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.
CHETCO RIVER, Ore.- Storms slowed the Chetco bubble season, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, who has been on the scene with customers. He said jacks showed near the river mouth, and fishing was good at times for trophy kings. Some fish caught included a 42-pound king Oct. 8, while Jeff Fischer landed a 39-pounder the day before. At least half a dozen other fish over 40 pounds have also been weighed in. “There have been some really nice kings caught, but overall the fishing has only been fair at best,” said Martin. When the river blows out, big numbers of kings generally head up the river.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.- According to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service,
even the slow days on the lower few miles of this river are still good days of salmon fishing for Chinook’s. “When the bite happens, have extra baits and gear ready, because it can become fast paced,” he said. “Not everyone is going to catch fish on even the best day on any river. To catch these chrome salmon, the best piece of advice I can think of is use good fresh frozen herring, make sure your bait is spinning while trolled close to the bottom and keep your hands and gear clean of oil and grime.”
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.- Fishing on the Rogue River has been off and on, with one day being great and the next slow, and another dimension is that only fin-clipped silver salmon can be kept, and that huge kings are still in the mix, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Guide Bill Divens said that despite the rain and a rough bar at the mouth, there were some great kings caught, including one that went nearly 50 pounds, as well as a good number of silvers. On Friday the bar flattened out, and some 30 boats on Saturday did well. Sunday was still good, with mostly silvers and some kings. Only fin-clipped silvers may be kept. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said that the number of hatchery silvers has been better than the last few years, sometimes outnumbering wild silvers, and that the Rogue Bay should continue to fish well into the second half of October.
RUSSIAN RIVER-The rainfall last week did nothing for the flows of the river, as runoff was all absorbed by the upstream reservoirs. It’s still early in the season, and the first of the salmon can’t be expected until a good gullywashwer hits. Cooler weather has the smallmouth on a good bite, though.
SMITH RIVER-The rains brought the river up high enough for it to open briefly from the low flow closures, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Phil Desautel, and it was enough to bring in a few early kings, but it dropped back out quickly and was closed a few days later. The main run doesn’t occur until later in the month, so keep an eye on the storms. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing hit it early the day it opened and caught a few nice fish, as did a few other guides.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-Salmon fishing was very good around Del Loma, and, while many fish were dark, quite a few bright Chinooks were showing up daily. Steelhead fishing was improving, too.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-Fishing below Willow Creek and down toward Hoopa was very good last week, and lots of fresh fish moved into the lower end of the Trinity on the rains.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam-The river in the upper Klamath is stuffed with salmon and it’s easy to catch 10 and more fish a day, mostly on roe, backbounced and worked behind a planer. More small steelhead are showing up now, too. Drift nightcrawlers and roe, back-troll Hot Shots, and swing streamers on fly rods.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Salmon fishing continued to be very good and new fish continue to stream into the river. No adults (greater than 22 inches long) may be kept, but anglers can take home a total of three jacks. Nice adult steelhead are being caught, too, especially around Blue Creek.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-The bite cooled off as the weather went to heck in a handbasket. The reaction bait bite cooled off and the plastics bite kind of picked up the slack. Anglers using the same swimbaits of the past several weeks found fewer bites recently. Those who made the switch to plastics found success fishing plastics such as Senkos or drop-shot worms.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-The trout fishing picked up since DFG finally planted, and cooler nights are bringing down the water temperatures. Bass fishing has also been good here.
LAKE SONOMA-Try a Sammy 128 in Ghost Minnow on points and keep moving, the bass are in their fall feeding frenzy. In the upper arms of the lake and into the creeks have been the best bets for largemouth bass, while the main body and marina area have been best for smallmouth.
LAKE ALMANOR- The lake got the shock and awe treatment weather wise this past week. It stirred up the water and clarity was reduced to 7 feet. It’s going to take a few days for things to settle down, stabilize, and clear up. The only way to get a few decent fish right now is to jig.
BAUM LAKE-Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney reports good fishing continues here as cooler nights and showers got the fish feeding. Nightcrawlers and floating baits are still doing well, as are two-toned Kastmasters and Panther Martins. Nymphs of choice are copper Johns in red or pt’s. For dries, best luck seems to be with callibaetis cripples, but with the cloudy days, BWO’s should be a good choice.
BRITTON LAKE-According to Vaughn’s Sporting Goods, the crappie bite has definitely dropped off, although a few nice ones are still being taken with persistence.
BURNEY CREEK–Vaughn’s Sporting Goods reports no changes in technique here. There’s good nymphing at the base of the falls with green copper Johns. Bait and lure fishermen are still catching trout above the falls.
CASSEL FOREBAY-Flows are back to normal. With the cooler weather and water moving, fishing should pick up. There were some reports of some nice fish being caught, mainly on flies and lures.
EAGLE LAKE– Tim Noxon of Fish Travelers Guide Service said bobber fishing has been very good on the west side of the lake from Slough Point up to Pelican Point in shallow water. Anglers anchoring up in water 6 to10 feet deep and setting their threaded nightcrawlers 3 to 4 feet off the bottom are catching fish. Trollers are finding fish in shallow water (under 10 feet) around Pelican Point. Jay Fair Flies and Sep’s orange grubs are producing. The water is a little murky, so bright colors are best for trolling.
FALL RIVER-According to Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney, anglers are mainly nymphing, but there is some dry activity, especially with sun. BWO’s should be a good choice with the weather change. Otherwise, PT’s and woolly buggers seem to work consistently.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR-According to The Fly Shop, Iron Canyon rainbows and browns will eat San Juan worms, No. 14 to18 pseudo mays, Skips nymph or blood geyser midges. There are plenty of fish in this big reservoir hidden away near Big Bend and the Pit River.
UPPER HAT CREEK-Nightcrawler fishermen seem to be having the best luck, but Rooster Tails and other spinners can result in some decent fish. Salmon eggs and Berkley Power eggs are also working. There are still plenty of fish in the system and very few anglers here now.
HAT CREEK (wild trout section)-Vaughn’s Sporting Goods reports nymphing was best with anglers doing okay on the stretch just below the powerhouse. Anglers found good results with pt’s and copper Johns. Callibaetis cripples are working, but watch for BWO’s on cloudy days.
McCLOUD RIVER-The Fly Shop reports the world famous rainbow trout here are eating small dark midge patterns early in the morning. Flies such as zebra midges, gidgets and WD-40s have worked. Later in the day, closer to noon, look for hatches of mixed insects such as baetis, BWOs and a few PMDs. Small green nymphs and brown nymphs should trigger hook ups.
PIT RIVER- Good conditions and good fishing best describe this river. The Pit is probably the best wadeable fishery going this week! The rainbow trout receive little pressure on this stream. Be extremely careful of slippery rocks here and wear your PFD’s. There’s road work and improvements along the Pit River. Road closures of two plus hours are possible between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The road will be open over Veterans Day weekend. Beware of the truck traffic along the road that parallels Pit No. 3. These trucks take up the whole single lane road. Finding a spot to pull over could mean backing down a ways.
SHASTA LAKE- Sling Blades, Wiggle Hoochies, Paddletails and Hum Dingers were all working for trout in blue or white shad colors as we move into fall fishing, but the lake is still in transition. As the lake turns, the bass bite will also turn on for topwater tackle.
TRINITY LAKE- This is big fish time, and it should last another two to three weeks, especially for king salmon at the dam. Other areas that are good include Stuarts Fork and basically any of the tributaries such as the Papoose arm. Troll from 65 to 80 feet of water with Sling Blades and Apexs in purple, black/white or pink.
AMERICAN RIVER-Fishing for salmon and steelhead continued to be good, but action slowed for striped bass, likely because the focus has switched to salmonids. Driftboaters are backbouncing roe and backtrolling Kwikfish from Sailor Bar to Gristmill, while trollers are working the big slow pool under the Old Fair Oaks Bridge, and in the lower end of the river. There’s some success at night using glow-on-the-dark Gitzits and FlatFish. Night fishing allowed only from the mouth to the Interstate 80 Bridge. Waders are drifting beads, roe and spinners at Sailor Bar and Nimbus Basin. Steelhead fishing has been improving, mostly above Watt Ave. The stretch above the power lines crossing the river at Ancil Hoffman Park to the USGS cable at Nimbus Hatchery closes to fishing Oct. 31
FEATHER RIVER-Salmon fishing was very good above the rapids at Shanghai Bend and at Gridley. The fish above the rapids are mostly bright, but those around Gridley are mostly dark. Most are being caught on Kwikfish and FlatFish above the rapids, while those around Gridley were being caught on both plugs and drifted roe. Steelhead fishing continued to be good in the Low Flow Section, with spinners, roe, and nightcrawlers scoring for spin fishermen, and egg patterns and small nymphs working for fly fishers.
FOLSOM LAKE-Bass fishing still continued to be slow, but cooler weather and rain should soon put bass in their fall feeding mode. For now, though, slowly worked dartheaded and drop-shotted plastics are the way to go. Look for concentrations of bait using electronics. With the lake dropping, fish are holding in deeper water over submerged rock piles and other sunken structure. Crankbaits could attract attention soon as the water cools.
MCCLOUD RIVER-Trout fishing is improving now as the water cools. Spawning season for brown trout is getting underway and some big fish are starting to come up from the lake.
SACRAMENTO RIVER–Salmon fishing was very good, once again, but many of the fish spread throughout the river jetted upriver into the Balls Ferry area when the rains of last week hit. More fresh fish continue to come upstream, though, and fishing is good at times at the mouth of the American River and Verona. Some striped bass continued to be caught from shore and in boats at the Port of Sacramento. Soak bloodworms and mudsuckers and drift jumbo minnows (from boats).
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Trout fishing was excellent, and rainbows up to and exceeding 20 inches are keying on egg patterns and Glo-Bugs, because of the increasing number of salmon getting into the spawning mood.
UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER-Trout fishing improved as water temperatures dropped. Lots of large trout continued to be caught on bait, lures and flies in the stretch of river running through the town of Dunsmuir. Anglers were catching nice rainbows from 14 to 20 inches on Mayfly, caddis, and prince nymphs under indicators.
YUBA RIVER-Steelhead fishing continued to improve, especially downriver near Marysville, while both trout and steelhead were being caught throughout the river up to the point the river is closed to fishing at the Highway 20 Bridge. Dead-drifting caddis and Mayfly nymphs, as well as rubber legs under indicators has been effective on both trout and steelhead, while swinging streamer patterns has been attracting hard hits from steelhead.
BERKELEY-Combo trips continued to score great action, with the Happy Hooker getting 37 limits of rockfish, 12 lings, 8 stripers and 5 halibut on Saturday. The rockfish and lings came from the Marin Coast, while the stripers and halibut came from the Brothers. On Sunday, the bass bite improved, and after 19 anglers caught rockfish limits, they also hooked 14 bass and one halibut. Scott Sutherland at Berkeley Sportfishing reported good salmon fishing, with limits of kings on Thursday’s trip. Big fish was a 33 pounder. Rockfish trips scored limits, with about 10 lings per boat topped by 20-pound class fish.
BODEGA BAY- Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler said he concentrated on bottomfishing up at Fort Ross and Timber Cove, with the weekend lingcod bite really taking off. His anglers had full limits of rockfish, and on Sunday, over one around on the lingcod. Most of the lings were quality fish in the 8- to 10-pound class.
EMERYVILLE-Quite the mixed bag still for the Emeryville Sportfishing Center fleet. While Saturday’s rockfish action was a little off, Sunday’s trips found limits plus good lingcod counts. Salmon trips scored up to one around, and there was a 26 pounder caught on the New Salmon Queen by a 9-year-old girl.
EUREKA-While interest is fading, the action is not with boat limits of Pacific halibut on the Reel Steel on Saturday. Big fish that day was a 44 pounder. A private boater also caught halibut to 50 pounds. The other option is bottomfish at Cape Mendocino, and Reel Steel had limits of rockfish and lingcod on Sunday’s trip.
FORT BRAGG-Salmon are still an option until Oct. 30. Abalone are fair game until Nov. 30. Shore fishing for rockfish and lingcod is still open, but boat fishing for the same is closed.
HALF MOON BAY-Great bottomfishing when the weather permits, with San Gregorio producing for anglers on the Huli Cat. Limits of rockfish are the rule, with a handful of lingcod to 15 pounds, some cabezon and the occasional greenling. Salmon fishing has been slow in local waters, but some of the boats are heading north to try for kings with the Golden Gate fleet.
SAN FRANCISCO-The Bass Tub is offering Tuesday tuna trips, and potluck the rest of the week, but the weather has thwarted the tuna efforts recently. The salmon boats continued to find late season kings cruising down along the Marin Coast at Duxbury, Rocky Point, the Towers and Stinson Beach.
POINT SAN PABLO-Captain Frank Miller on the Fury reported lots of big sevengill cow sharks in the bay around Yellow Bluff right now, his anglers catching 2 over 100 pounds, a 90 pounder, and a 45-pound soupfin shark. Striped bass fishing was also good for his anglers around the Brothers.
SHELTER COVE- Salmon is open until Oct. 30, and Pacific halibut are still an option until Oct. 31. Abalone are fair game until Nov. 30. Shore fishing for rockfish and lingcod is still open, but boat fishing for the same is closed.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Some light snow fell this past week, but it should melt off with the warm weather in the forecast. Not much change here-the fish are moving toward the inlet to feed on the kokanee or their spawned eggs. Browns are also staging for their spawn up the Little Truckee. Remember to release the big browns to reproduce-protect the resource and take a picture!
CAPLES LAKE-The lake is at 88-percent capacity. The lake received 1 1/2 feet of snow during the storm this past week, which slowed fishing pressure to zero. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that the Wood’s Creek inlet, Emigrant Cove, dam, and spillway were the best spots to fish when the weather improved, though few limits had been seen lately. Power Bait and nightcrawlers have been the most popular choices for success.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Both Forks are scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. Alpine County is scheduled to plant another 1800 pounds of 3- to 4-pound average rainbows in the West and East Carson this week, also. With the rain and snow that hit the area this past week, fishing pressure was very low and only a few anglers braved the elements. Fishing should pick right back up as the weather warms up. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported good dry fly action coming on both the West and East on tricos, BWO’s, and big brown drakes in the evenings when the water warms up.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 78-percent capacity, and 8 to 10 inches of snow at lake level this past week, keeping anglers away from the lake until the storm broke on Thursday. Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported good fly fishing at Cow Creek and Mosquito Slough on copper John and snail patterns. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing said that the trolling would rebound with the weather working a Dick Nite, Needlefish, or Wiggle tail from Honker to Lightning Tree from 8 to 15 feet deep.
DONNER LAKE-The lake is at 91-percent capacity. The fishing was still slow here this past week with the poor weather. Warmer weather should help with the mack bite in deeper water.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-The North Feather was still kicking out plenty of planter rainbows for the few anglers still giving it a try. Caribou Crossroads Resort and the Forest Service campgrounds are still open along the North Fork. The Caribou Powerhouse produced some rainbows to 3 pounds for anglers using nightcrawlers at the generators. The Butt Valley Reservoir powerhouse was running and anglers were picking up some rainbows to 3 pounds on nightcrawlers and hooking some big fish but getting broke off!
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Shore fishing was good for anglers fishing at the dam, Lunker’s Point, and Big Cove using Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Trollers did best at the north end of the lake at Big Cove and by the dam using Dick Nite and Kastmaster spoons, according to Wiggins Trading Post.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-According to Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden, Gold Lake has started to turn over and the macks have moved up shallower to around 10 feet deep. The best fishing is early and late in the day. Salmon and Sardine were still fishing pretty well from the shore with Panther Martins and Power Bait for 10- to 14-inch rainbows. Fishing at Packer Lake has been slow.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Not much snow here this past week, just a lot of COLD rain according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service. No fishing pressure here this past week, but the weather will be much better this week and the lake was scheduled for a DFG trout plant this past week.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Fly fishing has been good in the evenings on dries, woolly buggers and leeches-all depends on the fish activity you find when you get there, according to Tahoe
Fly Fishing Outfitters.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. The area received some snow this past, but if the weather warms it should melt off some and access shouldn’t be a problem. Shore fishing and trolling were both productive before the storm for 14- to 18-inch rainbows. The brown trout are beginning to stage in the Yuba River inlet for the spawn and will hit a fast trolled Rapala-release the spawners to reproduce!
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Heavy rain this past week slowed the fishing pressure to nil. All the boats in wet berths at the marina had to be off the lake by this past week.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters and Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Top Liners did well before and after the storm hit the area this past week. Snow was still at the higher elevations, but the lake level was snow free. Daniels caught 5 or 6 fish, tagged 2 or 3, and lost 4 or 5 macks on his Friday trip–3 to 6 pounders. On Saturday, his fish ran up to 7 1/2 pounds. Daniels was fishing 300 feet deep over 400 to 450 feet of water using Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos. Mike Nielsen’s last trip resulted in 9 or 10 macks running 5 to 6 pounds. Nielsen was trolling Storm ThunderSticks from 160 to 190 feet deep at South Shore. The kokanee fishing is done for the season as the fish start to move up Taylor Creek to spawn. Nielsen’s guide service will shut down for the season this week.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 58-percent capacity. The area received quite a bit of snow this past week, which could hamper access. Check with the Pacific or Georgetown Ranger Station for road conditions. Trolling should be good, though, if you can get there.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Light snow here this past week, but the warmer weather should improve conditions around the lake. Trolling in the deeper creek channels up toward the inlets was producing 14- to 18-inch rainbows on flasher/worm combos.
PYRAMID LAKE-Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported excellent trolling for cutthroats running 17 to 24 inches using Flatfish and Apex lures. His Saturday trip produced 53 fish off the Old Marina area from 17 to 25 feet deep. Even inexperienced boaters can catch 12 to 15 fish per day. A Fallon, Nev., angler caught-and-released an 11 pounder jigging at Warrior’s Point–it’s the biggest fish so far this season.
RED LAKE-Snow and construction road closures made this a poor choice for most anglers this past week.
SILVER LAKE-The lake is at 46-percent capacity. The boat ramp was still usable for launching aluminum boats and the Kit Carson Lodge reported that fishing was excellent with multiple limits being caught by trollers.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 90-percent capacity. The best action is still the fishing for planter rainbows from the shore or trolling along the area from the dam to Sagehen Creek. The browns should be headed for the inlets to prepare for the spawn and can fall for a fast trolled Rapala or other minnow bait. Big fish need to be released to spawn-you have to leave the big ones for seed!!
TRUCKEE RIVER-Tahoe Fly fishing Outfitters reported good action for anglers casting crayfish patterns and streamers for the larger browns that are preparing for the spawn. Smaller rainbows and browns were taking tricos, BWO’s, micro mayflies, and copper Johns. The area saw snow this past week and the bite slowed but the weather forecast is good for this week so fishing should improve.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 67-percent capacity. The kokanee fishing is done. Macks should be hitting in deep water along the ledges and at the dam in 120 to 160 feet of water on large spoons, flasher/herring, or big Rapalas and Lyman lures.
WEST WALKER RIVER-The West Walker is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. The river area received a dusting of snow, but the two major passes that access the east side were closed due to heavy snow for a couple of days and there was little , if any, fishing pressure on the river this past week. The warm weather forecast for this week should put the fishing right back into the excellent column. The Toiyabe Motel closes for the season on October 14.
AMERICAN RIVER-According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, all forks of the river are running low and clear-you can see the bottom all the way across the river in most places. No reports have been available from anyone making the effort to hike down to the good fishing holes.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. The weather change this past week started to cool off the water and this will help to improve the bass bite. The DFG planted 100,000 kokanee fingerlings in the lake in an effort to revive the salmon fishery, though many of these small fish will wind up being bass forage.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Bass and catfish action was improving with the cooler weather according to Dorothy Greenwood at North Shore Resort. Both bass and catfish have been hitting artificial lures in both the Bear River and Rock Creek arms. One bass boater checked in with four nice bass in the 4-pound range. Catfish to 3 pounds have been hitting the bass lures. The boat launch is still in operation.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is 21 feet from full. Catfish and trout were still hitting for anglers this past week, according to Kathy Hess at Collins Lake Resort. The catfish, 2 to 9 pounds, are hitting anchovies, mackerel, and chicken livers at night near the campgrounds. The best trout action was found by trollers working the middle of the lake over the channel at 25 feet deep. The DFG will be planting 20,000 pounds of triploid rainbows in the lake starting this week until Thanksgiving.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina owner Lisa Rogers met with DFG and others to look into a plan to bring pen-raised trout to the lake to supplement the regular DFG stocking program, similar to what is happening at Collins Lake. Fishing for trout is still good for drifters working the upper reaches of the lake. Bass fishing was good on crawdads.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 62-percent capacity. The lake received a bit of snow this past week and night time temps have been below freezing-campers and fishermen need to be prepared for the cold. Brown trout should be starting to stage at the inlet in preparation for the fall spawn. Toplining a Rapala along the shore has long been a productive technique for browns.
FULLER LAKE-The area saw a bit of snow this past week. Unless there’s been some unusually heavy fishing pressure on this lake, there should still be some DFG planters left to catch from shore or trolling.