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.—Fishing at the mouth of the Rogue River was terribly disappointing to many salmon fishermen, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Many days there were only one to four fish being caught the entire day by all the Bay trollers. I have heard of several anglers and fishing guides going through the day without receiving one bite from the few salmon that appear to be passing through the bay fairly quickly. As a professional fisherman and recreational angler who enjoys my time on the water, I find this to be very discouraging. Especially since I had high hopes, as mentioned earlier this season, that weather conditions indicated this seasons fall Chinook could have replicated the glory years of early 2000. With much of the prime time season still in front of us, I can only hope that we will eventually see improvement,” said Palmer.
RUSSIAN RIVER—No changes here, and there won’t be until the fall rains come. The daily ritual is smallmouth bass fishing in the early morning and late evening, trying fish the “quiet times” on the river when it’s not flooded with swimmers, kayakers and rafters.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.—Fishing for king salmon the last part of the week in Reedsport on the Umpqua River has been very good for some and fair to good for others, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Many of the local guides are limiting out their clients on large-sized salmon, many of the 20 pounds and up. Strong incoming tides this week should keep that kind of fishing going on. Best fishing has been between Buoy 17 and the Hwy. 101 bridge. The nearest access ramp is at Old Town in Reedsport, but there are two at Winchester Bay and one by the Coast Guard Station, and one other in the marina near the Umpqua Bait Company. “I have received a couple reports about bright fall Chinooks being caught near the confluence of the North and Sough Umpqua Rivers, where the fish tend to hold up,” said Palmer. “Most fishing is done from boats anchored in the river or by anglers on shore drifting various baits in hopes of catching salmon.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen— The extra water planned to be released down the Trinity River starting on Aug. 15 to prevent a fish kill like that of 2002, has been put on hold by a lawsuit brought by San Joaquin Valley irrigators. Liners fishing from shore at the mouth have been having a field day snagging (er, catching) salmon on beaded hooks fished at the end of long leaders), but anglers using more traditional—and legal methods—have been having a tougher time. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good from Blake’s Riffle to Blue Creek. Most of these fish are wild and must be released. Some jacks and a few adult Chinook round out the catch. The salmon limit is now four fish, of which a maximum of three can be adults
TRINITY RIVER—It’s hot and smoky, and fishing in the lower part of the Trinity continued to be slow except for a bit of action around Burnt Ranch. If and when the higher flows come, that should spur a big movement of salmon upstream. In the meantime, some salmon were being caught in the upper Trinity above Junction City. It’s an early morning affair though.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The algae is back in the deeper ends of the lake and the Rattlesnake and Redbud arms turned a bit green, but it didn’t impact fishing too much. The early surface bite slowed a bit although there was some action. Plastic worms fished in depths ranging between 3 and 20 feet, mostly in the deeper sections of the lake, were good areas to try. You can catch catfish on anything from dropshot worms to jigs.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Kokes and kings are on the move. Best depths have been 85 to 100 feet, so trust your locater. Try the flats on the east side and Skiers Cove. Hoochies and Apex spoons with RMT 5.5 Hyper Plaid, Bahama Mama and glow dodgers work. For scents, try Pautzke’s Can O’Corn with vanilla and Pautzke krill on baits. The topwater bite in the morning for bass has been good in the coves in the narrows with Zara Spooks, poppers and stick baits.
LAKE SONOMA—The main body points held the better numbers of bass from the dam up to the Dry Creek arm. The topwater bite happens during the last hour of daylight for largemouth and smallmouth bass. There has also been good catfish action in 15 to 25 feet at Skunk Creek Campground.
LAKE ALMANOR—Almanor Fishing Adventures reported the bite has been holding steady through the morning and then tails off, but okay into the early afternoon. Trolling, baitfishing and jigging have all been working.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported the best fishing has been found along the deeper sections of the lake. The weeds get thick by midsummer, which limits fishable water. But there’s plenty of fishable water holding rainbows and a brown trout or two.
BUCKS LAKE—Trout are in the Bucks Creek arm, brookies and browns on the Mill Creek side of the lake and the kokes are from the Haskins Channel towards the dam and stacked up at 40 to 45 feet.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing was very good as pressure has remained quite low for this very popular destination. Eggs, worms and floating baits are picking up fish in the mornings and evenings. Flyfishermen are also doing well with midge and dry fly patterns. A few fish in the 5- to 7-lb. range were taken in Cassel and Baum lakes this past week on damsel patterns.
EAGLE LAKE— The fishing slowed for bobber fishermen. Follow the birds and fish the points or drop-offs in 25 to 29 feet anchored in 55 feet of water. Trollers were getting fish one day and nothing the next due to a warming trend. Follow the minnows and birds, they are following the fish. Keep your eyes open and be willing to move around. The low water launch ramp at the south end is working out very well. There are still 12-ft. aluminum boats launching out of the Spalding ramp.
FALL RIVER— Reports were great again, with a mixture of dry flyfishing, suspending nymphs, stripping leeches and swinging flies. It seems like all methods are working.
UPPER HAT CREEK–Rim Rock Ranch reported good fishing continues and with hunting seasons underway, the fishing pressure continued to be fairly light. Fish and Wildlife will be gearing up for the busy Labor Day Holiday with generous plants including some huge brooders that Hat Creek is known for. Limits of trout are common right now and salmon eggs or worms are the most popular baits.
PIT RIVER— No Isonychia yet, but that hasn’t stopped the rainbows from biting on any dark colored fly. The fishing has been good here.
MANZANITA LAKE–Rim Rock Ranch reported fair to good action for those who figure out the hatch. Water boatmen and zebra midges were working at times. A few browns in the 3- to 5-lb. class where caught and released this past week. Remember, this lake has special restrictions so be sure to read the regulations governing this body of water.
McCLOUD RIVER—The river has been fishing great. Try dry flies both in the mornings and evenings. You can still conjure up a few rainbows on dries during the midday, but expect to cover a lot of water.
SHASTA LAKE—There is a window from 7 to 9 a.m. for trout and salmon. Troll the deep water channel in Waters Gulch where the water comes in from Sac arm in 70 to 120 feet. Rolling anchovies or shad and trolling an Apex in watermelon or chrome tipped with 1/4-inch slice of an anchovy produced some nice fish. For bass, there has been a decent surface bite early in the day.
AMERICAN RIVER —There was a brief but a significant drop in flows to put in the weirs crossing the river at the hatchery. And there were very few fish caught, or even fishermen trying for salmon, steelhead, and even striped bass, which have been providing the bulk of the action lately.
FEATHER RIVER—There was a good push of fresh fall run kings, and anglers’ success rates improved significantly over previous weeks around Shanghai Bend and Gridley. These are fast moving fish, however, so you have to be at the right place at the right time. Fish the riffles rather the holes. It’s almost exclusively a lure bite.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake is continuing to drop, but only about half a foot a day, so there’s likely another month before the 5 mph speed limit will be imposed when the lake reaches the 400-foot elevation. Fishing for king salmon and trout slowed, and there were few anglers trying for them. Try Speedy Shiners fished between 50 and 80 feet deep on the main body. Some nice smallmouth bass were being caught off rocky points on crawdads and plastics fished fairly deep. Drop-shot and drag jigs between 20 and 30 feet deep if lure fishing.
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— Fishing for salmon was a bit better last week but still slow. The bright spots were around Verona and down around Freeport. Even then, it’s important to put in your time, since these fish are moving through in pods, and there are significant dead periods between flurries of action.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—The stretch between the Barge Hole and down to around Hamilton City is the place to be for the potential to catch limits and near limits of big bright salmon, some now weighing as much as 30 pounds. It’s lures in the morning hours, then the action seems to switch to roe, drifted or back-bounced. Afternoons sees an uptick in action, too.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing fell off for a couple of days when the river dropped to 11,500 cfs, but has improved, especially for fly fishers in the lower, more fishable flows. Spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers, Glo-Bugs, and crickets, while fly fishers dead-drifted nymphs under indicators.
UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS—Fishing continued to be in the summer doldrums, with the McCloud a more enjoyable experience than the Upper Sac, if only because of the more comfortable chance to fish in the shade under vegetation. Planted trout in the Dunsmuir offered better opportunities to feel a tug on the line, than downstream because of plants. On the McCloud, try around Ah-Di-Na and Ash Camp.
YUBA RIVER—Fly fishers continued to score on hoppers last week, but a more consistent bet was smaller dries like pmd’s, and dead-drifted nymphs like rubberlegs, and micro-Mayflies. Use a big dry like a stimulator as the indicator.
BERKELEY—Limits of lingcod became common during the week of explosive lingcod action, as evidenced by frequent limits aboard California Dawn. Salmon boats worked the Channel Buoys for counts of up to 1.5 fish per rod, which included a 34 pounder caught aboard New Easy Rider.
BODEGA BAY—Salmon to 35 pounds were caught aboard New Sea Angler and by private boaters between Bird Rock and Elephant Rock where squid were spawning. Local lingcod action was described as the best in years. Limits of rockfish were commonplace.
EMERYVILLE—Salmon slowed their assault on baits for Emeryville boats, however another round of high counts is expected and is typical for late August. Meanwhile, plentiful rockfish and lingcod picked up the slack for boats fishing at the Farallon Islands or up along the Marin coast.
EUREKA—Hard to go wrong with salmon, Pacific halibut, albacore and rockfish/lingcod all offering solid opportunities for action. Shellback, Reel Steel and Seaweasel II mixed up their fishing and sent their passengers home with coolers full of fish.
FORT BRAGG—Albacore showed 40 miles out early in the week and then by weekend had moved into a body of comfortable water just 10 to 15 miles off the beach where Ambush got into them on a crew trip. Salmon were caught up tight against the edge of kelp beds. Seahawk scored limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod. Jetty fishers caught bigger-than-usual lingcod for this early in the season.
HALF MOON BAY—Lingcod catches from the jetty stirred the best level of local excitement. Jetty fishers also got rockfish, cabezon and greenling. Queen of Hearts turned in counts of better than a lingcod per rod, on certain trips, in addition to full limits of rockfish. Huli Cat focused on rockfish and lingcod.
MARTINEZ—Stripers and sturgeon were both caught in decent numbers by boaters fishing grass shrimp anywhere between Benicia Bridge and the Mothball Fleet. There was some action on both species from the pier, highlighted by a very excitable 13 year-old kid named Vincent who hauled up a big striped bass.
OYSTER POINT—John Akina at Oyster Point Bait and Deli saw numerous halibut come in on private boats. A couple of them were impressive, at over 20 pounds. On Tuesday, a keeper halibut was caught from the pier, amid great excitement from the crowd of people watching.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that shore fishing at the inlet was good using Power Bait and nightcrawlers, while trollers were picking up a few fish outside the inlet. The recreational boat traffic was slowing down with the schools reopening.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was slow. Anglers were picking up a few rainbows at the dam on Power Bait and worms.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The trout fishing here was outstanding—“the best in years”. Both the East and West were stocked by the DFW and Alpine County this past week and everyone was catching limits on anything they cared to use—bait, lures, or flies. Most anglers had limits of DFW planters but good numbers of trophy trout to 4 1/2 pounds were checked in at the Carson River Resort and Creekside Lodge.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing said the trolling was fair at best and shore fishing and fly fishing were very slow. Trollers were picking up 2 or 3 fish per person on copper/redhead Dick Nite spoons run 20 feet deep near the big island.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sport reported that fishing here was slow, with only a few kokanee coming in for trollers and shore anglers catching some planter rainbows on Power Bait, worms and perch Kastmaster spoons at the west end docks.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—According to Caribou Crossroads Resort, fishing was slow on the North Fork.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore anglers were still picking up rainbows to 2 1/2 pound using Power Bait and worms at the dam. Trollers were doing well on flasher/nightcrawler combos in deep water—25 to 35 feet deep near the dam. The Frenchman ramp construction and repaving should have been completed on Aug. 16. Boats can launch at Lunker Point also.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Upper Salmon Lake and Lower Sardine Lake are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trolling at Gold Lake was slow with only a few planters caught. The DFW plants will significantly boost success at Salmon and Sardine.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 64-percent capacity. With the warm water temp, Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle said the fishing was slow. On a trip here this past week, Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service only caught 3 small rainbows.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—With such amazing fishing in the nearby Carson River, few anglers were bothering to fish here.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was very good here for shore anglers and trollers working the west side of the lake from the dam to the Woodcamp Creek campground. Early morning trollers were using Rapalas while the shore anglers relied on nightcrawlers.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported that trout fishing was slow this past week. With cooler water temps, the smallmouth bass bite could begin to improve.
LAKE TAHOE—The mack bite was excellent this past week with limits of quality fish coming fast for charter boats both trolling and jigging at Tahoe City and Crystal Bay Point. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing said he was keeping up limits of 5- to 9-pound macks and releasing numbers of 3 and 4 pounders trolling spoons and small plugs from 140 to 440 feet deep. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliner Sportfishing was jigging Williamson Vortex and Benthos jigs tipped with minnows at 150 to 160 feet deep at Tahoe City for limits of 5- to 7- pound macks and then heading south to jig for kokanee with hot pink Buzz Bombs at 70 to 90 feet deep off Emerald Bay and Camp Richardson. Scott Carey at Tahoe Sportfishing was still picking up easy limits of 14- to 16-inch kokanee on flasher/Wedding Rings at 70 to 90 feet deep at Camp Richardson. Some kokes were beginning to ‘turn’, though there were still schools of smaller bright fish still moving into the area.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week, and fishing was sporadic for trollers working dodger/worm or grub combos in the top 15 feet. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported a recent fishing club event produced some limits of 13- to 14-inch rainbows for some boats while other only caught a fish or two.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 33-percent capacity. The low water level left anglers with little to attract them here. Some smallmouth bass were hitting worms and jigs on the rocky banks, but fishing pressure was very low.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported that his last perch jigging trip produced an incidental catch of 71 cutthroats to 14 pounds, 6 ounces. The fish came from tufa rock structure north of the Pyramid on red/white marabou jigs on light spinning gear.
RED LAKE—Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing here was slow with the warm water conditions.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Like at nearby Caples Lake, fishing here was slow.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported that kokanee trolling was somewhat sporadic though limits or near limits were available with patience. The key was finding active schools of salmon from the dam to the island at 50 to 60 feet deep. The Sep’s gold Starlight dodger and Uncle Larry’s Pink Tiger spinner tipped with Pautzke’s Can-o-corn worked the best.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Colder nights lowered the water temp enough that trout were moving out of the faster water into easier to fish runs. Nymphing was still the most productive during the morning and day, while evening dry fly action was improving using PEDs.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 71-percent capacity. With the high water temp, the kokanee fishing was very slow. A few macks could be caught trolling 150 to 175 feet deep with dodger/herring combos, but the bite was sporadic.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing was excellent with easy limits coming in for anglers using bait, lures, and flies. Mostly 12- to 14-inch planters and a few trophy fish to 4 1/2 pounds were seen at the motel fish cleaning station this past week.
AMERICAN RIVER—A 12,000-acre wildfire in the North Fork canyon was keeping people out of the area this past weekend and was still burning at 40-percent control—STAY AWAY FROM THIS AREA while firefighters and equipment are active.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Extremely heavy recreational boat traffic had the lake off color and beat to a froth this past week, according to Emerald Cove Marina. Fishing was very slow.
CAMP FAR WEST—Fishing for bass was slow, but catfishing at night was okay. Heavy recreational boat traffic made for tough daytime fishing. There was still enough water on the ramp for launching this past weekend.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 23 feet from full. Trout fishing was good off the docks at night. Catfish to 8 pounds were caught all over the lake on sardines and mackerel.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported that houseboaters were catching plenty of small rainbows in the marina on Power Bait and worms.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. A big wildfire near Foresthill had the road to the lake closed. STAY AWAY FROM THIS AREA as long as active firefighting is in progress!
FULLER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that heavy smoke from the American River fire near Foresthill made camping and fishing a poor choice here this past weekend.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was still very good with fish hitting topwater early, deep diving and lipless cranks, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and dart-head or shakey-head worms on steep gravel or rock banks from the Slot up into the North Fork and West Branch. The fish were mostly 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound spots with a few largemouths coming out of the Slot. Gandolfi said he saw trollers catching small coho salmon in the Slot. The wildfire burning near Bangor had the lake shrouded in smoke this past weekend.
ROLLINS LAKE—Slow due to the heat and heavy recreational boat traffic. The area was under heavy smoke from the American River fire near Foresthill.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that anglers were still picking up a few small planter rainbows and some dink smallmouth bass. Overall, fishing was slow due to the heavy recreational boat traffic. The lake was seeing lots of smoke at times from the big Foresthill fire depending on the wind.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—A big wildfire in the Foresthill area created very smoky conditions making camping and fishing a poor choice—wait until the conditions improve as the fire gets under control–hopefully sooner than later.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the campgrounds were full and anglers were still picking up a few fish in deep water but they had copepods on them and most anglers were throwing them back. The area was seeing some heavy smoke at times from the American River fire near Foresthill.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.6-foot elevation at press time—82-percent capacity. With the water at this level, the tule banks were holding fish. Pitch Senkos or cast spinnerbaits on the front edge of the tules or back into the gaps between the tules clumps early in the day. Fish frogs in the late afternoon for a chance a big bass.