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.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–This river has not been fishing anywhere as well as it has in the last half dozen years, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Many of the anglers were having a tough time last week, while other angler’s put in their hours on the water, going through the motions and getting a salmon here and there. During the last couple of days of the week it was easier to find ice chest’s with more than a single salmon laying in the bottom of them. Many of these angler’s reported fishing in one of two areas of the river: First, is an old hotspot known as Bear Creek, and the other spot is the mouth of the river where some angler’s have been slowly mooching small baits of herring and other angler’s have been trolling herring behind flashers.
ROGUE RIVER, Estuary, Gold Beach, Ore.–The last week saw a big change from what we have been seeing over the last few weeks of fishing for king salmon at the mouth of the Rogue River, according to Palmer. Monday started the week with a bite that lasted most of the day and there were a lot of nice big fish caught. Tuesday’s bite didn’t last much more than 2 hours, but there was still a fish caught here and there for the rest of the day and one of the fish was a 52-pound Chinook that was weighed in at Jot’s. The rest of the week had many people calling to let me know that there were over 100 salmon a day being caught. Many of those fish caught during the latter part of the week were jacks, small Chinooks and coho’s.
RUSSIAN RIVER—There won’t be much happening here until the first rains bring the river up and tempt some kings into the river.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.–The fall salmon season is still going on strong and much longer than the average season for the second year in a row, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. There were a couple days last week when it was difficult to find even one or two bites after dragging baits up and down the river all day. The rest of those days were full of nets dipping nice big chrome Chinooks and a few acrobatic cohos. I am finding that I am not the only person that is shocked by how many boats have been on the water in the Windy Bend area of the river this year. A person can expect Chinook’s to be caught into the middle of October. Many of the ocean salmon will be heading for the Smith River to spawn.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Salmon fishing slowed last week, and anglers had to work hard to scratch out a limit of jacks and adults. One way was to travel much farther upstream than usual, even upstream of Johnson’s Riffle. However, fishing should pick up again this week as commercial fishing by the Yurok tribe has ended for the season.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—Fishing for bright fall Chinook is now in full swing, and limits of bright fish are common for boaters down to Del Loma. Even bank fishermen were doing well. Most of the action occurs within the first 4 hours, and fish are being taken early on backtrolled plugs and roe later. The percentage of bright fish is higher the farther downstream you go. Over a million smolts will be released to the Trinity around the 5th of October, and fishing will be pretty much put on hold until they clear out by around the middle of October.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—Anglers are either fishing nearer the mouth at Weitchpec or farther upstream, according to Ed Duggan. It’s good one day, not so good the next as these are traveling fish headed upstream.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Bass fishing has been a little on the tough side, mostly because there is so much bait for them to munch on. But the key will still be to locate the bait first, so move around.
LAKE BERRYESSA—It’s on to the bass now, and there have been plenty of them caught by the few anglers fishing here. Look for them in the main lake around grass or the backs of some of the smaller creeks and bays, pushing the bait in tight.
LAKE SONOMA—Guide Rich Crispi of TW Guide Service has been averaging 7 steelies from 16 to 20 inches fishing from the dam to the no ski buoys in the main lake from 45 to 70 feet deep. Crispi releases all of his fish and reminds anglers to please practice C & R at the lake, it is a natural self-sustaining fishery.
LAKE ALMANOR—The Hamilton Branch and Big Springs areas have been producing fish, also the east side of the peninsula from Rec. 1 to Big Cove. Try a naked nightcrawler from 6:20 at first light to 10:30 a.m. The afternoon bite resumes around 3:00 p.m. and there has been a steady bite during these two time frames.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR—Rim Rock Ranch reports no anglers at this time.
BAUM LAKE—With the night time temperatures dropping, the morning bite has picked up a bit, but it won’t be until things cool off that the bite will get going.
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. The section above the canal near the post office is fishing well but does not accommodate a lot of fishermen.
FALL RIVER–The Fly Shop reported fishing as “fair”. Anglers are finding a small dry fly window in the early morning and then nymphing on the swing or under indicators for rainbows the rest of the day.
HAT CREEK, UPPER–Rim Rock Ranch reported temperatures remain warm and fishing is still good since fishing pressure is much lower this time of year. Fish and Game appears to be at a once-a-week schedule at this time, but the number of holdover fish is good, so anglers are still catching good numbers of fish. Crickets and worms were working well, as brook trout continue to be the primary catch. This month should continue to be good fishing with a bit of a slowdown in October.
MCCLOUD LAKE—Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service has been finding stellar trout days here, with a staggering number of fish being released each trip.
MCCLOUD RIVER—Closed due to the Bagley Fire, but hopefully by October the roads will be open again.
PIT RIVER—There haven’t been many reports from here lately but Pitt 3 and 4 seem to be doing well. The Bagley Fire had different roads closed from day to day. Check conditions before going for closures.
SHASTA LAKE—Short but chunky trout and salmon can be found in the Dry Creek arm early in the day. The salmon have been hitting rolled anchovies from 85 to 100 feet, while the trout were hitting Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies behind UV Sling Blades at 55 to 70 feet. For bass, get out the topwater gear.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. WON Staffer Pat Young stopped by the lake this past week and found anglers at the dam catching limits of planter rainbows on bait and Kastmaster spoons—the lake was planted by the DFG this past week. Voluntary informational quagga/zebra mussel boat inspections are now being done at the boat ramp—a mandatory program will most likely start by the spring of 2013.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. EID host Ron Peterson reported that shore anglers and trollers were catching limits of DFG planters. The shore anglers were doing well at Wood’s Creek, the spillway, and the dam, while trollers were picking up rainbows to 3 pounds at the dam and mid-lake toward the east side on flasher/worm combos.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The East and West Carson are both scheduled for DFG trout plants this week, and Alpine County will be planting 1800 pounds of 2- to 5-pound rainbows, also. WON Staffer Pat Young and wife fished here this past week and caught rainbows to 2 1/2 pounds, plus limits of smaller rainbows and cutthroats in just a few hours of fishing from a mile south of the Monitor Pass junction to just north of the Carson River Resort on worms and salmon eggs. Stay in the deeper holes. Fishing should be phenomenal after the plants!!
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was very good around the island and toward Mallard. His last two trips produced 21 and 16 rainbows to 3 1/4 pounds. Dillard was running copper/red head Wee Dick Nites at 3 to 7 feet deep on the downriggers—he would have trolled shallower with toplines but floating weeds were fouling the lines. Shore fishing was slow for the most part, but some fish were being caught past the buoy line at the dam on Power Bait. Remember–the Honker Cove boat ramp is closed for repairs—use the Camp 5 ramp which still has a courtesy dock in place.
DONNER LAKE— Voluntary informational quagga/zebra mussel boat inspections are now being done at the boat ramp—a mandatory program will most likely start by the spring of 2013. Kokanee trolling was still productive from China Cove to the east end of the lake at 60 feet deep. With the DFG plant this past week, rainbow trout fishing was good near the boat ramp.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort on the North Fork reported that fishing was slow. The recent fire activity took the river off the DFG planting list for a while but hopefully with things back to normal, they’ll resume the stocking. PG&E also returned the flows to normal on the North Fork this past week, so the river is much more fishable.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishing was good at the dam for rainbows up to 20 inches using Power Bait. The campgrounds will close on October 15.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Packer and Sardine were planted this past week. Shore anglers were doing well at Packer on small planter rainbows using bait.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Trollers can expect limits of small planter rainbows on Sep’s grubs and threaded nightcrawlers.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—The lake is low, warm, and weedy. The fish are there, they’re just in deep water and hard to reach from shore, according to Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort. Most people were fishing the Carson River due to the heavy planting schedule.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Not much word from this lake according to Mountain Hardware and Sports, though the bite should be improving with the colder nights. Troll the river arm for browns preparing for the fall spawn with Rapalas in the early morning or evening.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported that fishing was pretty good with bass, rainbows and macks all hitting around the lake. The smallmouth bass action was best in the Narrows on plastic worms, jig, and nightcrawlers. Trout were hitting worms and Power Bait at the first dam, and the macks were hitting spoons trolled 60 feet deep in the channel between the island and the second dam.
LAKE TAHOE—WON Staffer Pat Young and wife Linda fished both ends of the lake this past week and found great action for kokanee at South Shore with Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners off Camp Richardson at 85 to 95 feet deep. The Young’s and two Petaluma anglers limited out on kokes in an hour and then picked up 5 macks to 4 pounds at 150 to 180 feet deep off Ski Run. All the fish were caught jigging. At North Shore, the mack bite was very good. A trip with Big Mack Charters produced 10 fish for 6 anglers trolling dodger/minnow combos from 200 to 400 feet deep. A trip with Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing produced quick limits of macks to 7 1/2 pounds by 9:30 trolling spoons and small stickbaits from 150 to 330 feet deep off Kings Beach.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 56-percent capacity. By the last report, SMUD construction crews were still driving pilings in the bottom of the lake. The commotion put the trout in no mood to bite. When the work is completed, and as the water temp drops, fishing should be very good as the fall feeding frenzy gets underway.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 46-percent capacity. The lake was planted this past week and fishing was good near the launch ramp in the Prosser Creek arm.
PYRAMID LAKE—The trout season opens on October 1—prospects look excellent!!
RED LAKE—According to Caples Lake EID host Ron Peterson, the algae issue was getting better with the colder nights, but there was little word about the fishing. No scheduled DFG plants were made here.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. EID host Ron Peterson reported that anglers were picking up 3 to 4 trout per person on bait and lures from shore. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that a local fishing club did very well trolling the lake for easy limits. Fishing will only improve after the plant!!
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 76-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Look for a good bite near the boat ramp after the plant. Voluntary informational quagga/zebra mussel boat inspections are now being done at the boat ramp—a mandatory program will most likely start by the spring of 2013.
TOPAZ LAKE—A large wildfire had Hwy 395 closed north of the lake late this past week. The lake is very low and fishing was very slow. The trout season closes on Sept. 30 and reopens on January 1. This will be the last report until the 2013 opener.
TRUCKEE RIVER—WON Staffer Pat Young drove by the river this past week and found flows to be perfect. Fly fishermen were using every available access point along the river below Truckee, especially from Glenshire to the Boca Outlet. An October caddis with a small dark dropper on an indicator was working well.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. According to Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service, the kokanee bite was done for the season and trollers were fishing for small macks at 100 to 120 feet deep.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The river flows were very low this past week, but WON Staffer Pat Young found good fish in the deeper holes in the canyon south of Walker. Guests at the Toiyabe Motel reported catching fish up to 15 inches on flies and bait.
AMERICAN RIVER—The Silver Fork is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Check out the campground area on the road along the Silver Fork south of Kyburz.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. The lake had a chance to clear as the boating season wound down and fishing was better this past week. Jay Noble of Camptonville landed a 9 1/2-pound spotted bass in Willow Creek on a small rainbow trout swimbait. Trollers were still picking up 2 or 3 kokanee each in 2 to 3 hours in the early morning at the dam.
CAMP FAR WEST—There was very little fishing pressure this week according to the North Shore Resort. Bass fishing should be improving as the water temp cools.
COLLINS LAKE—Kelly Jadg at the resort reported that trout fishermen were beginning to pick up some limits of small planters using Power Bait and worms at the dam. A 5 1/4-pound bass was caught on nightcrawlers at the bridge.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Trollers were catching limits of planter rainbows from the dam to Buck’s Beach on flasher/worm combos run 10 to 15 feet deep. There was no recreational boat traffic on the lake this past week, so fishermen can have the lake back now!
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the Lewis and the group campgrounds were now closed and the French Meadows campground would remain open until October 21. Hunters are reminded that this lake is located in a State Game Refuge and possession of firearms is prohibited inside the refuge including the campgrounds. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that fishing was slow—anglers were picking up a few fish, but no limits.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 53-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was slow.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. The lake was still dropping a foot per day, but bass fishing was still good. Reaction baits thrown on the rocky points and steep walls in the North Fork and West Branch were producing. Jigs and drop-shot worms were picking up good numbers of spots and a few largemouths at 15 to 25 feet deep.
ROLLINS LAKE—Some fishermen on the lake, but few were reporting any success. One guy said he caught an 18-inch bass, but didn’t say where or what he was using. Fishing should be improving as the water temp drops and the recreational boat traffic stops for the season.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Smallmouth bass were still hitting from the day-use area toward the inlet. Trout were hitting for trollers working flasher/worm combos at the dam at 15 to 25 feet deep—shallower in the early morning and deeper as the sun gets up.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the group campgrounds were now closed, and the remaining campgrounds would close on Oct. 21. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that fishing was slow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the trout fishing was slow. Trollers were fishing deep to pick up a few rainbows on flasher/worm combos up near the inlet.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 135-foot elevation at press time—92-percent capacity. Again this week, with the water at this level, the tule banks in the coves were the best bet for finding some good bass action. Pitching jigs and Senkos should get good results, and if the daytime temp gets into the 90’s, look for a frog bite in the afternoon.
AMERICAN RIVER— The number of halfpounder steelhead being caught has been improving. They range from 12 to 20 inches and are concentrated from Sailor Bar to Rossmoor Bar, though some are being caught down to Watt Avenue. They’re mostly being caught on small caddis nymph patterns dead-drifted under indicators on floating lines. Drifting nightcrawlers and swinging spoons and spinners is attracting bites for spin fishermen. Salmon numbers are increasing, but fishing for them is still slow. Flows are now 1,800 cfs, very good for waders, but caution and proper wading gear is still required to stay out of trouble.
FOLSOM LAKE— Very few anglers are trying for them, but a few in-the-know anglers are consistently catching limits of kings and trout by fast-trolling Speedy Shiners 60 to 65 feet deep in front of the dam over the river channel, and where the new outlet construction is occurring. The lake is still dropping, and bass are still hanging in deeper water with a few being caught drop-shotting and jigging plastics or drifting minnows and crawdads.
FEATHER RIVER—Salmon continued to be very good, with good numbers of darker fish being caught from Gridley to the Outlet, and fewer but brighter fish being caught from Star Bend to above Yuba City. Jig, backtroll plugs, and troll spinners downstream. Steelhead fishing was good in the Low Flow Section on dead-drifted nymphs under indicators, drifted nightcrawlers and Glo-Bugs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing for newly-arrived kings was good toward the end of the week from shore at Miller Park for anglers tossing big spinners. Trollers were scoring, as well on backtrolling plugs and big spinners around the Yacht Club and Garcia Bend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Limits of salmon were common last week, but most were dark. The ratio of dark to bright fish was about 4 to 1 by one account. But, the run is far from over, and bright fish were being caught downstream near Sacramento.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Flows dropped to 8,000 cfs, but except for a short slowdown, trout fishing remained excellent, especially between Redding and Anderson. Drifting crickets, Glo-Bugs and small lures all were producing fish ranging from 12 inches to 4 pounds.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir—Trout fishing has been picking up. It’s still hot during the day, but the water is cooling a bit because of cooler nighttime temperatures, and fish are getting more active. Fishing is still best higher up on the river, but some larger fish are starting to move up from the lake.
YUBA RIVER— Fishing slowed last week, but persistent anglers were still catching a few nice trout below the Highway 20 Bridge on nymphs and small lures.
BERKELEY—Salmon were slow to bite, but there were some catches of large units from outside the Gate. A few halibut bit near Red Rock and striped bass off of Pittsburgh. Groundfish action sizzled off the Marin coast. Albacore bit for trollers outside the Farallon Islands.
BODEGA BAY—Rockfish limits were easy to come by and travel distances were not bad. The New Sea Angler found lings biting at a rate of one fish per rod near Point Reyes.
EMERYVILLE—Halibut along the Marin coast ran up to 18 pounds for Emeryville Sportfishing boats that found quick limits of rockfish and then spent time exploring. Rockfish and lingcod were plentiful and hungry and all boats posted limits. The landing ran few salmon trips and in general counts were well under a fish per rod.
EUREKA/TRINIDAD—Large Pacific halibut to 70 pounds dominated catches off of Eureka. Rockfish and lingcod bit off of Cape Mendocino and also near Trinidad for party boats including the Reel Steel. A wayward sea turtle gave boaters an enjoyable show. Albacore catches were scarce.
FORT BRAGG—Salmon bit trolled baits and some of them were nice-sized fish to 23 pounds aboard the Telstar. The best spots were off of Ten Mile River and Pudding Creek, up the coast from Fort Bragg. Seas limited spear fishers, but beach divers found limits of abalone.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Pacifica Pier anglers managed to keep catching salmon again this week. A major temp break, 35 miles out of Half Moon Bay, proved to be fertile waters for albacore. Down the coast near Pescadero, rockfish, lingcod and cabezon bit like crazy.
MARTINEZ—Striper action was good from boat, pier and shore. Bigger units to over 20 pounds came from the shallow sloughs. Medium-size bass came from boats working near Benicia Bridge and the Mothball Fleet. Smaller to mid-sized stripers were caught from the pier and shore. Sturgeon action was slow, but a few fish were caught throughout the week.
OYSTER POINT—Steve Guttierez of San Francisco caught a 7-pound striper from the ramp by casting a Daiwa DS Minnow. Pier fishers found willing perch including barred, pile perch, walleyes and rubberlip. Most folks used pile worms or shrimp for bait. Anglers using anchovies and squid and hoping for halibut or stripers hooked up instead with large leopard sharks and 7-gills to over 4 feet. John Akina at Oyster Point Bait and Tackle reported that tuna anglers launched a boat early in the week and ran out to Pioneer Canyon area to boat 26 albacore to over 30 pounds.
PORT SONOMA/SAN RAFAEL—Lower Petaluma and Napa rivers served as the epicenter for striped bass action. Grass shrimp and bullheads made great baits. On the San Pablo Bay, stripers bit off of Point Pinole and Rodeo and near Red Rock for drifters using live shiners. Near the Pumphouse, anglers were hooking leopard shark and big 7-gills.