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, Brookings, Ore.—A 50-pound king was caught by Soon Ae Phillips last week, the first “giant” of the season, although there have been a number of 40 pounders weighed in. A bit slow fishing near the mouth last week due to cold water influx. The 50 pounder won the “Hawg Derby” sponsored by Sporthaven Marina, according to WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, who put his clients on some good fish all week. The Bubble Season closed Oct. 13, but the mouth and lower river is open.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–The salmon may be smaller on this river than other rivers nearby, but, the total number of salmon returning seems to be much larger than the other competitive waters. Reports have been coming in one after another of boats tagging out with a mix of king’s and silvers. Watch for the boat traffic and you will most likely find the fish, said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–Thursday and Friday were the best days of the week, with Rocky Point being the hot spot, said guide Curtis Palmer. With a mixture of fresh king salmon and some fish that have been in the river awhile, fishing was mostly action filled both of those days. Saturday, with rain in the morning and strong winds, the salmon were not as active and fishing was slow. Fresh coho and Chinooks are crossing the bar on most days to start their journey upriver. Farther upriver in the town of Coquille, fishing has not been as productive as downriver in Bandon. By next weekend the upper river could be the hot spot.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.–Another week of anglers producing multiple catches a day at the mouth of the Rogue River, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Coho have been active in the morning with some Chinooks still being caught. During the last half of the week, the evenings have produced a good bite. Coho have been attacking Brad’s Wiggler in many colors, Tad Pollys and a variety of spinner’s while being trolled.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Nothing besides smallmouth bass until the rains flush it out and bring in some salmon and steelhead.
SMITH RIVER—The Smith closed Saturday Oct. 12 above Rowdy Creek due to low flows, and the flows at Jed Smith were down to 602 cfs. Fishing was slow all week on all sections because of low, clear flows. Expect fish to begin to stack up at Sand Hole or near the mouth of Rowdy Creek by the fourth week of October, according to WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.—“I have only received one report from a friend who fished the mouth of the Umpqua River this last week,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “They found themselves harvesting 5 king salmon and releasing 1 coho that was caught just over the bar in the ocean. (The ocean is not open for retention of coho) One angler said that they hooked a few others, and as usual, had some stripped baits while trolling along the south jetty.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Flows have dropped back again, and, while some fresh fall Chinook were moving into fresh water, it was an up and down week of fishing near the mouth.
KLAMATH RIVER, Weitchpec—Salmon fishing at the mouth of the Trinity was good last week for both salmon and steelhead, and quite a few salmon were heading upstream, providing good fishing at Somes Bar.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate—This is the end of the road for salmon heading up the Klamath, and quite a few salmon have been arriving daily with catches being made ranging from 10 to 18 per boat per outing. Even better, the salmon being caught have been in unusually beautiful condition considering their long trip. Most are being caught on roe held off the bottom with Fish Pills.
TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma—The river dropped back into good shape, and the release at Lewiston is down to 350 cfs. Not many fresh salmon were arriving upriver upstream of Del Loma, however, in spite of the large numbers of fish heading up the Klamath. There are more steelhead being counted at the Willow Creek Weir than salmon, and fishing for them has been better than fishing for salmon. The steelhead are staging at the mouths of creeks. Fishing for them has been improving for fly and spin fishermen. The hordes of hungry smolts that were released from the hatchery at Lewiston have mostly moved downstream and have spread out. They are no longer causing problems for anglers.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The pros have been using a variety of baits to catch their fish, anywhere from the bigger swimbaits such as the Huddleston to a small 4-inch drop-shot worm. Crankbaits seemed to be the item that most were having success with and the LuckyCraft LV 500s the most popular. Non-tournament anglers have been enjoying the live bait bite that has been picking up.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The bass bite picked up with mixed bag limits on all species as fish begin to feed up for the winter. Fish anywhere from the surface down to 25 feet with jigs, worms and LV500s. Some rainbows have starting to chase bait on the surface.
LAKE SONOMA—Closed due to the government shutdown.
LAKE ALMANOR—Fishing has been consistent, but clarity only at 7 feet, so start the morning running Sep’s silver/chartreuse SMD dodgers with a threaded nightcrawler with a brush of Pro-Cure Trophy Trout scent 30 and 35 feet down. After the sun is up switch to a No. 2 Needlefish in fire tiger patterns at 16 feet.
BAUM LAKE—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 anglers are fishing here now.
EAGLE LAKE—The fishing has been good one day and slower the next due to weather. It always seems to fish better after a system comes through.
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—Water conditions have been great and with good morning hatches the fishing great as well.
MANZANITA LAKE—Closed due to the government shutdown.
McCLOUD RIVER—Cooler weather and overnight temperatures have helped the bite. Water conditions here have also been good.
SHASTA LAKE—Both 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 both been good choices. Find the bait and stick with it.
BERKELEY—Another run of salmon showed up late in the week near Duxbury, making Berkeley boaters smile. Numerous limits of salmon were reported and the sizes were satisfactory. New El Dorado III, New Easy Rider and El Dorado all posted limits of salmon. Happy Hooker hauled in limits of lingcod from off of the Marin coast. California Dawn scored good counts from the same area.
BODEGA BAY—The tuna wait is underway… just need some better weather in order to ramble offshore and rumble with albacore. Fort Ross area produced early limits of rockfish plus lingcod counts that topped a fish per rod aboard New Sea Angler.
EMERYVILLE—The focus was on lingcod and rockfish because of low demand for salmon trips. The lingcod action was rated very good, with counts of up to better than a fish per rod for boats working the Marin coast.
EUREKA—Early-week albacore action was red hot with up to 20 fish per boat, just 13 to 17 miles off of Centerville. Pacific halibut bit at the 250-foot contour out of Eureka.
FORT BRAGG—Before the weather came up for much of the week, Trek II made it out and nailed up good numbers of albacore just 20 miles off the beach. Jetty fishers caught crabs and rockfish.
HALF MOON BAY—Party boats Queen of Hearts, Que Sera Sera and Riptide concentrated on rockfish and lingcod with good results from trips down to Pescador and Pigeon Point. Huli Cat ran research trips to find ways we can fish deeper. Jetty fishers caught red rock crab, including one giant that sent the lucky angler scurrying back into the tackle shop to show it off.
MARTINEZ—Striped bass went wide open, with anglers hooking them from shore or boat. Best baits were bullheads and chunks of anchovies. The early sturgeon season continued to percolate more loudly, with a 50-inch and a 58-inch fish reported, as well as smaller ones.
AMERICAN RIVER—Salmon fishing was pretty good at times around Howe Ave., but it’s been an early morning bite and is over by 9 a.m. There are lots of salmon upstream between Sailor Bar and Rossmoor Bar, but most of the fish were being caught by liners using long leaders with a beaded hook. Interestingly, sea lions were observed attacking salmon bunched up again the fish screens at Nimbus Hatchery. Fishing for halfpounders and occasional adult steelhead to 5 pounds was good for fly fishermen dead-drifting small caddis nymphs under indicators and swinging spinners and spoons.
FEATHER RIVER—The river is loaded with salmon but almost all are dark. The river closed to salmon fishing this week, Oct. 15, upstream of the boat ramp at Live Oak. Steelheaders will no longer have to compete with salmon fishermen in that stretch, but will have to contend with the heavy concentration of salmon packing the river on every riffle.
FOLSOM LAKE—Very few people were fishing the lake now that the 5 mph speed limit is in force. Bass fishing was pretty good for anglers spooning 40 to 60 feet deep over concentrations of bait fish found using electronics. Drop-shotting Robo-Worms also works.
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 pretty good at times when a new school moved through, but could also be slow in between. Fishing seemed to be more consistent around Clarksburg and Freeport.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Salmon fishing continued to be great, but many fish were getting darker, interspersed with some newly arrived bright kings. Some guides were switching to fishing for big native trout and steelhead upstream of Red Bluff, and finding success on Glo-Bugs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing was outstanding once again 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 if you fish, 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.
AMERICAN RIVER—Low, clear and cold with few anglers hiking down to the deep pools in the Middle Fork and North Fork.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Bass fishing should be improving with the cooler water temp. Try the points at 25 to 35 feet deep with a shad Senko.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that one bass angler picked up 20 to 25 fish, with half over 14 inches, at 9 to 15 feet deep near the dam and up in the creek arms using green pumpkin worms and jigs.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 39 feet from full. The DFW stocked 2000 pounds of 3/4- to 1 1/2-rainbow, but anglers were still only picking up 1 to 3 trout on the average. The resort will begin their private plants this week with a double plant of 2000 pounds of rainbows—half 1- to 1 1/2-pound catchables and half 3 to 6 pounders. Bass were hitting in limit numbers for anglers using Roboworms near the dam.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. The lake was still closed due to the government shutdown.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 43-percent capacity. The campgrounds were closed for the season. With the USFS offices closed, fishing reports were hard to come by.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 39-percent capacity. The campgrounds were closed for the season. With the USFS offices closed, fishing reports were hard to come by.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass action was sporadic depending on the weather. Before the cold front that hit mid-week, fishing was good for bass to 4 pounds. Fish were hitting lipless cranks, dart-head worms, splitshot Senkos, Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs, and drop-shot worms from 5 to 25 feet deep on walls and points in the West Branch, North Fork and the Slot. Lots of fish were suspended chasing pond smelt and could be found holding under houseboats in the marinas. Coho trollers were working the Green Bridge, the Slot and the North Fork.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Trout action should be improving at Long Ravine and Greenhorn.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake was stocked this past week by the DFW. Trout fishing was good for boaters drifting Power Bait at the dam between the spillway and Cascade. Smallmouth bass were still hitting crankbaits and Roboworms from Hensley House to the day-use area.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. With the government shutdown, there was some question as to whether the gate was closed, but the Foresthill Ranger Station was closed and no answers were available.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—Nearby Walton Pond in Georgetown is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at the 132.5-foot elevation at press time—74-percent capacity. The bass should be up on the outside edges of the tules hitting spinnerbaits, swimbaits, jigs, and Senkos at this lake level. Also, try cranking the rip rap banks and ripping the rocky points.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Not much change here with fishing best at the inlet and in the west side coves heading back toward the dam using Power Bait and worms.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. John Voss at Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was good for limits of planters along with a few 3 to 4 pounders. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam, spillway, and Wood’s Creek while trollers were scoring at Emigrant Bay.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Both rivers are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Alpine County is scheduled to plant another 1800 pounds of rainbows this week. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at Creekside Lodge reported that everyone was catching limits of DFW planters this past week and this week the rivers were be full of fish, AGAIN!! Fishing was slower over the weekend, though.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was good for 15- to 18-inch rainbows using woolly buggers and Dick Nite spoons at the island in the top 5 feet. Shore anglers were picking up limits of 16- to 20-inch rainbows at Fairview on Gulp! Power Eggs and marshmallow/nightcrawler combos. Flyfishing was good at Jenkins and Mosquito Slough for anglers using nymphs under an indicator. Signs were posted saying the lake was closed, but no one was enforcing the closure.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trout fishing was good at the west end near the boat ramp and off the public piers. A few macks were being caught jigging in deep water.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Butt Valley Reservoir was at 70-percent capacity making boat launching difficult, especially for deep-V hulls. Fishing was slow on the North Fork Feather according to Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort—now on their winter schedule, open Friday thru Monday, closed Tuesday to Thursday.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that with temps were getting down into the 20s and 30s, the lake was turning over and fishing was good. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam and Turkey Point using nightcrawlers. Due to the government shutdown, there was conflicting info regarding camping and fishing at the lake. There were signs posted saying the lake was closed, but people were camping and fishing—no one appeared to be enforcing a closure.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that Sardine Lake was producing planters. Gold Lake was good for browns and rainbows to 3 pounds trolling Jay Fair white wiggletails one color deep (5 feet) at the islands.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that fishing pressure was very light with few anglers visiting the area.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported that very few anglers were here due to the heavy plants in the nearby Carson River. This lake will be stocked by Alpine County in November.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that fishing was still good off the dam and along the west side of the lake toward Woodcamp—no real change for the past few weeks.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported that fishing was good for planter rainbows at the first dam and the boat ramp. Some fish had DFW tags worth $85 and $100. A 15-pound mack was rumored to have been caught by a troller, but no specific information was available at press time.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported landing 6 of 15 hookups on 3- to 7-pound macks in windy weather on Sunday. Crystal Bay Point was producing at 140 to 300 feet deep with the best action coming at 250 to 300. Self said you had to keep moving to stay on actively biting fish using spoons and plugs. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported picking up limits of 5- to 8-pound macks jigging Williamson Vortex and Benthos jigs tipped with a minnow at 130 to 240 feet deep from South Shore to Meeks Bay. Rainbow trout action was improving as the water temp drops. Nielsen caught some 3- to 4-pound rainbows trolling Shoehorn and Laxee spoons 15 to 20 feet deep over 35 feet of water from Cave Rock on the east side and at Sugar Pine on the west.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. It’s been cold up here with little fishing pressure.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 25-percent capacity. Since the DFW plant this past week, the rainbows moved down toward the dam to get into deeper, cooler water. Use Power Bait and nightcrawlers off the dam.
PYRAMID LAKE—George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported he was picking up 15 to 20 cutthroats, 17 to 23.5 inches, on 4-hour trips along the west side of the lake from Spider Point to Sutcliffe. Molino was trolling Apex 35 to 60 feet deep. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported that the trout had moved to the west side of the lake where he was doing best trolling FlatFish and Apex at 35 feet deep over 60 to 80 feet of water. His trips were producing 20 to 33 fish per day. Crosby’s Lodge reported that experienced flyfishermen were catching up to 15 trout per day.
RED LAKE—Little fishing pressure here, but try worms at the dam for a few cutthroats.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. It was reported that the launch ramp was closed due to the low water level.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that rainbow trout fishing was good around the island for trollers using flasher/worm or spoon combos.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that trout fishing was “great” both above and below the Boca Outlet. BWO, baetis, October caddis, dark stones, and streamers were all working.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that fishing pressure here was very light with few anglers venturing up to this lake.
WEST WALKER RIVER—George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing was good in the deep pools for easy limits of 10- to 14-inch DFW planters along with a few of the 2- to 3-pound Mono County trophy trout.