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.
UMPQUA RIVER, OR.,–Farther upriver from the Bay and near the I-5 corridor, the summer season is well on it’s way to being a hot one. Best way to stay cool and have fun is to be drifting the river while fishing for smallmouth bass. This river is putting out dozens of fish to each person on most days. “I saw springer’s jumping the other night at Forks River Park on the west side of Roseburg,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “I was out testing my boat when I heard a big splash off to the side of me. As the river became more shaded a few more jumpers could be seen.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, OR.–Pink fin perch are still being caught in the Bay, but it has been spotty the last week, said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. One day a few boats will return with nice-sized catches and the next day nobody could find a perch, but the crabbing was fare. At the mouth near the south jetty is a wonderful designated crabbing cove for those who have been wanting an easy access spot and don’t have to worry about fishermen being in their way. There have been a couple Chinook’s caught at the mouth of the river. These are probably migrating salmon that are sticking with the baitfish as they come in with the tide.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, OR.–The spring Chinook fishing will end with the month of July. “I am surprised at the quality that some of these salmon are in,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “I witnessed two fish being caught last Friday and the second one was about 25 pounds and still bright. Locals are saying that they are doing very well late evening and many of the fish must be late returning fish, due to the good shape they’re in. Summer steelhead are being caught occasionally by anglers. Swift Water Park on the North Umpqua Highway gives recreationists a great place to hit the river for fishing or walking a maintained trail that follows the river. Mountain biker’s are welcome on this trail as well, but are seldom seen.”
ROGUE RIVER BAY, Gold Beach, OR.—Saturday there was a Chinook caught in the bay while trolling that weighed a little over 30 pounds. It is nice when those first ones show up big. Two other boats had their chances as well, but it just wasn’t meant to be, when one boat lost three salmon and nothing made into the net, according to Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. There have been a half dozen-plus boats trolling the bay lately. I haven’t heard of any banner days yet, but there is the occasional chrome king salmon being caught on this gorgeous river in the Forest Service Section. Lobster Creek Campground has the last boat ramp going upriver until you get to Agness. Halfpounders are being caught at just about any riffle. When talking with a seasonal resident, he showed me his homemade spinner that he has been doing quite well with. It resembled a Panther Martin, so until the salmon start stacking in the Bay, anglers might think about targeting summer steelhead and halfpounders.
RUSSIAN RIVER—The shad are gone, the dams are in, and the river is busy with daytime rafters and swimmers. The only action is on smallmouth bass early and late in the day. Nothing huge here, but you might find the occasional bass of 1 1/2 or 2 pounds.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Trout were still biting salmon fly-imitating nymphs and dries, as well as drifted nightcrawlers, but the river is warming and moss is starting to hamper fishermen. It’s HOT.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Sadly, there’s not much change from last week—not many spring run Chinook salmon entering the river , and anglers still facing warm low flows full of moss and having to clean CV-7 spinners just about every cast.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City—It’s very hot, and very few spring salmon were seen last week. About the only action being reported was in the falls area with perhaps one fisherman out of three catching a salmon on roe or spinners. Moss is also a problem for anglers in the lower end of the river. Some small steelhead and brown trout were providing most of the fishing action.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The topwater bite is picking up with all of the mats forming. Hot weather will send the bass under them for shade. Their average size is dropping, which is normal for this time of year. Anglers can still expect to land a 15- to 20-pound limit of fish if they can land 5 bass. Catfish are being caught on cut bait, minnows and nightcrawlers in the 8- to 12-pound range. Most are in 5 to 8 feet on the upper end of the lake and a little deeper in the other two arms.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The koke bite slowed with dropping water levels, but the king bite picked up. The hot weather will drive fish deeper and put them back into their summer pattern after recent rain. Try Robo Worms for bass during the day trip, 7-inch Berkley Power worms for the night trips in the main body for bass.
LAKE SONOMA—Stay in the “no-ski” zones on the main body to fish for bass without personal watercraft. Dry Creek has produced some nice bass lately. Try a Sammy 128 on points in the morning and drop-shotting Robo Worms on those same points after the sun comes up.
LAKE ALMANOR—The Hex hatch is slowing down. Now it’s onto mooching crickets around Goose Island and the Fox Farm along with trolling.
BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR—Fishing remained a bit slow this past week but Fish and Wildlife planted twice so there are fish here, especially German browns. More than anything, it is the over abundance of chubs that is hurting the bite here.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported the best bite is still in the morning and then the action picks up around sunset. The action has been good during both times for rainbow trout and even a few brown trout.
BUCKS LAKE—Expect good light tackle action in the creeks for mostly rainbow trout and a few browns and kokes. Out in the middle there are still some big macks if you can find them.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported the bite on parts of the forebay were hot this past week with reports of a lot of big fish taken. Pressure above the canal was the heaviest with the canal and forebay a bit lighter. Worms and floating baits were the top takers, but fly fishermen did well on nymph patterns as well.
FALL RIVER—Warm days are bringing on the Hex hatches. As things heat up, so is the fishing here.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Rim Rock Ranch reported most were catching fish, especially if they spent time exploring the creek for new holes to fish. Fish and Wildlife is still planting twice a week and add a beefed up plant this week, including some whopper brookies and or rainbows. Panther Martins were hot, as were gold label glitter Pautzke salmon eggs. There were still reports of some big fish being caught, but not as many lately. Fire Bait was also getting some takers. Expect a busy weekend with lots of good fishing and good weather to top it off.
PIT RIVER—Fishing slowed with the rain, but fish are there, so stick with a run for a few fish.
MANZANITA LAKE— Rim Rock Ranch reported average fishing with some better topwater action in the afternoon. Temperatures have risen dramatically, which should help produce better hatches early morning and late evening. 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, but crowded on weekends, especially this holiday weekend you can expect a big crowd.
SHASTA LAKE—Trolling the I-5 Bridge area again was good for a few fish as the bite was good, but not red hot. Guide Mike Elster said he had limits from 18 inches to 2 plus pounds. Digger Bay was slow as was Dry Creek, but O’Brien produced a few trout as well as some nice spotted bass. WON reader Mike Krause said there was a good catfish bite by the houseboats.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR–Trolling on the right side of bridge in 40 to 60 feet of water with a pink pear Apex, a UV pink Apex, a pink Hoochie behind Sling Blades was working on 13- and 14-inch koke limits in 3 1/2 hours for Mike Elster.
BERKELEY—California Dawn ran salmon trips and Bay trips with good success on both. For example, one trip yielded 15 halibut and striped bass for 16 people. Berkeley Charter Boats fished salmon from Point Reyes to the Farallon Islands, averaging between 1 and 1.5 fish per rod.
BODEGA BAY—New Sea Angler had a great week of fishing. The daily counts included frequent use of the word, “limits”, referring to salmon, rockfish (and even lingcod on one day) and crabs (before the closure). Mike Kennedy of Fairfield took the big salmon of the week, a 31 pounder. Dan Sutterfield of Sacramento hooked the biggest lingcod, a 17 pounder. The salmon fishing was wide open right out in front of harbor and PBers were into the action within 15 minutes of launching.
CROCKETT—Flurries of striped bass action highlighted shore fishing. Most of the fish were 16 to 18 inches but some were up over 20 inches.
EMERYVILLE—Excellent salmon fishing continued, with boats bringing up fish over 30 pounds (a 38-pounder aboard the New Salmon Queen) and an average of about 18 pounds. The landing is now running a couple of Bay trips per week.
EUREKA—Epic salmon fishing continues with easy limits for 3 weeks straight. Anytime the weather allows fishing, boats make it out to haul in salmon. After early limits, boaters ran out to 300-foot depths and drifted for Pacific halibut to 65 pounds.
FORT BRAGG—Salmon bit like crazy over the weekend, right out in front of the harbor. A 10.91-inch abalone took over the lead in Subsurface Progression’s abalone tournament. Rockfish, cabezon and lingcod came to hook for anglers along the jetty and at Jug Hangle State Park.
MARTINEZ—Fishing improved with bass biting along the Martinez breakwater. Sturgeon fishers found their quarry ranging from Benicia Bridge to the Mothball Fleet.
PACIFICA/HALF MOON BAY—Striped bass to 22 pounds gave surf fishers a great deal of action, right at the base of the pier in Pacifica. In Half Moon Bay, crab snare casters enjoyed a final week of success before the season closed June 30. Que Sera Sera found easy limits of rockfish, while the Riptide and Queen of Hearts had mixed duty including salmon.
SHELTER COVE—Surf fishers did better than boaters early in the week when brown water offshore hampered action on both rockfish and salmon. The water cleared up by the weekend and salmon action went from one or two per boat to limit-style action all around. Sea Hawk scored limits of salmon to 30 pounds.
AMERICAN RIVER— Almost everybody has abandoned shad fishing, but there were still some catches being made in the evening. There were lots of bait-stealing, too-small-to-keep striped bass that Uncle Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle encountered fishing the lower end of the American, but he did manage one 21-inch keeper. A very few larger fish, some weighing 10 pounds, were being caught up and down the American on swimbaits, Pencil Poppers and even Clouser-type streamers.
FEATHER RIVER–Most of the talk fishing-wise on the Feather River has been about the big numbers of salmon being seen. A few steelhead continued to be caught in the Low Flow Section, and down to Palm Ave.
FOLSOM LAKE–Fishing for trout continued to be very good, and the occasional landlocked king salmon was also being caught. John Enos of Big John’s Guide Service and Jerry Lampkin of TNG Motorsports Guide Service were both doing well, and scoring limits for clients. Troll Speedy Shiners and Rapalas slathered with scent from 25 to 40 feet deep. Bass are moving deeper as the lake is now dropping. Slowly work drop-shotted Robo-Worms and weightless Senkos over rock piles and around brush, which will soon be high and dry.
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—Fishing for shaker-sized striped bass provided lots of action but few legal (greater than 18 inches) fish. It’s around ten shakers to every keeper, which is likely to be no more than 21 inches long. Courtland, So. River Road, and Miller Park continued to be the best spots. Fishing for catfish to about 5 pounds continued to be good in slow spots on the main river, the Deep Water Channel and in Sutter Slough.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Flows have increased to around 14,000 cfs, and fat trout to 20 inches were still being caught on Glo-Bugs, nightcrawlers, and crickets. Fly fishers were at a disadvantage, but were getting a few dead-drifting pmd’s under indicators.
UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS—Fishing has transitioned into summer conditions and was characterized as “fair” by Bob Grace of Ted Fay Fly Shop. The best odds have been around Dunsmuir where trout are planted. The best area for fly anglers has been from Pollard Flat to Sims. The fish have been small, however. On the McCloud, fish have been small and the best fishing has been around Ash Camp. Trout average 12 inches, and it’s summer flows right now.
YUBA RIVER—Shad have disappeared, but dry fly fishing for trout has been good, from the Highway 20 Bridge to Daguerre Dam. Nymphing under indicators has been effective, but trout attacking dry flies that imitate hoppers has been a kick.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 74-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The lake was scheduled to be stocked this past week, but apparently a truck broke down or something—who knows? Still no change here with the hot weather–lots of recreational boat traffic make an early morning mid-week visit the best chance at catching a fish at the dam or the inlet. If the lake does get stocked, check around the boat ramp for planters.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is full. Fishing was very good after the Kirkwood PUD stocked 800 pounds of 2 1/2- to 3-pound rainbows and a load of catchables this past week. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that shore anglers and trollers were all doing well near the marina.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Markleeville Creek and Silver Creek are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. A thunderstorm and landslide muddied up the East Carson but it quickly cleared and fishing was good before the weekend. Anglers were catching mixed limits of cutthroats and rainbows from 9 to 18 inches on salmon eggs and worms. The West Carson was fishing well near the bridges.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Trollers, shore anglers, and flyfishermen were all catching fish this past week, despite thunderstorms and rain early in the week and a heat wave by week’s end. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported trollers were picking up limits of mostly 12- to 13-inch DFW planters along with an occasional 18-inch holdover rainbow on Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons at 12 to 15 feet deep from Lightning Tree to Fairview. Shore fishing or anchoring a boat at Fairview was producing some nice trout and a few catfish using worms. Flyfishermen were catching rainbows to 18 inches during a good damsel hatch at Jenkins.
DONNER LAKE—With the heat and fishing pressure, the trout bite slowed on the west end of the lake and small kokanee were still being caught by trollers working from Loch Levon to China Cove at 50 to 60 feet deep with dodger/hoochies.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that the few anglers in the area were still catching limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows on worms and salmon eggs. The USFS campgrounds along the North Fork are open and not crowded—come on up for a peaceful weekend.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishermen were picking up some limits of rainbows at Lunker Point on Power Bait. Trollers were doing well between the Frenchman ramp and Crystal Point on flasher/worm combos.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trollers were picking up the occasional mack to 7 pounds at Gold Lake running white streamers and blue/silver Rapalas from 10 to 30 feet deep in the early morning along the west side. Salmon, Sardine, Snag, and Packer Lake were all kicking out easy limits of planters on Power Bait.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 86-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trollers running a dodger/spinner or threaded nightcrawler were picking up limits of planter rainbows at 20 to 25 feet deep.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Chad Machado at the Carson River Resort reported that boaters toplining Kastmasters and Super Dupers were picking up some rainbows to 3 pounds. With the heat, shore fishing was slow.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports still recommended trolling the west side of the lake from the inlet to the dam for nice rainbows on flasher or dodger/treaded nightcrawlers and Rapalas.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week and anglers were picking up limits of 8- to 12-inch rainbows at the boat ramp and first dam on worms and Power Bait.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported that the early morning bite was excellent with limits of 5- to 9-pound macks coming by 6:30 to 7 a.m. from 300 feet deep at Tahoe City. After picking up limits of macks, Self was moving into shallower water to troll for rainbows—his last trip produced two 14- to 15-inch rainbows and a 12-inch kokanee. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners was doing well on macks and kokanee trolling from Rubicon to Sugar Pine Point. The 3- to 6-pound macks were hitting ThunderSticks and Laxee spoons at 85 to 140 feet deep, but bigger numbers were taken jigging a Williamson Benthos tipped with a minnow. The kokanee bite slowed during the Super Moon but was improving on a silver flasher/red Dick Nite for 12-inch salmon at 25 to 55 feet deep—find a school and circle them until the bite stops.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 85-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trollers were still doing very well on planter rainbows on dodger/grub or a single grub in the top 20 feet. With the heat, as the water temp approaches 70 degrees, the fishing will slow—the temp was currently 65 degrees.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. This lake was scheduled for a plant this last week also, but it didn’t get done for some reason—try, try again! The smallmouth bass fishing was still the best bet in the early morning along the dam and rocky points on jigs, tubes, and worms.
PYRAMID LAKE—The trout season ended with a bang as predicted. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters picked up 32 and 27 cutthroats on his last two trips to 26 inches. Mendes said he had metered big schools of perch at the Needle and Hell’s Kitchen and expected an excellent summer fishing season. A boat out on Sunday picked up 11 perch weighing 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each at Hell’s Kitchen on crappie jigs rigged on 4-pound test.
RED LAKE—Caples Lake Resort reported that shore anglers were picking up lots of small cutthroats at the dam on worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Fishing was good after the Kirkwood PUD stocked 675 pounds of 2 1/2- to 3-pound rainbows and catchables. Shore anglers and trollers were doing well.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The best quality kokanee were still near the bottom in 60 to 70 feet of water in the early morning on dodger/hoochies in orange and pink. With the blazing hot temps, fish early or late and avoid the mid-day doldrums. Look for trout along the shores from the boat ramp to the Sagehen arm.
TOPAZ LAKE—Hot weather and heavy boat traffic made fishing a tough proposition here this past week despite some thunderstorm activity.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The Little Truckee River along Hwy. 89 is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that the main river from above Truckee down into the canyon was fishing well in the faster pockets and big runs with deep pools using crawdads, San Juan Worms, PTs, stones, and green or tan caddis pupa. There was some sporadic dry fly activity just before dark on caddis and the occasional green drake.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 88-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The kokanee trolling was tough. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service took DFW biologist Kasie Barnes out to collect kokanee and macks and managed to catch a limit of 6- to 14-inch kokes and a 3 1/2-pound mack. The kokes hit a Wild Thing Dodger/Hoochie Thing tipped with corn at 30 to 55 feet deep. The mack was caught on a 90-foot deep flat on an Apex.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Fishing was good, according to the Toiyabe Motel. Anglers were picking up limits of rainbows with some big fish running 3 to 6 pounds on nightcrawlers and Panther Martin spinners. The North Mono Chamber of Commerce will release 750 pounds of 4- to 6-pound rainbows next week to support the “How Big is Big” Trout Derby which started July 1 and runs until July 31. Check at the Walker General Store for more derby info or call 530-495-2911.
AMERICAN RIVER—With scorching day-time temps, hit the deeper pools in the morning or late afternoon. The river was running low and clear when locals hiked down into the Middle Fork this past week and caught rainbows and browns ranging from 14 to 22 inches.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake was at 77-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that fishing was very slow due to very heavy recreational boat traffic.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake level is being drawn down to do some work on the powerhouse this next month. The launch ramp could be out of the water in a couple of weeks. A 10-pound plus catfish was taken while night fishing by a young boy—with heavy day-time recreational boat traffic, night fishing is probably the best bet. Call ahead for launch ramp conditions at 530-633-0803.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 13 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort reported that the hot weather and recreational boat traffic had slowed the fishing. Trout were still hitting for shore anglers and trollers with some limits seen this past week. Trollers were getting out early in the morning and running lures 25 to 30 feet deep near the dam and over the channel above the powerlines. Shore anglers did best at the dam and the bridge during the day and off the rental docks at night.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina reported that fishing was slow due to the heavy recreational boat traffic. For the best chance at scoring on a nice rainbow, get out early in the morning mid-week and troll a dodger/worm. One troller reported picking up an 18-inch rainbow near Keystone Cove. Bass were much more active in the marina and striking at jerkbaits.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that fishing was slow due to the hot weather. Get out early or late and troll deep at the dam for the best chance at success.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was slow with the hot weather. Canoeists and kayakers making it up to the inlet might find some action in the early morning.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that extremely heavy weekend recreational boat traffic slowed the bass bite. The reaction bite was still pretty good during the week using small swimbaits, lipless cranks, and topwater in the early morning. Mid-day the bite was very slow. Gandolfi said 30 to 40 fish days were possible when finding cooler water up in the river arms. Huge bait balls were seen in the water column from the top to 40 feet deep. Coho salmon were still being caught from the dam to the Green Bridge on dodger/hoochies combos at 30 to 60 feet deep—the best bite was early in the morning mid-week while avoiding the recreational boat traffic.
ROLLINS LAKE—The water level has dropped low enough to expose the sandbar at Greenhorn and some boaters have run aground—use caution when running at high speed!! Fishing slowed with the heavy recreational boat traffic and the hot weather.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Trollers were still picking up near limits of 14- to 16-inch rainbows running flasher/worm combos 35 to 40 feet deep at the Cascade Shores end of the dam. A large brown trout was reportedly taken by a troller, but no specifics were available at press time
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The hot weather slowed the fishing. Get out early for the best chance at catching a holdover rainbow either from the shore or trolling.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, the camp host reported that the campgrounds were full, but the hot weather kept most fishermen in camp trying to stay cool. Shore fishermen and trollers getting out in the early morning were still picking up a few rainbows.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 132.6-foot elevation at press time—75-percent capacity. At this level, the tules banks were back in the water. With this hot weather, the frog bite could be good on the tules and grass mats in the coves. Watch out for recreational boat traffic!!