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.—Fresh kings ran into the river again last week after another big rain and blowout, in what’s shaping up to be the best year on the Chetco in many years, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, who put clients on four hookups and 3 landed on Saturday, straight out of the ocean. Flows were 3,000 cfs on Saturday morning, down from 5,000 the day before. Expect another week or two of kings. The first steelhead was caught.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.– The Coho season is open until November 30th and anglers this week reported that they were still catching fresh fish, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Many of the fish were being released because of the quota of one wild coho a day, two per season. “I personally have not received any reports of Chinooks being caught over the last two weeks,” Palmer said. “ However, I am quite familiar with this river and have known there to be chrome kings being caught up until the middle of December in the Rocky Point area.”
ELK RIVER, Port Oford, Ore.– The storm at the beginning of last week brought a much-needed 6 inches of rain for the river. “These rains got the fish up and moving throughout the system fairly quickly,” said guide Curits Palmer of River Secrets. “Almost instantaneously anglers were catching their limits of fall Chinook. By the time the weekend came, most anglers had moved on to other waters or stayed home due to low water conditions and poor fishing since the rain had stopped mid-week.
SIXES RIVER, Port Oford, Ore.– The Sixes River quickly became colored as the river rose due to heavy rains that began last Monday. “Reports of good fishing continued to come in up until Wednesday when the rains subsided,” according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “ Fishing significantly decreased after one day of no rain and the river started to drop. As the weekend came. there were hardly any anglers to be seen on the river compared to start of the week. Anglers should be able to expect a carbon copy of these fishing conditions with the next abundant rain.”
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass–It’s been cold in the mornings, but fishing remains good for steelhead anglers in the Grants Pass area. Steelhead fishing is good on small plugs, and coho are hitting on red, pink and purple plugs, or on jigs fished below a float. Anglers also will catch steelhead on nightcrawlers, Corkies and yarn balls. Bank anglers are using bobbers and floating nightcrawlers. Best areas seem to be below Caveman, Matson Park, Griffin Park and Panther Chutes. The water level was up about 1.7 feet, but it’s dropping again, according to reports from Guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Steve Jackson of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville told us on Sunday that he got word from Sonoma County Water Agency on Nov. 14 that they were going to open the mouth on Nov. 17 after having been closed up for weeks, so expect a “good push of steelhead coming into the river this week,” he said. Rain is also in the forecast, so that will only freshen things up even more!
KLAMATH TRINITY RIVER
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam—Steelheading continued to be very good, and pressure is low compared to the Upper Trinity. Fly fishers are dead-drifting egg patterns under indicators, egg clusters or even glass beads. Lots of fish are only a couple of pounds, but some weigh up to 8 pounds. Some of the fish are big for the upper Klamath—up to 10 pounds.
TRINITY RIVER—Steelhead fishing on theTrinity River has been picking up. And fishing pressure has been very heavy especially toward Lewiston. 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 rain is needed. Anglers are catching about 3 steelhead a day, and guides are working very hard. Fly fishers are casting red copper John’s, Psycho prince nymphs, and stone flies dead-drifted under indicators, but they also are swing fishing 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 the upper end of the lake has been improving using rattlebaits and soft plastics around the areas that still have some weed patches and the few areas of rock were also productive. The midsection of the lake was the most productive due to its mix of points, rock and remaining weeds. Fish are being caught anywhere from 4 to almost 20 feet. The ramps in Clearlake Oaks and Lakeport are still functional and should remain so now that the lake level is no longer dropping.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Target deeper cuts off the main body for bass after you find the bait in about 35 feet of water. There have been plenty of smallies in the 2- to 3-pound range. Good electronics definitely helps. Launching remains open at Putah Creek with one lane and is $20.
LAKE SONOMA—Look for landlocked steelhead in the top 10 feet with white flies, Humdingers and Needlefish in shad patterns and release if you can. With little fishing pressure those who make the effort are rewarded with quality largemouth bass to 5 pounds. Cover water yo-yoing an LV500 in shad pattern to trigger strikes. Cherry Creek and Dry Creek have had good bait balls with fish feeding.
LAKE ALMANOR— Smelt are on the east shore because that’s where the plankton is and where the fish are. The east basin also has better water. Most boats have been trolling fast like 2.9 to 3.4 with fast action lures.
BAUM LAKE— This will continue to be a good option, especially since other bodies of water have closed.Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
EAGLE LAKE—Fishing here has been excellent. Trollers, fishing off the bottom use a nightcrawler and marshmallow, and flyfishing has also been good. Fishing here should continue to be great up until it closes Dec. 31.
FALL RIVER—This is one of the rivers that closed on Nov. 15.
UPPER HAT CREEK—Closed for the season.
McCLOUD RIVER— Closed for the season.
PIT RIVER— This is another good option as fishing continues to be consistent. But don’t stay in one spot too long.
SHASTA LAKE—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 too, 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 solid week of fishing the Farallones –thanks to wonderful weather and sea conditions –resulted in steady limits of rockfish and crabs plus plenty of lingcod entries for the WON Whopper List. A monster 18-pound bocaccio was taken aboard El Dorado. Lings in the 20s came aboard New El Dorado III, California Dawn and Flying Fish
BODEGA BAY—Crabbing was as good as it gets. One day, New Sea Angler pulled limits for all from just 8 pots. The boat caught between 300 and 400 lingcod in the past 15 days. Private boaters also had plenty of crabs and shore anglers enjoyed very good success with their snares from Bodega Bay and Tomales Bay.
EMERYVILLE—Favorable conditions allowed Emeryville boats to make it out for very successful trips. Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen and New Seeker ran combo trips for Dungeness crabs, rockfish and lingcod.
EUREKA/TRINIDAD—Crabbing was as easy as it gets off of Eureka and Trinidad. The weather was calm and the seas were flat. Fishy Business is running crab trips until the 27th. Inside Humboldt Bay, Dungeness were scarce. Most of the crabs caught were red rock crabs. Jetty fishers did well for dinner on black rockfish and kelp greenling.
FORT BRAGG—Sea Hawk and Telstar reported solid success on crabbing with limits reported and early returns to the dock. Ten Mile Beach and Pudding Creek were good areas. Sanddab fishing was very good for one private boat. Shore fishers picked up lingcod and cabezon at Russian Gulch and Glass Beach. Abalone divers turned in one of their best weeks, thanks to pleasant weather and sea state.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Fish counts on party boats such as Queen of Hearts and private boats were sometimes as high as limits of both rockfish and lingcod. Crabbing was highly successful out of both Half Moon Bay and off of Pacifica where pier crabbers enjoyed a great week. Striped bass were caught at night from the beaches in and near Pacifica. Surf fishers caught lingcod at some of the area’s rockier surf zones.
SAN FRANCISCO—Commercial crab season is having no effect on the numbers of recreational crabs, according to Capt. Craig Hanson on Argo. Rockfish and lingcod action was good off of Bolinas. South Bay lit up with striped bass action from Coyote Point, Oyster Point and San Mateo Bridge. Boats also made forays into Central Bay and San Pablo Bay for stripers.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Browns, rainbows, and macks were congregating at the inlet. Anglers should be able to catch some big fish here on lures and bait.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort is in their fall shutdown and will reopen at Christmas for the ski/ice fishing season. No current fishing info was available.
CARSON RIVER (East)—The East Carson is now open to fishing with artificial barbless hook lures with a zero limit below the Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada Stateline.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. With the water temp at 40 to 41 degrees, fishing slowed this past week. Ed Dillard reported trollers and shore anglers were usually only picking up 1 or 2 rainbows, though occasionally someone came up with a limit. Fairview and Camp 5 were offering the best action for shore anglers. Flyfishing was hit-or-miss along the west side of the lake.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 38-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported fishing overall was slow, but macks should be moving shallower to spawn. Casting a large Rapala or Krocadile spoon could yield a big laker.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Butt Valley Lake is at 76-percent capacity, but too low to launch most boats off a trailer. The Feather River closed for trout fishing, as did the Caribou Powerhouse reservoir.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were doing well for rainbows to 2 pounds using nightcrawlers at the dam. Flyfishermen were picking up a few 18- to 20-inch fish on woolly buggers at Turkey Point. Boaters were catching fish at Turkey Point on worms.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake was still producing browns to 22 inches on F-7 Rapalas and gold Kastmasters cast from shore near the boat ramp in the evenings when there was a strong wind blowing onshore. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said his buddy was seeing some big browns and macks chasing his lures into the shallows.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported a member of his fishing club visited this lake this past week and found the action to be rather slow.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge announced that Alpine County would stock the lake with 1800 pounds of 1- to 5-pound rainbows this week.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Small aluminum boats launching off the Pass Creek ramp were trolling with good results at the dam. Shore anglers were catching a few rainbows off the dam, too.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported smallmouth bass fishing was good using plastic worms on the upper end of the lake and up into the Narrows.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported trolling was good both on morning and afternoon trips. On the morning trips, he was limiting on 3- to 8-pound macks by 7:30 to 8:00 in 165 to 350 feet of water and then moving into 35 to 50 feet of water for rainbows. Small minnow imitations were producing a few rainbows to 5 pounds. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported he was catching limits of 3- to 6-pound macks jigging and trolling 160 to 220 feet deep off South Shore where the macks were in full spawning mode and spilling eggs. Trips into the shallows were beginning to produce some 3- to 4-pound browns and rainbows. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was still catching limits of macks to 13 pounds mooching live bait on the bottom at 220 to 230 feet deep.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Fishing should be slowing as the water temp drops into the 40s.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, smallmouth bass fishing was still the best bet here at the dam and the rocky banks leading to the dam using jigs, tubes, crawdad crankbaits, Rapalas, and Kastmaster spoons.
PYRAMID LAKE—The shore fishing really came on big time this past week with strong cold SE winds that battered the west side of the lake, making life miserable for boaters. The second biggest fish this season was weighed at Crosby’s Lodge–a 23-pound, 8.8-ounce lunker caught by Donny Ross of Reno shore fishing on the south end of the lake. The second place fish for the week was an 18 pounder landed by Tom Mueser of Granite Bay while casting a woolly bugger at Windlass. Trollers had a tough time after Wednesday, but earlier in the week George Molino at Cutthroat Charters was catching 12 to 20 fish per day trolling Apex 30 to 65 feet deep at Warrior Point.
RED LAKE—It was starting to get really cold up here this past weekend. Try for trout at the dam using a gob of worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Low and slow.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 24-percent capacity. Small boaters launching off the shore near the boat ramp were catching some rainbows around the island and at the mouth of the Little Truckee arm. Smallmouth bass fishing was still good in the Davies Creek arm.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports said he was encouraging anglers to forego fishing the main Truckee or the Little Truckee due to the extremely low flows in both rivers. Browns were spawning and some unethical anglers were catching the fish off the redds—leave them alone!! Nylund suggested anglers fish the nearby reservoirs and leave the rivers alone until flows increase. The main Truckee River is open for fishing with artificial barbless lures with a zero limit from Trout Creek to the Nevada Stateline. The Little Truckee is open for fishing with artificial barbless lures with a zero limit from below Stampede Reservoir to Boca Reservoir.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. The Sunset gate was closed and the back road off Pea Vine Ridge Rd to the ramp at the dam was very rough, according to Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The river is now open to fishing with artificial barbless hook lures with a zero limit until the general stream opener in April. It got very cold here this past weekend, so look for fishing to be better in the late morning to early afternoon after the water gets a chance to warm up a degree or two.
AMERICAN RIVER—Thesalmon 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. It’s still very early for very many steelhead to be entering the river, but some angler has been reporting occasional success below the salmon closure area. Some night fishermen have been getting a few salmon around the Lower Dredger Hole, but not many.
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 steelheading has been great, with anglers hooking up to 10 steelhead an outing, with most 4 to 6 pounds, but a few up to 8 pounds. The pressure has been very heavy. Fish nymphs and egg flies under an indicator, or swinging egg patterns and egg-sucking leeches.
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 to about 6 pounds are continuing to be being caught on 6- to 8-inch plastic worms. However fishing for panfish has slowed down and there is still no word on when trout plants will begin again.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—Salmon fishing continued to be in a pattern of being patient and put in your time, as small schools come trickling though. But, the rewards can be great. For example a 56-pound bright king salmon was caught below Verona last week. Verona, Rio Ramaza, and Knight’s Landing were a few of the better spots. Flying “C” spinners in chartreuse were good and jigs have been catching a few down by Freeport. Some nice striped bass were being caught at Prospect, Shag Slough, and in the Deep Water Channel.
SACRAMENTO, Woodson’s Bridge—North of Woodson’s Bridge the river was still very muddy because of slides on Mount Shasta, but steelhead fishing was outstanding. They are taking roe, and weigh from 4 to 6 pounds and up to 9 pounds.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding—Most folks are concentrating on salmon, but trout fishing slowed down about 50 percent.
YUBA RIVER—The Yuba River is producing some nice 16- to 17-inch rainbow trout. They’re taking egg and caddis patterns below indicators below DeGuerre dam down to Sycamore Ranch.
AMERICAN RIVER—The North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork above Folsom Lake are now open to fishing with artificial barbless hook lures only with a zero limit.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 38-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported schools of trout were swimming around the docks. Boats can still launch at Dark Day. Bass fishing should be good, but there were no reliable reports available.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 4.5-percent capacity. North Shore Resort said Ron Franks of Folsom caught 22 keeper bass in the Bear River arm this past week using green pumpkin lizards and oxblood worms at 10 to 15 feet deep. The water temp was 58 to 60 degrees.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 57 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort will stock the lake again this week—the last plant of the fall. Trout fishing was very good this past week with lots of limits coming in for both trollers and shore anglers. Many stringers included big rainbows running 3 3/4- to 5 1/2 pounds. Trollers were doing well using Rapalas, flasher/worms, and spoons. Shore anglers did best at the dam using worms and floating dough bait. Bass fishing was good for fish to 4 1/4 pounds along the east side and upper end of the lake using plastic worms.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 94-percent capacity. The Rooster Tails Fishing Club visited the lake this past week and caught lots of rainbows to 15 inches. One boat reported catching limits using a Sep’s Strike Master Dodger and worms in the top 20 feet. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove marina reported that anglers fishing off the back of a houseboat in the marina caught several rainbows to 17 inches on worms.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 29-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the road to the lake was open, the campgrounds were open, but the water systems were turned off and restrooms were locked—bring your own water and haul out your trash. Shore fishermen were picking up a few fish, but fishing pressure was very low.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 28-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the road to the lake was still closed due to clean-up activities from the King Fire.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 26-percent capacity—down 251 feet!! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was still very good, though the numbers were down with the change in the weather. Topwater, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, deep-diving and lipless crankbaits, drop-shot worms, and tubes were all working with the fish spread out from the shore to 30 feet deep. During the weather this past weekend, Gandolfi was catching 25 to 40 fish per day with fish counts in the 60s and 70s with stable weather. The water temp was 58 to 60 degrees.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Bass fishing was still good for angers using worms, Senkos, and crankbaits.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at the marina reported a club of float tubers fished for smallmouth bass near the Spillway by Cascade Shore and caught a lot of fish in the 2- to 3-pound class on plastic worms. A few rainbows were showing up for trollers using flasher/worms between the marina and the dam.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the campgrounds were closed, the boat ramp was open, and there were a few shore anglers visiting the lake, but fishing success was low.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 46-percent capacity. There’s been little, if any, fishing pressure here since the King Fire, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 135.5-foot elevation at press time—92-percent capacity. Steelhead fishing from the shore at Wilbur Rd. was producing some 18- to 19-inch fish on inflated nightcrawlers. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported a bit of a confrontation between duck hunters and anglers. It might be time for the DFW and the Butte County Sheriff Department to have a talk with the duck hunters and fishermen about sharing the water before someone gets hurt!!