NOTICE: Many public lakes under the supervision or jurisdiction of federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, have been closed to fishing and/or boat launching due to the federal shutdown. Call ahead.
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.
CHETCO RIVER, Ore.—The Oct. 1 opener of the Chetco “Bubble Season” was blown out by high seas and a storm front, but by Thursday the ocean was calm and anglers got out for some good king salmon fishing. Guide and WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing put his clients on limits of kings from 20 to 30 pounds trolling mostly outside the Bay, but he also caught fish inside.
COQUILLE, Bandon, Ore.—“The beginning of the week was not worth the effort of pulling your boat off the trailer to fish this river, in my opinion,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “By Wednesday a few good batches of fresh salmon worked their way into the river. By Friday the fishing for Chinooks and coho was good at moments. The river became high and muddy from all the rain that continued to pour out of the sky more than a week ago. The mud made it difficult to fish the river above the Hwy. 101 bridge. Most boats could be found during the incoming tide near the mouth of the river, where the flooding ocean tides cleared the muddy waters of the rains away and made it much easier for the salmon to see baits being trolled with the tide. Saturday was the best day of the week. It was a consistent bite for most of the incoming tide. The bite became almost non-existent as the tide was nearing the slack. Outgoing tides produced some coho and Chinooks both, but as the muddy waters worked their way back downriver towards the mouth, the activities of salmon feeding became less and less.
EEL RIVER—Still closed due to low flow closures.
EEL RIVER, South Fork—Still closed due to low flow closures.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.–It is about time! This wonderful section of the Rogue River had a full week of great fishing for salmon. “I received reports of boats catching as many as 14 salmon this last week in the Bay of the Rogue at Gold Beach,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “It has been a tough year for me and others here. I have a lot of fond memories of this area and I am glad that anglers over the last week could count on catching fish if they put out a minimal amount of effort and time. The Chinook’s are still coming into the river big & bright, and the Coho are entering the river in large numbers and a little heavier than past season. Most angler’s spend their time trolling this time of year to catch either of these fish. However, with the recent rains that dumped over 6 inches, some people are going upriver and anchoring up and fishing in many of the same places that Springer fisherman can be found in April and May.
RUSSIAN RIVER—As soon as rains blow the river out, there will be a good influx of salmon, with steelhead later on, to kick off the season.
SMITH RIVER—The river hit 40,000 cfs and blew open big time, bringing in the first king salmon of the year for guides and anglers lucky enough to get in the action early in the week. The river dropped out quickly and was expected to close under low flow restrictions this week. WON Field Reporters Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing and Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures both put their clients on good numbers of fresh kings, although the bite was not wide open.
UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Ore.–No fishing reports from the Umpqua system due to closures on the South Umpqua River and high muddy flows on other two rivers, according to Palmer.
VANDUZEN RIVER— Still closed due to low flow closures.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Flows went up to almost 30,000 cfs at the lower end of the Klamath River last week after up to l0 inches fell in some parts of the Trinity-Klamath Basin, but quickly returned to normal fall flows. The river was finally flowing straight through the mouth to the ocean, and fishing improved, but still not enough to make up for the poor fishing for much of the season.
KLAMATH RIVER, Weitchpec—The river at the mouth of the Trinity was blown out during the heavy rains, but quickly came back into shape. Lots of salmon and steelhead passed through during high water, but plenty more were still arriving as the river came down and anglers were scoring roe backtrolled plugs and spinners.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate—More and more Chinook salmon are arriving below the dam daily, and anglers have been catching up to a dozen and more daily, mostly on roe and backtrolled plugs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Willow Creek—The river was blown out by heavy rains for a few days, but high water brought in a big push of fresh salmon and steelhead, which provided some very good fishing when the river came back into shape. Fishing has slowed as some as those fish streaked upriver, but quite a few new salmon and steelhead are still coming upriver.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma—The river was blown out for a few days after the heavy rains, but quickly came back into shape, and fishing for fall Chinook improved with the arrival of lots of fresh fish. More and more steelhead are showing up, as well. However, it will be almost impossible to fish for a week or so with the hordes of hungry smolts that have just been released to the Trinity from the hatchery at Lewiston.
BERKELEY—Fishing activity was split between rockfish and salmon. Rockfish were very dependable while salmon counts rose and fell like a roller coaster. The high count for the week out of Berkeley Charter Boats was from the New Easy Rider after a trip resulting in a salmon per rod for 12 people. Happy Hooker and California Dawn both scored full limits of lingcod as well as rockfish over the weekend.
BODEGA BAY—Early in the week, albacore were found 37 miles west of Bodega Head. Surf Scooter scored big with 50 albies for 7 anglers. Private boaters caught a few dorado mixed in with albacore and under paddies. The rest of the week featured fabulous local rockfish and lingcod action.
DILLON BEACH/LAWSON’S LANDING—Beach fishers caught good numbers of perch using pile worms and Gulp! sandworms. Private boaters generally caught limits, with some boats running to Point Reyes and others working locally off of Tomales Point.
EMERYVILLE—Rockfish at the Farallon Islands or along the Marin coast seemed to be equally hungry. On Friday, Sea Wolf had 14 anglers boat limits of rockfish and 17 lingcod to 12 pounds. New Huck Fin took 24 people to catch limits of rockfish plus 16 lingcod to 16 pounds. Over the weekend, Sea Wolf had limits of rockies and 4 lings to 11 pounds for 25 folks. New Seeker posted limits of rockfish and 2 lingcod to 8 pounds for 20 people. Tiger Fish had 19 passengers take limits of rockfish plus a 10-pound lingcod. Wet Spot’s 4 anglers hauled up limits of rockfish and 4 lingcod to 9 pounds.
EUREKA—Albacore ignited passions by showing up 8 miles off of Eureka. Numerous boats fished the area and many reported appreciably high counts, with the highest reported at 40 fish for one boat. One guy was fishing for Pacific halibut and saw tuna so switched tackle, put the engine in gear and began hooking up.
FORT BRAGG— Salmon fishing was slow and most anglers are beginning to gear up for crab season, which begins November 2. Mendocino Area Parks Association put on an abalone cookoff over the weekend. Some of the prizes were donated by Subsurface Progression Dive Shop. Wyatt at the shop reported good abalone gathering during the week, however conditions were marginal due to big swells.
HALF MOON BAY—Private boaters found increasing catches of lingcod in deeper water (150 to 180 feet). Queen of Hearts caught consistent limits of rockfish down coast in shallow water.
MARTINEZ—During this past week, people thought about changing the name of Martinez to “Striper City” because so many bass were caught throughout the week. Action came from shore and action came for boaters. People along the shoreline watched schools of stripers swim by in 6 feet of water.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE— Weather and a ton of tournament anglers helped to create a mixed bag of results. But that’s typical for October. Still, there is a reason that they all hit the water here now and it can be fun being out there with the big names. Teams reported catching fish on jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, drop-shot and even some topwater fish. 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 picked up and there were mixed bag limits on all species reported. Fish anywhere from the surface down to 25 feet with jigs, worms, LV500s and find a few on wake baits. Lots of rainbows are starting to chase bait on the surface.
LAKE SONOMA—Bass have been holding tight to standing timber just off the ledges in the creek channels. Try 6-inch Robo Worms on a drop-shot rig.
LAKE ALMANOR—It was mostly a wind week, which stirred up the waters and trashed visibility. Attractors are needed to help fish find your trolled offerings. Dodgers or flashers with a threaded nightcrawler or fast action lures in Fire Tiger patterns are good choices.
BAUM LAKE—Fish the south end where there is moving water and less weeds, not much has changed. DFW continues to plant this lake, 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 fewer 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. Cooler weather should help improve conditions soon.
FALL RIVER—Work the shallows, as the fish are hungry and targeting a variety of bugs. The callibaetis hatches have been good and producing better fishing.
UPPER HAT CREEK—The Fly Shop in Redding reported fishing was good most days at the Power House no. 2 riffle. The best fishing was on the rainy days here this past week.
PIT RIVER—Time to get out your October caddis nymphs. Fall fishing is great here and the fishing has been great.
MANZANITA LAKE—It’s fall and the fish are feeding on the surface. Check regulations for special conditions here or ask at the park entrance when you go in, but wait until the federal shutdown is over and Lassen National Park reopens. No new reports here this past week as the park is closed.
McCLOUD RIVER—Cooler weather and overnight temperatures have helped the bite.
SHASTA LAKE— Conditions continue to change as the water temperatures drop. The fish and bait are starting to come up, but the water is very clear, so run your setbacks at least 80 to 120 feet back. White Wiggle Hoochies or watermelon Apexs have been the way to go. No one area outshined another, you’ll just have to find the bait and stick with it.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Flyfishing at the inlet with small midges up shallow or streamers near the bottom was producing some big fish. Kastmaster spoons worked near the bottom were good, too.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported “spectacular fishing” for both shore anglers and trollers for rainbows to 4 pounds. The EID launch facility was closed due to the government shutdown. Small boats can launch at the resort for $20—ouch!!
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Both rivers were stocked by the DFW this past week. Fishing was very good this past week with anglers having no problem catching quick limits. Mornings were very cold this past week and guide icing was a problem—get out later in the day to avoid the issue.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Ed Dillard of Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was excellent for 17- to 19-inch rainbows using cinnamon or olive woolly buggers at 4 to 8 feet deep around the island. Shore fishing was very good at Fairview for 16- to 18-inch rainbows on marshmallow/worm combos. Flyfishermen were doing well sight fishing from shore at Jenkins with a flashback PT/chironomid dropper combo 2-foot under an indicator, according to Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Shore anglers and trollers were doing well on rainbows at the west end. Kokanee were still hitting for trollers along the north shore. Jigging for macks was slow.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Fishing was slow here this past week on the North Fork. Guide Dick Mason did well at Butt Valley Reservoir for limits of 17- to 19-inch rainbows. Mason said that launching was difficult due to the low lake level.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that fishing was good at the dam and Turkey Point for shore anglers using nightcrawlers, marshmallows and Power Bait. Trollers did well near the dam on flasher/worm combos. All the campgrounds are closed for the season, but the Frenchman camp is open to dry camping—haul your own water in and your trash out.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the basin lakes were closed due to the government shutdown. Campers were forced out of the campgrounds and the boat ramps closed.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity and stocked by the DFW this past week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service fished here this past week and reported a wide-open bite for 12- to 13-inch rainbows trolling a Sep’s brown grub with or without a Sep’s watermelon Strike Master Dodger in the top 15 feet at the creek inlet across from the ramp. Daneman heard that the USFS had asked shore anglers to leave the area.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Still not much to report from here with the great fishing in the Carson River due to all the Alpine County and DFW trout plants.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that trollers were doing well for good fish working the face of the dam with Rapalas and flasher/worm combos. Trolling the west could be good, too, for browns beginning to stage for the spawn at the inlet at Woodcamp. Boat launching could be problematic for larger boats—smaller aluminum boats were recommended.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported that the DFW stocked the lake this past week at both boat ramps and some of the trout were tagged. Denise Cole at the resort said a young boy with his arm in a cast caught a fish with a $200 tag!!
LAKE TAHOE—On calm days, Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was picking up limits of 3- to 7 1/2-pound macks trolling spoons and plugs 130 to 300 feet deep from Crystal Bay Point to Tahoe City. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was jigging limits of 6-pound macks at Sugar Pine on blue/white Williamson jigs at 180 to 220 feet deep. Kokanee fishing is pretty much over as the salmon run up Taylor Creek to spawn—now is the time to bring the family up to the Stream Profile to watch the migration.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity and stocked by the DFW this past week. Fishing should be wide open but there was some concern that the USFS had locked the gate to the ramp due to the government shutdown.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 26-percent capacity and stocked by the DFW this past week at the campground boat ramp—fish here!!
PYRAMID LAKE—Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported that opening week of the trout season was excellent with cutthroats from 11 1/2 pounds to 18 3/4 pounds weighed in by boaters from Hell’s Kitchen and the Needles. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported excellent fishing for opening week with trips producing 58, 35, 100, and 47 cutthroats from 3 to 8 pounds on light spinning gear and marabou jigs at the tufa rock banks north of the Pyramid, at Hell’s Kitchen, and in Anderson Bay. There just weren’t any large concentrations of fish on the west side of the lake though a few were caught trolling.
RED LAKE—The lake is low and fishing was best at the dam for small cutthroats using worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. The EID ramp was open here. Fishing was good off the dam for shore anglers and trollers did well over deep water and where the water runs into the lake.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. The smallmouth bass fishing was good in the Davies Creek arm. With the kokanee moving up into the Little Truckee River and Sagehen Creek to spawn, bigger trout and macks were congregating near the inlet to feed on the kokes and loose eggs. Some kokanee could still be caught at 40 to 60 feet deep in front of the inlets.
TRUCKEE RIVER—According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, the flows above the Boca Outlet were running at 135 cfs and small dries and nymphs were working best in the low flows. Below the outlet, the flows were at 370- to 400-cfs and streamers, October caddis, and stone fly/small dropper combos were best in the heavier water.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that fishing was slow here with little fishing pressure.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Toiyabe Motel reported that trout fishing was “superb” with limits the rule for everyone capable of holding a rod in hand. One angler checked in with a limit of 16-inch rainbows. Very cold mornings in the 20’s and 30’s made late morning fishing more comfortable–plus you avoid the rod guides freezing up! With the low flows, keep to the deeper pools and remaining runs for the best success.
AMERICAN RIVER—The river was low and clear with little fishing pressure.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Bluegill to 1-pound were hitting worms around the marina docks. Lots of smaller spotted bass were hitting plastic worms in shallow water, but the bigger fish were 30 to 35 feet deep.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 21-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported that good numbers of bass were hitting plastics near the dam and up in the creek arms. Shore anglers were catching some nice catfish on anchovies, sardines, and chicken livers.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 38 feet from full and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The first private plants of the fall will begin next week. Trout fishing was fair with most anglers scoring 2 or 3 rainbows. Bass fishing was good and some nice catfish to 4 1/4 pounds were caught using anchovies.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. The Army Corps of Engineers closed the lake as of Sunday afternoon due to the government closure. Call Skippers Cove Marina to check on the latest status at 530-432-6302.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. The campgrounds were closed for the season. The Foresthill Ranger Station was closed due to the government closure.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station was closed due to the government closure. Boaters were catching lots of “turned” kokanee trolling. The launch ramp is well out of the water and only cartoppers were recommended, though a 20 footer launched this past week with GREAT DIFFICULTY through the mud.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 46-percent capacity. The bass bite was still good, according to Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company, whose lures were used by all the Top 10 teams in the recent AC TOC. Finesse jigs rigged with a Roboworm or a twin-tail grub and shaky-head worms or Senkos in greens, browns, and shad colors worked best. The bigger bass were being caught from 25 to 45 feet deep with the shallows loaded with small fish.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 73-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 67-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that smallmouth bass running 2 to 3 pounds were still hitting crankbaits along the weed beds from Hensley House to the day-use area, and jigs and worms on the rocky points near the marina.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 62-percent capacity. The ramp was out of water and only cartoppers were recommended—no trailered boat launching due to the muddy bank below the ramp.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.9-foot elevation at press time—84-percent capacity. Again, at this lake level the tule banks were well into the water with bass holding along the outside edges and hitting spinnerbaits, jigs, Senkos, small swimbaits. Try frogs late in the day on sunny days. Try cranking the riprap banks or ripping the points, too.
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon numbers continued to increase and there was some decent action at night in the lower end of the American, but upstream, from Sailor Bar to Grist Mill, anglers struggled, except for the liners at Sailor Bar. Fishing for halfpounder and the occasional adult steelhead was pretty good, however.
FEATHER RIVER—There are still lots of salmon coming up the Feather but most are dark these days, even down by Boyd’s Pump. Live Oak, 5th street bridge, and below the Outlet were still producing lots of fish, but mostly dark. Steelhead fishing continued to improve in the Low Flow Section.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake continued to drop, and fishing pressure is very low with the 5 mph speed limit in force over the entire lake A few salmon and trout were being caught, but bass were being taken by using electronics to find bait balls. Drop-shot Robo-Worms, and early and late toss topwater lures into the shallows.
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 outstanding for many anglers at the Yacht Club for jiggers. The Brickyards, the Minnow Hole, Freeport and Clarksburg and the mouth of the American were also good..
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing continued to be excellent, but many fish are getting dark the farther upstream you go. Below Butte City seems to be a sweet spot for both numbers and clean fish. Backtrolling plugs continued to be the most effective method, but the roe bite is improving, too.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing continues to be outstanding in the low flows, and even wading fly fishers were doing well from Redding to Balls Ferry. 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.
YUBA RIVER—Fly fishers were finding lots of action from big trout and small steelhead to 20 inches. Try egg patterns, March brown, baettis and pmd’s. Fish from the Highway 20 bridge to Sycamore Ranch.