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 close, and others change to artificial/barbless only on, March 31 and others on April 25. Trouble identifying salmon or steelhead? Go to: http://www.swr.noaa.gov/fmd/identify.htm.
COOS RIVER; Charleston, Ore.–There are several reports of anglers doing well jigging for salmon between the jaws at the mouth of the river, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. There have also been a couple reports of boats catching a Chinook or two while trolling from Empire up to the 101 bridge. Palmer had not received any information of salmon being caught at the Mill Casino or Marshfield Channel.
COQUILLE RIVER; Bandon, Ore.-“A few friends of mine have been scratching a few early king salmon from this river,” said Palmer. “This is one of my favorite rivers to fish Fall Chinook’s, while trolling flashers. This season is going to be one to remember, due to the numbers of salmon returning and the expected large numbers of older fish coming back to their home waters.”
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore.- Lots of Chinooks entering the mouth of the Rogue River, and when the river is cool they move straight on up, but when the water warms, they come in and out of the estuary with the tides, making it one of the best years for salmon fishing in the last few years, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. The fish are bigger than average this year, and anglers are doing best by fishing in the estuary when conditions are prime, and fishing up in the wild and scenic area when not, according to guide Bill Divens of SalmonKingLodge.com.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass-No salmon may be retained above Dodge Bridge as of Aug. 1, and even more of them are making their way upriver, surprising steelhead anglers. Summer steelheading is getting better and better below Dodge Bridge, according to WON contact Greg Glossop, who fishes the river regularly.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Nick Wheeler at Kings Sport and Tackle said “it’s summer, and it’s the same every week: Smallmouth bass fishing is good early and late before and after all the swimmers and kayakers and tubers take over the river. Some small stripers still hanging around.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-Fishing for spring run Chinook salmon continued to be very good, but flows are now down to summer levels of 450 cfs, and most of the spring run salmon have moved above Junction City. It’s been mostly an early bite, and lots of jacks are being caught. Fish were still in very good shape. The fall run should start hitting the Trinity, soon, along with steelhead, as the Spring run fades.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-Daytime temperatures have been fluctuating up and down, and fishing has been a challenge with the spring run now upstream and the fall run still to arrive.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam-Fishing for trout and small steelhead continued to be good for anglers drifting nightcrawlers, back-trolled, Hot Shots, and Zonkers swung on fly rods.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service reported that fishing for salmon and steelhead continued to improve, with easy limits of jacks daily plus a few adults and lots of steelhead, most of which have been wild. There is a fair amount of moss in the water, so side-drifting roe has been doing better than other methods in minimizing fouling.
AMERICAN RIVER-According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, all the forks are running clear and anglers are out. Rainbows and browns should be hitting in the deeper pools for the anglers who take the time to hike down to the river and spend some time using nightcrawlers and spinners.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina said no one has been reporting any fishing success, except for one fish that was caught up in one of the creeks. The lake level is dropping rapidly and the recreational traffic is heavy. Parking for fishermen is limited due to skiers parking trailers and vehicles in separate spaces, forcing fishermen to park a long distance from the water near the restrooms, according to one anglers report.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake is at 83-percent capacity. The recreational boat traffic on the lake has been heavy all week long, slowing the bass fishing. The best bet has been fishing for catfish at night-there was a report of a 19-pounder caught by a lake resident this past week.
COLLINS LAKE-Some surprisingly good trout action was still occurring at the dam for shore anglers using worms. Most of the rainbows average 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 pounds. Catfish to 6 1/4 pounds were coming in for night fishermen, especially off the rental dock. Kids are still having a ball catching lots of redears and bluegill on worms. Heavy recreational boat traffic has pretty much shut down trolling except for those getting out very early in the morning and fishing 30 feet deep.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Trout action is still good for fishermen running up to the inlet of the South Fork of the Yuba River. The lower end of the lake from Keystone Cove to the marina has also been producing rainbows. Two size groups of trout seem to prevail-8 to 10 inches and 14 to 16 inches. Drifting or bank fishing with Power Bait and worms was best-not much happening for trollers. Bass were still bedded up at the South Fork inlet.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Fishing has been slow for most anglers, but Scott Marton caught a 10-pound brown trout while trolling a Rago stickbait 75 feet deep at the dam the previous week.
FULLER LAKE-The lake has only received one DFG trout plant this season and fishing at this PG&E lake is only fair.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Brown trout action has been good for trollers getting out early and fast trolling Rapalas at the inlet. Kokanee trolling has slowed some, but trollers are still picking up good numbers of 12- to 14-inch kokes while working a dodger trailing a worm tipped white hoochie at 30 to 40 feet deep at the powerhouse. All the campgrounds are open, but the USFS is upgrading the water system at the Big Meadows camp. Get reservations before heading up-campground usage has doubled over last year, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 98-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported catching 20 to 25 fish per day in the West Branch and North Fork drop-shotting shad pattern worms near the bait schools on the points and walls. Smaller fish in the slot were suspended around the pond smelt, while the bigger over slot fish were on the bottom. Shad Senkos and warmouth worms on a worm jighead were also producing on rocky points and walls at 20 to 30 feet deep. There has been a short sporadic topwater bite in the early morning and a good lipless crankbait bite on the mudlines in the afternoons. There’s heavy waterskier traffic after 11 a.m. and they don’t pay much attention to the No-Ski areas.
ROLLINS LAKE-Long Ravine Resort reported good action for trout and bass for shore anglers using nightcrawlers 15 to 20 feet under a sliding bobber rig along the trail to Freeloader’s Cove and at the Bear River inlet.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The rainbow trout action has been good for boaters drifting or bank fishing with Power Bait and nightcrawlers at the inlet. The fish have been good sized-averaging 14 to 16 inches with a few to 24 inches. One boat landed two 5-pound browns trolling over the deeper water between the inlet and the dam, according to Scott’s Flat Resort marina staffer, Kyle Newman.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that fishing was slow here with no DFG trout plants made since before July 4.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 99-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that both trollers and shore anglers were doing well on rainbows.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The lake is at 86-percent capacity. There’s early morning action on the tule banks with Senkos and Flukes, and a late afternoon frog bite for bass averaging 3 to 4 pounds.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-Look for areas where the algae is thin but remember, it moves around as the winds change, so a spot that might be covered at one point may be clear enough to fish later on. Anglers are catching fish on drop-shot, wacky rigged Senkos, crawdad colored jigs in the 3/8-ounce size and a variety of crankbaits have also been working.
LAKE BERRYESSA-The koke bite was a little up and down, with limits taking a little longer some days. Their sizes continue to climb, though, with kokes to 19 inches, salmon to 21 inches, and at least 1 Eagle Lake trout at 19 inches. Fish were caught on vertical structure on the east side of the main lake in 60 to 80 feet of water fishing 46 to 60 feet deep. Bass fishing was slow, but tossing topwater baits in the morning on the east side of the main body produced fish, as did drop-shot rigs using Basstrix minnows in 25 feet of water.
LAKE ALMANOR-The trout bite picked up some with less boat traffic and hatches. The best hatch bite has been from 6:00 p.m. up until dark in areas such as Rec. 1 just outside the log boom in 40 feet of water. Bait fishing has picked up in the Fox Farm Campground and Rocky Point areas on crickets and mealworms suspended 5 feet off the bottom.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR-Fishing was a bit better with more rainbows on the take this past week. Larger lures, spinners and spoons all did well when fished slower and deeper. Bait anglers still did okay around the dam area and along the north shore of the lake. Going deep with a sinking line continues to offer the most opportunity for fly fishermen to catch more and larger trout. Minnow imitations, leeches and buggers in gold and olive were all catching fish.
BAUM LAKE- Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney reports little yellow stones, PMD’s and callibaetis doing the job for trout. Nightcrawlers and floating baits are doing well, as are two-toned Kastmasters. Nymphs of choice have been copper johns in red or pt’s.
BRITTON LAKE-According to Vaughn’s Sporting Goods, the lake is the fullest it’s been in years and the crappie bite is still on, with some nice stringers reported. Try crappie jigs or mealworms for best results around structure. The smallies also continue to bite.
BURNEY CREEK–Vaughn’s Sporting Goods reports good nymphing at the base of the falls with green copper johns. Bait and lure fishermen are catching trout above the falls.
CASSEL FOREBAY-Rim Rock Ranch reported excellent fishing at this time and it should remain good. Salmon eggs and floating baits are the way to go for more opportunities. Pressure has been moderate for this area lately, and with some schools starting up, pressure in general should start to decline. Fly fishing activity has also been good with some good evening hatches coming off. As typical, Adams, callibaetis and Pmds are all doing well. From time to time blood midges have also worked well on this slower water.
FALL RIVER-The Fly Shop in Redding reported good fishing, however the dry fly fishing has been tough. These rainbows have seen it all by now, but don’t let that stop you from fishing to rising fish in the morning. Swinging or suspending nymphs under an indicator has been getting anglers tight to the big rainbows this river is famous for.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR- According to The Fly Shop, the fly fishing has been good here. Use a boat, float tube or pontoon boat to get out on this quiet lake. Insect hatches have tapered off, but rainbow and browns will chase clouser minnows and Lite Bright Buggers. Suspending nymphs like zebra midges, no. 16 black micro mays, or no.’s 16-18 flashback PT nymphs will fool more than a few rainbows, browns and the occasional brook trout.
UPPER HAT CREEK-Rim Rock Ranch reports the bite continues strong and the bigger fish seem to be on the take once again. Lots of limits were caught and some very large rainbows, up to 5 1/2 pounds were coming in. Water levels and clarity are just about perfect and the quality and number of fish being taken reflects the improved conditions on the creek. DFG continues to plant twice each week so expect quality fishing for the remainder of the summer. Anglers using worms and eggs are catching the most fish right now, but Panther Martins consistently catch a lot of fish. Less weight is needed to get down where the fish are, but you should still add enough weight to fish near the bottom. Fly fishermen have been doing well on flashy patterns, colored nymphs and stoneflies.
HAT CREEK (wild trout section)-Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney reported nymphing was still the way to go, with fishermen doing best on the stretch just below the Powerhouse. There were also good results with pt’s, copper Johns, and there have been some decent hatches of PMD’s and callibaetis showing.
KESWICK RESERVOIR-The Fly Shop had no changes to report of great fishing here, with the best bite after 11:00 a.m. Fishing no. 12 birds nests and no. 12 Marlee midges are producing some good fishing for anglers willing to make the journey into this remote piece of water right in Redding.
MANZANITA LAKE–Rim Rock Ranch reported mid=morning and late evening hatches before and after gusty winds this past week seems to be the norm. Pmds and Rickards callibaetis both worked well on fish in the 12- to14-inch range. The bigger fish seem a little slow on the take this year and other than much higher water levels there doesn’t seem to be any real reason for the change. Remember to check the special regulations on this catch and release lake.
McCLOUD RIVER-Michael Caranci, owner of The Fly Shop, just returned from a day of flying the flies here and said the fishing was great with caddis hatches at dark and wild McCloud strain rainbows going from 8 to 18 inches. Hot flies for him were golden stones, bird’s nests and tan poopahs. Water conditions were clear.
PIT RIVER-The fishing has been good and there is plenty of room to fish on the Pit these days since the new water conditions have made a tough river to wade even tougher. Better anglers are finding good trout fishing by placing flies suspended under indicators in the seams and slower water below the more identifiable frothy boulders.
SHASTA LAKE-Mike Elster reports graphs are a must to find the bait balls and trout. Bait is in Packers Bay where the bay and the Pitt come together. Trout were gorging on shad at 10 to 60 feet. Troll right through them from 25 down to 60 feet but you have to work for them. Capt. America was hot as was a Paddle-Tail or a Cop Car Apex (black and white). They were hitting everything, but the Hum Dinger got the most hits. Topwater baits and a few worms found a few bass in the protected areas in the no ski zones. The McCloud also had some shad; they were closer to the surface here. There are not a lot of fish, but they were all nice-sized.
BERKELEY-A wild week of fishing for the Berkeley boats, with giant sevengill sharks, tasty soupfins, striped bass limits and good salmon counts (the New Easy Rider was highliner of Sunday’s salmon fleet). The California Dawn had bass limits mid-week, then rockfish limits on the weekend. The Happy Hooker had some great combo trips, like Wednesday’s effort with 26 anglers who caught 52 striped bass, 2 halibut, 2 lingcod and 15 rockfish. There were some incidental salmon caught on their Saturday trip, including a 35-pound class fish that had to be released (no circle hook).
BODEGA BAY- Some interesting action this week, with some salmon mooching trips that produced great results on the New Sea Angler. Captain Rick Powers said Tuesday’s group of 16 anglers caught their rockfish limits plus a lingcod before switching to salmon, and caught 12 kings to 28 pounds mooching off of Bird Rock. Powers also fished his secret wreck off of Point Reyes for the first time and had wide open action on giant rockfish with 60- to 70-pound sacks the rewards for 23 anglers on board.
BROOKINGS, Ore.- Salmon showed right around the whistle buoy and along the front of the motel on the beach. The trick was to hug the beach and fish in 45 feet of water, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
EMERYVILLE-A solid week of striped bass fishing with some trip limits, and good numbers on all the boats that tried. The salmon boats didn’t rack up big numbers, but Saturday’s trip on the Captain Hook scored kings to 40 pounds. Rockfish trips were limits, with some good lingcod action supplementing the action.
EUREKA-The bite was back, with the only missing species for full summer variety tuna. The charter boats had up to boat limits of Pacific halibut, limits of salmon, limits of rockfish, and good lingcod counts. The salmon action went ballistic on Sunday, with limits by 10 a.m. on the Shellback, which is where WON reader Lonnie Dollarhide was. He said the grade was smaller, but they did have a 15-pound kicker. The Reel Steel targeted halibut on Sunday, finding 3 to 36 pounds.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar found some better salmon action late in the week with 9 kings for 11 anglers on Thursday. He gave the salmon a break earlier in the week, instead targeting rockfish and lingcod with good results off of Mendocino.
HALF MOON BAY-Limits ruled through the week on the Queen Of Hearts’ shallow water, light tackle trips. Salmon trips on the weekend had some interesting twists, with Saturday’s group hooking 18 salmon, a 28-pound striped bass, a thresher shark and a halibut. The boat fished up off the Marin Coast on Sunday, and scored a pair of lunker kings, one 26 pounder and one 28 pounder.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury reported great striped bass action that dropped off a bit on the weekend (he was still able to find his fish after hunting around). He’s got some more big shark trips this week as the tides pick up, targeting the giant sevengill cow sharks in main bay.
SAN FRANCISCO-Salmon fishing continued to offer promise for the fleet, with 20 to 30 pounders taking jackpot honors on most trips. The fleet found the fish off the Marin Coast at Stinson Beach and Duxbury. Captain Jacky Douglas on the Wacky Jacky said the fish are feisty and hard to hold onto, but experienced anglers are often able to get their limits.
SAUSALITO-The fleet has continued to target king salmon along the Marin Coast, with a 29 pounder caught on the New Rayann at Slide Ranch.
SHELTER COVE-Wide open action on bottomfish, Pacific halibut when the ocean is flat, but the king salmon action slipped since the commercial season opened.
AMERICAN RIVER-Striped bass are being caught throughout the river on bait, but are often being seen boiling on the surface, above Gristmill, and are blasting topwater plugs early in the morning and late in the evening. Later on, they are taking soft plastic swimbaits, big streamer flies, jumbo minnows, and crawdads. Salmon fishing continued to be slow, but a few were being caught at the upper-above Ancil Hoffman Park–and lower ends of the river up to Paradise Beach–by boaters trolling spinners and Kwikfish. Some fish were being caught in Nimbus Basin, as well, but the Nimbus Hatchery weir pickets will be installed this week, necessitating a short term drop in flows.
FEATHER RIVER, Yuba City-There were a couple of glimmers of hope in what has been a poor salmon season so far. Anglers anchored up at the mouth of the Yuba River caught a few by anchoring up with Kwikfish, and a few more were caught around Boyd’s Pump by trolling Blue Fox spinners. Fishing might be fair to good one day, slow the next as fish move through. Steelhead fishing continued to be good around Gridley on drifted nightcrawlers, Glo-Bugs, and Berkley Gulp Eggs, as well as flies. Some were also being caught around Yuba City by anglers fishing for salmon.
FOLSOM LAKE-Bass fishing has definitely been in the summer doldrums, but anglers using their electronics to find offshore structure holding concentrations of bait, and working plastics slowly can eke out decent catches-even as recreational boaters churn up the surface, according to Don Paganelli of Bass Fishing Experience. Fish rock piles and submerged trees as deep as 25 feet. Patterns should imitate the two main prey species-crawdads and pond smelt.
MATHER LAKE-Weeds are a challenge, but anglers are still catching bluegill and bass is still good at Mather Lake, and other area ponds like Rancho Seco Lake and the pond at William Pond Park when you find a bit of open water. Drifting along in float tube, pontoon boat, or kayak is a good way to counter the weeds.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Salmon fishing was actually pretty good a few days last week at the mouths of the American and Feather rivers for anglers trolling Kwikfish and spinners. On other days, anglers were not so lucky, finding that the salmon that had been there the previous day, had moved on. Still, it appears that the run is building bit by bit.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff-Salmon fishing continued to improve little by little, although some days the fishing was better than others. Lots of smaller, but bright kings were being caught along with larger adults to 30 pounds. There was a pretty good steelhead bite some days, as well. Both roe and trolled FlatFish, Kwikfish, and Brad’s Killer Fish were attracting bites.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Trout fishing continued to be very good, with rainbows from 12 inches to 3 pounds taking drifted Glo-Bugs and nightcrawlers, as well as dead drifting caddis and Mayfly imitating nymphs under floats on the long rod.
YUBA RIVER-Trout fishing on the Yuba River continued to be very good, with anglers scoring on caddis and Mayfly nymphs under indicators, as well as dry flies.