Winter storms may dash my East Fork trout fishing dreams but cleansing rains have always raised my hopes that the coming Spring will bring nutrient filled freshwater, forcing my favorite fish to charge out of their winter keeps and strike my flies.
But 2015 might be different than other years. Debris and mud slides in the San Gabriel East Fork drainage area could throw cold water on my hopes for catching a monster red sided rainbow headed up stream to make more trouties.
Two of my fellow E.F. fishermen are reporting dead trout in the eddies of the upper East Fork. But fast flowing cold waters in the coming months will freshen this Los Angeles County fishery.
Stuffing a couple of fat San Gabriel River ‘Bows in the creel sometimes takes planning. And rather than make five or six fordings through snow melt on the upper East Fork, I’m going to try starting down canyon in 2015, which is why I’ll be whipping a 4x tippet and #14 fly into the confluence of the East and West Forks and the San Gabriel Dam as soon as the water clears.
i’ve always had good luck fishing the join of the East and West Fork upstream from the San Gabriel Dam.
One of the lessons I learned from my grandfather Bill Sele was to place close attention to natural baits in the water and select a fly that resembles them. that's why I use a nymph or a ROyal Coachman on small hooks for Spring trout fishing. but when that doesn’t work, I float an unweighted salmon egg downstream into deeper waters.
Over the years, Its been a strategy that puts trout into my creel while providing a couple of hours of recreation in my happy place, the East Fork of the San Gabriel River.
As an Azusa boy, I’ve never felt the need to drive eight hours up to the Owens Valley for cheek by jowl combat opening day fishing in the Sierra. All I've had to do is check to make sure I Have a couple of flies in my wallet and several packs of tippets, plus my fishing license and a day use pass for the Angeles National Forest, And if the fish aren’t biting, I have plenty of time to poke around the canyons looking for Gold Rush era artifacts.--Jim Forbes on 12/21/2014.