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.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–Coos River has received her first push of Chinook salmon for the year. Friday, August 14th, there were ten salmon caught out front of Roseburg Lumbers Chip Mill. With only a few boats fishing this early in the season that’s a solid start for the Coos River, according to Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.–The Coquille River at the beginning of last week was just starting to show the trickling into the river system of a few fall Chinook. “Prime fishing on this river is usually right around the full moon in September,” said Guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “A few locals can always be found enjoying themselves during these early weeks trolling from Rocky Point to the Mouth of the River for the sheer pleasure of spending time on the water. With the low water conditions and extreme temperatures in the Northwest, there have been some adverse effects on fishing conditions. I was very pleased to see that the Coquille River, near the 101 bridge, was running an average temperature of 62 degrees. Which during the flood tide dropped approximately 4 to 5 degrees in temperature. The closer we get to the valleys on I-5 the more harsh water conditions become.”
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.–Once again, last week the Rogue Bay was the hot spot for fishing fall kings. Not a day went by that you couldn’t see the smiles on anglers faces as salmon were weighed on scales and pictures were snapped. This salmon run will be strong through the end of September.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Looking for an alternative fishing trip from the big lakes? Grab some light tackle gear, your favorite plastics and head to the Russian River for some fun smallmouth fishing, according to WON Field Reporter Scott Green. “The fish are not giant but the key word is ‘fun’. Smallies in the 8- to -12-inch range are a blast on light tackle and there’s nothing like wading a river in shorts catching fish. Look for the deeper holes of the river that have bigger rocks that provide shade and that’s where the smallies will hang out. Smaller topwater baits also trigger strikes in the mornings and evenings. Some of the key areas have been down along River Road in the Geurneville area as well as the deeper holes up in the Healdsburg area.”
UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Ore.–The Umpqua River near Reedsport proved to be a most worthwhile destination for fishing. “I am a little disappointed with the numbers of Chinooks caught near the Windy Bend section of the river,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “It’s still early in the season and some locals believe that warmer water temperatures have been hindering the bite. I am not sure that that is accurate, when you can look to the south at the Rogue Bay with water temperatures in the low to mid 70s and find plenty of the same fish being caught. I prefer to fish this area of the river during the last two weeks of August, and in the past I have done very well. Hopefully things will improve slightly for my visit next week.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – The fall salmon run is about a month away, although fish could arrive by the first week of September as water releases draw early kings into the lower river. Fishing for steelhead between 1 and 3 pounds has been good on crawfish plugs and MagLip plugs. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 907 cfs on Sunday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – King salmon could arrive in Orleans and Happy Camp by the end of the month as water releases from the Trinity draw salmon in from the ocean. Flows at Seiad Valley were 948 cfs on Sunday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Water releases from Trinity Dam are expected to give flows an increase beginning Tuesday night or Wednesday, likely drawing in fresh salmon from the ocean. Steelhead fishing was good last week, while a handful of jacks and a few adults were caught each day last week. Flows Sunday at Terwer were 2,129 cfs. The Blue Creek section is closed until Sept. 14.
TRINITY RIVER – Water releases that began Sunday afternoon are expected to leave the Trinity too high to fish this week. Fresh salmon are expected as it drops back into shape next week. Flows are expected to rise from 450 cfs to 2,500 cfs by Monday night before dropping to 1,000 cfs on Wednesday.
North Coast Lakes
CLEAR LAKE— The upper end of the lake is still brownish colored and not producing very well. The better bite remains from the Narrows down through the Redbud and Rattlesnake arms. Junk fish as shallow to deep driving crankbaits, Senkos, shaking and drop-shotting plastic worms and jigs are all working. All roads and launch ramps are in good shape.
LAKE BERRYESSA—The Markley Cove area produced good kokanee results. A lot of the larger kokanee are holding on structure and on flats on the bottom at 80 to 95 feet. There was a good bite using Rocky Mountain Tackle’s (RMT) 5.5 dodgers with Uncle Larry’s spinners, Apex spoons and RMT squids with Pautzke Firecorn. Bass limits were caught on MM III Roboworms.
LAKE SONOMA--There has been no real pattern for bass, so just use what works for you. The only consistent pattern was that all of the fish came off standing timber in 10 to 15 feet of water in the main body. Troll white trolling flies, Needlefish in a cop car color or a nightcrawler for trout. The best depth for the trout has been the 35- to 50-foot range working the main body from the dam up the no-ski buoys.
LAKE ALMANOR—Fishing has been slow, as they are dropping the water and the fish don’t like it.
BAUM LAKE—Check DFW’s website for trout plant dates by the boat ramp. Go early if you want to use dry flies, although some days have been more productive than others. Generally, the bite is best from the early morning until mid day.
EAGLE LAKE—Bobber fishing continued to be good starting around 5:30 a.m. at the Eagles Nest area anchored in 50 to 70 feet of water with a threaded nightcrawlers down about 25 feet. Or troll in tight to the shoreline between Ronald McDonald Camp heading towards the Eagle Nest homes with Red Dogs, Goldi Locks, the Baby Simon that the Eagle Lake Marina sells or watermelon and pumpkin seed grubs.
FALL RIVER—Trout fishing has been good but you’ll need to keep moving around. Consider hiring a local guide. Wild rainbow trout here range from 10 to 14 inches, but there are also trout over 20 inches caught regularly.
UPPER HAT CREEK—There are lots of planted fish in this area but brook trout and browns are also common. Most fish average in the 12-inch range. Spinners are a good bet on this part of the creek. There is also lots of access via the many campgrounds along Hwy 89 from Old Station to Burney. The flat waters below the Power House Riffle have been producing well. Fish early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset.
MANZANITA LAKE—You can fish from a float tube, pontoon boat or even a drift boat or raft but no motors. There is also plenty of wading access so you can find the shaded coves and undercut banks to look for rainbow and brown trout. But check the regulations for where you can fish and what you can use on this catch and release only lake. The fishing here has been fair.
McCLOUD RIVER—Blown out thanks to a mudslide, but it is finally starting to clear some. The fishing here has been good for some and fair for others. The fishing will only get better over the coming weeks.
MCCLOUD RESERVOIR—The reservoir is in good shape and there is no fishing pressure here. Streamer patterns from shore have been working well.
PIT RIVER—Use small nymphs in the PH 1 area for trout up to 20 inches or cover water and hit the runs for one of the best wild trout fisheries in the state. The rainbows here will eat all day and can be found holding in both fast water as well as pools.
SHASTA LAKE—Fish the upper third of the arms for rainbows, browns and salmon. The bait is between 20 and 40 feet, the rainbows at 60 to 80 feet and kings at that same depth. Chrome and watermelon Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies in white and blue are all produced limits. The bait is thinning out so the bass bite is starting to pick back up a bit.
WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR—Not red hot, so work for kokes at 40 to 60 feet using pink Apexs and pink Hoochies. Kokes are running between 10 and 13 inches, and they are fat. They have a lot of meat on them and even the 10 inchers will provide a good meal.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 16.3-percent capacity. Flows from the Little Truckee were increased and the lake rose more this past week. Mountain Hardware and Sports still recommended wading out to the channel edge near the inlet and casting into deeper water for a chance at rainbows, browns, and the occasional mack. Dropping a kayak or canoe in the water and drifting the channel was another option.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 86.2-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported fishing overall was slow. A few shore anglers were picking up the smaller DFW planters at the spillway. Rental boaters were catching 1 or 2 fish trolling spoons, flasher/worms, and Rapalas. A few of the 3- to 4-pound EID/KPUD planters were still being caught.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported anglers were catching mostly 7- to 9-inch DFW planters. Alpine County will stock 1800 pounds of trophy fish in the East Carson late this week, and another 1800 pounds of big rainbows for the Labor Day weekend in 3 weeks.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Jeanne Graham at J&J Grizzly Store reported fishing for trout was very slow. Catfish were hitting worms at Fairview and Coot Bay. Boats were still launching at Honker Cove. Crawdad trapping was very productive!!
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Experienced trollers were catching the 10- to 12-inch “next year’s” kokanee over the hump between China Cove and Loch Leven at 80 feet deep. Roving schools of rainbows were hitting for anglers in the right place at the right time along the north side docks and west end beach and boat dock. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported one boater caught a mix of kokes and rainbows on a dodger/white hoochie along the north side at 40 feet deep.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported trout fishing in the North Fork was slow, but anglers were catching one or two 16-inch rainbows at the Caribou Powerhouse. Some smallmouth bass were hitting in the deeper pools in the East Branch along Hwy 70.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was very slow for trout and fair for catfish. The Frenchman boat ramp and campgrounds were closed due to the low lake level.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported one boater was picking up some 3-pound browns trolling an orange F7 FlatFish 20 feet deep around the island in the early morning from 6 to 8 a.m. Fishing at Packer Lake was slow—it’s been fished out. Limits take all day at Sardine Lake trolling nightcrawlers 15 feet deep in the middle of the lake or drifting at the white buoys.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported trollers were still picking up DFW planters at 10 to 20 feet deep in the early morning and 40 feet deep in the late morning on dodger/worms.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported shore fishing was slow. Small boaters and float tubers were picking up some nice rainbows in the deeper water in the middle of the lake in front of the dam.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Trollers were still picking up good numbers of planter rainbows and few holdovers on watermelon or gold Apex (no dodger or flashers) at 45 to 55 feet deep. Try a gold dodger/brown grub too, according to Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported smallmouth bass were hitting plastic worms and tubes in good numbers on the rock banks just outside the Narrows. 2 1/2-year-old Tommy “G” caught his first fish, an 11-inch smallie, from the shore on a worm—gotta’ start somewhere!!
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported on-and-off trolling for macks at North Shore. One day his clients scored limits of macks to 13 pounds and the next day only near limits of small fish were possible. Self was trolling 160 to 450 feet deep from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was jigging limits of macks by 9:00 a.m. most days at South Shore and the west side at 120 to 140 feet deep using Williamson and Crippled Herring tipped with a minnow. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was catching limits of kokanee on the morning trips along with macks to 17 pounds. The afternoon trips were producing 15 to 25 kokanee and few macks. The kokanee were running 13 to 15 inches and located 85 feet deep off the SW corner of Tahoe near Cascade. The macks were 150 feet deep under the kokanee schools and hitting a dodger/minnow.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 50-percent capacity. With the lake so low, boating here was dangerous due to the large number of shallow hazards—huge boulders just under the surface!! Fishing was slow, by the last report. The road to the lake saw 1-hour delays for construction this past week, so go to Ice House!
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 25.9-percent capacity. A flurry of smallmouth bass activity brought on a rush of pressure that slowed the bite. Bass activity was more sporadic now. Some rainbows and the occasional cutthroat were caught near the Prosser Creek channel by experienced locals.
RED LAKE—Fishing here was slow for a few cutthroats.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 76-percent capacity. Shore fishermen were picking up a few rainbows at the dam, otherwise fishing was slow.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 14-percent capacity. The lake surface temp was high and algae was forming a green sheen on the water—not healthy. The kokanee were stacked up in front of the dam in deep water and tough to catch, so most local anglers gave up on them. Diehards can work and pick up limits of 14- to 16-inch salmon at 80 feet deep close to the bottom on dodger/hoochies in pink, orange, blue, or purple. Launching was still 4-wheel drive only off the shore between the dam and the launch ramp.
TOPAZ LAKE—The Douglas County Park reported fishing was slow. Launching of small boats was still possible on the concrete ramp, but larger boats were launching off the shore in the “primitive area”.
TRUCKEE RIVER— Nothing has changed here–Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the river flows were too low and too warm to support any ethical fishing, so leave this precious resource alone!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported fishing here on all fronts was slow.
WEST WALKER RIVER—The Little Walker River and West Walker River at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon were stocked by the DFW this past week and will all be planted again this week. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel and Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported anglers were catching lots of 8- to 12-inch DFW planters along with a couple Mono County/Chamber of Commerce trophy fish to 5 pounds. Flows were dropping and the fish were stacked up in the deeper pools and runs.
AMERICAN RIVER – Salmon fishing is slow, although a few are being caught near Discovery Park and near the Wall.
FEATHER RIVER – Salmon fishing is poor with low, warm water. Stripers have been biting well at Shanghai Bend on topwater lures as well as minnows and cut bait.
FOLSOM LAKE – The Brown’s Ravine boat launch is now closed, leaving Granite Bay as the only option for launching boats. Bass fishing is good using drop-shot rigs for suspended fish in the main body. Trout and salmon fishing is slow.
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 – Salmon fishing was fair last week in the canyon for anglers running large plugs, such as T-55 FlatFish with sardine wraps. Trout fishing has been very good near Redding, with jet boaters drifting eggs or tiny plugs at first light and for fly anglers mid-day.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa – Salmon fishing is slow, although new fish moved through the river last week and entered the canyon above Red Bluff.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – A few salmon are being caught by anglers anchoring near Verona and running plugs. Fishing for catfish has been wide open, with pile worms out-producing chicken livers. The wing dams below Verona have been the top spot, while First Beach at Knight’s Landing also is fishing well.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Salmon fishing is poor. Stripers are once again being caught in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento.
AMERICAN RIVER—The river was running lower and clear this past week with heavy sunbather/swimmer traffic at the Hwy 49 confluence. Fishermen need to hike down to Italian or Mumford Bar on the North Fork above Foresthill to catch rainbows in the deeper pools.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. The one-lane ramp at Dark Day is the only launching on the lake at this time. Small bass were hitting darthead worms on the steep rocky walls.
CAMP FAR WEST—The lake is at 37.5-percent capacity. North Shore reported catfish to 2 1/2 pounds were hitting worms off the shore. Ron Franks of Folsom fished the Bear River arm and caught 18 bass on green pumpkin and oxblood lizards at 10 to 20 feet deep in 76- to 78-degree water.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 48 feet from full. Catfishing was very good for shore anglers and boaters. Lots of cats from 2 1/2 to 14 pounds were weighed in at the store and were hitting anchovies, worms, and salmon eggs. Trout fishing was dead with the hot weather and low lake level.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Heavy recreational boat traffic due to the high water level slowed the fishing.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 37.7-percent capacity. With the lake level so low, only small aluminum boats could launch with 4-wheel drive off the shore below the French Meadows ramp. With no DFW plants in weeks, fishing was fair at best in the early morning.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 39.2-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported small boats were launching on a steeper section of bank well below the concrete ramp and 4-wheel drive was mandatory. Fishing was fair for trout and kokanee at the powerhouse.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 31-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported “really, really good’” bass action on the main body and Slot for spots running 1 1/4 to 3 pounds. Drop-shot worms in any color and green pumpkin tubes were worming well from 5 to 20 feet deep on steep rocky walls and points. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported salmon trolling had slowed to a standstill.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported fishing was slow due to the overwhelming recreational boat traffic. The high water level has attracted boaters from all over the Sacramento area.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 46.9-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported smallmouth bass fishing was good for limits of fish to 2 1/2 pounds using plastic worms in browns and greens at the dam. A few rainbow trout were hitting dodger/worms in the early morning.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the lake level was very low and the exposed beach was being used by swimmers and sun worshippers. Fishing was slow.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—The lake is at 45.6-percent capacity. The campground was open, but fishing was very slow with no recent DFW plants and the low lake level.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 133.3-foot elevation at press time—77-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi fished the lake this past week and only caught a few fish pitching Senkos to the tule banks. A 2-foot drop in the water level moved a lot of fish off the shallower structure and out into the channels where they were harder to catch.
BERKELEY—Mixing up the game plan was the game plan for successful boats. California Dawn went after bass, halibut, lingcod and rockfish. The game was played by pretty much the same rules by Happy Hooker. A 22-pound lingcod was taken aboard El Dorado. Salmon fishing was up and down. A 28 pounder was caught on New Easy Rider. Flying Fish also posted fish in the twenties.
BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING—Catches of salmon came from a wide swath from Bird Rock to the Keyholes. Halibut anglers fared quite well and the best part was that some bonus jumbo white seabass found their way onto the hooks of halibuteers. Lingcod and rockfish action for PBers, charter boat and party boats was wide open.
EMERYVILLE—It was an up & down week for salmon, but well worth the fare. On Sunday, Sundance boated 9 salmon to 15 pounds for 5 people. Super Fish got a salmon per rod. Other boats worked along the Marin Coast to stuff sacks full of rockfish and lingcod, resulting in some hard-to-list sacks.
EUREKA—Albacore hit the decks of Scrimshaw and other boats. There were plenty of fish 20 to 25 miles out, but it was tough to get them to go. Salmon bit best at Cape Mendocino, but also at the Hat out of Shelter Cove. Rockfish and lingcod aggressively went after baits, bars and swimbaits.
FORT BRAGG—A smattering of salmon showed, mostly near Ten Mile Beach. There wasn’t enough fishing pressure to really know how good of a bite it could become. Telstar made passengers happy catching lingcod and rockfish up the coast past the Whistle Buoy and down the coast at Hare Creek and Mendocino. Sea Hawk got limits of salmon for 4 people.
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA—Salmon showed up in limited but meaningful numbers off of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. Rockfish and lingcod trips filled sacks easily down the coast. Shore fishers hung onto hard-fighting striped bass to over 20 pounds.
SAN FRANCISCO—Halibut action revived during the week, after a recent lull. Striped bass were in all the usual spots and biting enthusiastically. Trips along the Marin Coast were highly successful for lingcod and rockfish. Bass Tub, California Dawn, Happy Hooker, Flash and Flash II all got into the bottomfish in customer satisfaction mode.