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.-The Bubble Season closed Oct. 22 with only fair results, but some huge fish in the 40s caught. The river above mile 2.2 opens Nov. 5, and the salmon should be in the system big time by then. Fishing in the estuary has only been fair so far, but will improve as expected high tides push staging fish into the lower river, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.-The Coho have moved into the lower river in huge numbers just as the season’s quota has been met and closed to native fish, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “With so many silver’s in the lower river it has kept excitement level high,” he said. “It has become difficult to find more than a couple Chinook’s in a full day of trolling the river with herring. One of the problems comes from the Coho taking baits within a few short minutes of dropping it into place. Fishing is picking up in the town of Coquille and I hope to have a personal report of just how good the salmon fishing is there next week.”
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore.- Anglers are catching a mix of wild and hatchery coho and kings in the Rogue Bay. Fewer than two dozen boats a day were fishing the Rogue Bay last week. Two kings over 40 pounds were landed.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass– Summer steelhead fishing has been good in the Grants Pass area. Side-drifting roe or nightcrawlers has worked best. Some guides reported the best summer steelhead fishing in the Middle Rogue in recent years.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Nothing new here, and nothing expected until a good rain hits and blows the river out and cleans out the sandbar at the mouth.
SMITH RIVER-The river opened again from low flow closures for a brief window this past week, and some nice limits were caught by those guides who got on it at just the right time, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The river was back down to 400 cfs by the weekend, with virtually no action available. Anglers and guides expect another good push of fish during the next rains, and fish should move into the lower holes on the next high tides, Oct. 25.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-Salmon fishing continued to be excellent, and, while many fish were dark, some bright Chinooks were moving in. More and more steelhead are showing up, too. Some coho were being caught as well. They must be released, so make sure you can ID them. They have black gums but white inside the mouth.
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-Fishing in the upper Klamath continued to be outstanding. It’s not uncommon to hook 20 or more salmon a day. Roe, backbounced and worked behind a planer, as well as back-trolled Kwikfish are all working. 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-The river went up and muddied up from the rains, but salmon continued to be caught in good numbers. 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.
AMERICAN RIVER-The American River is full of salmon and fishing is “really really good” according to guide J.D. Richey. It’s a mix of darker and new bright ones still arriving. Night fishing at the lower end of the river has been slow, however. Backbouncing roe, and backtrolling Kwikfish is working for driftboaters, while waders are drifting beads, roe and spinners at Sailor Bar and in Nimbus Basin. The best stretch has been from Sailor Bar to Ancil Hoffman Park, but the chances of hooking into fresher fish improves the farther downstream one goes. Some steelhead, mostly small ones in the 2- to 3-pound class are being caught, mostly upstream from Watt Ave. Spin fishermen are drifting nightcrawlers and roe, or swinging spinners and spoons. Fly fishers are dead-drifting egg and caddis patterns under indicators and swinging steelhead streamers. The river upstream of 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 continued to be good, especially in the Gridley area, but most of the fish are getting darker as they approach spawning. Fishing for brighter fish, which had been good above the rapids at Shanghai Bend, slowed. Steelhead fishing was pretty good in the Low Flow Section, on spinners, roe, and nightcrawlers for spin fishermen, while fly fishers drifted egg patterns and small nymphs. Remember all salmon inadvertently hooked down to a point 1000 feet below the Outlet must be released unharmed. Flows below the Outlet are down to 2,300 cfs.
FOLSOM LAKE-Bass fishing was slow once again with the lake dropping 5 feet in one week, and fish moving out into deep water. Using electronics to spot suspended fish and bait balls is more important than ever. Fish the main body at the edges of creek channels with spoons and drop-shotting with shad- and crawdad- patterned plastics. The lake should reach winter flood control levels soon, and as, the bass become more comfortable, the Fall bite should get underway.
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 slowed after last week’s rains as salmon jetted upstream toward their spawning grounds. New fish were arriving daily, but the wait between bites got quite a bit longer at the mouth of the American River and Verona. A few 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, Balls Ferry-Salmon fishing continued to be outstanding, but the action has moved to the area around Balls Ferry done through the canyon to Jelly’s Ferry. Anglers are catching easy limits, but many of the fish are getting dark.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Trout are hammering Glo-Bugs and egg patterns as more and more salmon go onto spawning beds.
UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER- Trout fishing is getting better and better daily as the water cools. Large trout continued to be caught on bait lures and flies in the stretch of river running through the town of Dunsmuir, while more and more rainbows are moving upstream out of Lake Shasta to feed. Drift Mayfly, caddis, and prince nymphs under indicators.
YUBA RIVER-Steelhead fishing was good downriver near Marysville, while both trout and steelhead were being caught 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-The boats are still finding a great summer-like mix of action on the live bait, with the Happy Hooker running Sunday under Captain Chris Smith, who took nine anglers out for limits of rockfish, 4 halibut, 3 lings and 22 striped bass to 14 pounds from central bay spots. On Saturday, 22 anglers caught rockfish limits, 15 striped bass and 3 halibut. On the California Dawn, Saturday’s 26 anglers caught rockfish limits, 12 striped bass and 1 lingcod.
BODEGA BAY- Bottomfishing again took the lead, but there was a light load of anglers on the New Sea Angler who caught 6 kings, making for nearly one per rod. Big fish was a 26 pounder. The rest of the week, bottomfish ruled and rockfish limits were the result from the Timber Cove area. Not every day offered high lingcod action, but on Tuesday, 18 angers caught 22 lings, most hitchhikers.
EMERYVILLE-Salmon numbers took a dive, but the rockfish action remained steady and the weekend boats found some great lingcod action. Sunday’s three bottomfishing boats caught a total of 42 lings to go along with 48 limits of rockfish (combined scores).
EUREKA-Pacific halibut action held up with more boat limits, although most of the six-pack charter boats have stopped running for the year. On Saturday, the Reel Steel had 3 Pacific halibut to 42 pounds, and on Sunday, 2 halibut to 35 pounds and a 6-foot soupfin shark. A private boater boxed a 51-inch halibut and a smaller one on Sunday. The Pacific halibut are still biting. The conditions were looking good for a tuna try on Tuesday, the locals watching commercial scores up to the north and liking what they see.
FORT BRAGG-With rockfish and salmon closed for boat anglers, not much effort out of Noyo Harbor. Shore anglers can still fish for rockfish, lingcod and cabezon, and abalone season is open through Nov. 30.
HALF MOON BAY-Captain Bob Ingles on the Queen Of Hearts said a lump came up mid-week, but the ocean started to settle down for the weekend. For the most part, bottomfishing trips to Pescadero and Martins Beach scored rockfish limits with some lings. Saturday’s trip produced mostly blues and blacks, but there were some nice vermilion rockfish to 8 pounds and a couple 8-pound and a 10-pound lingcod boated.
SAN FRANCISCO-Captain Jacky Douglas on the Wacky Jacky reported sporadic action on big kings, with fish to 40 pounds caught recently. “The chance to catch a nice fish is there,” she said. “There are some real slugs out there.” Every fish is a chore, hot and challenging to get in the boat.
SAUSALITO-Some lunkers boated on the salmon fleet, including 40 and 31 pounders on the Hog Heaven, an a 33 pounder on the New Rayann. The boats have until the end of the month to target king salmon, and so far, the fish keep coming.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Macks and browns are congregating at the inlet and providing action for trollers using Rapalas.
CAPLES LAKE-The lake is only down 5 feet from full. Caples Lake Resort will close as of October 24 until it reopens for the winter season-Christmas through March. Fishermen should be trying Wood’s Creek, Emigrant Cove, the dam and spillway with Kastmasters or bait.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Both Forks were in perfect shape this past week. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported good dry fly action on small Adams or October caddis and nymphing with brown caddis, Lightning bugs, and midges. Tyler Penn reported one fly caster hooked and lost a 24-inch trout in the trophy section below Hangman’s Bridge. 1800 pounds of 3- to 4-pound rainbows were planted by Alpine County this past Wednesday. Carson River Resort reported one angler catching 60 fish in one day.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Fly fishing and trolling were both productive this past week, according to Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing. Fly casters using a nymph/ indicator or spin casters using a bobber/jig were doing well along the west side of the lake above Jenkins Point and at Mosquito Slough for fish running 15 to 17 1/2 inches. Trollers did well running red Rainbow Runners and copper/red Wee Dick Nites at 6 feet deep from Honker to Lightning Tree. Shore anglers did well at Fairview on Gulp! Eggs for fish to 2 pounds.
DONNER LAKE-According to Keith Kerrigan at Sierra Anglers Guide Service, macks were hitting at 90 feet deep in the morning and near the bottom later in the day on the west end of the lake. Kokanee to 16 inches were still in pretty good shape-no scales but not turning red yet-and hitting dodger combos at 47 feet. This bite should last another two weeks. Jigging for macks and kokes will pick after the water level stabilizes-lake is being dropped now. Macks will be moving shallower to spawn soon.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that anglers were catching limits of 12- to 13-inch DFG planters on worms and salmon eggs. Butt Valley Lake fishing was reported to be good for trollers running threaded nightcrawlers and spoons for big rainbows.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Shore anglers still doing well at Lunker’s Point and near the dam. Trollers were picking up nice rainbows at Big Cove and by the dam on Dick Nite spoons according to Wiggins Trading Post.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported good action for macks at Gold Lake trolling flasher/nightcrawler combos in the top 10 feet–one angler picked up a 5 pounder. Fishing has been slow at Salmon and Packer Lakes, but shore anglers were still catching some fish at Sardine Lake on Kastmasters and Panther Martins.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 69-percent capacity. There was little to report from this lake for the week. None of the WON sources had heard any positive fishing reports despite the DFG plant two weeks ago.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported good action for anglers casting brown or black woolly buggers and leeches. One guy hooked and lost a 20- to 22-inch rainbow. Little smallmouth bass were hitting at the dam-10 to 12 inchers.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-Trolling up in the Yuba River arm with a Rapala producing some browns, flasher/worm combos working on rainbows near the dam. Shore anglers picking up some nice fish on Power bait or worms at the dam. Pressure has been light
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Sly Park Resort reported that anglers were still picking up DFG planters at the first dam on nightcrawlers and Power Bait. Smallmouth bass were hitting nightcrawlers for anglers fishing up in the Narrows.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters reported improved action this past week with trips producing 14 fish for 8 anglers on Saturday and 3 keepers for 2 anglers on Sunday. Daniels tagged and released 18 macks in two days. The macks are starting to spawn and are aggressively defending their space. The fish were holding tight to the bottom in 300 feet of water and hitting Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos. The better fish were running 6 to 8 pounds.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Dale Daneman reported that trollers were still catching limits of small rainbows on dodger/grub combos. The campgrounds are now closed and no day-use fee is being collected for boat launching.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Try the deeper channels leading to the inlets for nice rainbows on flasher/worm combos. Should be some nice smallmouth hitting jigs at the dam also.
PYRAMID LAKE-Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported picking up 36 fish for one angler on Saturday this past weekend trolling blood frog U-20 FlatFish on a topline set 200 feet back with a 1 1/2-ounce banana weight 4 feet ahead of the lure. Mendes fished in Anderson Bay where they caught a 9 1/2-pound cutthroat-his biggest far this season. On Sunday, Mendes’ clients landed 32 of 50 hookups trolling down to 35 feet deep on the downriggers with the blood frog Flatfish.
RED LAKE-Few reports have been available for this lake since Caltrans began construction on Hwy 88.
SILVER LAKE-The lake level is low and big boats will have a problem launching- small aluminum boats should make it; cartoppers for sure. Trolling has been excellent for anglers using flasher or dodger/worm combos.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Since the end of the kokanee bite, trout action for trollers has been slow, according to Keith Kerrigan at Sierra Anglers Guide Service. The browns should be moving to the inlets to prepare for spawning.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Tahoe fly Fishing Outfitters reported good action on small stuff-size 18 and 20 Copper Johns, black midges, and Rainbow Warriors-fishing in the pockets and along the current seams. The Little Truckee is low and anglers need to use a stealthy approach to the water.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Not much word from here either. Macks should be hitting in deep water on top of the ledges and near the dam.
WEST WALKER RIVER-The river is scheduled for another DFG trout plant this week. The Toiyabe Motel is now closed for the season though Sam Foster reported that anglers were catching quick limits of DFG planters-one angler said he caught 40 fish on dry flies.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE- The live bait bite has really picked up in the past week, which signals a return to some phenomenal fishing that should continue through the first part of December. Anglers concentrating on relatively shallow water and docks will find the fishing very good for bass that average 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 pounds, up to 7 pounds. A few guides have been working the live minnows already and having good success with catches from 15 to 20 fish per day. Lots of pressure from the bass tourney boats.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Cooler nights are bringing down the water temperatures and the trout mid lake should be biting. Bass fishing has also been good here early and late.
LAKE SONOMA-The bass are in their fall feeding frenzy in the upper arms of the lake and in the creeks have been the best bets for largemouth bass, while the main body and marina area have been best for smallmouth.
LAKE ALMANOR-As the fall bite is in full swing, the trolling bite has shifted closer to the surface and most hits have come in the top 20 feet. Smelt patterns like the No. 2 Real Image Needlefish and white or silver/blue Speedy Shiners rigged from 8 to 20 feet down are working well since the fish are eating smelt and crawdads. There are a lot of bait fish this year.
BAUM LAKE-Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney reports good fishing continues here for both fly anglers and bait anglers. 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, PMD cripples, BWO’s and mahogany duns.
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. The fall smallmouth bass bite should start up anytime now.
BURNEY CREEK–Vaughn’s Sporting Goods reports no changes in technique here. There’s good nymphing at the base of the falls still 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 for brookies is picking up. There were some reports of some nice fish being caught, mainly on flies and lures.
EAGLE LAKE-Anglers will start to focus more on the north end as the trout make their way up there. This past week orange grubs became more productive with trout going to 3 and 4 pounds.
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, the last reports suggested San Juan worms, No. 14 to18 pseudo mays, Skips nymph or blood geyser midges were good choices here for rainbows and browns. 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 lures can also produce. Brookies seem to be the major focus here right now with some nice-sized fish.
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 that fishing has been good for some and tough for others, depending on who they talked too. The McCloud is offering a great experience; just don’t expect to catch 20-inch rainbows, although it can happen.
PIT RIVER-Anglers are doing best with black stones, copper John’s in red and birds nests in larger sizes when fished on the bottom. The rainbow trout receive little pressure on this stream, but be extremely careful on the slippery rocks here and wear your PFD’s. There is road work along the Pit River with road closures of two plus hours 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-It was a tough trout bite as the baitfish were everywhere. Apexs, Sling Blades, Wiggle Hoochies, Paddletails and HumDingers were all working in blue or white shad colors. The lake is still in transition. One day fish were caught on the surface and others down to 80 feet. Once 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 producing include Stuarts Fork and basically any of the tributaries such as the Papoose arm. Troll from 65 to 120 feet of water with Sling Blades and Apexs in purple, black/white or pink. Kokes will be in the 40- to 60-foot range with Wiggle Hoochies or Hum Dingers.
AMERICAN RIVER-Running low and clear with very little fishing pressure, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. A bass tournament this past weekend reported lots of smaller fish with a 4 pounder the biggest weighed in. Worms, jigs, and tubes were all working. The big fish bite has been slower developing than usual this year-hopefully the cooler weather will trigger a more aggressive bite.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake level has stabilized. The main launch ramp is still in operation. Bass fishing has been pretty good up in Rock Creek, according to North Shore Resort.
COLLINS LAKE-The fishing was only fair this week with light angler pressure. Trollers were still picking up the most trout as the water temp is still at or over 70-degrees. Due to the warmer water temp, the DFG postponed the first plant of triploid trout from last week until later this week. Only a few catfish were reported and little mention was made of any bass being caught recently. After the DFG plants resume, the fishing should bounce back to a “good” rating.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 94-percent capacity and scheduled for the first DFG trout plant in over two years!! Skippers Cove Marina has been approved for a trophy trout pen rearing program. Some nice rainbows to 22 inches were caught by boaters drifting worms up in the Black’s Ravine area this past week.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 61-percent capacity. The campgrounds are closed and the Foresthill Ranger Station is now on winter hours-8 to 4:30, M-F. Trout action should be improving up at the inlet as the browns move in to prepare for the spawn. Try a fast trolled Rapala.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. There were still some macks coming from near the dam for trollers and jiggers using Gibbs Minnows-meter around for fish to determine the current activity level, it was 60 to 90 feet. Browns are moving up into the inlet in preparation for spawning-use Rapalas early in the morning. Big Meadows campground is still open.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported good bass action especially for slot fish. There was a good crankbait bite for mostly smaller fish in the early morning-lots of fun, but not much weight. The better fish were hitting brown/green pumpkin jigs on long flat points from 25 to 40 feet deep. Still lots of bait schooled up, sometimes near the surface where a topwater lure will draw strikes in the early morning.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Jim Caldwell at Scott’s Flat Lake Resort reported smallmouth bass and trout were caught this past week. The bass were taken on the point near the launch ramp on drifted worms, while the trout were caught trolling from the dam to Cascade Shores.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The lake is finally scheduled for a DFG trout plant-only the second one this year!! The campgrounds are closed but the boat ramp and day-use areas will remain open until the snow gets too deep for access.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The campgrounds are now closed and locked. Campers and RV’s can still use the parking lot. Boats can still launch and now there is no fee, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. Limits of rainbows were still being caught by trollers on flasher/worm combos.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The lake is at 66-percent capacity-131.6-foot elevation at press time. Senkos, swimbaits, jigs, and Brushhogs pitched into the tules should produce, according to Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company. If you get a hot afternoon, try a frog. Trout action should be good in the Wilbur Road area for boaters drifting nightcrawlers in the channel.