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.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore. -Just a few reports of king salmon being caught early last week at the “sawdust piles.” Also a few other mixed report’s of a Chinook or two being caught as high up as Marshfield Channel, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. “I am expecting there will be steady report’s of Chinook’s being boated by next weekend.” These fish are quite a bit smaller than other rivers in the Southern Oregon area, but the numbers harvested make them highly prized by many anglers.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.—“The heavy tides of Friday and Saturday brought the good push of king salmon that we have been waiting for,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. He said that Friday evening there was a good bite at Rocky Point the last few hours of light. Prowler Charters had eight-plus Chinook salmon on Saturday from a trip on the ocean near shore. “This is my favorite river to fish for fall Chinook out of the many waterways I travel,” Palmer said. “All of them are good rivers with quality fish, but I catch more big fish on this small river than I do on all the other rivers combined. This river usually fishes threw mid-October.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.—“I don’t have much of anything good to report this week for the bay area of the Rogue River,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “What I thought had the chance of being an exciting season was a giant flop. The river is very low, but the temperatures needed to keep the kings in the bay just never occurred and I am now not sure if it ever could in the future.” The silver’s will be starting to enter the river over the next couple of weeks. A great place to target these high speed salmon is the flats below Indian Creek at the upper end of the bay. The timing of the Coho partly overlaps the return of the Indian Creek Chinooks. “I haven’t received any reports of an Indian Creek king being caught yet but I am confident that a few have been caught.”
RUSSIAN RIVER—Smallmouth bass are on a decent bite early and late in the day behind the summer dams and in the bigger, slower pools of the river, and they will hit Rooster Tails or other minnow-imitating lures. Summer water activities are slowing down, and soon anglers can reclaim the river.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.–This river is pumping out nice fat king salmon on a daily basis to those who are willing to put time in on the water, and there are more boats this last weekend than any other time this season. “I haven’t had much luck with trolling anchovies, and herring and sardines are usually the No. 1 bait here,” said Palmer. “It hasn’t seemed to matter what size herring is fished, there have been the same number of salmon hooked up on Blue Label as on Green Label herring,” Palmer said. Friday’s incoming tide brought extremely cold water with the fresh fish. “I witnessed well over a 10-degree drop, and if this season follows the last two years of Chinooks, we should have fishing for these salmon well into October on the lower river.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen— The extra water to be released down the Trinity River planned to start on Aug. 15 but put on hold by a suit brought by San Joaquin Valley irrigators has been lifted. The new releases started on Sunday, ramping up to 2,650 cfs then back down to 800 to 900 cfs as needed, until Sept. 19, and then back to the regular summer water flows of 450cfs. Lots of salmon are now entering the mouth and netters and liners are having a field day. However, fishing upriver for salmon continued to be slow. That all should change dramatically as the cool flow supplement hits the lower Klamath. Meantime, fishing for steelhead has been very good, a combination of fat halfpounders and adults 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 still hot and smoky on the lower end of the Trinity, and fishing continued to be slow except for some action around the mouth of the Trinity. When the higher flows come, fishing should improve dramatically. However, heavy netting on the Hoopa Reservation will prevent many salmon from continuing their upstream journey. Even so, fishing for fall Chinook should really pick up above Big Bar in a couple of weeks.
BERKELEY—The big news of the week was a potential all tackle record sevengill shark boated on the California Dawn, the 322 pounder topping the current record 208-pound sevengill caught in New Zealand by over 100 pounds. That same trip produced 5 leopard sharks and another sevengill. Another trip on Thursday found 9 soupfin sharks to 75 pounds, 8 leopards to 38 pounds, and 2 sevengills to 150 pounds. The rest of the week produced limits of rockfish and one around to limits on lings also, plus a few halibut. On the Happy Hooker, deck assistant Dave “Pale Ale” Marquardt said they had a rather short week, with one trip on Friday scoring 11 limits of rockfish and 16 lings to 18 pounds.
BODEGA BAY— The brightest spot for salmon on the coast right now, with some big kings stacked up at Elephant Rock and scattered fish all around. Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler reported some real hogs, with one angler boating a 60-pound limit, and fish to 37 pounds caught while mooching the Elephant Rock spot. The boat is offering combo trips, and earlier in the week, those produced good numbers of rockfish and lings along with the salmon. With the big bruisers showing, the latter part of the week focused on kings.
EMERYVILLE—Lots of variety here, with rockfish limits the rule anytime the boats go bottomfishing, plus some good numbers of lingcod, in some cases near limits. The salmon only trips found a little tougher bite, but there are still fish up around Bodega that should be moving south soon. A few halibut showing also, and the New Huck Finn switched gears and headed a few miles west of the Farallones to find albacore, an opah, salmon, rockfish, lingcod and sanddabs on Sunday.
EUREKA—After a great season of ocean salmon fishing, the king bite is evolving as the bigger fish move to staging areas at river mouths. “There are still plenty of fish to catch,” said Captain Tony Sepulveda of Greenwater Guides and the Shellback. “Seems that most of the bigger ones have left the area.” On the positive side, the number of shakers in the area indicates a great season next year. “The past couple trips, I went through over 50 hookups to get limits,” said Sepulveda.
FORT BRAGG—The final days of bottomfishing offered great action for anglers on the Telstar, with a Saturday fun bachelor party group getting in on some combo action. They caught a salmon, and near limits of rockfish from near Mendocino, plus some nice lings. On Sunday, 20 anglers found a tougher bite that turned around, but still near limits and some bonus lings and cabezon. Rockfish, lings, cabezon, etc. season closes Sept. 2, then Captain Randy Thornton said he’ll continue to target salmon, which will be open into November. Another option is albacore, with fish not too far off the coast lately.
LOCH LOMOND (San Rafael)—Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star had some good action on the weekend, while he had to dodge the America’s Cup closures in the bay. Saturday’s trip found near limits to limits of rockfish and 3 lings, but the bay offered windy conditions that made hooking a halibut tough. On Sunday, conditions were better, and his anglers again scored limits or near limits, another 3 lings, 5 halibut and a striped bass.
SAN FRANCISCO—Captain Erik Anfinson said his Bass Tub has been busy this season, with the most recent trips targeting bottomfish early, then switching up to halibut or salmon. “On Friday, we had 20 limits of rockfish and near limits of lings, then went for halibut,” he said. They put one flattie in the boat. Saturday’s trip was a salmon only, and with the bite a little slow, the 17 anglers caught 3 fish to 18 pounds. Sunday was a little better with 5 fish for 17 anglers, biggest 23 pounds. Tuna is up next, and he’s planning crab and rockfish combos after the Dungeness season opens.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. A recent DFW plant boosted the action near the boat ramp for anglers using bait, spinners and spoons.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity and scheduled to receive a big trout plant on Aug. 28 from the Kirkwood PUD and EID—3000 pounds of rainbows consisting of 2000 pounds of catchables and the rest 2 to 3 pounders.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The East Carson is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. According to the Carson River Resort, fishing was best in the upper reaches of the East Carson above the second bridge and in Silver Creek. The flows in the West Carson were low and anglers needed to find the deeper pools for consistent action.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported decent trolling action for rainbows running 13 to 17 1/2 inches. The fish were hitting a Wee Dick Nite at 15 feet deep near the island. Shore fishing and flyfishing was slow.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The DFW stocked the lake this past week also and fishing was good on the west end near the ramp and the public docks using Power Bait.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that trout fishing was fair in the North Fork with anglers picking 2 or 3 rainbows each on worms. The East Branch near the confluence of the North Fork below the resort was producing some smallmouth bass on tube jigs. The Caribou Powerhouse was kicking out some nice rainbows on bobber/worms.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that boaters were doing much better than shore anglers. Two anglers caught limits of 1- to 1 1/2-pound rainbows using worms while anchored near Big Cove.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trolling was good at Gold Lake. Trollers were catching limits of 12- to 16-inch rainbows and browns on Rainbow Runners at 15 to 20 feet deep down the middle of the lake. Salmon Lake and Sardine Lake were still kicking out limits of planters for patient anglers using Power Bait, Gulp! Eggs, Panther Martins and Rooster Tails.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Smoky conditions due to the big Yosemite fire kept most people out of the area this past week, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle. Fishing was very slow before the fire.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Lots of smoke from the Yosemite fire coming over the mountains at times.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Fishing was good for early morning trollers working the west side of the lake from the dam toward the inlet, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Sly Park Resort reported that fishing this past week was slow with heavy recreational boat traffic. Smoke from the Yosemite fire was heavy at times, also.
LAKE TAHOE—Charter operators on both ends of the lake were doing well despite the rather smoky, wind conditions. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of 3- to 9-pound macks by 8:30 to 9 a.m. trolling spoons and plugs from 140 to 440 feet deep between Tahoe City and Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliner Sportfishing spent this past week jigging for kokanee from Emerald Bay to Camp Richardson using 1-ounce Bomber Slab Spoons and Buzz Bombs at 75 to 100 feet deep. The kokanee were running in three distinct size groups depending on the school—12 to 13 inches, 15 to 16 inches, and 18 to 19 inches.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that trolling was good. His last trip produced 12 to 14 strikes, though only 6 fish were landed—11- to 15-inch rainbows—all taken on a Sep’s watermelon Side Kick dodger trailing a threaded nightcrawler in the top 20 feet.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 32-percent capacity. With the warm water temp, the trout fishing was slow, but smallmouth bass fishing around the dam was okay on jigs, tubes and crawdad crankbaits.
PYRAMID LAKE—Not much happening here—lots of smoke in the area from the Sierra fires.
RED LAKE—Fishing was slow here, according to Caples Lake Resort.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. According to Caples Lake Resort, the fishing was as slow here as it was at Caples based on reports they had heard.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Kokanee trolling was still good around the dam and island at 50 to 70 feet deep using dodger/spinner or hoochie combos tipped with Pautzke’s Fire Corn. Smallmouth bass fishing was productive in the Davies Creek arm.
TOPAZ LAKE—Still too low for boat launching except for small boats off the shore. Not much happening here with so little water.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that trout action was best below the Boca Outlet to Stateline using large stones, caddis, bird’s nest and crayfish patterns in the deeper pools just on the edge of the current.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. In a word, SLOW!!!!! Lots of smoke from the Yosemite fire here.
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 flows were slowing so anglers had to key in on the deeper runs and pools to stay on fish, but fishing was very good with limits of DFW planter common along with a few of the trophy fish released by the County and the Chamber of Commerce. Flyfishermen were reporting 50-fish days of catch-and-release.
AMERICAN RIVER —Flows were a very fishable 2,700 cfs last week, and while salmon were still largely no-shows, there was some nice action on steelhead with a few as large as 16 inches taken. Fly fishers were dead-drifting and swinging bird’s nest flies on floating lines and long leaders, while spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers and swinging Little Cleos and Blue Fox spinners.
FEATHER RIVER—Salmon fishing went into full swing on the Feather last week as the river loaded up with fresh fall king salmon. The catch rate was about a fish a rod and some limits were caught. Fishing was good at all the standard spots along the river. Boyd’s Pump, Shanghai Bend, Yuba City Boat Ramp and Gridley. Most fish were being caught on Kwikfish and Silvertron spinners.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake continued to drop, and was around 49 feet elevation on Sunday. Hardly anyone is fishing for them, but some nice kings were being caught on Speedy Shiners trolled around 60 feet deep on the main body. Fishing was slow for bass, as they have moved into deeper water and crawdads and plastics fished slowly were the best ways to attract a few bites.
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 around Sacramento, with few fish being caught around the mouth of the American River. However, Freeport was good for anglers trolling Silvertrons also down near Rio Vista was also producing fish in the evenings jigging. Verona had been good, but fishing pressure was extremely heavy over the weekend, turning the bite off.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—The mid- and upper section of river between Jelly’s Ferry and Tisdale was very good for salmon all week until the weekend when a combination of dropping flows—going to 8,500 cfs—heavy fishing pressure and lots of debris in the water, really put a crimp on fishing success. However, once flows stabilize, fishing should quickly return to high gear, because there are lots of fish in the river.
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.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Start your day with Super Spooks, Ricos and buzzbaits around shallow weed cover in all arms of the lake. Mid day switch to plastics and either drop-shot or shaky head in 8 to 15 feet in the Redbud and Rattlesnake arms of the lake.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Kokes and kings are still deep. The best depths have been 85 to 100 feet. Troll the flats on the east side and Skiers Cove with hoochies and Apex spoons with RMT’s 5.5 Hyper Plaid, Bahama Mama and glow dodgers. 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 along the Narrows. Toss Zara Spooks, poppers and stickbaits.
LAKE SONOMA—Work the main body points 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 some catfish action in 15 to 25 feet at Skunk Creek Campground.
LAKE ALMANOR—Trolling, baitfishing and jigging all worked but took a little longer for limits due to the full moon and abundance of bait. Trolling lanes on the east shore, Rocky Point and Canyon Dam, as well as from Rec. 1 to the A-Frame have all been producing. Jigging was good around Spar Buoy, the mouth of the Hamilton Branch and Rec. 2. Mooching anchovy tails for salmon near the A-Frame or Big Springs areas was up and down.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported the better 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. Look for the bite to pick back up as the weather cools.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing has been good and the pressure was almost non-existent this past week. Eggs, worms and floating baits all caught fish. With good plants this coming week before the holiday this could be an overlooked spot to get into some nice fish.
EAGLE LAKE—For bobber fishing, follow the birds and fish points or drop-offs 25 to 29 feet deep anchored in 55 feet of water. For trolling, follow the minnows and birds as they are following the fish. Keep your eyes open and move around. If you’re in the area, make sure you attend the P.E.L.T. annual fall Fundraiser at the Eagle Lake RV Park this Saturday, Aug. 31. There’s lots of good food, fun and raffles including a free raffle for all children 3 to 12 years of age. There’s even a horseshoe tournament.
FALL RIVER— Look above Island Bridge for hatches going off and explore the waters down near the confluence of Fall River and the Tule River for them as well. This time of year this river’s always a good choice.
UPPER HAT CREEK–The weather threw a wrench in the fishing mid week with lots of thunder and lightning and a downpour on Wednesday, according to Jim Cimaglia at Rim Rock Ranch. Despite this the fishing in general was quite good with lots of limits taken as well as a few larger fish. This coming week should see some heavy planting by Fish and Wildlife, including some very big fish in the 3- to 6-pound range just in time for the Labor Day Weekend. Temperatures remain a bit on the cooler side for August but pleasant over all. Worms worked best this past week but a variety of bait offerings also took fish.
PIT RIVER—The isonychia is a bug that becomes active about this time of year. The rainbows will key in on this bug through early September so fishing has been good.
MANZANITA LAKE–Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing was fair this past week with cooler weather impacting the bite. Boatmen, callibaetis and chironomids all took some fish. A few bigger browns in the 3- to 5-pound class were still biting, but this should improve as they begin feeding up for the coming winter. Remember, this lake has special restrictions so be sure to read the regulations governing this body of water.
McCLOUD RIVER— Fishing has been good with some limited dry flyfishing between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Look along the smooth, shallow tailouts and don’t ignore the slow water.
SHASTA LAKE—There has been 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 or in front of the dam. 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 crankbait bite along the mudlines created by boaters.
AMERICAN RIVER—The area was still impacted by the 24,135-acre American River fire near Foresthill.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that one troller picked up a limit of small 10- to 12-inch kokanee at Garden Point using a chrome mylar dodger trailing a white/red Dick Nite at 30 feet deep.
CAMP FAR WEST—Kathy DeRossett at North Shore Resort reported that fishing was slow. Recreational boat traffic was still heavy most days, though one lane of the launch ramp was closed due to the low water level.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 28 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort reported that trout fishing was slow overall with most angers only picking up 1 or 2 rainbows. One local guide did manage to put a client on a limit of trout in 1 hour trolling deep over the channel. The docks were the best site for consistent night fishing producing both trout and catfish.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were picking up limits of small rainbows on watermelon dodger/threaded nightcrawler combos at 40 feet deep in the “No-Ski” area. Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina confirmed the action, saying that one boater casting Rapalas and Kastmaster spoons caught three 20- to 24-inch browns. Nick Savatorelli of Penn Valley caught a mixed limit of browns and rainbows trolling a dodger/threaded nightcrawler in the ‘No-Wake’ zone.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The Forest Service still advised against traveling in this area due to the American River fire.
FULLER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station recommended against traveling in this area due to heavy smoke from the American River and Yosemite fires—depending on which way the wind blows.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that fishing was still good despite the rapidly dropping water level. Bass were still hitting jigs and shakey-head worms on flats normally active in the spring during spawning season. Lipless and deep diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and ripbaits were producing on steeper walls and points. Drop-shot worms and worm-head Senkos were working down to 20 feet deep. With cooler water temps, bigger fish were moving shallower—a good omen!
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that smoky conditions here made it uncomfortable for some anglers. The DFW stocked 3600 trout this past week, but the fish quickly dispersed from the marina seeking cooler water. Some trout to 14 inches were caught in the marina on Power Bait.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The American River fire was still active and had grown to 24,135 acres by Sunday, so smoky conditions were a big problem here for campers and fishermen.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported heavy smoke in the area from the 134,000-acre Yosemite fire. Most folks found it too uncomfortable, though lots of archery deer hunters were roaming the forest.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.9-foot elevation at press time—91-percent capacity. With the lake at this high level, the bass were definitely located back up in the tules where a frog thrown in the afternoon could draw a big strike.