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Fall 2020 High Sierra Camping and Fly Fishing. Coming soon...A big dose of social distancing in the John Muir Wilderness in pursuit of healthy California Goldens.

July 2020 McCloud River Redband Trout photographed underwater. A blown opportunity for the Wintun Tribe, Livingston Stone and a fish called Mykiss Stonei

Spring 2020 Surf Rat Fly Pattern on Reel When fly fishing for surf perch - ORANGE is the new Black.

March 2020 Fishing Pyramid Lake Nevada 2020 Smaller numbers and Bigger fish appear to be the new normal for Pyramid Lake in 2020.

February 2020 Fisheries Magazine February 2020 I'm extremely honored to have the American Fisheries Society publish my photograph of a Lahontan Cutthroat on their February 2020 issue of Fisheries Magazine!

January 2020 Southwest January February 2020 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my EXPOSURE on fly fishing for Pyramid Lake's Lahontans in the January/February 2020 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing.

December 21, 2019 Restoration Creek A different kind of restoration story for the Holiday. Hope you enjoy and have a safe and Mer ry Christmas!

December 14, 2019 Fly fishing the Lower Feather River The Low Flow Section of the Feather River has been changed by a long history of gold mining, a huge flood surge in recent years, and a massive earthen dam. Inspite of this, the steelhead fishing goes on strong.

October 17, 2019 Yellowstone River flows through Native Cutthroat Country Yellowstone Cutt Country is the homeland to it's namesake trout, and a country under siege.

September 1, 2019 Rainbow Trout of Yosemite's Dorothy Lake The NORTH is by far the most remote and wild of Yosemite's Kingdoms.

July 10, 2019 NOAA Fisheries As part of NOAA Fisheries Species in the Spotlight, I've contributed photography to their effort to raise awareness of California's Central Coast Coho.

May / June 2019 Southwest May June 2019 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my native cutthroat photography in the Exposure Section of the May / June 2019 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

May 26, 2019 Mister Pink Salmon Why Mr. Pink?

April 14, 2019 Dolly Varden Char Dolly Varden - Northern Edition.

March 8, 2019 Sockeye salmon are abundant in Bristol Bay Alaska For a simple angler like me, there are millions of RED reasons to protect Bristol Bay from an open pit mine.

February 2, 2019 Surf perch on the Fly Some thoughts and info on fly fishing Northern California beaches for surfperch.

January 2019 Southwest January February 2019 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my photo essay on fly fishing the California Surf in the January/February 2019 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

December 2018 Midcurrent Logo My photograph - Wild Steelhead, Klamath River featured in Midcurrent Fly Fishing News

December 4, 2018 Shut Up and Fish the Klamath River If you're worried about crowds, wildfires, the cost-of-living - then my advice is Shut Up and Fish the Klamath River!

October 13, 2018 Deschutes River Redband Trout. These redbands grow strong on fast currents and big on a diet of stoneflies.

July / August 2018 Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine July 2018 Cover Read about my encounter with a two-legged Flea with blonde hair in the July August 2018 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing

July 21, 2018 Sunset over Lake Almanor Lassen Peak. During early Summer on Lake Almanor the real fun starts when the sun goes down.

Summer 2018 Trout Magazine 2018 Look for my photography in the feature story highlighting TU's 20th Anniversary of the North Coast Coho Project in the Summer issue of TROUT.

Summer 2018 Michael Carl catches Lahontan Cutthroat out of  Pyramid Lake Nevada. In 2018, I learned to yield to Pyramid Lake.

Spring 2018

Native Trout Waters of California New Edition includes fishing for Little Kern Goldens and Coastal Cutthroat Cutthroat in Native Trout Waters of California - 2018 Edition

March 23, 2018 Dead Guys on the Rogue River A toast to all the Dead Guys who grace our Coastal Rivers.

Winter 2018 Seal of the State of Jefferson In the State of Jefferson, things are about to change on the Klamath River below Iron Gate Dam.

March 2018 Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine March April 2018 Cover See my photography on the Tuolumne River Meadows Section in the March / April 2018 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

December 24, 2017 Surf Fishing California Season Greetings from the California Surf!

December 2017 Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine November December 2017 Cover Look for my photograph of a California Golden in the Fish Eye spread of the November / December 2017 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing

November 9, 2017 Coastal cutthroat Coastal Cutthroat only cutthroat subspecies to have co-evolved with the rainbow trout.

November 2017 Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine November December 2017 Cover Look for my photograph of a California Golden in the Fish Eye two page spread of the November / December 2017 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

Archive of Content

 

Fly Fishing for Wild Trout

California Wild Trout Streams by Michael Carl

Available on Amazon Apple iTunes download Google Play download





Showcasing California's most productive and scenic wild trout streams, read my latest book, Wild Trout - California's Top 10 Wild Trout Streams.



Ecological?

By definition, ecological is the interactions and relationships between organisms and their environment. The science of ecology teaches the angler, it is impossible to separate the study of a species of fish such as trout from the study of their environment.

A good ecologist can dovetail into dovetail until the whole thing stretches out of sight. We call it an ecosystem now; earlier Americans called it the Sacred Circle. Either way it can make your little head swim with a vision of a thing of great size and strength that still depends on the underpinning of its smallest members.
Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing
by John Gierach  

Freshwater ecology is a broad and complex science, and the scope of this site only allows a brief overview of the critical elements - Fly patterns (a.k.a. aquatic insects), Habitat and Species.

Fly Patterns

It starts with a trout's favorite class of food - aquatic insects. (Grasshoppers, ants, beetles, minnows and leeches are also on the menu here.) And in the case of the angler, the fly patterns which imitate these insects. The goal of the EcoAngler is to recognize the insects that freshwater trout survive on, and to the extent possible the ecology of these tiny creatures.

Trout Stream Habitat

The EcoAngler focuses on trout habitat in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Northern California. Each of the fisheries covered in habitat includes information critical to your angling success - such as fly patterns, map of area and flow information.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Species

No species of fish has excited the freshwater angler through the years as the trout. California is home to two native trout species (rainbow and cutthroat) and numerous subspecies including California golden trout, Lahontan cutthroat and Kern River rainbow trout.

EBooks Reports and Reviews

As the author of several Ebooks, I document some of the West's most unique native trout and salmon fisheries. Extensive photography coupled with maps and access information provide the reader with a do-it-yourself guide to experience these fisheries.

Conservation Articles & Photography

Fisheries Magazine

Fisheries Magazine February 2020 I'm extremely honored to have the American Fisheries Society publish my photograph of a Lahontan Cutthroat on their February 2020 issue of Fisheries Magazine!

The February issue features a story on the continuing success of wild reproduction of Lahontan cutthroat trout in the Truckee River.



TROUT Magazine

Trout Magazine 2018 Look for my photography in the feature story highlighting TU's 20th Anniversary of the North Coast Coho Project in the Summer 2018 issue of TROUT.

The article details Trout Unlimited's groundbreaking conservation partnership with a private timber company on California's North Coast enters its third decade restoring and protecting critical habitat for coho salmon and steelhead.

Trout Magazine 2016 Look for my photography in the feature story The Complicated Relationship Between Beavers and Trout in the Winter 2016 issue of TROUT.

Writer Philip Monahan reports on the ecological role of the beaver (Castor canadenis) in freshwater habitats. He writes: Aside from man, no animal has such a profound impact on its ecosystem, and many anglers see the beavers' work as predominately destructive--turning a babbling trout stream into a slow-moving wetland, for instance. However, wildlife biologists recognize that each of these "destructive" effects has a flip side...

Trout Magazine 2015 Look for my photography in the cover story State of the Trout in the Summer 2015 issue of TROUT.

The Trout Unlimited Science Team takes an extensive survey of native trout in the United States. The report includes chapters on the Pacific Coast, the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada, regions which have been plagued by drought in recent years. The report finds native trout throughout the West are in trouble due to the "one-two punch" of drought and hot temperatures throughout the region.

Trout Magazine 2014 Look for my photography in the article Walking A Trout Tightrope in the Spring 2014 issue of TROUT.

Writer Jay Cassell delves into the day's hot button issue - Is there a way to balance wild and hatchery trout in our nation's waters. Thankfully, after years of indiscriminate stocking, many state and federal agencies are reevaluating their policies. The future of wild salmon and trout populations will pivot on striking the right balance.



Bay Nature

Bay Nature Magazine A Quest for Coho

In this feature story for Bay Nature I put down my flyrod (just for a while) and do some research. Driven by curiosity about the coho salmon that once lived and spawned in the streams of the Santa Cruz and San Mateo Coast, I begin a three year quest to find them.

Learn what I discovered and meet some of the folks dedicated to helping this fragile population survive in the
October - December 2012 issue of Bay Nature.





Fly Fishing Articles

Northwest Fly Fishing

Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine July 2018 Cover Look for my feature article on Fly Fishing the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River in the July/August 2018 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing

Our country's greatest proponent of experiencing wilderness, John Muir wrote in The Yosemite, Every one who is anything of a mountaineer should go on through the entire length of the canyon, coming out by Hetch Hetchy. There is not a dull step all the way. And I would add the fishing in the Tuolumne River isn't bad either.


Northwest Fly Fishing Article featuring the Wild & Scenic Merced River

I wrote a feature story for the January/February 2008 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing. The article covers fly fishing the Merced River in Yosemite Valley flowing down through the Merced Canyon until it meets the South Fork of the Merced.

Southwest Fly Fishing

Southwest July August 2017 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my feature article on the Upper Middle Fork San Joaquin River in the July/August 2017 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

If you’re a fan of catching wild trout surrounded by strange geologic formations, then you can’t do any better than fishing the Middle Fork San Joaquin River as it flows in, out, and through Devils Postpile National Monument.

Southwest September 2015 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my article on Heenan Lake in the September/October 2015 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

Going to fish Heenan Lake can be risky. You might damage your rig getting down to the launch area. An angry confrontation over your personal fishing space could break out. So why take the risk? The answer seems clear to me - trophy size Lahontans.

Revive

Revive Fly Fishing JournalLook for my essay - Rebuilding the Beast appearing in the Summer 2016 issue of Revive

The story is as much about the opportunity to catch a trout-of-a-lifetime, as it is about correcting the past of an ancient desert lake in Nevada.

Ultimately, it wasn't about breeding just any trout to stock into Pyramid Lake.



Salmon & Steelhead Journal

Salmon & Steelhead Journal Look for my feature article on one of North America's finest steelheading rivers the - Rogue River - in the Spring 2012 issue of Salmon & Steelhead Journal.

With a focus on the middle Rogue, you'll learn effective techniques to fish thisclassic steelhead water.


American Angler

American Angler MagazineLook for my feature article - Secrets of the Sierras 4 Classic Walk-In Trips appearing in the current May/June 2010 issue of American Angler.

You'll learn about some terrific wild trout fisheries of the Central Sierra Nevada.





Fly Fishing Photography

Southwest Fly Fishing

Southwest Fly Fishing Exposure Photo Essay on Fly Fishing Pyramid Lake Nevada

Look for my EXPOSURE on fly fishing for Pyramid Lake's Lahontans in the January/February 2020 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing.

Southwest May June 2019 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my native cutthroat photography in the Exposure Section of the May / June 2019 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

The photographs include a Lahontan cutthroat native to the Tahoe Basin of California, a Whitehorse Basin cutthroat from the southeast corner of Oregon, a Yellowstone cutthroat, and a Pilot Peak strain Lahontan from Pyramid Lake Nevada.

Southwest Fly Fishing Exposure Photo Essay on California Surf Fishing

Look for my EXPOSURE photo essay on fly fishing the California Surf in the January/February 2019 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine March April 2018 Cover I contributed photography for a feature story on the Tuolumne River Meadows Section in the March / April 2018 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

Yosemite National Park is home to a vast and healthy population of wild trout. And if you're a fan of catching wild trout in one of the Sierra Nevada's most scenic alpine meadows, then Tuolumne River through its namesake meadow has got the goods.

Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine November December 2017 Cover Look for my photograph of a California Golden in the FishEye two page spread of the November / December 2017 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

I photographed this California Golden Trout in it's namesake creek - Golden Trout Creek. As the early evening sun dropped, the light softened and this golden turned perfectly in front of the camera capturing the sunlight along it's body. Their colors are striking and I hope you get the chance to see one first-hand!

Southwest September October 2017 Fly Fishing Magazine Cover Look for my Exposure photo essay on fly fishing the Eastern Sierra around the Mono Lake Basin in the September October 2017 issue of Southwest Fly Fishing

The Eastern Sierra Nevada in the early fall explodes with color. Most of the creeks draining the eastern slope of the Sierra support healthy groves of aspen trees, and early October can be an amazing time to explore the Mono Basin with a fly rod and a camera.


FLY FISHERMAN

Fly Fisherman Magazine

Look for my photography on fly fishing California's Goldfield Bows in the June/July 2016 issue of FLY FISHERMAN .

The Lower Yuba River's runs of wild steelhead trout and resident trout persist in a watershed that was driven like a rented mule. The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada in 1848 set in-motion habitat destruction on the Yuba on a grand scale. Despite the dams and hydraulic mining, aquatic insect hatches can be prolific. And where there is food, there are trout.

FLY FISHERMAN Photo Contest

A huge thanks to Ross Purnell and the staff at Fly Fisherman for selecting this photograph and to the folks at Sage for putting the EVOKE reel in my steelhead arsenal.

Fly Fisherman Magazine October December 2013

As you can see in the photo detail, the drift boat is definitely hand crafted. I believe this one represents the third drift boat Dennis Nagel has built since I've known him. Dennis designed this boat precisely to float the Wood River. The Wood is a small, spring creek and has a few obstacles to get through including a really low bridge.



MidCurrent

I'm truly fortunate to have my photography in the MidCurrent gallery! MidCurrent hosts a Who's Who of fly fishing photographers - I feel honored to be included as part of the display!

MidCurrent Fly Fishing Photography

Outdoor Life

Outdoor Life

Look for my photography on fishing for native golden trout in the September 2014 issue of Outdoor Life .

















Fly Fishing Photography

Fly Fishing