Podcast: Local Guide Secrets for California Steelhead and Trout with John Rickard

This week’s podcast features John Rickard, an Orvis-Endorsed Guide with Wild Waters Fly Fishing in Mt. Shasta, California. Our main topic is winter steelhead in California, but John also gives us some helpful insights on California trout fishing, as well. In The Fly Box, we ramble through topics like when to anchor a drift boat and when to keep moving, packing your gear for trips, weighting flies, Softex vs. epoxy, the difference between switch rods and long single-handed rods, and the importance of white nymphs. We also get a stern warning on road-killed songbird feathers. (Spoiler: even possessing them is a federal felony. Yikes!)

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John Rickard hoists a North Coast steelhead.
Photo via facebook

2 thoughts on “Podcast: Local Guide Secrets for California Steelhead and Trout with John Rickard”

  1. In re Paul and his Alaskan backpack trip:

    For the grayling, I’d recommend a Tenkara rod. Yes, you can land large fish on a tenkara rod. The big advantage for backpacking of a tenkara rod is its small collapsed size abd lack of a reel (huge weight savings there!). Orvis carries TenkaraUSA rods, and of those I recommend the Amago. If you’re concerned about the size of fish, the Japanese market has rods specifically designed for larger fish. Of those, the Nissin Zerosum Oni Honryu 395 or 450 would be ideal rods, they could probably even handle most of the char you might catch, with the possible exception of true 10+ lb bruisers, as they are rated for 3x tippet instead of the usual 5x or 4x for most tenkara rods. These rods are now widely available in the US via several vendors. Just google the name of the rod.

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