Northern California Fly Fishing Report - December 9, 2016
Best bet - Lower Sacramento Rainbows, Pyramid Lake Cutthroat or Trinity Steelhead!
American River – Fair Flows –1,250 cfs out of Natomas. Water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – clear
The American is closed from Ancil Hoffman power line to Hazel Avenue bridge. Scattered adult fish are moving in with each storm and swinging traditional flies below Hoffman for winter steelhead has produced some fish. Things will really kick in to gear in late December and fish well through January and February so stay tuned.
Swung flies as well as nymphing are both producing. Perhaps it may be good to give the Trinity or Klamath a try or perhaps head over the hill to Pyramid and wait until the fish get in a little thicker. Remember the middle/upper section open up Jan 1st and things will be a go! Call us at (707)287-2939 or the shop at (916)722-8594 to book a trip on the American or one of the other great options this time of year.
Delta Stiper - Fair Water Temp mid 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – stained.
Fishing has slowed recently with cooling water temps. Still some fish to be had (one boat landed 30 this week) but most are schoolie size with the largest being in the 4 to 5 lb range. Finding clear water helps and going out may still be worth it as long as anglers understand what they can expect. Go to patterns include Chartreuse/White Clousers around 1/0-2/0 this time of year. With cooling water temps getting the flies in their noses will be important. Bryce Tedford says "There are still some quality fish for those willing to fight the cold & work for the fish but some days are challenging."
Guide Tip: ” Key patterns include Chartreuse/White cloisters 1/0-2/0, go smaller if fishing clear water areas & larger in off color water. ”
Call now to reserve your day. We are also taking Spring reservations for March April and May. We can be reached at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce and Toby for some memorable striper action.
Feather River – Fair Flows – 800 cfs through low flow, 6,000 below Thermalito, water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – clear
Fishing on the Feather has slowed a bit this week and with it things are less crowded. We have had some ok days and some fairy rough ones too recently. There are still some fish in the system just not a lot. Swinging has not been nearly as productive as nymphing but has netted fish as recent as yesterday. Eggs are still producing well along with mayfly patterns and San Juan Worms after a storm.
These storms have brought in a few fresh fish, and there are still some Salmon spawning so eggs are still being eaten. A few available dates remain between now and the end of December. So if you are looking to fish during the remainder of the egg bite, book now!
Guide tip: Any egg pattern will work, but also fish a Prince, Fox Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs and Sucker Spawns. It is still a good idea to fish the San Juan Worm with all this rain.
Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939. Dates are going fast!
Klamath River – Fair to Good Flows – 1,000 below Irongate Dam, 2,000 below Seiad Valley and dropping. Water temps – Mid 50’s to Water clarity – ideal
Steelhead fishing on the Klamath has finally picked up. Adult fish are being caught along with half pounders form Horse Creek to Sciad along with some reports from Irongate as well. Whats more were finding fish on the swing in the lower floats. The flow bump from recent rain is probably the reason. Swining traditional stealhead flies and leaches is our favorite way to get these anadromous beauties and continues to produce this week. Small dark traditional flies in dark purple, black and blue seem to be preferred. Silver Hiltons, Brindle Bugs swung on floating and I-lines are what has worked. Nymphing is also productive however not as much fun in our book. Steelhead fishing is not for the faint of heart and wearing the appropriate foul weather gear and having four wheel drive and carrying chains is a must. However for those willing to put in the time the rewards can be amazing.
We still have some available dates in December, so give us a call at (707)287-2939 to set something up.
Napa River – Fair to Poor. Flows – average, Water temps - Low 60’s. Water clarity – Stained
Fishing has slowed with the recent rain we have had and the fact that all the bait has been scattered. Most fish average 2-6lbs with adult fish scattered throughout the system. All delta baitfish patterns are effective if you can find clear enough water; clousers, FT clousers and Stay Hungry minnows sizes 1/0-3/0 depending on water clarity. Primary color being white over chartreuse, white over pink&grey and white over red being second and third respectively. Full sink, t-11 or t-14 for depths ranging from 6-15 ft. Topwater: Crease flies and Poledancers size medium.
Incoming and outgoing tides have both been productive with the best water clarity being on the outgoing. Big tides and dropping water temps have begun to ball the bait up. Find clear, moving water and you will find the fish.
Guide Tip: We have been avoiding the upper river as there is a dredge that has been churning up the river making fishing tough. Best fishing has been from Cuttings Wharf out to the Vallejo.
Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions or to get out and fish.
Putah Creek – Open Flows - 80 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green
Flows on Putah Creek are still steady at 80 cfs and fish have begun their spawning in earnest. Our guides have chosen to give the fish a break again during this time of year. Several great groups including Putah Creek Trout, TU and California Fish and Wildlife have worked to help protect and preserve this gem of a fishery. Since it is now a California Heritage Trout Fishery and will never again be planted it is critical that spawning fish be left alone to spawn or subsequent fish populations could be adversely affected. From December 1st to the end of February we stop guiding Putah and as unpopular as it may be and as much work as we turn away, we feel it is the right thing to do. Spring will be here soon and we will get back out guiding this treasured fishery.
If you do choose to fish Dec to February please leave the spawner’s alone and don’t walk on any gravel as 99% of visible gravel is spawning beds (even if fish are not visible when you are tromping through those areas) Perhaps consider going over to fish the Yuba, Feather or Truckee Rivers or go chase Steelhead!
If you are interested in conservation we have some up-coming opportunities to get out and help these fish. Call Steve Karr at (530)400-1171 for more information.
If you would like to read more about Putah Creek, click here...
If you would like to read more about Putah Creek, click here...
Spring is coming, so Reserve your Spring Putah trip today! Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055.
Guide tip: “Go fish the Trinity or Pyramid”.
Pyramid - Good to Great Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet
Cold stormy weather has continued to produce some good results this week. Now is the time to begin thinking about heading over the hill to visit our friends at Pyramid Lake. Doug and the crew continue to put guests on some nice fish. The numbers of 15 pound plus Lahontan cutthroat trout last month(November) at Pyramid Lake Nevada has been the biggest numbers of big fish since their extrapolation in 1939. Several double digit fish were recorded last month. These monster trout continue to be caught on a daily basis. Although the numbers of fish per angler hours are a bit low, the numbers of BIG fish are very good. These fish are the reintroduced native species known as the Lahontan Cutthroat (Black Spotted Trout) or as the Tribe called them “Hoopa Agi”. They now are referred to as the “Pilot Peak” strain which were discovered in 1978 and reintroduced on 2006. The other strain of cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake are known as the “Pyramid” strain which were developed by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the Federal biologists. The “Pyramid” strain is a combination of Independence Lake, Summit Lake and Walker Lake cutthroat blood. They are often incorrectly called the “Summit” strain which is wrong, the Summit Lake fish are native to Summit Lake, Nevada and are a pure, clean strain in to themselves. Summit lake is a closed system (Endorheic System).
Retrieving Popcorn Beetles, Midnight Cowboy Buggers and Tui Chub patterns continue to produce this week. Fishing under indicators with 49ers, Chan’s Bomber, CBR midges and Jerry Mc Bride’s balanced leeches/minnows in black/red and Tui Chub colors have also been good.
Things are only getting better at Pyramid. Call today to reserve your guided day on Pyramid this Winter and Spring.
Russian River - Poor Flows – 200 CFS Temps – mid 60’s. Water clarity – Chocolate
We are still about a month away from the best chances at steelhead on the Russian. Keep checking back. We generally fish nymphs for our guests, but like to swing em up on our days off on the Russian. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info on getting on the call list for when it is firing. If we have another wet winter like last year tings could be looking up for the Russian. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 if you would like a phone call or email when and if things open up.
Lower Sacramento – Fair to Good Flows – 5,000 CFS Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – fairly clear (2 to 3 ft visibility)
Fishing continues to be fair to good most days but just not great. Weather has been cool and wet. Salmon have come and gone and clarity has remained good even with all the rain for those floating above Anderson. Nymphing is the best way to put fish in the net, however there has been some dry fly action on overcast days as a bonus.
Fishing has actually been good from Redding all the way down to barge hole. Best bugs have been BWO's, midges, and with some caddis activity on warmer days. Key patterns include patterns like Zebra Midges, Mercers Micro May, Hogans S&M in olive, Speroni's Baetis, Bird’s Nests, Princes, Poopahs, and Pseudo Mays and S.F. Rubberlegs.
Guide tip: Shane Kohlbeck says "It is still a good idea to have a stonefly in the mix especially on the lower river."
This is a great option for winter trout fishing if cabin fever has you restless. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-8594 for more info.
Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – low (240 cfs at Delta) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear
Fishing on the Upper Sac has been good. Fall weather has fish on the chow and with most every other local river closed this is all you have. Water levels and clarity are fluctuating based on storms so timing is key. Hatches have slowed however mayfly and caddis continue to be on the menu. There has been some good midge activity as well so you will want to have some dark midge patterns like Zebra Midges under a Bird’s Nests, Prince Nymph or Superfloss Rubberlegs. Other good bets are Poopahs, Pseudo Mays, Poxyback PMD’s, Midges, Hogan’s, Mercer’s, Speroni’s, October Caddis nymphs and dries.
Guide Tip: “If the River is rising stay home, if it is dropping go fish.”
Northern California has some good winter fishing. Please give us a call (707)287-2939 for more info.
Trinity River – Fair to Good Flows – 320 cfs out of Lewiston, 460c cfs in Douglas City and 800 cfs above North Fork. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Perfect
This year has been about quality over quantity. Don’t believe all the bad reports as our guest are hooking some nice fish and almost everyone is getting at least a fish or two in the net each day. Even swinging has produced some surprisingly numbers this week for those in the right boats. Being on the right float has been key to our success. We have some tricks up our sleeves that have been putting some nice fish in the net!
Traditional dark patters are working on the swing and stonefly rubber legs, golden stones, psycho prices, and Copper Johns have been best under an indicator. Look to fish eggs only if there is a major flow spike. From now to March should continue to fish well. In Feb to mid March should be good swinging/ dry fly fishing.
To give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.
Truckee River – Good Flows – 215 cfs below Boca, 30 cfs in Truckee. Water Temps. – High to mid 50’s. Clarity – a little color.
Winter has arrived on the Truckee River and recent drops in temperature have slowed things a bit. Fishing still continues to be good despite the weather however fish seem to be less aggressive. We have been finding fish in the deep pockets and slower water. With the flow being a bit off color, take more time to cover the water effectively and thoroughly. The dry fly action has slowed however nymphing continues to produce. Try Baetis, dark heavy stones and zebra midges. Don't be afraid to fish shallow either, tight line nymphing with tungsten bead-headed nymphs is a nice change of pace from an indicator. Hope for cloud cover to get Baetis poppin' and fish keying on dries. “Ham and eggs also works says” Dan LeCount.
Jordan Romney says “the fishing has been the best in the last three weeks that it has been all year.” And although it is cold, it is “worth getting out.”
Guide Tip: Fish are in slower water now so don’t rush past the frog water to get to the riffles because you may be missing the best fishing.
Call the shop at (916)722-8594 or OTH direct at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to book some R&R on the Truckee over the upcoming holidays.
Little Truckee River – Fair Flows – 28 cfs. Water temp - Low 60’s. Clarity – good
The Little Truckee is way low, but there are some fish to be had. With the cloudy cold weather the baetis and midges have been popping. There has been pretty good dry fly fishing as long as the wind stays down. The best set up with the conditions and flows is a dry dropper. Sight fishing is a possibility if you know where to look. If you have the determination to snow shoe, cross country ski, or hike in on the LT the rewards could be epic. The other option is to head down to fish the main river instead.
Yuba River Trout – Fair Flows – 800 cfs at Highway 20 bridge Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Clear
The Yuba is fishing so-so most days right now with 3 to 6 fish in the net on average. Watch for spikes in flow with recent rains as it may take a day or two to clear up after heavy rain. Small winter stones are still in the mix. Try swing dark soft hackles for some fun grabs. There are still a few salmon still around, so nymphing and eggs is still productive. In addition fish legs, Mayflies and Caddis will do as well. Good patterns include Dark Lords and CDC Princes. As long as water levels stay where they are it will continue to fish well. Cream pmd's we're hatching today along with Baetis. Jordan Romney says that guest got fish Swinging flesh flies recently for good results.
The Skwala stonefly hatch will begin most likely in mid January and by February should be in full swing. January and February can be fun swinging with soft hackle Skwalas. On the other be able to throw dry flies in January and February in California is really amazing. You need to get out and give this a try. Call (707)287-2939 or stop by the shop to reserve your Skwala trip.
Guide tip: “The river is open above the highway 20 bridge as of December 1st and don’t forget to bring a San Juan worm if there has been any recent rain!”
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