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.–Fishing for king salmon at the mouth of the river is heating up, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Last week fishing was the best that it has been this year to date for trolling in the bay. There were times when 3 or 4 boats had fish on at the same time. Thursday was apparently the hottest fishing day of the week. The majority of the fish were 15 pounds and slightly larger. I know of several Chinooks that were 20-22 pounds, which is a really nice fish. There are still a few late running springer’s getting caught that were busting at the seams full of roe. I have said this a couple times before, and I am going to say it one more time: I expect the Rogue Bay will have a banner year for salmon fishing that will hopefully mimic the ones we experienced a dozen years ago.”
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Ore.–Some steelhead are being caught at the mouth of the Applegate River. Fall Chinook salmon should be on a steady improvement through July on back-bounced plugs like the Kwikfish with a sardine wrap, small pieces of roe or nightcrawlers. “You can now keep wild fish below Dodge Bridge,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Action on the Upper Rogue continues at a good pace on back-trolled plugs with roe or sardine wraps. Lake fishing continues to be good on the lakes. Applegate is yielding good action on smallmouth bass on Senkos and crawdad colored crank plugs. Trout are falling to trolled Wedding Rings followed by nightcrawlers.
RUSSIAN RIVER–Pretty much holding in the normal summer pattern with lots of river users on the weekends, according to Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle. “Flows are hovering around 70-80 cfs with temps right around 70 degrees. The bass fishing has been decent in the Guerneville area with small Rooster Tail spinners producing well. The shad fishing is over, so we won’t see any anadromous fish until fall. Fishing structure that’s shady or in the morning or evening times are most productive.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Reedsport, Ore.—King
Salmon are at the mouth of the Umpqua River and boats are returning with multiple catches of fish, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “With ocean conditions being fishable, it has been luring the majority of vessels away from the mouth of the river and into the ocean where coho and Chinook have both played a part in anglers being successful in their trip. It is still a little bit early for concentrating on salmon fishing at Windy Bend on the Umpqua River. I suggest that anglers concentrate at the mouth of the Umpqua River and slightly offshore when conditions allow. The Roseburg area has continued to show more rocks and less water. The few anglers that have been fishing for smallmouth bass have been ecstatic with the numbers of smallies they have caught on their trips. Fishing pressure is low due to high temperatures.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Glide, Ore.—“Summer steelhead fishing on the North Umpqua River can be one of the most peaceful fishing experiences anywhere, so I was surprised to receive reports of steelhead being caught virtually every day last week,” said Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “The reason is due to a lot warmer water temperatures on the lower Umpqua River causing special regulations to become adopted in order to protect our returning fish that became held up in the lower warmer water. With that being pointed out, I am starting to believe that the North Umpqua must have received one or two fair-sized runs of early summer steelhead.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Steelhead fishing has been slow. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate Dam were 902 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – Fishing has slowed for trout and steelhead. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,030 cfs on Sunday. Halfpounders have been reported near Orleans.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Bright salmon are being caught by anglers trolling spinners and Kastmasters near the mouth. Above the estuary, fishing is slow. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 2,970 cfs. The water temperature was up to 71 degrees on Sunday. The Blue Creek section is now closed until Sept. 14.
TRINITY RIVER – Flows at Douglas City were 439 cfs on Sunday, while flows at Hoopa were 822 cfs. Warm water has slowed salmon fishing on the lower river. Kings are being caught near Douglas City on roe and tuna balls.
North Coast Lakes
CLEAR LAKE—Find the concentrations of bait in the deeper areas and you’ll find the bass. The bite for better-sized fish continued to be the topwater bite with buzzbaits, poppers, walking baits and frogs all producing. The structure bite with jigs is also improving. The other good structure approach is using a Carolina rig with a Brush Hog, Sweet Beaver or lizard.
LAKE BERRYESSA–The kokanee have moved into deep water on structure and are schooling up from 65 to 85 feet deep on drop-offs. The bigger Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) dodgers paid a big role coupled with Apex spoons, Radical Glow spinners and Uncle Larry’s spinners with Pautzke Firecorn. Drop-shot rigs worked over rock piles offshore and points in the Narrows using Roboworms and tubes worked well for bass.
LAKE MENDOCINO–Smallies continued to smash G-Splash poppers around main lake points before the sun comes up and goes down. During the day, use a drop-shot rod with 4-inch Roboworms in Oxblood or Aaron’s Magic.
LAKE SONOMA–G-Splash poppers and Sammy 128s worked on the top of main body points provided most of the action for the smallies to 2 1/2 pounds. The upper main body near Cherry Creek has kicked out a few big largemouth bass. Crappie are hitting LV100s in the ghost pattern fished in the 10- to 15-foot range.
LAKE ALMANOR—Recent thunderstorms slowed the fishing, but it should pick back up when the weather warms up again. Try nightcrawlers behind dodgers in 25 feet on the east side of peninsular and east shoreline for trout.
BAUM LAKE—Fishing should be good here all summer since water condition are consistently cold and clear. Go early if you want to use dry flies.
BUCKS LAKE—Try running watermelon dodgers with Uncle Larry’s pink tiger spinners or needlefish spoons for trout. There are still a few macks from 6 to 10 pounds biting spoons or custom painted plugs.
EAGLE LAKE—You can still troll in 50 to 60 feet of water with five colors of lead core but fish are headed down. Anchoring in 50 feet of water with a threaded nightcrawler down 25 feet is producing limits to 2 1/2 pounds.
FALL RIVER—With the Hex Hatch still going strong, so has the fishing, but be on the water early for the surface action. A popular and technique here is retrieving dark or olive colored leeches on a sinking line.
UPPER HAT CREEK—Fishing is at its best here early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset, as there are a variety of hatches going off. The Power House No. 2 riffle has been fishing well, but has also been a little crowded.
MANZANITA LAKE—Fish the shoreline and structure for better action early and late when hatches are going off. The callibaetis and damsel flies are coming off daily. Fishing has been fair to good, but check the special regulations here.
McCLOUD RIVER—The fishing here has been good, even if the water is a little stained.
PIT RIVER—Fish early and then fish the shade pockets mid-day. The evening bite has been fair. Good fishing should continue over the next few weeks.
SHASTA LAKE—Remember to fish early and late, as there is a lot of traffic out there now. Spotted and smallmouth bass fishing has been good. Try the I-5 Bridge in 40 to 65 feet for rainbow trout with Apex and Wiggle Hoochies. For salmon work from 100 to 120 down rolling shad and or anchovies.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 12.7-percent capacity. With the water level so low, shore fishermen can cast into the river channel where the fish congregate to find cooler water. Try the inlet from a float tube in the early morning or evening.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 94.4-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Drew Meteer at Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was good since EID/KUP stocked 3100 pounds of trophy trout in the lake a couple weeks ago. Shore anglers were catching some 3- to 5-pound rainbows off the dam using nightcrawlers and floating dough bait. DFW planter rainbows were hitting nightcrawlers, floating dough bait, Kastmaster spoons, and Panther Martin spinners at Wood’s Creek inlet and Emigrant Bay.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—The West Carson is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Another week of thunderstorms, hail, and rain kept the East Carson running muddy and slowed the fishing. The West Carson was running clear and getting most of the fishing pressure. 3500 bicyclists participating in the 129-mile “Death Ride” this past week kept anglers out of the area due to the overwhelming bike traffic. Look for clearer water and better fishing this week.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Trollers were picking up a 1 to 3 rainbows on flasher/worms at 4 colors deep. The most consistent action was for boaters anchored by the dam in 30 to 40 feet of water using floating dough bait on the bottom. Shore anglers at Mallard Point who could reach deeper water by casting 50 yards off shore were scoring the occasional limit. Larger boats launching at Honker Cove were hitting the rocks at the end of the concrete, so it could be “small boats only” very soon.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 70-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Heavy recreational boat traffic made it tough for shore fishermen and kokanee trollers had to get out early in the morning to beat the traffic. Try for the kokes at 50 to 80 feet deep between China Cove and Loch Leven using pink or orange hoochies.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—The North Fork at Belden was stocked by the DFW this past week. PG&E water releases this past week blew out the North Fork and fishing was slow despite the plant. When the river clears up, fishing should be fantastic.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 30-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was best at the dam using nightcrawlers. The Frenchman boat launch was now for small boats only with 4-wheel drive strongly recommended.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Trolling at Gold Lake was the best bet for planter rainbows using flasher/worms at 10 to 12 feet deep on the west end of the lake. The bite was okay at Sardine, Salmon, and Snag lakes.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching 11 rainbows on his last trip. The first 4 in the early morning were 15 to 20 inchers and the rest were 10- to 13-inch DFW planters. The bite lasted 4 hours then shut off. A single Sep’s brown grub trolled in the top 25 feet did the trick.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Small boaters and float tubers were picking up some nice fish in the deeper water in front of the dam.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported a good bite for planter rainbows everywhere on the lake using flasher/worms and Apex at 30 feet deep.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were still picking up planter rainbows at the dam using worms and floating dough bait.
LAKE TAHOE—Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported hit-or-miss action for limits of macks to 8 pounds jigging with a 3-ounce Williamson Vortex tipped with a live minnow. One day the bite was good and the next tough. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was working for near-limits to limits of 3- to 5-pound macks mooching live bait 140 to 190 feet deep from Homewood to Tahoe City. Kokanee action was still slow, but small boaters focusing on kokes were picking up to 9 salmon on flasher/spinners at 45 feet deep over 100 feet of water off Camp Richardson.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 52-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Pete Robinson at the Georgetown Ranger Station reported a friend fished here this past week and picked up a few rainbows.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 26.4-percent capacity. With the lake so low and warm, smallmouth bass fishing on rocky shores was the best bet this past week.
PYRAMID LAKE—Trout season closed and there were no perch fishing reports yet.
RED LAKE—The fishing was slow here.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 89-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. A friend of Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service said he fished here for several hours and only caught a few 10-inch DFW planters. The big macks in the lake must be eating well!!
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 16-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported a little tougher bite for kokanee this past week, but he was picking up some rainbows and the occasional mack. The kokanee were running 15 to 17 inches and still hitting dodgers trailing RMT hoochies and spinners in pink at 50 to 60 feet deep in front of the dam.
TOPAZ LAKE—The Douglas County Topaz Lake Recreation Area launch ramp was for small boats only due to the low water level, though some recreational boaters were launching off the shore at the “primitive area”. Fishing was slow with all the thunderstorms rolling through the area, but should improve as the weather stabilizes.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Flows were dangerously low here and the water temp was in the low 70s. Anglers need to leave this river alone to protect and preserve the fishery!!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported kokanee trolling was 1/2 limits at best—7 or 8 fish for 3 anglers. The kokes were running in two year classes, 12 to 14 inches and 15 to 16 inches. Neeser said they were using a Wild Thing Dodger trailing small hoochies and spinners in red or orange at 30 to 50 feet deep over 80 feet of water.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon were stocked by the DFW this past week and are all scheduled for more DFW plants this week. The river flows cleared by the weekend after thunderstorms earlier in the week, and fishing was very good. The leader of the “How Big is Big” Fishing Derby is an 8.2-pound rainbow caught by Clifford Clark of Reseda on floating dough bait near Chris Flat campgrounds. Mono County will stock 400 pounds of 3-pound average rainbows on July 15.
AMERICAN RIVER – King salmon have begun to show up at the mouth of the American at Discovery Park. The river opened July 16, and a crowd of anglers is expected to be trolling small plugs. Shad are still present between the dam and Sunrise Boulevard.
FEATHER RIVER – An increase in flows from 1,000 cfs to 3,000 cfs has sparked another striper bite, with anglers catching keepers and shakers on pencil poppers between the 10th Street Bridge and Shanghai Bend. Salmon season opened July 16, but few salmon are present in the river, which was 70 degrees on Sunday.
FOLSOM LAKE – The 5 mph speed limit went into effect on Monday. Fishing for bass suspended in open water has been good for anglers tossing jigs and plastics in crawdad and shad colors. The Hoble Cove ramp is the only launch still open.
RANCHO SECO LAKE – Bass and trout fishing is slow.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – The city of Dunsmuir has stocked hundreds of 14- to 22-inch rainbows. Trout fishing is very good from Dunsmuir to Shasta Lake, where numerous hatches have sparked good nymph and dry fly action. Gear anglers also are catching fish.
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 below the Highway 44 bridge, although the river stretch between the bridge and Anderson is crowded. Egg patterns are working best. Salmon season opened July 16 below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Aug. 1 above it.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa – Salmon have been reported throughout the section of river, which opened to king fishing July 16. The river will open as scheduled, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The coolest water is from Chico to Red Bluff and that’s where most guides will be concentrating their action.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Fishing for stripers and shad has been slow. The river opened to salmon fishing July 16, but kings will be scooting right through the warm water heading for cooler water upriver.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Fishing pressure has dropped in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento. Crappie and catfish fishing is very good in the sloughs and ditches near Sacramento for anglers using small minnows and wax worms. Salmon season opened July 16, but it’s not expected to be very good here unless anglers intercept a moving school of fish heading upriver towards cooler water.
AMERICAN RIVER—Hikers making it down to the North Fork from the trailheads above Foresthill were catching plenty of 9- to 12-inch rainbows in the deeper pools using spinners.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported they were still launching boats at their ramp. Kokanee were still hitting dodger/hoochies for trollers at the dam and up in the North Fork. Catfish were hitting in the coves.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 55-percent capacity. North Shore Resort was still launching boats, but warned about shallow hazards such as islands and rocks as the water level continued to drop. Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 12 bass on oxblood craws at 10 to 15 deep in the Rock Creek arm and near the dam.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 40 feet from full. Catfishing really took off this past week with 16 and 17 pounders caught at night off the docks using anchovies and sardines. Bass, bluegill, and redears were very active too. Trout fishing was hit-or-miss in deep water for trollers and bait drifters with only 1 or 2 fish caught per person.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported a 20-inch brown trout was caught on a nightcrawler at Missouri Bar above the confluence of the North and South Yuba. A houseboater was catching 1 or 2 rainbows on trolled threaded nightcrawlers in the main body near the dam in the mornings.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 39-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the French Meadows launch ramp was still open. All the campgrounds were open with water.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 44.9-percent capacity. Small boats were still launching below the ramp through the rocks and gravel, but 4-wheel drive was required. Trollers were still picking up trout and kokanee.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity—down 5.5 feet this past week. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was good early and late in the day on topwater lures—poppers, Spooks, and buzzbaits. Tubes, Keitech swimbaits, beavers, drop-shot worms, Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs, and Senkos were all working on steep rocky points and walls at 20 to 30 feet deep.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 93.8-percent capacity. No report was available.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 55.7-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported trollers were catching 4 or 5 fish per boat using flasher/worms near the dam. Some smallmouth bass were hitting worms and jigs on rocky banks. The launch ramp at Cascade was out of the water. Launching was still good at Scott’s Flat Marina.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Boats were still launching, but fishing was slow. The campgrounds and day-use area were all open.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. The campgrounds should open at the end of July as work progresses on cleanup and repairs after the King Fire. Shore fishermen were picking up a fish or two on worms or floating dough bait.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 135.1-foot elevation at press time—89.7-percent capacity. The early morning bass bite was good on topwater along rock banks, then later in the day switched over to crankbaits. 1/4-ounce spinnerbaits were working well over the tops of the weed beds.
BERKELEY—Easy fishing summed up the week, with limits of bass coming aboard, mixed with a few halibut, by early morning for Bass Tub, Happy Hooker and California Dawn. Then boats went off to add rockfish and lingcod. An 8-pound ocean whitefish was brought aboard California Dawn at the Farallones. Salmon boats like New Easy Rider, El Doardo and Flying Fish had an up & down week, with limits or goose eggs both possible, from one day to the next.
BODEGA BAY/TOMALES BAY—Tomales Bay halibut picked up the pace and bit pretty well near the mouth of the Bay and near Hog Island. The striped bass bite along the beaches near Lawson’s Landing continued, but showed signs of turning spotty. Bodega Bay anglers hauled home back-stressing sacks of rockfish and lingcod after fishing on New Sea Angler near Elephant Rock.
EMERYVILLE—Top score for the week was on Wet Spot when 4 people caught 21 rockfish, 1 lingcod, 2 striped bass and 6 salmon. Note that the salmon count alone was 1.5 salmon per person. New Seeker, Super Fish and Sundance also fished salmon and Sundance had a 30 pounder. Sea Wolf, New Huck Fin, New Salmon Queen and Tiger Fish went after bass and then ran out the Gate to add a load of rockfish and lingcod.
EUREKA—The highlight of the week for the entire coast was a 114-pound opah, caught aboard charter boat, Scrimshaw, while hunting tuna. A fair number of albacore were caught. Pacific halibut bit crazy and there were limits taken. The biggest flattie weighed 75 pounds. Salmon fishing was decent and at times good, with the average size improving week by week.
FORT BRAGG—Rockfish and lingcod were uber-steady for Telstar, which also went out to scare up some salmon at mid-week. The salmon weren’t big, but it was nice to catch some. The story of the week was a 31-pound lingcod aboard Telstar. Private boaters ran 20 miles out and did come back with some albacore. One feller caught a misplaced dorado.
HALF MOON BAYPACIFICA—Party boats like Queen of Hearts, New Capt. Pete and Huli Cat headed down the coast and racked up large scores of lingcod and rockfish from Ritz Carlton, Martins Beach, Tunitas and Pescador. Private boaters turned north out of harbor and hunted salmon near the Channel Buoys. Shore fishers had grand battles with striped bass, using baits, poppers or hardbaits.
SAN FRANCISCO—Bass fishing couldn’t get much better. Bass Tub had limits one morning by 7:30 a.m., then went out for rockfish, cabezon and lingcod to round out a half-day trip.