Reports provided by Western Outdoor News
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.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.—The Rogue River Bay has changed drastically since last year, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, and that’s going to take a learning curve for trollers in the Bay. The gravel and rock has moved, while carving out deep holes in the bottom of the bay. At the same time it has made much of the river so shallow it will be difficult to troll a spinner near the surface for a late springer or an early fall Chinook. According to guide Dave Castellanos of Cast Guide Service, the offshore salmon fishing has been only fair at 100 to 160 feet, but rockfishing has been great using Pucci feathers and 3-ounce jigs in less than 80 feet.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.– Fishing was slowed by low water flows from the dam, but it is returning to normal flows now and that could improve the action, according to guide Try Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass. Fishing below the hatchery and down to about Dodge Bridge remains the best action on the Upper Rogue, from the hatchery to Dodge Bridge. Anglers are scoring with back-bounced roe or sand shrimp, or sardine-wrapped Kwikfish. “There’s not much action in the Grants Pass area, but maybe the increased flows will help,” Whitaker said.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Low flows have virtually stopped the shad run in its tracks, and the dams are going up, stopping any fish movement in the river. Smallmouth bass are the only real option.
UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Ore.–There are still fresh spring Chinook salmon being caught here, but the number of springers has fallen drastically, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Some of this is due to limited space for boats on anchor with the river at these low levels. Another major factor for the low catch rate is the consistent moss breaking off and getting caught on anglers lines. Farther upriver near the town of Roseburg, the evening has been a much better time of day to fish and relax.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.–The river is becoming lower and clearer as each day passes, giving the fish less area to hide from predators and anglers. This is keeping most of the spring kings moving upriver in the much deeper main channels, according to guide Curtis Palmer, instead of the shallower “near the bank” shore routes that most springer fisherman are accustomed to using. There are fewer anglers this year, but more fish are being caught than the past couple of years.
TRINITY, KLAMATH RIVERS
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen–There haven’t been many sightings of the big salmon fly hatch, but fishing has been very good for nice rainbow from one to 5 pounds. They’ve been taking nightcrawlers behind divers or side-drifting. The salmon fly hatch usually starts a little downstream of the dam and works its way up.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Spring salmon fishing has been poor, and there’s been lots of moss in the lower river, even posing some problems for Indian netting. A few fish are getting up to the falls on the Trinity, but not many.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—Very few fish are entering the Trinity River from the Klamath River so far. The spring Chinook run hasn’t gotten going yet, with very few fish up to the by the falls and farther upstream toward Cedar Flat. The algae in the lower end of the Klamath has put a bottleneck on the salmon run. However, there has been loads of good information on the ocean fishing outside the estuary, so if there’s any rain, the fall run should be goo.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE— The deeper arms of the lake are producing fish in smaller numbers but better quality. Spawning activity is going on in most of the traditional Southern areas, the water is just too stained to be able to see much. Senkos, jigs and drop-shot worms are catching fish in 8 to 15 feet of water. This is the time when more fish have spawned than are left to spawn, which means all presentations will work as long as you can get them through the floating grass.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The kokanee and a few big rainbows fell for RMT hyper plaid, Bahama Mama, watermelon and glow Dodgers with Uncle Larry’s spinners, RMT squids and Apex spoons from 42 to 55 feet with Pautzke fire corn. There has been a good koke and fair rainbow trout bite, but there has also been a lot of traffic. Don’t forget the California Inland Fisheries (CIFFI) derby on Saturday June 7th out of Markley Cove Resort, and the big “Park Party” in Winters that same day, where the weigh-in will be held.
LAKE SONOMA—Cherry Creek arm has been good for pitching Senkos and Roboworms in and around standing timber in the 10- to 15-foot range. Green pumpkin Senkos and Aaron’s Magic in Roboworms caught the majority of bass. Troll for steelies in front of the dam and up towards the “No Ski” buoys. Apex, Needlefish and Humdingers have been working well.
LAKE ALMANOR—There were several good reports of quality fish going into the afternoon at the Canyon Dam. There’s more smelt at the dam than any other spot in the entire lake. Slow trolling Gulp! smelt, or ripping trolling flies off lead core often did the trick for clean rainbows from 2 to 3.6 pounds and salmon to 3 pounds. The Canyon Dam public ramp is open with dock. The USFS ramp is open but no dock in place.
BAUM LAKE—This lake is a go-to spot with its cold, clean water and abundance of habitat and insects. There has been some pretty good dry fly fishing going on.
BUCKS LAKE—They are still catching a mix of rainbows, a few trophy brown trout, a few brookies and now also a few small kokes in the top 10 feet. For the chance at some big macks, try pulling plugs deeper and target macks focusing on little kokes. They are scattered but there.
EAGLE LAKE—Opened Memorial Day (May 24) with no problems at the ramp and fish to 2 3/4 pounds. Troll with Jay Fair trolling flies in hot orange, roughly 135 feet behind the boat with a floating fly line 3 to 5 feet deep.
FALL RIVER—The Fly Shop in Redding reported fair to good fishing here, but few hatches yet. Get out early, the bite can die down after the afternoon winds pick up.
UPPER HAT CREEK—As the weather warms up there should be lots of good hatches going off. In the meantime try worms and Power Bait. The Power House 2 riffle is usually crowded, but you can get most, if not all of it to yourself near or at sundown.
MANZANITA LAKE— The fish are starting to warm and get hungry. Remember this is a catch-and-release, single hook, artificial lure only lake and check Lassen Park’s special regulations here.
McCLOUD RIVER—River conditions are good and the dry fly action has been good early and late. Nymphs are always an option here.
PIT RIVER—The best river conditions are going to be found below Lake Britton Dam at Pit no.3 and it has been fishing well. Hatches have been going off mid-day to early evening.
SHASTA LAKE—Most bass are small males, but you can use anything you want and catch a ton of fish. For the little guys, throw Senkos and that big one still might bite. For a few larger ones try the early topwater bite with big swimbaits and Spooks. Fish in the arms past the “no wake” and “no ski” zones. Going up in the Sacramento arm produced rainbows toplining with a few colors out and dragging a nightcrawler.
TRINITY LAKE—With an abundance of bait in the system it’s tough to get bite. A few salmon have been caught by the Buckeye Inlet on a 3-inch watermelon colored Apex or by the dam.
BERKELEY—Some boats fished the Central Bay for bass and halibut, some boats went out the Gate for salmon, and all boats found success. California Dawn and Happy Hooker on some trips caught limits of bass plus some halibut. Salmon boats averaged a fish per rod and found big fish, such as the 30 pounders caught on El Dorado and New Easy Rider. Flying Fish got a 28 pounder.
BODEGA BAY—Two salmon topped the 30-pound mark and a handful in the 20- to 30-pound range showed that bigger salmon are on the move and New Sea Angler was in the thick of it. Perch, rockfish and cabezon bit for surf casters north of town. Excitement mounts for the June 1 boat-based rockfish season. Down the coast at Lawson’s Landing, Willy Vogler noted that Tomales Bay has warmed up and is filled with bait, yet oddly, no one is fishing for halibut.
EMERYVILLE—Most trips through the week were Bay trips for bass and halibut. Two big reasons were continued great fishing in the Bay and high winds and formidable seas out on the salmon grounds. New Salmon Queen, Huck Fin, Tiger Fish and Wet Spot all turned in limits of bass. All boats did very well on the bass and added some very impressive halibut to the counts. C-Gull II ran out for salmon on Friday and scored 8 to 22 pounds for 15 people.
EUREKA/TRINIDAD/CRESCENT CITY—All around great fishing greeted anglers who took to sea. On Shellback, one combo trip with 6 anglers resulted in 11 salmon, 60 rockfish and 12 lingcod. Other boats came in loaded with salmon, or rockfish and lingcod, or big Pacific halibut to 65 pounds.
FORT BRAGG—Salmon fishing ranged from well under a fish per rod up to near limits. Big, wild fish feeding on krill are causing lots of battle losses. Lingcod fishing was phenomenal, with limits aboard Sea Hawk, along with good counts of rockfish. Crabs were in decent shape and plentiful for boaters and jetty fishers alike. Jetty fishers also caught perch, rockfish and cabezon.
HALF MOON BAY—Salmon are big and tough this year, feeding on krill which makes them hot and strong. Consequently, the catch counts are much lower than the hookup count on Queen of Hearts, New Capt. Pete and Huli Cat. Rockfish and lingcod action was as fast and furious as everyone hoped. At Half Moon Bay and Pacifica, surf fishers tied into striped bass using both baits and lures.
SAN FRANCISCO—With windy weather outside and great Bay fishing inside, boats from Fisherman’s Wharf worked Central Bay for bass and halibut. Bass Tub is running 2 half-day trips on weekends. Argo is running combo trips targeting sharks, bass and halibut.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports said the best trout fishing was at the Little Truckee inlet campgrounds.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort is now open for the summer season. The DFW dumped 22,750 brown trout fingerlings into the lake this past week, which should have put the macks on high alert and up feeding on the small trout. Shore anglers do best at the dam, the spillway and Wood’s Creek inlet. Trolling should be good on the east side of the lake off Wood’s Creek and Emigrant Bay—try a 3-inch brown trout Rapala!!
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The East and West Carson were stocked by Alpine County and the DFW stocked the West Carson this past week. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported that fishing was good throughout the area on the East and West Carson, Silver Creek, and Markleeville Creek using salmon eggs and worms. The flows were clear in the West Carson and Markleeville Creek and a little murky in Silver Creek and the East Carson.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was very slow this past week with boats scoring 0- to 5-fish. Shore fishing was slow. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that a friend was doing well flyfishing from a float tube stripping nymphs on an intermediate sinking line in the small coves between Eagle Point and the dam.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 99-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service reported that kokanee fishing was very good trolling watermelon Sep’s Side Kick and 4/0 dodgers with RMT Assassin spinners tipped with Pautzke’s Fire Corn at 35 feet deep in front of the Loch Leven Lodge. Kennedy’s granddaughters Brooke and Charlotte caught limits of 12-inch average kokes by 8:30 a.m. Rainbow trout fishing should be good at the west end beach, boat ramp docks, and public piers.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that trout fishing in the North Fork was slow with a few native rainbows caught. The Caribou Powerhouse was kicking out some nice rainbows near the generators. The main Feather River was producing smallmouth bass to 2 1/2 pounds on Gitzits and Beetle Spins.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishermen were catching limits of nice rainbows at the dam on nightcrawlers and Power Bait. All the campgrounds were open and the Frenchman boat ramp was open. Lunker Point ramp is closed all year.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported the Gold Lake ramp was open with a courtesy dock in place. Early morning trolling along the north side of the lake by the private homes was producing some browns and rainbows on white trolling flies at 5 feet deep. Salmon Lake, Packer Lake, and Sardine Lake were all producing quick limits of planter rainbows on bait.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is full. The ant hatch has slowed and rainbow trout fishing should be improving using a Sep’s brown grub, dodger/grub, or dodger/worm in the top 15 feet. All the campgrounds opened for the Memorial weekend.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported that shore anglers were doing well at the dam and near the campgrounds.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were picking up limits of 14- to 18-inch rainbows right out from the boat ramp using a Pin Minnow toplined at 5 to 9 feet deep.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Rainbows were still hitting Power Bait and worms at the dams for shore anglers. Smallmouth bass action was good along the east side of the lake up into the Narrows on jigs, worms and tubes.
LAKE TAHOE—Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing had a banner week for big fish. A late morning trip mid-week produced an 11 1/2-pound brown trout on a F18 Rapala off Emerald Bay; on Friday a client caught a 25-pound, 6-ounce Mackinaw trolling a Rapala at 50 feet deep off the Tahoe Keys; and Saturday Nielsen and Mark Wiza caught a 14 pounder and a bunch of 6 to 8 pounders off Camp Richardson. Nielsen also got into some kokanee on Sunday to 2 1/2 pounds. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing at North Shore reported that mack trolling was awesome with quick limits of 3 to 9 pounders coming in from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point in just 2 to 3 hours in the early mornings.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that a trip this past Friday produced 3 limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows in 4 hours on Sep’s brown grubs at 6 to 8 feet deep. It was very windy, and limits could have been caught quicker with better boat control in calmer weather. The campgrounds and boat ramp were open—FINALLY!!!
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that rainbows were hitting worms and Power Bait off Hobart Mills Rd. at the Prosser Creek inlet. Smallmouth bass were hitting small brown or green jigs and tubes at the dam.
PYRAMID LAKE—George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported that trolling was improving as the trout finished spawning. On three trips this past week, clients caught 18, 17, and 21 fish to 7 pounds trolling Apex at Hell’s Kitchen and Anderson Bay. He reported losing a big fish they had on for over 15 minutes that popped off near the boat!!
RED LAKE—Try the dam for brookies and cutthroats. If you want to make a trek out of it, walk up to the inlet and try the incoming water.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is full. Trolling should be good near the incoming water. The dam should be good for shore anglers.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 34-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported that the kokanee action was still very good at the island using Sep’s watermelon dodgers and RMT Assassin spinners tipped with Pautzke’s Fire Corn. The fish averaged 12 inches and were in great shape—fat and bright.
TOPAZ LAKE—Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported the lake level was stable and he was able to launch 12- to 16-foot boats on single-axle trailers. Trollers were scoring easy limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows on the west side of the lake along the highway using flasher/worm combos and Rapalas.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that caddis and small yellow stones were beginning to show. With warmer weather in the forecast, the hatches should become more prolific.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service scored another lunker this past week—a 22.2-pound Mackinaw that hit a jigged herring at 60 feet deep. 12- to 14-inch kokanee were hitting a chrome dodger and orange spinners tipped with garlic corn at 25 to 35 feet deep.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker were stocked by the DFW this past week. The fishing in the West Walker over the Memorial weekend was very good with lots of 2- to 4-pound rainbows checked at the West Walker Motel and Toiyabe Motel. Anglers fishing the Little Walker River confirmed that the DFW stocked the river this past Thursday. The Little Walker was kicking out a few 12- to 16-inch rainbows on flies—bait would have been much more productive!
AMERICAN RIVER— Fishing for shad has been very good with many anglers catching them at Discovery Park, but most have moved all the way to the Sailor Bar Park. Try white, pink and chartreuse patterns. Fishing for some late season steelhead trout has tapered off. You won’t get many of the big striped bass, but it’s a real fishing challenge to tangle with a fish that might weigh over 30 pounds. Fish Gristmil with Clousers or topwater lures
FEATHER RIVER—There are a few streelhead up in the Low Flow Section, and some shad below Gridley. There aren’t many striped bass, though.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—Some trout are still around, but it’s mostly redeared sunfish, and if you are lucky, a big bass early in the morning or evening.
FOLSOM LAKE—Trout fishing has been pretty good, with anglers fishing Speedy Shiners near the Surface at 2.5, and 3.0 mph for some nice holdover rainbows. The landlocked salmon bite has turned off lately, but fishing for catfish has picked up in the backs of coves. Bass are in the coves and taking small Senkos, and drop-shotted Robo-Worms.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Shad fishing has continued to be been good at Discovery park and Miller Park, but Verona has tapered off. Some nicer striped bass have moved into Tisdale. Catfish are also fishing in the Toe Drain and Deep Water Channel.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale—Shad fishing has been good, and there’s been lots of fishing for striped bass at night on black rubber worms.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff—Shad have gotten all the way to Red Bluff, and some anglers are doing combinations trips from Redding down to Red Bluff and Los Molinas. Fish for trout or shad in the a.m. and switch later on.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout are putting on a show with some big rainbows to about 5 pounds taking pmd nymphs under indicators. Flow have been up raised to about 7,500 cfs.
YUBA RIVER—Fishing for nice rainbows has been very good, mostly with PMD nymphs, and Caddis flies. Some terrestrials are starting to move, and they are inducing a dry fly. Try large floaters in the morning and then to nymphs, if the dries aren’t getting bit.
AMERICAN RIVER—The South Fork at Coloma is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Hikers willing to get down to the holes along the North Fork above Foresthill were finding good action for rainbows on spinners and worms.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 67-percent capacity. The bass were back out on the points at 30 to 50 feet deep recuperating from the spawn. A worm-head rigged Senko works well most all the time. Look for kokanee up in the Garden Point area in the early morning.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is only down 2 1/2 feet from full. Ron Franks of Folsom did well on bass this past week and landed six 2 to 2 1/2 pounders on Brush Hogs on points in the Rock Creek arm and on the main body.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 19 feet from full and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. With the warmer water temp, the trout were moving out into deeper water, requiring shore anglers to seek out the deep water at the dam very early in the morning or fish at night off the rental docks. Trollers were doing well using flasher/worms and Rapalas. Sandy Moore of Newcastle landed a 7 3/4-pound rainbow trolling a Rapala at 25 feet deep in the middle of the lake. Catfish action was improving with the warmer water.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 90-percent capacity. Boaters heading up to Buck’s Beach, pulling up to the shore and using Power Bait were catching rainbows from 11 to 20 inches. One boat with 4 anglers scored 10 rainbows from 14 to 20 inches. Robert Robinson of Roseville said they caught smallmouth bass and rainbows on bait while teaching the kids how to cast.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported trollers were launching below the concrete at the ramp—4-wheel drive is recommended. Brown trout and rainbows were hitting a bikini Needlefish/watermelon dodger trolled 20 feet deep at the creek inlet near the dam.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 70-percent capacity–boaters have to launch past the curve on the ramp at this level. 10- to 12-inch average kokanee were hitting a dodger/pink hoochie or dodger/worm at the powerhouse. Some kokes measured up to 14 inches. A few macks were caught fast trolling a 4-inch red-dot frog Lyman at 90 feet deep at the dam.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that 30 to 60 fish days were still very possible, but the recreational boating season had definitely started and traffic was extremely heavy on the lake over the Memorial weekend. Tubes, Senkos, drop-shot worms, and Keitech swimbaits were working on the walls adjacent to the coves, and spinnerbaits were effective on the mudlines. The bass were quickly recuperating from the spawn and most fish were still 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounders with increasing numbers of 2- to 4-pound spots. The topwater bite was beginning to produce some bigger fish in the early mornings or late afternoons. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service trolled the North Fork for salmon and caught kings to 21 inches and coho to 24 inches on a ProTrol flasher trailing a Berkley Gulp! Minnow near the bottom in 40 to 60 feet of water.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 98-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that a few browns were hitting Rapalas early in the morning at the Bear River inlet. Rainbows were hitting a dodger/worm when the brown bite shut down after sunrise. The crappie bite was good at Greenhorn using mealworms and grubs. Bass were hitting bubblegum worms rigged wacky or Carolina style in all the coves.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell reported that the resort was now open for the season—marina with boat rentals, store, and campgrounds. Trout fishing was good for shore anglers on the point left of the marina. Trollers did well using flasher/worm combos from the marina to the dam for 14- to 16-inch rainbows.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds, day-use facility, and boat ramp were all open.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that shore anglers and trollers were catching a few rainbows. The campgrounds were full over the holiday weekend.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.5-foot elevation at press time—84-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bite was good for bass running 2 to 6 pounds on the tules banks in the coves and on the shallower extended points. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, Keitech swimbaits, and Paradise Tackle Company jigs in brown/orange were all working.