The plan was set. We were going to meet at the red shack, just off hwy at 12:00pm. Scott Blankenfeld and I (Robby Hogg) have fished The Chili Bar Section of the South Fork American River six or seven times this year out of a raft. We wanted to get into the good stretches with a lower river flow to see if we could get some more dry fly action on the surface. From the turn-off down to the river is about 2.5 miles. Down hill on the way in, up hill on the way out. I had taken for granted how much access we get while using the rafts. The hike out reminded me of that fact.
The trail accesses The South Fork American River about two miles downstream of The Chili Bar Dam at Race Horse Bend. Once we arrived at the bottom, we decided to work our way up stream. Our rods were set up with a hopper dropper rig with a big grass hopper on the end of a 9’ leader, followed by 18” of tipit with a small dark wet fly. I feel this set-up doubles your chances. Right off the bat, we saw a rainbow working just above us. Scott presented his hopper, with a bright pink underbody, with great success.
We worked the the pools between Racehorse Bend and Meatgrinder with our hopper dropper set-up on the way upstream. At the top of the pool I switched and put on a big streamer. At this point I have not even had a hit. On our way back down I worked my to the top of the eddy right below Racehorse bend. First cast pulled out a little guy. At this point the sun started to dip and we called it a day. It took a lot of effort to get in and out of here, but over-all, it was another good day of fishing.