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.—According to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, the springer salmon run is fast coming to a close, and the fall kings have not yet begun staging in the Rogue Bay. “It’s quite frustrating, knowing that just offshore there are schools of salmon everywhere, and those going outside the bar into the ocean proper have had some very good days with early limits,” said Palmer. “Anglers will find the best opportunity to catch surf perch during the last couple of hours of the incoming tide. One of the easier and more popular places to catch fish is at the Sand Spit at the mouth of the Rogue River. There haven’t been a lot of perch caught yet, but as we get closer to July things will improve.”
ROGUE RIVER, GRANT’S PASS, Ore.–Not much has changed this week from previous weeks. It’s the same report from the Upper Rogue areas. The best salmon action is still coming from the dam down to the Shady Cove area. Most catches are still being made on green-lipped Kwikfish with a sardine wrapper, or back-bounced shrimp or roe below the rapids. Some scattered salmon catches are being made in the Grants Pass and Gold Hill areas, too. Trout fishing remains good along most areas of the Rogue on drifted flies behind a float, or spinners floated through the tops of rapids, according to guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass.
RUSSIAN RIVER—“We’ve been going to the ocean when it’s not rough,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville, “and catching limits of lings and blacks. Guide Dave Delmue has been guiding smallmouth bass trips on the river, and doing well. The flows are holding right at 100 cfs in Guerneville, and anglers are picking up a few smallies during the day and lots of pike minnows. Use Rebel crawfish, swimbaits, Senkos or spinners. Fly guys are using black or olive woolly buggers and sculpin patterns with a sinktip line.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Sutherlin, Ore.—Smallmouth bass fishing has finally kicked into gear here, and many of the local guides have been using driftboats using just about anything to catch up to a hundred smallies a day, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets in Oregon. “The Popcorn Hole has been the go-to place to catch shad this year. Champagne-colored jigs have been the favorite choice for the heat of the day. With ultralight fishing rods, shad can put up a battle to match any great sport fish. Most anglers carry a bucket to fill with their catch. Even though these fish are not considered great eating, they are considered to be the best crabbing bait there is.”
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.–Fishing over the last week has slowed considerably. “There are still spring Chinook salmon being caught from Deadline Falls downstream to Rock Creek Boat Ramp the best section of river to fish,” Palmer said. “As expected more and more of these fish are darkening in color, leaving fewer and fewer bright salmon. Some anglers have been packing an extra rod with lighter line for fishing summer steelhead, but there have bee no reports of any summer steelhead being caught. A few of the fish have been spotted in a few locations on the river.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Some salmon flies are starting to show, but it’s still mostly nymphing for trout or drifting nightcrawlers.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Spring run Chinook salmon have been entering the river in bigger numbers, but fishing for them has been a challenge with the warm, low water and algae. You have to spend lots of time cleaning grass off the spinner.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City—The release from Lewiston Dam continued to decline and should be down to 450 cfs by early July. A few fish have gotten into the Trinity, and are being caught in the lower river around the Falls.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The spawn is close to being over and anglers should consider the fish in post spawn and a summer pattern. Look for the topwater bite to continue around the mats both offshore and in front of the tules. The average fish is running a solid 3 to 3 1/2 pounds. Fishing pressure will continue to be light, as the majority of tournament action is going to switch over to night tournaments. The best bite is probably pitching 5-inch Senkos in watermelon or green pumpkin variants around the offshore weeds of the upper end of the lake. All of the public launching facilities remain usable and probably will for the next few months.
LAKE BERRYESSA— Early in the morning, fish for bass shallow with topwater baits across main body points. After the sun gets high, work deeper points and ledges with jigs, worms and tubes. Try around the Big Island for kokes, but these fish are going to start pushing structure soon. Use RMT 5 1/2-inch dodgers with Uncle Larry’s spinners, Apexs, RMT spinners and squids from 48 to 60 feet deep.
LAKE SONOMA—Target bass in standing timber in 10 to 20 feet of water in the main Dry Creek arm early in the morning. Green pumpkin Senkos and jigs caught the majority of fish. Trout trollers also need an early start for landlocked steelhead, which are biting shad patterned Apexs, Needlefish and Humdingers in 15 to 30 feet of water. You can also find a few channel catfish to 10 pounds soaking stinkbaits in the evenings from shore.
LAKE ALMANOR— Set downriggers at 20 feet or put out 5 colors of lead core out in deeper water. Fish are going a little deeper now that it’s heating up, but so is the fishing.
BAUM LAKE—Always a good beat, this lake is a go-to spot with its cold, clean water and abundance of habitat and insects. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
BUCKS LAKE—The koke bite has been wide open using silver dodgers or the new Pro Troll UV 4-inch dodger with Uncle Larry’s spinners in pink tiger tipped with corn from 20 to 30 feet down for fish from 12 1/2 to 13 inches.
EAGLE LAKE—Try bobber fishing by Shrimp Island in 8 to 10 feet of water with a threaded nightcrawler down 6 feet. Fish at first light, around 5:30 a.m.
FALL RIVER—The Fly Shop in Redding reported an improved Hex hatch with warming weather. The night fishing has been great.
UPPER HAT CREEK—As the weather warms up, so have lots of good salmon fly hatches. The Power House No. 2 riffle has been giving up fish, but it is crowded. You can get most, if not all of it to yourself near or at sundown. Pay attention to fishing regulations near sunset. Water conditions have been great.
MANZANITA LAKE— The fishing has been good. It’s mid-June, which means there should be some good dry fly fishing during the late morning Callibaetis hatches. 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, but now add salmon flies.
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 morning to early evening but cover some water.
SHASTA LAKE—For a ton of the little bass, throw Senkos and that big one still might bite. The salmon bite was fair over the main channel in Dry Creek. Set your downriggers at 80 and 120 feet trolling both rolled shad and anchovies for kings between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 pounds. Try for trout around Toupee Island with chrome and watermelon Apexs at 20 and 40 feet.
TRINITY RESERVOIR—Bass fishing has been excellent, but the trout bite slow.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—This lake continues to be red hot for 11- to 13 1/2-inch kokes and easy limits. Troll both sides of the 299 Bridge at 40 to 60 feet. Anything pink worked, such as Apexs, hoochies behind a Sling Blade tipped with Pro Cure Kokanee Special and white corn. If it starts to slow down or gets too crowded, check out the coldwater curtain and fish from 60 to 80 feet down.
AMERICAN RIVER—Flow are still up around 2,000 cfs. That’s great for fishing the American River, but take advantage of it. The lake has been “dropping like a rock.” Bass will be heading out to deeper water, and flows will have to drop back to 500 cfs later this summer. Shad fishing has been very good later in the day upstream from Sunrise Blvd., which has been good in the late afternoon, and many of the shad are big females weighing up to 4 pounds. Try for striped bass early in the morning on Clouser Minnows when fly fishing, or soft plastics, and Yo-Zuri’s or even soft crawdads when bait fishing. And, don’t forget some nice spring run steelhead trout. There was a 6 pounder caught this week.
FEATHER RIVER—Shad are still being caught around Live Oak, but the big story is the nice move by steelhead heading up to the Low Flow Section. Even better, some of those fish are taking flies on the swing, even red copper Johns, and pressure is low. One guide, Brian Clemons hooked but lost a steelhead weighing about 8 pounds. Most fish have been about 3 or 4 pounds.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake is dropping very fast because of higher flows down the American River. Bass are moving out to deeper water. Drop-shotted Robo-Worms have been getting a few strikes. Live minnows have been effective, too. Some nice trout have been caught using wiggle hoochies in white trolled about 40 feet deep.
RANCHO SECO LAKE–Topwater plugs worked late at night, and you might get a strike or two from the big bass that hang out at Rancho Seco, but it’s mostly a time for red-eared sunfish fished with worms under bobbers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Striped bass fishing continued to be slow, and it takes lots of shakers caught for every keeper fish. Try bloodworms and sardines. Catfish have been one of the better bets in the Deep Water Channel, and at the slow spots on the river and the sloughs.
SACRAMENTO, Tisdale—A few striped bass, largely spawned out, were still are being caught from Verona to Colusa, mostly on minnows.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Trout fishing was good from Redding to Red Bluff. But shad have been both up and down. Some shad have been present at Los Molinos and around Hamilton City. Trout fishing was still good for fly fishers dead-drifting small caddis nymph imitations, and even stone flies. Spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers and Glo-Bugs.
YUBA RIVER—Fishing was mostly for shad down in the lower half of the river below Matthews Ave. Trout fishing continued to be slow, mostly on nymphs below indicators. The trout have not been taking dry flies in any numbers yet.
BERKELEY—Happy Hooker, California Dawn and boats from Berkeley Charter Boats fished either the Marin Coast for rockfish and lingcod or inside the Bay for stripers and halibut. Limits of rockfish came up regularly. Limits of lingcod were posted occasionally. Limits of striped bass were a little more regular. Halibut catches were sporadic throughout Central Bay.
BODEGA BAY—Salmon came aboard New Sea Angler, 10 miles WSW of Bodega Head and at mid-week the counts went above a fish per rod. Lingcod were on fire off of Fort Ross and limits of rockfish came up, too. Halibut arrived in Tomales Bay and flatties to 26 pounds were caught.
EMERYVILLE—New Seeker fished for salmon and brought home a 29 pounder. Most other action was along the Marin Coast or in the Bay for other species. New Huck Fin on Saturday had 25 people catch limits of rockfish and 50 lings to 18 pounds. Then on Sunday got 24 limits of rockfish and 37 lings to 18 pounds. New Salmon Queen saw 24 folks boat limits of rockfish and 21 lingcod to 12 pounds Saturday and on Sunday fished the Bay for 4 stripers to 16 pounds. New Seeker on Sunday took 16 people to catch 6 stripers to 8 pounds. Super Fish had 14 passengers take limits of rockfish and 12 lings to 8 pounds. Sea Wolf fished both days, finding limits of rockfish and solid counts of lingcod to 16 pounds.
EUREKA—Salmon were found to be scattered, but catchable, during a weather window which allowed the fishing fleet out of harbor. Some limits were reported. Rockfish and lingcod were particularly hungry for shrimpflies and diamond jigs. Sea Weasle II reported limits of salmon early.
FORT BRAGG—Seas were up and so salmon fishing was down. Weather windows did open now and then, so boats had brief opportunities. Salmon were caught and big ones at that, topped by a 38 pounder caught aboard Bragg-in. Lingcod and rockfish ate aggressively. A series of minus tides provided great opportunities for abalone gatherers.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Beach fishing for striped bass may have slowed somewhat, however big units were caught, including 3 over 40 pounds. Party boats Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts and Riptide caught limits of rockfish, some lingcod and in the case of Huli Cat, pulled pots for limits of crabs.
SAN FRANCISCO—Salmon action was limited by winds and seas. Bass Tub mixed things up, fishing the Marin Coast for high counts of rockfish and lingcod, then coming back inside the Bay to fish bass and halibut. Lovely Martha and Wild Horse fished the Bay for halibut and bass. Wacky Jacky fished the Towers, targeting rockfish and lingcod to 15 pounds. Argo caught plenty of bass early in the week at South Hampton and then at Angel Island. Late in the week it was rockfish and lingcod between Point Bonita and the bridge.
VALLEJO—Cuttings Wharf was the top-producing spot for sturgeon, with grass shrimp serving as a good bait. Striped bass bit both on the Napa side and along the waterfront.
BLUE LAKES—Upper and Lower Blue Lakes were stocked by the DFW this past week and Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was good.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 43-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. With flows in the Little Truckee River slowing, trout in the river were moving back into the lake. Fishing should improve at the inlet with the fish returning to the lake, and the DFW plant will boost fishing at the boat ramp and the adjacent points and coves.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 99-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Nearby Kirkwood Lake will also be planted this week. Trollers were picking up good numbers of 12- to 14-inch rainbows and the occasional mack to 5 pounds on Rapalas and Kastmaster spoons along the east shore, the dam, and Wood’s Creek inlet. Shore anglers casting spoons at Wood’s Creek inlet were catching quick limits.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The DFW stocked 1600 pounds of rainbows in the East Carson and 1000 pounds in the West Carson this past week. The flows in the East and West Carson were perfect, while the flows in Silver Creek and Markleeville Creek were already getting low. Fishing was excellent in both the East and West for 10- to 11-inch rainbows. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters recommended fishing the meadow areas from Pickett Junction to Hope Valley using caddis, PMD spinners, yellow sallies, and terrestrials.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trolling was good for fish to 22 inches using Wee Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons from 5 to 18 feet deep. The mid-day and late evening bites have been best. Shore fishing was good at Eagle Point and Camp 5, while the flyfishing was sporadic along the west side using hex and damsel patterns.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 98-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kokanee trolling was good at Loch Leven/China Cove using dodger/spinners at 25 to 40 feet deep. Trout fishing will be good on the west end near the boat ramp after the DFW plant.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The North Fork Feather at Belden is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that locals were catching a few nice native rainbows, but fishing was slow overall. The plant this week should change all that.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishing at the dam was good for limits of 12- to 18-inch rainbows using worms.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake was producing a few browns to 18 inches on trolled grubs at 15 feet deep over 40 feet of water. 7- to 10-pound macks were hitting trolled J-Plugs and jigged Buzz Bombs at Rocky Point in the late afternoons at 40 to 60 feet deep. Salmon and Sardine Lake fishing was still good, but the bite at Packer Lake was slowing.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trollers were picking up limits of 12-inch rainbows on dodger/worms and Sep’s brown grubs.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Fishing was only fair after the Alpine County plant a couple of weeks ago. The great fishing in the Carson River tends to reduce fishing pressure here.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 92-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trollers were working the area right out from the boat ramp to the dam for rainbows using flasher/worms and Rapalas.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Bill Ellingsworth of Pollock Pines caught a 3-pound mack off the shore using floating dough bait. Eric Young landed a 3.2-pound smallmouth on a swimbait up in the Narrows. After the plant, look for good rainbow action at the boat ramp and at the first dam.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported that the morning bite was very good for the first hour to hour-and-a half in the early morning when you could expect 6 to 10 strikes on macks from 2 to 12 pounds. Self was trolling 150 to 400 feet deep from the Tavern Hole to Crystal Bay Point and in with limits by 10 a.m. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was doing very well jigging for limits of 5- to 6-pound average macks at Ten Dollar Hole, Eagle Point, and Pickwick at 75 to 210 feet deep using Williamson Vortex and Abyss jigs tipped with a minnow. Nielsen’s clients were releasing lots of smaller fish.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 88-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trollers were picking up easy limits of rainbows on dodger/worms and Sep’s brown grubs in the top 15 feet all over the lake.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 34-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing should be good for anglers using a brown or green tube jig, darthead worm or jig at the dam or on the rocky points to the right of the dam.
PYRAMID LAKE—Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported trolling was good for 15 to 20 fish per day in the 17- to 27-inch range (to 6 1/2 pounds) using rainbow and firetiger Apex at Hells’ Kitchen and north of Pyramid Rock. Mendes had his downriggers set 35 feet deep and toplines run back 175 feet with 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-ounce weights. Crosby’s Lodge reported only one fish weighed in this past week—a 12-pound 7.2-ounce, 30-inch cutthroat caught by Jerry McAllister of Sparks at Hell’s Kitchen on a Green Devil. WON Staffer Bill Karr fished the lake with retired Nevada Fish and Wildlife Director Ken Mayer and Denis Isbister, who did the video “Unlocking the secrets of Pyramid Lake,” and the three of them caught 14 cutts’ to 7 pounds by noon on the east side at 20 to 25 feet deep trolling Sierra spoons. Read the On-the-Spot in next week’s issue of WON.
RED LAKE—The lake is full. The dam and the inlet should be producing some rainbows, cutthroats, and brookies on worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 99-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Shore fish and trolling were good.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 30-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported kokanee trolling and jigging were excellent. Kennedy was trolling between the island and the boat ramp at 38 to 61 feet deep using RMT Tsunami Dodgers and Radical Glow Tubes and Sep’s Fruit Salad Dodgers and Uncle Larry’s Mad Irishman spinners. Jig fish were hitting a small Buzz Bomb or a 3/4-ounce P-Line Lazer Minnow at 60 feet deep just 50 yards from the launch ramp.
TOPAZ LAKE—The water level dropped low enough to close the public ramp at Topaz Landing Marina—no more launching available for trailered boats anymore. Cartoppers launching off the shore should still be able to catch limits of rainbows trolling the middle of the lake in the early morning before the jetskiers hit the water using flasher/worms and Rapalas.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The green drake, caddis, PMD, and yellow Sally dry fly action was good in the evenings from Floriston to Stateline, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports and Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters. Streamers were working early and late in the day when light penetration was low.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Andrew Cheney reported that “they were killing the kokanee at Union”. Trolling dodger/hoochies at the powerhouse was producing limits of kokes to 14 inches. The mack bite was sporadic.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that anglers were catching easy limits of DFW planters and a few of the trophy fish stocked earlier this year in the deeper pools in the canyon south of Walker on bait and flies.
AMERICAN RIVER—The river was flowing clear at the Hwy 49 confluence where it was loaded with rafters and swimmers this past weekend. Fishermen hiking down to the deeper holes on the North Fork off Foresthill Rd, on the Middle Fork below French Meadows dam, or along the Silver Fork can catch rainbows on bait and spinners.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that bass fishing was still good for mostly smaller spotted bass, though some bigger fish were hitting very early in the morning or late evening when the recreational boat traffic was off the lake.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that bass fishing had slowed down with the heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake. Ron Franks of Folsom fished the Rock Creek arm and caught 11 small bass at 8 to 10 feet deep. The South Shore Resort is now open on the weekends.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 23 feet from full. Trout, catfish, redears, and bass were all checked in at the store this past week. Shore anglers posted scores on rainbows at the dam and the rental docks where they had access to deeper water. Redear sunfish were being caught in big numbers to an impressive 13 inches long on worms all around the lake. Catfish to over 6 3/4 pounds were hitting worms and chicken livers at the dam and the rental docks. This past weekend, Dallas Dearett caught a 6 1/4-pound rainbow at the Beach on worms.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported fishing was slow with little fishing pressure, especially on the weekends when recreational boat traffic was heavy.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn said trollers were doing well near the creek inlet north of the dam for rainbows.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that trollers were catching kokanee at the powerhouse at 20 to 30 feet deep, a few browns at the Rubicon River inlet, and a few macks in front of the dam at 80 to 100 feet deep.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was still very good with 40 to 50 fish days possible for anglers fishing in the early morning or late evening when the boat traffic had died down. Tubes, darthead and drop-shot worms, Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs with a twin tail trailer, grubs from the bank down to 30 feet deep on steep walls and points or spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and walking baits up shallow were all working for spots to 4 pounds.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were picking up some nice rainbows on flasher/bikini Needlefish run 25 feet deep at the dam. The Bear River inlet was producing a few rainbows on threaded nightcrawlers.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Jesse Cannon of Grass Valley caught a 10-pound brown trout drifting bait off the dam this past weekend. After the DFW plant, boaters did well drifting bait in the middle of the lake between the marina and Cascade Shores for limits of 12- to 16-inch rainbows.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station said the campgrounds and day-use facilities were open and the lake had plenty of water, but without any recent DFW trout plants the fishing was a bit slow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was good for both shore anglers and trollers. 10- to 14-inch rainbows were hitting bait from the shore at the beach, and flasher/worms and Rapalas for the boaters.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at the 134.1-foot elevation at press time—82-percent capacity. Retired DFW warden Terry Hodges fished frogs along the tule banks this past week and caught six bass from 3 to 6 pounds.