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Shad Run 2009 – Trip 1

Sacramento River Road 48 Shad FishingIt had been about a month since I last wet a line and even longer than that since I’d busted out a spey rod and the itch was in need of a serious scratching. The time was finally here, it was the middle of May, the shad were in the rivers, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer.

I left the Bay Area at lunchtime on Friday and bee-lined it North. A few hours later I was up to my waist in the river and happily swinging my favorite little spey rod.

The fishing wasn’t what would be considered “red hot” by shad standards but I did get a couple each afternoon which was more than I needed.

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It had been a busy couple of weeks and I was mostly looking forward to just kicking back in the sunshine and taking it easy, which is exactly what I got.

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For those that aren’t familiar with the Northern California shad fishery, it can take a little getting used to. I’ve never been one for “social” fishing and typically avoid a line-up at all costs, but with the right crowd, I make an exception for shad.

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It’s actually kind of nice to be able to step out of the water, and kick back on the tailgate without feeling like you might be missing something.

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If a school of shad come through while your taking a break there are plenty of other lines in the water to let you know it – the waders are already on, so you can just grab your rod, and join the party.

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I also use the “crowd” to help keep my confidence in check. If nobody’s catching anything than there’s a pretty good chance there’s no fish around and therefore no reason whatsoever to change flies, leader lengths, or sink tips. However, if everyone is getting into fish except you…

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I took a little drive down river the second day and was blown away when a plane about took the roof off of my truck off.

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It turned out there was a whole group of guys flying in and camping out.

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