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.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore.- Catches during the latter part of the Brookings ocean “bubble” season off the mouth of the Chetco improved, but closed on Oct. 12, while fresh salmon have been seen in the lower portion of the river. More than 50 salmon, most topping 30 pounds, were caught Oct. 8 out of Brookings, a vast improvement from the slow Oct. 1 ocean opener. The river is closed above river mile 2.2 until Nov. 6. “My guys at the hatchery told me that they are not expecting a big return of 4-year-old Chinooks this year, and they make up the majority of the Chetco’s returning fish,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.-As of one hour after sundown on Oct. 10 the Coho salmon season closed for non-adipose fin clipped fish. It was a short, but fun season for most of the people that spent some time targeting them, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. As for the fall Chinooks, it has been a bunch of mixed reports from sportsman over the last week. Some boats have spent the better part of a full day on the water without a bite, While others had a couple fish and said they had only been on the water 2-3 hours. “I feel it is time to start fishing higher in the river system,” said Palmer, of River Secrets Guide Service. “Over the next couple of weeks I will most likely be launching my boat at Riverton on Hwy. 42 south or be using one of the two boat ramps in the town of Coquille on HWY 42.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.- Indian Creek king’s finally showed up. “At high tide you can see them trying to swim up the creek to return to the hatchery,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. There have been a few salmon caught that are worth having a picture taken with over the last week. Although most of the fish being caught over the course of a day are wildcCoho that cannot be kept here, he said. “Visitors planning on fishing here should know that Oregon law does not allow putting a native coho in the boat prier to releasing the salmon,” he said.
SMITH RIVER-According to Andy Martin of Wild River’s fishing said that fishing was slow in early October, but fresh salmon have been seen at the Sand Hole despite low water conditions. Guide David Castellanos spotted several bright salmon moving across the flat between Ship Ashore and the Sand Hole, some being chased by seals. The Smith is closed above the mouth of Rowdy Creek until flows top 400 cfs. Anglers have been trolling the lower portions of the river. Trolling plug-cut herring or plain anchovies with no weight is the preferred method in the lower Smith.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Fresh salmon continued to enter the lower end of the Klamath. Big ones, too, with some weighing over 35 pounds. The best action was below Blue Creek and most were being caught on drifted or boondoggled roe. Not many steelhead were being reported, but fishing pressure for them was light.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate-Salmon fishing continued to be very good below Iron Gate Dam. Many anglers are continuing to hook 10 or more fish in an outing, although others haven’t been doing as well. Fish are still in good shape and are hard fighters. There are quite a few steelhead in the river, too, but very few anglers are targeting them yet.
TRINITY RIVER, Weitchpec-Salmon fishing was fair on the Indian Reservation stretch of the river, and the salmon counts for both Chinook and coho salmon were good. However, a big influx of smolts is working its way downriver and will be causing some havoc with anglers over the next week.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma-A few salmon were being caught, but fishing was still slow, and anglers were still hopeful that the bulk of the fall run was still on their way. A few more steelhead were showing up and were taking flies, roe, nightcrawlers, and back-trolled Brad’s Wigglers. However, 850,00 smolts were dumped into the river last week and need to clear out before bigger fish can get to the bait. Fishing was better down around Del Loma than higher up around Douglas City, at least until the smolts showed up.
BERKELEY-On board the Happy Hooker, striped bass have been the buzz, with limits on a trip during the week, and over a fish around on Sunday’s trip. Still a few big halibut showing up also, one angler hooked a 17 pounder at Red Rock. The stripers also boosted fish counts on the California Dawn, Captain James Smith reporting over 2 fish per rod on bay trips fishing the waters from Red Rock up to San Pablo Bay.
BODEGA BAY- Great bottomfishing continued for boats plying the waters up off of Fort Ross and Timber Cove, with rockfish limits the rule and some interesting lingcod counts. “We released 30 lingcod on Saturday, fish that will be legal next year when the size limit drops,” said Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler. “I don’t think we’ve missed on rockfish limits all year.” A Friday tuna try on the New Sea Angler was a struggle with a couple of hits, but no fish landed. “We saw jumpers, but those tuna are funny fish. We couldn’t get them to bite.”
EMERYVILLE-Great late season bottomfishing ruled the activity at the landing, with some impressive lingcod scores also. The Captain Hook got into the lings on Saturday, with 20 lingcod falling for 10 anglers, big ling a 12 pounder. “The New Salmon Queen had a good day on Thursday with 15 lings for 17 anglers,” said Craig Stone at the landing. The rest of the fleet all reported rockfish limits all week long, a mix of olives, yellowtail, vermilion and some “hard-heads” like gophers and china rockfish.
EUREKA-WON reader Lonnie Dollarhide got out on Saturday for Pacific halibut with Captain Tim Klassen on Reel Steel, hooking a 45 pounder in 300 feet of water. Another angler on board caught a 42 pounder, so as long as the season is open, big flatties on the outside is an option. Earlier in the week, the ocean was up, and not much happened. The commercial albacore fleet is moored in Humboldt Bay, and most planned to head out on Monday for tuna, weather permitting.
FORT BRAGG-There were some boats that ran out to some warm water, the first break at about 15 miles, and the tuna action found 20 to 30 miles out. The ocean has been “iffy,” but things should change this week, offering some good windows of action for albacore.
HALF MOON BAY-Great bottomfishing action and a few white seabass still showing up. WON reader Paul Chan of South San Francisco caught a 20 pounder on a sanddab. On the charter boats, rockfish limits was the rule. The Queen Of Hearts reported limits from Wednesday on, with a couple lingcod. The rockfish are a mix of vermilion and school fish like blue and yellowtail rockfish. Friday’s weather was ideal, and 27 anglers scored limits with some big vermilion mixed in weighing up to 8 pounds. The Huli Cat ran out of Pillar Point Harbor targeting white seabass with Capt Mike Velasquez at the helm. Starting around the PP Buoy, Pacific
Hooker Capt Mike, fished in 12 fathoms of water. The end result was 4 white seabass to 40 pounds for five anglers, 1 lingcod to 19 pounds, 1 halibut to 32 inches, and one 12-pound salmon that was released.
LOCH LOMOND-Live bait season is over for the Morning Star, Captain Gordon Hough pulling out for a Coast Guard inspection this week, and starting the winter season up at Crockett following. “Our season went out with a whisper,” said Hough, “but we did manage some nice halibut and bass.” Captain Jim Cox of Jim Cox Sportfishing has been alternating between fishing on the anchor for leopard sharks and trolling for stripers, splitting his trips so his anglers have a chance at both. They have caught leopards to 50 inches, and stripers to 32.5 inches.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury mixed up the trips again, offering a sevengill cow shark trip that scored limits topped by an 85 pounder. His other trips found striped bass on the troll, with near limits on Tuesday, and limits on Sunday, most of the fish coming from off the Pinole Pier area.
SAN PABLO BAY-Striped bass are moving around and provide fair to good action at times for anglers drifting live bait and trolling. The top action has been along the Rodeo and Point Pinole shoreline, although fish are showing all through the system. There were even a few halibut mixed in for those using live bait in the same areas.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-Find the spots where bass are active and you’ll have a shot at them with rattlebaits in the weeds from three to seven feet of water, or small swimbaits, ripbaits and chatterbaits. The one consistent thing has been a fairly good early morning bite that later falls apart. All three arms are producing although the upper end seemed to be producing an overall better quality fish. Nice crappie and catfish have been good options though for those who just want to catch fish.
LAKE BERRYESSA-The bass bite has yet to get going, but reports are that spoons are the best bet. King salmon are just getting going now that the kokes are done and ranging from 13 to 17 inches. They were caught off Skiers Cove and in the river channel on the main lake between 65 and 80 feet. RMT spoons and a big RMT hyper plaid dodger with a black marble grub were good set ups.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Things will pick up here now, as DFG intended to plant this week. With cooler overnight temperatures, the bass bite should also improve.
LAKE ALMANOR-Trout are abundant throughout the system as the fall bite is here and fish are in a feeding frenzy. Find the bait and work the edges in the top 15 feet with Speedy Shiners, or white trolling flies.
BAUM LAKE- Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney reported fly fishermen doing better with the cooler evenings and the hatches in the evenings have been fairly good. Brown or olive woolly buggers fooled a few fish. Power Bait, Power Eggs, and nightcrawlers are favorites for baits, and Panther Martins and Kastmasters were favored by the rest.
BRITTON LAKE-As the weather cools the crappie bite has slowed, but bass are starting to move back into shallower waters and around structure, look for a topwater bite early and late.
BURNEY CREEK-The bite has been consistent all summer and hasn’t changed, try caddis and callibaetis above the falls or attractor patterns. Below the falls a pheasant tail, copper john, bird’s nest or hares ear are working.
CASSEL FOREBAY-Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and lures were all working well and there was less fishing pressure. Fly fishermen did well on BWOs, callibaetis, and caddis while pt’s were favorites for nymph fishermen. Early morning and late in the evening remained the best time.
EAGLE LAKE-The bite has been consistent when the overnight temperatures stayed down. Just get out early as the days can still warm up. Fish Traveler Guide Service said fish have moved north, up to the Little Truxel Point and Bucks Point, and then all the way to Big Truxel Point. Fish have also moved inside to Pelican Point in the Spalding Bay area.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Fish and Game is still planting and will continue until they close the campgrounds next week. There’s still lots of fish but not many fishermen. October through the end of the stream trout season on November 16 historically can be some of the best fishing here.
HAT CREEK (wild) -Nymph anglers continued to do best on hare’s ear, birds nest and pheasant tails. Callibaetis cripples also yielded some good results.
MANZANITA LAKE-Fishing fair to slow, the best action seemed to be come in the middle of the day on small midges dead drifted under indicators. Slow stripping leeches can also be productive this time of year, especially around the shallower drop-offs, coves, and weed beds.
PIT RIVER- Stillfishing is good wherever access and flows allow it. The water temperatures have begun to drop and fish are spreading out again. Road closures and the new high flow regime have made fishing and access tough in the Pit 3 stretches, but both Pit 4 and Pit 5 continue to fish very well, especially for big rainbows.
LAKE SHASTA-Warm water has kept the bass bite in summer mode. Fish were caught on everything from worms, to drop-shot, cranks and topwater, but they were all small and hard to come by. With the water still hot, don’t expect any surface fishing for trout; they are down between 50 and 100 feet, salmon even deeper. The main body channels where it is deeper and therefore cooler, will provide the better option on Paddle-Tails, an Apex or a Hoochie behind UV Sling Blades.
AMERICAN RIVER-Steelheading had been pretty darn good. No, not everyone catches a steelhead every time out, but one rarely does. Fly fishers are doing well on caddis nymph imitations, either on the swing or dead-drifted under indicators, according to Morgan Thalken of American Fly Fishing. Some of the better areas have been River Bend Park, Sunrise, and Sailor Bar. Most of the steelies being caught are around 2 pounds, but a few in the 5-pound class are being caught. Remember, barbless hooks only, and one hatchery steelhead, adipose fin clipped. That’s the small fatty fin on the back just in front of the tail. Spin fishermen are scoring on drifted mini-crawlers and small spinners. A few striped bass were being caught early in the morning on topwater plugs at /Discovery Park.
FEATHER RIVER-Steelheading was pretty good in the Low Flow Section last week. Steelhead are keying on eggs being dropped by spawning salmon. Light lines and a stealthy approach are required. Please try not to wade on salmon spawning riffles. The poachers witnessed stuffing salmon into a van were caught, according to Bob Bradbury of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle who made the CALTIPS call on behalf of a witness who called Johnson’s wondering what to do. Yea!!.
FOLSOM LAKE-Not much change on the bass fishing, which continued to be tough, and most are still deep. The best of relatively poor fishing is still around the main body on Drop-shotted and Carolina-rigged Robo-Worms in Aaron’s Magic and Morning Dawn. Still no direct reports on trout and salmon but there was a second hand report (more of a rumor actually) of some salmon action from the main body at 40 to 60 feet deep. This is about the right time of year for trout and salmon to start being active again.
MCCLOUD RIVER-This is a sweet time of year for trout fishing on the McCloud. Some larger fish are starting to come out of Shasta, so the lower river is offering some chances at real quality as well as at numbers. Swing soft hackle wet flies, and dead drift Mayfly and caddis nymph patterns under indicators.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Some striped bass, mostly keepers to 22 inches, but a few up to 15 pounds were being caught by bankies off Marshall Ave. in the Deep Water Channel.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale-The salmon season opener wasn’t all that good around Tisdale, but there was some decent action around Los Molinos on salmon up to 30 pounds. Most were taken on Kwikfish wrapped with a sardine fillet.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-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 was very good once again, and some larger fish are now coming out of Shasta, giving anglers expecting trout no bigger than 15 inches or so an extra thrill. High stick or indicator fish pockets with Prince nymphs, rubberlegs, and Foxes’ Poopahs.
YUBA RIVER-Some nice steelhead action is occurring on the Yuba these days as they key on spawning salmon. Egg patterns are good, but so are caddis and Mayfly nymph imitations. There is even some dry fly action to be had on occasion. Try a hopper pattern with a nymph dropper. The stretch from the Highway 20 Bridge to Sycamore. Ranch is a popular, but increasingly crowded run.
AMERICAN RIVER-With the colder nights in the mountains, the trout fishing should be good in the deeper pools on the Middle Fork near Georgetown and below French Meadows Reservoir.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 64-percent capacity. The fall bass bite is starting to kick in. One angler reported catching a 25-pound limit drop-shotting Roboworms. Emerald Cove Marina reported that big bass can be seen swimming all around the docks.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Bass fishing is turning on with the drop in the water temp. Throwing crankbaits or trolling shad imitators is producing limits for anglers all over the lake, according to North Shore Resort.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is holding at 25 feet from full. The fall trout planting program will start the week of October 17 and run through Thanksgiving. The shad hatch is bringing the trout closer to the surface and trollers who made it up to the lake were picking up some limits. Wes Brown and Vern Felker of Rocklin caught two limits of trout that included a 2-pound brown trolling Rapalas and Needlefish. Shore anglers are picking up some limits on Power Bait by the dam. Catfish action is good at night-Mark Zaski and son Mark picked up 6 and 8 pounders on anchovies.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Trout action has improved throughout the lake. The dam and marina are still the hot spots for trollers using flasher/worm combos. Bait drifters using Power Bait and worms are picking up rainbows, 10 to 15 inches, from Buck’s Beach down toward the marina. Deer hunters should check out the lake-some nice bucks have been seen recently and two hunters scored on the public lands surrounding the lake. Check in at the store at Skippers Cove or at the Army Corps office for a map of open hunting land where hunting is with archery or shotgun only.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 59-percent capacity. The French Meadows and Ahart Campgrounds will be open until October 15. The Lewis Campground and the Group Campgrounds are already closed for the season.
FULLER LAKE-The lake was planted by the DFG this past week. Fishing should be good from the dam for shore anglers using Power Bait and worms. Trollers should be doing well with flasher/worm combos and small Rapalas or Needlefish.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. The only campgrounds open here are the Upper and Lower Hell Hole Campgrounds. Upper Campground is only boat accessible. Not much to report according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. Lots of deer hunters in the area, but not many fishermen. Browns should be moving up to the inlet of the Rubicon in preparation for spawning. Troll Rapalas in the early morning.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Bass fishing has been painfully slow. Mike Hanson from Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that three friends went out and only caught 11 small fish all day drop-shotting worms. The coho bite is improving with one troller picking up two nice fish between the Spillway ramp and the 5-mph buoy line and then just stayed by the dam using Apex lures for a limit.
ROLLINS LAKE-The lake is at 76-percent capacity. Lots of shore anglers and trollers but few are reporting any catches to the staff at Long Ravine Resort. The lake has been dropping one to three feet per day, but the ramp is still useable.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The lake is at 73-percent capacity. There was little to report here with no fishing boats on the lake all this past weekend-just sailboats. Smallmouth action should be improving as the water temp drops.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-No reports available from the Forest Service or local tackle shops, but then this lake hasn’t been planted since before July 4.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 80-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds are now closed for the season. Trout action should be much improved, but few anglers have been at the lake.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-Little to report here. Bass action should be good along the tule banks and the trout bite should improve with a drop in the water temp.
BLUE LAKES-The campgrounds will close on October 15. Fishing at Upper Blue was rated excellent over the past week for shore anglers and trollers working the west end bluffs with worms and flasher/worm combos.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 46-percent capacity. The ramp is out of the water and trailered boats cannot be launched-only cartoppers that can be carried to the water’s edge. The inlet area is the best place to concentrate your efforts right now for rainbows and browns.
CAPLES LAKE-The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Trollers were finding limit fishing for planters using flasher/worm combos. Caples Lake Resort and the new EID launch facility will close at the end of the month making shore fishing the only option unless you can carry your cartopper to the water’s edge for launching.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Both Forks are scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. The West Fork is low and clear with tough fishing though the river is loaded with trout. Use a stealthy approach and light tackle for any chance at success. The East Fork is fishing very well and everyone is catching limits using bait, lures, and flies.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 58-percent capacity. The Honker ramp was recently de-silted and the dock moved out further into the water. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Fishing Guide Service reported that trolling is still producing 10 to 15 fish on a three hour trip. Dillard is using copper/red or silver red Dick Nites and pink Sockeye Slammers at 8 to 10 feet from the island to the dam. Shore fishermen have been catching rainbows up to 18 inches at Mallard Cove on Power Bait. Shore anglers can catch fish at Eagle Point, but you must cast out a LONG way to get past the weeds. The Grizzly Store reported that shore anglers brought in a couple of 4 pounders taken at Mallard Cove.
DONNER LAKE-The lake is at 88-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Shore fishing at the boat ramp or off the public piers is excellent and great place to take the kids.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-The North Fork is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Trout fishing for planters has been good in the North Fork. Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort fished Caribou Powerhouse this past week with a friend and they caught 6 smallmouths, 2 to 2 3/4 pounds, on Gitzits and Senkos cast into the current while the generators were running.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Crystal Point is producing on inflated nightcrawlers from shore. Trollers are doing well at Lunker Point and off the Frenchman Campground.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Packer Lake is kicking out brookies and rainbows on Power Bait and worms. Salmon Lake is producing for trollers or casters using gold Super Dupers and Kastmasters worked down to 10 feet. Sardine Lake has been producing consistent action on flasher/worm combos. Gold Lake Mackinaw are starting to get active at 40 feet on J-Plugs, Kwikfish, and Flatfish. The macks will move shallower after the lake turns over.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Shore fishing near the boat ramp and at Strawberry Point has been good.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Still too warm for an Alpine County trout plant. The campgrounds are closed. The best chance at success will be fishing the channel between the ramp and the dam out of a small boat or float tube.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Shore action and trolling is excellent for rainbows running 14 to 16 inches with an occasional fish to 18 inches. Rapalas and nightcrawlers are the most popular lure and bait choices.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-The lake is at 81-percent capacity. Some 3-pound Mackinaw were caught trolling Kastmasters down to 10 to 15 feet. Not much happening on rainbow trout for shore anglers.
LAKE TAHOE-All the guides are catching 2 1/2- to 5-pound average Macks very early in the morning at 120 to 200 feet on lures and minnows. The macks are in pre-spawn and not very aggressive resulting in lots of poorly hooked fish that are being lost. Biggest fish reported was a 9 pounder caught by Jacob Cole of Sacramento while fishing with Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 59-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. This lake is fishing the best of the Crystal Basin lakes with a good troll bite all over the lake on flasher/worm combos or Sep’s dodger trialing a brown grub.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 40-percent capacity. The rainbows are cruising around the lake in groups at 25 to 35 feet deep and if you find a school, you catch fish. The inlet is getting pretty shallow. The dam is also a good place to try for browns and smallmouth.
PYRAMID LAKE-The cold, rainy weather this past week slowed the bite and now trollers must cover a lot of water to find a few fish. Shore anglers are having the same problem-move until you find a group of cutthroats willing to bite. The Pyramid Store reported that no big fish have been seen since the weather moved through-a period of stability will get the bite back on track as the bait schools up again.
RED LAKE-Shore anglers are using worms for a mix of brookies and cutthroats.
SILVER LAKE-The lake is at 55-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Kit Carson Lodge reported easy limits for anglers trolling and casting spoons.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Trout action is picking up in the deeper water out in front of the Little Truckee inlet, at Davies Creek and Sagehen Creek. Some big browns have been seen at Sagehen, but get out early for the best chance at hooking one.
TRUCKEE RIVER-The sunny weather of late has made insect hatches more sporadic, but the October caddis, size 12, and BWO hatches, size 16 to 22, are the most prevalent. Dark streamers are working too.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported picking up 13 rainbows, a 3-pound Mack, and a 3-pound smallmouth this past week trolling a watermelon Wild Thing dodger with a spinner and a single spoon. The rainbows were caught toplining the spoon 150 feet behind the boat and the Mack and smallie were caught on the dodger/spinner at 80 feet.
WEST WALKER RIVER-Anglers are still catching limits, but now they have to work for them a little. It appears that the DFG is done with their plants here for the season. Bait, lures, and flies are all working on mostly planters with a few 1 1/2- to 2-pound Alpers trout thrown in for good measure.