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 Chetco River “Bubble Fishery” outside the mouth has been fair fishing, but it’s been better in the estuary and right at the river mouth, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He said the river is open from the 2.2 mile down to the mouth, and the fish are pushing into the river already, despite the lack of rain. The river opens to fishing Nov. 3.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–Not very many Coho being caught over the last week, but they were bigger than normal. Marshfield Channel is a shallow flat that rises up out of deep and it allows angler’s to keep their baits in the strike zone easily while trolling with the tide, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. The salmon Sunday where jumping all over the shallow channel area, but not many were reported caught. It was obvious that there are many fish in the river now. Next week is expected to be much better fishing.
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore.—According to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secret’s Guide Service, things have turned around on the water for anglers at the mouth of the Rogue River. After what seemed like an exceptionally long season of very slow fishing, there are now Chinook salmon being caught in the bay.
RUSSIAN RIVER—The first decent rain should bring in some salmon, if it’s enough to blow out the mouth and allow them entrance. Right now? Smallmouth bass fishing is about it, but that’s improving as things have quieted on the river, and the water is beginning to cool.
SMITH RIVER— Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service is fishing on the top of the Klamath right now, but the report from the Smith is that a few salmon are up in the Sand Hole and a few at the Piling Hole, with fish going in and out on the tides. A very few anglers are catching fish at the mouth with a Kastmaster or Cleo, and the same with the one or two boats in the estuary. There are very few anglers, but it’s early yet for this river.
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Ore.–The weekend was good fishing at the mouth of the river for king salmon. Mooching plug cut herring might be something from the past and not used much with all the new techniques available, but it is one of the most consistent ways to catch these salmon when done correctly. Trolling the south jetty was also productive on Saturday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Salmon fishing continued to be hit-and-miss because of low flows and difficulty of salmon waiting offshore to enter the river. However, steelheading has been pretty good, especially in the Blue Creek area, Johnson’s Riffle and up to Orleans for fly fishermen and spin fishermen drifting nightcrawlers and swinging spinners.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate—The stretch of river for several miles below Iron Gate Dam is loaded with salmon, and some anglers are catching upwards of 40 a day on backbounced roe and dragged behind a jetdiver. Many of the fish are still in nice shape, and more are still to come when the mouth of the Klamath opens up to let more fish through. There are some steelhead being caught, too, mostly by anglers fishing for salmon.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—The river in the stretch around Del Loma is loaded with salmon, mostly bright fish, but fishing for them is tough because of the million-plus smolts that are gorging everything in sight. Fishing pressure is also extremely heavy. Back-trolled plugs helps avoid the smolts, but if you use roe, wrap it in netting. A few more steelhead are now being caught.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—Anglers are finding good action on steelhead and salmon around Hawkins Bar and there is lower fishing pressure than spots farther upstream. There was some very good fishing below the Willow Creek Weir by throwing spinners and drifting roe. Driftboaters were going down Horse Linto canyon from Big Rock and doing well. However, you have to pay a fee to get out at Tish Tang (only recreational anglers, though. Guides cannot take out there). Guides must get permission to take out on private property farther downriver around Salyer and Hawkins Bar.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Tough bite last week, with full moon and hot water, but cooler nights here will help the bite pick up and reduce the algae. Try drop-shotting plastic worms, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and surface presentations in either very shallow water (1 to 3 feet) or deeper water in the 20- to 25-foot range.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Look for birds, bait, smaller creek channels or bays that bass can use to corral bait into. Reaction baits such as LV500s, square-billed crankbaits, ripbaits, Blade Runners or spinnerbaits have been producing some nice bass.
LAKE SONOMA—For steelies, troll from the dam to the no ski buoys or from the dam to the highway bridge from 45 to 70 feet deep. Bass are moving back up the creek arms; match the hatch as it were.
LAKE ALMANOR—The Hamilton Branch and Big Springs areas have been producing fish, but cooler surface temperatures have baitfish moving west along the Prattville shoreline now and returning to the shallower west side. This lake is fall fishing at its best.
BAUM LAKE—Still waiting on cooler weather and water to get the bite going here and clear the weeds.
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. There’s been no indication as to when repairs may be completed or when the forebay may reopen.
FALL RIVER–The Fly Shop reported a mixture of enough caddis, baetis and PMDs in the morning hours to produce a good fly fishing session before lunch. In the afternoons, it was the breeze that helped.
McCLOUD RIVER—OPEN! It’s been closed due to the Bagley Fire since August, so fishing should be good. It’s open from Ash Camp down through Ah-Di-Na but the south and southeast sides of the river are closed due to the present danger of falling trees.
PIT RIVER—The Pitt has been fishing well everywhere and there are some hatches going off.
SHASTA LAKE—The salmon have been hitting rolled anchovies from 85 to 100 feet in the mouth of Dry Creek, while the trout have been hitting Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies behind UV Sling Blades in the top 20 feet before the sun hits and they go down to 40 feet. For bass, now chasing baitfish into coves and arms, try plastics or topwater gear.
TRINITY RESERVOIR—It’s been quality over quantity here, with only a few salmon coming in as the season winds down. Limits of small trout were the norm all season.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—The kokes are now in spawning mode, but there are tons of small trout. It’s a great place to bring the kids for good trout action.
BERKELEY—Options gave anglers pause to decision-making. Albacore bit very well from near the Farallones to Cordell Banks. Salmon action picked back up near the Channel Markers outside the Gate. Rockfish were hungry along the Marin coast and striped bass bit in San Pablo Bay.
BODEGA BAY—Albacore were still biting when the weather allowed a run to blue water, which ranged from 35 to 60 miles out. Along the coast, lingcod went on a tear and rockfish bit like crazy at Point Reyes for anglers aboard the New Sea Angler.
EMERYVILLE—Salmon fishing improved, according to Emeryville Sportfishing staff and the numbers substantiate the claim. On Saturday the 6-pack boat Talisman came back with limits of salmon and the New Salmon Queen got better than a fish per rod after spending only a minor portion of their day fishing for salmon. Groundfish provided solid action. Again on Saturday, the Sea Wolf scored limits of rockfish for 29 anglers plus 36 lingcod to 25 pounds. They then added sprinkles on top their catch by finishing out the day catching 468 sand dabs.
EUREKA—Pacific halibut highlighted the fishing action off of Eureka with fish up to 62 pounds brought in. Rockfish and lingcod hosted impressive fishing action off of Cape Mendocino. Shore fishers caught rockfish, perch and anchovies.
FORT BRAGG—Groundfish proved easy to catch. The water was rough early in the week, then calmed down appreciably. Plenty of abalone were gathered and two abs measuring 10 1/4 inches apiece were reported by Subsurface Progression Dive Shop. One of those was brought in by John Krebs of Fort Bragg, who worked the Hare Creek area.
HALF MOON BAY—Albacore bit outside the Farallones and 35 to 30 miles out from Pillar Point Harbor for the Huli Cat and the Riptide. The Queen of Hearts enjoyed steady action for rockfish and lingcod near San Gregorio and points south. Jetty fishers caught rockfish while surf casters got striped bass and surf perch.
MARTINEZ—Sturgeon bit for pier fishers and boaters alike. Pier anglers found the evening bite to be best and the chosen bait was ghost shrimp. Lisa Rezentes of Martinez Marina Bait and Tackle reported that striper fishing is still going strong at numerous spots including the pier, Buoy 2, Benicia Bridge and the Mothball Fleet.
OAKLAND—Migrating striped bass made their way along the upper San Pablo Bay and boaters got into mostly 18-inch to 25-inch fish. Perch bit well at several locations including Treasure Island and 7th Street Pier near the Port of Oakland. Best baits were pile worms and chunks of shrimp on surf leaders or Carolina rigs.
SAN FRANCISCO—Enjoyable fishing options included albacore, salmon and striped bass. The longfins fed outside of the Farallon Islands and near Cordell Banks. Salmon bit along the coast outside the Gate. Striped bass bit for shore anglers and also for boaters who made the run up to San Pablo Bay. Rockfish performed well for anglers aboard the Flash.
BLUE LAKES—Upper Blue Lake and Lower Blue Lake are both scheduled for DFG trout plants this week.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was good with the colder weather. Rainbows were hitting at the inlet, boat ramp, and the dam on Power Bait, salmon eggs, worms and Kastmaster spoons.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 67-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Alpine County is scheduled to plant another 1800 pounds of 2- to 5-pound rainbows in the East and West Carson this week. Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort reported that anglers were catching easy limits of DFG planters and some trophy fish up to 5 1/2 pounds on bait, lures and flies. One fly fisherman said he caught 15 trout to 3 pounds one evening on Elk Hair Caddis in about an hour.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was very good for rainbows running 16 to 17 1/2 inches. Trolling copper/red head Wee Dick Nites, red-dot frog Needlefish, and cinnamon woolly buggers on the north side of the island at 5 feet deep. Trout were seen boiling on the surface feeding on emerging insects hatches. Shore anglers were doing well at Mallard Point on Power Bait, and on bobber/worm combos at Eagle Point. If you get the worm too close to the bottom at Eagle Point, you might pick up a catfish! Fly fishermen were seeing some improvement in the action at Freeman Creek, Fairview, and Mosquito Slough on olive or cinnamon woolly buggers, beadhead PTs, and snail patterns while fishing from float tubes.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 82-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Bright kokanee salmon were still hitting for trollers working the 50- to 55-foot depths from China Cove toward the deeper water off the handicap dock. Rainbow trout fishing was very good off the west end docks using worms, salmon eggs, and Power Bait.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing pressure was very low due to the misconception that the whole area had been burned out by the Chips Fire. Hanson said that the river bottom along Caribou Road was still green and beautiful for the most part, the campgrounds weren’t burnt, and the road to Butt Valley looked good, too. The area around Butt Valley Reservoir was pretty much green with a few burnt areas, but still very nice looking. Butt Valley Reservoir was full and the cold nights should be kicking the trout bite into high gear as the water temp drops and spurs on the fall feeding frenzy.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fish was good at Lunker’s Point on Power Bait. Fly fishermen were doing well on sinking lines and Sheep Creek Specials from float tubes or boats in the early morning and evening
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Lower Sardine Lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that Gold Lake was kicking out a mix of 14- to 18-inch rainbows and browns on flasher/worm combos fished on 2 colors of leadcore line. Some 2- to 4-pound rainbows were hitting the same rig bounced off the bottom near Rocky Point. Salmon Lake was producing lots of small 6- to 8-inch rainbows with an occasional fish to 12 inches on Kastmaster spoons cast from the shore.
HEENAN LAKE—The DFG supervisor at the lake reported that cutthroat trout fishing was good with the colder weather. Catch-and-release fishing only is allowed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with artificial lures with barbless hooks.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that the trolling bite was wide-open—the fall feeding frenzy is on!! Trollers toplining a Sep’s watermelon Side-Kick dodger and a nightcrawler were catching 30 fish per day.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort reported that some guests hit the lake this past week and did pretty well catching rainbows on a combination of Power Bait and spoons. The colder weather finally arrived this past week and revived the bite.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was good for trollers working the main channel, while the shore anglers were doing best at the dam.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Not much happening here, according to Sly Park Resort. There should be some rainbows hitting bait at the first dam. There was some smallmouth bass action up in the Narrows according to the last report.
LAKE TAHOE—Mack trolling and jigging was good this past week for charter operators on both ends of the lake. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners (Tahoe Keys) reported that vertical jigging in the Rubicon Bay and Meeks Bay area was good for fish to 7 pounds using 2-ounce Williamson Benthos and Abyss jigs tipped with minnows at 150 to 200 feet deep. One group caught 25 macks on a half-day trip. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing (Carnelian Bay) said fishing was great one day for big fish, and okay the next for smaller fish. Trolling 150 to 350 feet deep was producing quick limits on spoons and minnow plugs. After catching limits of macks, Self was trolling for rainbow trout in 15 to 45 feet of water using small spoons and picking up fish to 16 inches. John Shearer at Tahoe Sportfishing reported that mack trolling was good for fish running 2 to 5 pounds using dodger/minnows 90 to 150 feet deep at Emerald Bay, Eagle Rock, and Sugar Pine. The macks were beginning to spawn—the kokanee bite is done for the season as they wait to head up Taylor Creek to spawn.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. After some clarification from the USFS when questioned about the boat ramp closure by Dale Daneman of Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service, the gate to the boat ramp will remain open until snows close the road. The gate to the campground will close on October 9. Fishing is wide-open here—the fall feeding frenzy is in full bloom—topline a dodger/worm for multiple limits of nice trout.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Fishing was good here this past week with the colder weather. Bait and Kastmaster spoons fished off the dam were producing for shore anglers.
PYRAMID LAKE—The cutthroat trout opener on October 1 was the best in years. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters caught 72, 66, and 55 fish on his 3 trips this past week—all 17 to 27 1/2 inches long. Trolling and jigging were both productive along the east side of the lake from Hell’s Kitchen to the Pyramid. Bait balls could be seen near the surface all over the lake keeping the fish shallow. Big fish of the week was caught by Brian Johnson of CA, a beautiful 16-pound, 2-ounce fish that hit opening day—he followed that one up with a 14-pound, 7-ounce lunker on October 3. Both fish were taken at Hell’s Kitchen. Shore anglers and fly fishermen all did well on spoons, jigs, and dark flies—Warrior Point was a “hot, hot, hot spot” according to Joe Mendes. The biggest shore caught fish was a 10 1/2 pounder taken by Scott Anderson of Portola on a dark fly at the North Nets.
RED LAKE—Colder weather should improve the trout bite here now that the algae problem has diminished.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. The lake was planted by the DFG two weeks ago, so there should still be plenty of fish to be caught.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 76-percent capacity. Trout fishing was good in the coves around the campground and up in the Sagehen arm. The kokanee were spawning and the DFG was collecting eggs for their propagation program in coordination with Project Kokanee.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The fly fishing was very good in the low flows from Tahoe City to the Boca outlet on a dry/dropper. In the heavier flows below the Boca outlet, October caddis and dark stones were working well. Lures were producing some good fish from River Ranch to Tahoe City. In the restricted section, barbless lures were picking up some bigger fish in the deeper pools and runs. Expect more activity from the browns as they get closer to spawning later this month and into November.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The lake was planted this past week, so trout fishing should be good. The Sunset gate will close on October 9 as previously announced to keep campers out of the campgrounds.
WEST WALKER RIVER—Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported that anglers were still catching plenty of rainbows in the deeper pools found in the canyon south of Walker. Worms and salmon eggs drifted through the deeper pools were working well for the anglers seeking out the right areas.
AMERICAN RIVER—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing in the Middle Fork was still good for those willing to make the effort to hike down to the deeper pools. The Silver Fork received a double plant two weeks ago, so there should still be plenty of fish left to be caught.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 64-percent capacity. There were two local bass tournaments on the lake this past weekend, but weigh-in reports were not available by press time. WON will get them posted in the next issue.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 20-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported that bass and catfish were still hitting in the Rock Creek area. Boats can still launch at the concrete ramp.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 30 feet from full. Catfish were still providing the most action this past week for anglers fishing off the boat docks at night with chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Fishing pressure was light. Colder nights will get the trout fishing into gear after the summer slowdown.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported that boaters were picking up limits of planter rainbows and a few brown trout drifting bait at Black’s Ravine. Houseboaters were catching some nice rainbows on worms off the backs of their boats.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds would close for the season on Oct. 21. The lake was planted by the DFG this past week, so fishing should be pretty good near the ramp and up toward the inlet where browns should be preparing for the spawn.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that all the campgrounds were now closed for the season. Closed campgrounds means fewer anglers on the lake—only two boats were seen by USFS staff this past weekend.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that the full moon slowed the bite this past week from 30 fish per day to 20 fish per day and pushed the bass into deeper water, down to 30 to 40 feet deep from 10 to 20 feet the previous week. The topwater bite was still very good in the early morning on Pop-R’s. Most of the fish came on Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs on browns, greens, and shad colors, darthead rigged Senkos, Keitech swimbaits, and drop-shot worms. Earlier this past week, the jig and Senko bite was strong, but by the weekend with lots of tournament pressure on the lake from an Angler’s Choice TOC, the drop-shot bite was the most productive. Gandolfi was fishing in the North Fork and West Branch, but said he heard the Slot was fishing well also.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Casey Reynolds of Auburn reported that bass fishing was still good around the downed trees in the coves near Greenhorn.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 74-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Jim Caldwell from Scott’s Flat Lake Resort reported that trout fishing was good for trollers running flasher/worm combos 35 to 40 feet deep from Cascade Shore to the spillway. Smallmouth bass fishing was good around the submerged trees in the day-use area for anglers twitching Rapalas.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds would all close on Oct. 21. Fishing was very slow with few anglers seen.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds would close on October 14 for the season. The launch ramp will remain open until snow closes the road—and launching will be free until spring!! Fishing was rated slow, as a result fishing pressure was very light.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.8-foot elevation at press time—83-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported that big bass in the 8- to 10-pound range were a possibility for anglers throwing frogs on the tule banks in Skiers Cove and South Cove in the late afternoons—not many bites, but the ones you get are good ones!!
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon fishing continued to improve on the American River, and fly fishers are also continuing to do well on halfpounder steelhead to a couple of pounds. There’s been some good night fishing in the Dredger holes on glow-in-the-dark Gitzits, Kwikfish, and Radical Glow Tubes. However, it can be good one day, poor the next. Then good again as a new wave of fish enters the American. They are also taking backtrolled Kwikfish during the day, as well as beads from Grist Mill to Sailor Bar. Flows have dropped to 1,500 cfs.
FOLSOM LAKE— Fishing for landlocked king salmon continued to be good in front of the dam over the river channel, and new outlet construction zone. They’re still getting fish in the 16- to 20-inch range, and occasionally up to 4 pounds by speed-trolling Speedy Shiners 60 feet. The lake is dropping more slowly and bass fishing should improve as they become more comfortable. Drop-shotting Robo-worms over submerged rock piles has been fair, but deeper diving crankbaits might work at certain times, as well.
FEATHER RIVER—Salmon fishing was great again below the Outlet, and some brighter fish arrived, as well. A new batch of mostly bright salmon showed up around Yuba City, and there were even some limits taken on jigs and Kwikfish. You only have until Monday, Oct. 15, to fish the river for salmon above a point 200 yards above the Live Oak Boat Ramp. Fly fishers are dead-drifting caddis nymphs and egg flies under indicators for steelhead in the Low Flow Section. Spin fishermen are drifting nightcrawlers, Glo-Bugs, and swinging spinners. There is also improved steelhead fishing occurring around Gridley and even down by Boyd’s Pump.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing was still very good around Sacramento last week, with some newly-arrived bright fish being caught at Garcia Bend, Freeport where fishing pressure is very high, but also at Miller Park, from the bank. The Mepps Flying C has been the lure of choice for bankies, while jigging, trolling Silvertrons, and backtrolling Kwikfish has been effective for boaters.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Limits of salmon continued to be common last week, and the river around Balls Ferry was still loaded with fish—even a few brighter ones. A new run of salmon showed up around Chico, Hamilton City and Los Molinos. Move around if you are getting no action. Switch from roe to plugs, or back.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Flows dropped again—to 67,00 cfs—and trout fishing continued to be very good between Redding and Anderson on crickets, Glo-Bugs and small lures for trout to 4 pounds.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir—Trout fishing is getting better and better as the water cools, and more and more larger fish are arriving, coming up from the lake.
YUBA RIVER—Trout fishing continued to be pretty good on hoppers and caddis dry flies below the Highway 20 Bridge. The river is closed to fishing above the bridge.