When we first arrived in Northern California, we drove out to the location we were going to meet our guide for the Fall River. We were meeting him at Glenburn Church just outside Fall River Mills, CA. Many of the fields were flooded, but not because of weather, but because they were rice fields. Turns out the area is known for its wild brown rice. It’s also known for the Fall River, which we found was a slow moving river that meandered through the farms and fields.
The next day, we met Matt Mitchell, our guide from The Fly Shop in Redding. It was a beautiful, warm spring day in the Fall River valley. He met us at the church at 8am and off we went to put in. Instead of the drift boats we usually find ourselves in, we were in a “john boat” outfitted with a regular and trolling motor. The boat was really special, it was originally Matt’s granddad’s. The “speed limit” on the river was 5mph so we also slowly worked our way upstream. The river is really more like a giant spring creek, and that morning it was like glass and gin clear.
As we made our way upstream, we had to go under several farm bridges, which required us to duck in most cases, except one where we had to lay down in the boat to make our way under it. Matt described how he’d once not ducked quite low enough, showing us the mark still on his ear. Once under that last farm bridge, we setup our fly fishing rigs and proceeded to hunt for Fall River rainbows.
After a day on the water, we had a chance to interview Matt about fishing the Fall River. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we enjoyed our day on the water with Matt. I just wish I had that fly line tangle picture still. You’ll know why if you watch the video.