This week I had the opportunity to check off a location on my “wish to fish” list; Putah Creek. This beautiful creek and its feisty trout (browns and bows) are a result of the construction of the Monticello Dam in the 1950’s and stocking by the California Department of Fish and Game in the 1970’s. In the years since then, the trout have reproduced and the creek is now a thriving wild trout fishery. The scenery is abundant with wildlife among green, rolling hills; the water is cold and crisp, staying at a consistent temperature year round as it flows from the bottom of Lake Beryessa. It’s even been the muse for the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Green River.”
A fellow fishing enthusiast, Jordan Romney, who is also a guide for Off the Hook Fly Fishing and Fly Fishing Specialties as well as an active trout conservationist, grew up in Winters and has spent countless days fishing Putah Creek. I’d wanted to fish this area for quite some time, so when he proposed a fishing trip, I jumped at the opportunity to have a local expert show me around. Jordan has an ingenious method to fish the slower moving sections of the river; float tubes. It had been years since I last kicked around in a float tube, and I’d certainly never floated in moving water. It allowed for easier casting: helped reach spots that would normally be out of bounds from the bank: and made it more efficient to cover larger areas quickly. Not to mention it was seriously fun to be out and active on the water. Looks like it’s time to rustle up that old float tube out of storage!
Later, back on land, we waded a couple of other spots on the river. A few large fish were spotted, but before they could be lured in with the small nymphs favored on Putah Creek, a local river otter cruised by and spooked ’em. I was even so lucky as to have a good omen bestowed upon me…. Not a tree in sight overhead and a bird poops on my head. Priceless. It just makes me like the river more.
The fishing that day was slow on account of the fish still acclimating to an increase in flows from the previous day, but it was a great day of fishing (not that I’ve ever had a non-great day of fishing….). I look forward to going back again soon and often. John C. Fogerty’s words have never made more sense. “Well, take me back down where cool water flow…”
For more information about Putah Creek visit: http://www.putahcreektrout.org
*Thanks again Jordan for showing me your home waters!