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.–It has been extremely windy this last week, making it difficult to launch boats at the Port, but surprisingly the wind wasn’t as terrible on the Rogue Bay, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Salmon fishing has been consistent during the last 7 days. On most days there have been a couple Chinooks caught that weighed 30 pounds or more. Even the small salmon are quite large for their length. “I caught one of these oversized jacks, as I like to call them on Sunday afternoon,” Palmer said. “With the length from snout to tip of tail being only 24 inches, it was almost as deep from dorsal fin down to its belly, making this fish look very close to being square shaped instead of the football shape we are use to seeing with fat Chinooks.” By the end of the weekend there was a good number of chrome kings wandering the bay. The temperature of the bay during high tide was 70.6 on the flats by the Coast Guard Station.
RUSSIAN RIVER—If you can find a stretch of river that’s not being played in, rafted on, or roiled by swimmers and rafters you can find some decent smallmouth bass action on minnow-imitating lures. Or, get out early or late in the day before the water-users are out.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—The water and air have continued to warm, and fishing has slowed.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—The water is still warm and mossy, although the moss seemed to lessen a bit. Salmon seem to be moving in and out of the mouth rather than heading upstream. But, some summer steelhead have started to enter the river in good numbers and were being caught on roe around Blue Creek. There may be another disaster looming for salmon and steelhead, though, much like the previous massive kill in low warm flows. Dead baby salmon are showing up in increasing numbers along the banks at Klamath Glen.
TRINITY RIVER—Salmon fishing improved a bit last week, and the salmon counts at the weir are increasing, indicating more fish are moving upstream. There aren’t a lot of fish yet, especially above Junction City, but if an angler is willing to move around and prospect for fish, he/she has a decent chance of tangling with a big, bright springer. Moss is a problem for anglers in the lower end of the river around Hoopa, but from Burnt Ranch upstream, anglers have a decent chance of intercepting a salmon or two. Some small steelhead and brown trout were also providing some action.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The topwater bite is picking up with all of the mats forming. The best bet right now is to start early with topwater baits and as that bite slows down switch to Carolina rigs or shaky head worms through late morning.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The water levels aren’t dropping as fast now, so the overall bite improved a bit. Rich Crispi of TW Fishing Guide Service suggested trying for kokes with Uncle Larry’s copper red, white and blue spinners or the red, white and blue tiger spinner behind a copper dodger. Fishing has been a little on the slower side still and definitely a hit or miss. Try Robo Worms for bass during the day trip, or use 7-inch Berkley Power worms for the night trips in the main body for bass.
LAKE SONOMA—With warm temperatures, the personal watercraft and wake boarders hit the lake pretty hard. But use those mud lines the wakes make in the afternoon and cover water with spinnerbaits or a LuckyCraft BDS in Lake Fork shad color for bass that are chasing shad.
LAKE ALMANOR—Hit it right and it’s good. Try Big Springs before 8:00 a.m. Mooching anchovy tails or trolling the Fox Farm to Bunell Point.
BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR—Pansized brown trout are the norm right now, but fishing has only been fair. Until the shiner/chub overpopulation is addressed this body of water may never be what it once was, as there is too much completion for food. Plants of lots of large trout may be one solution to bring this excess of baitfish under control, according to Rim Rock Ranch.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported the best bite is still in the morning and then the action picks up around sunset as it is hot during the day. The action has been good during both times for rainbow trout and even a few brown trout.
BUCKS LAKE—Light tackle action in the creeks has been good 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 the forebay was good to excellent from day to day. Kastmasters and floating bait took a lot of fish. As with most sections of Hat creek this year, the number of fishermen is down, so creek pressure is lighter than usual. Fly fishing above the diversion dam was the best with topwater action being good to excellent.
EAGLE LAKE—The fishing picked up a little with cooler temperatures. Eagle’s Nest at first light produced trout averaging 2 pounds but up to 3 pounds on threaded nightcrawlers. Anchor in 55 feet of water with the bait down 25 to 30 feet.
FALL RIVER—Warm days are bringing on the evening Hex hatches. As things heat up so has the fishing here.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing over the holiday weekend was, for the most part, excellent. Campers fished heavily from Wednesday through Friday and then a lot of them broke camp and left on Saturday. The area experienced a little thunder and lightning on Wednesday and then the weather was for the most part excellent. Lots of 3- to 5-pound brookies were caught throughout the week as Fish and Wildlife made multiple plants to accommodate the huge influx of fishermen during this busy week. Why folks picked up and left on Saturday is a mystery, as this weekend was less crowded than most holiday weekends. Worms ruled the week, as the majority of the fish plants appeared to be brookies. Pressure on Hat Creek has been much lighter than usual this year, so expect the fishing to remain excellent as the summer unfolds.
PIT RIVER—Fishing reports range from poor to great depending on an angler’s ability to handle the heat.
MANZANITA LAKE— Rim Rock Ranch did not have a lot of reports, but word is that the bite is improving. Still not a lot of big fish coming being caught and released, but with temperatures stabilizing the hatches are starting to improve as should the fishing. Brassies and midge patterns as well as callibaetis cripples all took fish. 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. You can expect a big crowd now that the word is out.
SHASTA LAKE—Guide Mike Elster said with the lake dropping, as well as warming up, try to stay over the channels and work in depths from 40 to 80 feet for trout and from 120 feet and deeper for salmon.
BERKELEY—High counts of high-grade rockfish and lingcod highlighted trips run by Sep Hendrickson and Penn University aboard California Dawn. Berkeley charter boats were hampered by wind during the week, but made up for it on the weekend with better than a salmon-per-rod action and a 20-pound average. Happy Hooker spent the week exploring varied fisheries inside and outside of the Gate and came away with solid fish counts.
BODEGA BAY—The best salmon bite in memory was no farther away than a couple of miles from Harbor. Shore anglers remain hopeful for a salmon from the jetty, but it hasn’t yet happened. Reel-lentless and New Sea Angler scored quick easy limits of salmon and in one case ran two limit trips in one day. Sunday the New Sea Angler scored near limits or rockfish, then limits of salmon for a charter.
EMERYVILLE—Salmon, salmon and more salmon is the short version of the fishing report for Emeryville boats with fish over 30 pounds boated. Some trips featured rockfish action and lingcod to 14 pounds.
EUREKA—Any weather window would do to procure limits or near-limits of salmon. Reel Steel limited out for all passengers by 9:45 a.m. Shellback reported catches of Pacific halibut to 60 pounds in addition to limits of salmon. Jetty fishers were out in force to catch rockfish, perch, cabezon and greenling.
FORT BRAGG—Awesome salmon fishing was reported, however high seas kept small boats in the harbor. Party boats were able to make it out and scored limits. Rockfish came willingly from Casper State Beach below town. Three keeper lings to 26 inches were weighed in by jetty fishers who also caught greenling and rockfish. Noyo Fishing Center is giving out free fish descenders to help release canary and yelloweye rockfish.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Rockfish proved plentiful from 3 Rocks to Pescadero. Huli Cat and boats from Half Moon Bay Sportfishing scored limit counts of blues, blacks, yellowtail, copper and other rockfish. Salmon trips produced 1/2 fish per rod to well over a fish per rod, with some limits reported. Striped bass continued to gulp baits and lures along the shore near Pacifica.
PORT SONOMA—Napa River was best for stripers, though a few were caught in Sonoma Creek. Petaluma River anglers brought in a few sturgeon, but bat rays dominated the scene. San Pablo Bay boaters brought up limited counts of bass and sturgeon and a mid-week halibut bite buoyed spirits. Boaters heading up to Martinez and Suisun Bay battled bass and sturgeon.
SAN FRANCISCO—Great salmon fishing (great, both in terms of quantity and quality) kept Fisherman’s Wharf and Emeryville fleets busy all week. Very few Bay potluck trips were run, however the nice live bait available in the receivers helped hook some hefty halibut.
SHELTER COVE—Boaters began returning to ramp by mid-to-late morning with limits of salmon. With such easy pickings, some boats stayed out to add limits of rockfish. Sea Hawk ran two half-day trips and limited out on salmon for everyone.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 74-percent capacity and scheduled again for a DFW trout plant this week. With very low releases from Stampede coming down the Little Truckee, and extremely heavy recreational boat traffic during the day, fishing was slow at best. Try at first light at the dam for a chance at a nice rainbow or brown.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is full and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Nearby Kirkwood Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant also. Trolling was very good after the Kirkwood PUD plant. Joe Rizzo of Daly City caught a limit of 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-pound rainbows in 2 hours trolling a copper dodger and threaded nightcrawler. Cody and Jaime Clos landed big limits on worms at Emigrant Bay—all 3 to 4 1/2 pounders. Strong winds caused problems for boaters over the weekend.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Alpine County is scheduled to stock another 1800 pounds of 3-pound average rainbows into the East and West Carson this week. The Carson River Resort reported that fishing was good for rainbows to 2 pounds. One flyfishermen reported catching 73 trout in 2 days. Todd Sodaro reported fishing the West Fork this past week and landing lots of small DFW cutthroats, plus 3 1/4- and 4 1/4-pound rainbows on salmon eggs.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Trolling was good while flyfishing and shore action slowed. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trollers were still catching limits using No. 1 copper/red head Dick Nites from the island to the dam. The bigger holdover fish were holding at 20 to 25 feet deep while the small DFW planters were shallower. Shore fishing at Fairview was slow for trout, but improving for catfish. Flyfishing was sporadic using indicator/nymphs at Jenkins, Camp 5, and Fairview with 3 fish a good day.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 93-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Fishing was consistently inconsistent here this past week, according to Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports. If you happened to be in the right place at the right time, you could catch a bunch of rainbows as a school moved through your area. Boaters were doing well jigging for macks in 80 to 100 feet of water. Trollers were doing well on smaller macks on the shelves from Loch Levon Lodge to the ramp at 50 to 80 feet deep with Rapalas and Rebels. 11- to 13-inch kokanee were still hitting dodger/hoochies from Loch Levon to China Cove.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Heavy thunderstorms triggered a landslide this past week that muddied up the North Fork and blew out the fishing. Some fish were taken in the East Branch above the confluence with the North Fork.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that fishing was good for rainbow trout and catfish using nightcrawlers. Shore anglers were doing well at Crystal Point and the dam. Boaters were anchoring off both locations and scoring well for both species also.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake and Upper Salmon Lake are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Mark Tieslau from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden jigged Buzz Bombs at Gold Lake for 2 hours and caught 6 macks to 5 pounds off the shelf in front of Rocky Point. Salmon, Sardine, Packer, and Snag were all fishing well on Power Bait and worms.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 84-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trolling was sporadic for scattered rainbows at 20 to 35 feet deep using dodger/worm combos.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Boaters were doing better than the shore fishermen in deeper water in the channel near the dam.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The trolling was still best along the west shore from the inlet to the dam—some big browns have been caught recently in the early morning
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported that fishing was good from shore and boat. Shore angers did well at the first dam with Power Bait and worms. Some boaters anchored off the first dam and used bait. Trollers were picking up lots of fish and releasing the extras over their limits.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported that trolling for macks was tough, but limits were possible with some work. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners was doing well jigging for limits of macks, and picking up a few kokanee trolling from Emerald Bay to Camp Richardson. Self was picking up limits of 2- to 10-pound macks trolling from 90 to 400 feet deep. The best bite was during the first 45 to 90 minutes of the morning then things got tough from Crystal Point to Dollar Point. Nielsen was starting at Tahoe City and working all the way down the west side of the lake looking for active groups of macks from 90 to 220 feet deep. He said the most consistent action was coming at 130 feet deep on the Williamson Benthos jig tipped with a minnow producing limits of keepers, plus several fish released and many more missed bites. The kokanee bite had slowed, but should pick back up on silver flasher/hoochies or small spoons at 30 to 60 feet deep.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Strong winds hampered fishing this past week. Trolling should be good when the weather calms, using dodger/grub or worm combos in the top 20 feet.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity and again scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Anglers were seen picking up a mix of trout and smallmouth bass off the dam in the early morning. Get out early and fish the Hobart Mills area in the Prosser Creek arm where the channel comes closest to the shore for a chance at a holdover rainbow.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters had a phenomenal day jigging for perch, but wound up catching 65 cutthroats from 3 1/2 to 17 1/2 pounds for 9 anglers. The fish all hit 3/8-ounce red/white marabou jigs at 10 to 12 feet deep on the east side of the Needles. The catch included the 17 1/2, a 13, two 12’s, two 10’s, and a bunch of 6 to 8 pounders. The Sacramento perch run 1 to 2 pounds. All trout caught incidental to perch fishing must be released unless you are a registered Paiute tribal member, then fish can be kept for sustenance.
RED LAKE—Try at the dam for a mix of brookies and cutthroats using worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 90-percent capacity. The lake was loaded with shore anglers and boaters over the holiday weekend, but little was reported about fishing success.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. There are a lot of fish everywhere around this lake. The whole shoreline was producing rainbows on Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers were picking up 2- to 6-pound macks in deep water on Rapalas and Apex or Kwikfish. 11- to 13-inch kokanee were hitting all day long in deeper water around the island on dodger/hoochies.
TOPAZ LAKE—Due to low water levels, Topaz Landing Marina will be closed by the end of this week. The rental fleet will be pulled out of the water and docks will be sitting on mud soon. The county park will have limited launching available, mostly off the shore due to the drop-off at the end of the concrete ramp. Call Topaz Landing Marina for info at 775-266-3550. A large 20,000-acre wildfire was burning from Gardnerville toward Carson City this past weekend.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that flyfishing was good in the faster pocket water from Truckee to Stateline. With reduced flows coming out of the Boca Outlet, flows were down to 400 to 500 cfs below Boca to Farad. Fish a big black stone with a size 16 to 18 PMD in faster water. Try little yellow stones and caddis in the late afternoon keeping an eye open for dry activity in the evening.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trolling here was still tough. A friend of Neeser’s was at the lake when WON called on Sunday and he had only caught one nice kokanee. The kokes are scattered all over the lake in small groups and it’s hard to locate active, biting fish.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plant s this week. The North Mono Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to stock 750 pounds of 4- to 6-pound rainbows in the West Walker this week to support the “How Big is Big” Trout Derby. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing was good for DFW planters—8- to 12-inch rainbows—and a few Mono County stockers. One flyfisherman reported catching-and-releasing 40 trout in one day.
AMERICAN RIVER— It’s all down to striper fishing, which has been good since flows have increased to 3,500 cfs. Stripers to 10 pounds were being caught throughout the length of the river on crawdads, minnows, swimbaits, Pencil Poppers and even Clouser-type streamers.
FEATHER RIVER–Most of the talk fishing-wise on the Feather River has been about the upcoming opener and the big numbers of salmon. Flows have increased to 5,500 cfs. A few steelhead continued to be caught in the Low Flow Section, and down to Palm Ave.
FOLSOM LAKE–Fishing for trout and even a few nice landlocked king salmon continued to be very good. The water continues to warm up, so troll deeper. Use Speedy Shiners and Rapalas slathered with scent to 65 feet deep. Bass continued to move deeper as the lake continues to drop. Use 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. Keepers aren’t much more than 20 inches. Most anglers are staying home until the salmon opener on July 16, which is looking to be very good, but crowded. It’s around 10 shakers to every keeper, which is likely to be no more than 21 inches long. The best odds for a keeper striper are Courtland, So. River Road, and Miller Park. 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 trout fishing slowed a bit, but some 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. 12 inches, summer flows right now.
YUBA RIVER—Hopper fishing for native trout continued to be great, and evenings better yet. Fish are also being caught on swinging soft hackles on floating lines.
AMERICAN RIVER—Hikers making the effort to get down to the Middle Fork near Georgetown were rewarded with good catches of nice rainbows that hit worms in the deeper pools.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. The record heat wave this past week brought the recreational boaters out in droves. The fishing was slow at best.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Kathy DeRossett at North Shore Resort reported that small bass were still hitting in the Bear River and Rock Creek arms. The recreational boat traffic was very heavy this past week with the record temps.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 15 feet from full. Fishing was good this past week despite the heat. Bass fishing was good for several anglers. Mark Zaski caught a personal best 7 pounder on minnows. Adam Santos of Castro Valley picked a 6 1/2-pound bass on a spinnerbait near the bridge. Trolling or night fishing was best for trout. Molly Purvis landed a 4-pound rainbows on a Rapala trolled over the channel while Rebecca McIntosh topped the week with a 6-pound rainbow that came off the rental dock at night. Good numbers of slab crappie were hitting minnows.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Trout fishing was fair with the high day-time temps. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported that trollers and bait drifters were still picking up some nice rainbows running 14 to 22 inches up past Black’s Ravine in the cooler water using worms, Power Bait, Kastmasters and Rapalas.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—Trout fishing was slow with the hot weather this past week. John Wadden at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were still picking up a few 12- to 14-inch rainbows on dodger/threaded nightcrawler combos at the creek inlet near the dam.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—Fishing was fair at best with the hot weather this past week. John Wadden at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that one troller picked up a couple of kokanee on pink hoochie/chrome dodger combos at 20 to 40 feet deep at the powerhouse. A few macks were hitting watermelon Apex lures trolled 80 to 100 feet deep at the dam.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that fishing was still good for bass in the early morning. Coho salmon trolling was good from the dam to the Green Bridge. Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was good very early in the morning using Spooks and buzzbaits, then as the sun hit the water the bass transitioned over to lipless cranks fished around ambush points and rock walls. By late morning the better fish were hitting Senkos and dart-head worms at 30 to 50 feet deep off the points. Look for cooler water up in the North Fork and Middle Fork for the best action. Coho salmon trolling was good for John Cadient of Auburn who fished with Charlie Williams this last weekend. Cadient caught a limit of coho using dodger/white hoochie combos at 50 feet deep at the Green Bridge. The fish measured 17 inches to 4.8 pounds.
ROLLINS LAKE—Long Ravine Resort reported that fishing was slow due to the extremely heavy recreational boat traffic over the holiday weekend.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that trollers were picking up limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows in the early morning running flasher/worm combos at the Cascade Shore end of the dam. Caldwell saw shore anglers with 5 rainbows to 16 inches at the dam—the fish hit worms. Bass fishing was slow.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The hot weather slowed the fishing. Get out early at first light for the best chance at picking up a holdover rainbow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The campgrounds were full over the holiday weekend, but a few rainbows were still being caught by trollers working deeper water with flasher/worm combos.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.2-foot elevation—86-percent capacity. Fishing was slow over the holiday weekend with heavy recreational boat traffic. After the lake calms down, guide Ron Gandolfi recommended throwing buzzbaits and Spooks to the tule banks in the very early morning, then pitching spinnerbaits and Senkos to the front edge of the tules in the coves after the sun hit the water. In the late afternoon, Gandolfi suggested throwing frogs to the tule banks and grass mats.