Klamath Dam Removal Deal Back on Track!

On the afternoon of November 17th, an agreement was made regarding the Klamath dam removal.

New Deal Brokered to Remove Klamath Dams | News Blog
The Irongate Dam on the Klamath, Photo Courtesy of Thomas Dunklin

For background information on the dam removal, click here for our last blog post on it. Otherwise, continue reading!

A deal had already been struck between PacifiCorp and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), but a major roadblock hit when the courts agreed to let KRRC remove the dams provided that PacifiCorp would stay partially responsible for any mishaps during demolition.

Luckily, the deal has been resealed. The states of California and Oregon, Yurok and Karuk tribes, PacifiCorp, Berkshire Hathaway, and the KRRC agreed to ensure that the dam deconstruction begins in 2022. This new agreement puts the necessary deconstruction back on track, and anglers are optimistic that it will largely benefit the diminishing salmon runs on the Klamath.

The Klamath, with its six dams that prohibit salmon and steelhead runs from reaching its upper basin, is going to be restored. America’s largest-ever dam removal project will be completed, and the dwindling Klamath salmon runs and entire river ecosystem will have the opportunity for recovery.

A big thank you to all those who participated in advocating for this removal project!

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

Truckee River/Lake Tahoe Area Fly Fishing Report, 11.16.20

The past week has brought the Tahoe Basin its first snow of the season, and the weather’s getting colder! Our small winter stormfront has cooled things down significantly the past two weeks. Water temperatures have been in the low 40s and as high as the low 50s on a warmer day. Daytime temperatures have been averaging around 50 degrees, and nights have been no more than freezing.

Flows: cubic feet per second (cfs)

Tahoe City to Truckee: 75

Truckee to Boca: 147

Boca to Farad: 225

Farad to Stateline: 266

The colder temperatures may scare away some anglers, but the fish are used to it! The Truckee is on her regular schedule of producing solid fish for those who put their time in with the right gear. Our guides have been getting fish on indicator nymphing rigs, with smaller than usual flies. We recommend resorting to the usual winter flies that we put in the category of TBS: tiny black sh*t.

TBS means smaller, darker flies, often with a slimmer presentation in the water. Baetis and midges in sizes 18-22 are going to be the fish’s most reliable food source.

Because of the colder temps and smaller flies, fish won’t be as willing to move for your flies. This means you’ll want to put in extra time to really pick apart spots on the river. Just a one foot difference in casting length can be the difference between a fish and striking out. On slow days, downsizing tippet is never a bad idea.

Tight lines everyone!

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

Truckee River/Lake Tahoe Area Fly Fishing Report, 11.04.20

Fall has been in the air, and with the lack of our first snow it still is!

After a few days of chilly weather, daytime temperatures are up as high as the 70s again, with nights averaging the high 20s to low 30s for this week. Water temps have been staying well in the safe zone for our scaly friends.

Flows: (measured in cubic feet per second)

Tahoe City to Truckee: 76

Truckee to Boca: 95

Boca to Farad: 215

Farad to Stateline: 254

Fishing has been great lately on the Truckee! With lower water temperatures, expect fish to be keyed in on smaller bugs, but October caddis are also popular on the menu.

October Caddis, photo courtesy of Matt Heron

Midges and baetis are quickly becoming their main food source. Keep in mind that this means fish won’t move very far for a fly! So, pick apart your runs with more thoroughness than usual. Just a foot further cast could be the difference between a hooking a fish and striking out.

Stud rainbow, photo courtesy of Matt Heron
Photo courtesy of Matt Heron

Conservation note: Trash is everywhere! It only takes a few seconds to make the river or lake a cleaner place. Do your part and pack it out!

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

A 2020 Thank You and Two Amazing Awards!

What an odd and unfortunate year 2020 has been for many people around the world. Like all guides and outfitters around the country, it was all doom and gloom this spring. After getting two months of cancelations nearly overnight, many thought that was a wrap for any kind of normalcy for the rest of the year. 

Thankfully that couldn’t have been any further from the truth!

If we learned one thing this past season, it’s that the need for people to get outside is still strong as ever. 

As many of you know we fish year round, however our with out busy season in the rearview mirror it’s hard to not look back at what a crazy season it was. 

Not only was it our biggest year ever, we were we the recipients of two amazing awards this season that we couldn’t be more grateful for. 

This past year we were lucky enough to head home with Trip Advisors Travelers Choice Award, given only to the top 10% of attractions world wide.

As well as winning the coveted Best of North Lake Tahoe & Truckee award for top Fishing Charter/Guide.

We take these honors very seriously and know how hard our guides, instructors and the one and only Lulana Heron, Office Manager, work to make these kinds of things possible. 

And on behalf of the entire crew at MHFF, a HUGE thank you to all of you, the best group of guests any outfitter could possibly have! I can’t tell you how much it means to all of us that each and everyone of you allow us to do what we loving for a living.

Thank you,
Matt and Lulana

What’s up? New posts and Fishing Reports?!

In the last decade and a half, there’s one thing we’ve been awful at, blog posts and more importantly, fishing reports.

Finally that time as come to an end!

If you haven’t noticed lately, we’ve been turning out more blog posts and fishing reports than ever before.

Well, not so much “we”…

We’ve added long time intern and Truckee local, Ryan Rintala (@onthefly_ry) to our team to assist with consistent blog posts and fishing reports every two weeks.

Welcome to the team Ryan, and keep up the great work!

-Matt

Ryan chasing trout around the Rockies this summer!

Undam the Klamath: An Overdue Dam Removal and the Future of Klamath River Salmon

The Klamath River flows from Klamath Lake in Oregon over 250 miles down to the Pacific Ocean on Northern California’s coast that many call “the spit.” The river is best known for its salmon and steelhead runs.

Klamath river king, photo by Kenny Priest

PacifiCorp owns four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, and we know from experience that spawning fish and dams don’t coexist well. The condition of the river since the installation of these dams(from 1908 to 1962) has only gone downhill, evident by the diminishing fish runs and decreasing water quality.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation(KRRC) is in an agreement to take ownership of PacifiCorp’s four Klamath dams, but they won’t stop there. They have plans set to remove these four furthest downstream dams and restore the river area. This will provide more river for steelhead and salmon to spawn in. This is the “largest dam removal and salmon restoration effort in U.S history,” according to the KRRC.

Plan Released for Klamath River Dam Removal | American Rivers
J.C Boyle dam, photo courtesy of American Rivers

The organization recognizes that this restoration won’t make any instantaneous improvement but is a necessary step in reversing the path that Klamath salmon are currently on: extinction.

The removal will be a potentially expensive one for PacifiCorp, but they have agreed to make a donation of sorts in order to remove any liability or unexpected costs for them. Their “donation” was contributing 250 million dollars to the dam removal.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the hydroelectric license transfer from PacifiCorp to KRRC, under the conflicting condition that PacifiCorp remain a co-licensee throughout the removal process.

FERC’s decision could sink the entire deal, which would be devastating for Klamath salmon, the Native American tribes that depend on the seasonal fish runs as a food source, and the sportsman who depend on these fish to make a living.

To save Klamath River salmon, shut down the hatcheries - Los Angeles Times
View from the top, Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times

The good news is that tribes and environmentalists continue to stay positive about the outcome of this deal. They believe it’s probable that KRRC will carry out the entire removal and restoration without PacifiCorp’s involvement.

Only time will tell if PacifiCorp and KRRC’s agreement will hold true. With luck, the Klamath will have four less dams by fall of 2021 and salmon will have a huge increase in spawning grounds. This dam removal and restoration effort is ambitious but realistic, and will give us a better chance at recovering the populations of anadromous fish on the Klamath River.

Find out how you can help in the effort to #undamtheklamath at this link.

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

Spotlight: Cooking up Fish with Teddy Cosco.

British Columbia is famous for its beautiful scenery. One can find oneself feeling at home in the province’s unique mix of high alpine lakes and anadromous rivers surrounded by forests. Even in Vancouver, the province’s largest city, you can find the scenery switch from urban streets and multistory buildings to towering trees and coldwater rivers within a twenty minute drive.

Photo Courtesy of Teddy Cosco

When he’s not working as a university professor in Vancouver, Teddy Cosco can be found somewhere in British Columbia’s wide expanse of public lands and provincial parks.

Growing up in Whitehorse, Yukon, Teddy spent his childhood fishing with his two younger brothers. On his family-owned-and-operated hunting outfit, young Teddy had a fly fisherman’s heaven for a backyard. He attended Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and although he was receiving an excellent education, he fell out of fly fishing.

“The fishing scene’s just different in the U.K,” Cosco explains. “You pay over a hundred dollars to have your own reserved spot on the river, and it’s usually not that much water to cover.”

During his spare time, what he did do more of was hunting. Cosco hunted frequently and would cook his kills. This is when he began experimenting with recipes.

Photo Courtesy of Teddy Cosco

After graduating from Oxford, he settled in Vancouver. He talks about how he fishes for all five species of salmon, steelhead, cutthroats and rainbow trout. His stories are descriptive, each one unique. He explains that his favorite fish to target is the winter-run steelhead, and as he talks about it I envision the rivers the steelhead frequent; miles of forests, moving water and the occasional angler performing a two-handed cast over and over again until they find themselves a steelhead.

“My wife is a vegetarian so she doesn’t eat the animals I bring home.” They found common ground in their weekend bike rides and backpacking trips, which allowed Teddy to continue his fishing. “We always prepare food that can be its own meal without the fish. That way we don’t depend on catching what we eat.”

Cosco elaborates on why this idea is crucial to the success of their weekend trips: “One time in the spring, we hiked around 700 meters up in elevation to find this backcountry lake and when we got there it was still frozen over, so it’s really nice to have a backup meal plan.”

Pesto Pasta with Pan Fried Trout, Photo Courtesy of Teddy Cosco

Cosco’s adventures have been shared with the world on his Instagram platform @castandiron, and have been for just over a year. His trips are impressive and may inspire some to get more creative with their camp cooking, as well as with their travels.

You’re living the dream Teddy!

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

Read: Chris Dorsey’s $70,000 Fish

Chris Dorsey is an avid outdoorsman and fly fishing is one of his many recreational activities. In an article he wrote for Forbes, he describes his experience targeting bonefish on the fly rod. So why a $70,000 fish? Read more about these saltwater flats fish at his article here.

Man fishing
Photo courtesy of John MacGillivray

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing

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