14 Dec 18
LAKE OROVILLE: Jamie Sorensen of North Valley Tackle fished the lake again this week, and although it wasn’t as hot as last week when the lake reopened after the fire closure, it was still pretty darn good for bass. He found his fish in the main lake area, where the temperature was 56 degrees. He looked into the south, north and west forks, but the water was muddy and colder. Sorensen caught his fish from the bank out to 20 feet, on drop-shot, shaking a worm, and had one on the crankbait. The lake is dropping quickly. The only ramp open at Bidwell may soon be on the dirt.
FEATHER RIVER: Fishing for salmon has been slow. Salmon season ends on Sunday. Although a few stripers are being caught near Yuba City, overall striper fishing is slow. There have been no reports of sturgeon yet at the mouth of the Bear River. A few steelhead are biting above Gridley.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Salmon season closes on Sunday. After blowing out for a few days, fishing was very good at the Barge Hole from Tuesday on. T55 FlatFish have been tricking late-fall kings. Trout and steelhead fishing also is good. Flows at Keswick Dam are down to 3,990 cfs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Salmon fishing was good last week below Red Bluff, where late-fall kings have been moving through. T55 FlatFish have worked best. The river closes to salmon fishing on Sunday. Steelhead fishing has been good, with roe working best.
North Coast Rivers
North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFW’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886.New low flow closures for Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, Oct. 1-April 30, call (707) 822-3164 for Mendocino, (707) 944-5533 for Sonoma, Marin and Napa.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore.: Salmon fishing has been slow, although a 45-pounder was released a week ago, according to WON Staff Writer Andy Martin. Flows dropped below 1,000 cfs late last week, but were quickly rising after Sunday’s rain. A bigger rain event is expected this weekend, and could push the river to the 20,000-cfs mark. If that happens, expect steelhead as the Chetco drops. Guide and WON Field Reporter Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service said that Tim Enimen of Vancouver, Washington found an 8-pound native hen steelie caught at Pete’s Place on yarn and a Fish Pill that was released.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: The river has been fairly low the past week, but schools of salmon were holding in the deeper pools below the hatchery. More salmon likely will arrive with this week’s rain.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Steelhead fishing remains slow near Gold Beach. Salmon season has been over for several weeks now. The next high-water event should pull in the first of the winter steelhead.
RUSSIAN RIVER: As of the weekend the Russian was flowing at 350 cfs with a light tea color, according to Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “ Fishing has been fair with mostly small steelhead in the 1-to 3-pound range, but there have also been some adults caught up to 14 pounds. With low water conditions, comets and small intruders with a light sink tip have been effective for the flyfisherman. Jigs or roe under a float has been the ticket for gear guys. Not much rain in the forecast, so check the flow before you go by calling 707-944-5533 to make sure the Russian is open to fishing.”
SMITH RIVER: Salmon and steelhead fishing is slow, although lots of half-pounders are around. The river dropped below 900 cfs and would close if it got below 600 cfs, but rains over the weekend have it on the rise. More rain is expected throughout the week. WON Field Reporter and guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service said that “salmon season is about over, although we did see a smattering of steelhead show up. The river is gin clear and we need rain.”
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: The river has been fishable for fall salmon, but fishing has been slow.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The upper river remained in good shape, with flows of 930 cfs at Iron Gate Dam. Drifting beads, Glo Bugs or roe has been productive for steelhead, most of which are wild. Fishing pressure has been light.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The Middle Klamath remained in good shape for steelhead, with flows of 1,260 cfs at Seiad Valley and 2,390 cfs at Orleans. Drifting roe has been productive. Fishing pressure has been light.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: The lower Klamath is in good shape for fishing, just under 5,000 cfs, but rain is expected throughout the week, with a bigger storm this weekend. Few anglers are fishing for steelhead.
TRINITY RIVER: Steelhead fishing has been good throughout the Trinity, with bank anglers enjoying good success near Junction City. Drifting roe or nightcrawlers has worked well, said Tim Brady of Trinity Outdoors in Weaverville. Boaters are using small MagLip plugs or drifting roe below bobbers. Flows at Lewiston have remained steady just under 300 cfs. They were 292 cfs on Sunday. Flows at Douglas City have been 340 cfs. Flows at Junction City have held steady at 355 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 1,020 cfs over the weekend.
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Fishing has slowed down after the storm, all the tributaries are running water and the lake has stained up making the bite tougher. The glidebait bite will stay on hold until the clarity picks up. The main focus has been on jigs at the north end of the lake in natural colors. There are still reports of quality spoon fish being caught in deeper water.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: Still no report for fishing conditions. The lake level remains very low even with recent rains. Normally they begin to fill the lake this time of year but they have kept Stoney Gorge low to do some work at one of the boat ramps so the extra water storage is minimal.
CLEAR LAKE: Fishing has slowed this past week for bass anglers with not many boats out targeting them. Water clarity is good and the level has risen after recent rains. Jumbo minnows can always be used this time of year to catch fish, even when the bite is tough. Crappie and catfish have still been biting really well, good numbers of crappie reported near Shag rock.
LAKE SONOMA: The lake hosted a bass tournament this past weekend so it saw some added fishing pressure. Boats did well fishing jigs and produced a number of the best fish caught and weighed during the event. Fish were also caught on crankbaits, shakey heads, Ned rigs, Senkos and drop-shots.
UPPER BLUE LAKES: A trout plant happened last month at the resort. The owners said there were 1000 pounds of what they called “Tennessee trout,” released. The resort is currently closed until the first of the year and they said they didn’t know of anyone fishing the lake recently unless they had a key to the gate, although you can fish right off Hwy. 20 that borders the lake.
Far North Lakes and Rivers
LAKE ALMANOR: Ice buildup is being reported at certain areas around the lake. Trout fishing has been good for anglers trolling hardware at the north end of the lake and near Rec #2. Fisherman have been doing well in the coves fishing bait, hardware and flies.
BAUM LAKE: Fly fishing is really picking up and should only get better with colder conditions. Midges are working great, zebra midges, Mercers Midgling, frostbite midge, and chromie midges are great flies this time of year. For surface flies griffith gnat, leeches, and woolleybuggers.
EAGLE LAKE: Lake is freezing up at the north end. The south basin of the lake is still accessible and fishing remains good. Trolling Jay Fair flies in olive or hot orange. Bank fishing is also good; ‘Crawlers under a float near the bottom, flies, and grubs are all producing fish. The lake has been foggy so boat with caution, there is also 3 inches of snow on the ground with icy road conditions.
LEWISTON LAKE: Fishing has slowed some but anglers can still go and catch their fish with a little more work. Midge pattern flies, zebra midges, Mercers Midgling, or a hopper dropper with a midge under a Parachute Adam work.
PIT RIVER: No recent fishing reports due to very high flows and unsafe wading conditions. Pit 5 might be near fishable but use caution and check the flows.
SHASTA LAKE: Bass fishing has been up and down. Good weather conditions have allowed for some great swimbait fishing, but weather is an important factor. For numbers finesse style fishing is always a good alternative this time of year. Ned rigs, drop-shot rigs, shakey head jigs, and tubes can all produce. For bigger fish use jigs, and if conditions are conducive use reaction baits for aggressive feeding fish. Trout are still feeding on top. Trolling hardware, and float n’ fly techniques have reported nice fish near Centimundi launch ramp.
TRINITY LAKE: Trinity Lake was recently planted with 30K kings which will certainly help with sustainability of that valuable recreational fishery. Trinity Lake boasts a good population of the state’s largest land locked kings and keeping that program alive and well is very important for Trinity County commerce around the lake, but also for the recreational fishing interests in the area as well.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: The major concern for Whiskeytown Lake is the ash and siltation deposits as a result of the Carr fire. The Whiskeytown Lake tributaries are at risk after recent storms from all the run off into the lake leaving officials concerned during the annual Kokanee salmon spawning period.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA RESERVOIR: Access is still good according to Miles Zimmeman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Boca is offering some of the Truckee area’s most consistent trout fishing from shore. Most anglers focus on the dam. The lake level is very low.
CARSON RIVER (East, West): Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the weather is freezing. He drove down to the year-round catch and release special regulations section three days in a row and didn’t see so much as a single angler’s car. Everything is cold and icy with more weather expected.
DAVIS LAKE: No fishing report this week from either J&J’s Grizzly Store or Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden. Access is getting challenging due to snow and ice, with 4-wheel-drive recommended on east side access points and the entirety of the west side. There’s 6 feet of ice along the shore North Cove, but the lake is far from frozen. Last week the lake was giving up nice rainbows on lures tossed at the dam and on bait at Mallard Cove.
DONNER LAKE: Donner is still accessible for shore fishing, and the trouting is good, although shoreline Mackinaw are poor. Trollers are scratching up a few trout and the odd Mack. The launch ramp is open with snow on the launch, so exercise care. The concrete apron is still out of the water making for difficult boat launching.
GOLD LAKES BASIN: You’ll need a snowmobile to access the Gold Lakes Basin, Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said. He reminded anglers that ice fishing isn’t safe under 4 inches, but he prefers 6 inches or greater.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park): Karen Ward at Sly Park Resort said the few anglers making the trip are catching a few but nothing major yet. The weather’s been funky, with first snow and then rain. Ward said the next couple days of good weather should bring in the fishermen, because this pattern usually brings the macks up.
LAKE TAHOE: Between blows, Lake Tahoe weather has been gorgeous, according to multiple sources. The fishing is good, too, with Mackinaw limits on 3- to 5-pound fish all round for the Tahoe Sportfishing boats at Rubicon Bay and the South Shore, but anglers are scarce. Most of the lake trout are post-spawn.
PROSSER RESERVOIR: Prosser has developed ice on the main body, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee. It’s still open to fishing from shore, for trout on bait around the dam area.
PYRAMID LAKE: Weather was frigid at Pyramid Lake, with daytime high temperatures barely reaching above freezing and the surface water temperature a chilly 42 degrees, yet the cutthroat still bit. The heaviest fish of the week was a 22.5 caught by Cutthroat Charters associate guide John Oppio, but it seems the shore anglers did better for overall numbers. There were a variety of fish from 13 to 11 pounds checked in at Crosby’s Lodge. Fly casters might try balanced leeches or tui chub streamers, while spin fishers fling large bleeding frog pattern spoons.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the lake can be accessed via Hobart Mills Road. Shore anglers fishing around the campground and the boat launch are experiencing good trout fishing. The lake level is nice and high. The launch ramp is probably doable but Zimmerman hasn’t heard of anyone trying.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Except for the section from the mouth of Trout Creek at Glenshire Drive to the Nevada state line, the Truckee River has closed for the season. Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the artificial-only portion of the river is fishing well, and recommended nymphing slow water such as deeper tailouts. Bluewing olives and midges are coming out.
WEBBER LAKE: The access gate has been closed for the season. Determined anglers can walk in. The road was covered in snow last week.
WEST WALKER RIVER: Jenna Casanova of the Walker General Store said she didn’t see any fishermen this week. It’s “darn cold,” making it smarter to stay inside by the fire.
AMERICAN RIVER: Salmon season closes this weekend. Fishing has been slow. Flows over the weekend at Fair Oaks were 1,820 cfs.
FOLSOM LAKE: The lake level is 392 feet elevation, unchanged from a week ago. The lake now has a 5 mph speed limit since it is below 400 feet elevation. The low water ramp at Granite Nay and the Hobie Cove ramp at Brown’s Ravine are the only two ramps in operation. Speedy Shiners with flashers are tricking trout and salmon near Brown’s Ravine 30 to 40 feet down. Few anglers are bass fishing now.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Trout fishing is slow. Flows dropped form 400 cfs to 250 cfs last week.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: A few sturgeon have been reported at Knights Landing, but overall success has been poor. More muddy water is needed to bring sturgeon in from the bay. Striper fishing is slow. Salmon season closes Sunday. Few anglers are still salmon fishing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Salmon season closes Sunday. Fishing has been slow, although a few fish were caught near Garcia Bend a week ago. Some stripers are being caught at the Port of Sacramento on minnows or spoon jigs.
BULLARDS BAR: The lake is good for numbers of small spotted bass. Now that it’s December, the larger models should start showing soon.
CAMP FAR WEST: The lake remains extremely low, requiring boaters to launch off a gravel ramp. Small aluminum boats can make it, but owners of larger or fiberglass boats should look elsewhere. Tin boaters are catching and releasing bass. North Shore Resort is now open only Saturday/Sunday.
COLLINS LAKE: Fishing pressure remained light at slightly stained Collins Lake, which resulted in a zeroed-out whopper list. The trout are on top, accessible equally to shore anglers and trollers. Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said a couple of his customers told him they fished by the power lines and did well by trolling Rapalas.
ENGLEBRIGHT: Lisa Rogers of Skipper’s Cove Marina said the lake is still full and that on Saturday, there were a couple boats of fishermen who each caught two nice 18- to 24-inch rainbows at the Narrows while trolling.
FRENCH MEADOWS: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said this lake is snowed in.
HELL HOLE: Hell Hole is snowed in, according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle.
ROLLINS LAKE: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said Rollins isn’t a bad choice now. There are browns to be had trolling up the Bear River arm and bass all over the lake. The water level is low so he recommended launching a boat at Orchard Springs.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: There’s still duck hunting here, Jamie Sorensen of North Valley Tackle warns, advising anglers to avoid the lake or at least stay away from from the tule patches.
BERKELEY: On some days the Berkeley fleet remained tied to the dock due to gnarly winds and seas. Those other days however were awesome. Happy Hooker, California Dawn and the boats from Berkeley Charter Boats made it out to fish hard in the morning, either along the Marin Coast or if the seas were calm enough, out to the Farallones. Every trip was limits of Dungeness, most trips were limits of rockfish with some lingcod like frosting on top of a fishy cake.
BODEGA BAY: Massive quantities of adult anchovies made Bodega bay an interesting place. Larger rockfish absolutely love anchovies, so the reds and coppers were excited and voracious. New Sea Angler made late week and weekend trips to Point Reyes for the great rockfish and lingcod action and on the way back had no problem getting limits of large Dungeness. Perch fishers did well at Dillon Beach and Doran Beach.
EMERYVILLE: Andy Guiliano at Fish Emeryville reported solid action on rockfish and heavy pots of Dungeness for all anglers on all boats. The sea conditions didn’t allow trips every day, but when they did, the call of the sea was answered by Salty Lady, Tigerfish, New Huck Finn, Pacific Pearl and Sea Wolf. Just off the shore at Emeryville, there were striped bass caught by boaters soaking baits on anchor.
EUREKA: A two-day window gave people a chance to get boats out over the bar and crab in open water. Those traps had been there for days and were loaded with enough crab that boats like Sea Weasle II could pick and choose which crab to keep for limits, then let the rest go. Crabbing inside Humboldt Bay was better than expected, with much of the action between the Coast Guard and the jetty.
FORT BRAGG: Every report that came in from boats including Sea Hawk, Capt. Tuna and Viking repeated the term, “limits of crab”. Most trips were combo trips and the skippers found the reefs off Cleone were very productive for rockfish up to 6 or 7 pounds and for lingcod considerably larger than that. Shore fishers were able to expand their horizons and fish both down the coast and up the coast for rockfish, kelp greenling, cabezon and lingcod.
HALF MOON BAY: Huli Cat and Queen of Hearts made frequent forays down the coast to work the reef zones off Pescadero and San Gregorio. Combo trips meant adding limits of Dungeness after spending the morning hook and lining rockfish and lingcod. Crabbers inside half Moon Bay harbor did fairly well. Up the coast at pacific Pier, some were taking home limits of crabs according to marque Glisson at New Coastside Bait & Tackle.
SAN FRANCISCO: Boat activity was very quiet at Fisherman’s Wharf, partly due to the weather and seas and partly due to seasonal boat work and time off. Shore fishers were busy catching redtail perch and barred surfperch along beaches from the Gate on down to near Pacifica. Inside the Bay, perching was good near Hunter Point where striped bass and leopard sharks were main targets.