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 first part of last week was pretty good for salmon at the mouth, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “There was an easy average of two dozen Chinooks caught each day at the mouth of the Rogue River by boats in the estuary,” he said. “Wednesday had thunderstorms near Grants Pass and through the wild and scenic area that brought fresh rain and cooler water temperatures. Those factors encouraged the salmon at the mouth of the river to leave the bay and swim upriver. With the water temperatures in the bay reading closer to 70 degrees instead of the 74 degrees it had been prior to the storm, fishing for fall Chinook had slowed down. With the high 90-degree temperature forecast for the valley this week, the river temperatures will rise fairly quickly, once again causing the salmon to hold in the bay.”
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.— “It might be a couple more weeks for salmon to move up from Gold Beach and the lower river areas. We have not seen any salmon in high numbers in the Grants Pass areas, but steelhead fishing remains fairly good from Gold Hill and upriver to above Shady Cove. Anglers are still getting steelhead on small crawdad pattern plugs, nightcrawlers, Corkies and small pieces of roe,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Rains last week freshened the river at the mouth, moving a lot of kings into the system heading this direction.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Summer action limited to smallmouth bass early and late. Big controversy here, though, as low flow closures are being considered to protect endangered steelhead and salmon, but would also stop fishing for shad, smallmouth and hatchery steelhead if implemented. Read the stories in this issue of WON.
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.– There have been fish caught each and every day near the mouth of the Umpqua River. “Good, strong-spinning plug-cut herring has been the most used bait and has been as far back as I can remember when I was a kid,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “The forecast for this week is calling for increased winds, which are partly due to the high temperatures in the valleys. The season is just beginning, and with the reports of how many and the size of the salmon being caught, this Field Reporter is expecting one fabulous Chinook season on the Umpqua River during August.”
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.– ”The inviting, emerald green waters of the North Umpqua River are alive with summer steelhead,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “This river is known amongst anglers as one of the premier steelhead waters in the northwest. Over the last month, the river has been filling up with more and more summer steelhead. These fish are fairly easy to spot in the water when you know what to look for, but it’s much easier to view them at the Winchester Dam just north of Roseburg. I have received reports from friends bragging to me about tagging out with two fish in two casts. The average size lately has been between 8 1/2 to 10 pounds for the steelhead.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen—Fishing for steelhead has been very consistent with a dozen or more steelhead a day, a few jacks, and the occasional adult Chinook being caught by anglers fishing the holes from Klamath Glen to Blue Creek using drifted roe. The moss has gone, but algae has started to bloom as water temperatures continue to climb. Anglers have been lining fish at the estuary, but they are walking a long way to fish there and salmon seem to be determined to be on a mission to get upstream to the Trinity.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—The Trinity River by Willow Creek has been in the low 70’s by 10 o’clock in the morning, and fishing possibilities have been restricted to the morning in the deep holes and Grays Falls. Highway 96 is restricted travel just out of Willow Creek due to fires, so call ahead before you plan on going into that area. Around Weitchpec, anglers have been seeing small groups of fish to 20 pounds. In addition, a 25 pounder was landed, but they’ve been few and far between.
TRINITY RIVER, Junction City—The spring Chinook salmon run has continued to be tough, but rains last week provided some welcome relief and a water temperature drop of 3 degrees. Fishing improved a little after that, but the average has continued to be one or two salmon a day. It’s still important to get out on the water very early and off the water before noon.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—Fishing has been tough. For those who cannot seem to land a fish using artificials, try the tackle stores, as they are selling live crawdads and rigging them up on a drop-shot rigs or a splitshot rig which can result in a big bass or catfish. Fish in the deeper water on the south end of the lake.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Look for the larger kokanee between 60- and 90-plus feet deep. Kokanee range from 16- to 19-plus inches. Kings are 19 to 26 inches long and deeper at 85 to 130 feet. Bass fishing was a little slower, but Roboworms brought in a whopper this past week by the Big Island.
LAKE ALMANOR—The bite was very slow, as there is just too much bait in the system and fish are gorging on pond smelt. The best bite has been inside the Hamilton Branch from shore.
BAUM LAKE—This lake is always a go-to spot with its cold, clean water and an abundance of habitat and insects. Not much has changed here. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
BUCKS LAKE—Kokanee fishing has been hot in 35 to 45 feet in the main body. They were also getting three to five 2- to 3 1/2-pound macks on green spoons close to the bottom in 45 to 55 feet.
EAGLE LAKE—Get out early and be ready to fish at first light. Fish the east side of the lake at Eagles Nest with leadcore from 3 to 6 colors deep. Options included Sure Catch Goldilocks, bikini Needlefish, and Jay Fair Tui Chub flies or bobber and nightcrawler.
FALL RIVER—Not much has changed here. The Fly Shop in Redding reports night fishing has been great with Hex hatches. You’ll need to be on the water before 10:00 a.m. for the morning hatches. With all of this action fishing has been good.
UPPER HAT CREEK—Fish early and late, during the day scout the flats for rising fish. Water conditions have been good and so has the fishing.
McCLOUD RIVER—Still not worth a trip right now since it is blown out and brown.
PIT RIVER—Hatches have been going off mid-morning to early evening, but cover some water. It continues to fish well all day long. Try no. 3 but don’t forget to check out No. 4 and 5.
SHASTA LAKE—Throw Senkos in the shade pockets with varying vertical structure during the day deeper. It’s topwater time early and late in the day for a bunch of little guys. There are kings at the dam on shad and anchovies at 100 to 150 feet. Trout were marked at 60 to 80 feet and caught on shad. Trolling for rainbows has been good, but they are down deep with a few copepods. Dry Creek was dead. The I-5 Bridge had nice trout from 40 to 60 feet.
BERKELEY—Boats fishing salmon ranged in counts from 8 to 20 fish per day and they were of a nice grade, with better than a 20-pound average. Some boats ran salmon/rockfish combos, while other boats, like Happy Hooker, stopped at the Central Bay islands to hook up with striped bass or halibut. Flying Fish caught a white seabass.
BODEGA BAY—Salmon effort spread out from Avion to Point Reyes and some very hefty units were brought over the rails. Shore fishing near Salt Point was reported as excellent and lingcod were biting aggressively. New Sea Angler got into a nice grade of salmon between Tomales Point and Elephant rock. The boat also tooke regular limits of rockfish and plenty of large lingcod to 18 pounds.
EMERYVILLE—New Huck Fin posted a great score on Sunday: limits of rockfish, 16 lings to 15 pounds and 13 salmon to 27 pounds. New Salmon Queen and Super Fish targeted salmon. So did the New Seeker, which besides salmon, boated a 60-pound white seabass along the Marin Coast. Sundance danged near pulled off limits, with 11 salmon to 28 pounds for 6 people.
EUREKA—Jared Sandifer of Eureka ran long for longfin, to the 40.10 125.20 area and caught 16 albacore to over 30 pounds. Salmon action was good, with some limits reported. Pacific halibut bit very well, just before the August closure on Pacific halibut for the month.
FORT BRAGG—Salmon fishing was wildly good for some boats, thanks to lowering water temps over the weekend. Bragg’n pulled off the triple slam, with limits of salmon, limits of lingcod and limits of rockfish. Jetty anglers caught greenling and rockfish. Surf fishers nailed red tail perch, cabezon, lingcod and rockfish.
HALF MOON BAY—Acres of squid and a very active squid fishery cranked up the excitement and people caught white seabass among the spawning squid. Halibut moved into the Harbor and several were caught from boat, kayak and shore. Rockfish boats including Huli Cat and Queen of Hearts worked between Martins Beach and Pigeon Point for full limits of fish.
SAN FRANCISCO/SAUSALITO—Bay boats scored on some very big salmon, including a 40 pounder aboard Nemo and a 37 pounder aboard Outer Limits. The average catch rate was reported to be a fish per rod, though at times the count jumped appreciably. Other options the boats took advantage of were halibut in the Central Bay or rockfish plus lingcod up along the Marin Coast.
VALLEJO—Norm’s Bait & Tackle saw sturgeon and stripers checked in from the Napa side, plus leopard sharks from the Bay side. Cuttings Wharf continued to anchor the Napa River bite for bass and sturgeon.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 20-percent capacity. The inlet was the focal point for anglers as the trout concentrated in the colder flows of the Little Truckee running in from Stampede Reservoir. Casting from shore or getting out in a small boat or float tube to fish the ledge was producing some nice trout.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported that trout fishing was still good, though the fish had moved into deeper water with the surface temp at 70 degrees. Ethan Sides of Sonoma caught a 5-pound rainbow trolling a Rapala in deep water at the Spillway. Jennifer Donnelly of Palo Alto drifted eggs 25 feet deep at Wood’s Creek for a 2-pound rainbow.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Alpine County planted 1800 pounds of 1- to 5-pound rainbows this past Sunday in the East and West Carson, and most of the fish from the previous plant were still in the rivers with muddy conditions from earlier thunderstorms that slowed the fishing still clearing. Flows were low and clear in the West Carson, while the East Carson was still murky from the earlier rains. As the water cleared, the fishing was getting better and should be fantastic this week with the heavy Alpine County plants made in July. Salmon eggs were working best for bait fishermen.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Trolling was dead, but limits were still coming in for boaters anchoring on the north end of the island in 30 feet of water and fishing the bottom with floating dough baits. Shore fishing was good at Mallard Point from dawn until the sun hits the water, then it shuts off. Corn flavored floating dough bait seemed to be the hot ticket for the shore anglers.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Rainbow trout fishing was good from shore at the west end and off the public piers along the north side. Kokanee fishing was decent for small fish across from the boat ramp at 65 to 85 feet deep over 100 to 120 feet of water using a watermelon dodger and green, blue, or black hoochies deep and pink or orange hoochies shallower.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The Caribou Crossroads Resorton the North Fork reported that trout fishing was fair with anglers only catching 2 or 3 rainbows per day on worms, crickets, or salmon eggs. Butt Valley Reservoir was red-hot early this past week, but the bite slowed by Friday according to Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service. The rainbows were still running 17 to 20 inches and hitting threaded nightcrawlers on 2 to 3 colors of leadcore on both ends of the lake.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was best at the dam and Spring Creek using inflated nightcrawlers and floating dough bait. Some catfish were hitting the same baits.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trolling for rainbow trout was still very good using flasher/worms at 15 feet deep all over the lake. 8- to 12-pound macks were caught this past week trolling a 6-inch J-Plug in the 65-foot deep trench in the middle of the lake on 8 colors of leadcore. Sardine Lake and Packer Lake were fishing well, but Salmon Lake had slowed due to the warmer weather.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported the best trout fishing for shore anglers and trollers was still happening at the creek inlet on the east end of the lake.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported anglers were picking up a few trout during the hour or two after dawn on worms and floating dough baits.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported that trolling for 11- to 16-inch rainbows was wide-open with 70- to 80-fish days common. A watermelon Apex trolled 35 to 55 feet deep in the middle of the lake was working very, very well. Shore fishing was good on the far side of the dam near deep water using floating dough baits. Launching was good at the Pass Creek ramp.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Shore anglers were still picking up a few rainbows at the first dam using worms and floating dough baits.
LAKE TAHOE—The mack bite was still “awesome” for charter operators fishing from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point, and the bite was picking up at South Shore. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was limiting out by 7:30 and then trolling for rainbows. His Sunday trip produced macks to 8 pounds and rainbows to 4 1/4 pounds. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was doing very well jigging the Williamson Vortex jig tipped with a minnow 130 to 180 feet deep at Tahoe City, Dollar Point, and South Shore for macks to 13 pounds. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported catching limits of kokanee trolling flashers and Wedding Rings at 70 to 90 feet deep. The fleet also scored a 15-pound mack, two 12 pounders, and a handful of 10 pounders during the past week trolling deep under the kokes at South Shore.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trout trolling should be wide-open using a dodger/nightcrawler in the top 25 feet.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that shore anglers at the campgrounds in the Prosser Creek arm were picking up some limits of 12- to 16-inch rainbows in the very early morning. In the afternoon, fish for smallmouth bass at the dam and the nearby rocky banks.
RED LAKE—Not much change here—fish the dam or the inlet for a mix of cutthroats and brookies. Lots of algae growth.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Trolling for rainbows remained very good using dodger/nightcrawlers at 20 to 30 feet deep.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Boaters were still launching off the shore east of the boat ramp and catching limits of kokanee all over the lake on copper dodgers and pink or orange hoochies at 35 to 50 feet deep.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Fly fishing was good in the morning and evening all this past week. In the morning, high-sticking nymphs in the pocket water was working and well as dredging a streamer through the deeper pools and runs. In the evening, the caddis hatches were heavy. On the Little Truckee above Boca Reservoir, expert anglers were scoring on size 18 to 24 flies on 6X and 7X tippets—bring you’re A-Game!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 85-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that smaller kokes were hitting dodger/hoochies at 30 to 50 feet deep. Schools of bigger kokanee were stacked up in deeper water but had lockjaw!
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker were stocked by the DFW this past week and are scheduled for planting again this week. The “How Big Is Big” Fishing Derby, which ended July 31, was still being lead by Christopher Wong of Sacramento with a 5.6-pound rainbow at press time. The “Size Doesn’t Matter” Fishing Derby will be held Aug. 8-10. Tagged fish will be released on the morning of Aug. 8 and the derby will start at noon and run until 4 p.m. Aug. 10. A prize is assigned to each tagged fish. Register at the Walker General Store or the Walker Country Store for $25—this entitles an angler to weigh 2 tagged fish.
AMERICAN RIVER—Flows have gone down to 1,750 cfs. It’s clearly the start of a slide to something far worse, to flows down to 500 cfs, and even worse. Salmon fishing has been very slow, and a few stripers have been caught on swimbaits and Lucky Craft Pointers. A very few steelhead have been caught, too, either tossing Little Cleos or on flies.
FEATHER RIVER—Salmon are still present in the Feather River, but they are mostly springers, and are well past their prime. Only a very few fall fish have arrived yet. An occasional small steelhead is being caught, mostly on flies like red copper Johns, in the Low Flow Section
FOLSOM LAKE—Trout and king salmon fishing has slowed, but a few were being caught on the main body at about 65 feet deep. The lake is dropping very fast, and the speed limit is likely to drop to 5 mph within a couple of week. But, the lake is bound to get a lot lower, down to barely more than 200,000 acre feet. Bass have continuing to move out to deeper water. Fish with drop-shotted Robo-Worms and drag jigs. have been getting a few strikes.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—Some nice bass were being caught on weightless Senkos close to dark, and even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Fish time for red-eared sunfish fished with worms under bobbers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing continued to be very slow. Striped bass fishing was slow, too, with lots of shakers for every keeper. Catfish have been one of the better bets in the Deep Water Channel, and at the slow spots on the river and the sloughs and up to Verona and Knight’s Landing.
SACRAMENTO, Ward’s Landing—The big news is still salmon fishing, but they have been scarce. Some good fishing for striped bass was occurring using a variety of methods like plastic worms, Clouser minnows thrown toward shore, minnows and swimbaits.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—The next salmon opener is about to occur. The river opens to fishing on August 1 north of Red Bluff to the Deschutes River Bridge. Prospects are very good, but the river is expected to be crowded with all those boats from disappointed fishermen south of Red Bluff. In the meantime, trout fishing continued to be good from Redding to Red Bluff.
YUBA RIVER—There was an excellent striper bite on the lower Yuba below DeGuerre dam down around Hallwood. Some nice rainbows were still being caught upriver toward DeGuerre Dam on terrestrials—a grasshopper on top and a small dropper on the bottom.
AMERICAN RIVER—The river at the Hwy 49 confluence was running low and clear, and was full of swimmers this past week. The South Fork below the Chili Bar dam was fluctuating according to water releases for rafters. In the North Fork, hike down at Italian Bar, Mumford Bar, and Sailor Flat and catch plenty of rainbows in the deeper pools.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported fishing was slow due to the heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake. Launching was still good at Dark Day, and Emerald Cove could launch any size boat on a single lane ramp.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that fishing was slow. Ron Franks of Folsom fished all day this past Tuesday and only caught 6 dink spotted bass. The water temp was 77 to 79 degrees and recreational boat traffic was heavy.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 35 feet from full. Trout fishing was best from shore at the dam, and boaters were scoring drifting bait near the dam in the channel. Several nice catfish to 8 1/2 pounds were checked in this past. The cats were caught at the bridge and the dam.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported that fishing was slow due to the heavy recreational boat traffic, though casting or drifting a nightcrawler in the “No-Wake” zone on the upper end of the lake could produce a rainbow or two, especially mid-week.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that launching at the north ramp was restricted to small aluminum boats, while all boats could launch at the south ramp. Fishing was slow.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. The water level was below the concrete at the ramp and only small aluminum boats were recommended. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that a few Macks were hitting 4-inch frog Lyman lures trolled 70 to 80 feet deep at the dam. Kokanee and rainbows were hitting a watermelon dodger/No. 1 bikini Needlefish combo trolled 20 to 30 feet deep at the dam and the powerhouse. A few browns were hitting fast-trolled vampire Rapalas just below the Narrows in the early morning.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity—down 196 feet at press time. The Lime Saddle Marina ramp closed this past week, and the Spillway ramp was closed for repairs–the ramp at Bidwell Marina is the only choice at this time, so launch early and leave early to avoid the crowds! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was still good with 40 fish days a possibility for anglers who could detect the light drop-shot bite at 10 to 20 feet deep in the Slot, North Fork and West Branch. Tubes and dart-head worms were also working, but the reaction bite on topwaters and crankbaits had slowed.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 90-percent capacity. With the extremely heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake on weekends, fishermen should come during the week. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that rainbows and a few browns were hitting dodger/nightcrawlers at the Bear River inlet. Ryan Drake at NID reported that bass were hitting topwater lures in the early morning from 5:30 to 7:00 a.m. at the dam across from Orchard Springs and at the long rocky point at the Bear River inlet. After sunrise, the bass were hitting drop-shot purple worms on the points.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported that fishing was “slower than molasses in January” due to the heavy recreational boat traffic.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported fishing was very slow with no DFW plants made in months.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that boaters trolling at the inlet were still picking up a few planter rainbows. Only small aluminum boats can launch on the gravel below concrete ramp.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.8-foot elevation at press time—87-percent capacity. 2- to 5-pound bass were still hitting frogs and buzzbaits on top of the grassbeds. Senkos, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits fished along the edges of the weed beds and the outside tule banks were also producing. With weekend recreational boating crowds so heavy, fishing during the week was strongly recommended.