pattern


Yuba River: Im still doing a few trips here and there and that will continue until the Egg Bite is over
The Yuba took a little hit to the fishing with the last drop in flows, dropping from 650cfs to 500cfs. The con to this is the water is much lower, and the fish are a bit more skittish, but if you can work a run well with both dries and nymphs you will stick some nice fish. The pro to this is the water is so low, its keeping most of the hard boats off the river due to the boats really getting beat up, another reason why the new NRS Freestone Drifter comes in handy. The morning is a bit slow, but the fishing definitely picks up throughout the day. The salmon are slowly trickling in, and in due time the egg bite will be in full swing, Im guessing a few more weeks. Once that happens its lights out on the Yuba, big fish love the eggs, be ready, they pull super hard. If the waters stay low, I dont think there will be much boat traffic, but the wading traffic will be crazy, so get there early and fish it hard, expect to walk a lot to find open water. Again, still a few prime dates available to experience the egg bite on the Yuba River between October and November.
Nymphs: Eggs, Legs, Caddis, Mayflies, PTs
Swinging: Tan soft hackles
Guides Tip: 5x even 6x and cover water, most fish are holding in the faster oxygenated water.


Trinity River: Been doing a trip here and a trip there, and its really good, and only gonna get better
Not to many people know about the summer run on the Trinity, and not to many people fish it, and when they do it stays hush hush, cuz its that good. Hooking 15-20 steelhead a day is not uncommon, most will be 12-18″ half pounders with a healthy handfull being some really nice 18-26″ adults. There are some bigger fish in the system too, but a bit harder to come by as they are more spread out. Did I mention the brown trout, oh ya, they are super active as well, taking almost everything thrown at them. Swinging is epic this time of year, being able to swing up multiple fish on a daily basis is the way to go in my book. What I have noticed when swinging this time of year, is the fish you do hook are going to be adults 90% of the time, those bigger fish love swung flies. Of course nymphing will always be the numbers producer, from the half pounders to the adult steelhead as well as the burly browns that the Trinity has to offer, nymphing will hook um all. Now is the time to be up there as the crowds are at a minimum, come October as well as the egg bite, it will get much busier, but there will also be more bigger fish to hook. Get up there and fish is all I can say. My October dates on the Trinity are fully booked up, however I still have a few November dates available if you are looking to experience one of my favorite steelhead rivers in Nor Cal.
Nymphs: Eggs, Legs, Copper Johns, Caddis, Mayflies, Psycho Princes
Swinging: Anything purple, anything black, slim profile
Guides Tip: Swinging a muddler in the evening can really rock the bigger fish in the tailouts, give an October caddis spey pattern a try as well.


Lower Sac: Havent touched the Lower Sac in a while, but many trips over the next few months
The Lower Sac is on fire, plan and simple. The boat hatches arent prolific yet, so nows the time to fish it. Once the egg bite happens, the crowds will happen as well. The big fish are out and giving many bent rods, hooking them isnt the issue, landing them is, super hot big Lower Sac bows are one mean species, one second you think you have um, the next second you are left with no flies and a big ? over your head. Its hard to beat the Lower Sac right now for quality and quantity, and personally I dont think it will get any better than right now, even with the egg bite just around the corner. Want to experience one of the best trout fisheries on the west coast, look no further than the Lower Sac right now. With that, I still have a few prime dates left in October and November for the egg bite.
Nymphs: Legs, Caddis, Mayflies, Caddis, Caddis, Caddis
Swinging: Anything soft hackle caddis imitations
Guides Tip: Get up there now!!!!!!!


Putah Creek: Done a half day here half day there
The creek is being a bit of a sleeper right now, meaning its fishing really well, and no one knows it, until now. Flows are slowly dropping, the bigger fish are on the move and gorging themselves to get ready for the up and coming spawning season. Most know about the fire out there, yes it burned a lot of the area around the creek, but nothing happened to the creek itself, it actually helped with getting around on the creek, no more berry bushes. So despite the fire, the creek is on fire. It will only get better from now till the beginning of the spawn. And with that, I will only be guiding the creek up until November 1st, I will then be off the creek until February 1st, the reason for this is to let the Putah Creek trout spawn in peace, and to be honest, Id rather be chasing chrome domes during that time frame anyways.
Nymphs: sz18-24s, midges, caddis, mayflies
Swinging: any sz14-18 soft hackles
Guides Tip: Get out and enjoy the great fishing on Putah Creek right now. But please, do not fish the creek from Nov 1 to Feb 1. These fish are extremely stressed during this time of year, and combine that with low flows, poor spawning habitat, and anglers fishing to them, its extremely stressful on the fish. And I know we all want them to spawning successfully, so instead go chase those elusive steelhead.


American River: Havent bothered since the last drop in flows
Flowing at 800cfs, and with the water temps in the mid 60’s up at Sailor Bar, its really making for tough fishing conditions. Doesnt mean you cant get out there and hook some fish, but its just tough out there right now, and other rivers are fishing much better. Look for this place to pick up towards the end of October, beginning of November with the egg bite and the fall/winter steelhead start coming in. Then come Jan 1, its on for those big American River Steelhead that everyone wants to hook into. If you are interested in booking a trip for the American River, look to do so after Jan 1st, for now, fish the other rivers for better success.
There you have it folks, the early fall fishing report. Looking to get out, nows the time to hit the water, or book your next guided fly fishing trip/s. The egg bite is here, and the winter fishing is just around the corner, if you are looking to book, don’t wait, dates are filling up, and once again I have been booked up close to 45 days out.


My Current Available Dates
October 1,4,8,9,15
November 6,10,12,13,16,17,29,30
December 1-7,9-15,26-31


Please inquire on available dates for 2016.
Also due to the addition of a second guide, additional dates may be available. Please inquire if none of the dates above work for you.


My Trinity River Available Dates
November 18,19,23,24,25
December 16,18,19,20,21,22,23
January 10,11,12,13,16,17
February 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13
March 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13,14


Additional Trinity River dates may be available upon specific requests. Also, due to the addition of a second guide, these dates can be available for local waters. Please inquire if you are interested in booking any of these dates on local waters.


Once again, there is the current fishing report as well as my available dates. I hope you enjoyed it and it gets you fired up to get out and fish now, but also stoked for the up and coming fall/early winter season. Also as you can see, I do not have many prime dates left in October and November for the “Egg Bite”, if your looking to get out, snag those date/s now. Looking to chase those Winter Steelhead, I would still look into booking those date/s now as they will fill up just as fast.


If you have any questions at anytime, please feel free to call or email, I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.
Looking forward to seeing you on the water soon 

Brian W. Clemens

Friday – What’s on Tap

We love California beers. The Leland Ranch happens to be near some of our favorites. Russian River Brewery Pliny the Elder, Lagunitas IPA and Bear Republic Racer 5 all come to mind and you’ll often find in our mini fridge for an after work thirst quencher. Well for those in the know another favorite is making its way to California and Nevada. It’s Founder’s Brewing Company out of Michigan, another fishy and equally beer filled state. Learn more about them in this short flick and keep an eye out for a sixer at your local beer store.

If you’re into beer and looking for something fun to do in the Marin, Sonoma area check our North Bay Brewery Tours for a fun, safe and informative experience.


Learn to Fly Cast – The Leland Method

1. Remove fly line slack.     2. Using the rod, “pull” the line.     3. Stop the rod.

To truly understand what is fly fishing, you need to know that the defining attribute of fly fishing is the unique way we deliver our lure, commonly referred to as a fly. This action is called fly casting. Unlike other fishing casts, where the weight of the lure or bait carries the fishing line, fly casting relies on the mass of a thicker, heavier fly line to carry and deliver our near weightless fly.

The primary benefit of fly fishing is the ability to deliver a fly (lure) to a fish without making a splash on the water. This comes in handy when fishing for nervous trout in clear water. Although fly casting is very different from other forms of fishing, approached correctly…fly casting is actually quite easy to learn.
Even if you’re already an accomplished conventional (spinning or casting rod) angler, it’s a great idea to spend some time learning the basics of a fly cast. Once understood, and with just a bit of correct fly casting practice, you’ll arrive stream-side ready to focus more on catching than casting.

The basic goal of any fly cast is to tell your weighted fly line where you want it to go. Wherever your fly line goes, so too will your fly. Once you gain control over your fly line, the rest is just fishing. The Leland Casting Method is our proven approach to get just about anyone efficiently moving fly line in no time.


Make Your Fly Fishing Photos Pop With This ONE Tip

We can’t take credit for this one, it all goes to Val Atkinson, world Renowned photographer who we have the pleasure of working with here at Leland.

What’s the ONE tip? We’ll let you try and answer that one by looking at these photos. Don’t worry, if you can’t tell the answer is below.

_DSC6970-102-XL _DSC2372-108-25-XL _DSC5981-90-XL #14 copy-40 _DSC9276-51-40-XL IMG_0084-37-13-XL _-125-XL _DSC7553-26-23-XL _DSC8235-77-67-XL _DSC1432-11-262-XL _-169-XL _-192-XL _-91-XL

RED. That’s the ONE tip. Wear red and it will make you photos pop! Remember, nature is beautiful and full of color but often times all of the colors blend into one so seamlessly it’s easy to lose your subject but by wearing red you can’t miss it. This is the same principle behind cops always pulling over the red car…

Can’t find something red? Pick up your Val Atkinson Edition Red Leland Cap here

Leland Sonoma Hat Red

Here’s a nice video on Why Fly Fishing from our friend Val at the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco.

Eel River Steelhead Fishing – Northern California

If you have 12 minutes and have fished for steelhead or want to see what it’s like you’ll enjoy this short film from our friends at California Trout. If you’re new to fly fishing we suggest starting your journey targeting trout, panfish or bass but if you live near steelhead rivers and want to learn more about pursuing these fish just let us know. If your timing is right during the run catching these fish can be quite easy on a fly rod.

noun: steelhead; plural noun: steelheads; noun: steelhead trout; plural noun: steelhead trout
  1. a rainbow trout of a large migratory variety.


Eel River Steelhead – The Eel River is known for it’s big steelhead and emerald green waters surrounded by Redwood Forests.

Eel Steelhead

A Catch & Release Refresher Course

If you’ve been fly fishing for a while you may already know how to handle a trout to safely release it back into the wild. If you’re new to fishing this is info may not always passed on correctly by friends and family that may have gotten you into the sport.  Things such as a landing net, thermometer and a little education will ensure there’s a trout for someone to catch in the future, that someone may be you or maybe your kids. This is especially import during the 2015 drought we’re encountering in the Western States of North America. Here’s a short and informative video on all the events you will encounter once you have hooked a fish.

3 Tips on Fly Fishing During a Drought Period

  1. Fish early and late in the day while the water temps are lower. Our advice, get up while it’s still dark and start fishing at first light. By noon you’ll have already spent a half day on the water and spend the afternoon exploring, maybe sipping a few cold ones or go for a swim and relax.
  2. If the water temp reaches 68 degrees (20* C), it’s time so get off the water and now is maybe the time for a thermometer.
  3. Play fish quickly. You may risk breaking off but that’s okay. It’s earning the fish that counts. Also, use a thicker diameter or higher pond test leader say 4x our personal favorite for a wide range of flies yet you can still fool the fish. A landing net can really speed up the process and ensure a safe release.

Although trout are king in our book, targeting them represents fly fishing to us but you may want to consider going after a new species if the rivers around you are too warm. Bluegill and bass are found throughout North America and a few hours catching panfish may be just what you need. These are what we call warmwater species and are much more resilient to warm water.

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