TRINITY RESERVOIR—A new pending record landlocked king was caught on Tuesday. The fish weighed in at 20.95 pounds measured 35 1/8 inches and was caught by Redding resident Sally Nachreiner in the Papoose Arm pulling sardines in 50 feet of water.
LAKE TAHOE—The CA/NV state record kokanee was caught on a Tahoe Sportfishing charter boat this past Saturday by Bill Brush of Nevada City—a 5-pound 3.2-ounce, 25-inch lunker. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners was still doing well on limits of macks jigging Williamson Benthos jigs at 100 to 175 feet deep from Tahoe City to Rubicon Bay. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter was picking up a few nice macks from 3 to 9 pounds trolling 120 to 400 feet deep in the first hour of the morning.
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, Ore.–After a couple of weeks of little action and no movement by salmon up the river, things changed last week, and the kings made a run! Guide Bill Divens of Salmon King Lodge saw a big move of fish up the river one evening and intercepted them the next morning when wife, Julie, nailed one over 30 pounds! Action in the Bay also picked up for trollers, according to Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, and some boats landed as many as 3. Prior to that, there were lots of salmon in the Bay, but little action.
RUSSIAN RIVER—The only people over here are rafters, kayakers and swimmers. Anyone fishing is over in Bodega Bay, slaying the king salmon, in one of the best seasons in memory!
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.—Salmon fishing was good last week from Windy Bend upriver to the Hwy. 101 bridge, and it appears the fall run has begun, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Currently, most of the fishermen are downriver at Winchester Bay where anglers are running over the bar and fishing in the ocean when they can or are fishing the jetties, he said. The Umpqua Bar may be the best opportunity to catch a few Chinooks on the incoming tide. Reports are saying that the salt kings have been close to shore and have been known to follow baitfish into the mouth of the river. There have been salmon caught every day and locals are optimistic about the upcoming season. Tune marine radios to US Coast Guard for restrictions on boats wanting to fish the jetties. Palmer said that upriver nearly 100 miles, smallmouth bass anglers are finding good success. Fly anglers and bait fisherman are catching as many of these fish as is humanly possible in a day’s time. One of the more popular boat drifts is from the Umpqua boat ramp downstream.
WINCHESTER BAY, Ore.—Anglers have been doing quite well over the last week in the mornings for Chinook. Early morning is usually the best time to go fishing due to afternoon winds that are known for appearing. This was Oregon’s No. 2 port for salmon caught in 2012, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—The moss has died off, but clarity was slightly hampered by an algae bloom. The steelhead bite at Blue Creek slowed a bit later in the week, as well, after great fishing earlier in the week. However, the news was mostly upbeat with more and more salmon showing up in the estuary, and the steelhead fishing still pretty good, even it is no longer “off the hook.” More good news is that there will be a release of cold water down the Trinity starting in mid-August to stave off a fish kill like that occurred in 2002.
TRINITY RIVER—Salmon fishing was tough last week because of extremely hot air temperatures that make fishing almost impossible except in the earliest of hours. The water is low at 450 cfs, and only a few salmon were being caught very early in the a.m. Fish the deeper holes for a chance at a bite using roe/tuna ball combos. Some dead salmon are being seen along the shorelines. Hopefully the cool water flush coming in August will be enough and in time to ward off a major fish kill.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Head to the southern arms where the better water has been found, but don’t expect to be alone. Look for early topwater action in the shallows until the sun hits the water and then start moving out to deeper and steeper areas of rock with drop-shot worms, jigs, Texas and Carolina rigged Brush Hawgs doing the trick. Some big catfish were taking minnows and nightcrawlers.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The Ranch House in 75 feet of water fishing towards the bottom was productive for a mix of kokes and trout that are going deeper with the heat. Try Rocky Mountain Tackle ( RMT) in 5.5 Hyper Plaid, Bahama Mama dodgers with RMT squids, Uncle Larry’s spinners, Apex spoons and Pautzke red/pink Con O’corn with liquid krill. Down by the dam, use rolled shad for kings from 70 to 140 feet. For bass, fish the west shore of the main body in 15 to 20 feet with assorted 6-inch Robo Worms.
LAKE SONOMA—Fish the mud lines in the afternoons with spinnerbaits or a LuckyCraft BDS in Lake Fork shad for bass that are chasing shad or hit Cherry Creek with plastic worms.
LAKE ALMANOR—Hit the Big Springs to Hamilton Branch area early with lines in by 5:15 a.m. Goose Island to Rocky Point in the evening has been the spot for some brown trout in the afternoon and evenings with crickets and mealworms.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported on and off good days for both rainbow trout and even a few brown trout, but get there early. Weeds are taking over some areas. Get here early before the day and fish heat up.
BUCKS LAKE—As the lake and summer heat up you’ll have to fish closer to the bottom here regardless of how you are fishing.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported the bite on the forebay remains good with a bit more pressure than the upper creek. Lots of fish are still coming in and both bait and flies are working well. Eggs and worms took the most fish this week.
FALL RIVER—The Hex hatch is still going and should continue through July and maybe into early August.
UPPER HAT CREEK–Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing was excellent with brook trout representing the majority of the take, but some very respectable rainbows were coming in as well. There are still some huge bookies out there, as several fish over 4 pounds were weighed in last week. Fish plants are on schedule twice a week at around 2,000 pounds. The bite this past week was all over the place with worms, eggs, Panther Martins and floating baits all working well. On top of everything else, crickets also did well. Fishing pressure is still moderate so good fishing should continue. Temperatures during the day have crept up to around 100 degrees, but creekside it is cooler and the nights are dropping to the low 50s.
PIT RIVER—There’s good fishing but you’ll have to move around, as the fish are not stacked up. This is a nice place to get in and wade around to beat the heat.
MANZANITA LAKE–Rim Rock Ranch reported the fishing action to be somewhat slow as the bigger fish have never really gone on the bite as of yet. Maybe the kayakers are taking their toll on this body of water.
McCLOUD RIVER—The fishing continues to be great but crowded on weekends. Don’t expect to find huge fish here.
SHASTA LAKE—Trout are deeper, from 50 to 80 feet along with the bass. Try chrome Apex, watermelon Apex, white Wiggle Hoochie and a blue Wiggle Hoochie in Waters Gulch, which is where the mouth of the Sac. and Pitt meet, directly east in the bay, behind No Name Island. For salmon, try up in the McCloud by Holiday Harbor in 60 to 120 feet.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—The I-5 Bridge is still good for cookie cutter 13- and 14-inch kokes that are fat, hard fighting fish and providing quick limits. The fishing was fair but not red hot with pink/pearl or pink UV Apexs, a Radical Glow tube or pink Hoochies behind Sling Blades. Target points and humps for bass, but as the day winds down, switch to topwater baits and larger 7- to 9-inch swimbaits for the possibility of a fish to 7 pounds.
BERKELEY—California Dawn lit up the fish counts with a 62 lingcod day. Those fish ranged up to 25 pounds. Berkeley charter boats that fished salmon reported fish close to the coast and managed 1 to 1.5 fish per rod.
BODEGA BAY—Capt. Rick Powers on New Sea Angler noted that in all his 50 years of doing this, he has never seen such heavy average salmon weights. On one recent trip the average weight was 20 pounds. Rockfish and lingcod counts were high, as evidenced by a count of over 40 lingcod to 17 pounds.
CROCKETT—Striped bass continued their assault on baits near Crockett. Boaters and shore fishers alike got into the action using bullheads, grass shrimp and pile worms.
EMERYVILLE— A mixed bag of fishing awaited Emeryville Sportfishing passengers. Salmon moved closer to the coast and rockfish seemed easy to limit out on. On recent trips, C-Gull II had 16 people catch 10 salmon to 22 pounds. Sea Wolf’s 21 passengers caught limits of rockfish plus 2 salmon. New Seeker had 11 people catch 12 salmon to 38 pounds. Super Fish got 15 lingcod to 17 pounds plus limits of rockfish for 32 people. Sundance had 6 folks boat 9 salmon to 24 pounds.
EUREKA—Salmon fishing busted wide open, with Sea Weasell II catching 14 fish in 16 minutes. Shellback added Pacific halibut to 65 pounds on top of limits of salmon. Reel Steel made one drift to limit out on rockfish after hauling in limits of salmon.
FORT BRAGG—Action at the Whistle Buoy meant short runs for salmon boats. The grade of fish was good with individuals up to 28 pounds. Jetty anglers captured cabezon and striped perch.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Salmon fishing was up and down but on good days, limits were caught on Que Sera Sera. Huli Cat got into salmon up to 31 pounds. Jetty fishers scored lingcod, cabezon, rockfish and varied perches. Striped bass and wild shark action were available at Pacifica.
MARTINEZ—Boaters fished the Mothball Fleet for good numbers of sturgeon and striped bass on ghost shrimp and grass shrimp. Two sturgeon were hooked from the Martinez Marina Pier.
BLUE LAKES—Upper Blue and Lower Blue are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. The last reports indicated that the fishing was very good at both lakes.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Fish at the dam in the early morning for rainbows—the rest of the day the lake is overrun with recreational boats and personal watercraft.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Dave Foley at the Caples Lake Resort reported that resort guests limited out 3 out of 4 days using worms and Power Bait at the dam. Kathy Morrison of Scotts Valley and her family rented two boats and caught rainbows to 3 pounds trolling worms 12 feet deep off Emigrant Bay. Mike Harris of Placerville fished with Power Bait off the dam and caught rainbows from 2 to 3 pounds.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The East Carson and West Carson are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Alpine County will stock another 1800 pounds of rainbows by next week. Thunderstorms washed out the East Fork—it was muddy and more thunderstorm activity in the forecast could keep it that way for much of this week. The West Carson was running clearer and fishing well, according to Todd Sodaro at the Creekside Lodge.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was good between the islands using copper/red head Dick Nite spoons at 18 to 23 feet deep. Dillard landed two limits on his last trip—5 were 15- to 18-inch holdovers and 5 were recent DFW planters running 8 to 13 inches. Shore fishing was hit-or-miss at Grasshopper and at Honker and the Grizzly campground. Fly fishing was best from 9 to 11 a.m. during the damsel and mayfly hatches at Jenkins.
DONNER LAKE—Still a few rainbows from the last DFW plant 2 weeks ago hitting bait at the west end piers and docks. Get out very early for kokanee trolling from Loch Levon to China Cove with chrome dodgers and pink hoochies at 40 feet deep.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The North Fork was running a little muddy but the fishing was good for limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows according to Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort. The Caribou Powerhouse was fishing well, too. The hex hatch started at Butt Valley Lake. Guide Dick Mason was limiting out on mostly 17- to 19-inch rainbows and usually one good brown to 5 pounds trolling threaded nightcrawlers and Excel spoons down by the dam.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. With the warm weather, there were still some trout being caught from the shore at Crystal Point and the dam—find deep water!
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that the bite at Packer Lake was red-hot with limits in an hour. Fishing was good at Salmon and Sardine, but slower at Gold Lake.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 76-percent capacity. With the heat, the bite was dead here, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Little word of any fishing success from here, according to Todd Sodaro at the Creekside Lodge, even though the lake was planted by the DFW 2 weeks ago. Try off the shore at the dam with Power Bait or drift bait over the channel near the dam by boat.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The best trolling was still along the west side of the lake from the inlet to the dam for rainbows and an occasional good brown.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported that trollers and bait drifters were hammering the planter rainbows up in the Narrows on worms. Troll a Wild Thing dodger and a spinner tipped with worms or drift worms off the bottom in the same area.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. This could be the best choice in the Crystal Basin if the water temp remains below 70 degrees. Not much pressure up here, according to Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 38-percent capacity. With the DFW plant just 2 weeks ago, there were still some rainbows being caught in the very early morning at the dam and up in the Prosser Creek arm near the inlet. Look for smallmouth bass along the rocky banks in the early morning or late evening.
PYRAMID LAKE—Not much happening here with the perch fishing since they finished spawning. Unless something big happens with the fishing, this will be the last report until the trout opener on October 1.
RED LAKE—Few reports available, but try the dam and the inlet for brookies and cutthroats using worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 82-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that anglers were catching some 2 to 3 pounders
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 59-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service found “outstanding” action at the island at 35 to 60 feet deep for 12- to 14-inch kokes using watermelon Sep’s Strike Master Dodgers trailing RMT Assassin spinners tipped with Pautzke’s Shoepeg Can-o-Corn. The best bite was very early starting at 5:30 with limits by 8:00.
TOPAZ LAKE—Done for the season unless the water level comes up—launching no longer available for larger trailered boats at either the Topaz Landing Marina or the County Park. Small aluminum boats and jetskis can still launch off the shore.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The trout bite was consistent in the faster pocket water with the hot weather running into the 90’s keeping a lid on mid-day action—get out early or late and dredge the deeper faster water with large stones trailing a smaller PMD, PT or caddis. Look for dry fly activity just before dark.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 82-percent capacity. The kokanee bite was dead here with the heat. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported a few macks to 6 pounds were hitting Apex at 150 to 175 feet deep.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Mono County is scheduled to stock 200 pounds of 3-pound average rainbow this week. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing was very good with lots of limits including a few bigger fish, but mostly DFW planters. The “How Big is Big” Trout Derby was still being led by 8-year-old Cameron Holcomb with a 6.4-lb. rainbow.
AMERICAN RIVER —Fishing continued to be good for striped bass throughout the river. Lots of big fish are being seen, but most being caught are less than 10 pounds. They are taking crawdads, minnows, swimbaits, Pencil Poppers and Clouser-type streamers. The best action has been from Sailor Bar to Grist Mill.
FEATHER RIVER—The salmon opener was good below the Outlet despite about 200 anglers and 50 boats, but most of the fish taken were darker spring run salmon, although a few bright early fall-run fish were in the mix. Fewer, but much better quality fish were being caught at Shanghai Bend by anchoring up and letting a Kwikfish work behind the boat.
FOLSOM LAKE—Fishing for bass and trout was slow last week as the water continued to drop and warm, and lots of anglers switched their attention to salmon, at least temporarily.
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, Sacramento— Lots of folks went out with high hopes on the opener, and returned home with glum faces. Fishing was poor. But, by the weekend there were glimmers of hope as there were reports of some salmon being caught jigging around Freeport. Fishing for catfish continued to be good in Sutter Slough.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing was good from Corning to Red Bluff the first couple of days of the season but tapered off as the weekend approached because of heavy boat traffic and the heat. Anglers found some success by switching tactics from lures to roe backbounced in deep holes. A few boaters found better fishing the two days after the opener, but then it slowed again.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Flows were high, but trout fishing was good, at least for non-fly fishers. For them, Glo-Bugs, nightcrawlers, and crickets were doing the trick on fish to 20 inches. Redding to Anderson was the most productive stretch. Fly fishers were getting a few trout dead-drifting pmd’s under indicators.
UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS—Fishing was in the summer swoon, but still “fair” around Dunsmuir where trout are planted. The best area for fly anglers has been from Pollard Flat to Sims. On the McCloud, fishing was pretty good around Ah-Di-Na and around Ash Camp.
YUBA RIVER—Fishing for fat rainbows to 20 inches continued to be very good, especially on hopper-imitating dry flies paired with a smaller dry early and late, and paired with a nymph during mid-day.
AMERICAN RIVER—Hiking into the deeper holes in the North Fork and Middle Fork was producing nice rainbows on spinners and worms.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Hot weather and heavy recreational boat traffic made for slow fishing this past week, according to Emerald Cove Marina.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake dropped low enough to expose shallow spots and rocks this past week—USE EXTREME CAUTION WHILE BOATING!! Ron Frank of Folsom caught 10 bass, only 5 keepers, in Rock Creek using green pumpkin Brush Hogs at 5 to 10 feet deep. The Bear River arm has big rocks showing in the middle, creating boat hazards. For the best chance at success while fishing, get out early and leave early to avoid “the idiot jetskiers!” according to Kathy DeRossett at North Shore Resort.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 18 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort reported that trout fishing was good at the dam, docks, and the bridge this past week with some anglers scoring limits while most had 2 or 3 rainbows weighing from 1 to 5 pounds. With the warmer weather, catfish activity was good for fish up to 13 1/4 pounds.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Houseboaters were still picking up good numbers of rainbows while soaking nightcrawlers off the back of their boats at Boston Bar and Black’s Ravine. One group of 4 houseboats caught 23 fish at Boston Bar. A houseboat parked at Black’s landed 2 1/2- and 3-pound rainbows. Some schools of small bass were seen busting bait in the marina and were providing fast action for observant anglers.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 56-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trolling flasher or dodger/worm combos and Rapalas at the dam and the creek inlet were still the best bets for rainbows.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that trollers were picking up limits of kokanee running dodger/hoochies at 40 feet deep. Only canoes and kayaks that can be carried can get past the Narrows due to the low water level.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was good. Getting out in the early morning or late afternoon was best using topwater, small swimbaits and lipless cranks. Midday the fish were down 40 feet and hitting tubes, worms, Senkos and jigs. Gandolfi reported picking up 40 fish in the 13- to 16-inch range per 5- to 6-hour trip. Coho salmon action was best mid-week in the very early morning from the dam to the Green Bridge using dodger/spinner or hoochie combos at 40 to 60 feet deep.
ROLLINS LAKE—The fishing was slow due to hot weather and the wide daily fluctuations in the water level—sometimes 2 to 3 feet up and down in a day!
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that one boater caught 3- and 4-pound rainbows fast trolling a Rapala at the mouth of Deer Creek in the very early morning.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—Not much change here—slow to fair for holdover rainbows until another DFW trout plant.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake was planted by the DFW early this past week. Fishing pressure was heavy all this past weekend as anglers picked up plenty of rainbows. The Georgetown Ranger Station would appreciate any help finding out who stole a picnic table, fire ring, and broke into the iron ranger to take all the cash this past week. Also, the fee-use solar powered RV dump station is now open 24/7 with a credit card. Call the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department with theft info at 530-621-5655, or the Georgetown Ranger Station at 530-333-4312.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 130.9 feet elevation at press time—64-percent capacity. A 3 1/2-foot drop in the water level this past week moved the fish onto the deeper water tule banks and grass mats in the coves or onto the rock walls along the west side of the lake, or into the channel. Try frogs on the tule banks and grass mats, and crank the deeper drop-offs along the walls and channels. Avoid the mid-day recreational boat traffic for a decent chance at success.