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.-Action took a dip this past week, but it was still “fair” according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Currently, anglers can still only keep hatchery (fin-clipped) kings, but soon (probably June 1) even wild kings can be caught, so the success rate goes up. Last year a lot of springers were still moving up the river in June, when the fin-clip rule doesn’t apply.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Shad fishing has been getting better if you get out early or late, before or after all the water-lovers on the river in kayas, innertubes and just swimming and wading. Smallmouth bass fishing is also good early if you work the structure with spinners, worms or small lures.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Roseburg, Ore.-The spring salmon seem to be behind schedule, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets’s Guide Service. He said there aren’t as many guides working the river as normal due to the low runs so far. Water was 49 degrees and about 4 feet of visibility, but it seems the springers are holding rather than moving, especially upstream of the dam.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-Flows in the lower Klamath dropped into what was being called “perfect” shape. There weren’t many anglers on the water, but those that were, were hooking a couple of springers apiece averaging 18 pounds on spinners hammered in brass or in half and half green and chartreuse. The action was concentrated between the Highway 101 Bridge and McCovey.
TRINITY RIVER–The river is dropping now, but is still too high to fish throughout its length. According to Ed Duggan of “D” Guide Service, the upper part of the river should be fishable sometime around the middle to late June and the lower part of the river should come into fishable shape sometime around July 4.
AMERICAN RIVER-Flows have now dropped to 3,500 cfs, and are in a sweet spot for both spin and fly fishermen. Shad are being caught from Harrington Access on down, but should be all the way up to Sailor Bar this week. Fishing is only fair right now, but it’s only going to get better. Fly fishermen are swinging shad flies and spin fishermen are drifting mini-jigs with a 1.5-inch curly tail grub in champagne or chartreuse under a float. A few striped bass are starting to show, too, though mostly going after hooked shad.
FEATHER RIVER-Striper action slowed as fish dropped back downstream toward the mouth after spawning. However, shad fishing has been outstanding at Shanghai Bend with some anglers catching up to a couple of dozen an outing.
FOLSOM LAKE- The lake is full, and bass are on beds spawning. Some are even post-spawn and moving back to deeper water. Rattlesnake Bar is one area where anglers sightfishing on beds or casting into flooded brush and trees can do very well. But, if beds are empty, try moving offshore and darthead or drop-shot worms out in deeper water. Bass are also taking crankbaits and swimbaits, even topwater fished early and late, which is necessary anyway due to the high number of recreational boaters on the water. Fishing for trout and landlocked king salmon continued to be slow.
RANCHO SECO LAKE-Trout are still being caught, but fishing is rapidly turning to warmwater species like bass and redeared sunfish. Boaters in rafts, kayaks, pontoon boats or canoes were still catching some trout drifting Power Bait and nightcrawlers, and trolling flies, Rapalas, and Kastmasters through deeper holes. Bass were being caught crankbaits, ripbaits, swimbaits and Senkos. Redeared sunfish were biting worms under bobbers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Striper fishing was still good, and some anglers were doubling up on both shad and striped bass by getting a two-rod license, throwing shad darts with one rod and soaking bait with the other. Miller Park and Discovery Park were two of the better spots for this technique.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa-Striper fishing continued to be good from Verona to Colusa, but fish are spawning in groups and then moving back downstream. The water is very warm around Verona, so stripers are not likely to hang there much longer. The water around Colusa is cooler, so it might be a better choice for anglers who can make the move.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Trout fishing picked up big time on increased releases from Keswick, It’s possible to catch two dozen or more fat rainbows an outing. While most will be from 1 to 3 pounds, anglers are tangling with fish much larger every day. Fishing is good all the way from Redding to Red Bluff, though most of the larger fish are between Redding and Anderson. Side-drifting nightcrawlers or Glo-Bugs has been the most effective approach, and fly fishers are dead-drifting nymphs under floats.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir-The river is high and swift, so there’s not much wading, but it is fishable. High stick the edges with big flies like Rubber legs, Prince nymphs and Rubber legs.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-With bass on beds, most anglers are running the shoreline looking for spawning bass and sightfishing, but there are a lot of fish a little deeper that can be caught by just fishing. Robworm’s Margarita Mutilator and Salt River Craw have been good choices around the lake. The live bait action is still on but slowing down due mostly to warmer water temperatures.
LAKE BERRYESSA-T-Roy’s Guides Service reported the hot koke, trout bite continues. Look for good fishing from the Ranch House to the Big Island in 100 feet and at 28 to 35 feet deep. The kokanee are ranging from 15 to 18 1/2 inches in length. If you want a good rainbow bite with fish in the 19-inch range, fish the east side from the Ranch up to the Vineyard up on the flats in 20 to 28 feet. The kokanee hit RMT dodgers in hyper plaid, Bahama Mama and the copper series with cotton candy squids in pink, orange, RGT’s in pink and a few Uncle Larry’s spinners in copper pop and hot belly tiger. The best scent, hands down this week, was garlic and herring. Bass were found on beds on the east and west banks of the main lake with Carolina rigs and drop-shot rigs dragged slowly with a Roboworm in Aaron’s Magic or Morning Dawn colors.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-With 206 anglers, the Trout Derby was the best year they’ve ever had. On Day One 399 trout were weighed in for a total of 238 pounds one and Day Two had 282 trout totaling 110 pounds. Steven Probst from Rohnert Park was the overall winner with a two-day total weight of 10 pounds which earned him $150, a big trophy and bragging rights. The event raised about $6,000 for the community. Bluegill are back and the trout bite is very good with quite a few over 2 pounds. The best bite is everywhere from 10 to 20 feet down with Wooly Buggers. No bass reports.
LAKE ALMANOR-The lake is in the process of warming up, which will congregate the trout and salmon in the deeper areas and the springs, improving the action, according to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures. Right now some good fishing is available, but the fish are everywhere throughout the lake, mostly from 5 to 30 feet for trollers. Sun and lack of wind will warm up the west basin, sending fish to the east side, which was impacted by murky runoff coming from the Hamilton Branch, and lowering visibility in the northeast side of the lake. A mix of rainbows, browns and king salmon 1 1/2 to 3 pounds are being caught, along with some 1-year-old kings that should be released.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR–The road in is mostly open but there are still some deeper drifts about 5 miles in. It looks like some people may have made it as far as the campground by going over the drifts when frozen, but with warming temperatures you may not get back out again, so best not to try. Another week of warm weather may allow access to the campground road, but until P.G.E. plows, the campground, dam area and other accesses to the shoreline will probably be inaccessible.
LAKE BRITTON-Crappie in the 10- to 12-inch size and smallmouth bass fishing is good.
BAUM LAKE-Steve Vaughn, in Burney said the lake is fishing fairly well, especially since it was stocked. Nightcrawlers produced two limits of rainbows in the 12- to 14-inch range in two hours.
CASSEL FOREBAY–Closed until further notice for repairs. All water has been drained into the natural creek channel that flows into Baum Lake in order to work on structure repairs. Upstream from the Cassel Bridge has been fishing well, but has been overcrowded as the Cassel campground folks have moved from the forebay to Baum Lake as work continues on the canal. There are fish to be caught upstream, but you might catch a few fish lines as well.
CASSEL POND–Panther Martins produced limits and fish up to 15 inches.
EAGLE LAKE–Opens the Saturday proceeding Memorial Day, on May 26.
FALL RIVER—Fishing was fair to good, but with no hatches. Snce it warms up so should the fishing.
MANZANITA LAKE–The lake is now open and starting to fish much better. Some nice rainbows are starting to take emergers but most of the fish are still feeding deep. Prince nymphs and crystal buggers or veggie buggers (lake dragons) are all taking fish. The big browns haven’t started to take much yet but with the warmer weather the past few days they could start patrolling the shoreline any time soon. This lake has special restrictions so be sure and read the regulations. Lassen Park is still only open 10 miles in to the Devastation Wilderness Area but with such good spring weather it could open soon.
MCCLOUD RIVER-Water conditions are great and the fishing has been good with the dry fly action hot.
PIT RIVER-Fishing has been fair to good but the wading conditions bad. Come prepared!
SHASTA LAKE-Overall, bass fishing conditions were still a little tough but start looking for the topwater bite for post spawning smallies to get going soon. Fish the top 20 feet along the shoreline and then drop down 30 to 40 feet for rainbows when the sun hits the water. Brown trout will be in the 40-foot range in the McCloud arm. Free Kids Fishing Days at the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery are June 2, July 7 and August 4 this year. Free loaner equipment is available as well as bait, hooks, bobbers and stringers if needed. For further information contact Monty Currier from DFG at 530-225-2368.
TRINITY LAKE–The trout and salmon fishing was slow as the water temperature is running about 62 degrees now. Kings are holding between 60 and 120, while kokes are from 30 to 50 and rainbows in the top 20. Wiggle Hoochies have been the best bet.
UPPER HATCREEK-Some very nice fish are started to come in this past week, even though the water has been on the rise a bit as temperatures hit mid to high 70s. Mornings have been the best time to baitfish, but early evenings have also been doing well. With a much warmer spring than usual the mosquitoes have been a bit pesky, especially in the evenings, so be prepared. Worms have worked the best with salmon eggs a close second and yellow or pink floating baits coming in third. Some big brooders, both rainbow and brook trout from 3 to 5 1/2 pounds have been coming in. Fly fishing picked up with the warming weather and some good stonefly and caddis hatches are starting to come off. Stonefly nymphs, crystal buggers and copper johns all worked well.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 56-percent capacity. The lake is filling rapidly with releases from Stampede Reservoir and the inflow has attracted lots of fish to the inlet. Mornings and evenings are the best time to try bait and lures for rainbows, browns, and macks.
CAPLES LAKE-According to John Voss at the Caples Lake Resort, the lake was 95-percent thawed with just a little ice floating in the middle of the lake and it would be gone by early this week. The marina and store at the resort opened on May 11 and the EID boating facility opened over the weekend.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-The river was in “gorgeous, picture perfect” condition, but the water temp was still 46 degrees. Alpine County made another 1800-pound plant of trophy trout on Sunday to go along with the 1400 pounds of cutthroats to 18 inches that were planted by the DFG this past week. Gaylene Aby of Stockton came in with three 17-inch cutthroats caught on worms in the slower pocket water of the East Carson.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Ed Dillard of Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trout trolling was good for rainbows running 15 to 17 1/2 inches. Sockeye Slammers and Needlefish in firetiger and metallic perch trolled 13 feet deep over 25 to 30 feet of water along the east side of the lake above the island were working best. The best shore fishing was found at Eagle Point on Power Bait for 15 to 17 inchers.
DONNER LAKE-The lake was fishing very well since the recent DFG trout plant, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. 5- to 6-pound macks were caught near the boat ramp prowling around for planter rainbows and were hitting Rapalas and large spoons. The rainbow fishing was good near the boat ramp and off the west end public piers.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Butt Valley Reservoir is at 94-percent capacity. The Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that the fishing in the North Fork of the Feather and in the surrounding creeks was good with experienced anglers having no problems catching limits of trout. Caribou Crossroads Resort is now open 7 days a week.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Shore fishing at the dam, Big Cove and Lunker Point was good for anglers using Power Bait according to Wiggins Trading Post. Fly fishermen did well at the north end of the lake stripping woolly buggers and nymphs from float tubes. Casting and trolling spinners and spoons was productive.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-Bassetts Station reported that Sardine, Upper Sardine, Salmon, Packer, and Gold Lake were all reachable now that the roads had been plowed. There was still some ice on Salmon Lake, and Packer Lake was still iced over with open spots of water showing. The old boat ramp at Gold Lake was open and the lake was thawed.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 90-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that the gate to the campgrounds was scheduled to be opened this week. Fishing was slow. Call the Pacific Ranger Station for campground info at 530-647-5400.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Shore fishermen were still picking up a few fish on bait and lures. Fly casters stripping woolly buggers and blood midges were catching a few rainbows from the shore and float tubes.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-According to Sly Park Resort, fishing for trout was slow. The only positive report was that the smallmouth bass were starting to bite.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters was catching 3- to 7-pound macks trolling as deep as 350 feet off Carnelian bay with Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Top Liners was doing pretty well on a mix of browns and macks at Emerald Bay and South Shore toplining Storm ThunderSticks at 10 to 15 feet deep over 30 feet of water or downrigging 140 to 150 feet deep. The browns ran 2 to 7 pounds, and the macks averaged 3 to 5 1/2 pounds.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 87-percent capacity. The old ramp at the dam was reachable by 4-wheel drive and small aluminum boats. The campground gate was still closed according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 67-percent capacity. The inlet was the place to go either early in the morning or late in the afternoon according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Some limits were being caught especially by boaters getting over the creek channel and using nightcrawlers and Power Bait.
PYRAMID LAKE-George Molino at the Pyramid Lake Store reported that the cutthroat trout spawning season was drawing to a close and the fish were moving back into deeper water. Shore fishing has been slow. Trollers were doing better now and could catch 12 to 25 fish per day running Apex and FlatFish on toplines in the top 10 feet or downrigging at 20 to 35 feet deep for 17- to 24-inch cutts up to 5 pounds.
RED LAKE-The lake is thawed and shore fishermen can pick up a mix of brookies and cutthroats from the dam. Small boaters could do well here trolling with the little fishing pressure seen over the past few months.
SILVER LAKE-John and Danielle Stafford of Gardnerville hit the lake again trying to repeat their three double-digit catch of the previous week and only managed an 11-pound mack and several 1 to 2 pounders.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that 10- to 12-inch kokanee were hitting in the morning at 10 to 20 feet deep in the Little Truckee arm on dodger/hoochie combos in orange and pink. One angler reportedly caught a 6 1/2-pound smallmouth at the dam. Rainbow trout fishing was good near the boat ramp where the DFG planted this past week.
TOPAZ LAKE-Chuck Fields at the Topaz Landing Marina reported good trolling action for boaters running Needlefish along the west side of the lake. Lots of limits of 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound rainbows were checked in at the marina. Bass fishermen were picking 15 to 20 2 1/2- to 3-pound smallmouths on the north side of the lake on jigs and worms. Shore anglers were fishing the SW bank for only a few fish, and very few limits.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the river below Tahoe City was low and the fish were congregating in the deeper pools. The flows through Truckee were at 300 cfs and fishing was good on bait and flies. Below the Boca outlet, flows were heavier through the Glenshire and Hirshdale sections where nymphs and terrestrials were working well.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service fished the lake this past week and found the fishing very slow despite the recent DFG plant. The air temp was 36 degrees in the morning and the water was still too cold for good action. Neeser said he tried everything in the tackle box and only caught one small rainbow. Fishing at the boat ramp where the DFG trout were released could be productive until the fish disperse out into the lake.
WEST WALKER RIVER-Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported that the run-off had the river running at 700 cfs-200 cfs too high for good fishing success. Anglers who understand fishing high water conditions-fishing the slower pocket water along the banks, not out in the fast current in the middle of the river-can still pick up limits. Jim Pastor of Walker caught a 4.9-pound holdover rainbow on worms this past week. The flows should diminish slowly this week.
BERKELEY-Happy Hooker got into the halibut at mid-week inside the Bay with 11 folks boating 6 halibut to 20 pounds. Then late in the week they found stripers to 8 pounds in the South Bay off of the Alameda rock wall. Boats from Berkeley Marina Sportfishing enjoyed limit-style salmon fishing early in the week, then tapering to a respectable 1 to 1.5 fish per rod later in the week.
BODEGA BAY-Feisty krill-fed salmon went on a rampage and catch counts ranged from one fish per rod to full limits. While the average fish was 12 to 14 pounds, bigger fish, pushing 30 pounds showed up with greater regularity. The New Sea Angler added bonus limits of big Dungeness crabs when the weather was favorable.
EMERYVILLE-After nearly a week of staying at the docks due to high winds offshore, 5 boats on Saturday made the run from Emeryville Sportfishing Center to the Deep Reef area to find the fish. The fleet carried 75 anglers who hauled in 55 fish to 19 pounds. With the return of decent weather, optimism is strong for the coming week.
EUREKA-Pacific halibut action started to pick up when the wild weather allowed deep water fishing with the right baits. Salmon fishing held consistent if dependent on the weather and by Sunday it was limits for all. Crabbing in the Bay picked up steam and filled pots.
FORT BRAGG-Great salmon fishing was enjoyed by all once the weather settled down just in time for the weekend. Divers stayed out of the water because of dangerous seas, but rock-pickers found plentiful abalone at extreme minus tides during the week.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA-Offshore winds blew out salmon fishing for nearly a week, however by the weekend conditions returned to fishable and skippers found good quantities of fish near Deep Reef where the Queen of Hearts on Saturday scored 20 fish to 20 pounds for 15 anglers and the Huli Cat enjoyed similar success. Pacifica area fishers scored striped bass form both pier and surf. Baits proved best on the pier and lures were best for surf casters.
LAWSON’S LANDING- Wind early in the week slowly turned to beautiful weather with plentiful salmon waiting to be caught. The fish moved out a little farther from shore late in the week, to 300 feet of water. One boat caught a limit of fish to 13 pound by 8 a.m. On Saturday, Ron Johnson caught a big 24-pounder and Terry Fogal got a 20 pounder. Crabbing picked up in the bay but the perch were a no-show for surfcasters.
MARTINEZ-Sturgeon fishing is very good for boaters out of Martinez Marina with Benicia Bridge the top spot and eel/grass shrimp proving to be the bait most preferred by the fish (and therefore the fishers). Striped bass fishing slowed during the week however Frank Odea of Newark nailed a 36-inch striper from his private boat.
OAKLAND-Sturgeon fishing is outstanding on San Pablo Bay and at the mouth of Sonoma Creek on ghost, grass and mud shrimp, according to Mike Huynh at Mike’s Bait in Oakland. Striped bass in the same areas showed a marked preference for grass shrimp. Boaters drifting off of San Bruno shores with live shiners hooked a decent count of halibut.
PORT SONOMA-Leopard sharks moved into San Pablo Bay and took up residence alongside sturgeon that are foraging greedily throughout the Bay. Area rivers including the Napa and Petaluma are producing striped bass in addition to good sturgeon activity. Grass shrimp is the best bait with pile worms also performing well.
SAN RAFAEL-Sturgeon fishing continued steady and strong in numerous locations. Out of Loch Lomand, the Pumphouse area received much of the fishing pressure because it dependably produced fish. The Morning Star enjoyed great fishing for sturgeon ranging from undersize to over 6 feet.