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.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–Water temperatures are in the high 60’s for the Coquille River, which is above normal and hard on fish. “These temperatures could be the reason why we aren’t seeing a better early season fishery on this river,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer. “The salmon fishing was poor this last week, with an average of 4-6 salmon a day being caught,” he said. “I would say there have been about two dozen boats working the lower 4 miles of river. This is still early for the Coquille River and it’s seeing many more anglers than in the past 20 years. I am expecting huge changes to current fishing conditions over next two weeks.”
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.–Fishing for salmon on the Rogue Bay is almost non-existent. “It is a shame to see what once was a fabulous fishery become a memory,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “I have been noticing lots of the anglers from the Gold Beach area on other rivers over the last two weeks. Many of the local guides are fishing their clients as far away as even the Umpqua River.” Indian Creek Chinook salmon should be returning to the Rogue Bay any day now, and that’s a local fishery, as Indian Creek is in the lower river.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Same as ever, with smallmouth bass fishing the only option, but the action is improving, as there is less use of the river by those playing in the water, and the river is cooling just a little.
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Ore.–Salmon fishing for Chinooks was been slow this last week, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Thursday, however, was the one day that it seems everyone had caught a limit of salmon,” he said. “Most sportsman are fishing Windy Bend with only a small number of salmon being caught in comparison to the weeks before. Best time to fish has been first light and high tide. The fishery should be good through September.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Higher, cooler water flows over the weekend to the Trinity and Klamath rivers to 900 cfs is having the desired effect, attracting more steelhead to the rivers. However, it is also pushing lots of moss down the Klamath, hampering anglers. Lots of salmon are entering the estuary of the Klamath, so the liners fishing from the bank at the spit, and the netters are having a field day. Fishing for boaters has been tougher upstream, however. Still fishing for adult salmon, jacks and steelhead from Blue Creek on down has improved.
TRINITY RIVER—Fishing was very good at the mouth of the Trinity last week as more salmon and steelhead attracted by the higher flows, moved into the area. It’s still an early morning fishery, but the bite has been very good. Willow Creek and the Burnt Ranch area has seen improved fishing, as well as fish working their way upriver. Fishing was improving upstream from Del Loma, but the wave of fish expected from the higher flows has not reached the upper part of the river, at least in the numbers that should arrive soon.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The bite is picking up again. Standards for this time of year include surface baits, crankbaits, rattlebaits, chatterbaits and all types of plastics. Catfishing has been red hot with cut baits, minnows and nightcrawlers doing the trick around the lake for cats running 8 to 15 pounds. Tourney pressure will make fishing during the week a better deal.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Kokes are pretty much done for the season, but the bass fishing is kicking in with colder nights and dropping water temperatures. LuckyCraft BDS3’s, Pointer minnows and spoons will be good baits to throw in shad patterns while covering water.
LAKE SONOMA—There’s still good topwater fishing for large and smallmouth bass early and late. Cover main body points from the dam all the way up to Dry Creek.
LAKE ALMANOR—Trolling lanes early in the morning produced on the east shore, Rocky Point and Canyon Dam, as well as from Rec. 1 to the A-Frame. Jigging was good around Spar Buoy, the mouth of the Hamilton Branch and Rec. 2. Mooching with anchovy tails for salmon near the A-Frame was still on and off.
BAUM LAKE—The Fly Shop in Redding reported okay fishing for the float tube crowd. Look for the bite to pick back up as the weather cools.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported the pressure at the forebay picked up over the Labor Day weekend, but the fishing was still good. Eggs and worms worked best and limits were common. Fishing should remain good through September as fish plants continue and pressure remains low.
EAGLE LAKE—For bobber fishing, follow the birds and fish points or drop-offs 25 to 30 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. The bite will pick up as the weather cools down.
FALL RIVER—Look for even flowing water between weed beds and smooth gradual transitions from shallow to deep water. The Fly Shop in Redding reported fishing has been great here.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Rim Rock Ranch reported campers and anglers showed up in droves to fish and enjoy the final weekend of the summer. Fish and Wildlife made several fish plants, so the fishing was quite good. Some huge brooders started coming in and this should only get better in the weeks to come. Worms, salmon eggs and Panther Martins all worked well. Temperatures have been in the low 80s in the afternoon and low 40s in the morning.
PIT RIVER—The isonychia become active about this time of year and the trout key in on them through early September so fishing has been good.
MANZANITA LAKE–Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing was good with a variety of fly patterns working throughout the day. In the a.m., pmd and pheasant tail nymphs were catching fish and in the early evening, callibaetis emergers and black copper Johns took fish. Just after sunset, October caddis worked quickly on the surface caught fish. Remember, this lake has special restrictions, so be sure to read the regulations governing this body of water.
McCLOUD RIVER—Expect fishing to start looking up again as water conditions improve through this coming week. Fishing was best for anglers throwing nymphs under indicators or running them using high stick and short line techniques.
SHASTA LAKE—Trout fishing slowed, with fewer fish, but they were nice, fat ones. Anglers were competing with a lot of bait in the system. Lots of bass around, but anglers had to sort through a ton of small fish. Find the bait and you can use whatever you like.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—The 299 Bridge was the hot spot at 30 to 60 feet with an Apex in UV pink or plain chrome in the morning in 40 and 60 feet. As the day goes on, pink hoochies on a Sling Blade at 30 feet with a Sep’s Strikemaster dodger in front of an Uncle Larry’s pink spinner at 50 feet did the trick.
BLUE LAKES—Upper Blue Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 75-percent capacity. The fishing was good here during the week for rainbows and a few browns. Bigger fish were moving down out of the Little Truckee with the flows reduced due to dam repairs at Stampede. The recent DFW plant improved the bite in the coves between the dam and the boat ramp. Troll or cast spinners at the inlet for bigger fish.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 74-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kirkwood PUD/EID stocked 1650 pounds of rainbows on Aug. 28. Boaters trolling or drifting nightcrawlers 20 feet deep were catching near limits of planter rainbows and some big fish to 4 pounds at Wood’s Creek, Emigrant Bay and near the EID ramp.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The Carson River Resort reported that fishing was very good, even though flows were down. Anglers were catching lots of DFW planters and a few Alpine County fish to 4 pounds on worms, salmon eggs, and flies.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 71-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was slow. He did well anchoring in 25 feet of water on the north end of the island and fishing on the bottom with Power Bait—his last trip produced seven rainbows, 16 to 19 1/2 inches. Shore fishing and flyfishing was very slow.
DONNER LAKE—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that kokanee trolling was picking up along the north shore at 40 to 80 feet deep for 15- to 16-inch fish using dodger/hoochies. The west end docks were producing planter rainbows on Power Bait and worms.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing in the North Fork was very good with lots of rainbows being caught on worms and Panther Martin spinners after an unscheduled DFW plant this past week.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that anglers were still picking up a few fish to 16 inches on nightcrawlers near the dam. The Frenchman ramp repairs took longer than anticipated and was set to reopen on Aug. 31.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—The rock islands near the ramp at Gold Lake produced brown trout, 14 to 18 inches, for a float tube flyfisherman using a J. Fair Wiggle tail on an intermediate sinker at 6 to 8 feet deep. Salmon Lake and Sardine Lake were both producing for shore anglers, while Packer Lake and Snag Lake were slow.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that fishing pressure was very low due to the smoke from the Yosemite fire.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Fishing pressure was light here with the red-hot action in the Carson River.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was best from the dam to Woodcamp for trollers and shore anglers.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week and fishing was good from shore at both the first and second dams for anglers using Power Bait and worms. Sly Park Resort reported that smallmouth bass were hitting jigs and worms on the steeper rocky banks.
LAKE TAHOE—Heavy smoke from the Yosemite fire was impacting the whole Tahoe basin, but fishing was still good for macks and kokanee. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported that two boat loads of Vietnam Vets were one fish from limits of kokes trolling dodger/spinner combos at 90 to 110 feet deep at Camp Richardson. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported that he was catching limits of 2- to 8-pound macks at Tahoe City trolling spoons and plugs from 140 to 440 feet deep. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said he was catching quick limits of mack and kokanee jigging off Camp Richardson and Emerald Bay at 85 feet deep. Tahoe Sportfishing’s Scott Carey reportedly picked up 16- and 17-pound macks this past week trolling dodger/minnow combos.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 59-percent capacity. With colder nights, the trolling was improving by the day for rainbows using dodger/nightcrawler or grub combos in the top 15 feet.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 31-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that with the lake level so low, fishing was best off the point between the creek arm and at the dam—the deepest spots in the lake.
RED LAKE—Fishing was slow, according to last available report. Try the dam or inlet for brookies and cutthroats using worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 65-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kirkwood PUD/EID stocked 1350 pounds of rainbows on Aug. 28. Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was good since the recent plants
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that kokanee trolling was still good at the dam and island at 60 to 80 feet deep using dodger/hoochie or spinner combos tipped with corn. Rainbow trout action was good anywhere in the arms and coves near the ramp. Smallmouth bass action was good in the Davies Creek arm with some fish in the 5- to 6-pound class reported.
TOPAZ LAKE—The water level was still too low for boat launching.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was a little tough with the best action occurring early and late in the day. Streamers and crayfish patterns were best in the morning. During the hour before sunset, caddis, PED, and little yellow stone patterns were working well.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that trollers were picking up 3 or 4 kokanee for a days fishing using dodger/hoochie or spinner combos at 75 to 85 feet deep. Macks were still hitting dodger/herring combos at 150 to 175 feet deep.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled to receive DFW trout plants this week. The flows in the West Walker were way down this past week, with only 4 good fishable holes left in the canyon. The flows were still good in the Little Walker. The “Size Doesn’t Matter, the Sequel” Trout Derby scheduled for Sep. 13-15 was cancelled due to an unexpected death. Fishing in the available water was good in light of the weekly DFW plants.
BENICIA—Shore casters and boaters hooked up with salmon using spoons and spinners. Striped bass action became so good that many salmon anglers switched over to bait fishing with bullheads for the bass.
BERKELEY—California Dawn, Happy Hooker and the Berkeley Charter Boats vessels all had tough decisions to make… run long for albacore, run to Duxbury for salmon or the Marin coast for rockfish and lingcod. Between all boats, the options were well-covered.
BODEGA BAY—Sporadic salmon bites, including fish to 35 pounds, kept salmoneers busy trolling and mooching off of Elephant Rock and below Russian River. Lingcod bit for New Sea Angler passengers at rates that exceeded a fish per rod. The right albacore water was discovered 28 miles out and trips are in the planning phase.
EMERYVILLE—The fleet of boats out of Emeryville mixed things up between salmon and rockfish and lingcod. Salmon counts were up and down day-by-day and boat-by-boat, but averaged a fish per rod throughout the week. Sundance netted 8 salmon to 20 pounds for 5 fishers. Rockfish and lingcod went wild and New Huck Finn got limits of lingcod to 18 pounds, along with limits of rockfish.
EUREKA—Salmon fishing faltered and then regained its steam, looking good as we move towards the end of the season. Reel Steel put limits aboard by 10:15 a.m., Saturday. Eel River was the general area of greatest productivity. Albacore moved in and out, as currents moved the right water around. Tuna were hooked 8 miles out of Shelter Cove.
FORT BRAGG—Albacore catches were made as close as 6 miles out of Fort Bragg. Ambush caught 21 on Friday and 20 on Saturday, with fish sizes ranging from 25 to 30 pounds. Trek II and Telstar focused on red-hot rockfish and lingcod action, according to John Gebers at Noyo Fishing Center.
HALF MOON BAY—Queen of Hearts made a run to the Pioneer and the Guide for longfin tuna early in the week. Late in the week and into the weekend, boats divided time between salmon and rockfish/lingcod, all available within short distances from Harbor.
MARTINEZ—Striper fishing was very good with fish being hooked regularly from both the Martinez Pier and by boaters. A 9-year-old kid, on his last day of fishing before school started caught and released lots of schoolie-size striped bass. Two big sturgeon, one 49 pounds and the other 65 pounds, were caught by private boaters.
AMERICAN RIVER —Flows dropped to 2,300 cfs last week, making the river easier to wade—but great caution is still required. Few salmon were still making the move into the river, as yet. However, steelheading for fish, mostly between 14 and 18 inches, was still pretty good for flyfishers dead-drifting nymphs under indicators and swinging bird’s nest flies on floating lines and long leaders. Spin fishermen were getting some hits by drifting nightcrawlers and swinging Little Cleos and Blue Fox spinners.
FEATHER RIVER—Salmon fishing continued to be pretty good for anglers who put in their time around Shanghai Bend and intercepted pods of fish shooting their way upstream. There were also salmon caught at Gridley and the Outlet, but those fish were somewhat darker and had been hanging around for awhile. Some halfpounder steelhead were being caught in the same stretch of water.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake continued to drop slowly and is on track for the 5 mph restriction to go into force in about a month. Some nice kings were 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—Salmon fishing picked up last week around Sacramento and some were caught at the Minnow Hole on big spinners and at the mouth of the American River on Kwikfish. The most productive fishing spot in the region was around the mouth of the Feather River at Verona, but fishing pressure has been particularly heavy there. Troll Silvertron spinners, and Kwikfish. Some salmon were being caught at Rio Vista, jigging in the evenings.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—The mid- and upper section of river between Jelly’s Ferry and Butte City has continued to be the best bet for salmon. The count has been around three fish per boat, but some days, guides and very good—and lucky—anglers have been getting limits all around. Plugs seem to have been working better than roe most of the time.
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 flyfishers 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.
AMERICAN RIVER—The American River fire near Foresthill was fully contained this past week, but few were fishing the river.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The lake was very busy over the holiday weekend, but trollers could still score on small kokanee at Garden Point in the early morning during the week. An Emerald Cove boat slip customer caught a 22-inch spot on a plastic worm in the marina, so there are a few big bass prowling around.
CAMP FAR WEST—The fishing was slow, according to North Shore Resort. The launch ramp still only has one lane due to the low lake level.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 29 feet from full. Fishing was fair this past week. Trout anglers were averaging 2 or 3 rainbows. Catfish to 5 1/2 pounds were active in the coves and at the rental docks at night.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina reported that shore anglers were picking up limits of planter rainbows at the launch ramp using Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Bass fishing was improving for fishermen using crawdads in the coves.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. The American River fire was contained, and the road to the lake was open. Reports indicated that there weren’t many people in the campgrounds.
FULLER LAKE—The lake was planted by the DFW this past week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that light smoke was keeping most people out of the area and fishing pressure was non-existent.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that anglers were still catching 20 to 40 bass per day using a mix of reaction baits, and worms and jigs. Topwater action was very good in the early morning in the West Branch using Pop-R’s, Spooks, and flukes. Drop-shot Roboworms in margarita mutilator, oxblood, and warmouth were working well from the top to 20 feet deep. A Paradise Tackle Company football jig rigged with a hula grub was working well on steep points at 30 to 40 feet deep. Windy points and mudlines were good producers in the Slot.
ROLLINS LAKE—The fishing was slow with a widely fluctuating water level.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that the lake was dropping rapidly and fishing was slow. One boater caught limits of 11- to 12-inch rainbows on Power Bait anchored at the inlet to Deer Creek.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The American Fire was 100-percent contained this past week, and smoke was lighter, but fishing was slow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was slow, though the camp host said lots of people were in the campgrounds for the Labor Day weekend.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at the 134.4-foot elevation at press time—88-percent capacity. The Swede Flat fire was under control and the air quality around the lake was good. At this level, the tule banks were still a good bet for bass anglers throwing Senkos and spinnerbaits early in the day and frogs in the afternoon.