Thursday, September 8, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report September, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – September, 2016
American River – Good to Fair Flows – 1,800 CFS. Temp.  – High 50’s  to low  60’s. Water clarity – Very clear

We are still seeing good numbers of shaker stripers, but also some bigger ones too on the American. The striper fishing will start to slow down in the next few weeks as the water temps drop, so get out now while the fishing is good. The salmon are slowly coming in, not in great numbers yet, but they are making their way in. The good news is there are a good amount of half pounders in the system, which makes for a fun day on the water. Between the stripers and steelhead, you couldn't ask for a better time. If the flows stay higher than it did last year, the American should be a good place to get away for a few hours, especially below the power lines after the upper closes. Mid river has been holding a few more fish over the past few years, shhhhhhh! This is nice to see, so come mid October  to mid December give this section a try. Also, don't forget, the upper section closes November 1st, and reopens up January 1st, we already have a few dates booked around the opener, so don't miss out.

Best flies for striper have been Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white.  For steelhead/half pounders try caddis pupae or small clinger type mayfly nymphs or eggs.

Delta Stiper- Good Water Temp 68-70 degrees. Water Clarity – Good.  North Delta smallmouth/largemouth Good to Fair Water Clarity – Good to great depending on how many boaters are on the water.

Striper fishing is starting to pick up in the Delta. A fun option is Striper fishing in the morning & then transitioning into Smallmouth in the afternoon.  Good patterns include medium size clouser minnows in various colors. For Topwater fishing Bryce Tedford suggest large Crease flies & Medium Pole Dancers. “It's a fun time out there right now; good weather, larger Stripers beginning to show, plenty of eager juvenile Stripers & topwater Smallmouth to boot! “ Now is the time to book your Fall Delta adventure as guides will book up quick for the following few months.

Guide Tip: ”Try fishing the popper dropper. If you don’t know yu best aks somebody!”

We will be fishing SMB through the end of September weather permitting but will gradually shift our attention entirely over to striper. 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 Fall action.

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

The Fall River continues to fish well this week and cooling temps are not a bad thing. The Hex are all gone, however hatches of PMD’s, Callibaetis and Caddis are more than making up for it. The Caddis are coming off in the evenings. Also you may want to give streamers a try. Everything from leaches like the Hale Bopp to damsels. Experiment with a few different things and vary your retrieve to see what they want. Good nymphs include Pseudo’s, Hogan’s S & M, and Flagelators. As far as dries try Missing links, Lawsons PMD. For streamers try Halebopp leaches.
The Fall River will continue to fish well into October. The best part about fishing it now is that the crowds are dwindling down quite a bit. Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 for more info on how to experience Fall on the Fall.                                            
Feather River –  Fair to Good  Flows – 1,300 through low flow, 10,000 below Thermalito, water temps – high 50’s to low 60’s. Water clarity – clear
Our guides have had a few good days on the Feather recently. The best part is there is no one else on the river right now. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good numbers of fish in the system. Salmon are slowly making their way in and we hooked a dozen in three spots this week. In another week or so it will be game on for salmon. Most fish were 15 to 25 lbs however we hooked a few that were pushing 30 lbs. Steelhead are also throughout the system, and there are plenty to go around for those looking to hook into some spunky summer run fish. Most of them are in the 14-18” range however we hooked a few in the 18 – 24” range as well. Bryan Clemens says “This place is as close to experiencing Alaska fishing as you will find in California. The Feather River during the Egg bite is the place to be” We agree. Catching Salmon and steelhead on the same day is pretty special.

Guide tip: Any egg pattern will work, but also try Prince Nymphs, Fox Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs and Sucker Spawns.
Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 for more info or to set aside your dates. 
McCloud River – Great.  Flows – Excellent - 250 at Ah-Di-Na Water temps -  High 50’s’s. Water clarity – Good

The Mac has been fishing well. Water is in great shape and now is a great time to go for a hike.  Start early and get away from access points to find great fishing. Our guides reported good visibility in the conservancy section still 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. Look for fish eating dries in the shadows early in the morning or once the sun is out of the canyon. Dry dropper is killer this time of year as are streamers in low light. Also FYI October caddis should be around soon! Go now but also check back with us.

Give us a call to reserve a really great fly fishing get away weekend. (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055

Napa River – Fair to Good.  Flows – average, Water temps -  60’s. Water clarity – Fair

Fishing continues to be decent. Most fish are in the 12 to 16 inch range with is common for this time of year however fish seem to be getting a bit larger. Some nice ones to 24” were caught last week. 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.  

Great Fall fishing for the larger fish is right around the corner. From mid September through Mid November is the best time to be chasing striper on the Napa River.
Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

Putah Creek – Good Flows - 425 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green

Flows on Putah Creek had dropped below 400 but climbed back to 425 yesterday.  September, October and November are our favorite time to be on Putah. For now use patterns like small midges and Baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May as well as caddis pupae like Fox’s Poopah in tan or green. Before long eggs like Glo Bugs and Micro Spawn will come into the mix.  Try fishing Putah during mid week to avoid weekend crowds.

Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensible in helping to break the code and catch fish.
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.  October and November are not far off and things will be improving as we get closer to then. Reserve your Fall Putah trip today.
Guide tip: “make sure you have enough weight on this time of year to get to the bottom. If you’re not hanging up from time to time, you’re not catching fish, and don’t forget your wading belt and wading staff”.

Pyramid Lake 

We know that Pyramid Lake Nevada is...well... in Nevada and thus probably disqualified for a Northern California fly fishing report. However being that it is within striking distance of Truckee/Tahoe and Sacramento areas and been fishing ridiculously well the last few years it still makes the list. The opener is at the end of the month, many anglers are saving their fishing mojo for that. It should be a great season, although I'm guessing the hot spots are going to be a complete zoo. For the fall bring a boat if you have one and always observe the utmost safety protocol on the lake, its dangerous out there! Wind can come from any direction and turn into huge swells almost instantly. Dan LeCount says "Look for baitfish schools like you're fishing in the ocean. Birds, "nervous water" and even mild slicks of fish oils can all be tips to finding schools of chub." A fish finder on your water craft can also be hugely beneficial, especially if the fish are deeper. In case you are not familiar Tui chub are a chunky baitfish with big eyes, golden olive backs and whitish bellies, They can also have gold and sometimes purple sheens.

Give us a call to get set up with a trip for these giants this Fall and into the Spring. 
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. Being on the water early is important not to beat the fishermen, as there aren’t really any. The cooler temps and the fact that the kids are back in school should help even the weekends be less pressured. If you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco area it is a good close option. This will continue for at least a couple more weeks before water temps get too cold. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info or to book a trip.
Lower Sacramento – Good to Great  Flows – 9,500 CFS Temps - mid 50’s. Water clarity – clear (4ft visibility)

The Lower Sac never disappoints, and it still keeps pumping out a lot of fish, and a lot of big fish, almost "epic" fishing to be had right now. This has been a stellar year on the Lower Sac, and if you missed out on any of the great fishing, you definitely don't want to miss out on what’s just around the corner, fall fishing during the egg bite. Lots of eager bows, looking to fatten up for winter on eggs and legs, no need to fish anything else from Oct to Nov. This is and always will be the place to be, especially during the fall.  Big Fish, and lots of them. What more could you ask for?               
Guide tip: “Get on the Sac now! Its football season!

Upper Sacramento – Good.  Flows – low (260 cfs at Delta) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear

Fishing on the Upper Sac has been good. Fall like weather has fish on the chow. 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 under a Bird’s Nests, Prince Nymph or Superfloss Rubberleg.

Also, 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. With cooler temps you should be able to head lower down towards Simms Road and have success.
We love the Fall here in Nor Cal. Let us know if we can help get you pointed in the right direction.

Trinity River Fair to Good Flows 1,200 Cfs. Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity - Perfect        
If you are not fishing the Trinity right now you then are truly missing out. They have raised the flows up to cool down the Klamath, and that only means one thing for us, "STEELHEAD!" They are in and eager to take a swung fly. I love this time of year as it is not a zoo, you have the place almost to yourself and the fishing can be absolutely awesome. Typically this time of year yields lots of fished hooked in the 18-22" range, but fish pushing 10lbs are also waiting for your fly too. This is one of the best times of year to swing for steelhead on the Trinity for several reason.  1.) the water isn't freezing cold, so the fish will move for your fly 10ft at times.  2.) you can get them on top with muddlers/foam skaters and even dries, lastly 3.) It’s not a zoo. So bring those swinging sticks and come hook some chrome domes. Nymphing is also a great option of course, as this will give you the most opportunities at fish. Brian says if you are wanting to swing then this is the place to be from now until a month from now. “If you are looking to get away for a few days, this is the place to be. "To swing is the thing, and the tug is the drug".

Things are shaping up for a great Fall on the Trinity River. Our guides are booking up fast! October, November and December are prime time to give Trinity Steelheading  a go! Call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info and to set aside your fall trip.
Truckee River   Fair to Good  Flows –500 at Hirschdale, 8,500 CFS at state line. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.
Well it has defiantly been the dog days of summer through August in the Tahoe area. Warm water related to a morning only bite. By the afternoon the temps were warm and the fish were not happy. 
The upper River has been tough says Jordan Romney however a few nice fish have rewarded the patient anglers. There is plenty of good fishable water below Boca too.  With the temps cooling off this week we have been scouting the lower River with some steamers and found good results. With the weather cooling off it will be Fall is just around the corner. The Browns will become aggressive and the rainbows will respond well too, as fish fatten up for the winter.
For now nymphing continues to produce best although streamers will start to pick up more quality fish in the coming weeks. If you lack the patience to swing, fish a big dark stonefly with some shot under an indicator. Nondescript stoneflies, and larger mayfly continue to work well.

Guide Tip: Dan says “Head down below Boca where cold water is making happy fish”  

Little Truckee River Poor Flows –28 cfs Water temp. high 60’s Clarity – good
The Little Truckee is way too low and warm for any conscientious angler to fish right now. Wait until flows bump up before giving this one a go.  Call us at the shop at (916)722-8594 for updated information.

Yuba River Trout– Good Flows – 800 cfs at Highway 20 bridge, CFS at Marysville. Water Temps – low 60’s to high 50’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is fishing well from highway 20 down for trout.  Dry fly action is becoming a bit more inconsistent although still producing some fish. Nymphing has been on point, producing some good numbers of hooked fish. Average size is still 14-17” however we are seeing some of the 18”+ fish as well. Look for the Yuba to produce some good fall fishing all the way through the end of the Egg Bite. The first of which should be right around the corner. The Yuba is a sweet place to be fishing right now, especially during the week. Weekends are a bit crowded, but still not bad. In a few weeks the salmon will be spawning and the egg bite will be on like Donkey Kong. So now is the time to get out and fish the Yuba.

Guide tip: The river is closed above the highway 20 bridge but there is plenty of good water below it.

Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 for more info or to set aside your dates.
Yosemite Area
The nights are cooling and stabilizing the water temps, but please be careful to not stress the fish by fishing when the water temps are over 70 degrees.

Mokelumne  - Fair to Good  The “Moke” is back down to minimum flows. Best to wait for the Salmon pulse in October.   The “Upper Moke” is fishing well. Dry droppers with Stimulators and Caddis are working best. Things afe cooling so start with nymphs in the morning and then switch to dries as things warm up.

Stanislaus  - Good The South Fork is fishing well. Yellow Sallies and Hare’s Ears are best producers.  The middle fork above Twain Hart is fishing well too but Kennedy Meadows continues to see a lot of pressure. Look for this to subside now that the kids are back in school.

Guide tip:  Rick Mazaira says “Check out the Herring Creek and the inlet to Lyons!”

Tuolomne - Good to Great  Flows are low, but water is cool and stable. A size 16 parachute Adams will work all day!

Middle Fork & South fork  - Good  Flows are dropping. Subsurface caddis & midges work well, Caddis, Parachute Adams and Yellow Sallies are still the ticket.

Merced  - Good to Fair El Portal fish it early, mind your temps and don't fish above 70 degrees.

Lower Merced - Fair 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! 

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