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.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, OR.—As of June 1 anglers can keep wild king salmon as part of their limit, instead of hatchery-only fish. “It opened just in time for all the salmon that have entered the river” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “But the salmon don’t seem to be in a hurry to get upriver.” He said there have been a couple of schools of kings in the estuary, and John’s Hole was rumored to be full of fish, but they’re apparently still holding in the deeper holes and have lockjaw. Action is still slow.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.—According to The Fishin’ Hole in Shady Cove, Jack Jermain said that the salmon fly hatch is finally beginning, and guides are putting their clients on 20 to 50 fish a day, a mixture of rainbows, cutthroats and steelhead. Most are 16 to 25 inches, but the occasional lunker really gets the heart going. Dry flys in imitation of the salmon fly like the Madam X are working best. Bankies are doing very well on the springrun kings, and flows have been increased, which should bring in more fish.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Steve Jackson, owner of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville, said that some shad are still being caught between Guerneville and upstream to Steelhead Beach by anglers in the evening, after the water-users are off the river. They might get up to a dozen fish, or only a couple on a bad night. A new “test program” will stop opening up the mouth when it gets silted in, so steelhead can stay in the estuary and grow longer before entering the ocean. But that also keeps the shad from entering the system.
UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, OR.—Rains that hit last week were what anglers needed to cool off the river and bring some color back, and the river rose a few feet. Moss began breaking off and it made it tough to keep gear clean. Some boats were averaging a salmon a day, but a few day were better with 2 or more fish in a day, according to Palmer.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, OR.–They are still catching spring Chinook’s just below the designated fly fishing only area, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets, but the kings are losing some of their bright color. Fishing was good until late morning this past week.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Some salmon flies are starting to show, but it’s still mostly nymphing for trout. It’s best to use a large salmon fly nymph with a smaller mayfly or stonefly nymph for a droppers. Drifting nightcrawlers or backtrolling crawdad plugs are a surer thing if the desire is just to hook a few trout ranging from 12 to 18 inches.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Spring run Chinook salmon entered the river in greater numbers last week, but the large amount of moss in the river makes it necessary to spend much of your fishing time cleaning grass off the spinner. Anglers are getting some salmon off the shallow sandbar at the mouth, but they’re lining fish with a yarnfly on a long leader. It’s actually snagging since the fish are hooked outside the mouth and should be released unharmed, but seldom are.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City—The release from Lewiston Dam was down to around 1,200 cfs , still high but fishable. However, very few fish have gotten to the Trinity yet, much less upriver above the North Fork. However, a rush of fish could hit the Trinity almost any day with the run building day by day.
BERKELEY—Salmon counts were high early in the week before the big winds came. After a couple of days of Bay potluck trips by Berkeley boats, El Dorado III made it outside for the rockfish opener and scored big on rockfish and lingcod. Happy Hooker enjoyed success on Saturday and Sunday when they came back inside at the end of the day to score some nice halibut and striped bass. Jilly Sea scored a 25-pound halibut.
BODEGA BAY—Rough seas and high winds took their toll on fishing pressure along the coast. New Sea Angler managed to make a run Saturday to Point Reyes and scored 25 limits of rockfish plus 25 limits of Dungeness crabs.
EMERYVILLE—“Limits” was the by-word of the day when referring to recent salmon action near Deep Reef where Emeryville boats easily trolled up limits of salmon to 28 pounds. Bay potluck trips produced some rockfish and also some halibut near South Hampton Shores, however gentler tides forecast ahead are expected to clear up the water and get the halibut to biting like it was June.
EUREKA—Grinning like Cheshire cats, salmoneers ran a mile out of harbor and loaded up with limits of salmon faster than their coffee could cool. One day the fleet was treated to a feeding show by a pod of 7 whales. Pacific halibut to 40 pounds bit at the 50-fathom curve off of Eureka.
FORT BRAGG—Local lingcod and rockfish bit like maniacs. Crewmembers and passengers alike celebrated the return of blue rockfish in great numbers. Good salmon water returned and fish were caught during brief weather windows.
HALF MOON BAY—Salmon fishing exploded locally as boats gathered at Deep Reef to get in on acres and acres of feeding frenzy. Fish ran up to 28 pounds for recreational anglers and over 30 pounds for commercial fishers. Crabbing was exceptionally good for shore-based anglers casting snares.
MARTINEZ—A 57-inch sturgeon highlighted the week. Sturgeon and stripers were caught at Big Cut and Ozol. In general, fishing pressure was light because many anglers were focused on rockfish opener or out towards Deep Reef fishing for salmon.
SHELTER COVE— Jake Mitchell, owner of Sea Hawk in Shelter Cove reported that the salmon bite was pretty spotty this week although the ones caught were big with several in the 30-pound class. With the wind and the mediocre salmon bite, the boat mainly ran halfday rockfish charters, consistently nailing limits of fish. One day the boat was able to run up north to Gorda and fish the newly-opened area. The bite was wide open and the grade was unreal with 14 lings to 20 pounds and none smaller than 12 pounds, as well as coppers and vermilions up to 10 pounds.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—There will still be bedding bass around this month, but as waters warm the clarity changes and mats are taking over, especially at the north/west end of the lake. But grass mats in front of the tules now have created an opportunity to catch fish on frogs.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Search the mid lake area in 100-plus feet of water for kokes with RMT dodgers in Hyper Plaid, Bahama mama, Watermelon Bahama with RMT squids in pink glow plankton, orange glow plankton, green cotton candy and Uncle Larry’s spinners in copper pop, copper blue pink. For bass, work small swimbaits and 4-inch grubs around the bait or drop-shot plastics around primary points later in the day after the topwater bite stops.
LAKE SONOMA–Bass anglers looking for steady bites have going night fishing, which has been kicking out some solid largemouth to 4 pounds, by covering water with black buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Jigs, Brush Hogs and Robo worms are also a great bet in 10 to 20 feet. Or get out early with a Lucky Craft Sammy 128 and fish as many main body points as you can. Once the sun comes up, look to drop-shotting Robo worms in natural colors in 20 to 35 feet of water. Main body points and breaks should hold a few largemouth and smallmouth bass to 3 pounds.
LAKE ALMANOR–Insect hatches will continue to go off, leading to the Hex Hatch, which usually starts in late June, but this year it could happen sooner with the arrival of early spring conditions. Trollers have been pulling a variety of offerings from fast action lures to slow trolled nightcrawlers. Attractor, like Sep’s Strike Master Dodgers in chartreuse with a half ‘crawler have been effective, but anything with chartreuse has been the hot color. Flashers have also been bringing in.
BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR— Fishing was decent with browns representing the majority of the fish taken. Some bigger fish are starting to become active and the flyfishermen did well on wired princes in red and chartreuse. For the bait anglers, worms and Power Bait were the way to go. The east shoreline saw better fishing. Fishing will only get better as warmer weather becomes the norm.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported the best bite is in the morning hours. During the mid day you might find the hookups a little or a lot slower. Expect a rally in the fishing action near sunset, though.
BUCKS LAKE– If you’re looking for a trophy mack, troll in the middle of the lake in 45 to 55 feet with Dick Pool’s Pro Troll Stingfish in blue. For 14- to 16-inch pansized limits for dinner check in Bucks or Mill creek’s close to the bottom for a mix of brown and rainbow trout with Needlefish in frog and fire tiger patterns.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reports the forebay fished okay, but a bit tougher with continued high fishing pressure in this popular area of the creek. Floating baits and eggs both worked, but the flyfishing was tough. Less pressure over the next few weeks should improve the fishing significantly.
EAGLE LAKE—The bite toughened up thanks to the wind, but the better fishing was in the cool shallows in less than 10 feet trolling grubs over structure on the west side of the lake south of Pelican Point.
FALL RIVER—Fishing has been good, even though most are waiting for June’s hex hatch.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing is getting better since DFW is back on a twice-a-week plant schedule. With reduced fishing pressure following the busy Memorial Holiday the numbers of fish per person is improving. Some large trout are still coming in and fishermen are reporting improved catches. The weather has shifted to a more summer like pattern, so warmer days and nights are in the forecast for the immediate future. Worms and Power Bait were the top producers.
PIT RIVER—Fishing has been great, but don’t forget your wading staff.
MANZANITA LAKE— Rim Rock Ranch reported slower activity due to fluctuating weather, but as temperatures heat up the bite should improve dramatically. Little brassies fished deeper should work and mosquitoes and ants should produce for topwater enthusiasts. Remember this is a catch-and-release lake with special restrictions, so be sure to check the regulations.
McCLOUD RIVER—The fishing continues to be great with many morning hatches going off.
SHASTA LAKE— According to guide Mike Elster, nice rainbows from 1 to 3 1/2 pounds were taken in the top 25 feet at Digger Bay and O’Brien Inlet. The surface temperature has been 68 degrees with a 10 mph wind that calmed by the time he wrapped thing up around 1 p.m. The hot setups were watermelon Apex and white Wiggle Hoochie behind Sling Blades.
AMERICAN RIVER above Folsom Lake—A Georgetown local reported that the river was in perfect condition and the bite should be good for those anglers making the hike down to the deeper pools in the Middle Fork.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 82-percent capacity. The bass bite was still producing a ton of little bass and a few big fish this past week. Emerald Cove Marina boat slip tenant, Judy Wrightson of Nevada City, caught a 6-pound spot in Moran Cove on a 3-inch chartreuse grub in shallow water.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that bass anglers were still picking up 30 to 32 fish per day using green pumpkin or watermelon lizards and Brush Hogs in Rock Creek and the Bear River at 10 to 15 feet deep. One angler brought an 11-pound striper into the store for pictures, but wouldn’t say how or where he caught it.
COLLINS LAKE—Night fishing off the docks kicked into high gear this past week with trout, catfish, crappie and bass hitting for anglers using Power Bait, worms and live crawdads. Trollers did well on trout at the dam with Rapalas and flasher or dodger/worm combos at 20 to 25 feet deep.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity. A 10-pound-plus rainbow was rumored to have been caught up near Black’s Ravine—most likely one of the big pen-reared fish released by Skippers Cove Marina. Summer boat traffic will begin taking a toll on the fishing with the hotter weather.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the water system at the Coyote, Gates, and Lewis campgrounds was being worked on, but water was available at the boat ramp.
FULLER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—Boaters making it up past the Narrows were doing well on rainbows and a few browns at the inlet.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was still good for mostly post-spawn fish that were moving out to the points and steeper walls. Dart-head Roboworms and shakey-head worms and Senkos were working best this past week. The reaction bite should kick in over the next couple of weeks. Gandolfi said the better fish running 2 to 3 pounds were deep—down to 20 feet—while the shallows still held big numbers of smaller bass guarding beds. John Kline, a Shasta Tackle pro staffer, reported that limits of 1- to 1 1/2-pound coho were hitting dodger/white or pink hoochies at the dam, Green Bridge, and Middle Fork from 35 to 60 feet deep.
ROLLINS LAKE—Heavy recreational boat traffic was already slowing down the fishing here. Casey Reynolds of Auburn said that shore fishing or anchoring in the coves was still producing a few trout early in the morning before the jetskiers get a chance to tear up the lake.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The marina reported that trout fishing was slow, but trollers working the dam were catching a mix of bass and crappie.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that shore anglers were still picking up a few fish from 12 to 16 inches at the dam and boat ramp on nightcrawlers. Trollers were doing well at the inlet.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.2-foot elevation at press time—79-percent capacity. At this water level, the tule banks should have bass looking for frogs in the late afternoon—nothing beats the topwater strike on slow worked frog bait!
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Try early in the morning at the dam for a good brown on a CD Rapala. Anglers fishing the inlet in the restricted section with barbless artificial lures were picking up limits (2 fish) of 14-inch rainbows.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is full. The lake was planted two weeks ago, so look for shore action at the Wood’s Creek inlet. WON Editor Bill Karr drove past the lake this past week and saw a few boats on the lake, but the few shore anglers he spoke to found the action slow, though some fish were seen jumping.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Both the East and West were stocked early this week by Alpine County with big catchable rainbows. The West Carson gets stocked near the bridges up to the Hwy 89 turnoff. Only the DFW stocks the West Carson up into Hope Valley. The flows in the East and West were a little high but clear. The East Carson was kicking out limits of mixed rainbows and cutthroats running 11 to 16 inches with a few rainbows pushing 3 pounds on bait, spinners, and flies, according to Todd Sodaro at the Creekside Lodge. Sodaro hooked a 4 1/2-pound rainbow on a salmon egg for a little girl and handed her the rod but the fish came off right at the shore near Sorensen’s on the West Carson.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was good for 15- to 19-inch rainbows running copper/redhead Wee Dick Nite, firetiger Needlefish, and red Rainbow Runner spoons 4 to 8 feet deep from the island north to Fairview. His last trip produced 14 fish for 20 to 25 hookups. Shore fishing was fair at Eagle Point, Grasshopper, and the on the point at Honker Cove using Power Bait. Flyfishermen were landing up to 8 fish in an evening at Camp 5 and Jenkins on blood midges. Sign up now for the Lake Davis Fishing Derby scheduled for June 15, sponsored by J&J’s Grizzly Store. Call 530-832-0270 for info.
DONNER LAKE—The DFW planted the lake the previous week and fishing was good for rainbows on the west end piers using worms, salmon eggs, and Power Bait. The planters also attracted some 2- to 6-pound macks into shallower water to feed on the trout. Kokanee trolling was good for those running dodger/hoochies at 50 to 60 feet deep from Loch Leven to China Cove. Hoochies in pink, orange, and chartreuse were all working—just get it to the kokes, they aren’t that picky right now!
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that anglers were still catching rainbows in the North Fork and East Branch on worms and Panther Martins. Jerry Sanchez caught a 5-pound rainbow out of the Caribou Powerhouse—the PG&E upgrades were completed and the lake was reopened.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that trout fishing was still good for shore anglers and trollers. The dam, boat ramp, and Last Chance Creek were all producing rainbows to 17 inches on Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake and Salmon Lake are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trolling and jigging for macks was good at Gold Lake near Rocky Point. The DFW plant will attract a lot of big macks to the stocking site at Gold Lake. Sardine Lake was still producing planter rainbows.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity. With flying ants hatching in the area, the trout plant was very slow. This annual event usually takes a couple of weeks to resolve before the bite gets going again.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Chad Machado at the Carson River Resort reported that fishing was best for shore anglers at the dam on the north end of the lake.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The bite was still good at the Yuba River inlet, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trolling was slow for both macks and rainbows despite metering lots of fish. The DFW plant will attract the macks to the area where the rainbows are stocked for an easy meal.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported that the best trolling was very early—the first couple of hours of the day—and then the bite slowed way down requiring a lot of moving around to find active macks. His Sunday trip produced three 6 to 7 pounders by 8:30 and then it was hunt-and-peck for 3 more missed strikes. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service met up with some tackle reps for a morning in their boat and they caught a few macks and rainbow trolling along the east side from Sand Harbor south.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 86-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that trollers were doing well for rainbows. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service said the bite was wide open for 12- to 13-inch rainbows, and the occasional fish to 16 inches. The fish were on top in the early morning and dropped down to 25 feet deep by mid-morning due to the crystal clear water. Daneman said dodger/brown grub and flasher/worm combos worked well.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 41-percent capacity. The best bet here was the smallmouth bass fishing near the dam on brown jigs and worms.
PYRAMID LAKE—George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported good action for mostly 17- to 20-inch fish trolling watermelon Apex at 30 to 50 feet deep in 40 to 60 feet of water from Monument to Spider Point. His last trip produced limits of keepers including a 7 pounder. He got a hookup while WON was interviewing him on Sunday morning and already had 3 fish in the boat.
RED LAKE—No current reports were available, but try at the dam and the inlet with worms for brookies and cutthroats.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is full. WON Editor Bill Karr made a loop through the area this past week and didn’t see a boat on the lake or a shore angler on the dam. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that one boater he knew fished here this past week. He had 12 strikes, hooked 6 fish, but only landed two 12- to 13-inch rainbows.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Kokanee trolling was great this past week. Pink or chartreuse hoochies fished 5 to 10 feet off the bottom in 40 to 60 feet of water produced the bigger 14- to 15-inch fish, while the 12 inchers were shallower. Smaller macks to 8 pounds were still being found near the kokanee schools. Trout fishing was slow, but smallmouth bass to 6 pounds were hitting in the Davies Creek arm on crawdad imitations.
TOPAZ LAKE—The lake level remained stable. Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported that trollers were picking up limits of 13- to 14-inch rainbows over the deeper water in the middle of the lake. Bass boaters were catching-and-releasing limits of 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-pound smallmouths using worms, jigs and crankbaits in the shallows where the fish were spawning.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Warmer water running in from Lake Tahoe had temps from 56 to 60 degrees. Fishing was good during the week when the rafters weren’t so thick. Caddis, PMD, PED, dark stone, and crawfish patterns were all working. Flows were still slower above the Boca Outlet.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service said the kokanee bite was still good for those trollers willing to put in the time and effort. Run Wild Thing dodgers and orange Hoochie Things and Little Devils at 15 to 30 feet deep at Camino Cove.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The West Walker and Little Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that the river was in “spectacular” condition with good flows and excellent color. Anglers using bait were catching limits of trout running 12 to 14 inches.
AMERICAN RIVER—It looks like Sacramento County will be able to enforce the ban on weapons in the American River Parkway, including spearguns, after all. Signs to that effect will be posted at park entrances, and rangers will be issuing citations to violators. Shad fishing was excellent once again, especially from Sailor Bar Park to Rossmoor Bar. Some outings are producing upwards of 50 shad, and the increase in flows to 1,500 cfs should attract even more shad upriver. Dead-drifting small shad flies in pink and white under indicators on a floating line has been more effective than swinging. Some stripers and a very few steelhead were also being caught.
FOLSOM LAKE—Recreational boating has dramatically ramped up, putting anglers at a disadvantage, especially on weekends. Still, some trout were being caught and so were some nice landlocked king salmon, on weekdays and early in the morning. Troll Speedy Shiners trolled fast and topline nightcrawlers behind flashers for trout, and downrigged hoochies behind dodgers 40 feet deep for salmon Most bass being caught were being taken off rock piles on drop-shotted Robo-worms.
FEATHER RIVER—Some shad were still being caught around Shanghai Bend, but the better bet was steelhead fishing from the Oro Dam Bridge in the Low Flow Section to Palm Ave. They ranged from 1 pound to 7 pounds, and were being caught on small nymphs under indicators.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—A few bass were still being caught, mostly very early and late, but most of the fishing action now is on panfish, especially redeared sunfish.
SACRAMENTO RIVER—Striped bass fishing was surprisingly good from Garcia Bend to Colusa for patient anglers willing to cover a lot of water. They were taking bait like bloodworms, sardines, and pileworms from Verona down to Garcia Bend, while farther upstream, drifted minnows, and lures and flies tossed against rocky shorelines were also effective. Fishing for catfish in the Deep Water Channel, along the river, and Lisbon Slough was been good on clams, crawdads, and nightcrawlers. Shad were being caught from Colusa to Red Bluff.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing continued to be excellent from Redding to Anderson on Glo-Bugs, drifted roe, and small back-trolled small Hot Shots. Fly fishers were dead-drifting pmd’s under indicators.
UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS—Flows continued to drop on the Upper Sac, and wading has increasingly become less challenging. Trout fishing on the McCloud continued to be very good, especially around Ah-Di-Nah campground on nymphs dead-drifted under indicators and tan soft hackles swung on floating and sinktip lines. There has even been some dry fly action late in the evenings. Fly fishers are now finding even better fishing on the Upper Sac as flows continue to drop.
YUBA RIVER—Fishing for trout from 14 to 20 inches was very good once again and the very best way to attract strikes was to drift big hopper-imitating dry flies—just about the very most fun way to fish for trout. Anglers are fishing from the Highway 20 Bridge down to the Daguerre Dam. Though access below the dam is limited to how far an angler can walk, a few guides like Al Barbari, who have launch and take-out access, are catching both shad and trout.