NORTH COAST RIVERS
North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFG’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is 707) 822-3164. For the Russian River and counties of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin, call (707) 944-5533. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886. Many streams closed, and others change to artificial/barbless only on March 31 and others on April 25.
ROGUE RIVER, Lower—The king and coho bite is now stretching up from the mouth into the first couple of miles of river, and anglers are catching a lot of hatchery silvers as well as kings. Slow-rolling baits in the estuary is still the best bet. Time it with the tides, it’s good for about 2 hours each shift.
ROGUE RIVER, Upper—Access to the upper river just got a little easier for anadromous fish, as the Savage Rapids Dam, in existence since 1921, has been demolished. The dam was said to have impeded the movement of an estimated 58,000 adult salmon and steelhead from getting up the river past the obstruction.
RUSSIAN RIVER—No change until the rains hit, which should be this week. Might be too early for salmon, but who knows? They might show, since they’re not anywhere else down here.
SMITH RIVER—The river is still closed above Rowdy Creek due to low flows, but during the high tides there’s a bunch of kings staging in the estuary, and there’s been some limits of bright, ocean-run kings to 40 pounds or more caught recently. The upcoming rains will break it wide open, so be ready!
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—The mouth cycled between open and closed all week, and most fishermen left. But, the few hanging around did very well on big, bright king salmon, plus jacks and even coho salmon. Some of the best success was around Blue Creek, and most salmon were being caught on drifted roe with a Styrofoam bead. Rain is expected this week, and the river level is expected to rise, bring many more fish upriver, but also potentially blowing out the river.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Lots of salmon continued to head to the end of their journey at the base of Iron Gate Dam. Anglers were catching half a dozen salmon or more an outing, mostly on backbounced roe. This is mostly catch-and-release fishing now though, because most salmon are past their prime.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma—A combination of lots of bait-stealing smolts and relatively few salmon and steelhead resulted in another week of relatively poor fishing. A big change is in the offing, however, with the arrival of rain which will raise flows and bring lots more fish upstream.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—Fishing was rather slow, but anglers working the riffles around Hoopa were catching a steelhead or two a day on nightcrawlers, spinners, spoons and flies. Salmon were stacked up at the bottom of the Gorge waiting for flows to rise easing passage to upstream sections of the river.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE— Dave Brabec from Clearlake Outdoors said clearing conditions continued as the weather continued to cool off the lake. Successful anglers concentrated on the north end and the Redbud section of the lake where a lipless crank bite has picked up. Don’t put away the topwater yet either. Fish were caught on Spooks, dropshot, shakey-head, jigs, Senkos and crankbaits. No catfish reports, but you know they’re out there under docks and up in the channels.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The spoon and drop-shot bite around the schools of bait has still been steady for bass up to 3 pounds. Cooler weather has been lowering the surface temperature and the bite will get even better soon. Kokes and king salmon action was from 60 to 110 feet down.
UPPER BLUE LAKE— The lake was planted this past week and the bite has been good, with one regular there catching and releasing 25 trout. Trout were taken in both basins with holdover trout at 35 feet down, newly planted ones from the surface down, and the private stocked big boys holding in 40 to 45 feet. Kastmasters without flashers with leadcore 5 to 6 colors out has been a good place to start.
LAKE SONOMA—The staff at the Outdoor Pro Shop in Rohnert Park said they’re hearing more reports on landlocked steelhead but the bass bite has been tough. Hit or miss steelies are still deep but downriggers and Kastmasters, Needlefish, or hoochies have been producing for anglers when they find them in 60 to 80 feet of water. With the rain, they may come up to 40 feet.
LAKE ALMANOR—The lake has turned and with the change, trout have moved to the surface chasing bait. As they are in transition, anglers will still need to move around to find them. Troll from the surface down to 10 feet with a Speedy shiner and three colors pulled.
BAUM LAKE—BWO’s are a good bet when skies are overcast. Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney suggested other good patterns are sparse PMD’s, midges, and mahogany duns are appearing. Scuds are a good bet for nymphs. Nightcrawlers and mealworms seem to be the bait of choice but no reports on lures.
BRITTON LAKE—There have finally been some good reports on crappie this past week. Nice ones up to 13 inches were reported by hardy fishermen, as overnight lows are getting down into the low to mid 20s.
BURNEY CREEK—No reports but with cooler weather, watch for the October caddis to start hatching.
CASSEL FOREBAY—No report as the season winds down and few are reporting back. The canal above the Powerhouse No. 1 can provide some excellent fishing on spinners and Power Bait for some nice rainbow and brook trout. Fly-fishing can be excellent with black or olive crystal buggers or red blood midges. Topwater action is best early in the mornings and late evenings.
EAGLE LAKE— Bobber fishermen have also moved back to deeper water and are again anchoring in water 40-50 feet deep and dropping threaded nightcrawlers under a slip bobber down to the 25-foot level. Orange or white, No. 2 or 3 Sep’s Grubs trolled 125-150 feet behind the boat was the ticket here in water 10 feet deep or less, fishing 5 feet deep on the downriggers. The dredging operation at the Spalding launch ramp gets underway this coming week.
FALL RIVER WILD TROUT AREA— Fishing reports have been good with BWO’s, woolly buggers and wiggle tail zugs for nymphs.
HAT CREEK WILD TROUT AREA— The riffle is best fished with pt’s, birdsnest or a hare’s ear. Look for PMD’s, caddis, callibaetis. Reports indicate fishing/catching is slow. Watch for October caddis hatch to start up.
PIT RIVER—Excellent reports from the Pit 4 and 5 reaches, Pit 3 is fishing well, however the construction is making access difficult. Nymphing seems to be doing the best with rubber leg princes, hare’s ears, or a birdsnest. Try a size 14 or larger.
LAKE SHASTA—UV Cripplures, UV HumDingers, and Wiggle Hoochies are doing the job here for trout. For those that prefer a fast troll, try Kazi Minnows in shad or rainbow trout, Flee Bittys or large HumDingers. Trout are averaging 16 inches, with a few hitting the 3-pound range. A few quality salmon were biting in the deeper water between 10 to 90 feet. Try the dam, Dry Creek, Waters Gulch, and Packers Bay with Sling Blades and Wiggle Hoochies or Paddle-tails.
AMERICAN RIVER—The section of the American upstream from the power lines at Ancil Hoffman Park to the USGS gauging station wire crossing the river below the weir at Nimbus Hatchery closes to all fishing Oct. 31. In the meantime, the very few anglers on the water have been finding fair fishing for mostly smallish steelhead plus striped bass—surprising given that years past, stripers have been replaced by salmon, which again—sadly—appear to be mostly no-shows. Fly fishers have been catching steelies on riffles up to Sunrise on small caddis and Mayfly-imitating nymphs under indicators, as well as on the swing. Spin fishermen have been drifting nightcrawlers, crawdad tails, and even ghost shrimp, as well as working spinners deep.
FEATHER RIVER—A few small steelhead were being reported caught in the Low Flow Section on nightcrawlers, egg patterns, and nymphs. The main river below the Outlet around the Gridley bridge has been producing a few steelies, too, for anglers drifting roe and nightcrawlers.
FOLSOM LAKE—Bass fishing has continued to be rather slow, and most of the fish being caught are rather deep, 15 feet and deeper. Although a few are being caught on crankbaits, most of the bites are by drop-shotting and dartheading Robo-Worms along the edges of submerged creek channels. An occasional trout was being taken by trolling between 40 and 60 feet deep in front of dam. A bit of good news—for fishermen anyway–is that the lake surface is very close to the level, 400 feet elevation, at which the boat speed limit will go to 5 mph.
McCLOUD RIVER—Trout fishing continued to improve as water temperatures cooled. However, storms and colder weather expected this week could very well turn the bite off, at least until nice weather returns. Ash Camp, Ah-Di-Nah, and the Nature Conservancy waters were all producing fish.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—About the only good reports up and down the river came from the Port of Sacramento where striped bass to about 8 pounds were being caught using a variety of methods. Drifting jumbo minnow from boats seemed to work best, but bankies were also caching a few by soaking pikeminnows, bloodworms and mudsuckers. Trollers were also scoring on Mann’s divers in the Dr. Death pattern.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Butte City—Fishing for steelhead wasn’t red hot, but there were a few being caught up to 5 pounds by drifting roe. A storm is expected to bring water levels up this week, but it should also bring more fish upriver, too—especially steelhead. Lots of catfish continued to be caught at night around Knight’s Landing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing continued to be excellent from Redding to Red Bluff. Egg flies and Glo-Bugs have been particularly effective because of spawning salmon. Storms are expected to dump mud into the river from tributaries, so trout fishing might be restricted, for awhile anyway, to the stretch around Redding.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Upper—Trout fishing continued to improve last week as temperatures—air and water—continued to drop. Storms this week might put a literal damper on the fishing, at least until the sun comes back out. Almost all the action is on nymphs fished deep in pocket water close to the rod tip.
YUBA RIVER—The river has been fishing pretty well. Most of the activity has been around the Highway 20 bridge, because that’s the easiest access for waders. Some salmon are in the river so egg patterns have been effective. Caddis nymph patterns have been the most productive, although there’s been some dry fly fishing in the afternoon, and even a bit of a hopper bite. A few steelhead have started showing up, too.
BERKELEY—Captain Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sportfishing and Guide Service has had some great trips lately, scoring white seabass and halibut, plus a few leopard sharks. On the Happy Hooker, the hot bite was at the Farallon Islands, where 12 anglers found excellent conditions and a wide open bite on Saturday that produced limits of both rockfish and lingcod. Big ling was a 14 pounder.
BODEGA BAY— Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler reported continued excellent action on bottomfishing trips down around Point Reyes. On Wednesday’s trip, his group found large, quality reds including vermilion, copper and Bolinas rockfish. Lingcod continued scarce, but each trip did find one or two, most of the time. Some skiffs tried for tuna on Sunday, finding 60 degree water at 40 miles, but no reports until after deadline.
EMERYVILLE—Farallon Island rockfish trips ruled the week, with limits the norm plus some good numbers of lingcod. Examples include Wednesday’s trip on the New Seeker when 29 anglers caught rockfish limits and 14 lingcod. On Saturday, top ling count went to the C Gull II with 18 lings (plus one lucky angler caught a Pacific halibut).
EUREKA—A consistently rough ocean and and even worse forecast has anglers hanging up their saltwater gear. Pacific halibut season will close the end of this month. Ben Williams at the Pro Sport Center said the only options lately have been for bay sharks and rays and for day surf smelt.
FORT BRAGG—Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar did what he could, that is, fished for what was open, Pacific halibut. After catching some sanddabs, the 11 anglers on board soaked the mini-flatties for the big ones, and while they didn’t boat any Pacifics, they did manage some skates, spiny dogfish, and even a 20-pound Humboldt squid. Diving conditions were great, with a low swell and good visibility. Dungeness crab season opens next month, and will add a new dimension to the party boat trips.
HALF MOON BAY—The ocean laid down for the weekend, offering some great bottomfishing opportunities that produced rockfish limits and a few lingcod. Captain Tom Mattusch ran his first squid trip of the year on Huli Cat, finding pretty poor results the first part of the trip, but salvaging the day by trying a new spot that produced 23 squid.
POINT SAN PABLO—Captain Frank Miller on the Fury only ran on Sunday, starting outside the Golden Gate on the North Bar where one angler caught a 14-pound halibut. Then the south wind started, and he ran back into the bay, but no more halibut hooked until he finished up by drifting outside the harbor.
SAN FRANCISCO—Captain Steve Talmadge on Flash Fishing had some good action off of Treasure Island, with two of his anglers catching white seabass. Then his next trip targeted combo halibut and shark with two flatties to 24 pounds and several leopard sharks to 55 inches caught and released (one was kept to try out for the table).
SHELTER COVE—Pretty quiet now that Shelter Cove Sportfishing has finished their season. Pacific halibut will be fair game until the end of the month, and abalone season will be open through November. After that, sport Dungeness crab season will open.
SUISUN BAY—Sturgeon fishing is going strong for the few boats getting an early start to the season. Top spots are the Mothball Fleet, Montezuma Slough and Big Cut. Grass shrimp and ghost shrimp worked best. Stripers are also in the system in good numbers, and bullheads are working best for the bigger ones.
BLUE LAKES—Very few anglers in the area so there were no reports available from Woodfords Station. Deer season in the X zone was over on Oct. 11 and weather is forecast for mid-week that could bring snow to the area.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. With the low water levels, boaters are confined to the main lake area. Browns and rainbows are grouped up at the inlet to feed on kokanee spawn. Most of the fish being caught are the planter rainbows.
CAPLES LAKE—The cooler weather has brought the fish up to the 10- to 15-foot range for trollers working dodgers or flashers trailed with a 2-foot leader and a worm. Shore anglers are doing better now that the trout have moved shallower. A simple worm and bobber off the spillway has been very productive. One family did well trolling Rapalas off the Wood Creek area for limits of rainbows and browns.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The West Carson is low and clear but experienced anglers are still able to catch some of the Alpine County planters. The East Carson is fishing very well with one 15-year old coming in with a 7 pounder one day and two 4 pounders the next day. More Alpine County plants will be made before the end of the month. The fish are hitting spinners and nightcrawlers.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Ed Dillard and Brett Brady are both doing very well with 20 to 30 fish days. Most of the fish are 12 to 14 inches with a few to 16 inches. Small boaters able to get into 2 to 6 feet of water along the weeds are picking up some fish running 20 to 22 inches. Both guides are trolling Needlefish and wooly buggers or grubs at 8 feet on downriggers or top lining 150 feet back.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 54-percent capacity and launching is difficult for anything larger than an aluminum boat. The recent DFG plants have bolstered the rainbow bite at the public piers and the boat ramp for anglers using salmon eggs, worms, and Power Bait.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Dick Mason reported that the rainbow trolling is still good for limits of 2 1/2- to 4 pound fish on threaded nightcrawlers at Butt Valley Reservoir. The bite will get better as it gets colder and the browns move up to the inlet to prepare for spawning. The North Fork of the Feather is still good in the late afternoon for fly fishing. No word on Caribou Powerhouse but it was kicking out some big rainbows the week before last and if the powerhouse is running so are the trout.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity. Cold weather this past weekend slowed the fishing but limits of 16- to 20-inch rainbows are still being reported. Shore anglers at the dam and Frenchman’s Campground are using nightcrawlers and Power Bait. Trollers are doing best by the dam with flasher/nightcrawler combos.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Bassetts Station reports that all the lakes are fishing well especially Gold Lake. Rainbows and macks to 15 inches are hitting worms at Gold. Salmon, Sardine, and Packer are good with worms too.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Ice House Resort reports that lots of planters are being caught by trollers using a threaded nightcrawler, but there were no specifics available.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Woodfords Station reports that fishing has been very good here with limits coming in for both shore anglers and small boaters/float tubers. Rainbows to 2 1/2 pounds are showing up in the limits. Shore anglers are doing well with a worm/marshmallow combo. The campground was closed as of Monday, Oct. 12
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Shore anglers are doing well from the dam to the campgrounds on worm/marshmallow combos or Power Bait. Kayakers getting into the shallower coves are doing well casting Kastmaster and Krocodile spoons and Rapalas.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 78-percent capacity. The macks and browns have been active. Mitch Bringhurst caught an 8 1/2-pound mack trolling a Cripplure along the east side at the second dam. Browns are showing up for trollers on Rapalas in the Narrows as they stage for spawning. The browns are running 22 to 24 inches.
LAKE TAHOE—Mickey Daniels is getting multiple hookups on 3- to 5-pound macks in 300 feet of water on Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos. The bite has been lasting about 1 1/2 hours from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Chuck Self reported that a Capt. Chris client picked up an 18-pound mack this past week, but no specific info was available on the catch. Self is getting limits of macks up to 12 pounds on trolled spoons with the best action from 6:15 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Brooder stock rainbows from Tahoe City are moving into the lake and hitting for trollers just outside the buoy line on the north end of the lake
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Ice House Resort reports that anglers are catching lots of planter rainbows from shore and trolling. North Shore Campground is still open. The rest of the campgrounds in the area are closed.
PROSSER LAKE—With the DFG plants over the past couple of weeks, the lake is loaded with rainbows. Shore anglers are picking up 3 to 4 fish per hour on salmon eggs, Power Bait and worms. The cooler temps have slowed down the smallmouth bass bite but fish are still being caught up in the Prosser Creek area at the campgrounds on Rooster Tails.
PYRAMID LAKE—The cutthroat bite has been excellent with trollers catching dozens of fish using Apex and Flatfish. Most of the fish are in the 17- to 20-inch range for the smaller keepers and some big fish 7 to 8 pounds are coming in for the over 24-inch keeper size. Darlene Cummings from CA picked up an 8 ½ pounder on an Apex in the Hell’s Kitchen area.
RED LAKE—The cold nights have cured the algae problem, but anglers are still hiking off the dam to the south side for limits on worms.
SILVER LAKE—No current report was available. The cooler water should be moving the fish shallower, 10 to 15 feet, and trollers should be catching rainbows and browns on flasher/worm combos. The shore fishing should be improving with the cooler temps also. Power Bait, worms, spinners and spoons should all be working.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is holding at 49-percent capacity. Boat launching is still good. With the kokanee spawning in the Little Truckee, browns and rainbows are following the salmon up into the inlet to feed on the spawned eggs. Trout are being caught casting or trolling a Kastmaster and drifting nightcrawlers for fish to 19 inches. Mack fishing has been tough but a few are still being caught jigging near the dam and the back side of the island.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Flows in the upper section are down to 118 cfs. In the General Section, the fish are concentrated in the deep pockets and pools. The Special Section from Trout Creek to Stateline has been better with the colder weather. The best times to fish are in the mid morning or late afternoon until dark. A hopper or stimulator with a beaded nymph on a dropper is good during the day along the pockets and undercuts where there is a grassy or brushy bank. Golden stones with a caddis nymph trailer are good also. Some dry fly activity early and late, but the main river is better nymph water. Remember to pinch down your barbs, DFG will check you!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Ice House Resort reported that little is happening here. All campgrounds but Camino Cove are closed.
WEST WALKER RIVER—Trout action is still good for anglers using worms and Panther Martins with limits common.
AMERICAN RIVER—Very few reports are coming in for the river. As reported before, the Middle Fork below Frenchman Reservoir has been producing some great catches of rainbows for the hardy angler who can hike down to the river.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service checked out the lake this past week and only found small groups or pairs of small, skinny kokanee 1/2-mile up in the river spawning. Normally there would be huge schools of fat 12- to 14-inch fish. There should be some rainbows following the kokanee up river to feed on the spawn, so drift a single salmon egg up in the river. Bass are reported to be all around the marina.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is way down to 8-percent capacity. Two anglers reported catching 70 bass in a single half day trip this past week. They said that the better fish weighed 3 to 7 pounds and were caught down by the dam on worms and jigs.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is down 45 feet from full. The surface temp has dropped down to 62-degrees and the lake is beginning to ‘turn over’. The threadfin shad hatch has put the trout, bass and catfish into the start of the fall feeding frenzy. Some big fish were caught this past week including a 7 ¾-pound bass, 16 1/2-pound catfish, and 4-pound trout.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle reported that two customers caught limits of rainbows, 12 to 14 inches, trolling Rooster Tails and Needlefish upriver from the no-ski buoys to the river confluence. A Loma Rica angler caught a 6-pound brown casting a Rapala from the launch ramp this past week according to Dillon Davis at Skippers Cove. Others trollers are doing well up above Buck’s Beach toplining Rapalas for browns up to 16 inches.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—Local angler, Bruce Decker, reported hitting the lake this past week and found non-stop action all day on small rainbows trolling “anything orange” including Rainbow Runners and Needlefish off a downrigger at 12 feet. A single worm or a Sep’s watermelon dodger with a worm trailer also produced on two colors of leadcore line. Decker caught 30 fish. Water levels are higher than normal and launching is good. There were only two other boats on the lake so fishing pressure is very light.
FULLER LAKE—This lake has not been planted for a couple of weeks now, but there should still be some fair action off the dam for shore anglers using Power Bait and worms. Trollers should be doing pretty well with the colder temps on flasher/worm combos.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds are closed for an upgrade on the water system and restrooms. Fishing pressure has been very light due to road construction on Wentworth Springs Rd, the main access to the lake. Browns should be gathering up at the inlet for the fall spawn and Rapalas should attract some good fish.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake has dropped a little to 37-percent capacity. All the main launch ramps are still operational. The bass bite is turning on as the water temps drop and the lake starts ‘turning over’. Guide Larry Hemphill reported excellent fishing, in the early part of the week, very early in the day. There was a good topwater bite first thing in the morning and then the fish were hitting worms and jigs from the top to 40 feet in the Middle Fork later in the morning. His best five fish went 11 to 12 pounds. Later that week he said the bite slowed down and dragging a worm or spooning the trees produced the best action. Feather River Outfitters reported a good bite in the evening on topwater and spinnerbaits.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. With the colder water temps, trolling Rapalas for browns should be picking up in the river as they start to stage for the fall spawn. Very few reports were available from Long Ravine Campgrounds.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. With the marina closed, fishing reports are hard to come by. Bass should be getting very active as the water temps drop with a chance at a good early morning bite for smallies.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—Unless the DFG reinstates this lake on the planting list, fishing will remain dismal except for a chance at a bass or some bluegill.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The campgrounds will close this week for work upgrading the water system and the restrooms. There has been very little pressure here due to road construction on Wentworth Springs Rd, the main access to the lake.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—Some bass are still being reported but Roy Hilton caught a 6 ½-pound steelhead on green glitter Power Bait at the Wilbur Rd. canal.