Event Description: Mokelumne River Steelhead day trip, "Tag Along" with Martin Plotkin
A New Year Mokelumne River fishing day trip will be scheduled for early to mid January, depending upon weather and water flows. This trip will be updated and all registrants advised of conditions when they are available. We will plan to leave the Tri-Valley around 7am returning about 8pm with a stop for dinner along the way. If weather becomes a problem we will reschedule for the next break in the weather.
Last year the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery, operated by CDFW, reported some of the best steelhead runs on record, with 983 fish, including 489 adults 18 inches or over. It’s been reported that most fish hooked were in the 18 to 20-inch class. The top fly patterns are those that imitate salmon fry emerging from the gravel. The two major public fishing accesses are at the hatchery and Stillman Magee Park near Clements.
Anglers will have the choice of wading the area from below the hatchery for a half-mile to below the Molkelumne River Day Use Area, or floating from the Day Use Area down-stream about 4 miles to the Stillman Magee Park outside of Clements. Those wishing to float should have a drift boat, fishing raft or row-able pontoon. For typical water flows there are two areas that need to be rowed. During typical flows the river is an easy drift for anyone with some experience. I’ve heard the river described as a Class ½ maybe. It is a very picturesque drift with lots of wildlife and birds.
Registration is available on the website and please register depending on whether you will be wading or floating so that we can set up buddy teams for pickup.
Typical setups include 6-8 weight rods, although 7’s are generally the best due to the current flow and strength of the fresh fish in the system. Flies will vary but can include eggs, mayfly nymphs, alevins, leeches, and various other streamers.
This is a "Tag Along" trip with no cost nor Fishmeister services.
Fishmeister: Martin Plotkin
Accommodations and Food:
Each angler should bring their own lunch and drinks for the day. Members and guests are responsible for their own transportation costs as well.
Gear and Tackle Recommendations:
Rod & line weights/types: 6-8 wt traditional fly rods & reels (or spey). Floating or intermediate/sinking lines.
Leaders and tippet: Usually short tippets no 1-3X of 4-6' are used. The fish are not leader shy this early in the run so it is more about your ability to hold a fish in a quick downstream run.
Other gear: Standard waders, usually with spikes to navigate the gravel bars, and normal fishing wear including warm clothes (layers). Hat. Waterproof jackets. Dress for wet and/or dry weather, air temps. 25-55 degrees. You know, typical Steelhead weather.
Flies: Flies will vary but can include eggs, mayfly nymphs, alevins, leeches, and various other streamers. Last year there we noticed that there was a bit of surface activity and fish feeding and jumping and it is known that they can also be caught on early season dry flies if you are so inclined (which must be quite a hoot).