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.
ROGUE RIVER: Gold Beach, Ore.—Waters dropped and warmed to 49-50 degrees last week, and on April 9 the springer salmon season bite went wild, with some boats landing 8 or 9 fish a day, most of them 23 to 30 pounds. It was excellent early-season action for a run that’s expected to last through May and into June. A few fish to 40 pounds have already been landed. WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer said there have been more salmon caught above Elephant Rock than below, and that springers are coming across the bar every day.
ROGUE RIVER: Grant’s Pass, Ore.–Late season winter steelhead fishing has been good over the past few days. The internet is full of pictures of people showing their fantastic catches.”I love this river, because not only can a person find good shorelines for fishing, but there are many different kinds of water for using multiple techniques from a boat,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service. “This might be the best chance to catch a late season steelhead.”
RUSSIAN RIVER—Kings Sport & Tackle reported that the rains have kept the river blown out and muddy for weeks now. The steelhead are making a getaway in the high water after spawning, and that’s a good thing. Next up: shad!
UMPQUA RIVER: Elkton, Ore.—The river has been muddy most of this past week, but it hasn’t stopped the king salmon from running up the edges of the river. Most boats are hooking at least one springer a day and in many cases a couple salmon for an honest day’s attempt, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Anglers can keep native along with hatchery spring-run Chinook’s on the Umpqua River system where fishing for them is allowed. The first summer steelhead that I know of was caught over the weekend near the confluence of the North and South Umpqua.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork: Roseburg, Ore. –-The river is still stuffed full of winter steelhead, although most of them are post spawn or otherwise known as “downer’s”. “On my last trip of the season early last week, my clients caught a couple nice bright steelhead that had not spawned yet,” said Curtis Palmer. “I am expecting the first of many springer’s to be caught over the next week in this river. There is lots of bank access in the Glide area, which has several deep slots and holes for bobber fishing.
UMPQUA RIVER; South Fork; Canyonville, Ore.—Correction to last week’s report: This river is not closed to steelhead fishing and will remain open until the end of month. This regulation change had slipped by me and I apologize for any inconveniences that this may have caused anyone planning a fishing trip to this river,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer. “There have not been very many anglers fishing this river and I have no knowledge of any fish being caught over the last week.”
TRINITY RIVER, Lewiston—The river above the North Fork blew out again last week due to the late season storms which dropped both snow and rain on the drainage. Hopefully, the spring surprises are about over, and conditions will soon be conducive for searun brown trout, and fishing in the special “fly fishing only” section of river above the Lewiston Bridge opens the last Saturday in April.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—The first several miles of the Klamath was THE only stretch where the river was fishable. The release at Iron Gate was still 1,860 cfs but it quickly went to several thousand cfs below major tributaries like Cottonwood Creek and the Shasta River.
AMERICAN RIVER—Flows have been upped to 1,300 cfs, and, with inflows greatly outstripping outflows at this late date (who would have thought the possibility of that happening a few weeks ago?), releases from Folsom Reservoir are likely to soon increase again as Folsom reaches full capacity. It’s pretty quiet on the river fishing-wise right now, but there are some striped bass being caught on bait at Discovery Park and around Howe Avenue.
FEATHER RIVER—The river mudded up substantially when the late season storm hit, but it was clearing—quickly–over the weekend. Anglers were back on the water and catching limits of striped bass up to 8 pounds from Star Bend to Boyd’s Pump, though most are in the 18- to 24-inch range.
FOLSOM LAKE— The lake was still rising fast—about 5 feet last week, and was at about 85 percent full over the weekend. The high lake level is undoubtedly a positive factor in the good fishing for trout, landlocked king salmon and bass. John Enos of Big John’s Guide Service put his clients on to limits of trout and salmon in front of the dam by fishing downrigged Speedy Shiners in white and green and white and red polka dots at about 20 feet deep, and top-lined F-7 Rapalas in Hot Steel. As for bass, some weighty limits are being caught, including bass weighing over 5 pounds over points and in brush as they get into a spawning mood. Senkos and crankbaits, among other methods, were attracting strikes in 10 to 15 feet deep water.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—Trout fishing was good once again for bait fishermen as those throwing Kastmasters from shore, and, better yet, on the water (remember no gasoline motors allowed) in rafts, kayaks, pontoon boats or canoes, trolling flies, nightcrawlers behind flashers, Kastmasters and Rapalas. Bass and redeared sunfish were getting more active, too
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—The river blew out again, getting even more muddy and going back up, suppressing what was looking like the beginnings of a really good spring striper run. However, by Sunday, anglers making short casts to stay out of the heavy current, were back in business to some extent catching schoolie-sized stripers at Bryte’s Beach, South River Road, Verona, and Garcia Bend. Bloodworms continued to be the best-producing bait. Sturgeon were being hooked, too, at Verona and off South River Road, mostly by anglers fishing for stripers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa—The river was blown out again by the heavy storms but was clearing and dropping rapidly by the weekend and reports of good fishing on minnows were coming in from around Ward’s Landing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Anglers experienced tough conditions for a few days with last week’s storms, but trout fishing was picking up again by the weekend in the section of river below Keswick through Redding city limits. Fly fishers continued to the same methods that have worked all winter—dead- drifting olive micro Mayflies, bird’s nests, Foxes poopah, prince nymphs and rubberlegs. Spin fishermen drifted Glo-Bugs and nightcrawlers, and back-trolled Hot Shots.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The water isn’t clear enough yet in most areas of the lake to actually see much bottom for spawning fish. Anglers best bet is to fish either the crowded creek mouths and hope they are there at the right time or to move over to the north shore of the upper end and work the dock areas of Nice and Lucerne.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Head to the Narrows and the west shore, all the incoming creek channels and major coves will warm quickly and provide protective areas for th4e bass to spawn. Ripbaits work well in the morning as well as jigs. Kings are coming in well over 5 pounds from 70 to 160 feet deep at the dam. Rainbows are from the surface down to 20 feet and kokanee are in the 17-inch range already.
UPPER BLUE LAKE— After the storms, anglers were back at it both trolling and from the bank. Trollers are finding limits with woolly bugger discs in front of their lures for limits. Bank angler had a few less but the waters will clear quickly. 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—Now that the last winter storm has passed, hopefully, the lake is beginning to shape up for a great spring bite. There were few takers after the heavy snow but a few salmon and trout were found on the east shore.
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. We are still waiting for conditions to improve; on days the water is flowing the bite has been good, no flow, no fish.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR–Fishing has been good but road conditions getting into Iron Canyon have been rough thanks to the snow and rain, watch out for the mud.
PIT RIVER—According to The Fly Shop, the fishing has been good. Rainy conditions can bring off-colored, rapidly rising water. Pit No. 4 and No. 5 are dropping into shape and fishing well but bring a wading staff and wear you PFD.
SHASTA LAKE—There weren’t many reports, thanks to the weather, but main lake points are holding few larger pre-spawning bass from 5 to 25 feet down and A-rigs, Senkos, dartheaded worms and jigs are the way to target them. Trolling for trout in Hertz Bay produced rainbows with a few salmon and brown trout possibilities deeper.
TRINITY LAKE—The bite is on and the dam is a good area to target king salmon. This past week they hit white hoochies behind a large Sling Blade at 80 feet and a blue wiggle hoochie behind a small Sling Blade.
BERKELEY—After the weather settled, boats made it out of the Bay and scored very well on salmon to 15 pounds. The Happy Hooker found plentiful fish 24 miles south of Seal Rock.
BODEGA BAY—Very windy conditions didn’t keep The New Sea Angler off the water and salmon fishing was fantastic with limits possible for experienced hands. As of the editorial deadline on Sunday, boats were on the water in good weather and it looked like a day of limit-style action.
DILLON BEACH—Salmon action was good for trollers outside of Tomales Bay during the week, before big weather hit. Crabbing is rated fair-to-good inside the Bay, though longer soak times are common now as opposed to earlier in the season. Kerry Apgar of Lawson’s Landing reported watching an osprey on a phone pole holding a huge barred surf perch in its talons and feasting on the fish.
EMERYVILLE—Heavy weather hampered the fishing schedule, however the Tiger Fish and New Seeker got out and scored salmon to 16 pounds between the S Buoy and Deep Reef. Meanwhile, party boats Superfish and Sundance fished inside the Bay for halibut. According to Scott Sutherland of Emeryville Sportfishing, the El Dorado ended with 9 salmon, El Dorado III with 7 salmon and New Easy Rider with 6 salmon, nothing bigger than 12 pounds, from Farallon Islands to Half Moon Bay. They did not provide passenger counts.
EUREKA—Red tail perch went on the bite in a big way north of town. Humboldt Bay offered up good counts of hefty crabs. Clammers enjoyed easy digging south of town. It may not be salmon season quite yet here, but area anglers are finding plenty of action to keep themselves happily busy.
FORT BRAGG—Variety is the spice of fishing life around Fort Bragg where salmoneers scored on fish to 12 pounds on those days when the weather allowed a trip out on open water. When the weather kept boats in the harbor, fisherfolk grabbed their surf or jetty gear and caught perch, rockfish, lingcod and abalone for dinner instead.
HALF MOON BAY—Salmon were running to 12 pounds all week and hookups were plentiful and shallow. On one trip, over 70 fish were hooked and on all trips the number landed depended on the skills and patience of anglers. Shore anglers scored perch and rockfish (brown rockfish and black & yellow rockfish) off the outer portion of the breakwater. Crabbing was productive both off the rock wall and from the public pier.
MARTINEZ—Sturgeon fishing was exceptionally good this week from both shore and boats, especially for those using specialty baits such as slabbed herring. Striped bass bit well at Montezuma Slough.
PORT SONOMA—All three area waterways are producing fish. Sonoma Creek is best for shore fishing, Napa River is best for sturgeon and Petaluma River is best for striped bass. Better weather allowed boaters to venture out on to the San Pablo Bay for continued good action.
SAN RAFAEL—Striped bass bit well for boaters at anchor near the Pumphouse. Sturgeon bit in the same area as well as China Camp. Halibut began to show for Bay anglers both from shore and boat.
SHELTER COVE—Proving that Shelter Cove is a treasure trove of seafood, Eric Stockwell of Loleta first scored a limit of abalone and then paddled his kayak out to catch an 18-pound, 11-ounce Chinook salmon. Decent weather and sea conditions allowed boaters to score well on salmon, though most didn’t paddle a kayak 12 miles, as did Stockwell.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Cartop boats were launching off the east side. According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, the trout are moving around in schools and if you find one fish, there are usually a lot more in the vicinity. Power Bait, nightcrawlers, Kastmaster spoons, Panther Martin and Rooster Tail spinners, and Rapalas are all working.
CAPLES LAKE—Warm weather forecast for most of this week could soften the ice along the rocky shores at the spillway and the dam making for dangerous conditions getting on the ice to fish. Use extreme caution!! So said Tahoe Fly fishing Outfitters.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Both Forks are again scheduled for more DFG trout plants in advance of the general trout season, which begins April 28. The DFG planted 500 pounds of cutthroats in each fork this past week, according to Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. The dock was installed at Honker Cove, so the ramps at Honker and Lightning Tree are set for the season. Boating was too dangerous this past week due to strong winds. Shore anglers were still doing well at Mallard Point on Power Bait. Fly fishermen continue to do well at Grasshopper, Mallard and Coot while wading or from float tubes using dark nymphs and woolly buggers.
DONNER LAKE—Boaters getting on the lake were doing best for macks while jigging according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Rainbow trout fishing was slow but those wanting to try were doing best on the shallow east end where the water could warm up quicker on a sunny day—use Power Bait, worms, and salmon eggs.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Weather this past week made it tough to fish. Both boat ramps are open and roads around the lake are passable with 2-wheel drive according to Wiggins Trading Post. Shore fishing was good before the weather hit.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Snow and ice from the storms this past week made access difficult if not impossible. Wait until warmer weather makes the roads safer to travel.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that fly casters using black woolly buggers and blood midges were catching trout ranging from 12 to 14 inches with an occasional 4 to 7 pounder.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The snowy, windy weather this past week made for poor fishing conditions and no one was out. On Sunday when the sun came out, little 3-year old Roco Guglielmana caught a 2-pound brown trout at the first dam with his Spiderman rod baited with Power Bait and a salmon egg. Sly Park Resort also reported that several anglers picked up a few rainbows at the same spot on Power Bait.
LAKE TAHOE—Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Top Liners was catching lots of browns trolling 10 to 30 feet deep with Storm ThunderSticks, Speedy Shiners, and Krocodiles this past week at Sugar Pine, Meeks Bay, and South Shore. Nielsen said the fish were in three size groups—2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds, 4 1/2 to 5 pounds, and a few bigger fish to 7 1/2 pounds. He was also picking up a few rainbows and macks on the same lures and depths. Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters and Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing were catching a few macks to 4 1/2 pounds trolling 120 to 200 feet deep at Tahoe City, Carnelian Bay, and Dollar Point.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 33-percent capacity. According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, the lake was still free of ice after a cold week and fishing was improving at the dam and the inlet for rainbows averaging 14 to 16 inches. Power Bait, worms, Kastmasters, and Panther Martins were all producing.
PYRAMID LAKE—The Second Annual Spring Catch-and-Release Trout Derby got off to a slow start due to high winds. Only 10 fish had been weighed in by Sunday afternoon April 15 at press time, led by a 7-pound 11-ounce cutthroat caught from shore by Tim Ryme. Shore anglers held the majority of the top spots due to the small number of boats who took a chance going out. Shore anglers were mostly fly fishing a Pelican Point.
RED LAKE—Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters stopped scheduling ice fishing trips here due to spots of open water showing along the rocky banks at the dam where most anglers get on the ice. Some anglers were still venturing onto the ice, but a week of warmer weather in the forecast should make further ice fishing unwise if not dangerous.
SILVER LAKE—Ice fishermen need to aware of softening ice along the rocky shores as the sunny weather prevails—don’t risk falling through the ice for a fish, your life is more valuable!! After cold nights, the ice can be safe—just use common sense before crossing onto the lake.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 89-percent capacity. The road to the lake was open according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Boaters getting on the lake were picking up an occasional trout or mack trolling at the dam and the inlet with spoons and Rapalas. Shore anglers were doing best in the shallower water in the creek arms where the water could warm up quicker. Kastmasters, Panther Martins, Rooster Tails, Power Bait, nightcrawlers, and salmon eggs were all worth trying.
TOPAZ LAKE—Topaz Landing Marina reported that fishing was slow this past week due to the stormy weather—lots of wind made for dangerous boating. Fair weather in the forecast for this week should improve the fishing considerably.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that the main river was fishing well in CA in the Glenshire and Hirshdale areas with stone fly and baetis patterns for trout ranging from 10 to 20 inches. Fishing in the Reno area was rated “good” on skwala stones and some baetis. Streamer fishing should improve as the water warms. The Little Truckee was fishing well on baetis, midges, San Juan Worms, and Glo-Bugs. Anglers need to stay out of the redds of spawning rainbows!!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. The storms this past week dumped a lot of wet snow in the area making the roads dangerously icy. Wait until at least mid-week to see if the warmer weather clears the roads.
AMERICAN RIVER—According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, the flows were up with all the rain, and no one was fishing.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Lots of bass boats were on the lake this last Sunday—the bite is on for pre-spawn and spawning spotted bass to at least 6 pounds. Senkos and worms fished 5 to 25 feet deep in the warmer coves were producing, according to Emerald Cove Marina.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is full and spilling. Bass and crappie were hitting in the flooded brush and trees around the lake. Teresa Hasty of Marysville caught a 2 1/4-pound crappie and two 3-pound spotted bass on minnow imitation jigs. One angler reported picking up 13 bass from 2 to 4 pounds on green pumpkin worms and jigs, so the bite is on as the fish move toward the bank to spawn.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is full and spilling. Spring break anglers were catching near-limits to limits of rainbows from shore and trolling. The shore anglers were still doing best at the dam, the beach, and in front of the campgrounds on Power Bait and worms. Trollers were running Rapalas, and Kastmaster spoons. The Resort is scheduled to release another pen of trout this week.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—Skippers Cove Marina reported that some of the trophy fish they released three weeks ago were showing up on stringers this past week. Jack Beechan of Marysville landed 7.1- and 5-pound rainbows trolling a dodger/Power Bait combo at Keystone Cove. Limits of planter sized rainbows were very common when the weather allowed.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 88-percent capacity. It took 17 pounds to win the Anglers Choice Pro Team event this past weekend. There was a god reaction bite on secondary points and flats using A-rigs and ripbaits. Fish were moving constantly between the bank and 30 feet deep. Trees and brush were beginning to submerge as the lake rises and fish were also found in them—Senkos produced the best. Drop-shotting worked well during the tournament—green pumpkin, brown, purple, and shad colors were all producing. With warmer weather in the forecast, the whole lake should be good for bass. Coho salmon were still harassing the bass fishermen, but trollers should be doing well at the Green Bridge and the dam.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is full and spilling—the water is muddy. Fishing was slow this past week due to the poor weather.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. The lake is spilling but the water is clear. Fishing was very slow this past week due to the lousy weather. Better weather in the forecast should improve the fishing for trollers and shore anglers. The smallmouth bass bite will get better as the water warms up on the rocky shores from the Cascade Shores boat ramp to the dam.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The weather this past week dumped some snow around the lake and 4-wheel drive was recommended by the Foresthill Ranger Station for accessing the day-use facilities. The Ranger Station announced that the campgrounds would TENTATIVELY be opening on April 27—weather permitting.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road was open to the lake and campground staff was working on getting the camp ready for the upcoming season.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134-foot elevation at press time—85-percent capacity. The weather this past week made for slow fishing. A week of good weather should put the bass back in pre-spawn mode searching for nesting sites in the tules and shallow rocky areas—jigs were working well before the weather hit.