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, Ore.-Spring salmon action continues on a high note here, but lower and clearer water requires early-on, early-off the river, as the salmon won’t run upstream in clear water and bright sunlight. Fish early and late. During the day, work diffused or shaded water or deeper holes.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Flows are still around 900, and it’s best fished for shad at 500 to 800, so it’s not quite there. Even so, there are plenty of shad moving through, but they’re being chased by seals and they’re just moving through, so you have to intercept them. One angler caught 30, but most are getting 2 to 4 in an evening, according to Steve Jackson of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. Should be wide open when the flows finally get below 800 cfs.
UMPQUA RIVER, Main Stem, Umpqua, Ore.– Spring Chinook fishing can only be accessed from a boat in most of this section of river. Most of the boats are reporting successful days for salmon on the water. Shad are beginning to make their way upriver, and the best spot for bankies is the Popcorn Hole, a few miles below Umpqua boat ramp, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. A little easier access is found at Yellow Creek boat ramp for bank fishing shad. The smallmouth bass are in pre-spawn and they’re aggressive. Now’s the best time to get a 4-pound smallie.
UMPQUA RIVER, Main Stem, Elkton, Ore.– Spring Chinook fishing is still running strong in the lower river. Scott Creek Boat Ramp is the best access for jetboats on this section of river, although parking is limited. Driftboaters have a few more entry points to the river along with takeouts.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Lydleyld, Ore.–The spring Chinook fishing has been better in the last week than in close to 10 years, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Robin Wilson of Iydleyld Trading Post said they have been weighing around 30 springers a day on the scales. There is access to fishing on both sides of the river on this fabulous section of river, and there is a piece of water for everyone’s taste, Palmer said. A no fishing zone extends from Dead Line Falls and goes upriver for about 700 feet where the fly fishing only area starts.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate-The river is in good shape at least down to Seiad Valley, but is still too cold for the eagerly anticipated hatches to get underway to any great extent. The hatches will start earliest lower in the river since it will warm faster than farther upstream, but flows will be higher.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-The river is dropping and is close to being at a good fishable flow. The clarity is good, and salmon have been seen rolling. Fishing for spring run salmon should get underway within the week.
TRINITY RIVER-The Trinity River peak flow release at Lewiston Reservoir of 6,000 cfs has passed and the river is dropping but still way too high throughout its length to fish.
BERKELEY-Salmon limits rewarded anglers who fished on the salmon boats on Saturday, running down to fish off the Deep Reef. The New Easy Rider scored 26 kings to 21 pounds for 13 anglers on Saturday. The live bait arrived in San Francisco mid-week, and the members of the fleet not chasing salmon were fishing with live anchovies for halibut and striped bass in the bay. Captain James Smith on the California Dawn reported 16 halibut and four stripers for 22 anglers on Saturday, and the Happy Hooker brought in 16 bass and 11 halibut for 23 anglers.
BODEGA BAY- Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler reported good salmon action, but not many of the kings were making the 24-inch minimum grade. Their hottest spot was between Elephant and Bird rocks on the 41-fathom line.
BROOKINGS, OR-WON field reporter Dave Pitts reported great bottomfishing, wide open razor clamming with the minus tides and solid surfperch action. Top spots for bottomfishing were Twin Rocks, Black Rock and Bird Island in 40 to 65 feet of water. Perch anglers hit the mouth of the Winchuck with uncooked shrimp or Berkley Gulp! camo sandworms.
CRESCENT CITY-Joseph Yabu and friends reported solid surfperch action with big jumbos in the 2- to 3-pound class possible. They are using jumbo sandcrabs at the Pt. St. George and Kellogg state beaches.
EMERYVILLE-The boats focused on halibut and striped bass in the bay, with some pretty impressive scores, mostly from South San Francisco Bay. Most trips, especially the lighter loads, scored well over one around and one of the boats posted limits on Saturday with 30 halibut. These were the first live bait trips of the year courtesy of the San Francisco bait receivers.
EUREKA-The rockfish opener attracted some anglers down to Cape Mendocino where mixed action resulted in fairly quick limits for some, and a scratch bite for others. The Pacific halibut action continued strong, with several nice keepers boated. Salmon season opens on May 29.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar reported slower salmon fishing, but the rockfish opener produced well, particularly for the more experienced anglers. “The guys who knew what they were doing caught limits,” said Thornton. He said some nice lings came in also, and he scored limits of Dungeness crabs on one combo trip.
HALF MOON BAY-The fleet tapped into some local salmon action finally when the bite went off at the Deep Reef on Thursday. Even the Golden Gate fleet ran down to sample the limit style bite. The fish were down about 40 feet. The weather was nice enough to pull some rockfish interest for the waters that are open south of Pigeon Point, and the results were reasonable action with near limits of rockfish and some greenling, cabezon and lingcod mixing up the catch.
LOCH LOMOND-Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star reported his first live bait trip of the season on Wednesday when 12 anglers caught eight halibut and two striped bass while fishing Southampton, Berkeley Flats and Red Rock. On Saturday, a bachelor party group stopped celebrating long enough to catch six halibut and two stripers for 15 anglers.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury couldn’t find the fish on the north side on Saturday, so Sunday’s group got to fish South San Francisco Bay, finding much better action with three halibut and four striped bass for six anglers. The bites came off of Alameda.
SAUSALITO-The boats tapped the salmon bite to the south, finding good king salmon action up to limits. Some quality fish caught, including an 18 pounder on the New Ray Ann, and a 17 pounder on the Salty Lady.
SHELTER COVE-While rockfish opened on Saturday, the only reports came from nearshore kayakers who struggled. Minus tides made for difficult launching, but helped out the abalone seekers.
BOCA LAKE-Shore anglers are fishing all around the lake with nightcrawlers and Power Bait and picking up rainbows. A few nice browns are hitting Rapalas thrown at the dam.
CAPLES LAKE-The area received more snow this past week and this will delay the ice thaw even longer than normal, probably mid-June. The ice is thawing a little at the dam along the rocks. Very few anglers are coming to the lake now that trout season is open everywhere else. The resort will open with full services on Memorial Day weekend. Boat rentals will have to wait until the lake is ice-free in June.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-The DFG planted 1000 pounds of catchable rainbows in both the West and East Forks this last Thursday. Weather on the West Fork has been an issue with 8 inches of snow early last week. The river is clear but flows are heavy. Few fish have been caught. The East Fork is producing lots of limits of rainbows running 11 to 17 inches for bait fishermen using worms and salmon eggs. One fly fisherman reported hooking almost 100 fish on wooly buggers. A female fly caster reported landing a 4 pounder in the catch-and-release section below Hangman’s Bridge.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Fishing is good for trollers. Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service was here this past Wednesday and his clients hooked 20 fish to 2 pounds on copper/red Dick Nite and Sep’s spoons, red-dot frog Needlefish and Wild thing dodgers with nightcrawlers in 7 to 14 feet of water near the island.
DONNER LAKE-The lake is filling and fishing is slow. The best bet is shore fishing for rainbows at the west end beach and the public piers with Power Bait and worms.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Anglers are still picking up a few native fish out of the main river and the smaller tributaries. The bigger fish, to 16 inches, are coming out of the Feather. The tributaries are producing fish to 10 inches. The more experienced, dedicated anglers are doing the best. One angler checked in with a 5-pound rainbow caught out of Butt Valley Reservoir. The smallmouth action is picking up here, too.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Fishing has been excellent for shore anglers using nightcrawlers in Big Cove. Limits are common with rainbows running 12 to 20 inches. A few catfish are being caught on the nightcrawlers, too.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Only Sardine Lake is open at this time.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The DFG dumped 4000 pounds of rainbows in here this past week. The trolling is just too easy. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle suggested a mini-flasher/
spinner rig tipped with a worm along the north shore from the boat ramp. Limits are fast for rainbows running 9 to 13 inches. Shore anglers are doing well near the boat ramp with worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Fishing is only fair due to all the cold water running into the lake, which is now at 60-percent capacity. The fish are holding in the deeper water.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-Still inaccessible due to heavy snow.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Rainbows are still hitting Power Bait and nightcrawlers at the old boat ramp in the Narrows by the inlet. A few browns and Macks are showing up for trollers. A 3-pound, 11-ounce brown was caught by Sarah Anderson on a flasher/worm combo in the Narrows.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters has been doing well right on the bottom in 400 to 450 feet of water for limits of 6 to 7 pounders. He has been tagging and releasing 3 or 4 more fish, and losing 4 or 5 on each trip. Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos and Sting Kings are working the best.
PROSSER LAKE-Trollers are catching some nice holdover rainbows in the 12- to 14-inch size range on flasher/worm combos, Needlefish, and Rapalas. Shore anglers are doing best at the inlets with Power Bait and nightcrawlers.
PYRAMID LAKE-The wind has been a problem for the boaters. Shore anglers are doing very well either very early or very late in the day. One angler reported catching 14 fish, including four 6 to 8 pounders, by 8 a.m. this past week. He was throwing a woolly bugger on a spinning rod. One troller made it out but only caught 4 fish running 16 to 20 inches. As the water warms up, the fish will move out to deeper water and then the boaters will have the advantage. The Nets area reopened on May 16.
RED LAKE-There is some open water at the dam where shore anglers are catching a few fish. If the weather continues to warm, the ice should break.
SILVER LAKE-A few anglers are fishing the open water near the dam. The rest of the lake is iced over.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-Wide open kokanee trolling in the top 10 feet on dodger/hoochie or spinner rigs. Limits are easy for 12 to 14 inchers!!! A few big Mackinaws to 10 pounds are prowling below the kokes and can be caught on an F-18 Rapala in black/silver.
TRUCKEE RIVER-The flows are heavy with the runoff and fly casters are concentrating on the pockets out of the current with caddis pupa, stonefly, and prince nymph patterns.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The DFG dumped 3000 pounds of rainbows in here this past week. Rainbow trout and kokanee fishing was fair, 4 fish per angler, for Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle on Code Blue dodgers/orange or pink hoochie rigs tipped with corn at 8 to 24 feet. The fish were running 12 to 14 inches. Mathis trolled for two hours for Macks with no hits. Smallmouth bass to 13 inches are hitting jerkbaits along the rocks. The Sunset ramp will open on May 21. Some big ‘bows are coming to shore anglers dunking Power Bait at the dam launch ramp.
WEST WALKER RIVER-Surprisingly few anglers here despite being scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. The river is still in good condition, but if the weather warms up, the runoff will blow out the river. Only expert, experienced anglers will prevail during the high water flows.
AMERICAN RIVER-Georgetown locals are still catching rainbows to 21 inches and browns to 20 inches on worms/egg combos in the Middle Fork. You have to work for them, but the fish are there!
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 88-percent capacity. The spotted bass fishing is still the main attraction for anglers coming to this lake. There is little word of any action on trout or kokanee.
CAMP FAR WEST-Skiing and wake board events on the main lake are keeping the bass fishermen up in the Bear River and Rock Creek arms. Bass action has been good for fish to 4 pounds on spinnerbaits, worms and jigs. Some crappie are hitting jigs and minnows while fishing the brush and trees that are submerged, now that the lake is full and spilling.
COLLINS LAKE-Trout action is wide open. The last pen of 3 to 4 pounders was released this past week and a trophy plant is scheduled for this week. Many limits are coming in for shore anglers using Power Bait at the dam, beach and campgrounds. Trollers are doing well on Rapalas, Needlefish and Kastmasters. Not as many big fish weighed in this week, but the best trout was an 8 3/4 pounder caught by little Jacob Smith of Natomas at the power lines using Power Bait.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Rainbow trout trollers are catching some nice holdovers, 14 to 17 inches, toplining Rapalas from Boston Bar to Rice’s Crossing. One boat reported catching 7 kokanee, 10 to 12 inches, on blue/silver Needlefish in the Buck’s Beach area. The kokes must have been in one school because they were all caught in the same spot.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the Ralston Road access is open to the lake. Heavy construction is going on at the dam with crews rebuilding the spillway. There will be periodic road closures for blasting. Fishermen that are getting in are catching rainbows.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the Ralston Road access is open to the lake. Small aluminum boats can be launched with some difficulty due to the driftwood and silt on the ramp. All the boats seen on the lake this past Friday by the Forest Service were catching rainbows, and some anglers reported long-lining hand painted Rapalas for big numbers of brown trout to 5 pounds.
LAKE OROVILLE-Fishing is wide open for bass and coho. The bass have finished spawning and are back to feeding. Topwater in the early morning isgood. Worms, Senkos and Flukes have been producing in 3 to 20 feet of water. The coho action is “crazy” according to Chuck Rice at Feather River Outfitters. Some holdover salmon to 12 pounds have been caught along with last year’s planter that are now measuring up to 17 to 18 inches. Trollers are doing well with a Sling Blade/spoon or hoochie combo at the Green Bridge and the dam.
ROLLINS LAKE-Trout and smallmouth bass action has been good. Trout trollers are working the dam area for the planters. The smallies are hitting worms and jigs along the rocky banks. Try a jerkbait in the early morning, too.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Limit style fishing for trout by both shore anglers and trollers. Trollers are pulling a woolly bugger fly, or a Kastmaster for rainbows running 12 to 16 inches. The shore anglers are doing well with Power Bait. Smallmouth bass to 2 1/2 pounds are hitting brown/red plastic worms, but no limits have been reported.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that lots of people are visiting the lake and catching the recently planted rainbow trout. Shore anglers and trollers are both doing well.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Shore anglers and trollers are catching the 10- to 12-inch planters. The campground is still not open yet. Remember that there is a $7 day-use fee here.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The bass are hitting spinnerbaits, Senkos and jigs along the tule banks in the coves. No big fish have been reported.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-The wait is over, bass are on their beds and better water clarity is helping those eager to sightfish. The only thing missing are the larger bass, with most averaging a little over 3 pounds. The entire upper end of the lake has cleared and has at least some fish to look for. Try weightless Senkos (wacky rigged) or drop-shot worms around areas where beds have been sighted. The majority of action has been in 4 to 8 feet of water. Topwater action and reaction baits will come into play in the coming weeks. Buzzbaits, frogs, walkers, and wake baits fished over submerged weed beds, tule points, and stretches of tules and trees provide some fun action.
LAKE BERRYESSA-The koke bite was up and down depending on the day. The bass bite however was consistent. On good days, trolling from Skiers Cove to Goat Rock and over to the Big Island produced both kokes and salmon. Try pink Rocky Mountain Tackle hoochies or red and pink Radical Glow Tubes along with herring and sockeye slayer gels on your dodgers. Grubs and Carolina rigged worms fished on points in the Narrows and the main body produced bass. There has been some reaction bite fishing with ripbaits and spinnerbaits along weed edges but most of the fish are falling to plastics as we are in the spawn and post spawn mode and fish are guarding beds in the back of coves.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Trout fishing picked back up and fishing was fair for trout trollers. The bass were also a good bet with drop-shotting still being the most productive method.
LAKE PILLSBURY-The lake still isn’t on the approved stocking list for trout but bass are in the shallows looking to spawn. Try casting a plastic worm to them as the waters here are very clear and the fishing pressure is almost non-existent.
LAKE ALMANOR- After some bad weather, the fish scattered but fishing was fair with a mix of brown trout to 5 pounds, limits of rainbows and some salmon mixed in. Trolling at the dam, the east shore, and Rec. 1 to the tip of the peninsula found salmon and browns, while Almanor West had the rainbows. Water temperatures are still quite cold and you’ll have to find and stick with the fish as they are not always eating yet.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR–No access to this area at this time due to deep snow drifts. It may be several weeks until the road is plowed by P.G.E. The lake is likely still frozen in any case.
BAUM LAKE- Lots of trout are being caught. Lure fishermen seemed to prefer Kastmasters and Panther Martins. Large nightcrawlers were the choice for bait fishermen, though salmon eggs were doing well also. Fly fishermen mainly used pheasant tails, callibaetis cripples, PMD’s and caddis were also showing.
BRITTON LAKE- Crappie are showing up for boat fishermen, but none noted around the dock areas as yet. A note: Regulation changes now include bluegill and perch in the 25 fish limit on crappie, so be sure to count them in your total catch.
BURNEY CREEK-No current report, but salmon fly nymphs and perhaps some dries should give fly fishermen results below the falls.
CASSEL FOREBAY- Lots of anglers are finding good results. Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and lures were all working well. Fly fishermen did well on PMD’s, callibaetis, caddis while pt’s and copper johns were favorites for nymph fishermen.
FALL RIVER- Reports show good hatches, which should improve with the sunny skies predicted. Should be good numbers of PMD’s coming off, but callibaetis cripples are a good bet also.
UPPER HAT CREEK-The water conditions continue to be good as snow melt-off has been consistent and gradual. Worms and Panther Martins were the baits of choice this past week although salmon eggs and crickets also did well. Brookies to 3 and 4 pounds are still be taken by the patient angler. DFG continues to plant here twice a week.
HAT CREEK (Wild Trout section)-Nymph fishermen still haunting the riffle just below the Power House with good results. There have been hatches of caddis and PMD’s in the evenings, or try a callibaetis cripple.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR- Fishermen have indicated Iron Canyon is fishing very well, however, latest report was that water was low, making boat launching difficult.
KESWICK RESERVIOR-The boat ramp into Keswick is closed again for dredging efforts on the Reservoir, scheduled to re-open this summer. Most anglers are avoiding the lake until the ramp re-opens in June.
MANZANITA LAKE–The lake is still frozen and unfishable at this time.
MCCLOUD RIVER-The McCloud is fishing well. Flows have dropped over the past week, and it is running clear throughout. Some early golden Stoneflies and even salmon flies are hatching sporadically throughout the river, along with a mixed bag of mayflies (midday through afternoon) and caddis in the evening. Nymphing the pocket water and riffles is productive during the day, with the best dry fly opportunities in the evening. The Upper McCloud near Fowler’s camp is fishing well; anglers there have been reporting good fishing with either nymphs under indicators or dry fly with dropper rigs. Salmon flies are beginning to hatch right now, along with a few golden stoneflies and smaller winter stones, caddis in the afternoons, and some PMDs.
PIT RIVER- A few salmon flies reported, with rubber leg stone nymphs doing well, along with some golden stones and stimulator patterns.
LAKE SHASTA-Trout are averaging 16 inches but a few are hitting the 3-plus-pound mark in the Pitt arm where there is a plankton bloom. The salmon bite is improving as well around the dam and Dry Creek. The bass fishing slowed as cooler waters returned but expect to see numbers and sizes pick up. Anglers are tossing dart headed 6-inch worms, Senkos and tubes from the bank out to 25 feet as they move in and out with the water temperatures.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR–Fishing 60 feet down with a UV Sling Blade and a UV Apex behind it found kings in front of the dam. Trolling up the channel towards the bridge and on the south side of the 299 Bridge more nice kokes to16 inches were found.
AMERICAN RIVER-Shad numbers aren’t all that great yet, but most of the fish being caught are the big females that normally aren’t seen until June AFTER the smaller males have filled the river. Some of the fish being hooked weigh as much as 6 pounds, and anglers have had to beef up their tackle. Try pink or red headed jigs with pink, white, or chartreuse curly-tail grubs and splitshot to get deep enough in the 5,000 cfs flows. A few striped bass were being caught on topwater lures around Howe Ave.
FEATHER RIVER- Quite a few shad continued to be caught at the mouth of the Feather and at the rapids at Shanghai Bend. The action comes in spurts though, with good action interspersed with dry spells. Striper fishing was spotty with a few being caught at the mouth and at Boyd’s Pump.
FOLSOM LAKE-Fishing for trout and king salmon continued to be pretty good up the North Fork, but fishing pressure increased last week. Bass fishing was knocked off-balance with cold nights and occasionally windy days. Flooded trees and brush were plentiful and obvious choices but not sure things. Drop-shotting Robo-Worms and wacky-rigged Senkos and slowly working jigs in 10- to 20-foot depths have been more productive than working the shallows.
RANCHO SECO LAKE-Fishing for warm water species has been a better bet lately than trying for trout. Fish worms or crickets under bobbers for panfish, and drop-shot or jig for bass. Try a little topwater early and late.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-The river is clearing and shad fishing around Sacramento, especially at Miller and Discovery parks has been very good. They’re taking shad darts kept deep with a 1-ounce weight. Try red and pink or red and white. Striper fishing was fair at Bryte’s Beach, better at Verona on sardines and bloodworms.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale-The best fishing for striped bass seemed to be centered on Tisdale last week with most anglers catching their limits on minnows and sardines. The stripers are a mix of fresh fish and post-spawn, males to 10 pounds and larger females. Fishing for stripers was not as good farther upstream around Colusa, but anglers were doing well on shad.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding- Trout fishing continued to be good for both fly fishers and spin fishermen so long as the wind doesn’t blow. Fly fishers are using golden stonefly, caddis, and small Mayfly nymph imitations under indicators, and, occasionally dries in the evenings. Spin fishermen have been drifting Glo-Bugs and backtrolling small Hot Shots. Boat passage is forbidden under the Cypress Ave. Bridge, because the release from Keswick Dam is over the 7,000-cfs max allowable.