Northern California Fly Fishing Report Nov 10, 2017
Best Bets: Lower Sac, Truckee or Putah – Trout, Delta - Striper, Feather, Klamath or Trinity - Steelhead, and Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat.
American River Steelhead - Fair Flows – 2,000+ CFS at Natomas. – high 50's to low 60. Water clarity – Good.
Fishing hasn't been all that good up until now on the American. Conversely fishing has been good on some other fisheries like the Feather, Trinity Klamath etc. so our guides have been busy other places, however we do have an updated report for you this week. Water is still stable at 2,000+ cfs and recently the middle river has had good numbers of half pounder steelhead and larger adults are trickling in. A nice adult fish was caught yesterday down on the lower river as well. With the recent rain and what is projected for today and in the coming weeks things will definitely be improving and be very promising by the end of the month. We're looking forward to having good numbers of steelhead here in our back yards before long.
It will be time to hit the American soon if not right now. Give us a call at the shop (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook fly fishing directly at (707)287-2939 to set up a Winter steelhead trip on the American.
Delta Striper- Great! Water Temp - 60-62 deg. Water Clarity – Good (clear to slightly off color depending on where you're fishing).
Friend and client Jon E. with a typical Fall Delta fish.
Fall Striper fishing has been going really great on the CA Delta! This week water temperatures are in the low 60's throughout much of the Delta & Fall fishing is in full swing. Maury and the guys noticed lots of larger "pinkies" showing up the last two days. These are not resident Delta fish but fresh fish in from the ocean. This is great to see and is what we have been hoping for. The fish are biting well most of the days but some days have been a tougher bite. We have been seeing more & more legal fish(18"+) each week and this week we have had several toads in the boat including several fish over 10 lbs on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. If you can get out on the water then now is the time, this is a special time of year with cooler mornings, beautiful days & fish to be found, get your Striper on! Go now its hot!
We are throwing everything from floating and intermediate lines to lead, however the majority of the time, we use heavy Type 7 sinking lines. Outgoing tides have been really clear water so we are using flies in Olive/White, Gray/White, and of coarse, Chart/White. When the incoming brings in the dirty water we have been switching over to darker patterns with rattles to attract our quarry. One of our guides said that some of the largest fish this week were caught in real shallow water so don't forget to try those areas as well.
Guide Tip : "The key to finding more fish has been moving around to various areas in the Delta to find fish willing to bite".
Winter dates are just about booked up so if you are interested in reserving one of our guides, now is the time. Give us a call at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce, Toby, Chuck and Bill for some memorable Fall Delta action.
Fall River – Fair. Flows – slightly above average. Flows - high. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear
The Fall River season is coming to a closed on the 15th. Hatches have been a bit sporadic but include PMD's, Calibaetis and BWO's. Midges are also productive this time of year. Fish are heading up river towards gravel spawning areas and trying to put on a little weight to get through the winter. continues to fish so so but some reports of things improving. Part of the problem has been that hatches of Calibaetis and BWO's had been sporadic. Anglers are seeing some insects begin to hatch in the morning leading to some dry fly potential. Cooler and over cast days should bring out more Baetis.
Try swinging nymphs in the runs or dredging the pools with a leech or other streamer.
Good flies nymphs include, Zebra Midges, Anatomay, Poxyback PMD, Mercer’s Swing Nymph. Good dries include any Calibaetis dries as well as Lawson's Thorax PMD and BWO.
Call us direct at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 to get tied into some beautiful wild California rainbows.
Feather River – Great. Flows – 800 through "low flow" and 7,000 in "high" and 3,700 CFS out of Oroville. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear.
There are a mix of wild and hatchery fish on the Feather. Hatchery specimens like this still get the hear rate going!
The Feather has fished really well for our guides recently but this last weekend it was VERY crowded. Last week the fish gotten a lot bigger and some nice adults to 7+ lbs were landed along with the typical half pounders. The word got out and so even during the week there were quite a few anglers on the water. Salmon are on reds and numbers are increasing daily with fish moving into the low flow section and beginning to jockey for gravel real estate. Both swinging and nymphing are producing but nymphing is most productive and eggs are the ticket right now.
Best flies continue to be big Prince Nymphs, Fox’s Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs, and Tungsten Salvations, and oh ya and did we mention lots of eggs!
Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve a trip for what should be a great Fall steelhead fishing on the Feather.
Hat Creek – Good. Flows – 160 CFS at Old Station, Water clarity – Clear
Flows have maintained steady at 160 cfs again week and fishing continues to be good throughout the whole river. Hat closes on Nov 15 so things are winding down here. Irregardless of that, hatches at Hat #2 power house riffle include baetis and small midges, and also good fishing is being had on the slicks below all the way to Lake Britton as well. Having a stonefly in your setup above highway 299 is a good idea. On the slower slick areas a variety of May flies and even some caddis are hatching sporadically. Matching the hatch is critical.
Best flies continue to be Micro Mays in brown and black, Zebra Midges, Rubber Legs. Also for dries try Stimulators, Parachute PMD’s, Comparadun PMD, Para Extended Body PMD BWO's and Elk Hair Caddis. If things slow and you want a change of pace try a leach pattern, it may be just the ticket.
Klamath River – Good to Great. Flows 1,100 cfs below Irongate, Water clarity - Steelhead green
Mike with a Klamath trophy!
Things definitely kicked into gear recently on the Klamath two weeks ago. Lots of half pounders, some salmon and good numbers of "tweeners" (18 to 22" fish) being caught. Even more exciting are the larger adults coming up river! Reports of more adult fish being hooked from Happy Camp up river. Rain this week has helped and more is in the forcast. Now is a great time to get out and swing on the Klamath.
Good news is we have some prime Fall dates available. Give us a call to reserve your trip with Mike and J.Z.
McCloud River – Great. Flows – 350+ CFS at Ah-Di-Na, 900 cfs above McCloud Reservoir, 280 cfs below McCloud Dam 350 cfs at Lake Shasta. Water temps - High 60’s. Water clarity – Good
Fall is our favorite time here in Nor Cal and the McCloud is one of our favorites during this season. Temps cooled off again this week and we had our first dose of real precipitation causing the river flows to spike at Ah-Di-Na from 240 to 350 cfs starting on noon on Wednesday.
Fishing was great last week but we have not had any guides on it since Wednesday's flow bump (everyone is on the Trinity, Lower Sac or Upper Sac). Recently though, running an October Caddis dry with a O.C. nymph suspended 24" below has produced good numbers of fish. On top of that streamer fishing has produced some nice fish recently. Right now you have a chance to hook into big browns as they are migrating up river form the lake. But if you don’t get a big brown, the rainbows are there to fill in and keep ones attention. Worth a try one more time before things close for the season.
Good flies again this week include October Caddis dries and nymphs, Birds Nests, Poopahs, Anatomays, Black Micro Mays, Brown S&M's, and Stimulators. Zonkers, buggers and articulated sculpin streamers are all producing. Time to go now! Call us to get in on the fun.
Napa River – Good. Flows – average, Water temps - 65-67’s. Water clarity – Fair.
Fishing continues to be good on the Napa River this week. Fish are spread out throughout the whole river. The average fish is around 20" however some much larger ones hooked this week. Recent rains have muddied the river however things should clear after a full tide cycle pretty good. Bait fish patterns tied in 1/0- 2/0 on a type 7 will get your fly down to where the fish are quickly and will keep in in the zone longer. Always be on the move. If water is off color go with a rattle.
From now until Thanksgiving is prime time on the Napa River. Now is the time to go!Call Off the Hook Fly Fishing at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.
Pit River – Good to Great. Flows – 1,500 cfs at Pit #1. Water clarity – Milky
Flows from Lake Britton have finally stabilized at 1,500 since last week. October Caddis are hatching and there is some streamer opportunities on the lower river. Pit #3 has been very good, however everything down to Pit #4 has fished pretty well also. Fish are eating Stonefly and Mayfly attractor nymphs presented on the dead drift.
Expect some really tough wading conditions. There is no flat ground what so ever here. Instead there large holes and drop offs that are virtually invisible. We recommend that anglers not fish the pit alone and bring long a wading belt, wading staff and possible a CO2 personal flotation device.
Best flies last week were Stimulators, and October Caddis patters like Mercer’s Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Pupae, S&M's, and Foam October Caddis.
Putah Creek – Great! Flows - 200 cfs. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – clear.
It is go time on Putah Creek. This is another one of Rob's happy clients with a slab.
Fishing on Putah has been very good this year and will continue through December 1st when we stop guiding it to allow for these amazing fish to spawn. This is a very challenging fishery with big fish on small flies so don't expect big numbers but rather quality fish. They are really looking chunky this season and we are happy to be seeing more caddis which had all but disappeared in the last 5 to 6 years.
Fishing has been great again this week and we are thankful for the rain. Clients have been having opportunities to hook up to a dozen or so fish a day with chances to catch a big fish almost every trip.
Putah's wild Rainbows are still grabbing small, dark nymphs under an indicator. Flies to try are all small sized caddis, mayfly, and midge nymphs 16-22. Dead drifted flies get the most attention. Small midges and baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Baetis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craven's Ju ju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May are good along with small caddis. Egg's should be producing shortly as fish are getting closer to the spawn. Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensable in helping to "crack the code" so to speak and catch fish on this challenging but fantastic tail water.
Guide Tip:"On rainy days or within a day or two of rain add a San Juan worm to your set up"
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 -? Flows - 360+ CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.
The Russian is closed due to a low water closure back on October 1st to allow for Salmon to spawn. Water came up from last week big time to over 360 cfs and they are supposed to open the closure once flows reach 300 so this should be a forgone conclusion.
We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to target steelhead on the Russian this season. The Russian blows out first and clears up last during Winter and Spring rains. While we love getting as much rain as possible here in California we are hoping for some lulls between storms to get after some chrome. If you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco and would like to give the Russian a go give us a call to get on the waiting list at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.
Lower Sacramento Trout – Great. Flows – 5,700 CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (5 ft visibility)
A guest this week in Shane's boat happily keeping things in perspective.
The Lower Sac continued to fish well this week from Redding to Anderson for trout. Some Steelhead hooked on the Lower River below Anderson too. Flows dropped recently from 8,000 to 5,700 and baetis, midges and some small caddis are the hatches right now. Salmon are in the river thought not as thick as any of us would like, however it has created a bit of an egg bite finally if you know where to look.
This last week we have found quite a few hatchery steelhead to add to the mix. This is a great time to be on the Lower Sac.
Best flies have been Mercer’s Micro May in green and browns, Hogan’s S& M, Mercer’s Missing Link and Birds Nests, and midges.Guide Tip: "Find a boat and get in it"
Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – 240 cfs at Delta. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear.
Fishing on the Upper Sac is fishing pretty good throughout the whole river again this week. The October Caddis are coming off and laying eggs late in the day on the upper river above Dunsmuir.
Dry droppers rigs with a Caddis adult and either a Caddis pupae, dark stonefly, midge or mayfly will work. Often one must dance the surface fly around to entice takes. Even skating an over sized Goddart's Caddis has elicited strikes this week.
Fall run fish are coming up from the lake too so it may wise to pay attention to that portion of the river and have some streamers tucked in with your gear just in case. Shad patterns or large articulated streamers are not easy to throw but are producing some really nice fish for those with the patience and skills to make it happen.
Good flies include Mercer's TB October Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Adams, dark stonefly nymphs, Gordon Princes, midge nymphs like a Zebra Midges and birds nests. Don't forget a zonker or some buggers or balanced leaches.
Trinity River – Fair and improving. Flows –300 at Lewiston Dam, 400 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good.
Things are a changin' on the Trinity. Quite a bit of rain in the last couple days has fish on the move. Good numbers of fish are being hooked throughout the whole river and flows are low but very doable .The guys have been finding half-pounders and 1 to 5 adults possible per day recently. Fish counts are going to spike with this new water coming into the system and fishing will simultaneously improve as well.
More rain is coming tonight and more next week so things are fixing to jump off! November and December is prime Trinity season.
Best flies again this week were, Silver Hilton's, Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown or a Copper Assassin. Peter says "Nymphers should try eggs, rubber legs, PT's and Hares Ears". October Caddis, Copper Johns, Psycho Princes and other stonefly patterns will also work. Eggs are now also very much a thing.
November and December are prime time so give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 to get your guide reserved.
Truckee River – Great. Flows – 60 cfs at Truckee,150 cfs at Glenshire bridge, 370 cfs at Boca Bridge, and 400 cfs at Farad. Water Temps. – low 50's. Clarity – a little color.
The Truckee is into winter fishing conditions. Flows are low but fishable. A stealthy approach is best on the upper and middle river while not as critical down in the canyon. Expect things to be good this weekend and coming weeks but dress warm and plan for snow. It hasn't been all that important to get there super early as temps are cold so bugs are not active until later in the day. Most bugs activity has been in the afternoon but the morning has still fished well too. Experienced anglers are having most success due to technique dependent conditions says one of the guides.
Hatches have included BWO's, Caddis, Midges and even some October Caddis skittering about. Best fishing has been nymphing midges under an indicator or fishing streamers. Jordan says "Go small or go big" Dan says that BWO's have been effective in the middle and upper river and there has even been some dry fly opportunities.
Best flies include stones like Mercers Poxyback Stone, Solitude Stone, larger dark mayfly nymphs, brown woolly buggers, and Caddis patterns BWO dries and nymphs and Parachute Adams.
Guide Tip:"Throw on a rabbit leach or other streamer and hang on!"
Little Truckee River – Great! Flows – 40 cfs above Boca. Water temp. Low 60’s Clarity – Clear
The Little Truckee continues to fish well this week but water is very low and borderline unfishable. Please avoid wading on or fishing to the spawning beds if you simply must go. Try fishing BWO dries.
For flies try Hogan's S&M in olive or other BWO under a Adams parachute, Stimulator or Caddis. Also try Midges or caddis pupae or other the insects mentioned above under dry dropper.
Yuba River Trout – Good Flows – 1,063 cfs, Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear
Yuba rainbows fight pound for pound harder than virtually any other trout we know of.
It’s been great to see the Yuba back into shape. Salmon have been entering slower than normal for this time of year but we’ve been seeing better numbers and along with them, better trout behind them. Egg patterns have been turning them on as well as Hogan’s S&M’s, PT’s, Black or Coffee Rubber Legs, and Red Copper Johns. Don’t be to quick to run to your favorite stretch and pass up slow moving pools where you may find rising Opportunities. The dry fly action has been pretty great if you find an active pod of fish. Pinkies, EC Caddis, Hackle Stackers have all produced. Find the fish before worrying too much about the fly. The pods when active haven’t been very picky.
Guide Tip: Pack out what you pack in, please don’t walk on top of salmon reds, stay focused, stay safe and Fish hard. Hope to see you on the water!
Lake Almanor - Fair. Water Temps - 58 Deg. Water clarity - 9 ft
Most of the Lake has turned. Due to warm and clear days small insect hatches have resumed. Leeches and Midges are the most productive patterns. Muddy bottoms with weeds and shallow slopping shoreline will produce better fish. Rainbows are on a good bite trend. Brown bite is still slow. Salmon are taking Mark's Almanor Clouser at 20ft. Lots of Rainbows at Canyon damn. Lake Almanor is turned over and Smelt have moved into the shallows. Midges have been working for the Rainbows and Smelt patterns for Browns. It is a blast to see big fish cruising in shallow water sipping midges. Fish are cruising around on the surface. If you find fish on the Sonar they are not feeding fish. Look for fish that are cruising.
Guide Tip: "Using a12 ft 4x leaders on floating Line or Camolux for Leech patterns. Deep 5 or 24' 200gr for Clouser. Look for rising Fish and water flowing into the Lake." Lake Englebright - Fair to Good. Water temps - 64-66. Clarity - Gin clear
If a peaceful and serene setting is your goal then look no further. Englebright is void of jet skiers and water skiers now and the fishing can be incredible this time of year. Numbers are down compared to the past few weeks but quality is up. Beautiful Spotted and Smallmouth bass are the target here as well as trout if you’d like to hone your Stilwater skills. Trout have been active most of the morning and late in the evening. Bass have been fairly active throughout the day with 8 a.m.-2 pm being the prime time.
Guide Tip :Fish streamers in bluegill patterns, white pond smelt patterns tight against the rocks, brush or trees to trigger reactionary strikes. Float n’ fly methods have been exceptional out there as well. Bites are very subtle so ease into the strip or the shake and look for changes before a sharp and high set. Stay focused, keep fishing.
Frenchman's Lake - Great! Water temps 53 to 56 deg.Water clarity - clear to a tad of color.
Colder wet weather has stormed into the Sierra recently. Wind on Frenchman can be a challenge but now is the time to go. Most of the trout are in the upper water column with many of them right on the bank in skinny water, you’ll also find the rainbows in deeper open water rising in the middle of the day. Areas with flats and weeds are the most productive when fishing the shoreline. Water temps are 52 to 54. Light hatches of blood midges, a much smaller creamy midge, and a few callibaetis are out. Shorter leaders and heavier tippets will work now as the trout are on the fall grab, their greed in fattening up for winter is their downfall, and an advantage for fly anglers looking for a bent rod. Big buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown and rust, sheep creek specials, Hare’s Ears, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been the most productive. Mornings have been really cold, but as of late the days are nice and warm if the north wind does not howl. If you want a great stillwater experience, you better get up to the lake as soon as possible".
Guide tip: "When fishing from the bank, start close and work your way out while fan casting from side to side. If you're not getting takes, then move. Once you find the fish stay put, Don't leave fish to find fish."
Lake Oroville - Good. Surface temps 60 - 62 deg. Clarity - 3 ft.
Float and fly is the way to go now right now and is what we'll be doing from now until February now that temperatures are dropping. The bite has started pretty strong and is consistent throughout the whole day right now. We're hooking around 20+ fish per day. Expect fish numbers and fish sizes to increase into the Winter. Try to fish a fly that resembles the wakasagi pond smelt, otherwise standard balance leeches will work as well. Typical float & fly water to look for consists of big vertical drops. Fish shaded areas and the most rugged of structures. Keep the indicator tight to the bank.
Look to this fishery to be a great option this winter for a getaway and escape from crowded local steelhead rivers. We love fishing Oroville during this time and often fish all day without encountering another angler.
Guide Tip:The lake isn't seeing much pressure at all right now. With recent rains, allot of the tributaries will be coming into the lake. Fishing the tributaries before the lake becomes more pressured can be a good move.
Pyramid Lake NV* – Good. Water temps - 60's Clarity - clear
Pyramid is fishing well this week but mixed reports on size. Most people landing fish in the 18 to 24" range but some larger fish to 10 pounds reported. Winter weather advisory for next week should only improve the action. The lake is just about to flip over and freezing temps at night will help a great deal.
Popcorn beetles, Boobies, and balanced leaches in black, olive and white along with other Tui Chub patterns were all working well. A few fish caught on midges as well but Beetles and leaches have produced best by far. Some really nice fish have already found the net already this season. You simply must experience this fishery to believe it. Don't miss out give us a call today (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.
* While we are aware that Pyramid Lake is not in Northern California we feel fortunate to have it right over the hill from the shop and are glad to have such a great fishery with great guides this close.