Monday, December 3, 2018

Northern California Fly Fishing Report - Dec 1, 2018

Winter arrived this last week and with it some much needed rain fall and snow in the high country. This new moisture is sure to get our anadromous friends moving in our Northern California rivers. After reading the report if anything hits your hot button, give us a call at (530)242-4122 or (707)287-2939. We will be happy to help set up some productive winter fishing. Click here to see what some of our recent guests have said... 



Our gift certificates for guided trips make great Christmas presents. Perhaps a not so subtle hint is in order? For more info on giving and receiving the gift of fly fishing click here...

We want to say thank you to those of you who fished with us this year. We are already looking forward to 2019. There is still some good fishing to be had between now and then. Wishing you all the best.

Merry Christmas from our Family to yours!

Best Bets: Trinity, Klamath, Upper and Lower Sac, Yuba, Feather and Pyramid Lake NV



American River Steelhead - Poor to Fair. Striper - Poor. Shad - Poor Water Temps - mid 50's.  Flows 1,900 at Fair Oaks. Clarity - Fair

Still not much to report here. Some half pounders and adult fish pushed up into the hatchery with this rain but not many. It is still a little early as Late December January and February are usually best on the American. It is nice to have this fishery in our back yards during upcoming holiday season. 

Steehead Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16. Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine)

Striper Flies: Stay Hungry Streamers, Byng's Baitfish, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt, Toby's Rainbow Clouser 4/0, Toby's A.R. Rainbow 4/0, American River Special 3/0, Clousers - chartreuse/white, gray/white


Delta Striper - Good. Largemouth - Fair Smallmouth - Poor. Water temp 50 to 55 degrees. Clarity - Good.


Captain Bryce with a young anglers personal best!
Striper fishing in the Delta has been pretty good. Some rain & wind can create challenges but for the most part the weather has been manageable. The season will likely wind down over the next month or so but for the time being it’s holding strong. Most fish we have been finding are smaller “schoolies” but 3-5lb fish are mixed in & the occasional larger fish can be found as well! Water temperatures are 50-55 degrees in different spots within the Delta depending on where you fish. For Stripers sub surface I continue to use 1/0-3/0 Clouser style flies in various color combinations.

Striper flies:  Clouser style flies like Byng's Baitfish - 1/0, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt. Surface wise it has been hard to beat a Crease fly  in 1/0 - 2/0 sizes.

Largemouth: Diving Frogs, Stay Hungry Streamers - Chartreuse, Perch or Shiner colors, #2  Byng's Baitfish, 1/0 Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt, Angel's Bluegill - 4/0.

Smallmouth Flies: Small poppers in a variety of colors such as green, white, yellow, brown etc. #2 - 4 Pultz Poppers Brown, black or Olive Wolly Buggers.

Guide Tip: Prime striper fishing is here and going fast. We only have a few remaining dates so call today!

Fore more on the Delta click here... or Call (530)242-4122




Fall River Trout - Closed 

The Fall River is currently closed and will reopen April 28, 2019. We had a great season up here and look forward to a great season in the new year. Spring will be here before we know it so call for availability and to reserve your dates today. (530)242-4122 O (707)287-2939 C



Feather River Steelhead - Poor to Fair. Striper- Poor. Flows -  4,000 cfs from Oroville Dam. Temperature - Mid 50's. Clarity - Clearing.

Fishing on the Feather for half-pounder steelhead and a few adults has been so-so of late.  Recent rains spiked flows but they are now back down to 4,000 cfs. Salmon are pretty much done spawning but fishing eggs can still be a factor. Nymphing of course is the best option for the most fish but swinging still possible. The area above Highway 70 bridge is closed through January 1st. When it re-opens expect good fishing to resume. Fishing will peak in February, March and April and is the best time to swing flies. 

Steelhead Nymphs: San Juan Worms, Prince Nymphs 8 to 10, Birds Nests and Copper Johns 10 -14. Black, Green, and Tan B.H. Caddis Poopahs 14-16, Red Headed Step Child, Tungsten Salvation 14-16 and Micro Mays 14-16, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6-10 

Eggs: Micro Spawn and Sucker Spawn and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine )

Salmon and Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, olive sculpin.

Striper Streamers:  Byng's Baitfish - 1/0, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt.



Hat Creek trout - Closed  

With the General Closure of trout season in California, fishing on Hat Creek has come to an end for 2018. We had a great season. Thank you to all who fished with us up here. We are already looking forward to 2019. We are currently taking reservations for Hat Creek and other Northern California waters. Give us a ring to check and reserve your 2019 dates.


Click for more on Hat Creek... or call (530)242-4122


Klamath Steelhead - Fair to Good. Flows fluctuating 1,000 to 1,100 cfs daily at Iron Gate. Clarity - Good

Fishing has been decent on the Klamath of late. Iron Gate releases have hovered been between 1,000 and 1,100 CFS. The numbers of steelhead are beginning to taper off, but some larger fish have been showing up recently. Winter storms are taking their toll on travel at higher elevations so plan for winter conditions and prepare accordingly. Tire chains, a full tank of gas, a shovel, some blankets and food are a good idea to have along. 

Nymphing and swinging have both produced again this week. It will be interesting to see what recent rains do to the fishing. We are hoping that it will bring in some more fresh fish. Stay tuned or better yet go fish and find out for yourself.

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, artwicks Hoser, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin, Articulated Marabou Leech.

Eggs: Clown Egg, Micro Spawn - Shrimp Pink or Salmon egg, Redd Reaper - Champagne

Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Legs in Brown or Black 4 - 8, Psycho Princes 14 - 16, 3-D Nymphs 8- 10, Red Copper Johns 14 - 18.

For more on the Klamath click here... or call (530)242-4122 O (707)287-2939 C


McCloud River Trout - Closed 

The McCloud River is currently closed but what a season it was. Thank you to all of you who fished it with us this year. It will reopen April 28, 2019. We are look forward to a great season in the new year. Spring will be here before we know it so call for availability and to reserve your dates today. (530)242-4122



For more on the McCloud click here... or call (530)242-4122



Napa River Striper - Fair. Temps high 50's. Clarity- murky

Fishing has been quite good this season on the Napa River, San Francisco Bay and Delta.  Recent rains have slowed fishing slightly due to off color conditions. right now along with the greater Good numbers of fish in the system with some hefty ones finding the Boca Grip recently. Fish are in from town all the way out to the sloughs. Throwing sinking lines with clouser variants is the business. Keep moving until you find fish but this week we haven't had to move too far. If you are interested in a Napa Visit and want to include some fishing let us know.
As far as gear goes, you will want a 7 to 8 wt rod with sinking lines (T - 11 to T - 14) with 1/0 to 3/0 clouser style flies. Fishing the current seams, drop offs, structure should produce. We move a lot to find fish, but once you do...it's fish on!

Streamers: Black/gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0 to 3/0, Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and  Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.

Top water: Crease Flies, Pole Dancers

For more on the Napa River click here...or dial (530)242-4122


Pit River Trout - Fair to Good. Flows - 2,100 Pit #3, 480 at Big Bend. Clarity - Clear

There is good fishing to be had on the Pit for those willing to put in some time. Flows have fluctuated a bit at Pit 3 due to maintenance going on this month. Most fish do not seem to be all that picky so suggestive nymphs like Prince Nymph or Birds Nest should do the trick. A micro May would also work. It is always best to see what the flows have been doing and avoid fishing a day or two after a major drop or spike in flows.

Current Pit #3 flow data
Current Pit #5 flow data


Nymphs: Best flies have been Prince Nymphs 14-18 Birds Nests (beaded and non) 14-16. P.T's 14-16 Zebra midges 18 to 20, Mewrcers Tungsten October Caddis, Morrish October caddis - 12, X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 14 to 18 (black and olive producing best). Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16, Brown Rubberleg - 6-8, GB Birds Nest - 10-16 

Dries:  Stimulators, Mercers Skating October Caddis, Foam October Caddis Chyronobyl Ant, Fat Albert, Adams - 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis - Tan 12-16 Emerging or crippled Mayflies-12-16


Putah Creek - Voluntary closure 

The voluntary closure for fish spawning is now in effect. It will continue through March 1st. There are plenty of other places to fish. Thank you for leaving the creek alone so these very special wild trout can reproduce un-molested. Subsequent generations of fish and anglers thank you!

We are taking bookings for Spring fishing on the creek. If you are interested give us a ring at (350)242-4122 

For more info on Putah Creek click here...



Russian River Steelhead - Poor. Smallmouth - Poor Shad - Poor. Flows - 1,000 cfs Guernville. Temps - 60's to 70's. Water clarity - Good




We are excited for Steelhead season! Misty rivers, chilly air and opportunities for rare encounters with truly spectacular sea going creatures. The Russian river watershed is home to many of our guides and clients and we are hopeful for a good return of steelhead to our back yards. Flows on the Russian spiked last week at 1,500 cfs+ at Guernville. Things are on the way down and are currently down to 1,000 cfs. What we are looking for is a good amount of rain over several days followed by several days if not weeks of fairly dry conditions. This sends down sweet water which lures steelhead up out of the pacific and into the system. To be able to fish however just having lots of rain is not enough. For fly fishers especially it is critical to have clearer conditions so fish can see our flies. We are hopeful and keeping an eye on the weather. If you are interested in fishing the Russian River with us this year. Please give us a call to get on the call list. This will be based on first come first call. Once conditions are ideal we will give folks a call on our list and give them right of first refusal for available guide days.

To get on the call list for steelhead for this coming season please call (530)242-4122 or (707)287-2939.

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin, Articulated Marabou Leech.

Eggs: Clown Egg, Micro Spawn - Shrimp Pink or Salmon egg, Redd Reaper - Champagne

Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Legs - 4 - 8, 3-D Nymphs 8- 10, Red Copper Johns 14 - 18.

For more on the Russian River click here... or call (530)242-4122

San Francisco Bay Striper - Good - Water temps - 54-56, Clarity - Stained to clear depending on tide/location







Fishing continues to be good on the San Francisco Bay. The run seems to be a later one this year. There are still quite a few fish in the system. Fish vary in size from 12" to 6 lbs. Some days are better than others but most are quite productive. Anglers with a modicum of casting and stripping ability tend to do best however our guides are good at setting up even first time striper anglers for success. Despite the challenges of this fishery there is something inherently cool about fly fishing within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge!



Having a competent captain is even more imperative in the San Francisco Bay and on the Delta than some of the other fisheries in California. Fortunately we have the best in the biz! 

If you will be in San Francisco Bay Area or live close and want to get out and give this a try give us a ring at (530)242-4122(O) (707)287-2939 (C)

Streamers: Black/gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0 to 3/0, Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and  Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.


Guide Tip: "Having a rapid strip and varying the retrieve is important when striper fishing the Bay. Long erratic strips are key. An 8 to 10" trout streamer strip just won't cut it. You want to keep it powerful and energetic. A couple fast 20" strips followed by some 6 to 8" bumps with a deliberate pause thrown in, then back to the hard fast ones. This will out fish the "trout strip" any day out there."

For more on fly fishing the San Francisco Bay click here... or call (530)242-4122 O (707)287-2939 C



Lower Sacramento Trout - Poor Flows 4,000 cfs out of Keswick. Water Temps - Lower 50's. Clarity - Clearing ( 2-3 ft visibility)  

Fishing had been good up until this last storm hit last week. Flows are at 4,000 cfs which is low for this time of year however recent rain brought in run off water that turned the Sac brown. Visibility is up to 2 to 3 ft and clearing. By tomorrow we should see enough clarity to get back at it in earnest. The mornings recently have been all about midges, and as the day progresses you will find more baetis and caddis. Good flies to throw are Black Zebras, small Cinnamon Poopahs, Bird's Nests and Black Micro Mays. 

Nymphs: Best flies have been Birds Nests (beaded and non) 14-16. Zebra midges 18 to 20, X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 14 to 18 (black and olive producing best). Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16, Zebra Midge 18 - 20, Bubble Back Caddis - Olive - 16

Dries:  Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Missing Link - 18, Norman's Loopwing BWO - 18

Eggs: Micro Spawn - Peachy King, Shrimp Pink

Guide tip: "Lower Sac fish are notorious for the lightest of takes. Fish will mouth small flies and spit them out without any visible hints transferred up the line to the indicator. Often guests will turn and look at the guide and ask "was that a fish?" after a slight pause or just the lightest of "tick" visible on the indicator. Set on everything! We recommend you set first ask questions later."

Give us a ring to get out for a memorable trip by calling (707)287-2939 or emailing us at info@offthehookflyfishing.com

For more on the Lower Sac click here... or dial (530)242-4122 O (707)287-2939 C


Upper Sacramento Trout - Good. Flows - 1,000 cfs at Delta. Water Clarity - Clear. Water temps - 50's 

The Upper Sac is looking and fishing good right now. Flows spiked back on November 29 at 1,400 cfs but are now down to 1,000 cfs at Delta. The upper river is now open following summer fires in the area. Be careful fishing during heavy rains as there is some potential for mud slides or debris flow in fire damaged areas. 


Despite this the river truly is looking and fishing well. Nymphing is working best, however there are opportunities for some October Caddis surface action towards evening and streamer chucking as well. 


Dries: Stimulators 12 -14, March Brown - 18, Adams 12-20, Parachute Adams 12-20, Chubby Chernobyl Golden 8 -10, Mercer's Flush Floater Foam Stone - 8

Nymphs:  Rubber Leg Stone - Brown 6 - 8, Two Bit Hookers 16 -18, Mercer's Poxyback Stone and Solitude Stone - 8 to 14, Dark Lords, G.B. Birds Nest 10 - 14, Amber Wing Prince 12 - 18, Mercer's Micro May 14-16. Hogan's S&M Green, Brown or Black 16 to 20.

Streamers: Black or Olive Zonkers 6 to 10, Back Brown or Olive Wooly Bugger 6 -10, Hale Bopp Leech - 8.

For more on the Upper Sac click here... or call (530)242-4122 O (707)287-2939 C


Trinity River Steelhead - Good. Flows 290 from Lewiston Dam. Temps - 45 deg's. Clarity - Good.


It is go time on the Trinity! Recent rains have the river looking and fishing good from the dam all the way to Pigeon Point. There is more precip' in the forecast however some of it will be snow which will not hurt fishing one bit. Now is the time to find a boat and get in it!

Steelhead are moving in behind spawning salmon so eggs should be in your setup. Rubberlegs and small attractor nymphs are also a good bet. Swinging has also produced fish recently.

Be careful on the drive over from Redding if you go. There is potential for mud and debris slides as this is the area that was affected by the Carr fire back in the Summer. It is always good to carry extra fuel, a shovel, some blankets and even some extra food just in case when venturing out despite our relative mild winters. Always better to have and not need than to need and not have.

We still have available Dec 9, 10. 11, 12, and 21 on some dates we would like to fill. Please call for more info (530)242-4122 at the office or (707)287-2939 after hours.


Steehead Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16. Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine)

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin.

For more info on the Trinity click here... Or dial (530)242-4122 O or (707)287-2939 C




Trucke River Trout - Fair to Good. Flows 100 cfs in Truckee. Temps - 40's. Clarity - Good.



Winter has definitely set in the Tahoe area. With snow on the ground it has made access a little tough for some spots however there is good fishing to be had for those willing to bundle up and get out. Insect activity includes Midges, Blue Wing Olives, small Stoneflies, and a few October Caddis. There has also been a little bit of an egg bite. Fish are moving into the slower moving water for the winter so nymphing these areas will produce best. Don't forget the streamer thing as well.

If you will be in the Tahoe or Truckee area for Christmas give us a ring. We'd be happy to get you out.

Nymphs - Prince 12-16, Copper Johns 12-20, Micro May 16-20, Hogan's Red Headed Step Child and S&M 16-18, Mercer's Poxyback Stone - 8 and 16, Solitude Stone 16.

Streamers - Articulated Leaches, Buggers 6 to 10.


Yuba River Trout - Good. Striper - Poor. Shad - Poor. Flows 1,000 cfs at Englebright. below Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - clearing.





Winter is here, and has started out with a bang.  Regardless we’ve been rather pleased with the fishing on the Yuba the last few weeks and we've had the river to ourselves for the most part. The fish are healthy as can be and the numbers of fish is back to normal.  Their size is still a bit smaller than we had pre-2017 flood. However, we have seen some really nice fish caught recently. Anglers on recent trips have been quite happy with the fishing action. We’ve seen at least one big fish hooked every trip (although not always landed).  There are even a few half pound steelhead around.

We are happy to say that the salmon run on the Yuba this year is very strong, it might be the best or equal to the best numbers we’ve seen in 10 years on this river.  This has resulted in a good egg bite. There are still fish moving in and I foresee the egg bite lasting a few more weeks. 

The nymph game is strong as well and it has been pretty straight forward. We’ve managed to get really grabby fish on flashy nymphs.  Red copper Johns have produced well for us. We also have been picking fish up on Sloan’s Micro Mighty May.  Don’t be surprised, that fly was invented for the Yuba. The really impressive thing right now is how good the dry fly fishing is. By good we didn't mean easy.  In the slow tail outs and pools we’ve been working fish all throughout the day.  With a lot of patience and proper techniques we are managing some really good numbers.  I think this is the best dry fly action I have seen during winter in years.
The moral of the story is there is a lot to do out there right now.  We can get fish eggs,  or nymphs from the boat in the fast water and throw dries in the tail outs and slower water. You won’t find better winter dry fly fishing anywhere in the State.  Pretty soon the Alevins will start to hatch which will add another option.  Streamer fishing the Yuba or swinging two handed options will start to develop in the weeks to come. 
The weather forecast is for on and off wet days through the month of December.  Don’t fret the fish are already wet and don't seem to mind at all.  That is what our Simms jackets and waders are for so get out there and fish!   

Great Striper and Shad fishing on the Yuba is just around the corner. We are already getting calls and bookings for this fantastic fishery for 2019. We have virtually exclusive access to the Lower River below Daguerre Dam to do float and jet boat trips.  Late March to early April is the time table for Striper and we begin targeting Shad around May 1st. Give us a ring at (530)242-4122 for more info or to reserve your trip.

Trout Nymphs: Copper Johns (red, olive, copper) Sloan's Mighty Micro May 14-18, Golden Stones, Rubber Legs in brown and yellow, 8 to 12, CDC Prince Nymph, Fox's Poopah, Bird's Nests 14 to 16, Speroni's Baetis 16 - 20, Hogan's S&M, Military May, Mercer's Micro May Olive, Brown, Black 16 - 20,  Hogan’s S&M nymph (olive, brown) -18, and .  

Trout Dries: Parachute Adams, Light Cahill, Parachute Light Cahill 14 to 16, Pink Alberts 14 to 16 Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Hackle Stacker PMD 14 - 16, Lawson's PMD 14 to 16, Quiggly's Hackle Stacker 14 - 16, CDC Thorax 14 - 18, BWO Parachutes -18.

Trout Streamers: Olive and Brown wolly buggers 8 -12, Alevin/Fry patterns.

For more on the Yuba click here... or call (530)242-4122 O or (707)287-2939 C


Yosemite Trout - Closed. 


The waters of Yosemite along with the General Trout Season are closed. They will open April 28, 2019. Time to go chase Steelhead or fish somewhere else.
Pyramid Lake NV* - Trout - Good. Water temps - COLD. Clarity - Good

Finally the 2018/19 winter storms have arrived. These blustery conditions have really brought plenty of hungry fish to the shore. If you are into chasing large trout then this is the time to do it!  Surprisingly our friends on Pyramid have had some very good days on blue bird or partly cloudy days with minimal wind. It’s just a matter of putting in time on the water. 
  
Schools of big fish have been coming at random times through out the day. With the water being cold sometimes it takes most of the day to warm up shallow water enough for the real pigs to come in and comfortably feed. The best times seems early morning and between 10:30 am - 3 pm. But again, that is weather dependent. Another thing to remember is don’t leave fish to find fish. If you are getting fish to eat but haven’t found a big one, keep working it until the right fish comes by.     


Casey showing how guides spend a rare day off this time of year.
As the water continues to cool down the fish will begin to get slightly more lethargic. Slowing down how you fish could produce a few more fish as we get into winter. Fishing a floating line with or without an indicator with midges, balanced leaches or both have been effective of the ledges.  Stripping has brought in more of our large fish this year. Vary retrieves depending on water and light conditions. Also, don’t be afraid to slow the speed of strip down either mixed in with of speeds and lengths per strip. 

Top colors for the midges are still red, black and wine. And as always the best colors for balanced leeches/baitfish and any other meat you might want to throw behind a sink line would be black, white, olive, and chartreuse. 

Nymphs - Marabou Midge - 12, Chronomid Bomber 12, Maholo Nymph - back and red 12, Patriot Midge 10, Pyramid Pollywog - Olive, Pink 10, Pyramid Beetles - 10, Sextons Boobies - Chart 8, Midnight Cowboy, Wooly Worm- chart, black - 4, 

Streamers - Pyramid Beach Leech - black, brown, olive, 8, Balanced Moo Minnow 8, Pyramid Streamer - black 2

Time to go find some monsters! Give us a ring for more info or to book your trip.  (530)242-4122 O, or (707)287-2939 C 

* Yes were aware that Pyramid Lake is in Nevada not California, but it is close and such a great fishery that we included it in our report for your benefit.

Thanks for checking out the report. Don't forget to like and share. If you have personal reports or photos that you would like to see in the next report please email them to mike@offthehookflyfishing.com.

Hope your Christmas is a merry one and you are able to bend a rod this festive season.


Friday, September 28, 2018

Northern California Fly Fishing Report Sept 28, 2018

Fall is already "in the air" in the Northern California high country. This signals the approach of our favorite time of year. From trout and bass to steelhead and striper. The best fishing of the year is knocking on the door. We are really looking forward to making some great memories this Fall with you. After reading the report if anything hits your hot button give us a call at (530)242-4122 or (707)287-2939. 

Click here to see what some of our recent guests have said...


Best Bets: McCloud River, Pit River, Putah Creek, Upper and Lower Sac - Trout, Lower Yuba River - Trout, Lake Almanor - Trout and Bass, Delta and Napa River - Striper

American River Striper - Poor, Steelhead - Fair to Poor. Striper - Fair. Water Temps - High 50's to low 60's.  Flows fluctuating daily from1,800 to 2,200 cfs from Lake Natoma. Clarity - Good (10 to 12 ft)

Still not much to report here. Some half pounder action and a few adults along with a few straggler few striper around. Our sights will be set on Steelhead going into Fall and Winter. It is nice to have this fishery in our back yards during Fall and upcoming holiday season. 

Steehead Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16. Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine)

Striper Flies: Stay Hungry Streamers, Byng's Baitfish, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt, Toby's Rainbow Clouser 4/0, Toby's A.R. Rainbow 4/0, American River Special 3/0, Clousers - chartreuse/white, gray/white


Delta Striper - Good. Largemouth - Good Smallmouth - Fair. Water temp 68 to 70 degrees. Clarity - Good.


One of Captain Bryce's guests with a slab

Striper fishing has kicked in to high gear this week. There are still opportunities for largemouth and smallmouth but it has been hard to leave feeding striper to go get them. This time of year can be a fun challenge to chase the "slam" of all 3 bass species on the same day! Water temps have dropped below 70 degrees in much of the Delta with recent cooler weather. Looking ahead to the weather report it looks like more cooler weather setting in next week. For Largemouth fishing it’s hard to beat size 2 topwater frogs or 1/0-2/0 crease flies when they are keying on baitfish. For Largemouth & Stripers sub surface we are using 1/0-2/0 Clouser style flies. For topwater Stripers I like 1/0-2/0 Crease flies with silver bellies when they are visually eating on top & the birds will show you where they are feeding. Prime Striper fishing is just about here, October & November are 2 of the better months & will of course book quickly so reserve your spots soon! 

Striper flies:  Clouser style flies like Byng's Baitfish - 1/0, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt. Surface wise it has been hard to beat a Crease fly  in 1/0 - 2/0 sizes.

Largemouth: Diving Frogs, Stay Hungry Streamers - Chartreuse, Perch or Shiner colors, #2  Byng's Baitfish, 1/0 Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt, Angel's Bluegill - 4/0.

Smallmouth Flies: Small poppers in a variety of colors such as green, white, yellow, brown etc. #2 - 4 Pultz Poppers Brown, black or Olive Wolly Buggers.

Guide Tip: Prime striper fishing is here. Sept 15 - Dec 15 are 3 of the best months and will of course book up quickly so reserve your spots soon!



Fall River Trout - Good. Flows - average. Water Temps - mid 50's Water Clarity - Clear. 



The Fall river continues to produce well. We have been seeing 
Trico and PMD spinner falls in the morning, and Callibaetis and PMD hatches through mid day. Stay out late for the caddis hatch in the evening. During the day, fish will move to swung and stripped leeches, brown black and olive. Swinging a soft hackle in the runs is also productive. 

Nymphs : X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 16 - 18, Soft Hackle Peacock 16 to 18

Dries : Parachute Adams - 12, EC Caddis, Missing Link, Light Cahill 14 - 16, Parachute Light Cahill 14 to 16, Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Hackle Stacker PMD 14 - 16, Lawson's PMD 14 to 16, 

Streamers: Hale Bopp leaches

For more on the Fall River click here...


Feather River Steelhead - Poor to Fair. Striper Flows -  1,400 cfs in low flow. 6,000 in high flow. Temperature - Mid  to high 60's. Clarity - Clear.

Fishing on the Feather for half pounder steelhead has been so so of late but will be improving shortly. Summer run steelhead in the 12 to 18" range and an occasional 20 to 22" have found the net. They followed in the salmon which are getting ready to spawn in earnest. 

Nymphing of course is the best option for the most fish, however now is potentially time swinging for these fish as well. Things should pick up soon so stay tuned.
There are striper in the Feather right now as well but we simply haven't been targeting them much as fishing has been so good on the Delta.

If you plan to book trips with us in the Fall on the Feather for the Egg Bite, booking well in advance is highly recommended. We already have dates booked, and space is becoming limited for prime time so reserve today.

Steelhead Nymphs: San Juan Worms, Prince Nymphs 8 to 10, Birds Nests and Copper Johns 10 -14. Black, Green, and Tan B.H. Caddis Poopahs 14-16, Red Headed Step Child, Tungsten Salvation 14-16 and Micro Mays 14-16, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6-10 

Eggs: Micro Spawn and Sucker Spawn and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine )

Salmon and Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, olive sculpin.

Striper Streamers:  Byng's Baitfish - 1/0, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt.



Hat Creek trout - Good, Flows - 120 cfs at Hat #2, Water temps - mid 50's to low 60's Clarity - clear

Hat Creek is fishing well. The Powerhouse #2 riffle is pumping out some good fish in the mornings on Tricos. Further down you will see fish taking the small black caddis a little later in the morning. Small PMDs, Baetis and Callibaetis are hatching throughout the day depending upon the amount of cloud cover. Keep your setups simple with attractor nymphs such as Pheasant Tails, Amberwing Prince, and black Micro Mays. 

Nymphs : Hare's Ear and Pheasant Tails 14 -18, X Mays, Hogans S&M, Mercers Micro May, Mercers Poxyback PMD 16 - 18


Dries : Parachute Adams - 12 to 20, EC Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis (dark) or Missing Link - 16 - 18, Hackle Stacker PMD 14 - 16, Lawson's PMD 14 to 16, Parachute Cahil, 12 - 20
Guide Tip: A reliable source at The Fly Shop says that the "TB Drowned Trico Spinner is deadly in the mornings."



Klamath Steelhead - Fair to Good. Flows fluctuating 900 to 1,100 daily. Clarity - Good

Fishing is pretty good on the Klamath right now. Fish are definitely on  the move! These early season fish are super grabby, and are a ton of fun to target with a spey or switch rod. With colder water coming down through the system, the fish are continuing to migrate upstream and into the Trinity River. Fishing is currently good down near Weichpec. Swinging flies and dead drifting nymphs will both be productive tactics going forward. Moving into early Fall, we are anticipating that steelhead fishing will only gets better! 

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin, Articulated Marabou Leech.

Eggs: Clown Egg, Micro Spawn - Shrimp Pink or Salmon egg, Redd Reaper - Champagne

Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Legs - 4 - 8, 3-D Nymphs 8- 10, Red Copper Johns 14 - 18.


McCloud River Trout - Good. Flows - 235 cfs. Water temps mid 50's to low 60's. Clarity - Good.



The McCloud is looking and fishing awesome right now! This has been a great season already on this storied river and fish are being caught on a variety of different patterns, primarily black micro mays, red copper johns, and posse buggers. The prime time to get on the McCloud is right around the corner! In late October through November, the famed October Caddis will be hatching, and nothing gets the heart racing more than watching a giant brown trout move through water to eat a big dry fly!

Don't miss out on great fishing on the McCloud. Call (530)242-4122 during business hours or (707)287-2939 any time.




Nymphs: Mercer's Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Caddis, Skips October Caddis, Dark Lords - 12-16, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 14 to 18 (black and olive producing best) Red Copper Johns 16 - 18, 

Dry Flies: Stimulator - Orange, Foam October Caddis, Potter's October Caddis, Mercer's Skating October Caddis, Chernobyl Ant, Fat Albert, Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis  Tan 12-16, Mayfly Cripples 12-16 

Streamers: Wolly Buggers, Black or Olive Zonkers 6 to 10, Hale Bopp Leech - 8.


Napa River Striper- Good. Temps low to mid 60's. Clarity- Good.


Fishing is good on the Napa River right now along with the greater San Francisco Bay and Delta. Good numbers of fish in the system with some hefty ones finding the Boca Grip recently. Fish are in from town all the way out to the sloughs. Throwing sinking lines with clouser variants is the business. Keep moving until you find fish but this week we haven't had to move too far. If you are interested in a Napa Visit and want to include some fishing let us know.
As far as gear goes, you will want a 7 to 8 wt rod with sinking lines (T - 11 to T - 14) with 1/0 to 3/0 clouser style flies. Fishing the current seams, drop offs, structure should produce. We move a lot to find fish, but once you do...it's fish on!

Streamers: Black/gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0 to 3/0, Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and  Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.

Top water: Crease Flies


Pit River Trout - Good. Flows 1,750 cfs below Pit #3, 420 cfs through Pit #5.Water temps high 50's and low 60's. Clarity - clear


The Pit is fishing good right now! There have been quite a few bigger fish being caught. The top flies right now are black micro mays, birds nests, black rubberlegs, and tan poopahs. Fishing bigger streamers can be very effective also! In the near future, there will be a large release of water, so make sure you give us a call to check the flows before you plan to head out there! Pit 3 & 5 will not be accessible till about November due to flow changes, but Pit 4 should be alright! 

Nymphs: Best flies have been Birds Nests (beaded and non) 14-16. Zebra midges 18 to 20, X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 14 to 18 (black and olive producing best). Tan Fox's Poopahs 12 - 16, Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16, Zebra Midge 18 - 20, Bubble Back Caddis - Olive - 16, Mercer's Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Caddis, Skips October Caddis, Dark Lords - 12-16, Flashback P.T. 14-16

Dry Flies: Stimulator - Orange, Foam October Caddis, Potter's October Caddis, Mercer's Skating October Caddis, Chernobyl Ant, Fat Albert, Adams - #14-18, Elk Hair Caddis - Tan #12-16, Mayfly Cripples - #12-16 

Streamers: Black or Olive Zonkers 6 to 10, Hale Bopp Leech - 8.

Putah Creek - Good  Flows - 448 cfs. Clarity - Good (6+ feet). Water temps - mid to high 50's



Putah is fishing pretty well and will continue to improve right up to our self induced end of the season Dec 1st to allow for spawning on the awesome fishery. It is definitely go time right now. September, October and November are as good a time as you will find to target the large wild rainbows that call Putah Creek home. Located near the Napa Valley and about 1 hour from San Francisco Putah provides unparalleled fishing for what we consider "trophy trout". 

Small nymphs like midges and baetis are the name of the game here. You will also want 5 and 6x tippet and plenty of shot to get your flies down. A 5 or 6 wt rod is best. A wading belt is a must and a wading staff is not a bad idea either.

Guide Tip: Remember to use plenty of weight and long leaders to get your flies down to the fish. Try a long non tapered leaders and plenty of shot to get flies down to the desired depth. Also you may want to give streamers a go right now too. You  never know, you may hook the fish of a lifetime.


Russian River Steelhead - Poor. Smallmouth - Poor Shad - Poor. Flows - 100 cfs Guernville. Temps - 60's to 70's. Water clarity - Good

Fishing has been so so for smallmouth recently on the Russian. This is not the typical numbers fishery that most smallmouth waters are.  Recent cooler weather has slowed fishing. From now on it will be a streamer scenario entirely. Quite honestly we have shifted our focus to Putah Creek and the Delta but will be lookng foreward to steelhead fishing on the Russian this Winter. 

To get on the call list for steelhead for this coming season please call. (707)287-2939.

Smallmouth Flies: Small poppers in a variety of colors such as green, white, yellow, brown etc.such as  #2 - 4 Pultz Poppers,  Brown Wolly Buggers, Clouser Minnows #2-6.

Smallmouth Flies: Small poppers in a variety of colors such as green, white, yellow, brown etc. #2 - 4 Pultz Poppers Brown, black or Olive Wolly Buggers.

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin, Articulated Marabou Leech.

Eggs: Clown Egg, Micro Spawn - Shrimp Pink or Salmon egg, Redd Reaper - Champagne

Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Legs - 4 - 8, 3-D Nymphs 8- 10, Red Copper Johns 14 - 18.

For more on the Russian River click here...


San Francisco Bay Striper - Fair to Good - Water temps - 60's, Clarity - Stained to clear depending on tide/location


We continue find good numbers of fish in the San Francisco Bay. It is all about hitting the tides right at the right light angle. Some days are better than others but most days continue to be predictably good. Striper are the name of the game right now. Good water flows and healthy bait population continue to provide a fantastic environment throughout this fishery. Anglers with a modicum of casting ability tend to do best however our guides are good at setting up even first time striper anglers for success. There are even some near shore opportunities for Kelp Bass depending on conditions. Despite the challenges of this fishery there is something inherently cool about fly fishing within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge!



Having a competent captain is even more imperative in the San Francisco Bay and on the Delta than some of the other fisheries in California. Fortunately we have the best in the biz! 

If you will be in San Francisco Bay Area or live close and want to get out and give this a try give us a ring at (530)242-4122(O) (707)287-2939 (C)

Streamers: Black/gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0 to 3/0, Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and  Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.

For more on fly fishing the San Francisco Bay click here...


Lower Sacramento Trout - Great!!!. Flows 7,200 cfs out of Keswick. Water Temps - Lower 50's. Clarity - Ultra Clear (10 ft vis) 

One of Shane's good repeat clients with a beaut!

Releases from Keswick are down to 7,200 CFS creating some decent walk and wade potential up top(above Highway 44). We have seen a ton of different things happen on this river over the past 3 years, and right now, the Lower Sac is fishing better than it ever has! We are seeing salmon starting to make their way upstream, as well as steelhead! There are already good numbers of them in the lower area near Barge Hole. The fishing throughout the river has been absolutely insane! We continue to see good numbers of BIG fish in the net. The mornings are all about midges, and as the day progresses you will find more baetis and caddis. Good flies to throw are Black Zebras, small Cinnamon Poopahs, Bird's Nests and Black Micro Mays. If you can get on the river around 5 p.m. you will be able to get in on some good dry fly fishing as caddis hatches have been phenomenal!

Note: please stay off the reds in the upper river as Chinook Salmon are spawning in this area.

Nymphs: Best flies have been Birds Nests (beaded and non) 14-16. Zebra midges 18 to 20, X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 14 to 18 (black and olive producing best). Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16, Zebra Midge 18 - 20, Bubble Back Caddis - Olive - 16

Dries:  Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Missing Link - 18, Norman's Loopwing BWO - 18

Eggs: Micro Spawn - Peachy King, Shrimp Pink

Guide tip: Lower Sac fish are notorious for the lightest of takes. Fish will mouth small flies and spit them out without any visible hints transferred up the line to the indicator. Often guests will turn and look at the guide and ask "was that a fish?" after a slight pause or just the lightest of "tick" visible on the indicator. Set on everything! We recommend you set first ask questions later.

Give us a ring to get out for a memorable trip by calling (707)287-2939 or emailing us at info@offthehookflyfishing.com

Upper Sacramento Trout - Good. Flows - 180 cfs at Delta. Water Clarity - Clear. Water temps - 60's 

The Upper Sac is fishing awesome right now. 
The Delta Fire has finally been contained, and there is ample access down to the river. The fire damage is pretty extensive as soon as you pass Lakehead on I-5 up until Flume Creek. Regardless, the river looks great right now. Good flies to use right now are Two-Bit Hookers, Sweet Peas, and Dark Lords. It is also the time of year to start looking for big browns, so don't be afraid to dead drift a sculpin pattern or strip a big streamer through the deeper pools and runs! 

Dries: Stimulators 12 -14, March Brown - 18, Adams 12-20, Parachute Adams 12-20, Chubby Chernobyl Golden 8 -10, Mercer's Flush Floater Foam Stone - 8

Nymphs:  Rubber Leg Stone - Brown 6 - 8, Two Bit Hookers 16 -18, Mercer's Poxyback Stone and Solitude Stone - 8 to 14, Dark Lords, G.B. Birds Nest 10 - 14, Amber Wing Prince 12 - 18, Mercer's Micro May 14-16. Hogan's S&M Green, Brown or Black 16 to 20.

Streamers: Black or Olive Zonkers 6 to 10, Back Brown or Olive Wooly Bugger 6 -10, Hale Bopp Leech - 8.

Guide Tip: Tie on a bushy dry and a heavy bead head dropper and have a great time. The fish aren't huge, but very fun and it's not crowded at all.


Trinity River Steelhead - Good. Flows 470 at Lewiston. Temps - cold. Clarity - Good.


Fishing is about to take off on the Trinity. Highway 299 is currently open without any restrictions. Lewiston Dam releases remain at 470 CFS and there are Steelhead moving up out of the Klamath! There are good numbers of fish in the system down in the lower reaches all the way up. Now would be a good time to get out the switch rod and swing one up. Flies like the Burnt Chicken, Silver Hilton, and Assassin will be your best options for swinging patterns right now. We are super excited that the steelhead are finally here, but it will only get better as we approach Fall! 



Give us a call to book your dates as our guides are almost all booked up. (530)242-4122, (707)287-2939



Steehead Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16. Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine)

Steelhead Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey in black/blue and Black/Chart, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, Olive Sculpins, Cream Soft Hackles and Blood Sucking Leaches. Olive buggers, U name its, Olive Sculpin.


Yuba River Trout - Good. Striper - Fair. Flows 750 cfs at Englebright. below Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - gin clear.

Trout fishing on the Lower Yuba has been fairly good recently with not much changed in recent weeks. There are some fish to be had but folks are working for them a little. A few Salmon have returned to the lower river and with them California steelhead. They along with resident rainbows have been eating rubber leg and mayfly nymphs pretty well. Try a variety of techniques from nymphing the deeper runs and pools to dry fly fishing in the eddys. Warmer summer weather has also brought grasshoppers to the river banks, so fishing near the banks with the appropriate dries is worth your attention as well. Best trout flies should include hoppers, golden stones, Yellow sallies, caddis, tan soft hackles and streamers.

Trout Nymphs: Golden Stones, Rubber Legs in brown and yellow, 8 to 12, CDC Prince Nymph, Fox's Poopah, Bird's Nests 14 to 16, Speroni's Baetis 16 - 20, Hogan's S&M, Military May, Mercer's Micro May Olive, Brown, Black 16 - 20,  Hogan’s S&M nymph (olive, brown) -18, and Copper Johns (red, olive, copper) 14-18.  

Trout Dries: Dave's Hopper, Parachute Adams, Light Cahill, Parachute Light Cahill 14 to 16, Pink Alberts 14 to 16 Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Hackle Stacker PMD 14 - 16, Lawson's PMD 14 to 16, Quiggly's Hackle Stacker 14 - 16, CDC Thorax 14 - 18, BWO Parachutes -18.

Trout Streamers: Olive and Brown wolly buggers 8 -12.



Yosemite Trout - Good. Water temps - Low 60's to high 50's at elevation. Flows - Low. Clarity- Gin clear.




Fishing is good throughout Yosemite with fish gearing up for winter. Evenings have been fishing best. A three of 4 weight rod is a good choice for this area. Keep an eye out for continued PMD and some BWO hatches this coming week. This will allow you to pick fish off on the surface which is a blast.

Fly suggestions - Standard Adams or Parachute Adams 14 to 18, Elk Hair Caddis 16 to 18, PMD dries, BWO dries and  Humpies 16 to 18, Hares Ears, and P.T. nymphs 14 to 18.

Guide Tip - Stealth is a must with water conditions this low and clear. Fish early and late. If you are wanting to fish the high country get out soon before it's too late

Lake Almanor Trout - Good. Surface temps - 62 to 65  Deg. Water clarity - Clear (8 to 20 feet)



Things are just about to jump off on Lake Almanor! Cooling evening temperatures are signaling what's to come. The Fall transition is in effect and the smelt are on the move. Expect to see some good streamer fishing soon. Most of the bigger rainbows are moving out of the springs looking for smelt. Early pre-spawn browns are also on the prowl and looking to bulk up for the task ahead. Currently both of the above are scattered across the lake so having good sonar and being observant is key. If you are interested in giving Almanor a go think about being up here October 10th on. Fishing can be truly epic from October through January.

Best flies: Ice cream cone midges - 16 to 18, Smelt patterns, Balanced Minnows, Clouser Minnows.

Guide Tip: Look for rising fish and keep a close eye on your sonar is helpful. If you are looking to fish think about October 10th and later. Fishing can be Epic from October through January so you have plenty of time.