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, Brookings, Ore.—The ocean salmon season is still full of action. “I, myself. am impressed with how great the fishing has been out of Brookings Harbor for Chinook salmon this season,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Now, there has been a day or two that the fishing was slow, but even on those rare days, anglers are still catching a fish or two. Over the last week many of the boat’s were finding themselves catching nice fat king’s about 4 miles out on the California /Oregon border. This field reporter can’t think of a better place to fish at the current time.
ROGUE RIVER, Estuary, Gold Beach, Ore.–The last couple of days, fishing for fall Chinook’s on the Rogue Estuary has been extremely slow, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service. There are plenty of large Chinook’s entering the river, but cooler water condition’s seem to have the fish racing straight up the river instead of holding in the bay for several day’s. Bottomfishing out of Gold Beach is fabulous. Many anglers are harvesting their limits within a couple short hour’s.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove—It’s still about late spring and early fall kings down below by Gold Hills, and steelhead got a little better here, according to Kurtis Jermain of The Fishing Hole in Shady Cove. Typically, salmon season gets better mid to late September and season ends at the end of September, except below Hog Creek. The later in September, the better chance for fall kings, and that should start in the next week or two. The summer steelhead are just getting started, with guides getting 2 or 3 a day in 3 or 4 hours of fishing. Jermain hooked 4 and landed 2 over the weekend. As of Sept. 1 the area from the old Gold Rey Dam site to the fish hatchery becomes flies only. For those without the long rod, use a fly and bubble. The steelies run 23 to 30 inches.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Bring your kayak or other floating device, get out on the water early and throw minnow-imitating lures for some nice smallmouth. But when the sun comes up, put on your swim trunks and join the crowd for some swimming and water recreation, as the fishing shuts down with all the activity.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.–There are some nice king salmon being caught at Big Bend on the Umpqua river. Report’s are coming in saying that the fishing is a little slow for this time of year, but it is expected to improve over the next week, said guide Curtis Palmer.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Water temperatures cooled down as a result of a boost in cooler Trinity River flows, and, as expected drew a big rush of adult Chinook salmon into the Klamath River. Anglers were catching their limits of four salmon, a mix of adults to 25 pounds, and jacks. Steelheading was still good, but it’s an early morning bite. Fish are being caught all the way from the mouth to Blue Creek. Boondogging and side-drifting roe have been the most productive methods for both salmon and steelhead. Farther upstream, steelhead fishing was good all the way to Blue Creek and they were taking spinners, roe and flies.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—The increased flows have attracted more bright salmon up into the higher reaches of the Trinity above Junction City. Limits of nice salmon are common on backtrolled plugs early and roe later.
TRINITY RIVER, Grays Falls—Both very hot days and higher flows combined to produce poor fishing from Del Loma on down. Salmon are just rushing through to get upstream, and temperatures are getting into the 100’s.
BLUE LAKES—Both Upper and Lower Blue Lakes are scheduled for DFG trout plants this week.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. The plant will be made at the boat ramp on the west side of the lake and the coves along that side will be the best bet, especially early in the morning. As flows ramp up from Stampede, the fish will move toward the inlet.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week to make up for the one that was missed this past week due to an equipment breakdown. Some 1- to 2-pound rainbows and browns were caught trolling 30 to 40 feet deep over the main channel with Rapalas, Kastmasters, and FlatFish, according to Ron Peterson, EID ramp host.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Alpine County planted 1800 pounds of 2- to 5-pound rainbows this past week, but few were caught due to muddy water conditions resulting from a mudslide on the East Carson and thunderstorm runoff on the West Carson. As the water clears, the fishing will improve. Call Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort for the latest river conditions.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was still pretty good for boaters working Wee Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons 18 feet deep around the north end of the island. The rainbows were still running 18 to 19 inches, some with copepods—some without.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Trolling for 10- to 12-inch kokanee was still good in the early morning at 40 to 50 feet deep, or 65 to 75 feet deep in the mid-morning after the sun was on the water. Some smaller macks, 3 to 5 pounds were hitting in shallower water, while a few 15 to 20 pounders were taken jigging 80 to 120 feet deep with 2- to 4-ounce Buzz Bombs and Pucci jigs.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The North Fork of the Feather at Belden is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week, but check ahead with local authorities to make sure the roads are open due to the closures and fire damage resulting from the Chips Fire. According to Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort, Caribou Road was closed, so the DFG most likely will not be planting!! There was still a lot of smoke in the area.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. With the hot weather, shore fishing was best at the dam on Power Bait. Trollers were doing well trolling flasher/worm combos 18 to 20 feet deep over 40 feet of water for rainbows running 12 to 20 inches, according to Wiggins Trading Post.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Bassett’s Station reported that fishing was good at Sardine Lake, Salmon Lake, and Gold Lake using Power Bait and worms.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 77-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service said his fishing club hit the lake this past Wednesday and some boats got none or one fish, while Daneman had 7 rainbows, and high boat had 12 fish. Daneman caught his fish trolling a Sep’s grub 20 to 40 feet deep near the dam and on the east end. The fish ran 9 to 15 inches.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Little or no action here due to the hot temps, mixed in with a few thundershowers that really made for unstable weather. If you insist on trying, head to the dam in the very early morning. The lake is weedy along the shore, which makes it tough for bank fishing anywhere but at the dam.
JACKSON MEADOWS RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was hit-or-miss off the points.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort said that the fish were deep and fishing was slow due to the hot weather and heavy recreational boat traffic.
LAKE TAHOE—Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners and Chuck Self reported good action for macks on both ends of the lake. Nielsen was trolling and jigging for both macks and kokanee and limiting out by 8:00 a.m. The 14- to 15-inch kokanee were schooling up at 75 feet deep over 80 to 140 feet of water at South Shore and hitting size 2 1/2 Buzz Bombs and Bomber Slab spoons. A few macks were hitting the spoons too. Most of the macks were taken trolling Storm ThunderSticks and Laxee spoons and weighed up to 13 pounds. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was picking up limits of macks trolling 140 to 210 feet deep with a mix of stickbaits and spoons. He was keeping limits of 4 to 9 pounders while fishing from Crystal Bay to Tahoe City.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 64-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Dale Daneman reported that fishing was still slow, but the plant would surely improve the bite.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, fishing slowed here. The best bet was to hit the deep water drop-offs on the right side of the dam for trout and smallmouth bass at 25 to 35 feet deep.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported that cutthroat trout had overrun the perch spots. His last trip with 3 clients produced no perch, but they landed 45 trout 19 to 26 inches on light spinning gear—4-pound test and small crappie jigs.
RED LAKE—At last report, the lake was still thick with algae and fishing was slow.
SILVER LAKE—EID host Ron Peterson reported that trollers were picking up a few 2 1/2- to 3-pound rainbows and browns from the middle of the lake over the channel at 30 to 40 feet deep on Rapalas and Kastmasters. Visitors are reminded that there is a $5 day-use fee for parking at the dam—a new iron ranger is in place to pay the fee (new this year) and payment is now more regularly enforced.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fly fishing in the early morning was good in the Davies Creek and Sagehen arms. Kokanee to 15 inches were still hitting dodgers trailing UV colored hoochies at 60 to 75 feet deep around the islands. Some macks were taken jigging with 2-ounce green, blue, or silver Buzz Bombs and Pucci jigs.
TOPAZ LAKE—Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported that trout trolling was very slow with the heat—four boats were out all day and one caught 1 fish!!
TRUCKEE RIVER—The main river was fishing well in the mornings with dark stone, golden stone, and caddis nymphs using an indicator or hopper/dropper presentation, according to Tahoe Fly fishing Outfitters. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that crawfish patterns were working in the late mornings. The Little Truckee was best with tricos, but the fish were very particular and 6X or 7X tippets were mandatory. Flows in the Truckee were running from 366 cfs at Tahoe City to 488 cfs below the Boca Outlet. The Little Truckee was running at 60 cfs.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 80-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Dale Daneman reported that one member of his fishing club trolled dodger/hoochies 90 feet deep at the dam and caught four 16- to 17-inch kokanee this past week. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin tackle said he caught 10 kokes, 13 to 15 inches on watermelon Wild Thing dodgers trailing green glow, pink glow, or orange/yellow hoochies at 50 to 60 feet deep at the dam.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. Heavy thundershowers all this past week muddied up the West Walker and shut off the bite. The flows jumped from 40 cfs to 125 cfs!! Give the river a chance to clear and the fishing will improve. Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel said the fishing in the Littler Walker was still good. Call Foster at 530-495-2281 for the latest river conditions.
AMERICAN RIVER—Some thunderstorm activity dumped rain in the area, but not enough to increase the river flows. Anglers hiking down to deeper pools on the Middle Fork can catch some nice fish, but the hot weather makes it tough.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Hot weather and heavy recreational boat traffic was slowing the bite. Try early in the morning for kokanee at Dark Day at 50 to 60 feet deep or up in the North Fork above the 5 mph zone.
CAMP FAR WEST—Finally some striper activity on the lake. 7-year-old Sierra DeRossett of Sheridan fished with her grandpa and caught a 10-pound striper up in Rock Creek. Tim Grimes of Wheatland landed a 32-inch, 25-pound striper while using a plastic craw in Rock Creek. Grimes and partner, Jim France, also caught 8 bass on plastic worms in the same area.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 22 feet from full. Catfish outnumbered trout again this week as the water temp remained warm due to the hot weather. Night time fishing was the most productive all week for anglers fishing off the docks, beach, and dam, or drifting in the middle of the lake. Little Dylan Byrkit caught a nice bass on a Hula Popper. Some limits of trout were caught by trollers working spoons 25 to 35 feet deep over the channel in the middle of the lake.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Dillon Davis at Skippers Cove Marina fished this past week and landed four trophy rainbows from 3 to 5 pounds fishing bait from the shore at Buck’s Beach using a slip bobber and worms. Trolling with a threaded nightcrawler produced plenty of 9- to 14-inch rainbows and a couple of 1-pound browns in the same area. Lots of 2- to 3-pound bass could be seen cruising the shores, but no one was fishing for them.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the water system at the Lewis, Coyote, and Gates campgrounds was now operational after lengthy repairs. The water temp was high and the fishing success was low.
FULLER LAKE—The lake was planted by the DFG this past week, so fishing should be good for both shore anglers and trollers.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that boaters were plying the lake, but the few fish being caught were coming out of deep water due to the warm surface temp.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that the bass bite had slowed a bit during the day. The fishing was better in the cooler water found up the North Fork and West Branch on swimbaits, crankbaits and A-rigs. Mike Hanson from the Caribou Crossroads Resort said that the night fishing was still excellent with lots of good fish hitting dark worms and jigs or spinnerbaits in the top 20 feet.
ROLLINS LAKE—Hot weather and lots of recreational boaters made fishing tough.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Jim Caldwell at Scott’s Flat Lake Resort reported that trout were still being caught at 50 to 60 feet deep at the inlet and along Cascade Shores toward the spillway. Smallmouth bass were still taking jigs and worms from Hensley to the inlet.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the trout were covered with copepods and most anglers didn’t want to catch them.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the DFG planted 800 pounds of trout this past week, but the fish immediately headed for deep water according to the camp host. A few fish were being caught by trollers at 50 feet deep.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.9-foot elevation at press time. The colder water was found in the channels and warmer water was found on the shallower flats in the backs of the coves, according to guide Ron Gandolfi. With the tules flooded at this water level, the fish are either back in the cover or on the edges depending on the presence of current. Pitch Senkos, jigs, and swimbaits in the warmer water areas around the tules.
BERKELEY— The fleet was busy, with potluck trips scoring great action up along the Marin Coast, boxing rockfish limits and many lings. The California Sportsman radio show had a Pure Fishing charter that had some quality lings on the California Dawn, said Captain James Smith. “They caught 25 limits of rockfish, and 25 limits of lingcod.” Roger Bucholtz of Sebastopol caught a 20-pound lingcod, and Alex Brown of Yuba County caught his first ling, a nice 18 pounder. “We had rockfish limits all week long,” said Happy Hooker deck assistant Dave Marquardt. “We also had lots of lings, and lost many more hitchhiker lings.” The action came from the Marin Coast for both boats.
BODEGA BAY— Phenomenal lingcod fishing has eclipsed the salmon bite, and probably both trends can be attributed to unusually clear water conditions, reported Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler. “It’s amazing, there have been days that you can see the bottom of the ocean in 50 feet of water!” He’s thinking the clear water is making for lingcod feeding frenzies, particularly when the lings see schooled rockfish hooked up and struggling. Conversely, salmon fishing has been slow, although a few fish are showing in the late season spots like Elephant Rock and 10-Mile Beach.
EMERYVILLE—Great action on the bottomfishing “potluck” trips, particularly if you like your bonus lings, several trips had near limits or limits of lingcod. Rockfish numbers are also high, with limits the rule. Salmon scores fluctuated, with some limit trips on the lighter loaded six-pack boats, but the overall average maybe a half fish per rod. There were some big fish caught including a 30 pounder that hit for an angler fishing on the New Seeker on Thursday.
EUREKA—WON field reporter Lonnie Dollarhide has been on the water again, this time trading his weekend for a day tuna fishing, then another day salmon fishing. The tuna action was 60-some miles southwest off of Shelter Cove, where his group caught 14 on the private boat Rave On. Then on Sunday, he jumped on board with Captain Tim Klassen on the Reel Steel. After looking around a little, the group on board Reel Steel found the action and scored limits for five, all high grade kings topped by Dollarhide’s 25 pounder. Bottomfishing was also a good bet, weather permitting, for the boats that ran down to Cape Mendocino, with rockfish limits and bonus lingcod the catch.
FORT BRAGG—Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar has switched to salmon with the closing of rockfish season on August 16. His anglers caught fish to 25 pounds fishing about three miles north of Noyo Harbor. Top bet was pulling a Jail Bird hoochie behind a flasher fished 35 to 45 pulls. Bottomfishing was good until the last day, although the final day found a mixed bite and produced half rockfish limits and 12 lings.
HALF MOON BAY—On board the Queen Of Hearts, anglers had a mixed action week of bottomfishing and salmon action. On Monday, the weekly Fishing Fools charter caught 5 salmon to 17 pounds, while Tuesday’s open group of 24 anglers caught 15 salmon to 19 pounds. On Wednesday, the crew changed up and targeted bottomfish, finding near limits of rockfish and 6 lings to 21 pounds. On Thursday, 33 anglers caught limits of rockfish, plus 5 lings to 27 pounds. Some of the boats like the Connie O, have been targeting tuna when possible.
LOCH LOMOND—Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star reported faster tides that resulted in a change of tactics that included adding rockfish and lingcod to the catch menu. As a result, his anglers returned to port with a mixed bag that included rockfish, lingcod and halibut. While not many, the halibut were quality fish including one fish weighing 23 pounds that hit in Richardson’s Bay. Alcatraz was another top big flattie spot.
SAN FRANCISCO—The salmon boats found slower action in terms of numbers, but the average size of the fish is ranging up, with a 40 pounder “got away” fish on the Wacky Jacky, but kings to 28 pounds boxed. Captain Jacky Douglas on the Wacky Jacky said the fish per rod is down to about 1/2, but now is the time to put in your time for the biggest kings of the year. Captain Erik Anfinson on the Bass Tub said the bottomfishing has been excellent along the Marin Coast, with limits or near limits of rockfish the rule, and bonus lingcod caught every trip. The Bass Tub is turning to albacore now, with up to three trips planned per week, depending on conditions, the first trip scheduled on Friday, Aug. 24.
SAUSALITO—Some monster kings reported by the fleet, including a 55-pound limit that included a 25 pounder and a 30 pounder caught on the New Rayann. While the numbers of kings caught per trip is down, fish in the high 20-pound to 30-pound class are possible now. There was a 30 pounder caught on the Outer Limits, and a 26 pounder on the Hog Heaven.
AMERICAN RIVER—Some nice striped bass from 5 to 10 pounds were being caught early and late between Sac State and Watt Ave. on jumbo minnows, crawdads, swimbaits and big streamers. Salmon still have not entered the American in any great numbers, but fishing for halfpounder steelhead, plus the occasional adult is improving in the upper river aided along by a drop in flows to 2,500 cfs, improving fishability, especially for fly fishermen.
FOLSOM LAKE—Fishing for landlocked king salmon and trout was fair by working the main body with white hoochies behind silver dodgers from 35 to 60 feet deep. The lake level continues to drop, but more slowly now as flows in the American River have been lowered. However, bass fishing continued to be slow and mostly on drop-shotted Robo-Worms in shad patterns and jigs in crawdad patterns worked slowly cross 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 slowed last week through Sacramento. The mouth of the Feather River at Verona was one bright spot. However, just because there might be a couple of slow days doesn’t mean that the action won’t pick up again. After all, there are still lots of salmon in the ocean, staging to make their spawning run upriver. Fishing for catfish continued to be good in the Deep Water Channel off Marshall Road and Lisbon Slough. Stripers were also being caught in the Deep Water Channel on mudsuckers and bloodworms.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing continued to be very good and getting better all the time as more and more salmon flood the upper part of the Sac. The higher you go on the river the darker the salmon, though, because they have been in the river longer. Farther downstream at Tisdale, Ord Bend, Hamilton City, Ward’s Landing, and Grimes, fishing has also been good, and for bright, newly-arrived kings, but sometimes it’s hit and miss as fish are constantly on the move. Some fish were being caught from shore, too, below Tisdale, on heavily weighted Kwikfish.
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 been very hot, and fishing was only fair last week, except around Dunsmuir where frequent plants pump up the action. Early morning and late evening have been best. Avoid the mid-day sun and heat. On the McCloud, it’s fishing for wild fish below the dam. That’s been only fair, as well, except in the evening, and fishing for planters above the lake, which has been better.
YUBA RIVER— Anglers fishing the Yuba River continued to have a ball catching hard fighting rainbow trout from 12 to 18 inches—plus the occasional 20 incher—on hopper imitations. A good strategy is to pair the hopper with a small dropper nymph, especially mid-day. The best public access stretch to fish is between the Highway 20 Bridge and the take-out at Sycamore Ranch.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The lake’s starting to clear up some and with more bait showing up, more bass are biting. With a bite classified as “good” anglers can have lots of fun mixing it up with a variety of baits and techniques.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Don’t forget to sign up for the big CIFFI Derby on Aug, 25. It’s for the fish, the future of kokanee fishing here and just a goodtime by all. There has been a mix of spent and dime-bright, big fish here lately. The bass bite has also been good, early and later in the evenings.
LAKE ALMANOR—Due to the Chips Fire, there is no report this week.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR—Rim Rock Ranch reported the bait fishing bite is still very good, although there are not many reports. Eggs, floating baits and lures were working well. Fishing off of the dam and the north shore has been best.
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 said the launch ramp in Spalding is still up and running, but larger boats are now utilizing the south end at Gallatin Marina. The fish are in beautiful shape and the weather has been hot with smoky afternoons.
FALL RIVER—The Fly Shop reported great fishing here. You might get into some smoke from fires located about 90 miles to the south, but afternoon winds clear up the haze.
MANZANITA LAKE–Reports from Rim Rock Ranch are not available due to fires in the area.
MCCLOUD RIVER—No reports at this time but fishing is generally good here this time of year.
PIT RIVER—The Fly Shop reported the Pit has been fishing great, with some of the highlights bigger fish along the Pit #3 section.
SHASTA LAKE—Mike’s Guide Service said it’s been hotter than heck and not many anglers out because of that but a cooling trend coming week should help. Try for trout in the Sac arm’s Goose Neck in 40 to 60 feet. Use an Apex any UV pattern, HumDingers and white hoochies. Digger Bay, the dam and Dry Creek are spots to target salmon in at least 120 feet with rolling shad or Paddle tails. Try for bass with drop-shot Robo Worms in 20 to 40 feet on the main lake points and rocky areas,
UPPER HAT CREEK—Both brookies and rainbows are coming in and worms and salmon eggs are the top producers. With so few people up here, limits are more common than not. Fish and Game should start gearing up for Labor Day weekend with numerous fish plants including lots of brooders in the 3- to 6-pound range.