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. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886.New low flow closures for Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, Oct. 1-April 30, call (707) 822-3164 for Mendocino, (707) 944-5533 for Sonoma, Marin and Napa.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore.– The Chetco River closed to salmon and steelhead season for the season on March 31. Conditions were good during the final days of the season, with a few steelhead being caught. The river re-opens to cutthroat trout fishing in late May.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.—Springer fishing is rated just fair, with about 30 boats a day in the lower end fishing for them, and maybe a dozen a day being caught. Boaters are using spinners and spinnerbaits with anchovies or herring, anchored up where they expect the runs area. Fishing is expected to be improve with the tides in April, according to Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. According to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets, Last weeks fishing improved with the heavy rainstorm. “Tuesday was the start of a 3-day push of spring Chinook salmon coming from the ocean into the river where many salmon were caught Tuesday through Thursday. Wednesday the river peaked in height making Thursday’s fishing the best day of the week. Friday salmon fishing dropped off extensively and by this last Sunday the river was low and clear again.”
ROGUE RIVER, GRANT’S PASS, Ore.—It’s been pretty good fishing for winter steelhead, but a few springers are starting to show also. Fishing has been best from Lathrop down to the Robinson Bridge, but action should be improving in the Gold Hill area this week, said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Fish are being taken best on side-drifted roe or Puffballs dipped in Pautzke’s Nectar. With river water clearing, action is also picking up on the solid colored plugs in blue, silver or pink. Fishing closed this week, on Wednesday, on the Applegate and Illinois Rivers. Lake Selmac has been stocked with lots of small trout and it has put the bass fishing into action, too. A young boy picked an 8-pound bass while fishing for trout with Power Bait.”
RUSSIAN RIVER—The river mouth is currently closed by a sandbar, but backing up fast, so they will probably have to breach it. Fishing remains excellent with new fish and strong aggressive downrunners. Still lots of smolts, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “I personally caught an 8-pound spent fish that ripped me up on a gold Cleo,” Heemstra said. “Bait season ends the 1st of April.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Ore.—The storm blew the river out of shape and discolored the water for the last two weeks, but by midweek, as the river level dropped, the Springer’s were finding their way into anglers nets. Friday was the best day so far for spring salmon being caught on the Umpqua River.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.–Last Wednesday and Thursday was the best steelhead fishing of the week. The river was falling into perfect shape and color after the storm from days earlier. Sunday the river was low again and fishing was slow. Steelhead still being caught, but they aren’t biting every cast like they did on Thursday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Halfpounders and adult steelhead are being caught from the hatchery to Interstate 5 on flies, divers and bait and plugs. Flows were 1,360 cfs Sunday. Cold weather is expected mid week.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – With flows at 2,700 cfs on Sunday, conditions were good for late-season steelhead. A mix of halfpounders and adults are showing in the catch for anglers side-drifting or running plugs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Flows on the lower Klamath were holding steady at 13,500 cfs on Sunday. Fishing pressure has been light, but halfpounders and adult steelhead are present in the lower river. Springers will arrive in late May and early June.
TRINITY RIVER – Steelhead fishing continues to slow down, but a mix of fresh and spawned out fish are being caught by drift boaters and bank anglers in the Lewiston and Douglas City areas. Rapalas are working well for the steelhead, as well as sea-run brown trout. Steelhead smolt releases are making bait fishing tough.
LAKE AMADOR – Several largemouth bass of huge proportions were landed during the past week from various locations within the lake as the big females are moving into the shallows. The lake has cleared considerably with visibility of 3 to 4 feet, and it is nearly 13 feet from spilling, increasing three inches per day with new water out of Lake Pardee. 1200 pounds of Mt. Lassen Trout Farm rainbows were released into the lake in the past week, and trollers are scoring with J7 broken back Rapalas in bright colors such as firetiger. Both launch ramp lanes are in the water. The crappie bite is taking off with small to medium minnows along the submerged brush.
CAMANCHE LAKE– The South Shore Launch Ramp was closed temporarily during the past week, and it is in the process of being extended before reopening. Boats larger than 18 feet are advised to launch at the North Shore. 1200 pounds of Mt. Lassen Trout Farm rainbows were released into the lake with 600 pounds at the South Shore Launch Ramp with the remainder at the South Shore Pond this past week. Trollers continue to find quality rainbows with joined Rapalas in bright color patterns near the dam where the water is 5 degrees cooler than in the Narrows. Largemouth bass are oriented towards the shallows and starting to sit on beds, and jerkbaits, plastics, Senkos, or jigs are all working for the bed fish. Boaters need to be cautious while running outside of the main channel due to unmarked rockpiles.
DON PEDRO – Bass fishing has been solid with live minnows or nightcrawlers from the banks near Rodgers and Fleming Meadows. For artificial, ripbaits, crankbaits, and small topwater lures such as K- 3.8 to 4.8 K-Techs in rainbow trout are working. Trout fishing is improving for overall numbers, and the fish have dropped in the water column at depths from 27 to 35 feet. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing marked small schools of kokanee from 25 to 45 feet deep, and he plans on mixing up shoepeg corn in order to target kokanee. The surface and lead core trout bite is over for the season as the fish are finding cooler water. The Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp is open with two lanes open now, but Blue Oaks is closed.
LAKE MCCLURE–The North Barrett Cove Launch Ramp opened last week, and it may remain open until Easter Sunday. Numbers of bass are plentiful for anglers willing to launch and make the long trek back to the parking area or those walking the banks. The launch ramp is only open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and boats have to be off of the water by 4:00 p.m. Senkos, Brush Hogs, lizards, or plastic worms are all working. Bass tournaments scheduled for McClure are being switched to neighboring reservoirs such as Don Pedro for the spring months. The store and marinas will remain closed for the coming season.
LAKE MCSWAIN– Trout plants have been occurring every six weeks, but a big plant is anticipated prior to the April 11/12th Merced Irrigation Trout Derby. There are still spots available for the derby. The McSwain Marina reported the best trout action has been coming from trollers working at depths from 25 to 30 feet with hootchies behind a flasher in the 60 degree water. Trout action from the bank has been slow. The lake is stained due to inflow of warm and off-color water from Lake McClure. Registration for the Trout Derby is available at http://www.lakemcclure.com/index.cfm/events/spring-trout-fishing-derby/.
NEW MELONES– Bass fishing is the highlight with the fish in the shallows working beds. Senkos, Brush Hogs, lizards, and plastics such as Robo Worms are working near the shoreline as the fish have moved into the shallows. The swimbait bite has slowed down, but anglers can still pick up a larger fish on a swimbait. Bank fishing for trout has slowed considerably, but the troll bite remained solid at depths from 20 to 30 feet in the main lake channel near the dam and spillway with various colors of spoons depending upon the water conditions. A few kokanee are starting to show up. Catfishing is fair with mackerel, frozen shad, or nightcrawlers near submerged structure while the crappie are holding in the exposed structure present throughout the lake.
NEW HOGAN- Despite low lake levels, striped bass fishing has improved considerably in the past week with 10 fish limits coming on a consistent basis for experienced Hogan anglers. Trollers are running a frozen anchovy or shad on a harness rig through the schools of linesides in the lowered pool of water.
LAKE PARDEE– Kokanee fishing continued to be outstanding with hoochies from the surface to 15 feet in depth in the river arm towards Deer Creek. A trout plant occurred during the last week, and bank fishing remained strong with Kastmasters, mice tails, power eggs, or trout dough bait in white, fluorescent yellow, or pink around Tom Sawyer Island, the Mud Hole, Porcupine Point, and Stony Creek Landing. The coves in the main body of the lake are holding bass in the shallows, and drop-shot plastics and Senkos are working best. The catfish bite is turning on as well with the whiskerfish becoming oriented towards shallow water. Reconstruction of the Recreational Vehicle Park will result in the lake’s closure on July 10th. All boats are required to pass a Quagga Mussel inspection prior to launching.
LAKE TULLOCH– Plans have been announced to drain the lake in September to meet agricultural and environmental obligations, but it appears that the lake will be open for the summer months. This didn’t stop Danny Layne of Fishn’ Dan’s from finding quality rainbow and brown trout to 3.5 pounds on a recent trip trolling the open water near the dam and in the Green Springs Arm with scented grubs, Uncle Larry’s spinners, watermelon Apex lures, and 6-inch plastic worms at depths from the surface to 15 feet.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—It was a tough week for many, but a good one for a few. The early spawning activity ticked up and it became a game of looking for bedding bass or catching dozens of small 6- to 10-inch juvenile bass all over the lake. For the next few weeks here the best bet is going to be sight fishing for bedding bass.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Bass are still on the banks all around the lake. A variety of plastics worked but the best were from three to six inches. A few small king salmon are starting to be caught early in the morning shallow but most were still using downriggers.
LAKE MENDOCINO—The bass have moved to the banks and catching 20 to 30 fish a day is common with a mixed bag of sizes. The best bet here is to get out early and cash in on that early morning bite with reaction baits, spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits and even Zara Spooks to trigger these aggressive bass.
LAKE SONOMA—The back of the creeks are still stained, but with warmer water it’s a good time to target the shallows for bass. Cherry and Yorty creeks, as well as the back of Warm Springs, are producing the best right now. There are plenty of largemouth males in the 1- to 3-pound range taking plastics, Senkos and jigs for those who like to slow down and pick it apart. Trout trollers are also seeing a little action in the top 15 feet in the cleaner water up near the creek mouths.
LAKE ALMANOR—The brown trout have moved into the shallows around the lake. The rainbow trout have finished their spawn and been added back to your options. Target the top 6 to 10 feet on the east shoreline but you’ll have to move around. The fish have been hammering plugs.
BAUM LAKE—With nice sunny days hatches of BWO’s and midges have been occurring daily. The action continues to be steady with the good weather for mostly rainbows but also a few brown trout.
BUCKS LAKE–The lake is full and the fishing and weather have been great.
MCCLOUD RESERVOIR—This impoundment sees very little pressure. With little to no pressure here, check out the waters near the northern portion of the lake. Your best chance happens midday near where the upper McCloud comes into the lake.
PIT RIVER—Both the fishing and water conditions have been rated from good to very good by The Fly Shop in Redding. A few March browns are showing up. Most of the fishing pressure has been at Pit No. 3, but also check out Pit No. 4 and 5.
TRINITY RESERVOIR—The bass fishing has been very good here.
SHASTA LAKE—The lake has been in transition and the trout bite backed off all around the lake. All that is needed, though, are a few days of consistent warm weather so the bait will show up and it will going.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity. The dam and inlet were still the best bets for trout—browns at the dam and rainbows at the inlet.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 78.7-percent capacity. The lake was thawed and Caples Lake Resort installed their boat dock plus some rental boats and kayaks. The EID public ramp won’t open until May 1. There should be some nice fish being caught, since there were reports of 3- to 4-pound browns coming from near the spillway.
CARSON RIVER (East)—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported the river flows were perfect and several vehicles were parked at Hangman’s Bridge this past week. With the hot weather, fishing should be improving.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported the USFS was installing the courtesy dock at the Honker Cove boat ramp this week. With the lake level so low, it was doubtful the dock would be installed at Camp 5. Fishing was hit-or-miss again this week. A few shore anglers and float tubers did okay off the points on the outside of Honker Cove. The best offering for the shore anglers was a bobber/nightcrawler cast to the groups of rainbows cruising the shorelines. Trollers picked up a few fish on a dodger trailing a threaded nightcrawler. Dillard plans to start guiding April 6 since it looks like it will be a short boating season.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 60-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. A local boater discovered good action for fat 11-inch kokanee toplining a pink dodger with a pink spinner or bug.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were picking up some nice rainbows at Big Cove and Rocky Point. A float tuber caught 7 fish on a size 18 nymph in the same area. Boaters were doing well trolling a Dick Nite or drifting nightcrawlers. Boats can only launch at the Frenchman ramp.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake, Snag Lake, Lower Sardine Lake and Upper Salmon Lake are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden trolled Gold Lake and caught browns to 2 pounds on a 4-inch Lyman at 17 feet deep near Rocky Point. Access was good to all the other basin lakes.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Fishing should be good and this is the easiest lake to get to in the Crystal Basin since there’s no locked gate keeping the public out like there is at the improved boat ramps at Loon and Union Valley.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Alpine County may stock this lake within the next week or so, giving local anglers a place to go. Holdover rainbows were hitting for anglers at the dam and near the campgrounds.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is full. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported a local boater said he caught and released a big brown estimated at 15 pounds trolling a large Rapala.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service put client Chris Gale of Swansboro on a 19.7-pound Mackinaw this past week. The 37-inch fish hit a dodger/herring over a mid-lake hump at 38 feet deep.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported tough fishing for macks at North Shore with the bite all before sunup during the first hour of trolling. The macks were found from 120 to 450 feet deep and running up to 7 pounds. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was concentrating on brown trout on the west side of the lake from Rubicon to Sugar Pine trolling Laxee spoons, Scatter Raps, and Scatter Shad 30 to 50 feet deep over 60 feet of water. The browns were running 2 to 4 pounds and few 3- to 3 1/2-pound macks were hitting, too. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported catching easy limits of 3- to 6-pound macks off Ski Run at 60 to 100 feet deep early in the week. By the weekend the bite had shifted to Sugar Pine at 200 to 220 feet deep mooching live bait.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. The USFS needs to open the gate to the boat ramp so fishermen can get in and use the lake while there’s still some water to launch a boat into. With such beautiful weather and no snow, there’s no reason to keep the public out of the forest.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is down to 18-percent capacity. The lake is a mud hole that could be drained down to the creek channel by the water district with no concern for the fish, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
PYRAMID LAKE—Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported she had only weighed six big cutthroats this past week topped by a 20-pound, 6.4-ounce lunker caught by Bill Korte from shore at Wino Beach on a red fly. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported having an “outstanding” week putting clients on 53 fish in four trips. The top fish was a 17 1/2 pounder taken by Chris Graciano of San Dimas trolling a firetiger Apex at Pelican Point on a topline. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters said he hooked 10 fish on his last trip, landing 7 including 3 keepers. They were trolling Apex at Warriors Point at 25 to 45 feet deep.
RED LAKE—The lake has thawed and fishing was best at the dam using worms.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 77.5-percent capacity. The lake has thawed and shore fishing was fair for holdover trout.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 21-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. A local troller scored a bunch of 14- to 16-inch kokanee on pink dodgers, spinners and bugs while toplining. Launching was difficult at best—small aluminum boats with 4-wheel drive only on the rocky shore to the right of the ramp and watch out for a sand bar building up past the launch area.
TOPAZ LAKE—The County Park boat ramp opened this past week, but if the lake drops any further, which is very likely, it will close soon. Bass boaters on the lake reported slow fishing as did the trout fishermen. Topaz Landing Marina was still closed due to the low water level.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the main river was fishing very well with BWO and baetis patterns. March Brown, dark stone, and caddis were just developing and sure to kick in with the warmer season arriving so early.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported the mack bite was hit-or-miss for 3- to 5-pound fish trolling dodger/herring or Double Flutter spoons on the ledges at 50 to 60 feet deep.
WEST WALKER RIVER—Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported the flows were up a little in the river, but still very fishable. Only a few anglers were seen out and no one had stopped to report any success. Mono County will stock the river with trophy rainbows before the season opener.
AMERICAN RIVER – Low water has stalled striper fishing. A few shad have been caught near the mouth of the American.
FEATHER RIVER – Striper fishing has slowed considerably with the low water on the Feather. Some fish are being caught at Boyds Pump and Beercan Beach, but fishing is slow.
FOLSOM LAKE – Fishing for landlocked kings is slow to fair near the dam. Some bass are being caught by boaters and shore anglers and has improved in recent days. Trout fishing overall is slow.
RANCHO SECO LAKE – Trout fishing is good. Power Bait has worked best, along with nightcrawlers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – Fly fishing for rainbows has improved. Flows were 517 cfs on Sunday. Some larger trout are being to appear. Fly anglers are using rubber legs and prince nymphs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff – Fishing for native rainbows has been good, but low flows are making fishing from jet boats nearly impossible. Some drift boaters are running plugs, but most are fly fishing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Striper fishing has been best near Verona, but some fish also are being caught at Knight’s Landing. Sturgeon fishing is good throughout the lower river, especially near Second Beach. Crappie also have begun to bite, while the first shad of the season have been caught at Discovery Park.
AMERICAN RIVER—The River was running low and clear at the Hwy 49 confluence with hundreds of sun worshippers present, but no fishermen.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi fished the lake two days this past week and reported catching lots of small spots and a few good ones. One father/son duo caught 4 1/4-, 5 1/2-, and 6-pound spots off one point on three consecutive casts using a splitshot wacky rigged Senko. The fish were in 5 to 10 feet of clear water, so stay back off the structure when fishing to avoid spooking them.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake was still just a couple feet below the spillway. As the water warms up, the bass were spawning and catfish were moving up into shallower water. One angler stopped by North Shore Resort to have a big stringer of bass and cats photographed. Weekends can be crazy with recreational boat traffic with the warm weather, so fish during the week if possible.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is holding at 25 feet from full. The lake was stocked with a trophy trout plant of tagged fish worth prizes up to $100 cash, and a pen was released. Shore anglers and trollers were catching lots of trout limits and numerous big fish to 13 3/4 pounds. With the warmer weather, some big catfish began to show including a 14 3/4 pounder taken by an Alameda couple while fishing from the shore at the campgrounds.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported there were lots of boaters running up lake to fish, but few were reporting in about any success. With little recreational boat traffic on the lake yet, fishermen should be doing well trolling and drifting nightcrawlers.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 42.5-percent capacity. The lake was too low for boat launching except for cartoppers and kayaks. Shore fishing should be fair for a few rainbows and browns using nightcrawlers.
FULLER LAKE—The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity—up 9 inches with a bit of rain the previous weekend. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that his last trip with two clients produced 42 bass using drop-shot worms, splitshot wacky rigged 4- or 5-inch Senkos, darthead worms and tubes. The bass on the beds weren’t hitting, but the pre-spawn and post-spawn bass on the outside points and walls of the coves were active. Pre-spawners were also hitting Persuader Image Blade spinnerbaits in the mudlines on the outside points in 5 to 10 feet of water.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 97.5-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported trout fishing was a little slow, but bass fishing was good as the fish moved shallow to spawn.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 69.7-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Jim Caldwell at NID reported shore anglers were picking up limits of 10- to 12-inch planters in the marina and on the adjacent point with worms and floating dough bait. Smallmouth bass were hitting plastic worms well the rocky banks at Cascade and the overflow.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Shore fishing should be good near the boat ramp. Trollers should be seeing good action on flasher or dodger/worm combos.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported shore anglers and a few cartop boaters were seen fishing the lake this past week. The campground could be open by late May or early June.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 135-foot elevation at press time—89-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported a good bass bite on Senkos fished around the tule banks found in the coves.