Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report - July 13, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – July 13, 2016
American River – Fair Flows – 5,000 CFS at Fair Oaks. Temp.  – 57 to 60 Degrees. Water clarity – Very clear

Striper fishing had been decent on the American up to the recent spike. Flows should stabilize shortly and fishing should resume. First light continues to producing a few blow ups on top-water. Later in the day we’re switching to clousers on type 3 to 6 lines to search all the likely holding areas. Depending on the day, we have been averaging between 10 to 15 fish per rod per trip. Mostly fish have been small to medium size with a few in the 6 to 7 lb range have been caught. If you are fishing on your own keep moving to find fish and search the likely holding water and then move to the next likely spot. Best flies have been Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white. 

Shad fishing has slowed and the current high flows will not help. If you are still determined to try think about starting early or fishing late in the evening and you may have to switch over to striper if the fish are not showing up. Try swinging traditional shad flies or fishing them under an indicator also works. 

Guide Tip: “Things are wrapping up… get out before they’re gone.”

We have been doing evening shad trips which include 3+ hours of fishing for $250. Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook fly fishing directly at (707)287-2939 to set up a striper or shad trip on the American.
Delta Stiper- Poor Water Temp 56-60 degrees. Water Clarity – Good to great.  North Delta smallmouth/largemouth - Good Water Clarity – Good. Flows - Normal

Fishing is good with lots of topwater opportunity on poppers for smallmouth & largemouth Bass. When topwater slows mid-day we have been going subsurface with Clousers & Crawdad patterns to beat the heat.
So much fun using 4-5wt rods & seeing fish after fish come up & eating Poppers on the surface! 

Guide Tip: ”Throw small poppers in various dark or light colors as well clousers in chartreuse/white, olive/white and orange/white for best results.”

We will be fishing SMB all summer. Give us a call at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce and Toby for some memorable Summer SMB action.

Fall River – Good Flows – Average. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear

The Fall River continues to fish well this week. Morning mayfly spinner fall and hatches have been steady until noon. . Some caddis are coming off in the evenings as well to round out the dry fly fishing at the end of the day. One of our favorite ways to catch fish on the Fall is to swing streamers. Try throwing Hale Bopp or other leaches  in olive or black. As if that wasn’t enough,  the hex hatch also happens to be full swing. Come fish for giant trout crushing these giant mayflies at sunset! It’s a blast! Call us direct at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 to get in on this evening magic.

Feather River –  Good  Flows – 4,000 through low flow, 10,000 below Thermalito, water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

Despite high flows we have had several great days of fishing recently. We had two boats on the water in the last couple days land 3 to 5 fish on the swing and get 15 or so grabs on a day float. They would have put more fish in the boat nymphing however swinging is is just a cool way to get fish. Brian and our guides have some tricks up their sleeves. We recommend that people not try to wade on the river right now. It really is dangerous at these levels. 

Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve what should be a great Summer on the Feather.

Guide tip: “Go fish the Yuba of get up in the high Sierras”

McCloud River – Good.  Flows – 350 to 400 from Lake Britton, Water temps -  High 50’s’s. Water clarity – Good

The McCloud has been fishing well. Water clarity had been a little murky, but things are back in shape. Our guides reported good visibility in the conservancy section with lots of willing participants bending our client's rods. PMDs, BWOs and other mayflies are still coming off with an increased presence of caddis are what you can expect to see. Some Yellow Sallies and other stones are always on the menu as well.

Guide tip: “Look for fish eating dries in the shadows early in the morning or once the sun is out of the canyon.”
Napa River – Fair to Good.  Flows – average, Water temps -  60’s. Water clarity – Poor
Fishing has been decent recently.  Most fish are in the 12 to 16 inch range with is common for this time of year however some fish to 22” were caught last week. The old adage applies here “if it aint chartreuse it aint no use” Fish chartreuse and white streamers on sinking lines in fast moving water is producing plenty of fish to keep things interesting. We generally switch to 6 or 7 wt rods and away from the trusty 8 wt during this time of year. A shaker striper on a 6 wt still put up a really good fight. Watch for larger tides and fish the moving water on outgoing or incoming tide. We like to focus our efforts early and late in the day when looking for larger fish, however all summer can produce some good numbers of schoolies.

Call Off the Hook Fly Fishing at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

Putah Creek – Fair  Flows - 585 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Slightly off color

Fishing has been so-so and typical of high water flows. Start early or fish late or both. Most fish are eating midges or nymphs fished dead drifted with lots of shot. Most have been smaller fish but some nice fish in the 20” range landed this week. Summer flows can be challenging on Putah due to agricultural and electrical needs. Jordan, Rob and our guides have some tricks up their sleeves for success during these high water conditions. Focus on the slower edges instead of right out in the middle of the current. Also remember to use plenty of split shot or you will just fish over their heads and not hook much. Small midges and Baetis patterns continue to fish well, including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May. Focus on the edges this time of year and try slightly larger flies.  We would be happy to help you crack the code to catching fish during summer flows.
Call Off the Hook at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 for current conditions or to reserve a guided day. 
Russian River Fair Flows - 250 CFS at Guernville. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet
Fishing continues to be fair on the Russian for smallies. Clousers and crayfish patters are producing best although top water continues to produce some fish first thing in the morning or late in the evening soon. The Russian continues to produce some nice fish this last week. Being on the water early is important not to beat the fishermen as there aren’t really any. It is more about beating the “splash and giggle crowd” of rafters and swimmers. This is not as much topwater fishing like the Delta smallmouth fishery, however if you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco area it is a good close option. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info or to book a trip.
Lower Sacramento – GREAT! Flows – 10,500 CFS Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (4ft visibility)
Our guides and guests continue to have great fishing on this great tailwater despite hot weather. Water is high and cold and fishing has been great from 299 bridge all the way to Jelly’s Ferry despite triple digit air temps. The PMD hatch is finally coming to an end although the Hydropsyche caddis hatch is going strong. Shane Kohlbeck form the Fly Shop says ”fishing has been consistent all day long with a little bit of dry fly activity the last 30 minutes of daylight. If you spot rises throw on a caddis or Blue Wing Olive dry. 

Guide tip: “Wear lots of sun block and long sleeve breathable clothing. Also bring a bandana and dip it in the ice water in the cooler. Then wrap it around your neck and go hook another football!

Upper Sacramento – Fair .  Flows – low (300 – 400 cfs at Delta)  Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Fishing on the Upper Sac has been fair although the river is in great shape. Water is crystal clear with decent  mayflies and caddis hatches popping throughout the system. There has been some good midge activity as well so you will want to have some dark midge patterns like Zebra Midges along with Bird’s Nests and Prince Nymphs. Take time to scan the areas of the bank or canyon that provide shade on the water. Look for rising fish in these areas. And target them. It is definitely technical fishing but very fun and rewarding. As temps go up during the day consider heading up river to fish Dunsmuir to Cantara Loop.
Truckee River Fair to Good Flows –800 at Hirschdale, 1,000 CFS at state line. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.  

The Truckee is fishing fair to good right now. Fishing has been best early ant late but slowed mid-day. Nymphing is still producing best although there has been some dry fly action as well. We’ve also had reports of nice fish caught on streamers down in the Canyon. Definitely time to get up out of the valley heat and give the Truckee a whirl.

Guide tipFish a 9 ½ to 10 foot rod to high sticking and mending easier.

Little Truckee River Good  Flows –375 Water temp. high 50’s Clarity – good

The Little Truckee has been fishing pretty well too although it is cold and clear. Carpenter ants continue to produce, as well as small dries like Adams and Elk Hair Caddis. Be careful on your approach, keep a low silhouette and go small with your tippet especially if you are having a hard time getting fish to eat. 
 Give us a call to escape the Sacramento heat and catch some nice wild fish!

Yuba River Trout– Fair to Good Flows – 1600 at Englebright Dam, 650 CFS at Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is finally come into shape and water finally down to normal levels. Pmd nymphs are producing although hatches of them have slowed. Some caddis have been coming off in the evening. A few fish have been eating dark caddis dries, but standard nymphs have produced best. Try swinging a streamer if nothing else produces. Stay tuned, were getting closer to hopper season on the Yuba.

Guide tip: “If you leave early you may miss a short window of caddis activity just before dark”

Yosemite/Eastern Sierras - Fair to Good 

Things are Fishing well on the West Slope of the Sierra thanks to all the rain we had this winter.

The Middle Fork of the Stanislaus is looking great above Twain Hart - Check out Herring Creek and the inlet to Lyons!
Mokelumne River - The river has more of a bass/ striper presence as you go away from the Dam. The heat will wear on you mid afternoon, however be there early for good fishing and cooler temps.
Stanislaus River - Rafters are in full swing so watch flows. South Fork is doing well. Yellow Sallies, and Hare's ears. Middle Fork is good up at the higher elevations. The Hwy 4 corridor is still improving.
Tuolumne River - Run off is the issue the middle section tributaries like the South fork are doing well. Subsurface caddis & midges work well. Especially just right out of the National Park boundary. The meadows are fishing well. Just make sure you don't put your inner tube in the water.
Merced- El Portal is doing good! Look to the S. Fork as a good southern spring tributary to dry fly fish. The Lower Merced has lots of Pike Minnows, Suckers, and when you catch a rainbow with a tracking tag on it know it is a rescue fish and keep it in the water.

Thanks for checking out the report. Feel free to share it and email your own personal reports to

 (877)228-2477   (707)287-2939