NORTH COAST RIVERS
North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFG’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. For the Russian River and counties of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin, call (707) 944-5533. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886. Many streams close, and others change to artificial/barbless only on, March 31 and others on April 25. Trouble identifying salmon or steelhead? Go to: http://www.swr.noaa.gov/fmd/identify.htm.
CHETCO RIVER, Ore.—The river is loaded with king salmon, more than in past years many locals are saying, but the flows are dropping out after a week of exceptional fishing. Flows went from 2800 cfs last Sunday to 994 cfs on this Sunday, a major drop for the little river. Over the weekend anglers were using bobbers with eggs and sand shrimp, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
ELK RIVER, Port Oford, Ore.– The river fell below three feet and was clear by the end of the week, leaving fishing to be difficult, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “There’s a mixed range of fish from bright to bronze in the upper river,” he said. “A lot of water from Swinging Bridge to Iron Head Take Out is not holding any fish. Until we get some significant rainfall, we can’t expect any fresh fish to move upriver. Fall kings are being caught at the mouth of the river as they enter over the beach with the tide.”
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.– Fishing for steelhead is good in the Grants Pass areas, with boat anglers hooking 10-14 steelhead a day on back trolled plugs, side drifted roe or nightcrawlers, said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Cohos are also hitting plugs, spoons and spinners in flat water areas. Most action is below Cave Man Bridge and Griffin Park area. Lake Selmac is producing lots of trout action following recent large plantings. Use Power Baits or salmon eggs for the rainbows.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.—“The river is low and clear, however, there are deep pockets holding fall Chinooks above Highway 101 in the river,” according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “That is, if people are willing to work a little harder and drag their boats over a few shallow areas. The best opportunity for catching a quality salmon in these low, low conditions would be fishing from the Grange down to the mouth of the river with the incoming tide. That is until we get a couple days of good heavy rains to bring the river flow up.
SMITH RIVER—The river is low and getting clear, but it was still open over the weekend for a mix of bright kings and older kings that had been in the river for awhile. Rain is needed for the fishing to get back into gear, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.– Even after the October rains, the North Umpqua River remains low with a beautiful green tint. “Summer steelhead have been being caught from the mouth at Rock Creek down to what is known as the ‘Burrito Hole’ over the last couple weeks,” according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “A few friends have shown me some nice pictures of their chrome fish and a couple of steelhead that have started to show their native trout colorings. From Colliding Rivers downstream to the confluence of the North and South Umpqua Rivers, I haven’t heard of anyone fishing that area of the river due to the low conditions making it more difficult to maneuver their boat in the river. At the first little bit of rain, anglers should expect to have reasonably good days fishing for steelhead throughout the entirety of the river.
KLAMATH TRINITY RIVER
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Fishing has transitioned from salmon to steelhead, and it’s been some of the best in years. Fly fishers are dead-drifting egg patterns under indicators, egg clusters or even glass beads. Some of the fish are big for the upper Klamath—up to 10 pounds.
TRINITY RIVER—Steelhead fishing on the Trinity River has been picking up. No more adult salmon may be taken, and the jacks have been in the river for a very long time and are not worth keeping. The river has dropped back to fall levels, and more rain would be most welcome. Anglers are catching about 3 steelhead a day, and fishing pressure has greatly increased. Fly fishers are casting red copper John’s, Psycho prince nymphs, and stone flies dead-drifted under indicators, but they also are swinging Silver Hiltons and Burlaps from Hawkins to Del Loma. Spin fishers are back-trolling Hot Shots and Brad’s Wigglers and drifting roe.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The fall bite is kicking in and some larger bass have also been caught. The mid-lake section down through the two deeper arms of the lake are the better areas to concentrate on. On the upper end, fish are hanging to the remaining weeds and some are shallow. On the lower ends, fish on rock in 10 to 18 feet of water. Redbud launch ramp is now officially closed for upgrading. Launching is available in Lakeport and Clearlake Oaks.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Try the spoon bite from 25 to 60 feet with an average around 40 feet for bass. All fish were on offshore structure chasing bait. The secondary ramp at Markley Cove is in full operation. Water is a bit dingy at the north end, but fairly clear down south.
LAKE SONOMA— Cover water with shallow running shad crankbaits in the creek arms for bass as the fishing has improved. Look for landlocked steelhead to be in the top 10 feet with white flies, Humdingers and Needlefish in shad patterns. Try to release if you can.
LAKE ALMANOR—For launching, the Canyon Dam ramp is open with a dock, the USFS ramp is open but with no dock, the Rec. 1 ramp is closed due to low water but Rec.2 is open with a dock. With the brown trout getting ready to spawn, some of the biggest browns and rainbows will be on the prowl. Try to release the browns and try to not use a net. Their meat is not that good during spawn. Avoid the west basin, as it’s shallow with lots of grass and other line fouling material floating around. Also any big wind and that water gets all stirred up and cloudy with mud. The east basin has better water and that’s where the fish are.
BAUM LAKE— Michael Caranci from The Fly Shop said midge hatches in December can produce some awesome fishing and the bite has been picking up. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
EAGLE LAKE—Fishing here has been excellent for trollers fishing off the bottom with a nightcrawler and marshmallow or flyfishing. Fishing here should continue to be great up until it closes Dec. 31. Try the Youth Camp area using Jay Fair Setups with All Around Best flies or orange 3-inch grubs.
FALL RIVER—Fishing has been fair to good and the fishing pressure light. The better hatches have been going off in the morning to midday. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.
UPPER HAT CREEK—Fishing here is at its best early in the day before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset. Power house has been producing well. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.
McCLOUD RIVER—Muddy and blown out, the river has not been fishing that well. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.
PIT RIVER—It continues to fish well. It should fish well until the season closes, but bring a staff as the rocks and boulders here are unforgiving. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.
SHASTA LAKE—Trout fishing slowed due to low water clarity. Jones Valley, Centimudi and Bridge Bay are the only launch sites now. Bass are scattered throughout the lake. They are also schooled up by sizes, so if you are getting small fish move on. Try in the trees in the Pitt arm with topwater baits, weightless Senkos, or spinnerbaits. If you launch at Jones Valley you’ll be right in the middle of some trees. Bass are holding under bait.
BERKELEY—A whopping 72-pound white seabass was hefted aboard California Dawn. Happy Hooker got steady limits of crabs and rockfish plus good counts of lingcod fishing the Farallones. Flying Fish ran the final salmon trip of the season for Berkeley Charter boats, catching 7 salmon for 17 anglers, including a 38-pound whopper.
BODEGA BAYLAWSON’S LANDING—New Sea Angler managed limits of rockfish, lots of big lingcod to 19 pounds and now steady limits of heavy crabs. Squid showed up near Lawson’s Landing and boaters jigged them up for use as bait on the lingcod and rockfish. With that candy bait, the fishing peaked.
EMERYVILLE—Emeryville’s fleet switched to rockfish, lingcod and now crabs. Steady limits of both Dungeness crabs and rockfish were the standard fare all week. Lingcod counts went up and down, and at times were nearly at limits level. Tigerfish put up the highest lingcod count (44 lings for 24 people) on Saturday.
EUREKATRINIDAD—Crabbing was excellent for most, but not all. Getting pots outside in deeper water and well away from other strings of pots was key. Those who got it right scored nicely. Capt. Matt Dallum on Fishy Business only pulled 3 pots for full limits. Dungeness crabs were staying out of Humboldt Bay, possibly due to too much fresh water. Jetty fishing was okay, but not as great as the weather.
FORT BRAGG—A strong early crab season really helped the local fleet. Telstar and Sea Hawk both brought in plenty of crabs for their passengers. Spearfishers enjoyed excellent visibility and were able to target big lingcod and rockfish. Shore fishers found some rockfish and cabezon at the jetty and at MacKerricher Beach.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Rockfish and lingcod fishing was just as good as it has been all season long, but now that crab season is open and the crabs are heavy and plentiful, limits of crabs also went home with passengers all week. Salmon stuck around the harbor right up to (and probably beyond) the end of salmon season. A few striped bass were caught from the beach at Pacifica.
SAN FRANCISCO/SAUSALITO—Sunday marked the close of salmon season and renowned salmon boats like Wacky Jacky and Outer Limits were into them. Wacky Jacky finished with 5 salmon to 26 pounds and limits of crabs. Outer Limits from Sausalito scored a 27-pound salmon. Lovely Martha added a 20-pound lingcod to the closing weekend’s fish count.
AMERICAN RIVER—The salmon spawning area on the American River above the power lines at the lower end of Ancil Hoffman Park to below the Nimbus Fish Hatchery closed to fishing as of Oct. 31. Salmon spawning began at Nimbus Hatchery on Nov. 3, but the ladder opening to spawning has been erratic. Virtually no steelhead are entering the hatchery as yet. Some night fishermen have been getting a few around the Lower Dredger Hole, but not many. Steelhead fishing has been slow, but a few have been caught on nightcrawlers, Little Cleos and Kastmasters.
FEATHER RIVER—The fall king salmon now in the Feather River have been around for a very long time and are spawning or about ready, but a few bright fish are still coming up the river. Much of the fishing has been from shore because flows are so low, but if you use a boat, anchor up or troll very slowly upstream. Steelhead fishing has been good in the Low Flow Section on egg patterns. Fishing pressure is heavy. Fish nymphs and egg flies under an indicator.
FOLSOM LAKE—The lake has continued to drop lower and lower by the day. The speed limit is 5 mph. Bass are in their fall pattern. Fish 20 to 30 feet deep over old rock tailings and river channels off the end of the Peninsula. Jigs, drop-shotting and Carolina-rigging should get some fish to about 2 pounds.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—Some nice bass are continuing to be being caught on weightless Senkos close to dark, and even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Red-eared sunfish are biting worms under bobbers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing was up and down last week as small schools of salmon went streaking upstream. Fishing was pretty good for nice late fall king salmon, but it was important to be on the river when the schools shot through. There was some good fishing upstream of the City like Verona, Rio Ramaza and Knight’s Landing with some and nice bright fish being caught. Flying “C” spinners in chartreuse were good at bank fishing spots like the Minnow, Hole Discovery Park, and Miller Park. Jigs have been catching a few down by Freeport. Some nice striped bass were being caught at Miner’s Slough.
SACRAMENTO, Woodson’s Bridge—North of Woodson’s Bridge the river was still very muddy because of slides on Mount Shasta. Small schools of bright fall salmon went streaking upstream after the previous storms last week, and when the mud stopped flowing out of Battle and Cottonwood Creeks some beautiful bright late fall king were being caught.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Most folks are concentrating on salmon, but trout fishing slowed down about 50 percent.
UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir—Fishing was very good throughout the river. Around Dunsmuir, the fishing was very good for planted fish. Down below Simms, some larger fish to about 20 inches were swimming upstream from Shasta. Fish rubber legs, and small caddis patterns under indicators.
YUBA RIVER—The Yuba River is flowing at about 400 cfs. The lower Yuba below DeGuerre dam down to Sycamore Ranch has continued to be good on egg patterns.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 25-percent capacity. Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said macks and browns were stacking up at the inlet, so fishing should be good.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. The Resort is closed until Christmas. No word on whether the EID ramp was still open. Fishing should be good.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing slowed this past week due to cold water conditions brought on by snowmelt and runoff. Anglers were only catching 2 or 3 fish, but seeing lots of trout swimming in the bigger pools in the East Carson. John Dance of Gardnerville hooked two 5 pounders on a Panther Martin. Don Pierce picked up 14- and 16-inch rainbows on salmon eggs 5 miles south of town on the East Carson. Flows in the West Carson were very low, but try the bridge at Crystal Springs Rd.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported shore fishing was good at Fairview and Mallard for rainbows running 18 to 21 inches using pink eggs and inflated nightcrawlers—the bite was best from late morning to early afternoon. Flyfishing was hit-or-miss on the west side near Jenkins. One caster hooked 12 fish one day and only one rainbow the next. Trollers were having lots of problems with floating grass fouling their gear.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the macks were beginning to move shallower in anticipation of the spawn—the gravel areas near the boat ramp were a good place to start looking for macks with a large spoon or Rapala.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at the Caribou Crossroads Resort reported things had pretty much wound down for the season—fishing was very slow and angling pressure was almost zero.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was good for 17- to 22-inch rainbows at the dam and Crystal Point using inflated nightcrawlers. Trollers were using dodger/’crawlers at 8 to 10 feet deep.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported shore fishing at Gold Lake for brown trout was still good using Kastmaster spoons in the late afternoon near the boat ramp. The other lakes in the basin were slow.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 71-percent capacity. The few boaters out were picking up a few rainbows on dodger/worms or a Sep’s brown grub in the top 15 feet.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—The lake should be stocked by Alpine County with 1800 pounds of rainbows in about 2 weeks, according to Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Apparently small aluminum boats can still launch at the Pass Creek ramp, but nothing larger. Fishing was good along the dam for some nice rainbows. Look for browns returning from the river near the inlet.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Bass to 3 pounds were hitting plastic worms in the Narrows. Some planter rainbows were caught at the first dam on floating dough bait.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported good mack trolling on morning and afternoon trips at North Shore. The fish were hitting spoons and Lucky Craft minnow lures in 180 to 350 feet of water and running 3 to 8 1/2 pounds. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported a mack good bite jigging Williamson Raku and Vortex and Luhr-Jensen Crippled Herring at 160 to 190 feet deep mostly off South Shore with occasional trips to Sugar Pine on the west side. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported steady action for macks mooching live minnows in 200 to 250 feet of water from Rubicon to Sugar Pine.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the gate to the boat ramp was still open. Trolling should be good as long as it doesn’t get too cold.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Small boaters casting crankbaits, worms and jigs at the dam and the banks leading to the dam were finding some 1- to 3-pound smallmouth bass. Trout fishing was slow.
PYRAMID LAKE—Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported they had a busy week weighing big cutthroats with 16 fish from 21 to 10 pounds. The top catch, a 21-pound, 5.6-ounce lunker, was made by Kris Mickelson of Reno. Big fish were coming in from both shore and boat. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported catching 10 to 30 fish each day on trips this past week trolling Apex 80 feet deep in the Warrior Point area. His two biggest fish weighed 6 1/2 and 11 1/2 pounds. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters caught 17-, 17-, and 12-pound fish in his last 3 trips trolling Apex 35 to 60 feet deep. His fish were generally running 17 to 24 inches.
RED LAKE—No reports were available—fish the dam or the inlet using worms and salmon eggs for the best chance for a few brookies and cutthroats.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 37.5-percent capacity. Getting pretty low, launching could be a problem. Try off the dam with inflated nightcrawlers, floating dough bait or spoons.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 24-percent capacity. One angler reported losing a 5- to 6-pound smallmouth bass in the Davies Creek arm on a crawdad crankbait while casting from a small boat. Trollers were picking up some rainbows at the island and off the points leading into the Little Truckee arm. Small aluminum boats can still launch off the shore near the boat ramp.
TRUCKEE RIVER—With the water temp dropping, fish mortality issues have relaxed and anglers can find groups of rainbows working hatches in the deeper pools. With the low, clear water conditions, fishing pressure has educated the fish to the point where you need to bring you’re A-Game or stay home. The fish need to see drag-free drifts and exact matches to the hatch, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. The lake was opened this past week, but there were no reports of any fishing pressure.
WEST WALKER RIVER—There were still plenty of fish to be caught in the deeper pools. With the weather getting colder, fishing pressure was very light. The river will open to artificial barbless lure, zero limit fishing on Nov. 16.
AMERICAN RIVER—Low, clear and cold. The general season closes on Nov. 15 then the river forks above Folsom Lake switch over to artificial barbless lures only with a zero limit.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported anglers were out after bass and trout. The Dark Day boat ramp was still good for launching.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake was rising. Ron Franks of Folsom reported catching 20 bass to 2 1/2 pounds using green pumpkin and oxblood worms on main body points and in the Bear River arm at 10 to 15 feet deep. Stan Santos of Lincoln caught 10 keeper bass on brown and green worms at 10 to 15 feet deep. The lake muddied up a bit with the recent rains.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 57 feet from full. The lake was stocked on Nov. 6 and will be stocked again by Nov. 21 for the last time this fall. Trout fishing was good this past week and catfish continued to make a good showing. The top trout were running 4 to 5 pounds and catfish weighed up to 8 pounds. Trollers and shore anglers were all doing well on the trout.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported lots of trollers were working the lanes between the houseboats and along the outside buoy line with flasher or dodger/worm combos for planted rainbows.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 30-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported two campgrounds were still open for dry camping—bring your own water in and your trash out!!
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 27.5-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the road to the lake was still closed and violators would be cited for entering the area.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 26-percent capacity—247 feet from full, down another 3 feet!! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was still “awesome” with anglers scoring 40 to 80 fish per day. Everything was working from topwater to drop-shot worms on steep points and rocky walls on the main body from the Slot up into the North Fork and West Branch.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at Orchard Springs Resort reported bass fishing was good all over the lake for fish to 2 1/2 pounds using Senkos, Roboworms, and Shad Rap crankbaits. Trout action was nil.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported one troller picked up three 14-inch kokanee trolling 55 feet deep in the middle of the lake from the marina to the dam using dodger/hoochies. Smallmouth bass to 2 pounds were hitting worms from the marina to the dam.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds were closed, but the launch ramp was still open.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing activity was slow. The campgrounds were burned over by the King Fire and the lake was way too low for boat launching.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 135.2-foot elevation at press time—90-percent capacity. Steelhead were still hitting in the channel at Wilbur Rd. Bass fishing should be good around the tules banks, submerged weedbeds, and rock banks—just stay away from the duck hunters.