"Being a professional fly fishing guide and fly tyer, combined with a green conscious, guarantees your place in those blessed rivers of the ever after.." -Bruce Lee

Battle Creek Deserves Better…or why California of all places…

Too precious to be lost to mass agriculture and over population these Trout are far more important than you…..or me…….but mostly you…

Always wondering what California is doing to stop the resources from being sent south in big tubes and canals……Oh I know the State must have a consciouns…maybe it is being effected by GREED..n..POWER…wait..!!! Electricity is Power..and Power means Money and Money usually doesn’t mean free housing for the homeless or Arms for the poor, please sir penny for a usually means GREED… Holy friggen bulky wallets and dry stream-beds bat man..I think I may have found the reason Northern California continues to ship water all the way to the desert…see there, all this time I thought it was because they asked nicely…..

Flood control is great except there is no way to naturally clean the rivers channel..sediment and overgrowth clog the rich environment choking the life from her thus killing off an otherwise great local economy booster….Fly Fishing catch-n-release only and a lot of room for a stream trail from the Sacramento River to Lake McCumber…!!! Well except for that privately owned rented out to “Pay for play” fly fisherman in the valley….

Diversion dams divert Battle creek water to canals for flood control and to be run through stations for electricity production

Because of the ongoing water consumption in the south the north state has struggled to keep water in the rivers and streams. In this case the water starts around Lassen at about 5000 feet elevation …the cool thing is there are two creeks up here…one headed into Tehama county along Hwy 36 stocked with trout for those put-n-take guys and the other one that gets little recognition.. flowing to Battle Creek resivoir where it is used for fun…then it flows through a spill way and heads for Lake McCumber another sweet fishery at times and what once was an easy access lake is now mostly private property all around. The water then drains toward HWY 44 where the local swimming hole is the major attraction during the summer months. After being abused by the local beer consuming peeing in the riperian habitat teenagers the water flows down through a tough to access over grown canyon before diving into the Battle Creek Gorge, which is so remote I have found horse skelletons, cougars, Huge old rusty Bear traps and even a ball-n-cap pistol. However the main reason to wade through the poison oak and Rattle snakes is to,,sling shot dry flies at very spooky but wonderfly beautiful unprotected native trout. Pygmy rods needed here for sure…

Gobbling dry flies these guys need your help and protection to make this a great fishery.

This environment has proven after much investigation to be a very very VERY RICH one to say the least…the water is Gin clear, clean of ..uh..poop n stuff….

No housing and very little logging combined with no road access has created a impenetrable “Thatch” of riparian habitat that grows for miles and completely covers the stream.  However Logging does remain ominus lingering in the air loke the fog at a chili cook off….Clear Cutting is STILL being practiced in a state where it is ok to litterally LOVE on THY neighbor …? what…? yes its true…Timber companies are still allowed to cut everything, lets say “SHAVE” the wiskers right off ol’ Mother Natures rump…

The canopy, I’m back at the stream now so try to keep up will ya….The canopy actually grows together and covers the stream then hangs down into it..trailing in the water, creating more habitat for the aquatic trout foods and shaded areas for trout, that are stunted in growth due to lack of a larger habitat. The stream is clogged with silt and moss due to the non existing “flood stage” waters…..

Access points like this one are limited, only 2 exist in about 15 miles and one is gated with “No Trespassing” signs protecting PG&E power subs.

The Canyon run turns into the Gorge and the drop or climb depending on how you dare to access this stretch is a exhilarating physical effort full of photographic opportunities, ecological excitement, fishing opportunity and a great chance at a really nice Rattle Snake bite…with a sweet dash of Poison Oak to help ya appreciate the wild country still left in California.

Battle Creek Gorge used here as the backdrop  in this defiantly elegant photograph, my suicidal wife scaling rock outcroppings with out harness…AGAIN….could easily fall a thousand feet landing in a kinda Rambo fashion through the trees…if she wasn’t as sure footed as a lynx that is..

Angela Edelmann tempting fate on one of the best rock climbing orurtunities along the Battle Creek Gorge.

The gin clear waters flowing at the bottom of the unprotected unregulated trout fishery are shaded through the day by a heavy canopy created from old growth timber. Dark are the shadows here, Moss is thick and there are spirits and unexplainable sounds of timber falling, native languages and wagons on the ridge lines…..

The nights are totally dark and eiry in this Gorge….the days are silent except for mysterious sounds and water flowing…

This Gorge has as much history as it does beauty. At several locations along its ridge there are still settlement gave yards. Some have escaped the vandalization of video game TV babies, whos parents haven’t taught them respect before moving them to Northern Calif and setting them free in the woods,  a last ditch effort to save them from the environment they came from…forgetting their own parenting skills continue to be the largest denominator to the self awareness problem…sorry…tangent…my bad.

Starting in the Mountains near Shingletown California, this deep dangerously steep walled almost impassive Gorge is home to elegant wild TROUT !

The Cunningham family, NO not the Happy Days TV show Cunninghams…I am speaking of those Cunninghams that settled and witnessed the falling of massive ceder trees that were milled and chopped by hand into ricks of shingles destined for roof tops of the houses far below in the valleys along the Sacramento river..Reading was the name of the town at that time..(No not Redding, READing)., and those generations of the past are still part of an ongoing RAPE ! what RAPE ? you ask..well the RAPING of the unsustainable resources taken for granted by central and southern Californians. RAPERS !

One can still find rotting stacks of shingles along the ridges if one looks hard enough…and trash, piles of burned tin cans from beans and ..I gotta tell ya..I had no idea how much Ketchup loggers used to maybe drink..until I started scrounging around these old dump piles to see what was there. Funny, I found that we’re still throwing away the same stuff….A Hundred years later and the Glass I find is still as usable as it was the day it was made.

Back to the Creek…RICH with entomology the Macro photography could keep you busy for a life time.  If you are careful, you may discover a new species..anything is possible in a canyon so remote. I believe I am the only one to struggle through the challenge of hiking its length in the last 20 years….well there is no sign anyone else has been there anyway…

A lovely specimen of Large May Fly…easily a #10 hook…but what is it…?

These Babies are everywhere as well…and the trout gobble them up…

Photographic fun and fishing friendly we use flies to imitate these fluffy floating guys and the fish love them

Stone Flies are abundant, Caddis flies, Huge October Caddis and this funny looking Golden Stone Fly hatches in October….??

Found in abundance along Battle Creek in October…? WOW what a surprise…!

This River, running from Lassen at 5000′ to it’s confluence with the Lower Sacramento River at about 400′ elevation, falls some 4600′ it is isolated due to terrain almost it’s entire length…Isolated is good for trout…except when isolated means out of the watchful eye of those who care about its existence. Without protection the timber in the Gorge will, at some point, be logged.  The steep banks will become bare of strengthening root systems, leading to devastating erosion, then without the shade of huge trees the brush will grow rampant and be the kindling for the next wild fire. After the fire there will be even more erosion and then brush will grow again etc etc etc….

Regulations protecting this area, stream and habitat improvement, making the public aware of this great resource and providing our children with the opportunity to experience the joy to be had here…these will be the paths to saving this genuinely wonderful place. These folks will help you and they are barely in anyones pocket…,,


One Response to “Battle Creek Deserves Better…or why California of all places…”

  1. Thank you for sharing. Saving these gems is key.

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