NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore.—The “Bubble Season” near the mouth of the Chetco opened Oct. 1 and runs through Oct.13, but the huge storm currently hitting Oregon has the ocean running with 13- to 18-foot swells, making it unfishable, according to WON Field Reporter Andy Martin. He said the king salmon holding in the ocean near the mouth will have entered the river with the high flows, anyway.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.-–Fishing during the beginning of the week remained very good overall for Chinook and Coho salmon, although there were some down times. “The bite periods were a little less strong than the week before, but nothing to complain about,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Many boats were showing catches of four or more salmon, but some didn’t have a single fish. Salmon fishing came to a stop during the weekend with the heavy winds and rain.” Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing backed up the report: “King salmon fishing continued to be good last week on the Coos River, but heavy rain over the weekend may bring the fishery to a close. The action had been hot since Labor Day.We boated 4 to 6 kings a day last week, but the Coos River salmon are fairly small, averaging around 10 to 12 pounds, but there are a lot of them. It’s been the hottest salmon action on the Oregon Coast in September.”
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.-–The Coquille River has remained slow over all this past week for king and silver fishing. So far, Chinook fishing is unusual for this river, said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “I have never seen the salmon fishing this slow for the entire season on this river,” he said. “Even in 2009 (the worst year of salmon returns for the state) the Coquille was an excellent choice to spend time on. A few nice salmon were caught each day when it wasn’t storming, but the fish were difficult to come by. The Hwy 101 Bridge near high slack tide has been a good place to catch salmon that have just entered the river.”
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.–The storms put a damper on what was finally good fishing for salmon in the Rogue Bay. With the arrival of the silvers, anglers have much more action than before, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Some of the boats at the beginning of the week reported putting 3-4 salmon in the fish box and returning another fish or two. Most catches are a mix of coho and Chinook this time of year. The flats above the Patterson Bridge on the south bank are a good place to fish the top half of the tide. We will have to wait to see how many fish didn’t bolt up the river and Indian Creek after all the fresh rain”. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing concurred, and said “they saw plenty of action on wild coho and a few kings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Strong winds and heavy rain made fishing tough on Sunday. We still haven’t seen a lot of Indian Creek hatchery Chinook, so there may be some salmon fishing in the bay through the first couple weeks of October.” Wild coho must be released, but provided enough action to keep things interesting late last week, Martin said, with most boats releasing one to three silvers. About a dozen kings were caught out of 50 boats on Thursday and Friday. A few hatchery silvers, including an 18 pounder boated by guide Sam Waller, have also been taken.
UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Ore.—“I haven’t heard of any salmon being caught this last week near Roseburg,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. “I took a couple walks down by the river and couldn’t see any coho rolling where they normally will rest up and make their presence known. I am used to seeing a good amount of them by the beginning of hunting season in the area of the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Umpqua. There is always the possibility that rains a few days before had been enough fresh water to get them and the Chinooks to race upriver into either of the forks. Water was still clean and fishable on Saturday afternoon at Cleveland Rapids.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen–Anglers on the lower end of the Klamath River were treated to the best salmon fishing of the season last Friday, but torrents of rain and howling winds shut fishing down over the weekend. It was limits of salmon all around in that brief period, though.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate—More and more Chinook salmon are arriving below the dam every day, and they are in really nice shape considering the length of the journey. This is a short season so anglers should drop everything and head on up for chances at a dozen or more big Chinook an outing.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma—Salmon fishing was still slow throughout the river, but steelheading was improving, especially above Del Loma. The storms were not nearly as heavy at the upper end of the river, so fishing for both salmon and steelhead should improve greatly as the big push of fish drawn by the rising water down at the mouth of the Klamath starts arriving.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE— Try jigs, crankbaits, plastic worms, chatterbaits and some swimbaits for limits of bass ranging from 18 to 22 pounds. The lake has reached its lowest level of the year, so boaters need to exercise caution while close to shore. Many of the points and the mouths of the creeks can result in a boater stranding their boat or damaging their prop, so be careful.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The bass bite backed off after the rain and overnight cool down, but it won’t take long for fish to adjust.
LAKE SONOMA—Warm Springs was the best bet from the 5 mph buoy back in. Keep an eye out for bass busting bait on the surface soon. Anglers have been using LV500s, dropshots, Senkos, jigs and other plastics to catch largemouth bass to 5 pounds.
LAKE ALMANOR—Geritol Cove and inside the Hamilton Branch were good spots to target hungry trout. Try a nightcrawler suspended under a floater.
BAUM LAKE—Fish the south end where there is moving water. DFW plants this lake regularly, there is not much pressure here and the fishing has been good.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Fishing should remain decent here until the end of the season. Especially since few are fishing here now.
EAGLE LAKE—The lake is in transition now and water clarity conditions were bad, with very cloudy water. You’ll have to get your nightcrawler right under their nose to stand any chance of a hook up.
FALL RIVER—Work the shallows as the fish are hungry and targeting a variety of bugs.
UPPER HAT CREEK– Pressure on the creek is very low so there so there have been lots of fish to go around. Fish plants continued twice until the end of September but there will be plenty in the system with no anglers.
PIT RIVER—Time to get out your October caddis nymphs. Fall fishing is great here.
MANZANITA LAKE—It’s fall and the fish will be feeding on the surface. Check regulations for special conditions here or ask at the park entrance when you go in.
McCLOUD RIVER—Cooler weather and overnight temperatures have helped the bite.
SHASTA LAKE— Conditions will continue to change over the next few weeks as the water temperatures drop. The fish and bait will start to come up, so set your trout rigs from 30 to 80 feet. Rolled shad has been a good bet and white Wiggle Hoochies. A watermelon Apex will also be a good choice. Dry Creek, Digger Bay, Waters Gulch, Toupee Island are all good areas to work. For bass, check out the topwater bite.
BERKELEY—Success on salmon varied from quick limits early in the week to just a few fish per boat. Happy Hooker scored limits of striped bass in the north Bay on Sunday. Lingcod counts ran on the high side and the word, “limits” was generally associated with rockfish along the Marin coast.
BENICIA—Parking spaces at First Street and Benicia State Park became difficult to come by, thanks to good counts of salmon from the shore. Wide-open striped bass action also helped to fill parking spaces.
BODEGA BAY—A couple of keeper halibut were caught near Hog Island. Fort Ross and Carmet areas offered up the most dependable rockfish action on the coast. New Sea Angler ran combo trips to score salmon, lingcod and limit-style rockfish fights.
EMERYVILLE—Early-week salmon count spikes set a level of expectation which was hurt by lower counts towards late-week. The reality is that the bite was up and down, requiring an adventurous spirit when scheduling trips. Salmon to 25 pounds were caught. Lingcod to 12 pounds came aboard, both from along the Marin coast.
EUREKA—Shellback and Reel Steel posted early limits of rockfish, many of which came from near Cape Mendocino. Big seas kept halibut and tuna fishing off the list of options.
FORT BRAGG—Albacore favored Fort Bragg fishers, when weather and sea conditions allowed. At times the bite was a bit over 40 miles from town. One boater scored over 50 tuna. Locally, boaters caught a few salmon and plenty of rockfish. Shore fishers worked the rocks and jetties with squid on 2-hook surf leaders to catch rockfish, cabezon and greenling.
HALF MOON BAY—Queen of Hearts, Riptide and Huli Cat all worked rockfish with great success. The boats ran south to reef zones between the Ritz Carlton and Pigeon Point. Salmon were caught, but the numbers were low.
MARTINEZ—Everyone and their uncles, brothers and cousins were out hauling in striped bass. The striped fish bite wildly from Benicia to the Mothball Fleet.
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon numbers continued to build, but fishing was only so-so last week. Nimbus Basin wasn’t even all that crowded, indicating that not much was happening there yet. Night fishermen using glo-in-the-dark Gitzits and FlatFish in the Upper Dredger Hole were catching from zero to a couple of fish a night. A few small steelhead were also being caught 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 1,700 cfs on the Feather River, but fishing for salmon was pretty good, and a 50-pound whopper was caught under the 5th street bridge on a jig. Salmon were generally darker, but many were still in good shape. Steelhead fishing continued to improve around Gridley and even in the lower river when steelhead hit plugs intended for salmon.
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. Also, there has been a decent top-water bite just before dark as the water cools and bass move into the shallows to feed.
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—Salmon fishing was good again for those who know what they are doing. Jigging produced some nice catches at the Brickyards, and both trollers and jiggers were scoring at Freeport and Clarksburg. Salmon were also being caught at the Minnow Hole on Flying “C” spinners.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing continued to be very good with limits and near limits being caught most days by guides, but there were some tougher days, as well, when the count was down to around a fish a rod. There are still some bright fish moving into the area, but a higher percentage are becoming darker. Backtrolling plugs continued to be the most effective method, but roe is working, too, 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 try around Ah-Di-Na and Ash Camp.
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. Remember the river is closed to fishing above the Highway 20 Bridge.
AMERICAN RIVER— The river was still running low and clear. It’s getting cold at night now and hikers need to pick their day before heading down the trails to the North Fork or Middle Fork—always let someone know where you’re going before heading off into the river canyon.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. There should still be some kokanee hitting around Garden Point as they head upriver to stage for the spawn. Spotted bass to 6 pounds were hitting. Larry Wheeler of Fremont picked up a big spot in Moran Cove on a drop-shot worm fished 35 feet deep.
CAMP FAR WEST—Kathy DeRossett at North Shore Resort reported that Ron Franks from Folsom caught 13 bass to 2 1/2 pounds on bluegill Roboworms fishing at the dam and up in the Rock Creek and Bear River arms at 10 feet deep on rocky points. There hasn’t been much fishing pressure. One lane of the ramp was still open for boat launching.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 30 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort reported that trout fishing was improving with the cooler weather and water temps. With the shad hatch in progress, the trout were hitting near the surface. Anglers were picking up a few limits, though most were still only catching 2 or 3 rainbows. Catfish to 8 pounds were checked in this past week and some anglers were catching limits of bass on crawdads.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Very little fishing pressure here this past week, according to Skippers Cove Marina. Good news, though, for the pen-rearing program—the DFW will be supplying around 3000 rainbow trout at the end of October to stock the pens.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Low water level impacting the boat launch, so little fishing pressure here. Cartoppers could troll near the dam.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 42-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the launch ramp was out of the water and only recommended the use of cartopper boats. Toplining with flasher/worm combos was working well around the boat ramp for brown trout.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 46-percent capacity. With the weather changes this past week, the bass fishing got a little tougher, according to guide Ron Gandolfi. The 69 boats at the Anglers’ Choice TOC found the fishing a little slow—top weight on Sat. was 11 pounds, next 5 spots at 10 pounds. Most fish were caught drop-shotting, dragging jigs and tubes, Carolina rigging or splitshotting. The bigger fish were suspended working schools of pond smelt and caught using spinnerbaits, Senkos, flukes, or a float n’ fly. There were lots of small limits—pretty standard for tournaments on this lake.
ROLLINS LAKE—The DFW stocked trout this past week at Long Ravine and Orchard Springs, according to Long Ravine Resort, but fishing pressure was low.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that a few trout were still being caught by trollers at the dam and the inlet. Smallmouth bass fishing was good from Hensley House to the day-use area at gate 2 using plastic worms. The bass were running 2 to 3 pounds.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—With the colder water temp, trout fishing should be improving near the ramp and the dam using Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the lake level was below the launch ramp and only cartoppers were recommended. Fishing pressure was low.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.2 feet at press time—86-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi recommended working the outside edges of the tules with Senkos, jigs, spinnerbaits and small swimbaits. Also try ripping the rocky points and cranking the riprap banks along the west side. Frogs should still be working in the afternoons on sunny days.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The fishing was good at the dam and inlet. Dry fly fishing was particularly good at the inlet of the Little Truckee.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Fishing was still good for trollers running flasher/worm combos or dodger/grubs from Emigrant Bay to the dam. Shore fishing was good at Wood’s Creek, the dam and the spillway. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching 15 rainbows from 12 to 14 inches in 3 1/2 hours.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The East Carson and West Carson are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Alpine County planted another 1800 pounds of 1 1/2 to 5 pounders in the East and West Carson this past week. Carson River Resort reported that fishing was good in the deeper pools and runs for rainbows to 4 1/2 pounds. The flows were down but the river was running clear. Everyone was catching their limit on bait and flies.
DAVIS LAKE—Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that flyfishing and float n’ fly action was good at Fairview. Dillard and a friend caught 20 rainbows from 16 to 19 inches on Monday in 52-degree water using cinnamon or olive woolly buggers. One flyfisherman caught a dozen trout to 21 inches at Fairview. Trollers were doing well at the island using a pink Sockeye Slammer or bikini Dick Nite at 4 to 10 feet deep. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that shore fishermen were doing well at Mallard Point using Power Bait and Gulp! Power Eggs.
DONNER LAKE—After the DFW plant this past week, fishing around the launch ramp and the west end piers was very good. Kokanee trolling was still productive along the north shore and the fish were beginning to school up in front of the west end beach at the creek inlet.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON— Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing in the North Fork was pretty slow, but a few big rainbows were still coming out of the Caribou Powerhouse.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were picking up 2 or 3 rainbows to 2 pounds at Turkey Point, the Frenchman ramp, and the dam using nightcrawlers and Power Bait.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that Gold Lake was fishing very well for boaters trolling or jigging along the shelf from the islands to the dam for rainbows running 14 to 20 inches. Fishing was good at Salmon Lake, but slow at Packer and Sardine. Snag Lake was kicking out limits for patient anglers.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 59-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching fourteen 12- to 13-inch rainbows trolling a Sep’s Strike Master Dodger with a 2-inch brown grub in the top 20 feet. Now is the time to hit the Crystal Basin Lakes as the fall bite kicks into high gear.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR— Not much pressure here with the big plants going into the Carson River. Alpine County will stock 1800 pounds of trout here in November.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Few reports were available, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Fishing should be good at the dam and along the west side toward Woodcamp.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported that fishing was improving with the cooler water temp. One troller came in Sunday morning saying he had lost a BIG fish, probably a Mackinaw or a brown. Shore fishing was good at the first dam and up in the Narrows at the old ramp.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported an “awesome bite” for 3- to 7-pound macks trolling spoons and plugs 250 to 350 feet deep in the mornings, and 130 to 220 feet deep in the afternoons from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported a good mack bite trolling Storm ThunderSticks or jigging Williamson jigs at 130 to 160 feet deep along the west side from Sugar Pine to Emerald Bay. Scott Carey at Tahoe Sportfishing reported that he was doing well on 2- to 4-pound macks trolling a dodger/minnow at 70 to 220 feet deep at South Shore. The kokanee bite was good at 110 feet off Taylor Creek for 1/2 red and 1/2 bright fish—still enough good fish left to take home for the table.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching 15 rainbows to 15 inches in the top 15 feet using a Sep’s watermelon Strike Master Dodger and a brown grub. The launch ramp was down to one lane and there was no dock.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Try the area around the boat launch after the plant.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported catching 50 cutthroats to 10 pounds on a perch fishing trip to the Needles and Hells’ Kitchen this past week. Schools of tui chub were everywhere and all of them had big trout under them. The opener will be EXCELLENT!!
RED LAKE—Try worms at the dam for a few DFW cutthroats running 8 to 11 inches.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Trolling was good around the island and where the water runs into the lake, according to the EID host. Shore fishing was best at the dam.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. The kokanee fishing was done for the season with the fish moving up the Sagehen Creek and the Little Truckee. Macks were prowling around the inlets feeding on the kokes, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
TOPAZ LAKE—The trout season closed on Sept. 30 and reopens on Jan. 1, 2014. This will be the last report until the New Year.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The fishing was best from the Boca Outlet to Reno. With cooler water temps, the brown trout were becoming more active. The fish were hitting streamers, October caddis, baetis and BWO patterns.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Fishing was slow, with few anglers making the effort to visit the lake, according to Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and guide Service.
WEST WALKER RIVER—George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing was very good with lots of limits coming in from the deeper pools and runs. Nightcrawlers were working best for the bigger fish concentrated in the deep pools—one angler brought in a 27-inch rainbow. Most limits consisted of 12 to 16 inchers and were caught on salmon eggs, worms and flies.