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, Ore.—Low, clear water took its toll on fishing here in the lower portion of the river that is open. Only a few fish were caught in the estuary and tidewater section, according to guide and WON Staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. There was some rain on Sunday, but flows were down to 55 cfs last week, so it will take a lot more to make any improvement in salmon fishing.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore.–With not many boats on the river, fishing for salmon is difficult to judge how good it has been. It seems there are more than enough salmon of a mix between Chinook’s and coho to make it worthwhile to get out of the house and wet a line, said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. “In front of the casino in the deep water a friend has been consistently catching Chinook’s. He reported losing a massive salmon last week, as it forced them to follow the fish while playing tug-of-war for some time before losing it. Bobber fisherman on both forks that make up the Coos River are doing very well, with high tide being the most productive. The salmon fishing will come to a drastic halt over the next two weeks and possibly sooner with the recent storm.”
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.—Fishing for salmon over the last days has been a mixed bag of results. “Last Tuesday, kings and a couple silvers were being caught from Rocky Point with plug cut herring being pulled behind bright green/chartruse flashers, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. Wednesday through Friday there was fast paced fishing farther upstream closer to the town of Riverton. “I was told by some anglers that in the first couple hours of the morning many boats had 2-3 salmon,” Palmer said. “Then anglers were hard pressed to find a bite until mid afternoon. Saturday was much slower and anglers out trolling had to put in the hours on the water for one or maybe a second chance at a fish. Sundays storm most likely influenced this drastic change.”
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore.—“We’re having good steelhead fishing in town with nightcrawlers and small Glo-Bugs. Water level is still low. We’re seeing more silver salmon on beds in town, but no cohos,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle. “Backtroll small plugs like the K-9 Kwikfish or Pee Wees. Good plug colors are silver and black, silver and pink or crawdad colors. Not much salmon action below Hog Creek. Lake fishing is slow and lakes are low, but Diamond Lake is producing trout on trolled lures and various baits.
SMITH RIVER—Anglers here are hoping the rains in the forecast will finally be enough to open the river from low flow closures. Right now, it’s still only open from the mouth to Rowdy Creek. Current flows are at 232 cfs and they have to hit 600 cfs before it will be opened. The hotline is at (707) 822-3164. Some fish are caught daily at the mouth and near the Sand Hole, according to WON Staff Writer and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Fish are staging on tidewater now.
UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Ore.–There still isn’t much fishing happening in the Roseburg area, where the recent school shooting dampened fishing enthusiasm. “This community is one of the strongest you will find anywhere, and with the extreme low water conditions, fishing has been on the back burner for many, but not all,” said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. “There are a few nice silvers being caught on bait or spinners. Twin Forks River Park is one of two main places for access. Down river at Cleaveland Rapids is a nice place with lots of bank to fish from. Most angler’s are friendly there. I expect over the next week we will see a push of silver’s in the upper Umpqua River from the fresh rains that came in on Sunday morning. We still need a lot more rain before boating will become safe.”
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Salmon fishing is quickly winding down, while steelhead fishing is improving. Anglers are fishing beads below spawning salmon, or tossing Rapalas for steelhead. Flows on Sunday ay Iron Gate were 1,000 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – Fishing for salmon and steelhead is slow. Any rain this week may draw in fresh steelhead. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,200 cfs on Sunday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing has slowed for salmon with most guides returning to their home rivers. Flows at Terwer were 2,170 cfs on Sunday.
TRINITY RIVER – Salmon fishing is nearly over for the season, although a few are still being caught. Steelhead are available in good numbers, but low water is limiting success. Anglers are downsizing their line to 8-pound-test and fishing in the early morning. Rain this week should give fishing a boost. Flows at Lewiston were 302 cfs on Sunday.
North Coast Lakes
CLEAR LAKE—The lake will finally stop taking a beating after this week as tournament season will be over. Square billed crankbaits, bladed jigs, rattlebaits and topwater tackle have been producing some of the better bites early mid-lake and in the two deeper arms of the lake. Once the sun is out the bite gets tougher. Try deep diving cranks, shaking worms and jigs in 10 to 15 feet during the middle of the day. Catfish and crappie are still only being caught as incidental catch.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Pull out your shad patterns, since both bass and trout are targeting the shad. One of the more consistent patterns has been yo-yoing a LV500 in 5 to 10 feet of water along the east shoreline outside dying grass. Drop-shots and wacky Senkos took a few nice smallmouth and even some spoon fish were found in 35 to 40 feet of water. This is a good time for trout trollers to start toplining their favorite shad imitations in the top 10 feet of water in the morning.
LAKE SONOMA— Largemouth bass have been feeding on shad and fattening up. Plan on covering some water with search baits in shad imitations for strikes in the top 15 feet of water. Look in the smaller cuts and creek channels where bass will be pushing bait up and feeding. Try toplining early in the morning and then as the sun gets higher drop down to 25 to 40 feet for 2 to 4 landlocked steelhead in the 16- to 18-inch range.
LAKE ALMANOR—The east basin has lots of bait fish but the trout bite slowed down. A better bet has been bass. There have been topwater smallies on the bank to 200 yards offshore.
BAUM LAKE—The fishing continues to be good here since DFW plants trout here regularly. Expect the fishing to improve even more as the weather cools off and the days get shorter.
EAGLE LAKE—The lake is low so trim your motor when heading out. The bite is very good and everyone is catching trout. Pretty much everything is working right now. This is the time to come up and fish.
FALL RIVER—Larger fish continue to move up and finding trout to 17 and 18 inches now with a few larger ones is possible. Rising fish are taking cripple mayfly patterns and callibaetis.
UPPER HAT CREEK—It’s been a little tougher in the creek as the water is a little low. Look for trout holding in deeper pockets with shade.
MANZANITA LAKE—Check the regulations for where you can fish and what you can use on this catch and release only lake. Fishing pressure continues to be very light here.
McCLOUD RIVER—Move around and you’ll find some nice trout. The river is in good shape and the fall colors are arriving.
MCCLOUD RESERVOIR—The best fishing has been near the inflow of the upper McCloud and there has been no fishing pressure here.
PIT RIVER—Cinnamon poopa, birds’ nests and small pheasant tails work well here. And now is the time for the October caddis. Look for fish close to the bottom among the rocks rising to these hatches.
SHASTA LAKE—Both the bass and trout bite are picking up since the lake has turned over.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA LAKE—The lake is at 13-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported browns were moving up out of the lake into the Little Truckee to spawn and the macks were following–try the inlet area for both.
CAPLES LAKE—The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort closed for the summer season and will reopen for the ski season on December 19. Fishing was improving by the last report. The EID ramp should stay open until the end of October.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)—Fishing in the East Carson was slow—it’s pretty well picked over! Heenan Lake was good this past weekend with a 28-inch cutthroat hitting for one lucky angler. Heenan Lake closed October 25.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Jeanne Graham at J&J Grizzly Store reported fishing was sporadic at best. Flyfishermen did very well last Friday and stumbled on Saturday. Only 12-foot aluminums can launch and get over the sandbar at Honker Cove. Trollers were picking up a few fish on cinnamon woolly buggers and wiggle tails in the top 10 feet. Shore fishing was slow.
DONNER LAKE—The lake is at 37-percent capacity. The kokanee bite was done as the fish have turned. Macks were beginning to move shallower. 5 to 10 pounders were hitting Lymans, J-Plugs, and Krocodile spoons at 40 to 60 feet deep. Smaller macks can be caught from shore early and late in the day on spoons and minnow imitation flies. Boat launching can be difficult for anything over 12 feet long—a metal brace at the end of the concrete can cause serious damage to trailers, so beware!!
FEATHER RIVER CANYON—Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing for native trout was good in the East Branch along Hwy 70, and on the North Fork above and below the Caribou Powerhouse. 2- to 2 1/2-pound rainbows were hitting at the Powerhouse generators.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake is at 22-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were catching a fish or two at the dam on nightcrawlers.
GOLD LAKES BASIN—Chris at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trollers were doing well close to shore at Gold Lake using a chartreuse Wedding Ring for browns to 22 inches.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported a fishing club member hit the lake this past week and caught a limit of 2-pound rainbows on dodger/worms at 20 feet deep. The fall feeding frenzy is on!
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported shore anglers were picking up some nice rainbows near the dam using floating dough bait. Small boaters and float tubers were still doing well in the deeper water in front of the dam casting spoons.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR—The lake is at 46.8-percent capacity. Trolling for rainbows should be good in the top 20 feet using dodger/nightcrawlers or small gold Apex.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were still picking up a few small trout and bass near the Narrows.
LAKE TAHOE—Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported his clients were keeping limits of 3- to 8-pound macks and releasing lots of 1 to 2 pounders in the early morning trolling 160 to 300 feet deep between Dollar Point and Crystal Bay Point. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported a tough bite for half- to three-quarter limits (depending on the passenger load) of 2- to 5-pound macks mooching live bait off South Shore at 160 to 180 feet deep. The macks are in the middle of the spawn, so give it a couple weeks or so before the bite picks back up.
LOON LAKE—The lake is at 47-percent capacity. The lake was low and the fishing was slow. This will be the last report until water conditions change for the better. Boating was hazardous due to many shallow rocks and boulders.
PROSSER LAKE—The lake is at 25-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the occasional brown and rainbow was being caught at the dam.
PYRAMID LAKE—Crosby’s Lodge reported only one big fish weighed this past week—a 15-pounder. Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s said there were good numbers of smaller cutthroats being caught trolling and jigging on both sides of the lake. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported his clients were catching limits of 17 to 20 inchers by 9 a.m. most days and releasing several fish in the 20- to 24-inch slot trolling Apex from Warrior to Spider Point at 60 to 80 feet deep. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported doing well jigging and trolling at the south end of the lake between Indian Head and Popcorn. His last trip produced 44 fish to 12 pounds using firetiger and frog Apex, and P-Line Laser Minnows.
RED LAKE—No reports available—wait until winter for ice fishing.
SILVER LAKE—The lake is at 40.2-percent capacity. No reports available.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR—The lake is at 13-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported fishing was very slow here with the low lake level. Only kayaks and cartoppers were getting on the lake. Look for macks at the dam.
TRUCKEE RIVER—The river was flowing at 78 cfs—LOW, LOW, LOW!!! Flyfishermen were nymphing and picking some rainbows and browns but sportsmen need to leave the river alone until normal flows return.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Holdover rainbows and Mt. Lassen Trout Farms planters from SMUD should be hitting in the top 20 feet. Trollers were picking up some limits of kokanee at the dam at 60 feet deep—the fish have started losing their scales though so the bite won’t last much longer.
WEST WALKER RIVER—Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported anglers were picking up some rainbows at the bridgeheads below the Canyon and town. Flows were adequate with the recent rains.
AMERICAN RIVER – The fall salmon season has been a bust all season and remained slow last week.
FEATHER RIVER – Salmon fishing is best under the Fifth Street Bridge. Stripers are showing up at Shanghai Bend.
FOLSOM LAKE – All boat launches are now closed because of low water. Bank fishing for bass is fair.
RANCHO SECO LAKE – Bass and trout fishing is slow.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – Anglers using small nymphs are catching rainbows throughout the day.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff — Salmon fishing is best at the Barge Hole, although the number of dark fish is increasing. New groups of salmon have moved above Red Bluff. Fishing for wild rainbows is very good between Redding and Anderson as salmon begin to spawn.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa – Salmon fishing is still fair to good, with new batches of fish moving through the river.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Trolling FlatFish and Kwikfish has been fair near Verona. Stripers are being caught on swimbaits near Verona.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Salmon fishing is best near Freeport. Catfish are biting well in the deepwater channel. A few stripers also are being caught near the port.
AMERICAN RIVER—Even with a recent rain event, the river was still running low and clear with little fishing pressure.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Clyde Crow of Grass Valley fished this past week and reported a good bite for 11- to 14-inch spots using morning dawn worms in 5 to 10 feet of water, and poppers on bass boiling on the surface. Boaters can still launch on the single-lane ramp at Dark Day.
CAMP FAR WEST—North Shore Resort reported that Ron Franks of Folsom caught 36 bass this past week—more than half were keepers and 8 were largemouths, with the remainder being spots. Franks was fishing 10 to 15 feet deep in the Bear River arm using green pumpkin lizards and morning dawn worms. Boaters can still launch off the shore near the ramp with 2-wheel drive.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake is 68 feet from full. The lake received 1800 pounds of rainbows this past Thursday—75-percent catchables and 25-percent trophy fish. This was the first of 3 plants scheduled until Thanksgiving. Collins Lake Resort reported anglers were doing well at the dam. Some bass and catfish made it to the scales.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported houseboaters in the marina were catching a few small rainbows on worms at 15 feet deep.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is at 29-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was still very good with experienced anglers catching 75 to 100 fish per day on tubes, and darthead or drop-shot worms at 5 to 20 feet deep. Points, flat and steep, along with steep rocky walls were all holding fish on the main body, Middle Fork and North Fork. Launching at the Spillway and Bidwell Marina was still “4-wheel drive only”.
ROLLINS LAKE—The lake is at 69.3-percent capacity. Boats can launch at Long Ravine and Orchard Springs according to NID. Bass were still hitting on the points. There was no word on any trout action.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is at 38.3-percent capacity. Boats larger than 12-fot aluminums can no longer launch—watch out for the mooring cables until well out of the marina area. Smallmouth bass to 4 pounds were hitting topwater lures—try a Spook this Halloween!!
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—The campgrounds were closed and fishing was very slow with the low lake level and no DFW plants in the past few months—this will be the last report until the lake has more water and fish.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY—The lake was at 134.1-foot elevation at press time—82.6-percent capacity. 2- to 4-pound bass were hitting Senkos on the outsides of the tule banks and swimbaits on the edges of the deeper grass beds. With the opening of the waterfowl season on October 24, fishermen should avoid getting too close to the hunters set up in the coves south of the Hwy 162 Bridge.
BERKELEY—Each boat skipper made up his own mind about where to go and what to chase with the salmon season winding down, but some great individual fish were caught, such as the 35 pounder that came aboard New El Dorado III off of Rocky Point. Rockfish and lingcod along the Marin Coast was the stable option that nearly always resulted in limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod. California Dawn made multiple trips to the Farallones and scored well above 2 lingcod per angler plus sacks full of rockfish.
BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING—There were some bodacious fish checked into Lawson’s Landing, including a 50-pound white seabass caught by Nicki Vogler and a pair of bluefin tuna that went 40 and 38 pounds. New Sea Angler ran up to Fort Ross and sacked up the lingcod and rockfish, with individuals catching as many as 7 lings to add towards the boat limit.
EMERYVILLE—Rockfish and lingcod were the primary targets of the Emeryville fleet during trips up along the Marin Coast where they found loads of rockfish. Lingcod bit like hungry wolf packs and the top fish was caught by someone who did not provide a name (he or she could have been our hero of the week!), a 28-pound lingcod taken aboard Sea Wolf.
EUREKA/SHELTER COVE—Seas were too rough for charter boats or private boats to make it out of Eureka, so people spent fishing time either working the nearshore portion of jetties for perch, rockfish, kelp greenlings and cabezon or getting their gear ready for the November 7 opener of Dungeness crab season. A private boat made it out of Shelter Cove and among the fish the group caught was a 25-pound lingcod and an 11-pound vermilion.
FORT BRAGG—Hotspots of the week for rockfish and lingcod from boats were MacKerricher State Beach and the Lighthouse. Telstar passengers struggled just a bit because they were carrying heavy sacks of fish to their cars. No complaints there! Shore fishers made good catches of kelp greenling, rockfish, cabezon and a few lingcod from Mendocino Headlands, Old Mill and MacKerricher.
HALF MOON BAY—Rockfishing was excellent and lingcod fishing was good with fish up to 20 pounds coming aboard Huli Cat. Half Moon Sportfishing boats Queen of Hearts, Riptide and Que Sera Sera got into the action with steady limits of lingcod and a pick at the lingcod south of town. Salmon were caught inside the harbor, but the bite had slowed somewhat and people were cognizant that the salmon season ends on the 31st.
SAN FRANCISCO—Bass Tub charged the Marin Coast to pick up better than a lingcod per rod plus limits of lingcod. Flash II ran morning half-day trips to the South Bay for leopard sharks or along the Marin Coast for plentiful rockfish and lingcod. Private boats worked the eastern shore of the South Bay for striped bass and a few halibut.