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 first 50-pound king of the season was caught trolling the estuary, along with a 47 pounder and a number of 40 pounders, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The main river doesn’t open until Nov. 5. Expect the kings to pour into the main river regardless of the date, you just can’t fish for them in the main river until Nov. 5.
COOS RIVER; Coos Bay, Ore.-Friday, Oct. 21 was the last day that angler’s could retain a native Coho salmon on this river. Chinook fishing remains consistent with multiple fish being harvested on most boats. Anglers at low water bridge on the South Fork of the Coos river are catching some nice bright Chinook’s. High tide seems to be the best time to fish that area of the river. “I noticed last week while fishing the Coos river that the majority of the salmon being caught were around the 12- to 15-pound range, small for up here” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
COQUILLE RIVER; Bandon, Ore.–Fishing over the last week has slowed down on the lower end of the river for catching Chinook’s. There is still a chrome Chinook being caught here and there over the course of a day of fishing. “I believe that anglers will be able to catch a fresh king salmon on this section of the river for the next couple of weeks,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Although the fishing most likely will not be good enough to catch limit’s of salmon for multiple angler’s aboard boat’s.”
COQUILLE RIVER; Coquille, Ore.–Some of the boat’s are sending in report’s of catching 3-4 king salmon a day, while other boats are having problems catching more than a single Chinook over a long day of fishing, according to Palmer. The anglers who are fishing with a bobber and roe higher on the river are catching more salmon than the anglers who are still trolling.
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore.-Trollers in the Rogue Bay are definitely finding that things are winding down, although silver salmon and kings are still available, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He said 15 to 20 boats trolled the bay Oct. 22, averaging a fish a boat. Many wild silvers had to be released. Kings are stacked up at the mouth of Indian Creek, but they’re tough to catch.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass-The upper and middle Rogue has been very good for steelhead, according to local angler Greg Glossop. Using Glo-bugs, yarnies and egg imitations has been picking most of the fish. A reminder that the upper river is still restricted to fly only until November 1. Also, there are some coho showing up. Throw spinners and spoons for coho and some also like to try jigs!
RUSSIAN RIVER-Nothing here until the rains hit, although the smallmouth bass action has been better with the cooler weather and the lack of water lovers jumping in and out of the river.
SMITH RIVER-The Sand Hole near the mouth saw some good action for a few days last week, then it slowed, and a last minute unconfirmed report had the bite back on Saturday, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers fishing. A dozen boats were trolling on Friday, but nothing was landed. The Smith is closed due to low flow closures above Rowdy Creek, and will reopen when the flows get above 400 cfs. High tides will keep moving kings into the Sand Hole and Piling Hole.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork; Glide, Ore.–Summer steelhead fishing has been fantastic from shore. With so many outdoorsmen spending there free time hunting, it has opened up most of the popular fishing holes. This is one of the greatest steelhead rivers in the northwest and now is a good time to take advantage of it, according to Palmer.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-Salmon fishing continued to be very good for both dark and bright Chinook, but anglers were constrained to backtroll plugs because of the large number of smolts hanging around. Also the river is low and clear, requiring some artful rowing, as well as stealth. More and more steelhead are showing up, too, and they are taking Glo-Bugs because of the large numbers of spawning salmon, as well as the standard steelhead flies.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-Fishing below Willow Creek and down toward Hoopa continued to be pretty good, with a mix of both bright and dark Chinook. More and more steelhead are showing up, as well.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam-There are still lots of salmon showing up in the upper end of the Klamath. Drift and backbounce roe, and back-trolled Kwikfish. Steelhead are showing up in bigger numbers, too. Drift nightcrawlers and roe, back-troll Hot Shots, and swing streamers on fly rods.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-There are still salmon coming into the lower end of the Klamath, although the number is starting to decline. Some nice adult steelhead were around Blue Creek.
AMERICAN RIVER-Fishing for salmon continued to be good, but most of the fish are dark as they approach spawning. Night fishing at the lower end of the river continued to be slow, and has been slow. The upper part of the river, known as the salmon closure area, loses Oct. 31. It’s the stretch upstream of the power lines crossing the river at Ancil Hoffman Park to the USGS cable at Nimbus Hatchery. Steelhead fishing was slow last week, but a few were being caught drifting nightcrawlers and roe, or swinging spinners and spoons. Fly fishers were dead-drifting egg and caddis patterns under indicators and swinging steelhead streamers.
FEATHER RIVER- “Feather River fishing sucks.” Those were the first words spoken by Bob Bradbury of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle. The lousy fishing, at least below the Thermalito Afterbay is undoubtedly due to the extremely low flows in the main stem of the Feather-2,300 cfs. Some steelhead were being caught in the Low Flow Section, especially below the Highway 162 Bridge.
FOLSOM LAKE-Bass fishing was slow once again with the lake continuing to drop. However, the release to the American River was reduced to 3,500 cfs. It’s still higher than the inflow to the lake, but, hopefully the in- and outflows will become more equal, and the lake level stabilizes so bass become more comfortable. In the meantime, use electronics to spot suspended fish and bait balls in deeper water at least 20 feet deep. Slowing spoon and drop-shot.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento–Salmon fishing from Garcia Bend to Sacramento was called “spotty” last week, but some bright fish moved into the area, and patient anglers scored some nice kings. Striped bass fishing continued to improve in the Deep Water Channel from shore for anglers soaking bloodworms and mudsuckers. Boaters drifted jumbo minnows and trolled deep-diving plugs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Balls Ferry-Salmon fishing continued to be very good, but the experienced fishermen outdid the casual weekender. Fish and fishermen were concentrated in the Barge Hole and mouth of Battle Creek. There was more elbow room to be found in the canyon down to Jelly’s Ferry.
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.
AMERICAN RIVER-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that some of the locals were hiking down to the Middle Fork with rods and metal detectors in hand-if you can’t find any gold, you might as well try for the rainbows and browns in the deeper pools.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported some good trout action in the North Yuba drifting nightcrawlers. Bass anglers reported catching lots of small spots, but not the big bass the lake has become famous for-the water needs to cool off, it’s currently 67-degrees.
CAMP FAR WEST-Bass fishing was good this past week with lots of smaller fish hitting green pumpkin worms along the old mine and bluffs on the south side of the lake.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is down 21 feet from full. The lake received a 1000-pound DFG plant of 1- to 1 1/2-pound rainbows this past Thursday. Lots of fishermen have been taking advantage of the plant; shore fishing and trolling have been productive. Boris Grican of Natomas picked up a 5-pound trout at the dam on worms. Two trollers picked up limits of trout working the channel in the middle of the lake. Bass action has improved. Local angler Dave Callison caught and released 12 bass from 3 to 5 pounds on crawdads.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 91-percent capacity. The DFG planted 3000 pounds of 6- to 10-inch rainbows this past Monday. Trollers, bank fishermen and houseboaters were all catching fish in the marina. Skippers Cove Marina is building 4 pens for a trout rearing program which should get started in mid-November. Marina staff reported seeing a 24-inch, 10-pound class spotted bass in the marina while working on buoy cables.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 59-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station is now on winter hours, 8 to 4:30, M-F. Fishing should be good, especially for browns staging at the inlet for the spawn.
FULLER LAKE-The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that anglers were catching rainbows, browns and macks. The macks were hitting deep trolled plugs near the dam, while the browns and rainbows were mainly up at the inlet.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 83-percent capacity. WON Staffer Pat Young fished with guide Ron Gandolfi this past week and found steady action for mostly smaller slot fish on worms, jigs, and Senkos. The steep walls in the West Branch were loaded with bass from the bank down to 30 feet. Pond smelt were being pushed to the surface in the early morning, so don’t be afraid to throw some topwater.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The marina reported rainbow trout action for shore anglers working the dam area with Power Bait for 11- to 14-inch fish. Smallmouth bass, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds, were hitting drifted worms off the point to the left of the launch ramp.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that two customers fished the lake this past week after it was planted by the DFG and fishing was good. Both anglers caught 12- to 14-inch rainbows trolling Sep’s rainbow Half Fast dodgers with worms or Sep’s yellow/red dot Pro dodgers with Shasta Tackle Koke-a-nuts tipped with corn.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Trollers were still catching limits of 12- to 14-inch planter rainbows on flasher/worm combos according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The lake is at 83-percent capacity-133.7-foot elevation at press time. Bass should be up in the tules at this elevation hitting Senkos, jigs, and swimbaits. Try a frog on warm afternoons. Trout action was reported to be good for boaters drifting nightcrawlers in the channel at Wilbur Rd.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 78-percent capacity. The colder nights have dropped the water temp and the browns are staging at the inlet for the spawn. Some macks have joined the fun also. Trollers running Rapalas can catch some big fish.
CAPLES LAKE-Caples Lake Resort is now closed until the Christmas holiday. Fishing was good at Wood’s Creek inlet, Emigrant Cove, the spillway and the dam for bait soakers and lure casters.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Alpine County will plant 3600 pounds of trophy rainbows over the next two weeks-1800 pounds this week and 1800 pounds the first week of November. Fishing has been fantastic with some big stringers checked in at the Carson River Resort. Several 6 to 8 pounders were caught this past week along with lots of 3 pounders. Fly fishing was good according to Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters for casters using October caddis, Elk Hair caddis, and parachute Adams.
DAVIS LAKE-Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported very good trolling from the dam up to Lightning Tree from 6 to 30 feet deep with Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons. Fly fishermen were doing well at Catfish, Camp 5, Jenkins Point, Cow Creek, and Mosquito Slough on snail and Copper John patterns. Shore action was good at Catfish and Mallard.
DONNER LAKE-The kokanee bite is still good for another week before the fish “turn” completely. Troll any dodger/hoochies combos from 40 to 50 feet deep. Macks should begin hitting soon in shallower water but can be found in 90 feet of water at China Cove.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported limit action on rainbows for anglers using bait from the resort up to the campgrounds.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported good shore action and trolling at Lunker’s Point for rainbows running 1 to 1 1/2 pounds on nightcrawlers or flasher/worm combos.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported good mack action at Gold Lake in the top 10 feet trolling Rapalas and J-Plugs from the island to Rocky Point and along the west side near the lodge. Salmon and Packer were slow, but Sardine was still producing from the shore with worms.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 69-percent capacity. There’s very little to report from here with a shortage of anglers, according to Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Guide Service. Trolling should be good using dodger/grub combos in the top 15 feet.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported some action stripping woolly buggers and leeches for float tubers.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-Browns are staging up in the Yuba River arm-try a fast trolled Rapala. Good rainbow action was reported at the dam for shore anglers and trollers, though fishing pressure has been light.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Sly Park Resort reported very light fishing pressure and little fishing success.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters reported excellent mack trolling this past week. Besides catching limits for all who wanted to keep fish, he tagged and released another 45 fish over 5 trips. The fish are running in two sizes, 6 to 8 pounds and 4 to 5 1/2 pounds depending on the school. The macks were suspended 240 to 300 feet deep over 400 feet of water and hit Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Very little fishing pressure here, according to Dale’s Foothill Guide Service. Trolling should be very good using dodger/worm or grub combos in the top 15 feet.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 38-percent capacity. The lower water level has the fish concentrated in the creek channels where trollers can do well with flasher/worm combos and Rapalas.
PYRAMID LAKE-Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported excellent action for cutthroats trolling the east side of the lake from 25 to 35 feet deep around the Pyramid with rainbow trout and blood frog FlatFish. The east side fish were running 17 to 24 inches-the west side is producing lots of fish under 17 inches.
RED LAKE-Few reports available with the Caltrans road construction going on along Hwy 88.
SILVER LAKE-Launching for small aluminum boats or cartoppers only. Trolling was very good for lots of nice rainbows and a few browns on flasher/worm combos.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Not much happening here except maybe for some big browns moving up into the inlet to prepare for spawning. Big Rapalas are the go-to lure.
TRUCKEE RIVER-According to Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, the fishing was good on the main river and the Little Truckee. Big fish, 18 to 24 inches, were hitting streamers-light colors on bright days and dark patterns on the overcast days. Most of the activity on both rivers is coming on size 18 and 20 caddis, midge, and mayfly nymphs under an indicator with a couple of small split shot added to keep the flies near the bottom. Most fish being caught were 12- to 15-inch rainbows.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported little trout action here with the best bet at a chance for a good mack deep trolling the top of the ledges with dodger/herring combos, big Rapalas, or J-Plugs.
WEST WALKER RIVER-The River is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported good fishing for rainbows from 11 inches to 4 pounds on bait, lures, and flies. The river is in beautiful shape.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE- Sections of the Buckingham area, Konocti Harbor resort, Jago Bay, Konocti Bay, Lakeport, and Nice are all holding fish that are moving around, but are the areas that have been productive. Anglers hitting the lake armed with live bait are finding the bite much easier. Both catfish and bass are being taken on minnows. Look for that bite to continue throughout the remainder of the fall and into the winter months. Just a reminder, with duck season open again there are a few locals who set themselves up in the tules with a few decoys out. Areas for anglers to be aware of with hunters include the Rodman Slough and the stretch from Lands End down through the State Park.
LAKE BERRYESSA–Bass guide Donald Paganelli fished this past week and reported that the spoon bite has started to take off. He caught largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass up to 31/2 pounds in the main lake fishing creek channels. Blade Runner spoons in Morning Dawn and shad 1 1/4-oz. sizes were working. If you can find the bait you will be in the bass. He caught about 25 to 30 fish.
LAKE SONOMA-Largemouth bass are in their fall feeding frenzy in the upper arms of the lake. The main body and marina area have been best for smallmouth.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Cooler water temperatures as well as another DFG plant have the trout mid lake biting. Bass fishing has also been good here early and late.
LAKE ALMANOR-Prattville to Almanor West boat ramp has delivered up some great trolling and large rainbow trout. Boats have been trolling threaded nightcrawlers slow, or Speedy Shiners fast, both have been producing clean rainbows up to 5 pounds working the top 20 feet of water early, and then dropping down to 30 feet by mid morning. A little breeze on the surface holds then up close a little longer, while flat glassy surface takes them down sooner.
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 is taking its place.
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 has picked up. There were some nice brookies to 5 pounds being caught.
EAGLE LAKE-Don’t be afraid to move around, the trout sure are. They backed out of the shallows due to warm waters and Pelican Point by the Broccoli Tree in the Youth Camp area will be good. Stay outside, even though the fish start transitioning from the end of the airport to Pelican Point (Half Moon Bay)–it has been too weedy in there.
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.
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. There are still no October caddis showing in lower section, must be the late weather patterns this year.
McCLOUD RIVER-The Fly Shop reports fishing has been fair, but the rainbows are there, it’s just that anglers have to work hard for the hook ups. Bring a mixture of flies from small midge patterns to stonefly nymphs and October caddis dry flies and nymphs.
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.
SHASTA LAKE-Shasta Tackle reports that the bait is from the surface down to 20 feet. As a result, trout are on the bite all over the lake, feeding on shad schools on or near the surface. For trout troll the surface down to 20 feet and work the points with your shad patterned lures. This lake is a great winter fishing spot for trout. Now that the lake has turned, you will also find the bass feeding on the shad bait as well.
TRINITY LAKE-The king salmon bite has definitely slowed but there are still some kokes to be had along the west shore by the dam and the shoreline on both sides of the Stuart Fork. A Kastmaster or Cripplure in sliver or blues are choices from the bank, while Hum Dingers or Cripplures in copper and blue combinations down to 15 feet should do the trick for trollers.
BERKELEY-There is still some live bait here, but the supply is dwindling and soon only a couple of the party boats that pre-paid for a pen will have access to the anchovies. The boats have been focusing on different games, the California Dawn fishing the islands and the Marin Coast, targeting rockfish, but getting good numbers of lingcod, and on Monday, a 50-pound white seabass. Rockfish limits were the rule, and there were a few striped bass and halibut boxed also. Captain Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker also mixed it up, with rockfish limits, but also some good striped bass days. Much of the rockfish action is coming from in Central Bay.
BODEGA BAY- While bottomfishing has been the main draw for the charter boats, the New Sea Angler did run a crew trip for tuna, finding 9 fish to 31 pounds about 35 miles out on Tuesday. The rest of the week, it was all about rockfish and lingcod, with the lings making a comeback with 19 on Friday, and near limits of lings on Sunday.
CROCKETT- Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star is back in action after finishing the live bait season, targeting striped bass, leopard sharks and next week, the first sturgeon trip of the year. On Wednesday, after finding a spot out of the wind, his 10 anglers caught limits of striped bass on bullheads, the fast action coming from under the Benicia Bridge. On Saturday, a leopard shark attempt didn’t stop the bass parade, and his anglers caught 13 stripers and 2 leopard sharks in San Pablo Bay.
EMERYVILLE-Salmon success was down on the party boats, but the rockfish trips produced limits through the week, plus a few lingcod most days, and limits of lingcod on Sunday on the New Huck Finn. Sunday was good for lunker lings, with the New Salmon Queen getting a 25 pounder.
EUREKA-Anglers here have not given up on the saltwater action with rockfish, tuna and Pacific halibut trips scoring. Tuna scores ranged from 8 to 42, with fish to 40 pounds. Finders Keepers ran on Friday, finding the best action. “They said they could not get all the rods in the water before they hooked up, and many were caught on live bait,” said WON subscriber Lonnie Dollarhide. Jan Setters of McKinleyville went down to Cape Mendocino and caught limits of rockfish and lings, plus a 55-pound Pacific halibut caught on a homemade jig.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar said things have been quiet at the landing, but he did get out on a salmon trip on Thursday, finding surprisingly good results for so late in the season. His light group of four anglers caught 3 legal kings in 100 to 200 feet of water off of Pudding Creek. With the season running out, his next trips will target crabs starting Nov. 5, then if the Humboldt squid come around, combo trips with crabs and squid the target.
HALF MOON BAY-Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat said a big swell slowed the bottomfish bite, but limits were still the norm. On Sunday, after limits of rockfish were in the box, anglers on the Huli Cat were treated to a drift for white seabass that produced 2 takedowns but no fish. Tuna are about 60 miles out, but the action was slow. Up next, Dungeness crabs with rockfish and crab or squid and crab combos.
SAN FRANCISCO-Salmon action is slow, but the fleet is still trying with a few big fish showing. Captain Jacky Douglas on the Wacky Jacky did manage to hook a king on her rod on Sunday, as well as a nice striped bass. Captain Steve Talmadge on Flash Fishing had some great trips with combo action on halibut and rockfish, with 12 flatties boxed and limits of rockfish, plus 3 lings and 2 thresher sharks hooked but lost.