Northern California Fly Fishing Report – May 9, 2017
Best Bets... McCloud, Hat Creek or Lower Sac
American River – ? Flows 14,200 cfs Water Temp high 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – Off color
Striper should be should be up in the American although no good reports yet. We're not exactly sure how all this rain will affect the timing of their migration this season. However judging by how things are really picking up on the Delta, it shouldn't be too long. When they do arrive, stripping flies on sinking lines is the name of the game. Traditionally good flies for this time of year will be Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white.
We are looking forward to shad fishing this season as well. Stay tuned in late May for things to get going. Shad will take flies that are swung or nymphed so there are options for how to get them.
If you are looking forward to striper or shad fishing on the American and would like some professional help give us a call at (707)287-2939 916)722-8594 at the shop. We have some of the very best most patient and competent guides around. Let us assist you in getting the most out of your time on the water.
Delta Stiper – Fair Water Temp high 60-62’s degrees. Water Clarity – Clear in some areas, murky in others.
Fishing has gotten more difficult in the last 1-2 weeks. We’ve been scratching some days of 5 to 10 fish with few quality fish in the 2- 10lb range. This week we have been battling heavy winds. Our guides have been scratching out some days of 5-10 fish with a few quality 2-10 lb fish mixed in. These recent winds have not made things any easier & we are hoping for calmer days in the weeks to come. In addition we are hoping for a fresh run of fish to move in or May looks to be a challenging month. Good news is that with warmer temperatures the largemouth Bass will start looking up & we should see some great topwater in the coming weeks. For now we are waiting on lower winds, more Stripers & increased temperatures for the largemouth. Long story short, we are all hoping for the best right now but a day on the water is always a pleasure. Been throwing a lot of clouser minnow variations & recently bluegill patterns have shown to be effective. We have had some fun chasing bass in the back bays in Kayaks this week. If you are in for a fun adventure let us know and we can set something up.
Additionally we will be looking forward to chasing smallmouth on the Delta at the beginning of June. If you like fast action and surface grabs on poppers at point blank range than this could be just the ticket for you. This is an ideal fishery for young anglers and lasts throughout the summer. Give us a ring to reserve an SMB trip for you and yours!
Guide Tip Bruce Tedford says “Use intermediate lines & chase larger fish in shallow waters. May only find a few fish doing this but they could be great quality fish on those flats of 2-6' of water.”
For more on the amazing Delta click here...
For more on the amazing Delta click here...
Fall River – Fair. Flows – Above average. Temps 50’s. Clarity – Clear
With all the rain this winter the Fall River is very full and looks to be in great shape. Our yearly Specialties trip was last weekend and fishing was so so. Big fish was a 23" bow but there weren't as many fish caught as we normally experience. Some hatches of mayflies including PMD’s and Blue Wing Olives starting up. Best Nymphs include Pseudos, Hogan’s S&Ms, Nose Pickers, Sin Citys, and Midges. Best dries have been Missing Links, PMDs, BWOs, leaches and damsels.
Call (707)287-2939 for more info or for an updated report in the coming days.
Feather River Trout – Poor Flows – Too much!
We have not had much luck with the flows being so high recently on the Feather. We hope to have a better report soon but with all the rain and damage to Oroville Dam it may take months or even years to fully recover. Time will tell but we need the flows to come down to give it a real go. Stay tuned or call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 for updates.
Hat Creek – Great. Flows – above average, Water clarity – Clear
Hat Creek looks better than it has in years with all the water. It is about a foot higher than it is normally this time of year and warm weather is bringing extra water from Mt. Lassen’s North East Slope. Hat 2 powerhouse has been busy but once you get away from that you can have the river pretty much to yourself. The recent habitat restoration and riparian work looks great and there is a new bridge below Power House 2 riffle to access both sides of the river off of Hat#2 Road. Anglers have been seeing some decent bug activity including, PMD’s, Little Yellow Stones, a few caddis, some larger Stoneflies and even some winged ants hatching this last week. Look for rising fish or fish and attractor dry and see what pops up. Try fishing early and late but some nice fish caught this week in mid day sun surprisingly.
Best flies include; Stones, Sin Citys, Micro Mays, Flatulators, Squirmy Wormies and Streamers. Also for dries try Stimulators and Adams or Prachute PMD’s, Comparadun PMD, Para Extended Body PMD/BWO.
Napa River – Good. Flows – average, Water temps - 57-60. Water clarity – Stained
Some really good fish were caught again this week on the Napa River. The middle and upper sections of the river are fishing well. Water below Los Brazos Bridge is still of color but is fishable. Any smallclouser style flies in olive/white, gray/white size 1/0 or 2/0 will work. Our favorite is the Stay Hungrys in above color/size/
We are looking forward to good Spring and Summer fishing in the Napa Valley. Stay tuned for updated reports, or give us a call at (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 for current information.
Putah Creek – Good Flows – 375 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green
Photo Credit : Rob Russell
Putah has improved recently with some nice fish being caught like this one. Water has dropped to 375 cfs and fishing is prime.t is still the "Green River" and nowhere near the Gin clear conditions we are used to but we'll take it. The recent slightly clearer water warrants use of the normal smaller Putah bugs in your box. Think sizes 16-22. BWO's, midges and SJWs have been working.
Guide tip: “Rob Russell says to try Squirmy Wormy San Juan Worms in Pink, red or tan.”
Good spring fishing is here. Reserve your Spring Putah trip today! Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055.
Pyramid Lake Nevada - Good. Temps - 48’s. Water clarity – 6 to 8 feet
What a wild year it has been on Pyramid Lake. The Truckee River is continuously on cranking fresh water at a rapid rate causing the lake level to rise 1 to 2 inches per day. That being said the surface water temps are still much cooler than the past seasons during mid-April. Right now we are looking at right around 48 degrees. Which is on average 5 degrees colder than normally for this time of year. We are still only seeing a fraction of the cruising fish we are used to for mid April. The hot calm sunny days that used to be the days where the bite was tough are now the most productive. On a hot day the water warms up shallow beaches just enough to get fish moving in and actively feeding. Stick to your guns and wait for the fish to come in. During certain parts of the day you will notice the bite moving in and out in distance. So be sure to try fishing far out and in close and see where cruising lanes are. And when we say "in close" we mean at just past your rod tip. Some of your biggest fish will be within 25ft off your rod tip. As far as flies and techniques the indicator and "no cator" bite has been the most productive of the fishing. Midges and nymphs in black, wine, and red have been great. A very close competitor has been the balanced leech in black olive and grey. Vary your depths through the day to find the feeding fish with the rising water making the ledges farther out and cold water temps don't be afraid to fish shallow under your indicator, you will be surprised. Stripping has been good with darker flies in the lower light and brighter flies during the day. A contrast of a black and a white fly combo is the best start. The beaches are changing fairly rapidly so please be careful wading even in the familiar spots. Again, fish hard with confidence and you will be rewarded. Don't get discouraged, wait for the schools of fish to come and take advantage of every opportunity. We have had some outstanding trips recently with great numbers and more fish over 10lbs than we could of imagined. Most importantly bigger than the fish are the smiles we are seeing from all the anglers on the beaches. We’re not sure how much longer fishing will continue, so now is the time to come out!
If you are interested in hiring a competent pro guide, call today to reserve your trip. The fish of a lifetime awaits… Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055
Lower Sacramento – Good to Great. Flows – 5,000 CFS. Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – 2 to 3 feet of visibility “Brownish green”
Flows on the Lower Sac are down. They dropped the flows down to 6,000 cfs for some repair work on the diversion dam at Caldwell park. Flows will jump back up to 10,000 or more once the repairs are done. This shouldn’t take longer than one to two weeks. Even with the dropping water fishing continues to be great with good numbers of fish in the net for our guests. As far as hatches, right now it is mostly BWOs and Caddis however there are more PMDs hatching each day. Stones have worked as have some of the mayflies mentioned above however eggs are still producing best. Bugs will be increasingly successful going forward.
The upper section above highway 299/44 will be closed in the next week or so until August 1st to help with the dwindling numbers of Chinook Salmon. This only affects the short section from Posse Grounds down to the highway bridge. There are still 38 miles of fishable water full of big wild rainbows below this to take advantage of. OTH and FFS support the efforts to try to help support our native Salmonids. Don’t let the closure keep you from one of the best pieces of fly water anywhere in the West.
Book your Summer trip on the Lower Sac now by calling (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.
Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – 2,500 CFS at Delta. Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – Fair(best up above Dunsmuir)
Water is high on the Upper Sac as well. Please be careful if you are headed out wading. We recommend a wading staff and a CO2 inflatable hop pack or suspenders may not be a bad idea either. Best flies have been small nymphs fished behind a rubberleg stone. Princes, Dark Lords, Copper Johns, Birds Nests, Fox’s Poopahs, Mercers’ Micro Mays etc.
McCloud River – Good? Flows 800cfs+. Water clarity - ?
This winter’s storms are still having their way with the McCloud. The Road to Ah-Di-Nah is closed due to a washout and will remain so until repairs can be made. Mike Parker says that access to “Ash Camp section is possible but the road is down to one lane.” Lake releases will be high for the foreseeable future and water is spilling over the top with the Ah-Di-Nah gage showing about 890 CFS! The increased flows could make for dangerous wading. Stay tuned for updates as we have people fishing it today.
Truckee River – Good to Fair. Flows – 2,500 cfs in town, 5,000 cfs at Boca. Water Temps. – Low 50’s. Clarity – some color.
Fishing on the Truckee has slowed a bit with increasing snow melt due to warmer temps. Our guides have been catching some nice sized fish however. They’re still there, you just have to get creative. There is definitely more water than we normally see this time of year but the additional water hasn't put the fish down entirely. There are still some BWO but the Skwala hatches have tapered off right now and so these are good bugs to have in your setup. Streamer fishing is also not a bad idea tight now.
Guide Tip "Those who are committing to streamer fishing are being rewarded."
Call the shop at (916)722-8594 or OTH direct at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to schedule the cure for common cabin fever.
Little Truckee River - Good. Flows 1,000 (huge!) Temps – Cold! Visibility - Clear/light tea
The Little Truckee continues to fish well despite the fact that it is flowing at over 1,000 cfs. These aren't the normal flows and fish are up in the willows, tucked in deep buckets and in slow side seams. The fish are still here you just have to adjust where you fish and get the depth right and you may have to go small when it comes to flies. BWO's midges, eggs and San Juan worms have been working lately. There has been a mid day blue wing olive hatch which has gotten things going. Czech nymphing and indicator nymphing both worked last week as did streamer fishing, but you have to work hard to get them on the big uglies. The inlet at Boca has produced fish for those in boats as well as on foot. The trout opener is upon us and this will take a great deal of the pressure off of the Truckee in the near future.
Yosemite Area – Poor
Mokelumne - 5,000 CFS- Too big to fish right now, best to stay away and wait until water levels come down.
Stanislaus - 1,140 CFS - Too high to float but fish cautiously from shore
Tuolumne - 1,100 CFS - High flows, hard to access both banks.
Merced- 4,000 below Briceburg, 6,000 Crocker Huffman- still too high to drift.
This is going to be a great summer of fishing in the Yosemite area but it is still a bit early. We hope to be at it by mid June. Check back for updates or call current info.
Yuba River Trout – Poor Flows – 12,000 cfs Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Slight color
The Yuba is still very high and we haven’t had much luck on it yet. We plan to get out again and try this week. This river has totally changed with the high flows. The last time the Yuba blew out like this it took months to come back and didn’t quite fish the same for a couple seasons. We are optimists by nature as fly fishers so we are hoping for the best and not getting to fish the Yuba for a while is a willing trade for excess water and what it means for the state as a whole. The river has changed drastically so we will have to wait and get reacquainted with this beloved fishery once she comes back to us.
If you simply must go try nymphing with Skwala Stones, March Browns, PMDs and San Juan Worms should produce best.
Guide tip: “wait until the Yuba drops below 1,000 cfs or go fish the Truckee or Pyramid!”