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.— Not enough rain to really bring the river up, so fresh kings have not entered the river and the kings already in the river are old and holding in pools or upriver spawning, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Both expect more kings to surge into the river with the expected rains this week.
ELK, SIXES RIVERS, Ore.—Low flows, and the rivers are both waiting for rain. Expect at least one more good push of kings once the rains bring the rivers up. Timing is everything on these two small rivers.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore.— Cooling waters have the summer steelhead more active and late season hatches have the fish on the grab, from halfpounders up to 8 or 9 pounds. Fly guys are doing well, and part of the river is now open to bait and lures.
SMITH RIVER—It’s been open to fishing, but too low for any success, and for any new fish to come up the river, although some kings moving in and out with the tides, according to guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service. Flows are just barely over 1000 cfs, but rain was expected this week and it could be great by this weekend. Very few anglers, and only 7 or 8 boats at the Sand Hole, he said. “Look for a good salmon influx with the next good rain,” Desautel said.
KLAMATH RIVER, Blue Creek—Lots of steelhead are moving upriver, and fishing was good, once again, from Blue Creek to Orleans.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate—Steelhead numbers continue to build and are being caught on flies, plugs, roe and nightcrawlers with nightcrawlers being the best bet by far. A few anglers are showing up, but pressure is very light compared with the Trinity River.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—Steelheading was excellent from Lewiston to the North Fork, and wild fish are dominating the catch—a good thing. However, the river is crowded with fishermen as well as fish. Flies, roe, spinners, nightcrawlers, and backtrolled Brad’s Wigglers and Hot Shots are all attracting bites. The fish are larger than usual, as well with some fish weighing as much as 10 pounds.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—The South Fork of the Trinity opened to fishing on Nov. 1. These are all wild fish and must be released, but they are the largest and hardest fighting steelhead on the Trinity. Steelhead are spread throughout the river from Weitchpec to Del Loma.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Live bait, live jumbo minnows to be exact, are the way to go here now for both numbers and sizes. If you prefer artificials, now is the time the Alabama rig (or whatever you want to call it) will put fish in the boat. There are lots of concentrations of baitfish around the lake and dragging the Alabama rig through a school of them will trigger those big fish to bite.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Bass have been caught spooning and drop-spotting shad worms for fish to 4 pounds as they corral schools of shad. The trout action has been best at 6 feet for most of the day then they dropped to 20 to 30 feet.
LAKE SONOMA— A few nice fish have been caught in the back of the creek channels (Cherry, Dry Creek & Warm Springs) with LuckyCraft BDS3s and crankbaits covering water. As the water continues to cool, a good pattern will be to fish the creek ledges in 15 to 30 feet with jigs, drop-shit or Texas rigged Robo worms. Look for the landlocked steelhead to start to make their way into the creek mouths with the rain.
Some of the rivers close or have changing regulations after Nov. 15 so check the regulations at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/FreshFish-Mar2012/ccr-t14-ch3-art3.html.
BAUM LAKE—The lake fished well this past week and should continue to do so for the next few months. The October hatches are being replaced with midge activity, so look for conditions to continue to improve.
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.
EAGLE LAKE—The cold weather snap turned on the bite and it will continue through the end of the year when the lake closes to fishing. Put in at the south end and watch the ice. Trolling between Shrimp Island and Wildcat in 5 to 10 feet of water with Jay Fair flies put fish in the boat. They have been using little crappie jigs in brown and orange off the jetty. Bobber fishing at Shrimp Island, anchoring in 10 feet and fishing 6 to 8 feet deep, also produced trout. They had limits in no time and as many fish as they needed. Most have been full of snails or minnows.
FALL RIVER—Closed on Nov. 15 but fishing has been good, thanks to hatches.
HAT CREEK–Closed on Nov. 15
MCCLOUD RIVER—Closed on Nov. 15.
PIT RIVER—The Pitt has been fishing well everywhere and there are some hatches going off. The trout are feeding up for the winter and October has been a good month here. Rain should set off more caddis hatches. Check the regs. for your favorite section, from Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.
SHASTA LAKE—The bite has been in transition as the lake begins to turn. The trout and bait have moved up and the Sac and McCloud arms are full of shad, making it a good spot to fish for bass and trout. Trout are also by the dam and in the mouth of Dry Creek. The bass fishing is getting going, fish are everywhere, adjust your fishing to where the bait is.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was slow, but best on the points along the north side of the lake near the campground and off the south end of the dam.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. The lake received 2 feet of snow with the last storm. No launching facilities are available until next spring. John Voss at Caples Lake Resort said the lake could freeze in the next 2 or 3 weeks.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The trout season ended with a bang!! Joe Valentine, a regular from Minden, reported he caught an 8 pounder, a 5, two 4’s, two or three 3’s and a bunch of DFG planters in the East Carson on Berkley Atomic Teasers. Christine Dallas of Carson City fly fished with nymphs and landed a 51/2 pounder and two 4 pounders along with 17 DFG planters in 4 hours of fishing. The river was still full of fish that should provide good action next spring when the season reopens in April.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was good using cinnamon flies at 5 feet deep from the little island to Eagle Point. Shore fishing was good for anglers using Gulp! Eggs and Power Bait at Fairview, Eagle Point, Long Point, and Mallard Point. The shore fish were running 16 to 19 inches. Fly fishermen were still doing very well at Mosquito Slough casting a size 16 or 18 blood midge set 3-foot under an indicator. One fly fisherman had 10 hookups and landed 5 or 6 fish in 30 minutes, according to Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that rainbow trout fishing was good along the west end and north side near the boat ramp on Power Bait, worms, and salmon eggs. Trollers working big Rapalas and J-Plugs were picking up some macks in 60 to 80 feet of water.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishermen and trollers were catching fish despite the cold weather. Shore fishing with Power Bait or worms at Crystal Point, Turkey Point, Lunker Point, and the dam was producing a few good-sized rainbows. The dock was removed at the Frenchman ramp, but trollers were still getting out and running flasher or dodger/worm combos and threaded nightcrawlers in the top 10 feet for good rainbows. All the local creeks closed on Nov. 15.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—6 to 10 inches of snow fell in the basin, but 4-wheelers were still able to access the lakes. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that one angler made it to the main boat ramp at Gold Lake where he caught two 16- to 18-inch browns and some nice rainbows on nightcrawlers from shore.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. According to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service, the road to the lake was icy and snowy after the storm this past week. The road could clear enough for access if the weather warms. 4-wheel drive would be wise.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort reported that very few anglers were here as long as fishing in the river was open. With the close of the stream trout season on Nov. 15, the lake will see more pressure, especially after Alpine County plants 1800 pounds of trophy trout later this month.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Snowed in.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 71-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Fishing should be good near the boat ramp.
LAKE TAHOE—Big Mack Charters reported good action trolling near the bottom in 350 to 400 feet of water at Carnelian Bay for macks to 8 pounds. On most trips he was catching limits, tagging 6 to 8 fish and losing several more. Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported good action for limits of macks trolling 140 to 400 feet deep with spoons and small Lucky Craft plugs. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners said he was picking up limits of macks trolling and jigging—6 to 7 pounders trolling Krocadile spoons and 2 to 4 pounders jigging with Williamson Benthos jigs tipped with a minnow—at 140 to 200 feet deep at South Shore. Nielsen was picking up some nice browns and rainbows trolling CD Rapalas in shallow water. The trout were running mostly 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds with an occasional 5-pound brown.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Snowed in.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 33-percent capacity. With the lake so low, the dam was the only place to consistently find fish. The lake was still accessible after the recent snowstorm.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported that shore anglers were doing very well on the south end of the lake casting spoons at Indian Head, Popcorn, Block House, Cattle Guard, and Rawhide. Crosby’s Lodge weighed in several fish weighing 7 to 14 pounds in for shore anglers this past week. Mendes was still catching 20 to 36 fish per day trolling bleeding frog and metallic silver or bronze FlatFish.
RED LAKE—Snow and no reports.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. No launching at the current lake level, plus snow and cold made for tough conditions this past week.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Shore anglers were doing well on the windblown points using Power Bait and worms for planter rainbows, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
TRUCKEE RIVER— The river from 1000 feet below the Lake Tahoe Outlet Dam to Trout Creek will close on Nov. 15. From Trout Creek to Stateline, the river will remain open to fishing with artificial lures with barbless hooks only and a zero limit until April. Fly fishing was good on BWO-dark stone dropper combos and green or black sculpin streamers from Hirshdale to Stateline.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that the road to the lake was covered with snow and ice. Traveling to the lake would require extreme caution and a 4-wheel drive with chains!!
AMERICAN RIVER—Though the river is now closed to fishing from the USGS Gauging cable below the hatchery to the power lines crossing the river at Ancil Hoffman Park, steelheading is improving downstream of there, and more adult steelhead are starting to show up. Brian Clemens of American Fly Fishing said a decent fly fishermen might score one to maybe 5 fish a day, and, while most are still taking nymphs under indicators, more and more fish are now taking traditional steelhead flies on the swing, such as green-butted skunks, and burlaps. Spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers and swinging Kastmasters and No. 3 Blue Fox spinners. Fish upstream of Grist Mill or Watt Ave. for the best odds for success. Nimbus Basin is still crowded with fish and fishermen. It’s a zoo, and most of the fish are in bad shape.
FOLSOM LAKE— Fishing for landlocked king salmon continued to be slow, but a few trout are being taken in front of the dam on Speedy Shiners fished from 50 to 65 feet deep. Smallish spotted bass are being caught on slowly worked neutral-colored plastic worms and jigs fished from 15 to 25 feet deep up the North Fork
FEATHER RIVER— Fishing for salmon in the open section of river downstream of 200 yards above the Live Oak Boat Ramp continued to be very slow, but the opposite is true for steelhead from Thermalito to Palm Ave. Fly fishers were drifting red copper Johns, prince nymphs, and hefty PT’s under indicators while spin fishermen are drifting nightcrawlers and swing Little Cleos and Kastmasters. While most fish were weighed a couple of pounds, there was a report of a 13-pound adult taken in the Low Flow Section. But, the Low Flow Section is still loaded with spawning salmon and lots of anglers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing picked up last week as the late fall salmon run numbers picked up. One of the nicest things about this fishery, besides their high ocean-fresh quality is that most anglers seem to think the run is over. This run is not as numerous as the fall run, but anglers have been catching a couple per boat on average, with a few anglers doing much better fishing spinners and Kwikfish from Garcia Bend to the I-5 Bridge. Striped bass fishing was pretty good in the Deep Water Channel for anglers using bloodworms, mudsuckers, and minnows, while a few sturgeon are starting to show up around Hood-Franklin.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—The fall run of king salmon has transitioned to the late fall run, and it’s looks to be a very good one. Some of the very few anglers now fishing the river are getting limits of beautiful fall run fish from Colusa to Red Bluff.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing continued to be very good from Redding to Anderson. Fly fishers are dead-drifting nymphs and Glo-Bugs under indicators and spin fishermen are drifting crickets, Glo-Bugs and small lures.
YUBA RIVER—Trout fishing continued to be outstanding, and fly fishers are even still hooking fat natives on dry flies. Caddis, Mayfly and baettis nymphs fished under indicators are also doing well from the Highway 20 Bridge down to Sycamore Ranch.
BERKELEY—Berkeley Marina Sportfishing reported limits of both rockfish and Dungeness crabs, noting that is has been easy pickings for both all week long. The landing is planning daily trips through the end of the year.
BODEGA BAY—The New Sea Angler ran 6 consecutive trips with limits of both crabs and rockfish. The average was 20 crabs per pot and they held plenty of meat. Point Reyes hung in there throughout the week as the go-to hotspot.
DILLON BEACH—Rockfish bit steadily and some exceptionally large black rockfish were caught at local reefs, which seemed to hold hungry fish every day. Crabbers scored equally well with limits the rule. Early in the week gave the best weather and therefore the best fishing.
EMERYVILLE—Emeryville Sportfishing is running four boats (New Huck Fin, Sea Wolf, New Seeker and New Salmon Queen) for combo trips through the end of the year. All this week, boats easily caught limits of rockfish at the Farallon Islands and then pulled their crab pots off the mainland coast.
EUREKA—Crab pots bulged and hand-picking the heavy units was the order of the day aboard the Reel Steel. Most boats only needed a few pots to pull limits and shore-based crabbers also scored. Rockfish bit for jetty anglers. A 28-pound halibut was caught inside Humboldt Bay.
FORT BRAGG—Early crab season results have been impressive, with the Telstar scoring limits of crabs. Capt. Randy Thornton reported an average of 10 crabs per pot and the best pot had 18 keepers. The crabs are big, still just a bit light but getting heavier. One limit of 10 weighed 21 pounds. Subsurface Progression Dive Shop reported good abalone diving at the rocky spots near town.
HALF MOON BAY—The Tunitas, San Gregorio and Pescadero areas proved highly productive for the Huli Cat. Crab fishers found easy pickings right from the jetty or local beaches where they baited snares with squid and made long casts.
MARTINEZ—Striped bass and sturgeon both kicked some tail this week. Striper action was best at the pier and at Ozal. Sturgeon bit near the Mothball Fleet. Both species showed a preference for grass shrimp.
OYSTER POINT—A father daughter team fished from their boat right in front of Oyster Point Bait and Tackle and the little girl hauled up an 8-pound halibut. On another boat a sturgeon estimated at 7 feet long broke the leader at boatside. Leopard sharks, sand sharks and bat rays bit for pier fishers. Private boaters launched, ran outside the Gate and returned with good numbers of Dungeness crabs.
PORT SONOMA—Striped bass performed well in the Petaluma and Napa rivers, biting grass shrimp and bullheads. Sturgeon began a period of high activity with minus tides began beginning to flow over the weekend.
SAN RAFAEL—Late-season halibut surprised anglers who thought they were going out for striped bass near Red Rock. Stripers provided a pick for anglers anchored up fishing for sturgeon. Those sturgeon are just beginning a period of feeding activity fueled by strong minus tides and fresh water flow.
AMERICAN RIVER—Low, clear, and COLD!! Remember, trout fishing in the river above Hwy. 49 is now under special regulations until next April—barbless artificial lures only and a zero limit.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that several bass boats were on the lake on Sunday. Bass were hitting jigs, drop-shot worms, and Senkos on rocky humps and main points.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 18-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported that bass anglers were catching 20 to 30 fish per day throwing worms and Brush Hogs on main body points in 8 to 10 feet of water. Boats can still launch off the concrete ramp at the resort. One angler caught a 10-pound catfish from shore.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake was holding at 39-foot from full. Kathy Hess reported that the weekly fall plants were really attracting the anglers with a chance of catching trout up to 13 pounds. The plants–half catchables from 1 to 3 pounds and half trophy fish from 4 to 13 pounds—will continue until the week of Thanksgiving. Howard Victorino caught a 6-pound rainbow off the dam on Power Bait. Ray and Margaret Johnson of Sacramento landed catfish weighing 7 1/4, 8 1/4, and 10 pounds plus a big stringer of trout along the east side of the lake on worms. Fishermen were experiencing phenomenal trout fishing and were extremely pleased with the size of the fish.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported that a 4-pound brown trout was caught at the confluence of the Yuba River forks at the upper end of the lake. Dillon Davis said that bait fishing was excellent on the right side of the lake just past the “No Wake” buoy. Trollers were doing well from Boston Bar to Black’s Ravine for rainbows using flasher or dodger/worm combos and threaded nightcrawlers.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The recent snowstorm closed the road to the lake—check with the Foresthill Ranger Station for the latest road conditions before heading into this area at (530) 367-2224, M-F 8:00 to 5:00.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The recent snows closed the road to the lake—check with the Georgetown Ranger Station for the latest roads conditions before heading into this area at (530) 333-4312, M-F 8:00 to 4:30.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that fishing was good and improving after the recent storms with 50 to 60 fish days possible. Bait was still on the surface and the topwater bite really turned on this past week. Lots of smaller fish were hitting drop-shot and darthead worms, Senkos, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits on rocky points and walls in the West Branch, North Fork, Middle Fork, and the Slot. Boaters still need to look for the temperature break in the upper river arms. Bigger fish to 5 pounds were concentrated in deeper water—40 to 60 feet deep on the points and 60 to 90 feet deep on bridge pilings. Drop-shot worms and spoons were working on the deeper fish. Trollers were loading up on 8- to 10-inch coho in the West Branch.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Trout trolling should be good at the dam in light of the DFG plant two weeks ago. Bass should be actively feeding in the coves to prepare for winter.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at the resort reported that some trout were still being caught by trollers working flasher/worm combos from Cascade Shore to the dam.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake was planted by the DFG this past week, so fishing should be good.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 69-percent capacity and the lake was planted by the DFG this past week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road to the lake was still open, despite the recent snows.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 131.4-foot elevation—67-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi still cautioned fishermen about getting too close to the duck hunters—a rod and reel is no match for a shotgun. Trout fishing should be improving in the channel at Wilbur Road.