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 ocean salmon fishing is excellent, and if the kings aren’t up on top, they’re feeding farther down. The bite’s not wide open everywhere, but according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer, if you put in your time you’ll find the fish—and catch them!
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.—Salmon fishing here just isn’t what it’s been in years past, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service. “Some days we will see a bite happen, but it is small and usually doesn’t last longer than a few fish being caught quickly,” he said. “There are fish in the bay and in good numbers, but they just aren’t wanting what the angler’s are offering. I know that the days I am on the water guiding that I am having to throw everything I have at them, just to catch a salmon or two. Sorry to say that it just isn’t the fishing that we have become used to over the years. The bottomfishing outside in the ocean is excellent for lingcod and rockfish.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.—After hearing that the Umpqua was doing well on salmon fishing, WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service decided to try it out. “I decided that it would be a good place for me to end and begin my work week. To my surprise I found Saturday and Sunday to be a complete bust for me and 98-percent of the anglers. I am shocked that there were probably fewer than a dozen salmon caught in those two days. I did mark a lot of fish on the monitor, but I had just as much of a difficult time getting them to bite as everyone else. I am fishing there tomorrow (Monday) and hope thing’s change.” We’ll find out next issue.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.—More and more summer steelhead are showing up, and guides are still putting clients on late spring and a few early fall kings.
RUSSIAN RIVER—It’s still summer, and that means this is a great place to go swimming, kayaking, rafting or tubing. Anglers can find some limited action on smallmouth before and after the watersports begin.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Steelheading was very good again, and they are being joined by an increasing number of jack and adult salmon. Pressure is getting heavier so it’s best to get on the water early. Troll spinners and Kastmasters near the mouth and drift roe farther upstream. Steelhead fishing was good all the way to Blue Creek, and they were taking spinners, roe and flies.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—Limits of nice salmon were being caught virtually every day by decent anglers all the way down to the North Fork. Flows were increasing to stave off another fish kill like the one in 2002. The increased release from Lewiston will be up to 1,000 cfs, and should pull even more fish upstream. Backtroll plugs early and drift roe later.
TRINITY RIVER, Grays Falls—Pods of salmon are moving through the river daily, so fishing is good one day, and poor the next. It’s continued to be deadly hot, so get on the river early and off by 9 a.m.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that trolling was good early and late, 30 feet deep in front of the white cliffs in the NW corner of the lake using flasher/worm combos for rainbows. 11- to 12-inch kokanee were hitting 25 to 30 feet deep over the channel. Heavy recreational boat traffic kept most sane fishermen off the lake during the day.
CAPLES LAKE—EID host, Ron Peterson, reported that the fishing was slow. One lucky angler picked up a 2-pound rainbow on worms at Wood’s Creek in the early morning this past week. According to Peterson, the DFG was supposed to plant the lake this past week, but the stocking truck broke down at Silver Lake and all the fish were dumped there. A 20-inch brown was caught toplining a Kastmaster in the early morning in the middle of the lake over the channel.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The DFG planted both rivers this past week and Alpine County will be stocking the East and West with 1800 pounds of 2- to 5-pound rainbows this week. Fly fishing in the evening was very good on Elk Hair Caddis dries—lots of catch-and-release action. Bait fishermen were picking up multiple limits of planters on worms and salmon eggs.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was very good with 10 to 30 fish landed on his trips this past week. Trolling a copper/red head Wee Dick Nite at 18 feet deep around the north end of the island produced consistent action for rainbows running 16 to 18 1/2 inches. The fish were in great shape and loaded with blood midge larvae. Dillard was trolling 1.8 mph with a 150-foot setback—the keys to success!! Shore fishing was still good in the early morning at Eagle Point on inflated nightcrawlers for a few trout and plenty of 12- to 14-inch catfish. Fly fishing was good along the west side at Camp 5 and Jenkins Point for casters using Snow Cone nymphs, cinnamon or olive woolly buggers, and blood midges.
DONNER LAKE—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing from shore was slow, but trollers were still picking up some 12- to 13-inch kokanee and small macks 60 to 90 feet deep on dodger/hoochie combos for the kokes and large spoons for the lakers.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The Feather River Canyon was still beset by the huge Chips Fire Complex and anglers were still being advised to avoid the area. Caribou Crossroads Resort barely survived the fire and was without power.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that the warm weather had moved the fish into deep water during the day. Shore fishing was best in the early morning or late evening for anglers using Power Bait and worms. Trollers did best running out 4 to 6 colors of leadcore attached to a flasher/worm combo.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Bassett’s Station was selling lots of worms, salmon eggs, and Power Bait. Sardine Lake was producing lots of 12-inch rainbows.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Both Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service concurred that the fishing was very slow here due to the hot weather. One of Daneman’s friends hit the lake again this past week and didn’t draw a strike.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—A Carson River Resort guest fished the lake this past week, trolled all morning, and caught one fish. The hot weather pretty much shut down the fishing here.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that a few fish were being caught off the points by anglers casting small Rapalas. The trout were cruising along the shore in small schools, and if you were in the right place at the right time, you caught fish.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported that trout fishing was slow but bass and bluegill fishing was good off the campgrounds for anglers using nightcrawlers or worms.
LAKE TAHOE—The North Shore was producing limits of macks for Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing in the first 1 to 1 1/2 hours of the early morning at 140 to 370 feet deep on glow-in-the- dark stickbaits, spoons, and dodger/minnow combos. The macks were running 2 to 9 pounds and taken from Crystal Bay to the Tavern Hole. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners was catching limits of macks from 1 to 5 pounds and finishing off possession limits with 12- to 15-inch kokanee. The macks were coming 90 to 130 feet deep, while the kokes were just above them at 80 feet deep. Nielsen found a group of bigger fish and landed 10- and 11-pound Mackinaws late in the week. The smaller macks were hitting Storm ThunderSticks and the bigger fish preferred Laxee spoons. John Shearer at Tahoe Sportfishing said that kokanee limits were pretty much automatic, with some nice macks thrown in for good measure. The fish were coming off the South Shore area from the Tahoe Keys to Cascade area—the kokes at 70 to 80 feet deep, and the macks at 100 to 150 feet deep. Dodger/minnows were taking the macks, while the kokes hit flasher/spinner or spoon combos tipped with corn.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service and Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle both agreed that the fishing was dead here—just too hot!
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that smallmouth bass fishing was good at the dam on jigs and tubes. Trout were hitting a worm/marshmallow combo in the deep water at the dam, also.
PYRAMID LAKE—Improving for perch on light tackle at the Needles and Hell’s Kitchen and the incidental catch of cutthroat trout can number in the dozens, according to Eagle Eye Charters.
RED LAKE—With the warm weather, the algae bloom was still a problem here.
SILVER LAKE—According to Ron Peterson, EID host at Caples Lake, the DFG put a double plant of rainbows into Silver due to a DFG stocking truck breakdown. Good for Silver—bad for Caples!!
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that one employee fished the Sagehen arm from shore with flies and caught rainbow and smallmouth bass right at dark. The kokanee were still hitting dodger/hoochie combos at 65 to 85 feet deep in the Little Truckee arm and off the island to the dam area. Get out early!!
TOPAZ LAKE—Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported that a couple of boat rental customers managed to catch 3 rainbows each trolling in the middle of the lake at 35 feet deep. The lake is getting so low that launching of larger boats may not be possible after this week at the Topaz Landing or the county park ramps. Launching should still be okay for small aluminum fishing boats in the 12- to 15-foot range.
TRUCKEE RIVER—With the warmer weather, the fish were stacked up in the faster water, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Crawfish patterns were working well in the afternoon, while caddis and yellow stone patterns were producing in the mornings. There was a lot of tubing traffic on the river to keep anglers distracted with all the bikini-clad girls!! The Little Truckee was low and fishing well in the early morning with PMDs.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that the kokanee fishing was just about over as the fish were beginning to “turn:—the males were losing their scales and getting hooked jaws. Fishing was tough, only 4 fish for a day of trolling.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. The river was very low and the fish were stacked up in the deeper pools in the canyon and at Pickle Meadows. Fly fishermen were raving about the catch-and-release action in the early morning and late evening. There were some big trophy fish seen amongst the planters but they weren’t having anything to do with any angler’s lure or bait.
BERKELEY—Variety within easy reach made for good fishing. Salmon bit near the Channel Buoys, halibut took baits near Seal Rock, rockfish and lingcod awaited off the Marin coast. California Dawn scored solidly all week. The Happy Hooker fished rockfish and lingcod, also scoring halibut outside the Gate. The Flying Fish is set to begin running albacore trips this week.
BODEGA BAY— Fishing off of Elephant Rock and Bird Rock on Tomales Peninsula slowed considerably. Capt. Jack Marshall on the Blondie reported a large pod of bottlenose dolphin entertaining boaters in the same area. New Sea Angler enjoyed easy limits on rockfish and lingcod catches of nearly a fish per rod.
DAWSON’S BEACH— It was a slow week of fishing due to rough weather. A decent run of halibut dropped off along with the water temperature and the slow salmon bite slowed even more. There are still some salmon around the Tomales Point/Trees Reef area, close to the bottom in 50 to 70 feet of water, but patience is a must. With the good forecast this week it looks like halibut should be back on the bite by next weekend, according to Willy at Lawson’s Landing.
EMERYVILLE—No lack of luck on the salmon as the bite continues near the Channel Buoys and Muir Beach. The average size is 12 to 20 pounds and the biggest this week was 25 pounds. Limits of rockfish were almost assured when Emeryville boats targeted them along the Marin coast. Lingcod to 22 pounds ranged in quantity from just a few fish per boat to near limits.
EUREKA—Easy fishing for salmon continues. Weather played havoc with fishing plans for part of the week, but each time the weather cooperated, salmon were located as close as one mile out. Pacific halibut bit at depths ranging from 200 to 400 feet. Runs for tuna proved successful.
FORT BRAGG—A number of 25-pound salmon showed that quality fish are within reach. Tuna were caught when weather allowed, 40 miles straight out. Dan Silvira took top honors at the Spearfishing Nationals held at Albion, for a world record (for spearfishing) 37-pound lingcod.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Salmon fishing scores hovered around a fish per rod. On rockfish trips the postings were solid limits with some healthy lingcod tossed in, aboard the Queen of Hearts and the Huli Cat. At Pacifica, 8 salmon were caught from the pier during the week.
MARTINEZ—Sturgeon excited pier fishers who used ghost shrimp and herring baits. Boaters caught striped bass on grass shrimp and anchovies. The water is salty now, so there are a few halibut being caught and plenty of rays.
OYSTER POINT—Leopard sharks were thick at Oyster Point plus a whole lotta rays with them. Pile perch bit on the Oyster Point pier. A few halibut were caught by trollers out in front of the pier. Private boaters launched boats and ran outside the Gate for salmon.
PORT SONOMA—The striped bass bite was hot on the Petaluma River. The Napa River seemed the best bet for sturgeon. San Pablo Bay is salty and fishing for sharks and rays was very busy.
AMERICAN RIVER—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the river was running low and clear. Fishing pressure was very low due to the high daytime temps—hiking to the river to fish was just too uncomfortable in the heat!!
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Recreational boat traffic on the lake was heavy due to the hot weather. Any fishing attempts would be best confined to early mornings in the North Fork arm in the 5 mph zone. Some trout were caught drifting bait in the current at the inlet, but it’s a long slow run to get there.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that bass fishing was still good. One Folsom angler caught 7 bass to 2 pounds on splitshot green pumpkin and morning dawn worms in the Bear River and Rock Creek arms. Steve Sarver caught 10 bass on worms and 6 catfish in the 3- to 5-pound range on mackerel. Another fisherman reported picking up mixture of spots and smallmouths from 1 to 4 pounds on plastic worms.
COLLINS LAKE—Trout action was much slower due to the hot weather. The best trout action came trolling deep in the middle of the lake over the channel, or night fishing off the docks. One troller caught a limit of trout and a bass by getting out early in the morning. The biggest catfish of the week was caught by Dean LaSalle of San Jose—a 5 pounder that hit anchovies off the Beach.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. HOT weather made for light fishing pressure and little was happening here. For the best chance at success, try drifting bait for trout early in the morning on the upper end of the lake above Black’s Ravine. Try for bass in the early morning in Keystone Cove.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that fishing was slow here due to the extremely warm weather. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the water system at the Lewis campground, and the group camps was still down—bring water if you plan on coming up or you can fill up your containers at the boat ramp.
FULLER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle and the Georgetown Ranger Station both reported that fishing here was slow due to the heat. If you still plan to come up here, get out very early in the morning before the sun hits the water.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported that night fishing for bass was excellent. Brent Cline of Oroville Outdoors hit the lake one evening this past week from dark to 2 a.m. and caught 60 fish with 20 bass over 16 inches, with 6 over 17 inches including a 19-inch spot. The biggest fish of the night was a 4 1/2-pound largemouth bass. Dark worms and jigs were the best in 20 to 30 feet of water. The lake is cooler than normal for this time of year due to the heavy water releases—there’s current flowing in the slot and upper North Fork and Middle Fork. The current has the fish keying on the backsides of the major points.
ROLLINS LAKE—The recreational boat traffic was heavy and the fishing was slow due to the hot weather. For any chance at fishing success, get out early and head toward the inlet.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Same as Rollins—heavy recreational boat traffic and slow fishing. For any chance at fishing success, get out early and head toward the inlet
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that fishing was slow here due to the hot weather—get out early if you decide to give it a try.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was very slow, but the plant should help!! One troller picked up a couple of 17- to 18-inch holdover rainbows up toward the inlet at 50 feet deep, but they were covered with copepods and released.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.7-foot elevation at press time—83-percent capacity. Again, the water was much cooler than normal due to the heavy releases coming out of the lake and the bass bite was slow.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Live baits such as crawdads and artificials like 4-inch tube baits worked on a 1/8-ounce jig head were productive. The bite should steadily improve now as we start to go into the fall season and the concentrations of bait are starting to show up.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The lake is on fire and in a good way. If you can beat the heat, Don Paganelli said the bass bite has been good, working offshore structure and points using drop-shot rigs with shad pattern plastics like Basstrix Minnows. The kokes and salmon are some of the biggest ever this year. A 3.4-pound, 21-inch koke was caught on a 5.5 RMT Bahama Mama dodger with an Uncle Larry’s Mad Irishman lure in the main lake in 90 feet of water, fishing 88 feet deep. And kings to 4 1/2 pounds caught by the dam and Skiers Cove on rolled shad/anchovies. Don’t forget to sign up for the big CIFFI tourney on Aug, 25. It’s for the fish, the future of kokanee fishing and just a goodtime by all.
LAKE ALMANOR—Due to the Chips Fire, there is no report this week.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR—Due to the Reading Fire and possible evacuations in the Old Station area, there is no report from the Rim Rock Ranch.
BAUM LAKE—Now that the weather has heated up, fish early in the day for a few trout or late in the afternoon for a better chance at them.
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 in the canal.
EAGLE LAKE—Flying Eagle Guide Service reported fishing at Miners Point with a threaded nightcrawler in the water at legal fishing time produced limits in a few short hours. They anchored in 55 feet of water with the bait down 25 to 35 feet deep. Trolling is also picking up as the minnows have been close to the surface.
FALL RIVER—Trout are spread out giving you a good chance early in the morning just about anywhere you go. The late afternoon bite has also been fishing fair.
MANZANITA LAKE–Reports from Rim Rock Ranch are not available due to fires in the area, but according the Lassen National Forest Service, as of Sunday Lassen National Volcanic National Park Highway was closed between the entrance to Manzanita Lake Campground to Summit Lake. Visitors still had access to Manzanita Lake Campground and the Loomis Museum, though.
MCCLOUD RIVER—No reports at this time but fishing here is generally good this time of year.
PIT RIVER—The Fly Shop reported an abundance of good water from Lake Britton Dam all the way down to Big Bend and beyond. Plan on wet wading and casting nymphs about 10 feet out and into the pockets, riffles and glides.
SHASTA LAKE—There have been few reports from here lately but Dry Creek and in front of the dam is the place to be for salmon from 100 to 120 feet down using anchovy tails. Elmore Bay in the Sacramento arm continued to be good for trout, since shad have been holding in there. And bass are eating drop-shot Robo Worms in 20 to 40 feet on the main lake points and rocky areas,
UPPER HAT CREEK—Due to the Reading Fire and possible evacuations in the Old Station area, there is no report from Rim Rock Ranch.
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon still have not entered the American in any great numbers, but some large striped bass were taken in the lower end of the river from the mouth up to the railroad bridge on bait, topwater plugs and big streamers. A few halfpounders were also being caught farther upriver on nymphs dead-drifted under indicators.
FOLSOM LAKE—Fishing for landlocked king salmon and trout continued to be pretty good for anglers fishing when recreational boaters were off the water. Fish the main body with hoochies behind dodgers, jointed J-7 Rapalas, and Speedy shiners. Depths vary between 35 and 60 feet deep. The lake continues to drop, and bass continue to stay in deeper water. Fishing is slow, and success is pretty much limited to early and late hours. Work drop-shotted Robo-Worms in shad patterns and jigs in crawdad patterns across main points and over submerged rock piles.
FEATHER RIVER—The river dropped to around 5,000 cfs, and fishing slowed for a day or two. However, anglers were again picking up decent numbers of bright kings by the weekend between Gridley and the Outlet, as well as around Shanghai Bend and the mouth of the Yuba River. The Low Flow Section was producing a few small steelhead on dead-drifted nymphs under indicators.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing was pretty good around Garcia Bend, and bankies were even getting in on the action at places like Miller Park, Discovery Park, South River Road by throwing big Mepps and Blue Fox spinners. Boaters, of course, were doing better day-in and day-out, trolling Silvertrons and Kwikfish from Discovery to the Highway 80 Bridge and down to Garcia Bend. Fishing for catfish and striped bass continued to be pretty good in the Deep Water Channel off Marshall Road. Stripers were being caught on mudsuckers and bloodworms.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon numbers continued to build all the way from Tisdale to the Barge hole, a stretch of river covering 150 miles. Tisdale, Ord Bend, Hamilton City, Ward’s Landing, and Grimes were just some of the better known spots producing bright kings. Fish were being caught using just about every standard salmon fishing method: boondoggling, drifting, and backbouncing roe. Big spinners trolled downstream, backtrolled sardine-wrapped Kwikfish and Brad’s Killer Fish.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing continued to be very good with anglers catching a dozen or more fat rainbows from 12 to 20 inches on crickets and trolling small lures, as well as egg patterns, and nymphs under indicators has been great, too.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir—It’s the summer doldrums, but fishing continued to be pretty good around Dunsmuir aided by heavy trout plants. Some wild fish were being caught farther downstream. Most are 10 to 12 inches, but fish to nearly 20 inches are also occasionally being caught. On the McCloud, it’s fishing for wild fish below the dam, and fishing for planters above the lake.
YUBA RIVER—It’s hopper time, and fishing has been very good as the sun comes up and hoppers become active. Early on, fish nymphs under indicators. Fishing the section from the Highway 20 Bridge down to Sycamore provides the easiest access.