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Self-Guided Tour Sign #23 -- Fishing

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The Upper Sacramento River, or “Upper Sac” as it’s affectionately called, is known worldwide for its prime fishing. Fisherfolk come from around the world to fish here. While traditional fly fishing remains popular on the Upper Sac, this particular section of the river, and specifically here at the Park is recognized as the origin of the now-popular style of fly fishing called “short-line nymphing” or “tight-line nymphing” (among other names). This style of fishing involves using a shorter fishing pole and highly modified fly-fishing lures and techniques to catch fish that are close by, often in white water.  The goal of short-line nymphing is to have the lure and hook drift well under the surface of the water—imitating an insect nymph drifting downstream below the surface—in contrast with the goal of standard fly fishing which is to imitate an insect just above or on the surface of the water. 

     For more detailed information, continue reading below.

A member of the Tauhindauli family was Ted Towendolly (as the family name was spelled), who was born here in 1901. Ted grew up in Dunsmuir and as an adult became a fishing guide for fishermen coming from around the world to fish the Upper Sacramento. According to a number of sources, Ted was the inventor of short-line nymphing.

This style of fly fishing was then expanded upon and popularized by a famous Dunsmuir fly-fishing guide named Ted Fay. Short-line nymphing has now spread around the world as a popular fishing style, and indeed has spread so far that it is also sometimes known as “Euro-nymphing” or “Czech nymphing”. 

Ted Towendolly is also credited with developing a unique type of weighted fishing fly that he called the “Black Bomber”. This type of fishing fly was very successful when used with short-line nymphing, and today many variations of Ted Towendolly’s original Black Bomber are used around the world.

Here are links to some YouTube videos:

Short-line nymph fishing on the Upper Sac YouTube video  

Short-line nymph fishing on the Upper Sac YouTube video

Fly fishing on the Upper Sac YouTube video

Short-line nymph fishing explanation YouTube video  

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