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.-Closed last week with flooded out conditions and no fishing for the past few weeks, but it was a great season!
ROGUE RIVER; Gold Beach, Ore.–The spring Chinook and steelhead fishing has been put on hold due to near flooding conditions in Southern Oregon. River water is warming up to 48 degrees, which has salmon fishermen happy in the area, if the temperature stays that warm. Ideally springer angler’s want the temperature to reach the low 50’s to entice a more aggressive bite. “I expect by the middle of the week there will be jetboats starting to form hog lines again,” said guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Rain has kept the river high and muddy and there has been no opportunity to fish the entire past week.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork; Roseburg, Ore.–Once again the river is blown out and too high for even bank fishing. Before it started to rise again this week, we had a couple days of excellent steelhead fishing below the Winchester Dam, reported Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service. Side drifting yarn balls is a favorite here do to the short drifts and snag-filled bottom of the river. With mostly guides fishing this section of river, the competition is high, but most boats were able to hook up with double digits of fish in a days time. This is the quality of fishing that we are used to having on this river, but unfortunately the season is close to coming to an end.
UMPQUA RIVER, South Fork; Canyonville, Ore. –The steelhead season has come to an end on this river, said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Between storms and high water conditions there was a few days that anglers were able to catch some great hatchery steelhead in the Stanton Park area. Bank angler’s also had some terrific fishing as well. With boats floating down the river as if they were connected like a train, it was easy to see a boat in front of you miss a bite, so you could be prepared for the opportunity for that same fish to take your offering next.
UMPQUA RIVER; Scottsburg, Ore.–March has kept this river high and muddy most of the month. With spring Chinook waiting to enter the river, it is only going to take a little relief from the weather and these fish will start to run up the current edges while filling these waters with a favorite fish for sport and table fare. There have already been some springer’s caught, but the last 10 days have been unfishable due to high flows, reported Palmer.
TRINITY RIVER, Lewiston-Rains were heavy all week and the river was blown out throughout its length. Steelheading will be about over when flows subside and the river clears. However, there should be some good fishing for brown trout, some of which can exceed 5 pounds. The special “fly fishing only” section of river above the Lewiston Bridge opens the last Saturday in April.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam-The river was high and muddy throughout its length due to high, muddy flows. The weather cleared on Sunday, and the upper section of the Klamath should become fishable again within a week or so of no more rain. However the steelhead season is winding down.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 22-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that boats were launching off the east shore and doing well at the inlet. Shore anglers were catching rainbows on Power Bait, worms, and Kastmaster spoons.
CAPLES LAKE-Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that the ice at the spillway was still safe for fishing, but the edges could get soft on sunny days.
CARSON RIVER (East)-Cold, windy, snowy weather did nothing to warm up the water temp on the river-it’s still too cold for any kind of bite, according to Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Wind, rain, and snow all this past week kept anglers away from the lake. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing said that an effort was going to be made to clear the Lightning Tree boat ramp and install the dock there this week-weather permitting. Dillard said that the Lightning Tree area was more open terrain and snow melted off faster than at Honker Cove. Another attempt was planned to plow the Honker Cove parking lot and ramp-again weather permitting.
DONNER LAKE-Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was slow here. Shore anglers with patience could catch a few rainbows on inflated nightcrawlers or worm and marshmallow combos.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that car top boats were launching at Frenchman and Lunker Point. Shore anglers were doing well from Big Cove to Spring Creek. 4-wheel drive was still recommended for getting around the lake to Lunker Point.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 73-percent capacity. The area saw another 1-foot-plus of new snow this past week which should postpone any access to the lake for another week or so, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that the roads to the lake were clear, the lake was ice-free, and anglers were catching plenty of rainbows-mostly 2 to 3 pounders, and a few lunkers to 8 pounds. Fly fishermen in float tubes were doing best stripping woolly buggers. Shore anglers using bait and lures were catching their share of fish.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-Shore anglers were still picking up some DFG planter rainbows along with a couple of macks at the first dam on nightcrawlers, according to Sly Park Resort.
LAKE TAHOE-Strong winds kept boaters off the lake all this past week. Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters made it out on Sunday, but the winds still made it tough to control the boat. Daniels said they caught 4 fish to 5 1/2 pounds, and lost two off Carnelian Bay on Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 33-percent capacity. The Prosser Creek and Alder Creek inlets were producing rainbows for shore anglers using spinners and Kastmaster spoons, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
PYRAMID LAKE-Very strong winds blew up sandstorms that kept shore angers and boaters alike away from the lake all this past week. If the weather breaks, the fishing should be good for trollers and shore fishermen.
RED LAKE-Tahoe Fly fishing Outfitters reported that the ice on the edges of the lake was getting soft and anglers needed to stop ice fishing here-it was just too dangerous to get on the ice with the edges soft and weak spots were forming on the lake ice.
SILVER LAKE-A couple of feet of new snow and “horrendous” winds made it impossible to fish this past week. The forecast is for more unstable weather this week, too.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Trollers were picking up a few browns and some macks to 9 pounds running Sting Fish and Rapalas at the dam. Some kokanee, 12 to 14 inches, were hitting dodger/hoochies combos in green and chartreuse in the top 10 feet off the points.
TOPAZ LAKE-Topaz Landing Marina reported that a large group of anglers visited the lake for several days this past week, and despite the winds, trollers caught limits of trout to 2 pounds on firetiger Rapalas in the middle of the lake. Shore angling was much slower with only 1 or 2 fish coming in for a day long outing
TRUCKEE RIVER-With the rain or melting snow, the flows were up and fishing slowed in the Reno area. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported decent action in the Hirshdale section of the river on the California side on BWO’s, baetis, San Juan Worms, and dark or golden stones.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 69-percent capacity. According to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service, the area received 1-foot-plus of new snow this past week, which would postpone access to the lake for a week or so depending on any new storms forecast for this week.
BERKELEY-Boats fishing San Pablo Bay found plenty of pesky crabs to steal baits, however river mouths were the key to successful fishing, because crabs retreated from the strong inflow of muddy fresh water brought by rains. Protected river mouths provided some action on both sturgeon and stripers for boaters and shore fishers looking for safe places to fish. Napa and Petaluma river mouths were doing well for sturgeon and stripers.
BODEGA BAY-A variety of surf perch kept surfcasters busy on sandy beaches north of Bodega, where it was necessary to pick a safe and comfortable day when surf was not running dangerously high. Jetty fishers worked hard and were rewarded with keeper-size rockfish and kelp greenling with an occasional cabezon.
EUREKA-Crabbing in Humboldt Bay was productive between storm events, with legal size crabs the rule. Persistently rough weather kept recreational anglers away, however commercial crabbers working outside the Bay reported numerous sightings of salmon chasing baitballs on the surface.
FORT BRAGG-April 1 marked the opening day of red abalone season and Fort Bragg filled with hopefuls, but foul weather kept them all ashore and hanging out in coffee shops waiting for the weather to break. Subsurface Progression Dive Shop is the local info center for ab divers.
HALF MOON BAY-Half Moon Bay boats stayed safely tucked in harbor and out of the horrible seas all week. A few perch fishers worked the beaches at mid-week between storms to catch barred surfperch on pile worms and Gulp! sandworms. Up the coast at Pacifica, the pier closed for two days due to dangerous swells. On the open days a handful of crabbers cast snares and caught enough for a fresh dinner.
MARTINEZ-Sturgeon bit well for boaters and to a lesser degree for pier anglers. Grass shrimp and ghost shrimp combos were the hot baits for the week. Striper action was reported at Bethel Island.
OAKLAND-Shore fishers scored big on striped bass as big schools cruised by on their way to Delta waters. Point Pinole Pier and Bullhead Rock were the hotspots. Inclement weather kept boating to a minimum, however some did head up the Bay to the Mothball Fleet to catch sturgeon and stripers.
AMERICAN RIVER-A few diehard fly rodders continued to catch small steelhead plus a rare 3 to 5 pounder on dead-drifted nymphs and swung steelhead streamers, but there wasn’t much going on in the American river last week. Backtrolled Hot Shots and drifted nightcrawlers and roe accounted for a few more. Flows were a bit over 1,100 cfs. Drift small bits of roe, swing Blue Fox spinners or Little Cleos, or dead-drift nymphs and swing steelhead streamers.
FEATHER RIVER-The river was high and muddy below the Yuba and Bear rivers, but the striper fishing improved even so, with some limits even coming out below Shanghai Bend. It’s still low and reasonable low and clear farther upstream, but fishing continued to be slow. There are a few small steelhead still present in the Low Flow Section.
FOLSOM LAKE-Trout and landlocked king salmon were still biting in spite of the storms. Try watermelon, chartreuse/red dot, or white/pink Seps Sidekicks, with white hoochies or Radical Glow Tubes behind at 40 feet for the kings. Rainbows are hitting top lined Speedy Shiners, Rapalas, and nightcrawlers behind flashers 150 to 200 feet behind the boat. Most of the action has been on the main body. The lake is still rising and bass are on points and starting to make their move toward coves and shallower water. They are still sluggish so fish slow. Drop-shot, darthead, and jig Brush Hogs. Minnows and crawdads are especially deadly.
RANCHO SECO LAKE-Heavy plants for the trout derby last week means that plenty of rainbows are still available for anglers-including some whopper-sized fish. Bank anglers will get their share at various spots around the lake, but with a way to get on the water via raft, kayak, pontoon boat or canoe (no gasoline powered motors are allowed), anglers have lots more choices of fishing locations and methods.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-The river is muddy and high, but anglers are catching striped bass in spite of lousy water conditions. Sturgeon love the conditions and Lisbon Slough has been producing quite a few on pileworms, eels and ghost shrimp, fished by themselves and in combination. Some of the better striped bass spots are Miller Park, Bryte’s Beach, I-Street Bridge, and South River Road. Sardines are catching some, but bloodworms have been particularly effective. The river is full of debris, so anglers should stick to shore fishing for the time being. Keep your casts close to shore.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa-The river was high and muddy through the weekend, but anglers able to find sheltered spots out of the main flow were catching a few sturgeon. Fishing should blow wide open for both sturgeon and striped bass as the river drops and clears.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-The heavy rains blew out much of the Sacramento River, but it remained fishable around Redding, above tributaries. Fishing for native trout continued to be good, but it’s going to be a nymphing affair for awhile. Spin fishermen were drifting Glo-Bugs and nightcrawlers.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-According to bass guide Ross England, as more fish move up anglers will be able to empty their tackle box of tricks to catch them. Swimbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, plastic worms, and Senkos will get the job done. Many anglers will hit the water using live bait, as the month of April is one of the better times to either go after a big fish or have a good day for anglers with a little less experience.
LAKE BERRYESSA-Rolled shad, anchovies and hoochies had king salmon on the chew in front of the Ranch House and Big Island. As the water warms during the day find bass with tubes, Senkos or 5-inch hollow bellied swimbaits. Kokanee limits are also coming out for some.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-There have been storms here, so fishing pressure was light. On Sunday a few boats were out, one caught 7 and lost 3 trout. The south end had a little bass action but with murkier conditions down there, most of the bass and trout have moved to the east end towards the Narrows Resort and Pine Acers Resort. Don’t forget April 27 and 28 are the dates to be up here for the annual Blue Lake Trout Derby held at the Narrows Resort.
LAKE ALMANOR-The challenge here has been the weather, not the fishing. A mix of brown and rainbow trout to 4 pounds were taken.
BAUM LAKE-The pros at The Fly Shop in Redding said the fishing hasn’t been too good since PG&E is cleaning out a canal section above the lake, so no water is pushing through Baum Lake.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR–Fishing has been fair, but road conditions getting into Iron Canyon have been rough thanks to the snow and rain.
PIT RIVER-Tough conditions here due to the weather. According to The Fly Shop, your best bet will be along the Pit no. 3 as Pit no. 4. Pit no. 5 will be too high and off colored.
SHASTA LAKE-Bass continue to be the better species to target in murky waters; try for bass at the inflow in the creek mouths with spinnerbaits for a bunch of 1 1/2 to 2 pounders. Hit the main lake points for a few larger pre-spawners from 5 to 25 feet throughout the day with A-rigs, Senkos, dartheaded worms and jigs.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR-It’s not quite ready yet for trout. Mike Elster of Mike’s Fishing Guide Service was here this past week, putting in at Whiskey Creek and trolled for 5 hours, checking his graph the entire time. The water is still cold here and he marked very few fish, but landed one nice, fat and clean 15-inch trout.
AMERICAN RIVER-With all the rain, the flows were up, and fishing was the last thing on anybody’s mind.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 84-percent capacity. Before the storms arrived, a local club held a tournament and fish to 6 pounds hit the scales. Tubes and drop-shotting produced most of the fish- in watermelon and morning dawn colors. This past weekend, the strong winds damaged the docks at the marina and knocked out the power-no problems with boat launching though.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake was still spilling and muddy. One angler caught 14 bass, but only two were keepers. He was using green pumpkin, chartreuse and morning dawn plastics.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is full and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Collins Lake announced that it would be making weekly plants of trophy/catchable rainbows until May, plus releasing the pen-reared trout beginning later this month. Shore anglers and trollers were catching near limits to limits of mostly catchable sized rainbows. The dam and beach were still the hot spots for shore anglers and the dam area was producing for trollers.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina released their pen-reared trophy fish to clear berthing space for seasonal renters. Half the 4 to 8 pounders were released across the lake from the marina, the other half towed up to Black’s Ravine and released. Fishing was slow this past week due to the poor weather.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 83-percent capacity-only 40 feet from full. With all the water running into the lake from the rain, the water had muddied up and the temp dropped in the high flow areas slowing the bite. Guide Ron Gandolfi suggested looking for warmer water in coves below the high inflow areas where the fish are either in pre-spawn or spawning. Worms, jigs, and Senkos were working in the backs of the coves. Spinnerbaits were picking up bass on the main points and secondary points leading into the warmer coves in the West Branch and North Fork. There is a lot of debris floating on the lake now and some log booms have been installed by the state to catch it at Concow Creek in the West Branch and in the North Fork. Expect to see a debris boom on the Middle Fork, also. Use caution while running at high speed, or better yet, slow down!!
ROLLINS LAKE-The lake was spilling, muddy, and loaded with floating debris. Fishing was slow for Casey Reynolds at Long Ravine Resort.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The lake was spilling, but the water was still clear. Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass were hitting for a fly fishing club that launched float tubes and pontoons at the day-use area. Trout running 12 to 14 inches and smallies, 1 1/2 to 3 pounds, were taken on woolly buggers. Trollers were catching rainbows on flasher/worm combos between the dam and the marina.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that there was some snow on the ground around the lake, but the day-use facilities were open and accessible.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road to the lake was clear. When the weather clears, trollers should still be able to score on holdover rainbows on flasher/worm combos and Rapalas.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The elevation was at 133.7 feet at press time-83-percent capacity. Before the storms hit this past week, one angler picked up a 35-pound limit of bass. Jigs fished in the tules south of the bridge were producing fish to 10 pounds, according to Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company. The coho bite was still strong at the tailrace and Diversion Pool below the Lake Oroville dam-6- to 10-pound silvers were hitting small minnow imitating jigs.