Rain leaves LA River blown out

A mere three-quarters of an inch of rain left the river blown out today. (Jim Burns)

A mere three-quarters of an inch of rain left the river blown out today. (Jim Burns)

UPDATE Roderick Spilman says:
November 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm Edit
Well, we went to test things out … not great. I hooked three small bass. One was 10-to-11 inches. Julia caught one tilapia, and my wife got skunked. There were a few fish jumping here and there. We also saw a dead largemouth that was around 3-to-4 pounds. There are fish around, but they’re not feeding actively.

If you were like many Angelinos, the whooping and hollerin’ erupted Halloween eve, as the area got three-quarters of an inch of rain. Didn’t seem like much, but after our dreadful drought, it was like gold falling from heaven. But for river fly fishers, the blow out was real today.

Will and I walked four of our favorites spots, all around Atwater, and didn’t get a strike. If you follow this blog, you know that as recently as last week, 50-plus takes were reported. And I received an email over the weekend saying that Friday a guest contributor caught four largemouth bass.

Aside from the dearth of fish remember that our river changes so much from rain, it’s pretty incredible. Where once there was a smooth eddy, now there is sand; where that sweet carp holding water was last week, this week just a wrecked tricycle appears in the water.

Of course, the river and its creatures will return, but I do wonder about all the tilapia, bass, green sunfish — in other words, all the fun game fish we’ve been catching. Will they be able to withstand what most surely is coming, the rain of a mild El Nino? The carp can withstand just about anything. They come back for the spring spawn in large numbers, year after year.

So, if you are a river planner, what does this pattern tell you? Pretty much, recreational fly fishers want safe havens for the fish so that their habitats aren’t ruined and they are still where fish stalkers expect them to be.

And just as a reminder: stay out of the river when it rains. Don’t get caught in sudden water that could cost you a real lickin’ or worse.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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7 thoughts on “Rain leaves LA River blown out

  1. That’s too bad for your river. I may say though that essentially a canal fed by storm drains has no other option. I would guess that all those species will return but that your needed rain will always, or nearly so, be a catch 22.

    Gregg

  2. Thanks for the update. My family is going fly-fishing tomorrow, so we’ll see if we have any luck. The past few weeks before the rain have indeed been a lot of fun.

  3. Well, we went to test things out…not great. I hooked three small bass. One was ten to eleven inches. Julia caught one tilapia, and my wife got skunked. There were a few fish jumping here and there. We also saw a dead largemouth that was around three to four pounds. There are fish around, but they’re not feeding actively.

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