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, Ore.-They’re still getting kings, but it’s the tail end of the run, with brighter fish in the lower river and darker spawners upstream. It’s time for steelhead over here, and the river is well-known for big steelies, and plenty of them.
COQUILLE RIVER, Ore.-WON Field Reporter and manager of the Chetco Outdoor Store, Dave Pitts said that fishing has been slow here.
EEL RIVER-Blown out, but there was a big spurt of king salmon numbering 1200 fish that came over the dam at VanArsdale-the biggest number of fish in many years. That’s a good sign!
EEL RIVER, South Fork-A lot of big kings were in the river and being caught and released on Cleos, according to Darren Brown at Brown’s Sporting Goods in Garberville. The river came up about a foot from the rains, and is muddy, but he’s not expecting it to stay mucky long, barring extended runoff from a half foot of snow between 1500 and 2500 feet elevation. The entire river is catch-and-release and barbless. A few steelhead in the river, but historically the biggest numbers and biggest steelies are caught in January and February.
ELK, SIXES RIVERS, Port Orford, Ore.- The Elk and its close neighbor the Sixes are two rivers that need to be timed perfectly, according to WON Field Representative and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. They rise and fall quickly and they clear very, very fast. “Anglers fishing these two systems saw a fair pull down of rods while back bouncing roe,” Palmer said. “As the Elk dropped, anglers moved to its mouth for some fair to good action while floating roe and/or sand shrimp.” The Elk will always produce into the first week of November, but the flows are crucial.
The Sixes just blew out on Saturday, but fishes well when it’s murky. The Elk clears quicker than the Sixes, and both have had mixed reports-timing is critical. Call (541) 332-0405 for the Elk River designated flow report.
ROGUE RIVER, Ore.- The king run on the Rogue system, is over for the 2010 season. The lower river at Agness is slow, but middle Rogue steelheading has been fair and anglers are hooking a few native coho on plugs and spinners.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Rain didn’t hit as hard as expected, but it did muck it up pretty well. It was still coming up and hadn’t crested at press time on Monday morning, and it was expected to hit 1100 cfs or “maybe a little more,” said Nick Wheeler at Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. Water was being released from Lake Mendocino. So far it’s been mostly wild fish 4 to 5 pounds with a few adults 10 to 12 pounds mixed in, and mostly in the lower river around Steelhead Beach, Forestville, Duncan Mills, Monte Rio, Guerneville and Dry Creek. They’re expecting more hatchery fish to show up with this rain. An adult is 16 inches or above, and two hatchery steelhead may be kept, but don’t mix up the adipose-clipped coho salmon with the steelies-they’re off limits.
SMITH RIVER-It was getting low and clear early last week until the front came in, bringing the water up and moving the fish that had been holding in the lower river upstream, and bringing in more kings. Fishing went from hit-and-miss to a good pick for anglers pretty much throughout the river. Fish still running big, generally over 20 pounds, many in the 30s and some in the 40s.
UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Ore.–It has started to happen for winter steelhead, and they’re being caught as far upriver as the Slide Hole, according to Palmer. The Slide Hole to the town of Elkton is a short, easy float with only one set of white water at the end of the drift. For area fishing reports and shuttle service call Arlene’s Restaurant and general store at (541) 584-2555.
UMPQUA RIVER, South Fork, Canyonville, Ore.–This river is closed until December 1, 2010 to all angling, after a couple years of small numbers of returning hatchery steelhead. There are projections of this year’s return to be one of the largest ever seen.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-The Klamath between the mouth and up to the mouth of the Trinity River was fishable, but only a few steelhead were being caught. However, the winter steelhead run should start soon. This section of river is easily blown out, so call ahead.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp-The river was in good fishable shape throughout and anglers were catching a few adults to 5 pounds, plus several or more halfpounders an outing. Various methods were attracting bites, including backtrolling nightcrawlers behind Hot Shots, drifting roe, and dead drifting egg patterns or nymphs under indicators or swinging steelhead streamers like the venerable silver Hilton.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-The river was fishable all the way to the mouth, but, while some steelhead were being caught, fishing was slow from the North Fork to the mouth. Call ahead, because water and weather conditions can change overnight.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-The upper part of the Trinity above the North Fork normally is entering its prime fishing time by Thanksgiving, but fishing was slow last week, and even very good anglers struggled for one or two steelhead an outing. They are beautiful fish, though, and hard fighting. Flies on the dead drift under indicators, or on the swing were both attracting the occasional strike, and so were backtrolled Brad’s Wigglers and side-drifted roe.
AMERICAN RIVER-The salmon season for the American closes Sunday, November 28, but there’s no rush to get on the water as fishing was spotty throughout the open stretch of river once again. Most of the angling success, such as it was, was on mostly small steelhead. Fly fishers have been getting a few dead-drifting egg imitations and caddis nymphs under indicators and swinging steelhead streamers on the swing. Flows have been increased to 3,000 cfs.
FEATHER RIVER-Steelhead fishing success tapered off last week as it usually does this time of year, especially in the main river below the Outlet. Along with the slowdown in fishing, was a slowdown in fishing pressure. Some steelhead continued to be caught by fly fishers fishing with egg imitations and nymphs under indicators, but the salmon spawn is about over so egg imitations have gone to paler colors. Flesh flies are also working. Spin fishermen are scoring on roe, Glo-Bugs, small spinners and mini-crawlers. Cover lots of water, use light gear, and use a quiet approach.
FOLSOM LAKE-Bass have been bunching up as the water cools, and the trick to success is to find concentrations of bait using your electronics. That’s according to Don Paganelli of Bass Fishing Experience. He recommends working edges of submerged creek channels as they lead into coves no more than a half mile up the North and South Forks around 25 feet deep with spoons, and drop-shotted Robo-Worms in Morning Dawn and salt and pepper. A few king salmon in the 2-to 3-pound range were being caught trolling in front of the dam and Dyke 8 with nightcrawlers behind blades, small Rapalas in Hot Steel, Speedy Shiners, and Needlefish. Topline with one rod and try the other between 30 and 40 feet deep.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Fishing for striped bass was very good in the Deep Water Channel as long as you had a boat. Troll Yo Zuri’s and Rebels, jig Duh spoons, and drifting minnows. A few were caught by bank fishermen soaking bloodworms and mudsuckers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Hamilton City-Fishing pressure was very light, but those who war out did well in spite of wind and rain. Good salmon fishermen fishing all day were scoring from 2 to 6 salmon per outing backtrolled Kwikfish and big spinners trolled downstream. Work one area and work it well. You never know when a small school of bright salmon will be passing through.
YUBA RIVER-Steelheading was good early in the week, for trout, some bigger than 20 inches, but check flows on-line to see if the river is still fishable after the rains.
BENICIA-Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait reported improving action on sturgeon and striped bass, with a friend hooking stripers to 30 pounds fishing Middle Grounds with bullheads. They still had bullheads on Saturday, but the bait is getting scarce and he suggested reserving baits to make sure you get some.
BERKELEY-Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Sportfishing reported great crabbing, but marginal halibut and striped bass fishing. The boats have not been able to find big concentrations of sanddabs, so the fishing part of the crab combos might end sooner than thought. Dwindling live bait supplies are contributing to the end of the action. “We’ll continue to run crab and shrimp combos through the winter,” said Sutherland.
BODEGA BAY- Plenty of crabs available on the six pack boats offering trips, and for private boaters. Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler is planning giant squid trips through the winter, but hasn’t looked for any lately.
CROCKETT-The Morning Star reported good action on the San Pablo Bay striped bass and leopard sharks, and while there are sturgeon jumping all around the boat, no diamondbacks have been boated. “We’re hoping this last big rain will spur the sturgeon bite as well,” said Captain Gordon Hough. Their last trip produced nearly two fish per rod, a mix of striped bass and leopard sharks that took mudsuckers, grass shrimp and ghost shrimp.
EMERYVILLE-The New Huck Finn and New Seeker ran crab combos all week, finding a handful of stripers and halibut but limits of quality Dungeness crabs. The weather on the weekend hampered the fishing aspect, but both boats found crab limits no problem. Live bait supplies should last a week or two longer, said Frank Salazar at Emeryville Sportfishing Center.
EUREKA-Crabs were the top billing, and while the ocean was pretty upset, kayakers did sneak out at Trinidad for Dungeness limits. In fact, the northern protection of the harbor makes launching on the beach possible for small boaters who can tap their crab limits in a matter of a half hour.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar reported refreshing interest in the hot crabbing, with trips on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday all scoring 10-crab limits for his anglers. “We’re running this week, too, with Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday trips planned!” said Thornton.
HALF MOON BAY-Crab limits were pretty easy on the Huli Cat through the week, whether the passenger load is “six or 26,” said Captain Tom Mattusch. He also ran a research trip for the chilipepper rockfish, finding that species, plus some stripe tail rockfish and market squid. “The meter lit up at the 100 fathom line, but when they dropped, they hooked market squid from the bottom to 120 feet!” said Mattusch.
MARTINEZ-While the big waters of the bay were unsettled on the weekend, the pier offered good striper action with a 16 pounder caught on Friday. The Happy Hooker also scored bass limits for seven anglers, the fish biting on bullheads and mudsuckers. Captain Steve Talmadge on Flash Fishing ran his first sturgeon effort, finding 4 hookups that resulted in 2 keepers, both released.
BOCA LAKE-Significant snow accumulated in the Truckee area over the weekend with the big storm and more snow showers were forecast through Wednesday. Give the roads to this lake a chance to get plowed-residential areas will come first!
CAPLES LAKE-Heavy snow and wind over Carson Pass shut down this area. Wait for the weather to clear-call ahead for road conditions
CARSON RIVER (East)-Snow over the weekend and snow showers until Wednesday makes this a poor choice for an outing until after Thanksgiving. Remember, artificial single barbless hook lures and catch-and-release only from Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada State border.
DAVIS LAKE-Heavy snow and winds over the weekend and snow showers through Wednesday will make this a tough place to fish. You might have to wait until the lake freezes in December before heading up here. The road will be plowed to the dam and up Grizzly Road to Mallard, but not down to the lake-4-wheel drive or snow shoes are suggested.
DONNER LAKE-Heavy snow and wind over the weekend has shut this lake down. Icy ramp conditions will make boat launching hazardous.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-The road to Butt Valley Reservoir was snowed in over the weekend and the county does not plow it.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-Snow and wind hit hard over the weekend and snow showers are forecast until Wednesday. Caltrans will plow up to the dam, but the Forest Service roads around the lake are not cleared. The boat ramp is too icy for safe launching.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Heavy snow here over the weekend and into this week has shut down this area until further notice.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-Heavy snow over the weekend will keep the road to the ramp closed until SMUD can plow the road to establish access to the powerhouse for their crews, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle. It might be mid-week before the road is cleared. Ice can be a problem for boat launching.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-The lake finally received the Alpine County trout plant this past Thursday just before the storm hit. There were rainbows up to 10 pounds in the 1800-pound load. A couple of feet of snow will slow down access until the weather clears.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-At 6000-foot elevation, this area received a few feet of snow and access will be difficult until the roads are plowed. Call ahead before attempting a trip here.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Heavy rains over the weekend kept anglers off the lake-wait for the weather to clear later this week. This type of weather though brings out the big Mackinaws and browns-troll a Rapala or Bomber Long A at 30 to 90 feet for macks, browns should be shallower.
LAKE TAHOE-Heavy snows and wind kept anglers off the lake. Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters was shoveling snow off his boat on Sunday so it wouldn’t roll over from the extra weight. Wait for good weather-call ahead!!
LOON LAKE-Road got snowed in but SMUD plows the road to maintain access to the powerhouse for plant operators. The Forest Service will lock the gate to the lake to avoid problems. Anglers can walk-in to the lake after they reach it with their 4-wheel drive, but be prepared for a long, cold walk. Parking may be very limited.
PROSSER LAKE-Significant snow accumulation here from the storm that is supposed to last into Wednesday.
PYRAMID LAKE-Strong winds and snow showers made fishing here impossible over the weekend. Weather forecast calls for clearing by mid-week.
RED LAKE-Heavy winds and snow over Carson Pass make this a poor choice for a fishing destination.
SILVER LAKE-Heavy snow and wind forecast here over the weekend and into this week make for tough access and fishing.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-Significant snow accumulation over the weekend will make access impossible except for snowmobilers.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Snow and cold make wading dangerous-wait for the weather to clear.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-Pea Vine Ridge Road was snowed in by the storm, but SMUD plows the roads into the dam/powerhouse for access by their crews. The road is still icy after it’s plowed and not a good choice for someone towing a boat. You might want to wait until spring.
AMERICAN RIVER-The River is only open to fishing below the Hwy 49 crossing and the poor weather has kept everyone out of the mountains.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 64-percent capacity. There was no answer at any phone at Emerald Cove Marina on Sunday, but the spotted bass fishing should be good for fish running 2 1/2 to over 5 pounds. Last year, a shad Senko imitating the kokanee was a hit on the main lake points at 30 to 50 feet. Poor weather over the past several days has slowed traffic to this area.
CAMP FAR WEST-Lots of wind and rain over the past weekend and beginning of the week put a damper on fishing action here. No one was in the marina on Sunday to answer the phone.
COLLINS LAKE-The fourth fall plant was made this past Thursday and the final plant will be made this week before Thanksgiving. Trollers and shore anglers have been doing well on rainbows running 1 to 3 pounds though fish to 5 pounds were planted. Trollers are using flasher/worm combos and Rapalas in the top 15 feet. Shore anglers are picking up nice stringers at the dam, marina, and campgrounds on Power Bait. Rain over the weekend slowed things down.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Lots of rain over the weekend. Before the rain set in, trollers were still picking up some nice rainbows in the marina using flasher/worm combos.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The first big snow storm of the season has closed access to this lake until further notice.
FULLER LAKE-Snowed in.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-Heavy snows over the weekend closed access to this lake, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Heavy rains over the weekend made for miserable fishing conditions. Before the rain, anglers were still picking up good numbers of spots drop-shotting and dart-heading worms near bait balls in 40 to 60 feet of water on main lake points. Coho are working the bait also, so don’t be surprised if you come up with a salmon.
ROLLINS LAKE-A few inches of snow here on Sunday, but the roads are plowed into Long Ravine Campgrounds launch ramp. Very little angling pressure here with the poor weather.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Six inches of snow here on Sunday with more coming. The county plows the road to the resort, and the resort has the road clear to the boat launch. Before the weather set in, anglers reported good action on smallmouth bass.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-Snowed in. The county plows the road to the lake, but the roads into the parking and boat launch are not. Wait for the weather to clear.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Lots of snow here so call ahead to the Georgetown Ranger Station before making the trip.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-Heavy rain and wind blew everyone off the lake. Most anglers are after steelhead on the Feather River.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-Anglers using live baits put a few more bass in their boats hitting as many docks as they could in areas such as Jago Bay, Konocti Harbor, Monitor, Anderson Island, and Shag Rock. Bass were found as shallow as 4 feet and as deep as 25 feet. The artificial bite continues to be off and on, with few bass but better weights. Incidental catches of channel catfish in the 8- to 14-pound range came from all around the lake. Most are coming on minnows being fished for bass. The few who are specifically after catfish are using shiners, cut mackerel, and nightcrawlers for bait.
LAKE BERRYESSA- There have been very few anglers here lately, probably due to the lake still being in a holding pattern. The lake has still not turned over and all the fish are still deep. Move around and look for baitfish in the main body, creek channels and offshore structure. For bass try spoons and drop-shot baits.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-The few anglers here are trolling the middle of the lake with flashers and worms or a Kastmaster in the top 12 to 20 feet. A downrigger set at 25 feet produced a few larger trout averaging 2 1/2 pounds.
LAKE ALMANOR-The first snowstorm of the season will have snow plows out and no access to the Canyon Dam launch for a few days. Once open, the Rec. 2 area will see traffic as a 14-pound brown trout was caught here. The west shore and by the dam were also good spots to troll Speedy Shiners in red and gold. Or look for pond smelt and vertically jig in 30 to 40 feet for brown trout.
BAUM LAKE-Winter fishing here is usually very good and will be a good option for trout now that streams are closed. There are lots of bugs on the water and cripples, midges, bwo’s with the clouds, and nymphs are taking fish. As usual, Power Bait, Power Eggs, and nightcrawlers are favorites. Brown or olive woolly buggers are fooling a few fish. Lure fishermen are sticking with Kastmasters for the most part. Catching should remain good here as the wet weather and cooler temperatures do not seem to affect the fish as much as the fishermen.
BURNEY CREEK-Closed for the season until the last Saturday in April.
CASSEL FOREBAY-Closed for the season until the last Saturday in April.?
EAGLE LAKE-Trout fishing was great here this past week and could continue if the weather cooperates again. New snow and colder nights may close the ramps soon though. After that, it’ll be bank fishing until the lake freezes over or closes to fishing on December 31. Jigging from the shore is already producing some nice fish at the southern end.
FALL RIVER–Now only open to artificial lures with barbless hooks until next spring.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Closed for the season until the last Saturday in April.
HAT CREEK (wild) – Closed for the season until the last Saturday in April.
PIT RIVER-Pit 7 is open all year but Pit 3 down to there is now only artificial lures with barbless hooks. The Pit 3 reach access is open during daytime hours, but still under construction during the nighttime hours. Test releases began at both Pit 3 and Pit 4, but scheduled increases are reported to be gradual. ?
LAKE SHASTA-The bass bite continues to be a struggle of anglers. With not much of a reaction bite, drop-shotting and dart headed worms were the way to go. All the fish have been small. This past week trout were anywhere from 16 inches up to 3 pounds but the salmon have been small this year. Work points from the surface down to 15 feet 200 feet back from the boat when toplinning. Cripplures in UV patterns, Hum Dingers in UV or silver/black and white or Wiggle Hoochies were good choices. Wiggle hoochies or Paddle Tails behind UV Sling Blade dodgers were good choices for a few salmon in their usual haunts around the dam and Dry Creek.