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.—According to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, the river is full of salmon, but they’re not biting until the tide changes begin. When that happens, the Chinooks have been caught by everyone. This are super fat fish, he said, and this river is the best in southern Oregon right now.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.—The flood tides had the salmon moving upriver at a fast pace, and made the kings not much interested in angler offerings as bait, according to guide Curtis Palmer. “Coho entered the river at the beginning of the week and they’re running from 30 inches to 34 inches as a average,” said Palmer. “We are allowed to harvest one of these native salmon a day and two for the season. Lower tides this next week should help with catching them in the following week.”
RUSSIAN RIVER—There was some rain, but not enough to do much to the river or fishing, although it will be good for the coho, steelhead and king smolts in the tributaries.
SMITH RIVER—There was rain, but according to WON Field Reporter Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service, “Not much to say. The rain was good, but not enough and still too early.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen–Anglers on the lower end of the Klamath River were scratching their heads as to why salmon fishing did not markedly improve when the mouth opened after good tides and heavy rains last week. Boaters were getting 1 to 5 fish an outing, mostly jacks, and working hard for those. Some coho salmon were being caught, but they must be released unharmed. Moss was also a problem.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—Salmon fishing was slow, once again, and, although anglers on the Trinity were optimistic that a big push of salmon would enter the Klamath and head for the Trinity, continued poor fishing at the lower end of the Klamath, was not encouraging. There were a few steelhead being caught upriver above Del Loma, but fall salmon fishing was largely a bust.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE— The average bass are running in the 3- to 3 1/2-pound range and up to almost 6 pounds. With the fall bite underway, anglers can use whatever they want while these fish feed up for the winter. The catfishing also continues around the lake.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass are feeding up on schools of shad and you can catch them on crankbaits, topwater, spoons and plastics. Just about everything is working if you find the bait they are feeding on. Look for the bait birds to be around the bait and the bass to be not too far away.
LAKE SONOMA—Try working a LuckyCraft BDS3 and covering water for bass in Cherry Creek, Yorty Creek and Warm Springs, which have been the best bets, with shad pattern baits.
LAKE ALMANOR—The trout bite has started to pick back up after a full moon phase that allowed them to feed throughout the night. Early mornings have been best due to winds and trolling the usual lanes the most productive.
BAUM LAKE—Cooler overnight and morning temperatures, less pressure, and a recent DFW plant all add up to better fishing here now.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Rim Rock Ranch reported very few people fishing the forebay, but those who were, caught a lot of fish. Most have been rainbows and the quality of the fish has been good. Most baits worked well and was just a matter of personal preference. Fishing should remain decent here until the end of the season.
EAGLE LAKE—As the overall temperatures have been dropping, the bite and size of trout here has been picking up. A few 4 pounders have started to show up. Try Merrill Campground in 20 feet of water, fishing from 3 to 10 feet deep with a threaded nightcrawler under a slip bobber. That produced three limits from 1 3/4 to 3 pounds for Flying Eagle Guide Service this past week.
FALL RIVER—Look for even flowing water between weed beds and smooth gradual transitions from shallow to deeper water. The Fly Shop in Redding reported fishing has been good here and should continue through October.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Rim Rock Ranch reported fishing here was excellent this past week with lots of big fish still being caught. Worms and eggs were still the baits of choice and both brookies and rainbows were among the take. The weather has turned colder after a bit of rain on Saturday so dress for colder mornings. Pressure on the creek is very low, so there so there are lots of fish to go around. Fish plants will continue twice a month until the end of the month.
PIT RIVER—The isonychia becomes active about this time of year and the trout key in on them through early September, so fishing has been good. Check for PG&E releases and bring a wading staff. The bite gets going as the fish and hatches warm up in the morning.
MANZANITA LAKE—No report this past week.
McCLOUD RIVER—Expect fishing to start looking up again as water conditions and clarity improves. Fishing was best for anglers throwing nymphs under indicators or running them using high stick and short line techniques.
SHASTA LAKE—With colder nights and mornings the lake is starting to transition from summer to cooler temperatures. As this happens, look for the topwater bite to take off for trout, salmon and bass as they feed up for the winter on baitfish.
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon fishing continued to improve up and down the river with waders doing well lining salmon in Nimbus Basin and at Sailor Bar, boaters backtrolling plugs from Sailor Bar to Grist Mill, and night fishermen using glo-in-the-dark Gitzits and FlatFish in the Upper Dredger Hole all catching nice salmon. Some steelhead fishermen were also scoring mostly small steelies with a few exceeding 20 inches, on dead-drifted caddis and Mayfly nymphs, as well as on the swing on floating lines in the low 1,500 cfs flows. Spin fishermen were swinging spinners and spoons, and drifting nightcrawlers.
FEATHER RIVER—Flows were down to 2,400 cfs on the Feather River, and, while the river below the Outlet was loaded with salmon, almost all were very dark. A new push of bright salmon showed up in the lower river below Yuba City later in the week, and provided good salmon fishing for fresh salmon around Boyd’s Pump. Steelhead fishing was improving, too, below the Outlet, for small steelhead to about 18 inches on dead-drifted nymphs.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake surface level is now officially below the 400-foot elevation, and the 5 mph speed limit over the entire lake is in effect. Fishing for both salmon and trout continued to be slow, but some anglers who use their electronics to find bait balls have been scoring decent numbers of smallish spots and smallies fishing plastics on the edges of shelves, and rocky banks that drop sharply into deep water. The best bite has been drop-shotting Robo-Worms.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—A very few bass were being caught, mostly very early and late, but most of the fishing action continued to be on panfish, especially redeared sunfish.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento–Sacramento salmon fishing was even better than the previous week, and bankies fishing the Minnow Hole caught dozens of nice kings on Saturday throwing Flying “C” spinners. The Minnow Hole was good, too for bankies, and boaters did well backtrolliiing plugs around the mouths of the American and Feather rivers. Jiggers were catching fish at Freeport. Some striped bass were being caught in the Turning Basin on bullheads.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing was outstanding with most guides catching limits or near limits daily from Woodfords to the Barge Hole. The fish are getting a bit darker, but are still beautiful with rich orange meat. Backtrolling plugs is still good, especially early in the a.m., but lots of fish are now being caught on roe, especially later in the morning.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing was very good again last week in the low flows, and even wading fly fishers were doing well around Redding. Spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers, Glo-Bugs, and crickets, while fly fishers dead-drifted nymphs under indicators.
UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS—The rain cooled the water, and trout fishing improved greatly, especially in the lower part of the Upper Sac below Sims. A few of the larger trout that make their annual trek out of Lake Shasta are now starting to show up. Fishing improved on the McCloud, as well. It’s still a little early for the big browns to start showing up on the Nature Conservancy water, but it shouldn’t try around Ah-Di-Na and Ash Camp. Snow on Mt. Shasta and rains in the surrounding areas brought up flows some and cooled the river down.
YUBA RIVER—Fly fishers were doing best on dead-drifted caddis and Mayfly nymphs under indicators, but stimulators being used as the indicator were attracting the occasional strike, as well.
BERKELEY—A South Bay trip on the California Dawn resulted in numerous catches of sharks including a 300-pound sevengill. New Easy Rider found salmon at the Duxbury, signaling a possible next batch group of fish is moving in. Happy Hooker nailed limits of striped bass in the Bay.
BODEGA BAY—Windy conditions prevailed for the latter half of the week and through the weekend. Before that, private boaters scored well on albacore between Farallon Islands and Fanny Shoals. Rockfish bit for boaters off of Elephant Rock and for both boaters and shore fishers at Fort Ross. New Sea Angler fished the Fort Ross area for steady limits of rockfish and very high counts of lingcod to 19 pounds.
EMERYVILLE—Party boats spread their efforts between rockfish/lingcod and albacore. Most of the longfins came from near Fanny Shoals. Marin Coast provided dependable limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod up to an 18-pounder caught aboard the New Huck Fin.
EUREKA/TRINIDAD—Reel Steel made a 20-mile run to Trinidad and scored limits of Pacific halibut to 75 pounds for all aboard by 11:00 a.m. Tuna runs, early in the week before weather set in, were highly successful with counts of up to 50 fish per boat, plus hookups with exotics including dorado and marlin.
FORT BRAGG—High winds and rough seas kept most boats ashore or catching plentiful rockfish near harbor. Staff at Subsurface Progression Dive Shop reported horrible visibility and rough, surgy water. Nevertheless, a few boats did make it out for albacore, but no reports came in of successes.
HALF MOON BAY—Huli Cat found albacore 60 miles out of Pillar Point harbor. PBers caught salmon right outside the red can buoy outside the harbor. Rockfish and lingcod fishing results were very good south of town along reef zones near Pescador.
MARTINEZ—Striped bass fishing was going really strong, according to Amy Thompkins at Martinez Marina Bait and Tackle.
AMERICAN RIVER—The heavy rains this past weekend kept anyone from venturing down the trails to the river where flows were up.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. There were still lots of small kokanee coming in from the Garden Point area for trollers. With the cooler weather, bass anglers can expect the spotted bass action to kick into high gear. Try drifting nightcrawlers 25 to 45 feet deep at the dam for a mix of bass and trout.
CAMP FAR WEST—Bass fishing was good during the week before the rains. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 17 bass to 2 1/4 pounds on green pumpkin lizards at the dam and up in Rock Creek and the Bear River arm at 10 to 15 feet deep.
COLLINS LAKE—Collins Lake Resort reported that fishing pressure was very light this past week, with only a few catfish and bass checked in by anglers. Heavy rains fell over the weekend reducing fishing pressure even more.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. One rental patio boat fished the Boston Bar area at the “No-Ski” buoy line and caught limits of rainbows to 4 1/2 pounds on nightcrawlers. Another boater reported catching a limit of 15- to 16-inch rainbows up in the “No-Ski” zone while trolling, according to Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Heavy rains over the weekend kept anglers at home. Snow fell on the higher peaks around the lake.
FULLER LAKE—The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that no one was at the lake over the weekend due to the heavy rain at lake level and snow on the higher peaks around the lake. It was cold and windy—not very good fishing conditions.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was good with 40- to 50- fish days possible. The early morning bite was good using Spooks, flukes and spinnerbaits for suspended fish working bait balls. After sunrise, the fish were moving to the banks from 25 to 40 feet deep on steep points and walls and hitting darthead worms and Senkos, drop-shot worms, splitshot Senkos, and Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs. Deep fish were hitting spoons.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Casey Reynolds of Auburn reported that two friends trolled the inlet area for 18- and 22-inch brown trout using dodger/nightcrawler combos and Rapalas.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that bass anglers were catching lots of smallmouths on jigs and worms at the dam. Trollers were still picking up a few rainbows at the dam and the inlet.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that heavy rains kept most visitors out of the forest over the weekend.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that things were pretty slow here with the heavy rain this past weekend.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at the 133.2-foot elevation at press time—79-percent capacity. The water was still up on the tule banks at this elevation and bass were hitting Senkos and jigs pitched to the pockets on the outside edges of the banks–try spinnerbaits too. The frog bite will slow as the temp drops.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. The fishing pressure was very light this past week, but the best action was at the inlet at the drop-off. Trolling or bait drifting could yield a nice rainbow or brown.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Strong winds this past week kept most boaters off the lake. Shore anglers did well at Wood’s Creek and the dam for rainbows to 3 pounds. Trollers early in the week did well at Wood’s Creek and the dam for rainbows to 2 pounds using Berkley Mousetails.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—WON Staffer Pat Young and wife spent two days here this past week and caught-and-released over 110 trout from 1 to 3 1/2 pounds and lost two 4 1/2 to 5 pounders on salmon eggs and dry/dropper flies fishing both the East and West Carson. Fish at the bridges on the West Carson, and in the deeper holes near Monitor Pass in the East Carson.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was much improved this past week with cooler water temps. On two trips, Dillard’s clients landed 25 rainbows running 16 to 18 1/2 inches while trolling cinnamon woolly buggers at 5 to 9 feet deep near the island. Trollers working up toward Lightning Tree found lots of weed floating on the surface that made it difficult to keep their lines clear. Flyfishing was good along the west side at Jenkins and Eagle Point for rainbows running 14 to 18 inches on woolly buggers, calibaetis, and olive wiggle tails. Shore fishing was improving at Mallard using inflated nightcrawlers and Power Eggs.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that kokanee trolling was still good for limits running dodger/hoochie or spinner combos 40 to 80 feet deep along the north shore toward the Loch Levon Lodge on the east end of the lake. There was little pressure on the west end public piers when WON Staffer Pat Young drove through the area mid-week.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that some big rainbows to 4 pounds were coming out of the Caribou Powerhouse on nightcrawlers. A trip up the East Branch starting at Rich Bar produced numerous rainbows to 19 inches and 20 smallmouth bass on Panther Martin spinners for Hanson this past week. He fished all the pools and pockets for a mile or so upstream of Rich Bar for 4 to 5 hours.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that rainbow trout fishing was improving with the colder weather. The Frenchman ramp, the dam, Crystal Point, and Turkey Point were all producing using worms. Flyfishing was productive using woolly buggers at Crystal Point for rainbows to 3 pounds.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Sardine Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that Gold Lake was good from the 4×4 campground through the islands toplining a white trolling fly for 14- to 16-inch browns. Shore fishing was good using a nightcrawler/marshmallow combo at Gold Lake and Salmon Lake. After the DFW plant, fish the waterfall and boat ramp at Sardine Lake.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The lake was stocked by the DFW three weeks ago and fishing pressure was light this past week. Trollers should be doing well using a dodger/nightcrawler in the top 15 feet. Try shore fishing near the boat ramp.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Not much happening here with the phenomenal fishing in the Carson River. Alpine County will stock 1800 pounds of trophy rainbows here later this fall when the water temp drops some more.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the best bet for bigger fish was trolling or shore fishing at the dam and along the west side toward Woodcamp.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported that shore fishing was good for 12- to 14-inch rainbows at the first dam using worms and Power Bait. Bass anglers reported that fishing for smallmouths was very good in the shallower flat areas of the lake using worms and jigs.
LAKE TAHOE—Before the winds set in, trolling for macks was good on both ends of the lake. WON Staffer Pat Young fished North Shore with Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing for half-limits of 3- to 5-pound macks on a windy day off Kings Beach—on a calm day limits would have been no problem. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said that the kokanee were still hitting in limit numbers, but the fish were in poor condition and not worth eating. Jigging for macks was hit-or-miss from Sugar Pine to Emerald Bay.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. With the colder weather, fishing should be good for trollers working a dodger/worm or grub in the top 15 feet for 12- to 14-inch rainbows.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 28-percent capacity. At this low level, the only option was to fish at the dam for trout and smallmouth bass.
PYRAMID LAKE—WON Staffer Pat Young and wife fished for perch with Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters this past week and caught 15 cutthroats from 3 1/2 to 7 pounds on marabou jigs north of the Pyramid in 1 1/2 hours before windy conditions set in. There were big schools of tui chub seen all over the area. The upcoming trout opener should be excellent.
RED LAKE—WON Staffer Pat Young stopped by here this past week and found one angler fishing off the dam with a bobber and worms catching the occasional DFW planter cutthroat. The inlet is a good spot too, for the angler willing to make the hike, according to the guy at the dam.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Good shore fishing and trolling. Try the dam from shore using worms, Power Bait, a Kastmaster, or Panther Martin. Trolling was good all over the lake but better where the water runs into the lake.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Not a boat on the lake this past Wed. when WON Staffer Pat Young stopped by—and no shore anglers either. The big fish kill, hundreds of kokanee and macks found at the dam, was attributed to oxygen depletion caused by the early turnover of the lake.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Flyfishermen seen just below the Boca Outlet reported only catching a fish or two on nymphs, according to WON Staffer Pat Young who visited here last Wed. Mountain Hardware and Sport said that fishing was hit-or-miss—good one day and poor the next depending on the spot.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. In a word—SLOW, despite a DFW trout plant three weeks ago. Local anglers were still giving the lake a ‘thumbs down’ for kokanee and macks.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The flows were low, but plenty of trout were stacked up in the deeper pools and runs. Salmon eggs and worms were working well for bait anglers. Flyfishing was very good in the evenings. The Toiyabe Motel reported that some of their guests were coming in with limits of rainbows up to 5 pounds. “Folks were catching fish like nobody’s business.”