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 Section, Gold Beach, Ore.–The spring Chinook fishing is getting better again. The last 3 or 4 days there have been approximately 20 fish a day being caught by the boats on anchor in the Elephant Rock area and lower. The water temperature is 55.5 degrees and there are indications of the fish starting to hold in the bay and this section of river. There have been some salmon caught recently with a slightly darker color and no sea lice on them. Other signs of these fish starting to hold is that there have been salmon caught as high as Jon’s Hole, but then never continues any higher.
ROGUE RIVER, Middle Section, Gold Rey Dam-The middle portion of the Rogue is seeing fair to good success, especially those using Kwikfish with sardine wrap, according to WON Field Reporter Dave Pitts. Gold Ray Dam has reported 7,094 spring salmon so far. Anglers are allowed two kings per day fin-clipped or not from the mouth of the Rogue at Gold Beach to Gold Ray Dam, above Gold Ray will open to keeping wild kings on July 1st.
RUSSIAN RIVER-The river is still too high for good fishing, and still murked up. It needs to drop another 400 cfs to start fishing well for shad, which have been in the river for weeks, but hard to get to with high river conditions. Should be in great shape this weekend, though, and the shad fishing should be very good.
UMPQUA RIVER, Main Stem, Elkton, Ore.–The spring Chinooks are still being caught in big numbers. With the water height rising much of the time, the boats closer to the bank are doing much better. Anglers might want to start running K-15 Kwickfish as we start heading into June. “This has been a favorite of mine during this time of year,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service. Farther up river the shad fisherman have been catching a few limits of these West Coast tarpon when river condition are favorable. Due to the heavy rainstorms, the rivers have been ideal for a couple days and then high and muddy for a day or two. As the month of June comes into full swing the fishing for shad and smallmouth bass will become some of the best found on the I-5 corridor.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.-Guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service stopped by the fish ladder on Thursday and it was busy with spring Chinook’s and a few summer steelhead racing to get upriver before the next storm. He saw more salmon in the 40-pound range than he did in the 30-pound class. There was one springer in the viewing area that was close to 50 pounds, if not a pound or two over, he said. The average weight appeared to be close to 22 pounds. On Thursday about 65-percent of the salmon were hatchery fish.
Some anglers are doing very well, while others are having a difficult time finding a fish that will bite there offering.
BERKELEY-Potluck trips scored a fish and a half per rod overall, with a mix of halibut and striped bass, reported Scott Sutherland at the landing. Live bait is now available here, with sources reporting a small to medium grade of anchovy.
BODEGA BAY- Wind continued to complicate the fishing most of the week. Salmon is the only game in town until the June 13 rockfish opener. Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler reported five kings for 16 anglers topped by an 18 pounder.
BROOKINGS, OR- Roland Robertson of the Chetco Outdoor Store reported good bottomfishing when the boats can get out, with limits of blue and black rockfish the norm, and some nice lings sprinkled in. The king salmon opener was slow, and most switched to bottomfishing after a few hours of fruitless trolling. Surfperch fishing has been fair to very good from the state line up to Sportshaven Beach.
EMERYVILLE-The fleet ran all bay trips with no salmon efforts due to lack of interest and outside weather conditions. “Friday would have been the day, and a boat from another landing had seven salmon from 15 miles below Pillar Point,” said Craig Stone at the landing. The in-bay trips produced decent action on halibut and bass, with up to 2-plus fish per rod, most of the action coming from South San Francisco Bay.
EUREKA-Opening weekend of salmon fishing started slow, mostly because the fleet was restricted to nearshore waters due to rough conditions, which also kept the bottomfishing and halibut action slow.
FORT BRAGG-Plenty of activity with finally calm seas combining with a minus tide set and a three-day weekend setting the stage for rock pickers looking for abalone. Visibility was poor (normal for minus tides), so diving conditions weren’t the best. Fishing-wise, Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar reported fair action, but few anglers. “This was the worst Memorial weekend for business I’ve ever seen!” The few anglers who did show caught salmon to 21 pounds, but tough rockfish conditions resulting in half limits.
HALF MOON BAY-A scratchy salmon bite turned some of the effort towards bottomfishing south of Pigeon Point, but there were some good salmon highlights, like Friday, when the Queen Of Hearts scored 11 salmon to 26 pounds for 20 anglers, the group hooking over 20 fish. On Sunday, they ended up with six for 12 anglers, topped by another lunker weighing . The weekend offered tough conditions. The New Gravy tried for bottomfish south of Pigeon Point, but the drift was fast and fishing tough, and they called the day early with a couple fish each.
SAN FRANCISCO-Potluck trips continued to be the main offering, with good action on halibut and striped bass for the boats that fished South San Francisco Bay. The minus tides complicated the fishing on the weekend, but the boats still managed one around plus on their fish counts.
SAUSALITO-The New RayAnn found some kings at the Farallon Islands, including a 25 pounder and a 20 pounder. Some of the boats are also fishing inside the bay, scoring halibut and striped bass.
SHELTER COVE-Captain Trent Slate on the Bite Me out of Shelter Cove Sportfishing reported good action on bottomfishing and salmon trips. “We’ve only missed once due to weather since the opener,” said Slate. “Also, we’re on the main vein of crabs, with 60 to 80 per overnight soak.” Salmon are also biting, with a 31 pounder caught on the Bite Me.
AMERICAN RIVER-Not much change here. Anglers willing to hike into the North Fork or Middle Fork are catching some nice rainbows and browns on nightcrawlers. With the warm weather predicted to finally arrive, watch out for heavy, cold flows in the rivers.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 92-percent capacity. The lake was BUSY over the holiday weekend, but bass action was good for anglers who got away from the recreational boaters. There has been little word on any trout or kokanee action, but the best bet will be up in the North Fork arm of the lake for trollers.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake was loaded with hot boats over the holiday weekend and bass anglers were seeking refuge in the quieter parts of the lake. The overflow area near the bridge by the dam was producing bass to 5 pounds in the brush on Senkos and worms.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is full and trout are still shallow and accessible to both shore anglers and trollers. The bridge area and any place where water is running into the lake is the place to be for shore anglers. The last plant of the spring was made last week. Trollers are doing well all over the lake using Rapalas, Kastmasters, and Cripplures. The bass action is good for anglers throwing crawdads or plastic worms, mostly for smaller spots. Bluegill and catfish action is picking up and will improve with warmer water temps.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 93-percent capacity. A 4 ½-pound brown came off of Buck’s Beach while the angler was watching a bear invade a boat-in camp. Houseboaters are catching rainbows in the marina on worms.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 63-percent capacity. The Mosquito Ridge Road is open to the dam, but the road is not clear to the campgrounds and the boat ramp due to heavy snow drifts. Some shore anglers are doing pretty well at the dam. There is heavy construction going on Mon. through Fri. to build a new spillway. Use caution!!
FULLER LAKE-Included on the newly revised DFG planting list, but so far this lake has not been planted. There should be plenty of holdover trout for shore anglers and trollers.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 68-percent capacity. The campgrounds were overwhelmed over the Memorial Day weekend. Kokanee trolling is good all over the lake for 12-inch fish at 20 to 30 feet with dodger/hoochie or bug combos in pink or white. Some nice browns are hitting F-7 Rapalas trolled in the early morning. Macks are prowling around the kokanee schools, so use a double hook rig while trolling for kokes in case a Mack tries to steal your catch.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Bass and coho action is wide open according to Feather River Outfitters. You can use “anything, anywhere” and catch fish. The bass are done spawning and feeding heavily to recuperate from the rigors of reproduction. Topwater is a possibility very early or very late. Worms, Senkos, and jigs should work on points down to 25 feet. The coho are hitting Sling Blade/spoon or hoochie rigs at the Bridge and the dam at 25 to 35 feet.
ROLLINS LAKE-The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Long Ravine Resort was loaded with campers and fishermen over the holiday. Fishermen were catching plenty of rainbows from shore or trolling by the dam.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Two big browns, 24 and 27 inches, came out of the inlet area on nightcrawlers. Everywhere else, rainbows are hitting Power Bait and worms or cast spinners and spoons. Trollers are doing well with flasher/worm combos and Rapalas. The smallmouth bite is good for fish to 2 ½ pounds, with one angler reporting good action at Campground 1 near rocks and trees using nightcrawlers.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station is now open on weekends and reported that the campgrounds were open and anglers were doing well on the planted trout.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is full, the campgrounds are open, and the trout are biting. Shore anglers and trollers are picking up planters on the usual-Power Bait, flasher/worm combos, and Rapalas.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-Bass to 5 pounds have been hitting Senkos along the tule banks in the coves.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-This past week, even live bait only produced a few bass. And while everyone is tired of “waiting” for warming waters, that is what it will take. In the meantime, move around a lot, and be proud of the few fish you catch under tough bite conditions.
LAKE BERRYESSA-The numbers are picking up here with 20 to 30 bass days possible. By the end of the week, hopefully the stirred up waters from the holiday weekend, will settle. Then try Carolina rigs with 6-inch Aarons Magic Robo Worms or smoke grubs on 1/8-ounce dart heads. Warming waters will help bring back the reaction bite which slowed but the spawn is just about over.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-The lake had a lot of fishing pressure this past week. After it settles, trolling Woolly buggers and an action disk or other favorites should produce limits again. The Narrows Resort is the onsite inspection station for quagga mussels here as all boats in Lake Co. must have the June sticker and inspection before launching.
LAKE ALMANOR-Everything seems to be behind by at least a few weeks, due to cold weather and water but good surface fishing should continue until mid June. Try Speedy Shiners in red/gold. Bass are gearing up to spawn.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR-Snow is beginning to melt so access might be possible in a week or so. There was no access as of this report.
BAUM LAKE-Those fishing to fly fish, try pheasant tails, callibaetis cripples, PMD’s and caddis are showing. Kastmasters and Panther Martins continue to take trout here as are large nightcrawlers and salmon eggs.
BRITTON LAKE- Crappie are biting, as are smallmouth bass. Good bets are crappie jigs, crappie nibbles, or crappie magnets. Color does not seem to be an issue at the present time. A note: Regulation changed and now include bluegill and perch in the 25 fish limit on crappie, so be sure to count them in your total catch.
BURNEY CREEK- Caddis and callibaetis above the falls, while nymphs still seem to be the ticket below the falls. Try a golden stone nymph or a pheasant tail.
CASSEL FOREBAY- The forebay was busy a fishing destination Memorial Weekend and the fishing was good. Although it got a bit crowded at times people were catching lots of fish which is why this stretch of water is so popular. Most of the fish were taken on worms and salmon eggs but spoons, Kastmasters and Z-Rays were also taking fish. Big fish are always possible in this body of water as food sources are plentiful. Fly fishing has been a bit quiet but is beginning to pick up with more hatches starting to show. Blue wing olives, PMDs, and callibaetis patterns were the top producers. Watch for caddis hatches as the fish really get active when this little morsel presents.
EAGLE LAKE- There was a little wind on opening day (Saturday) creating a light chop on the water, so the bite stayed with anglers all morning. The key was to move around until you found a concentration of fish and then fish your favorites. Trolling Sep’s amber or brown grubs at 6-8 feet deep on downriggers 125 feet behind the boat saw action that was not red hot but produced a bite or hook up about every 10-15 minutes. Launching at the Spalding launch ramp was no problem.
FALL RIVER-Fishing was good to great. Weed growth is excellent, and the PMD hatch is just getting started, with the peak of the dry fly action in the middle of the day. In the morning and afternoon/evening fishing remains good subsurface, either swinging wet flies with nymphs or nymphing under indicators.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Jim Cimaglia Rim Rock Ranch Resort reported fantastic fishing by the weekend and anglers locating large numbers of fish up and down the creek. Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery planted three times during the week including large numbers of brood stock from 3 to 5 pounds. Fishing pressure was heavier due to the holiday but not quite as crowded as usual. Worms seemed to be the bait of choice for catching the most fish and crickets also worked well. The next couple of weeks should offer some great fishing as the crowds will taper off until schools let out and DFG will continue generous plants. Fly fishing on the upper creek still hasn’t picked up much as temperatures are a bit low as yet. Crystal buggers continued to produce better than most other offerings in the upper creek so fish deep for more success.
HAT CREEK (wild)-The best fishing was in the riffle sections at Powerhouse No. 2 and above the weir at Lake Britton. Nymphs under indicators and dry/dropper rigs were most productive, with stoneflies and PMD nymphs especially.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR-Still low (around 6,000 AF), which is ideal and the fishing is outstanding with sight-casting opportunities for rainbow and brown trout feeding near the surface. The fishing has still been productive in the inlets of several arms, and at some of the campgrounds. This lake is a sleeper with most fish are in the 14- to16-inch range, and usually very aggressive.
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 has been thawing out for about two weeks now and with a warming trend coming the fish are becoming more active. Lassen Park is only partially open so the pressure here should remain lighter than normal. Try pheasant tails, prince nymphs and leech patterns to generate strikes. The big browns should turn on any day now but remember to heed the special restrictions on this lake.
MCCLOUD RIVER-Fishing good to great, flows remain a bit high with storms and snowmelt (up to about 373 cfs at Ah-di-Nah), but it is running clear throughout and mostly good fishing reports came in. 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 a dry fly with dropper rigs.
PIT RIVER-Fishing very well, depending on location. The best fishing has been in the Pit 3 and 4 sections, with varied hatches (some golden stones, some salmon flies, some PMDs, some caddis), but consistent nymphing in the pocket water throughout the day. There has been a combination of nymphing the pocket waters with some dry fly action midday on warm days (caddis, some PMDs, golden stoneflies, even salmon flies).
LAKE SHASTA-Bass fishing slowed with the cold weather but will pick up with the returning sun. Try topwater baits such as Spooks, Pop-R’s and Rocco’s in the upper portions of the lake to get away from the crowds. Targeting shallow flats with willows the first 2 to 3 hours should be productive. Once the suns’s been on the water for an hour, drop back and toss Senkos and Mother’s Finest in crawdad colors. From Digger Bay to Toupee Island in depths of 25 to 40 feet use a white wiggle hoochie with a UV Sling Blade and Cripplures in silver/blue and shad patterns or a watermelon Apex for salmon. In the plankton bloom up in the Pitt River arm, top line down to 10 feet through the bloom with orange glow Sling Blades and a bright orange gold Hum Dinger in a shad glow Cripplure, and a black/silver Needlefish.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Fishing has been a little slow. It has been a while since the lake was planted and a good DFG load of trout would help out the situation immensely. Concentrate your efforts near the inlet. Some small 10- to 12-inch kokanee have been hitting little Kastmaster spoons cast from the shore.
CAPLES LAKE-The resort opened over the Memorial Day weekend, but the lake is still frozen and there is no open water yet for shore fishing. The area had 8 to 12 inches of snow late this past week that will delay any thawing.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-The East Carson is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Fishing on the West Carson was rated “good” with some limits coming in including rainbows to 3 1/2 pounds. The East Carson and Markleeville Creek fished very well with LOTS of limits. Salmon eggs and nightcrawlers were the most productive for rainbows up to 4 3/4 pounds. One angler caught a 5-fish limit that weighed almost 14 pounds.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Ed Dillard had a 60 fish day this past week. Cold weather during the later part of last week slowed the bite, but with the warmer temps in the forecast, the bite will pick right back up. Dillard reported catching fish on Dick Nite, Sockeye Slammer, and Needlefish spoons from the top to 10 feet deep near the island. He was releasing 15 to 17 inchers and keeping 18- to 19-inch rainbows. Still a little too cold for the fly casting crowd with a 47-degree surface temp. Remember the Rotary Club Trout Derby on June 19. Check out www.rotaryclubofportola.com for info and entry forms. .
DONNER LAKE-The bite is sporadic at best. No DFG plants for awhile and it’s starting to show. Keith Kerrigan at Sierra Anglers Guide Service put a client on a 16-pound Mack last this past week trolling a rainbow trout A C Plug. The bite on 10- to 12-inch kokanee is slow at best.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Fishing has been slow without the benefit of DFG trout plants. A group of four anglers only caught 6 fish at the Caribou Powerhouse.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Shore anglers and trollers are all doing very well with limits very common. Shore anglers at the dam and boat ramp are using nightcrawlers and marshmallows. Trollers are doing well with the Sockeye Slammer and Dick Nite spoons fished 10 to 20 feet deep. Rainbows are running 13 to 18 inches. Last Chance Creek is fishing well for some nice browns on nightcrawlers.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Sardine and Salmon Lakes are now open and shore anglers are doing well with worms.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 69-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. “Like fishing at the trout farm”, according to Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Guide Service. Any lure in the top 10 feet should catch fish right now. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle suggested a green Wedding Ring tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger or a Cripplure in the top 10 feet for easy limits of planter rainbows.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Still a little tough, but anglers who can get out to deep water are catching fish according to Dave Kirby at Woodfords Station.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-Still snowed in according to the Forest Service. NID will try to get the roads plowed by later this week.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Fishing was good for planter rainbows up to 2 pounds. The smallmouth bass are getting more active as the water warms. Check at Sly Park Resort for the latest info.
LAKE TAHOE-Macks are hitting Sling Blade/minnows all the way down to 400 feet for Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters or a jigged 3-oz Crippled Herring at 175 to 220 feet for Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Top Liners. Browns are still hitting CD 11 Rapalas in 20 feet of water but the bite is getting tougher. One angler landed an 18-pound Mack jigging the Crippled Herring this past week. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was getting a wide open action in the late afternoon for 3 to 7 pounders trolling spoons and lures at 200 feet.
LOON LAKE-SMUD plows the road to the lake, but the parking lot and boat ramp are still snow bound.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Hit or miss action here for rainbows and browns. The rainbows are moving back into the lake from the creeks after spawning and are mostly found at the inlets
PYRAMID LAKE-Fishing is still good for shore anglers, but you have to go out very early or very late when the sun is off the water. As the water warms up, the fish will move out to deeper water and then the boaters will have the advantage. Some Sacramento perch are being caught-another indication that the water is warming.
RED LAKE-Snow and freezing weather late this past week has delayed the thaw until later this month. This lake will be the first to thaw if the weather stays warm and the wind picks up.
SILVER LAKE-Snow and freezing weather has delayed any thawing but there was a small section of open water along the highway.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Kokanee trolling is wide open for 12- to 14-inch salmon on Dick Nites, Wedding Rings, Needlefish, and Shasta Tackle UV hoochies at 15 to 21 feet. Fish the mouth of the Little Truckee or Sagehen Creek at 15 feet in 50 feet of water until the sun hits the water then follow the fish out to 90 feet of water and drop down to 21 feet. Some Macks and browns hitting kokanee pattern lures.
TOPAZ LAKE-The unstable weather has made the trout bite fair at best. Boat anglers who are trolling or drifting bait on the south end of the lake are catching a few 15- to 18-inch rainbows.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Heavy flows below town make for difficult fishing. Fish above town before all the creeks run in, and then concentrate on slower runs or pockets with big weighted flies or large spinners. Remember-BARBLESS HOOKS ONLY!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 86-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service was doing well on trout and kokanee this past weekend. Green spinners tipped with a piece of nightcrawler worked for the trout, and a pink spinner tipped with corn did the trick for the kokanee. Trail either rig behind a dodger at 15 to 25 feet deep. The rainbows were running 12 inches, and the kokes measured 12 to 16 inches.
WEST WALKER RIVER-Cold weather this past week delayed the runoff and the river was in great shape for the Memorial Day weekend. Mono County made a last minute plant of Alpers trout averaging 3 pounds just before the holiday and anglers were doing very well on worms, salmon eggs, spinners, and flies. The DFG planters this year are running 12 to 16 inches. Warm weather this week will most likely trigger heavy run-off blowing out the river for a while. Call ahead for the latest river conditions.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate-Salmon regulations have been finalized. Read them elsewhere in this issue of WON. Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service out of Montague, said the weather finally broke and spring is here after a long spell of cool and wet weather. Salmon fly hatch had not begun as of Sunday, but is expected as soon as the weather warms. Should be nice fishing all summer, big rainbows are already available, but they go nuts when the hatch begins below the dam.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-The spring salmon run started with a bang on Thursday, and everyone is catching bright king salmon to 35 pounds. Very few anglers taking advantage of it, and guide Rich Mossholder of Rivers West Outfitters said he only saw 5 boats on Saturday afternoon. A lot of 12 to 18-pound kings are being caught, and they’re moving fast. Good spots are below the Hwy. 101 bridge, the Glenn and Blakes. All the way up to Johnson Bar. Chartreuse and green 50/50 CV7 spinners are the ticket.
Salmon regulations have been finalized. Read them elsewhere in this issue of WON.