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.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.-- ”I was only able to speak with one person in the Gold Beach area about the fishing this last week,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “He said that water was low and you can see the bottom of the river at least halfway across, and that the boats at the top of the bay by the island drop anchor every day, so there must be new salmon coming in on a daily basis. He told me that he hasn’t heard much about what is happening above Lobster Creek, but he did make sure to let me know that not a whole lot of fish have been caught anywhere, but those that have first chance at the springers as they enter the river are at the island. Guide Greg Eide has put his clients on some chromers, and all of May is still good for springers.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Ore.—“Anglers are still catching springers in town, the earlier the better in the mornings,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tacke in Grant’s Pass. “Anglers are using the Rogue Bait Rigs with an anchovy attached, or a Luhr Jensen Clear Flash lure, back bouncing roe or try a K-15 plug with a sardine wrap. Throughout the Grants Pass area, steelhead fishing remains fair on side-drifted roe or small plugs like the K-9 or Brad’s Wee Wiggler. The high elevation lakes are producing good trout action on trolled Wedding Rings or Berkley Honey Worms, or toss the new Pautzke’s Fire Bait from the bank. Most lakes are getting trout plants regularly. Bass fishing at Lake Selmac remains pretty good on Senkos and sight fishing the beds with worms and small jigs. Hopefully most anglers are practicing catch-and-release on the bass.”
RUSSIAN RIVER—“Fishing for spent steelhead continues to produce daily at Johnsons Beach with the normal hardware, and more shad are starting to show and the smallmouth bass bite continues to improve,” said Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle. “Water temps are in the mid 60’s with flows around 370 cfs. The rain we got on Friday didn’t do much to the river but bump the flow up 40 cfs. At this time the mouth of the river is open but high swells could close it again if they continue to persist.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Sutherlin, Ore.– The Umpqua River is still putting out some spring kings, however the numbers are way down from a few weeks ago, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “The river level was lower than average, but jetboats can still get up around on the river. The river is jade green with a 54-degree temperature—prime for catching springers if it wasn’t for the moss, which keeps fouling lures and bait.”
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Roseburg, Ore.-- ”The North Umpqua River is a short 20 minute drive from a Roseburg motel, and when I fished it on Friday I talked to other anglers and found they had been getting fewer salmon than just a couple weeks ago,” guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets said. “I did get a couple good reports from a couple driftboaters. They said that they had spent the day before casting from shore in the Swift Water area of the river and 2 of the 4 landed some nice salmon. Others were also into fish, they said. There were also some kings caught a couple miles below Winchester Dam. I think it will get better this week.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Fishing pressure has been light, with many of the steelhead spawned and heading back to the ocean. Warm weather has improved dry fly action for steelhead. This year’s upper Klamath salmon limit will be two adults and one jack. The salmon fly hatch could begin by late May.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – Conditions are good and anglers are catching a mix of spawned out adult steelhead and half pounder steelhead. Pressure is very light.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing is slow for spring salmon, which usually show up in late May or June. This year’s fall salmon limit is two adults and one jack.
TRINITY RIVER – Steelhead fishing continues to slow down, but a few fresh steelhead and more numerous spawned out fish are being caught by drift boaters and bank anglers in the Lewiston and Douglas City areas. Halfpounders are still plentiful. Pressure is very light.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The bite got a little tougher due the fact that everyone wanted to sight fish for bedding bass and it was windy. There was also a lot of fishing pressure and plenty of bait for fish to feed on. Other options included jerkbaits, swimbaits and square bills.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Bass continue to feed and fill up after the spawn and have been hitting LuckyCraft Gunfish and poppers in ghost minnow colors. Early and late there has also been a topwater bite on the main body. It was a windy week, so trout trollers didn’t get out. When the lake turns over use RMT dodgers, Uncle Larry’s spinners, Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) assassin spinners, plankton micro squids with some Firecorn for kokes.
LAKE ALMANOR— Aquatic insect hatches continue in both basins and fish are biting aggressively. As long as the wind stays down, expect the good bite to continue. Find the birds, which are also feeding on the hatches, and you’ll find the fish.
BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR—The stretch from 250 feet upstream from the Coleman Fish Hatchery upstream to Angel Falls (near Mineral) on the South Fork and to Ponderosa Way Bridge opened April 25. Kastmasters and worms always do well here, so these would be good choices to start out your day. Check special regulations here.
BAUM LAKE—No changes here. The good trout bite continues for those who can get on the water and reach them. The Fly Shop in Redding suggests using a pram, pontoon boat, or float tube to get at them. The bite is usually consistently good because the water conditions are controlled, cold and clear. It was planted on April 26.
BUCKS LAKE—The lake is a little low but some big Mackinaw trout have already been taken along the shoreline, by the dam and off Rainbow Point on large lures and P-line Lazar Minnow in a clown color. A windy week shut the bite down but it will pick right back up.
CASSEL FOREBAY—The portions of Hat Creek known as No. 1 Forebay and Cassel Forebay opened April 25. Pressure will be a bit more here on the weekends but there should be plenty of fish for everyone. Power Bait, worms and eggs should be the go to baits to start the season.
EAGLE LAKE–Opens on May 23 to Dec. 31 with one ramp. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day with a total of four in possession.
FALL RIVER—Opened April 25. River conditions look good. The Fly Shop in Redding suggests fishing above the Island Road Bridge.
UPPER HAT CREEK—Opened April 25 and closes Nov. 15 with special regulations. Fish and Wildlife planted on April 26 and if their planting routine is similar to years past, expect some huge brood stock in the 3- to 5-pound class to be in the mix. These waters are spring fed, so the drought should not impact it. Some of the Forest Service campgrounds are open. Worms, eggs and lures should all work well. Water conditions are great.
MANZANITA LAKE—Rainbows and browns should be more active earlier this year with the warmer water temperatures. Fish the shoreline and structure for better action. Remember that this is a catch-and-release, single hook, artificial lure only lake. Remember to check Lassen Park’s special regulations for this lake. This lake was planted on April 19.
McCLOUD RIVER–Opened April 25 and closes Nov. 15 with special regulations. River conditions look good and so do the brown and rainbow trout.
PIT RIVER— From Pit No. 3 (Britton Dam) downstream to the outlet of the Pit No. 3 Powerhouse opened April 25 and closes Nov. 15 with special regulations. Water conditions are good and so is the fishing.
SHASTA LAKE—A good bite continues for a ton of smaller bass with a few of the larger ones on beds as well. Fish from the surface down to 10 feet with topwater early and late and then worms and Senkos during the day with all colors working. The trout have not balled up yet, since they are looking for the bait that has also not balled up.
TRINITY LAKE—The bass bite has been good here.
TRINITY RIVER–Opened above Trinity Dam (Trinity County) from the confluence with Tangle Blue Creek (Hwy. 3) downstream (south) to the mouth of Trinity Lake on April 25 and closes Nov. 15 with special regulations.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—The koke bite continued to be slow on either side of the Hwy 299 Bridge. A few bass boats were also spotted on the lake. Pressure is very light here.
AMERICAN RIVER—The South Fork at Coloma and the Silver Fork were stocked by the DFW this past week. Heavy rains on Friday and Saturday put a damper on opening day, but the weather cleared for Sunday and fishing was good on the Silver Fork near the campgrounds
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported fishing was good for mostly small bass, though a few big spots were still being caught. Most of the bass were post-spawn and heading for deeper water off the points and walls.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Bass fishing was very good. Randy Bellows caught 35 fish to 2 1/2 pounds on drop-shot worms. Ron Franks of Folsom used morning dawn, oxblood, and purple worms to catch 37 bass—half were keepers to 2 1/2 pounds.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 24 feet from full. The lake was stocked by the DFW and received a private trophy plant that included tagged fish this past week. Trout fishing was very good with lots of limits checked in by both trollers and shore anglers. Trollers worked the channel from the bridge to the dam. Dave Zaski of Tahoe topped the week with a 7-pound rainbow taken on a spinner up by the bridge. Shore anglers did best at the Beach, dam, and campgrounds using floating dough bait.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Trollers were still picking up some nice rainbows up in the “No-Ski” zone. Cody Wyatt of Reno caught a 2 1/2-pound bass in the marina on a brown jig.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 43-percent capacity. The campgrounds will open on May 15. Shore fishing should be good near the French Meadows boat ramp where small boats can launch. Trollers should be picking up a mix of rainbows and browns on flasher/worms and Rapalas.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Hell Hole campground was open with no fee since the water system wasn’t working yet. The boat ramp was closed due to the low water level.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was very good with 70 to 100 fish days possible. Most of the spotted bass have already spawned and were headed out of the coves to the points and walls to feed. Everything was working—Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs, drop-shot and dart-head worms, Keitech swimbaits, tubes, Persuader spinnerbaits, beavers, grubs, hula jigs—just get it in front of them and hold on!
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 95.5-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported one boater found success in the Bear River arm under the power lines trolling a blue/silver Speedy Shiner behind a Sep’s watermelon mini-dodger for trout and bass.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 66.5-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Trout were still hitting floating dough bait and worms fished from shore between the marina and the dam. Smallmouth bass action was good on rocky banks using plastic worms.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake is full and was stocked by the DFW this past week. The campgrounds opened on April 24.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The Georgetown Ranger Station reported work was ongoing for getting the campgrounds opened—the water system was being fixed, hazard trees were being removed, etc. The group camp at Ponderosa Cove was open with no fee since there was no water yet. The boat ramp was still closed due to the low lake level.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.6-foot elevation at press time—86-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good flippin’ tubes in tight to the tules in 3 to 5 feet of water for smaller fish. The bigger fish were in 12 to 14 feet of water out from the tules. Winds were a big problem here.
AMERICAN RIVER – A few shad have been reported at Discovery Park. Overall fishing is slow.
FEATHER RIVER – With low flows, striper fishing is slow. Shad are being caught at Boyds Pump and also have been reported at Shanghai Bend. The river is too low for safe boating.
FOLSOM LAKE – Landlocked kings are being caught trolling in the Salmon Falls arm. Fishing for spotted bass and smallmouth has been good, and with warm weather expected this week, largemouth bass should be moving shallow to spawn. Windy conditions made fishing tough last week.
RANCHO SECO LAKE – A few large panfish were caught over the weekend, while bass and trout fishing is fair.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – The upper river is in prime shape. March brown hatches in the morning and caddis in the afternoon have fly anglers catching fish throughout the day.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff –The river is closed to all fishing between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 bridge from April 27 to July 31. Trout are available below the Highway 44 bridge.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Warm water slowed striper fishing last week, as many of the fish spawned and returned to the delta. Water releases for agriculture use, combined with last week’s thunderstorms, cooled temperatures and brought in new fish over the weekend. Power drifting jumbo minnows has been the best bet. Guides report big numbers of fish in the delta, and the cooler water is expected to draw some into the river.
BERKELEY—California Dawn hit Berkeley Flats for a nice haul of limits of stripers plus 13 halibut. Most boats out of Berkeley fished bass. Happy Hooker fished Treasure Island for high counts of bass and halibut to 14 pounds. New Easy Rider went outside the Gate, coming back with 2 salmon to 18 pounds.
BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING—Trips to Point Reyes aboard New Sea Angler resulted in rockfish, lingcod and Dungeness crabs with a 40-pound sack average. One skilled angler pulled up 4 lingcod. Clammers did very well near Lawson’s Landing.
EMERYVILLE—A 22-pound lingcod, taken aboard Sea Wolf was top fish for the Emeryville fleet. Tiger Fish and Sea Wolf ran outside to fish for rockfish and lingcod. Striped bass (and plenty of them) and halibut were the targets, inside the Bay for New Huck Finn, C-Gull II and New Seeker.
EUREKA/SHELTER COVE— Samoa Fire District held its 6th annual “Perch’n on the Peninsula” Perch Tournament and it was a success, with red tail perch over 15 inches caught. Jetty fishing was slow because weather and swells prevented fishing the best spots. Shelter Cove salmon fishing was sadly slow.
FORT BRAGG—Salmon hit the decks in appreciable numbers, at times going over a fish per rod, with a 14-pound average and fish up to 18 pounds aboard Telstar. Limits of Dungeness crabs also went home with happy customers. Jetty fishers had good success on rockfish, greenling, perches and crabs.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Big lingcod were taken, including 2 hefty keeper units on one drop aboard Queen of Hearts. Limits of rockfish were caught regularly. Striped bass bit hungrily in the surf, with plenty of 10 pounders and a few 20 pounders. Salmon bit at Deep Reef, but the weather kept boats away for much of the week.
SAN FRANCISCO—Central Bay spots held up through the big tides and windy conditions, providing good striped bass fishing and a pick at the halibut. South Bay was good for leopard sharks and rays aboard Flash.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 18.5-percent capacity. The inlet area is still restricted to two fish under 14 inches. Try the dam area for a chance at a brown casting a spoon or Rapala.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 84-percent capacity. Late season snow hit this past weekend putting chain restrictions on Hwy 88. The Caples Lake Resort boat ramp is now open to the public for a $15 launch fee. The EID ramp should open May 1. Fishing was improving until it snowed and the water temp dropped.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The West Carson was stocked by the DFW this past week. Alpine Bait and Tackle reported fishing was good in the Carson River system. One angler picked up two 8-pound rainbows in the West Carson despite the rainy cold weather that plagued the Sierras on the biggest outdoor weekend of the year!! The Carson River Resort reported weighing rainbows to 7 pounds, 11 ounces and they were seeing lots of limits from the East Carson.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported trolling had improved. Trollers were doing well running copper/redhead Dick Nite and red-dot frog Needlefish spoons at 12 feet deep north of the island. Shore fishing and flyfishing were slow.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 62-percent capacity. The kokanee bite slowed to a crawl, but 3- to 6-pound macks were hitting silver No. 3 Needlefish trolled 100 to 110 feet deep in China Cove. The kokes that were hitting were taken on chartreuse or pink dodgers/spinners or bugs.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported fishing was very good for the opener. Their opening day derby was won by Tammy Zailes of Sacramento with a 22 3/4-inch native brown trout. The Junior Division winner was 10-year-old Quade Lobo who caught a 15 1/2-inch rainbow. Folks caught lots of limits despite the heavy rain that hit, soaking campers who weren’t prepared for the weather.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. One lucky Reno angler caught 3- and 3 1/2-pound rainbows at the dam on inflated nightcrawlers. Most anglers scored 16- to 18-inch rainbows at the dam and Turkey Point. The campgrounds were open. Stream fishing in the area was slow due to low water flows.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported fishing was good at Sardine Lake from the shore using floating dough bait and worms. Gold Lake was kicking out limits of rainbows in a few hours from shore near the boat ramp. The Middle Fork Feather was producing well with one angler scoring an 18-inch rainbow at the Hwy 89 Bridge on a Panther Martin.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 82-percent capacity. According to Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service, toplining should be good for small rainbows using a brown grub/dodger combo to 10 feet deep.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—With the nearby Carson River so heavily stocked, pressure here was very low.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is full according to the NID website, but locals say it’s only 80-percent full. Any size boat can launch at the Pass Creek ramp and small boats can now launch at Woodcamp.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Sly Park Resort reported shore fishing was good for small macks and rainbows at the first and second dam using floating dough bait and nightcrawlers. It rained 3 inches this past weekend—we’ll take all the rain we can get!!
LAKE TAHOE—Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported a good bite at Edgewood for 3- to 6-pound macks on mooched live bait at 130 to 180 feet deep.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 39-percent capacity. It snowed at this elevation and closed the road this past weekend. Call the Georgetown Ranger Station for the latest road conditions at 530-333-4312.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 21-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Try the dam area or the Prosser Creek arm where the creek runs into the lake—the area with current opened with the stream season.
PYRAMID LAKE—Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported the bite was improving and they weighed in 6 big fish this past week topped by a 15 1/3-pound cutthroat taken at Pelican Point on a frog FlatFish. She also checked in a 13, a 12, and three 11s. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters fished 3 days and scored from 12 to 20 fish per trip trolling from Pelican Point to Spider Point with firetiger Apex at 37 to 47 feet deep. Most fish were 17 to 22 inchers but they lost a 15 to 20 pounder right at the boat—OUCH!! George Molino at Cutthroat Charters fished one day for 3 hours and caught 12 fish to 9 pounds at Warrior Point on red-dot frog Apex at 30 feet deep over 120 feet of water.
RED LAKE—Some snow here this past weekend. Cutthroats were hitting floating dough bait and inflated worms at the dam.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 86.5-percent capacity. It snowed here this past weekend. Shore fishing should be good. Trollers should be finding a big mack or two and plenty of small rainbows.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 19-percent capacity. Some small boaters were still getting in the water and doing well on the kokanee toplining dodgers and spinners or bugs. After the rain and snow that hit the area this past weekend, wait for things to dry out before taking any chances launching a boat. Cartoppers were still strongly recommended since the shoreline is now like quicksand for trailers.
TOPAZ LAKE—Rain this past weekend should have helped keep the water level here high enough to continue launching boats at Topaz Landing Marina and the County Park. Fishing was still slow from shore and not much better for trollers.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Mountain Hardware and Sports recommended getting out early this season to fish the river from Tahoe to Truckee along Hwy 89 before the river flows get too low. Flyfishing from Trout Creek to Stateline depends on the flows, but BWO, baetis, March Brown, stones, and some caddis were working.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 85-percent capacity. Rain made it tough get here this past weekend.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker Sections 2 (Canyon) and 3 (Pickel Meadows) were stocked by the DFW this past week. Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported it rained heavily on Friday and snowed on Saturday making for a slow opener. Though a few fish to 3 3/4 pounds were caught, fishing was slow for most anglers due to the cold.