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.
RUSSIAN RIVER–Steelhead fishing is pretty much done now that the water is in the mid to upper 60’s and the mouth keeps closing up, according to Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. Currently, however the mouth is open, allowing some shad to enter. “ Went out the other night smallie fishing with some friends that were shad fishing, and I managed a nice 14-inch, 1-pound smallie stripping an olive leech with a sink tip,” said Heemstra. “The shad were caught by a friend that was swinging flies. Both fish caught at Johnsons Beach. Flows are hovering around 220 cfs with lots of water users on the weekends.”
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.– Spring salmon fishing has been slow on the lower Rogue River near Gold Beach, where low flows and warm water have made fishing tough, according to WON Staff Writer Andy Martin. Flows were 2,200 cfs at the Agness gauge on Sunday, and the temperature was 65 degrees. A few salmon were caught last week as the run continues to wind down. Redtail surfperch have been biting at the sandspit along the South Jetty at the mouth of the Rogue. WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets agreed with the slow fishing due to low and clear river conditions, but he had some tips: “Word is that over the last week the better bite time has been late afternoon. I was also told by a couple anglers that they have been finding their salmon in much deep areas this season. They told me that 7-9 feet of water has been the best for their boats.”
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore.—Springer fishing has been spotty this week with the water levels fluctuating. “We need calmer water and it’s expected to be back to more fishable conditions this week,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Best bets are back bouncing roe or sand shrimp, or back troll Kwikfish with a sardine wrap. On the area lakes like Selmac and Lost Creek, trout anglers are scoring by trolling Wedding Rings with a nightcrawler or Power Maggot attached. The bank anglers are scoring on Pautzke salmon eggs with a marshmallow attached or Power Baits. Bass fishing remains good at Selmac, and improving at Lost Creek on crankbaits, buzz bombs and plastic worms.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.— The springer fishing started to heat up a couple days this last week at the upper end of the Rogue River, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. A couple reports from local guides confirmed that yes, they have had some good days where they managed to land two or three nice spring king salmon. Grants Pass area of the Rogue River hasn’t been doing well this season with the salmon.
UMPQUA RIVER, Sutherlin, Ore.—“I haven’t heard of any spring Chinook being caught this last week on the Umpqua River,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Serets. “I am sure there have been one or two caught, but without anyone calling in with a report, I am left with a belief that the salmon have lockjaw. The shad started running upstream at a good pace this past week and can be found throughout most of the river.”
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.–The last week of spring Chinook fishing above the town of Glide had a few good bite periods last week if anglers were fortunate enough to be fishing during the late afternoon bites, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. One angler told me that he has seen lots of salmon coming to the surface and slapping their tales during the evening hours, but he said he hasn’t been lucky enough to even hook one yet this season. It just goes to show you that timing has a huge roll to play in successful springer fishing.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Fishing for half pounder and small adult steelhead has been good with the warming weather and frequent hatches. Salmon flies will soon begin hatching. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 1,170 cfs on Sunday.
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. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,530 cfs on Sunday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing is slow for spring salmon, which usually show up in late May or June. Flows were an ideal 7,810 cfs on Sunday.
TRINITY RIVER – The river dropped to 2,950 cfs on Sunday at Lewiston, perfect for sea-run browns, which are biting a variety of plugs in the slower edges. Brown fishing should remain good into June, when the spring king salmon will arrive.
AMERICAN RIVER – Shad fishing has been good at Discovery Park for anglers using chartreuse 1-inch grubs. The fish are holding at the mouth in the Sacramento and have not yet started entering the American in big numbers.
FEATHER RIVER –Shad are being caught at Boyd’s Pump and also have been reported at Shanghai Bend. Fishing is slow for stripers.
FOLSOM LAKE – Fishing for spotted bass and smallmouth has been good, while largemouth bass are now on their spawning beds. Boat traffic has increased. Landlocked kings are being caught trolling in the Salmon Falls Arm.
RANCHO SECO LAKE – Bass and trout fishing is slow to fair. Trout are on their way out with the warming water, and the best bassin’ has been early and late.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – Trout fly fishing has been fair to good near Dunsmuir, where conditions are considered perfect. Nymphing is best, as there has not been much dry fly action yet.
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 fishing has been good to excellent below the Highway 44 bridge, with anglers reporting 20 to 40 hookups a day using rubber legs and sucker spawn patterns. Some trout also are being caught on roe and Glo Bugs. Salmon season opens July 16 below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Aug. 1 above it.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Shad fishing is good at Verona. The striper run is winding down, with few keeper-size fish caught last week. Knight’s Landing has been the best bet for stripers. Crappie are biting in the sloughs around Sacramento.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—A windy week has left the water stained and clearer water for sightfishing was hard to find. There are still plenty of bass yet to spawn, so until it clears, back off the shoreline a little and throw weightless Senkos to bedding bass.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The lake is getting busier with more recreational boats showing up, so get out early. The topwater bite has kicked in for bass anglers. Try Skiers Cove for kokes and above the Ranch House on the flats with frog colored Needlefish for rainbow trout.
LAKE SONOMA–The personal watercraft and wake boarders are taking over the lake, but there is plenty of room for everyone. With a waning moon, the topwater bass bite is picking back up, but get out early.
LAKE ALMANOR—A good bug hatch continues, although with plenty of food they are not biting as aggressively. Troll slower and use hardware such as Needlefish.
BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR—Kastmasters and worms always do well here, so these would be good choices to start out your day. Check special regulations here.
BAUM LAKE— The bite is usually consistently good because the water conditions are controlled, cold and clear. This lake is loaded with both brown and rainbow trout.
BUCKS LAKE—Run gear from 35 to 55 feet down for the Macs and gear from 20 to 30 for the kokes. A variety of plugs and spoons have been working with the greens and blues being the best producers.
CASSEL FOREBAY—Power Bait, worms and eggs are good go-to baits. There is always more pressure on the weekends, but there should be plenty of fish for everyone.
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—The Fly Shop in Redding rated the fishing as fair this past week. But there are lots of rainbows and good hatches along the upper river.
UPPER HAT CREEK—These waters are spring fed so the drought should not impact it and water conditions are great. Worms, eggs and lures all work well here. Fishing is at its best early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset.
MANZANITA LAKE—Rainbow and brown trout have been 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. Fishing has been fair for some and great for others.
McCLOUD RIVER–River conditions are excellent and so is the brown and rainbow trout fishing thanks to all of the hatches.
PIT RIVER—Water conditions are good and with plenty of hatches going off, the fishing has been good. This is a go-to river in the springtime.
SHASTA LAKE—There continues to be a brown trout bite in 20 to 40 feet of water on wrapped shad or shad imitation spoons. A few rainbows were mixed in, but the salmon fishing has been nonexistent. A waning moon will help the bite. Look for some kind of vertical structure and shade pockets for bass. Topwater baits of all types are working early and late. During the day throw Senkos and worms in shad patterns.
TRINITY LAKE—The water has muddied up with all the water they are dumping.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR–More kokes are showing up but there are a lot of bait stealers of the 8-inch variety around. Troll in 25 to 80 feet to find a 12- to 13-inch kokes, which are fat and healthy.
BERKELEY—Catching striped bass in Central Bay was the name of the game for California Dawn, Happy Hooker, Jilly Sea and others. New El Dorado III got limits of lingcod to 20 pounds. New Easy Rider and Flying Fish both got salmon outside the Gate.
BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING—The words, “limits of salmon” haven’t been used much, this early season, however New Sea Angler accomplished the feat early in the week, with fish to 22 pounds. Limits of rockfish and about a fish per rod on lingcod also came up on combo trips. Private boaters off of Lawson’s Landing also scored limits early in the week. After a mid-week, 3-day wind event, boaters again found the salmon but the bite isn’t yet back to limits.
BROOKINGS, Ore.—Lingcod and rockfish bit like hungry coyotes out of Brookings, Ore. Limits of both were common. Salmon was kinda slow, but the shiny fish typically show in big numbers during the last couple of weeks of June and all of July, according to Capt. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
EMERYVILLE—Things were quiet on Mother’s Day with only the New Huck Finn out with 11 folks who caught limits of bass to 13 pounds, a 6-pound halibut, a 5-pound lingcod and 11 rockfish. On Saturday, Tiger Fish ran to the islands for limits of rockfish and 22 lings to 13 pounds. New Salmon Queen also went for groundfish, getting limits of rockfish and 25 lingcod to 9 pounds. New Huck Finn and Sea Wolf fished groundfish outside, then finished up with bass inside the Bay. C Gull II stuck with stripers and caught limits.
EUREKA/TRINIDAD/CRESCENT CITY—Eureka party boats slammed the salmon. Shellback, Reel Steel and Fishy Business all posted limits of salmon, cementing Eureka as the hotspot for salmon fishing. Early season Pacific halibut fishing went well, with a number of hefty halibut caught, up to 47 pounds as well as two 45 pounders. A kayaker, Rob Bray out of Trinidad caught both a salmon and a Pacific halibut. On Sunday, the bite slowed a bit.
FORT BRAGG—Good salmon fishing was to be had before the mid-week wind event and then over the weekend boaters were getting back on top of the salmon and counts were increasing. Dungeness crabs were plentiful and healthy. Limits came up for Telstar passengers, who also enjoyed good salmon fishing. Most boaters and CPFV crews were preparing for the May 15 opener of rockfish season.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Rockfish and lingcod proved most dependable, then striped bass along the beaches and then salmon. Local trips to 3 Rocks produced limit-style fishing for groundfish. Striped bass swarmed the beaches as they roamed and chased food sources. Salmon were caught, but a lot of looking time was generally required. Young Braden Baxter aboard New Capt. Pete caught 8 lingcod.
SAN FRANCISCO—Flash fished Central and South Bay for limits of bass and plenty of sharks to 6 feet. Flash II is back to Fisherman’s Wharf. Wacky Jacky searched for salmon. Lovely Martha tried the Farallones for salmon, then came back inside the Bay and caught striped bass.
AMERICAN RIVER—The rivers were now running clear after the previous weekend’s rain. Hikers should be doing well in the North Fork and Middle Fork. The DFW planted the South Fork and Silver Fork in recent weeks.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported that two Oroville anglers fished this past week and caught lots of spots from 5 to 9 pounds on shakey-head worms and Senkos.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 84-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported bass fishing slowed. One angler reported catching 16 bass on the main body and up in the Rock Creek arm using plastics at 6 to 10 feet deep in 68- to 71-degree water.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 25 feet from full. Trout fishing was good with anglers catching some limits, including rainbows from 7 3/4 to 9 pounds from shore and trolling. Catfish to 5 1/2 pounds were hitting bait from shore. All the net pens have been released and private plants will continue until Memorial Day weekend.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported trollers were catching 12- to 14-inch rainbows at the dam and up in the 5 mph zone using threaded nightcrawlers and Rapalas. Skippers Cove Marina reported a houseboater was picking up some of the 2- to 2 1/2-pound pen-reared rainbows trolling near Keystone Cove and Long Cove.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Boats can launch at both ramps. The French Meadows and Robinson Flat campgrounds will open this weekend. Trollers are picking up some nice fish near the dam.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Boats can now launch at the ramp. Kokanee and brown trout trolling was good, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. Self-contained campers can use the Hell Hole campground and the paved parking lot at the boat ramp with no fee since the water system isn’t working yet and no services are available—bring your own water and haul out your trash.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The bass bite slowed with the full moon and the 10-foot drop in the lake level. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported fish counts were at 50 fish per day using worms, tubes, jigs, and small swimbaits on steep walls. Salmon trolling was slow.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 98-percent capacity and 4- to 5-pound browns were hitting vampire and firetiger F9 Rapalas under the powerlines in the Bear River arm in the early morning
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 65.5-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported the marina and store would open for the season on May 22. Bass and trout fishing were good. Bass were hitting plastic worms and nightcrawlers near the Ditch Tender’s House. Rainbows were hitting bait and flasher/worm combos for shore anglers and trollers from the marina on up toward the Ditch Tender’s House.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The campgrounds were open and anglers were picking up planter rainbows from the shore and trolling. The lake was nearly full and launching was good.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 63.5-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the Ponderosa Cove group campground was open for reservations. The paved parking lot was open for camping by RVs with a fee—the camp host was on-site. Boat launching was still for cartoppers, canoe, and kayaks only. Fishing was fair at best.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.2-foot elevation at press time—83-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company said bass fishing was good pitching Senkos on the tule banks and weed beds. His last trip produced 40 bass to 3 1/2 pounds.
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 15-percent capacity. Small aluminum boats and cartoppers were launching off the rocky shores on the east side of the lake. Trollers were picking up a few trout. Shore anglers were doing best at the inlet where the cooler water was running in from the Little Truckee River.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 90-percent capacity. The lake received 6 to 8 inches of wet, sloppy snow this past Friday but it melted by Saturday. Shore fishing was good at the dam and spillway and Wood’s Creek inlet. The EID ramp is now open for boat launching. The Caples Lake Resort store and marina are now open on weekends, but should open full-time on Memorial Day weekend.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of trophy rainbows in the East and West Carson, and Markleeville Creek. Fishing was good throughout the system, but the East Carson was still a little murky from the runoff from the previous weekend’s rain and snow.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported a good bite for trollers using small spoons and green wooly buggers at 12 feet deep north of the island and in the channel from Honker Cove to the dam. Shore fishing was improving at Fairview. Flyfishing was slow. The only operational launch ramp is at Honker Cove.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 67-percent capacity. The kokanee bite was hit-or-miss at 15 to 35 feet deep, but the fish were small. Macks were hitting spoons and plugs trolled 80 to 110 feet deep on the high spots and ridges between China Cove and Loch Leven.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON— Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported angers were still catching limits of planter rainbows in the North Fork. Some big native rainbows to 18 inches were being caught at the Caribou Powerhouse.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported poor weather contributed to a light week of fishing pressure. When the weather settles, trolling west of the boat ramp should be excellent using small spoons.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Gold Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Look for big macks and browns to be prowling the shallows after the DFW plant to feed on the new rainbows. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported a good bite for shore anglers and trollers at Sardine Lake. Shore fishing was good near the boat ramp at Gold Lake.
ICE USE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Dale Daneman reported that trolling should be good in the top 15 feet using a brown grub and small spoons for rainbows to 15 inches.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—With the heavy plants in the Carson River, fishing pressure here was zilch!!
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is full according to the NID website though locals report it at 80-percent capacity. Boats can launch at Pass Creek and Woodcamp. Trollers were picking up 14- to 18-inch rainbows on flasher/worms and Rapalas, while shore anglers relied on inflated nightcrawlers.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were still picking up a few planter rainbows at the dam on floating dough bait and worms.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of 2- to 10-pound macks in 65 to 450 feet of water depending on what the fish’s preferred forage was—shrimp, crawdads, or minnows. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported strong winds hindered fishing this past week, but on calmer days he was scoring rainbows to 7 pounds, browns to 5 pounds, and macks to 15 pounds from the surface to 100 feet deep. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported picking up limits of 3- to 6-pound macks at Sugar Pine mooching live bait at 130 to 160 feet deep.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 41-percent capacity. The gate should be open and trollers should be able to picking good numbers of holdover rainbows and a few browns.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 24.5-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports recommended trying for smallmouth bass near the dam using jigs and worms. Try for rainbows in the Prosser Creek arm channel.
PYRAMID LAKE—Strong winds plagued the lake this past week and fishing pressure was light. Crosby’s Lodge only weighed in 4 fish topped by a 12 3/4 pounder caught trolling a Rapala on the south end of the lake.
RED LAKE—The dam and inlet should be good for cutthroats using worms, floating dough bait or a Kastmaster spoon.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 97.5-percent capacity. Trolling for macks and rainbows should be good. Shore fishing should be good.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 18-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service launched his boat here Friday and caught over 35 kokanee 14 to 15 inches trolling straight across from the boat ramp. Launching is dicey at best and 4-wheel drive only in the rocks and mud to the right of the ramp. Small boats and cartoppers are a safer option. Smallmouth bass fishing was good in the Davies Creek arm using lures and flies in crawdad colors.
TOPAZ LAKE—Boat were still launching at the County Park. Small boats were still launching at Topaz Landing Marina. Trout fishing was slow, but look for improved smallmouth bass action.
TRUCKEE RIVER—With the flows so low, the trout were concentrated in the deeper pools and easy to find but expect heavy fishing pressure on the weekends. Flyfishing was good in the better flow areas from Hirschdale to Floriston using March Browns, caddis, and BWO.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 90-percent capacity. Trolling for macks was slow, but a few big fish were hitting a dodger/herring over mid-lake rocky humps. Kokanee should be schooling up and ready to hit a dodger/hoochie or spinner.
WEST WALKER RIVER—Rain and snow this past week blew out the river and fishermen were scarce. Look for the “Size Doesn’t Matter” Derby over the Memorial Day weekend with prizes allotted for 50 tagged fish to be stocked just before the derby.