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.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–This is the most productive river for fall Chinooks currently in the southern part of Oregon. Most reports of daily catches range from four to 10 salmon per boat, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. The average size of the salmon this year are smaller than normally seen in this river system. There are a few exceptionally large king’s being caught. The S. Fork of the Coos has a great opportunity for bank fishing at Low Water Bridge. Most anglers use a bobber with bait when fishing in this area.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–There are still fresh Chinook salmon coming into the river. There have been several salmon caught in 40-pound plus range this year. “I have received a couple reports of salmon being caught as far up the river as the town of Coquille,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Over the last week the Coho salmon have started being harvested by anglers in the Rocky Point area. Trolling spinners at close to 3 mph has been an effective way to catch these fun fish. Harvesting one native Coho per day, with a total of five for the season is being allowed until a quota of 1,200 fish have been met.”
COQUILLE RIVER, lower, Ore.-WON’s two Oregon Field Reporters, Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service and Chetco Outdoor Store manager Dave Pitts fished the lower Coquille this past week and had six hookups for kings and coho with 30 minutes, and both had doubles. The water was dirty and grassy, so they moved higher in the water column and increased trolling speed. Small baits gave them non-stop action plus a released 20-pound coho so she could spawn. Coho may be kept until the quota of 1200 fish is met, or Nov. 30. Read the regulations.
ROGUE RIVER estuary, Gold Beach, Ore.–Chinook fishing remains slow in the bay with only a handful of salmon being caught on most days. There are reports of Coho salmon entering the bay over the past week, and the shallow flats near Indian Creek are a good area to target these highly active fish. The Indian Creek run of kings should be staging now, and the best place to find them is between the bridge and River View, according to WON Field Reporter Dave Pitts. Most guides have moved to rivers father north.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Cooler temperatures have the smallmouth bass fishing on an upswing, with fairly good numbers of the little guys coming in for anglers throwing spinners in the bigger holes and slower/moving water.
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Ore.–The lower Umpqua has been fair to good for both bank and boaters on both kings and Coho. This river is a big fish fishery; kings from 30 to 40 pounds are not uncommon with several brutes in the 50’s and one pegging the scale at more than 60 pounds. Expect Rains to bring in another fresh shot of kings for anglers and guides to connect on. Plug Cut baits are and have been working well, make sure your baits are vented well.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Fishing for adult salmon was good on an absolute basis, but could even be better based on the number of fish moving into the river. Subsistence netting has ceased above the Highway 101 Bridge, and the salmon are large with some weighing up to 35 pounds. Fishing pressure has decreased, and the rains should do nothing but improve the bite.
KLAMATH RIVER, Weitchpec-Some nice steelhead are continuing to move upstream on the Klamath past the mouth of the Trinity River, and these fish are being taken on flies and spinners. Fishing should do nothing but improve.
TRINITY RIVER, Weitchpec-Fall salmon numbers moving past the Willow Creek Weir continued to be on the low side, and fishing remained slow in the lower end of the Trinity. A few steelhead were being caught at the mouths of tributaries on flies and spinners.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City-The river is in transition with a few bright fall salmon arriving, quite a few dark spring salmon and a few steelhead, which were taking backtrolled Brad’s Wigglers, flies either swung or dead-drifted under indicators. Overall, fishing was only fair.
AMERICAN RIVER-Good anglers were continuing to catch steelhead mostly between 14 and 17 inches plus a few to 6 pounds, mostly between River Bend Park and Sailor Bar. They are taking steelhead streamers, caddis nymph imitations, and even, occasionally, on dries. Not many anglers are fishing for striped bass, but there are still some nice fish present, and if you get on the water very early, you have a decent chance of getting a blowup or two early in the morning on Pencil Poppers.
FEATHER RIVER-Steelhead fishing continued to improve on the Low Flow Section and fish to 6 pounds are taking nymphs, below redds being constructed by salmon getting ready to spawn. Most of the action is between the Highway 162 Bridge and Matthews Riffle. Single eggs and loose roe are also hooking a few. High flows have spread out the striped bass in the lower end of the river with only a few being caught on bait.
FOLSOM LAKE-No change. Some smaller fish are being caught around the main body off the Peninsula and toward Dike 8. Work rocky structure and points around 20 feet deep where there is a drop-off to 25 feet. Fish Robo-Worms in Aaron’s Magic Carolina-rigged or drop-shotted. It’s still important to get on the water early. The lake is still relatively high, and recreational boaters are still coming out in good numbers even though it’s past Labor Day.
MCCLOUD RIVER-Trout fishing is getting better and better as conditions improve with cooler weather. They are taking Mayflies and caddis nymph patterns under indicators, with the occasional hatch allowing some dry fly action in the evening.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Fishing for salmon was either still pretty darn god below Verona or had slowed depending on which report was received. That’s not surprising since catching a salmon is a challenge even under good conditions. Trolling Kwikfish downstream was an effective method, and double-bladed Silvertron spinners were also effective. There were even a very few salmon hooked at Discovery Park on big spinners thrown from shore.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa-This is the part of the river which has seen some large striped bass to 30 pounds caught on minnows, although the fishing has not been as good as last year at the same time. Drifting minnows will likely get bites from a few keepers, the occasional large fish, and lots of shakers. .
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff-Fly fishing for trout continued to be good from Redding to Red Bluff. Although nymphing under indicators produced most of the bites, there was still some dry fly action in the evenings. Two floats have been particularly popular: Bonneview down to Anderson, and Anderson to Balls Ferry.
UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir-Trout fishing continued to get better with a time out on the weekend with the rain storm. But, it will perk up again in a couple of days as the weather and water continues to cool. For larger but fewer trout, fish the lower part of the river toward the lake. For more but smaller rainbows, fish farther upstream you go. High stick or indicator fish pockets with Prince nymphs, rubberlegs, and Foxes’ Poopahs.
BOCA LAKE-Kokanee, Macks, browns and rainbows are all stacked up in the inlet arm where the flows are still high. When the kokanee begin to move up into the Little Truckee to spawn, the flows will be dropped. Browns will begin staging for their fall spawning run in the next couple of weeks. Fishing is pretty good for trollers using a red or orange Rapala that imitates the kokes.
CAPLES LAKE-The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Fishing has been slow for most anglers but trollers getting down to 30 feet have been picking up some nice rainbows. The water level is much higher this year than last and as the water temps cool and the fish move back to the surface, fishing will be much improved. Caples Lake Resort is still in full operation providing cabin and lodge rentals, boat rentals, and launching.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Both forks are scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. The East Fork is fishing very well. Carson River Resort reported fish up to 5 3/4 pounds this past week. Limits are common. The West Fork is low and clear and anglers need to use stealth and light tackle. Alpine County will be making four more 1800-pound plants of trophy rainbows and browns before the end of the season.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Fishing Guide Service reported that his Sunday charter landed 13 rainbows from 14 to 18 inches using copper/red and silver/red Dick Nite spoons fished from the surface down to 12 feet. Windy conditions have made it difficult for fly fishermen.
DONNER LAKE-Trout action is fair, with the rainbows schooled up and moving around the lake-if you’re in the right place at the right time, you get them. Some Macks are being jigged up out of deep water. Keith Zenker from Mountain Hardware and Sports caught a few bright kokanee this past week-small next year’s fish.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-The North Fork is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported good action for anglers in the North Fork and this next plant should just make the fishing even better.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 41-percent capacity. Trollers are still doing okay in the middle of the lake off the Frenchman’s ramp and at Lunker Point. As the water cools, the fish are getting shallower-five to 15 feet deep.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Bassetts Station reported that there was steady stream of people buying licenses and worms, so fishing is good. Limits were common at Salmon, Sardine and Packer. Gold Lake was planted by the DFG this past week.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-Both Crystal Basin Tackle and Dale’s Foothill Guide Service reported poor fishing here.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-The lake has begun to turn over and trout are becoming more active. The deep water in the channel that runs from the ramp to the dam is probably still the best bet for a good fish. The campgrounds are open.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-The Yuba River arm is best for browns while the dam is the place for rainbows. Use Rapalas for the browns and flasher/Needlefish or worm combos for the rainbows.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-John Olsen of Pollack Pines caught a six-pound Mackinaw off the shore in the Narrows. Some 12-inch planters have been hitting Power Bait at the first dam.
LAKE TAHOE-The kokanee bite is over for the majority of the guides-the fish are all red and not worth catching. The Mackinaw bite is good all over the lake from 120 to 300 feet, 220 feet has been producing consistently. Fish are running 2 1/2 to nine pounds. Sting Kings, Rapalas, spoons, and live minnows are all working. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing has been catching some bright ‘next year’ kokanee toplining on the North end.
LOON LAKE-Few reports were forthcoming from any sources about the Crystal Basin. Crystal Basin Tackle owner Kyle Neeser said that there were few anglers getting out with most outdoorsman getting ready for deer hunting instead. With the cold nights and lower water temps, trolling should be good here on a Sep’s Side Kick dodge/brown grub combo or just a grub by itself, according to Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Guide Service.
PROSSER LAKE-The best area is in the Prosser Creek arm where planter rainbows are the main target. Trout schools are moving around the lake and patience is needed to succeed.
PYRAMID LAKE-Perch action is poor to fair, but there are schools of hungry cutthroat trout hitting the crappie jigs used for the perch. The trout season opens on October 1 and the $50,000 Pyramid Lake Challenge will be held on October 2 and 3. Registration is available on line at www.pyramidlake.us for $65.
RED LAKE-The algae problem is subsiding. Woodfords Station reported that a good brown trout was caught here this past week; unfortunately not many details were available.
SILVER LAKE-The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Trolling in the middle of the lake or drifting Power Bait in 40 feet of water was producing this past week. Cooler water temps should bring the fish up shallower.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-According to Will Fish Tackle in Auburn, the kokanee bite has slowed way down and trout action is good. One angler reported picking up 20 trout, rainbows and browns, to 3 pounds on threaded nightcrawlers and No. 2 bikini Needlefish tipped with nightcrawler at 30 feet just 40 feet behind the boat at 0.8- to 1.2- mph up in the Little Truckee inlet area. The wind has been coming up between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. and blowing boats off the lake.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Fly fishing has been pretty good for casters using a large weighted dark stone with a No. 16 or 18 dark bead-head pattern dropper nymph. Streamer or crayfish patterns are working well in the heavier flows below the Boca inlet. Fish are running from 12 to 20 inches.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-No sources-Crystal Basin Tackle, Ken’s Custom Tackle, or Dale’s foothill Guide Service-had been on the water at all last week and none had any current info available. Fishing was pretty good for kokanee the previous week, but they were turning red and weren’t fit to eat.
WEST WALKER RIVER-Fishing is “fantastic” according to Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel. Mono County made a plant of Alpers trout this past week and anglers have been coming in with rainbows up to 3 3/4 pounds. Limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows are common. Fly fishermen are releasing lots of fish during a day’s casting. The next Mono County plant of three- to four-pound Alpers trout is scheduled for the first week of October.
BERKELEY-For some of the boats, the Marin Coast has been excellent fishing, although the weather can mess it up. Sunday’s trip on the California Dawn was awesome with 32 halibut and 12 lings for 14 anglers, along with 22 rockfish. Saturday was tougher due to weather, with only six ‘buts and four lings. The Happy Hooker found better action mid-week when 14 anglers caught rockfish limits, 17 lings, and 11 halibut.
BODEGA BAY- Fort Ross produced 29 rockfish limits and a handful of lingcod for anglers on the New Sea Angler on Saturday. Of the three lings caught, a 14 pounder took big fish honors. Captain Rick Powers will run the boat’s first tuna trip on Thursday. “A couple private skiffs found some albacore just outside the Cordell Bank,” said Powers, so prospects look good.
EMERYVILLE-While not all of the trips out of Emeryville Sportfishing Center produced rockfish limits, those that didn’t were close, and most also scored some bonus lingcod and halibut. No really high lingcod counts, but some big ones are showing up, with jackpot lings in the teens.
EUREKA-Most of the boats headed south to fish for albacore, finding some pretty good scores. Bottomfishing closed on Sept. 16, but shore anglers can still fish for rockfish. Other options include surfperch and Pacific halibut.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar is running albacore trips this week. He ran a bird watching trip and was able to run a jig out, finding a 20 pounder in 10 minutes, and a 15 pounder shortly after that, and one small one that shook loose at the boat. Private skiffs fishing to the northwest had counts up to 30-plus, so prospects are good.
HALF MOON BAY-The nearshore rockfish action remained strong. On the Queen Of Hearts, anglers caught limits or near limits of rockfish through the week, plus cabezon and lingcod. Another wolf eel hit the deck, the fourth reported on Half Moon Bay boats in the past couple weeks. The boat has been hitting spots all down the coast from San Gregorio south to New Years Island to find the biters.
LOCH LOMOND-Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star continued his mixed bag trips finding rockfish and lingcod at Point Bonita or the Mile Light and halibut at the deeper water spots in San Francisco Bay. Big halibut of the week weighed 22.25 pounds and came from Raccoon Straights. Alcatraz and Paradise also produced halibut.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury found about one around on halibut trips on San Francisco Bay, but the big glory came on a sevengill cow shark trip that scored limits for five anglers, big fish an 85 pounder. “They were all big fish, from 45 pounds and up,” said Miller.
SAN FRANCISCO-The first albacore effort on the Bass Tub produced some fish for the group on board, and while the bite wasn’t wide open, it was promising with some big tuna boated and the first tuna blood on the Bass Tub’s decks. The action came from between the Pioneer and Guide seamounts. Most of the eight fish boated were caught on the troll, with one promising bait stop resulting in three of four fish hooked “dropped,” fizzled that stop.
SHELTER COVE-Solid albacore action spruced up with some exotics on the side was on the menu for the fleet. Rumors were that tuna were caught within four miles of the beach, but the solid bite was out at 10 miles. Captain Trent Slate on the Bite Me fished with a friend and they caught 15, most in the mid-teens with one that broke the 20-pound mark. There were also three yellowtail and a dorado caught. Now that rockfish season is closed for boat anglers, Slate will concentrate on the tuna.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE- Catfish were the better bet, with channel cats running from six to nine pounds and almost everyone who wanted them getting 6- and 8-pound fish. With cooling waters, and weeds dying off, there should be some relief for bass anglers soon. Look for some fish to move into shallow water back in some of the sloughs/canals that might chew on rattle baits. This has been a bite that has been very consistent over the past several years and the conditions are starting to set up for that bite to get started.
LAKE BERRYESSA- In front of Skiers Cove and around the mouth of the Narrows in 100 to 140 foot of water fishing 78 to 90 feet deep, that’s where the kokes are. The season is coming to an end. The king salmon bite is picking up a little, with fish going from 16 to 20 inches long and mixed in with the kokes over the channel.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Looks like the lake MAY get a trout plant in a few weeks. In the meantime, those who put their time in, down to 35 feet found a few fish. Warm water also slowed the bass bite.
LAKE ALMANOR-Speedy Shiners or trolling flies can be productive as the lake moves into a fall surface pattern. Try starting at the tip of the peninsula above Rec. 2 and head west towards Bailey Creek, by Dorado Inn, or the A-frame. Fish have been 10 feet down in this area in 25 to 35 feet of water.
ANTELOPE LAKE-A good bet here will be woolly buggers in 18 to 20 feet of water and fishing 12 to 15 feet deep. Stick by the deeper waters by the dam. Bass fishing should also be good in the coves.
BAUM LAKE-The overall bite is getting better with cooling conditions. Power Bait, Power Eggs and nightcrawlers have been favorites for trout here. Fly fishermen have been doing better with the cooler temperatures, too, and the hatches in the evenings have been fairly good. Red copper john’s or brown or olive colored wooly buggers, Panther Martins and Kastmasters were productive as well.
BRITTON LAKE-Good bets here continue to be crappie jigs, crappie nibbles and crappie magnets for crappie although the bite has slowed. The bass bite should start to pick up with the cooler weather also cooling the water. Look for bass to start moving back into the shallower waters around structure.
BURNEY CREEK- Upper Burney Creek was well planted for the holiday weekend and there should be plenty of trout left. The bit has been consistent all summer on caddis and callibaetis above the falls or attractor patterns. Below the falls a pheasant tail, copper John, bird’s nest or hares ear worked best.
CASSEL FOREBAY- The forebay fished well again this past week. Mostly rainbows were taken and mornings were fishing better than the evenings. Power Bait and salmon eggs were the preferred baits. Fishing here should remain good right into October. Fly fishing has improved with more activity presenting mid day for both nymphing and topwater. Copper Johns, caddis and midges all worked well.
EAGLE LAKE-Trout have moved towards the north end where it is shallower. Limits to 3 pounds are still being taken. Just fish shallow and use bright colored grubs if water clarity is not good. All methods are producing and the bite is holding longer.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Fishing was fantastic with the fishing as good or better than it has been all year. Lots of limits and trophy trout were caught as report after report confirmed that the fishing was much better than anticipated. Plants will continue twice a week. Worms were definitely the most productive, with spinners also working well. Fishing should to continue to be good to excellent though the remainder of September. Fly fishing was fair with weighted flies working the best. Stone flies and copper johns were effective patterns.
HAT CREEK (wild) -Nymph anglers continued to do best on hare’s ear, birds nest and pheasant tails. Nymphing was the best, but callibaetis cripples also yielded some good results.
MANZANITA LAKE– Topwater action was most prevalent mid day this past week as both mornings and evenings saw quick drops in temperatures. Streamers and buggers are starting to produce as larger fish begin their pre-winter feeding patterns. Remember to heed the special restrictions on this lake.
PIT RIVER-Pit 3 road is again closed for work, estimated completion is mid-October. Latest update shows test flows at Pit 4 and Pit 5 are scheduled for the first week in October beginning October 4. Flows will be raised and lowered in increments for the testing, with flows as high as 1379 cfs, so be extremely careful if attempting to fish in this area during the test dates.
LAKE SHASTA-Smaller trout again this past week at Toupee Island, Digger Bay and by the I-5 Bridge. The salmon bite was red hot between 80 and 100 feet for 14- to 16-inch cookie cutter fish. A large 8-inch Sling Blade with a white Hoochie was the hot ticket. The bass bite was still slow, try topwater early and late, and then plastic worms and tubes fished deeper during the day.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR-The kokes are done for the season. They’ve already started to kype and change color and their meat will be no good.
AMERICAN RIVER-Very little pressure here with deer season opening. There should be some nice rainbows and browns in the deeper pools in the Middle Fork in the Georgetown area, and in the River below the French Meadows dam. The solitary fishing should make the hike worth the effort.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Very few boaters out as the summer season winds down. Emerald Cove Marina reported that bass are cruising all around the docks, so bass action should be good for those willing to give it a try.
CAMP FAR WEST-Trollers have been limiting out on bass to 4 pounds. Catfish action is good very early in the morning or at night for fish to 2 pounds on chicken livers and sardines.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is down 22 feet from full-much higher than last year at this time. The water temp is dropping slowly and by mid-October trout plants will resume and continue through Thanksgiving. Trout, catfish and bass were all biting this past week. Trout trollers were doing well working the whole lake at 30 feet with Apex, Cripplures and Rapalas. Catfishing has been the most productive at the docks, dam, and Elmer’s Cove for fish to 9 1/2 pounds. A 5 1/2-pound largemouth bass was caught off the dam on a spinnerbait by Albin Tejano of Fairfield.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Trout action is still good for anglers fishing off their houseboats with worms in the marina, and for trollers working the open lanes between the moored houseboats with flasher/worm combos at 5 to 10 feet. The cooler weather will bring the fish up shallower, more often, and for longer periods of time.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Not much word available through Will Fish Tackle or the Forest Service, but as the weather cools, browns will be heading up to the inlet to stage for spawning up in the Middle Fork. Early morning trolling with Rapalas should be productive.
FULLER LAKE-The lake was supposedly planted this past week by the DFG so fishing should be wide open for rainbows and small browns at the dam or the day-use area for shore fishermen. Trollers should be doing very well on flasher/worm combos. BUT, a report came in from one source stating that a couple of guys had fished the lake for four hours on Saturday and didn’t get a bite.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The kokanee bite is over and trout fishing has slowed way down, but crawdad trapping is wide open, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. There were two suspicious wildfires burning in the Ralston Ridge area below the lake and there was a big task force still working here as of Sunday morning. One fire was under control and the other only 40-percent contained. Call ahead for the latest info at the Georgetown or Foresthill Ranger Stations.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Feather River Outfitters reported that one angler landed 33 “slot” bass on crawdads at Goose Island, but a weekend tournament reported “terrible” fishing with very few limits weighed in. The bass are still suspended over deep water and hard to locate and even harder to catch. No word was available about any coho trolling success, but there should be a fish at the buoy line by the dam that will take a minnow or nightcrawler.
ROLLINS LAKE-Catfishermen have been doing very well with chicken livers at night for cats to 3 pounds from the shore. Long Ravine Resort is closing the marina for the season and boaters renting slips were required to remove their boats by Sunday. The Outrigger Grill is also closed for the season, but will reopen next year for Memorial Day weekend.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Scott’s Flat Lake Marina reported dismal action on all fronts for anglers. Ray Kelly at the marina said he had only seen one 1 1/2-pound smallmouth bass caught all week. Starting September 27, the marina will only be open on an “on-call” basis. Customers needing marina services need only to check in at the office for assistance.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-Cooler weather should help bring what fish are left in the lake into shallower water. There hasn’t been a DFG plant here is over two months, so fishing has been slow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Trollers are picking up a few rainbows to 14 inches according to the Georgetown Ranger Station-no limits though.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The bass bite along the tule banks has been good for fish running 3 to 5 pounds with an occasional lunker to 7 pounds. Successful anglers are throwing frogs and Senkos, according to Feather River Outfitters.