19 Jul 19
FEATHER RIVER: Salmon season is now open. Many anglers are running FlatFish plugs with sardine wraps. Striper fishing has slowed, with the run winding down. Fish are being caught on the lower river on cut bait. A few shad are available near Yuba City.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Salmon season opens Aug. 1, along with trout fishing above the Highway 44 bridge. Flows from Keswick are stable at 11,400 cfs. Trout fishing has been very good near Anderson. Afternoon hatches are drawing fly anglers to the river. Runoff from creeks has colored the water.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Salmon season is now open. Most anglers are targeting kings with T55 FlatFish and sardine wraps. Shad fishing has slowed down for the season. Anglers are hunting for trophy-size stripers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Salmon season is now open. Striper fishing is slow. Fishing for catfish is good near Verona and Knights Landing. Shad fishing has slowed.
TRINITY RIVER: Spring salmon fishing is best between Douglas City and Cedar Flat for driftboaters, while bank anglers are concentrating on the Junction City area, where access is best. Many anglers are catching their one-fish daily limit on tuna balls or roe. The spring flush is winding down. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston Dam were 941 cfs, while flows at Douglas City were 1,061 cfs and flows at Junction City were 1,150 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 2,007 cfs.
FEATHER RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said the water level is dropping. It’s still cold, and most of the big fish have moved out of the system, but there are still plenty of 12- to 16-inch trout to catch. He recommended parachute Adams flies and said hoppers are just starting to come out. Dangle one with a midge in the late afternoon and let it run through the rapids. For conventional anglers, nightcrawlers are still top getters. Fishing is still good, which he said is amazing given it’s July.
Far North lakes and rivers
LAKE ALMANOR: The hex hatch is winding down, although reports have differed from one angler to another. Time and location is playing a big part this season and the fishermen that are in the right place at the right time are catching some really nice big trout and smallmouth bass on dry flies.
BAUM LAKE: The bite has been better in the late evening when the insect hatches are thickest. Leeches, zebra midges, and small emergers like caddisflies, midges, nymphs, and golden stones are still producing best.
BUCKS LAKE: Reports continue to come in about the increased kokanee action around the lake. Small hardware like a Wedding Ring spinner behind dodgers has been producing easy limits in the morning with an occasional rainbow mixed in between. Mackinaw action has still been quiet.
EAGLE LAKE: Water temperatures are rising and the fish are starting to change into the late summer pattern as they move out into deeper water and start feeding on the native tule chubs in the lake. There are still plenty of fish to be caught from the surface down to 18 feet and hot orange is still the top color around the lake.
FALL RIVER: The hex hatch is wide open right now and fly anglers are doing really well on emergers and dry flies in the late afternoon and evening until the last light of the day.
HAT CREEK: The fishing is still best early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Caddisflies and golden stones are hatching really well in the late afternoon and that has been the best bite of the day. Spinners and spoons are also working for some in the early morning.
LEWISTON LAKE: The flows have been bouncing up and down from the Trinity dam again making it difficult for anyone to anticipate the fishing before the long drive up there. Woollybuggers and callibaetis PMD’s, golden stones, and smaller flies fished with an indicator are recommended right now.
PIT RIVER: Pits 3 through 5 are all fishing right now but the flows have dropped again this past week. Pit 1 has gotten too warm and the fish have moved to cooler water. Dark colored flies are always a staple for this system.
SHASTA LAKE: Big rainbows and browns are on the bite in the main lake and are being found out between 50 and 60 feet deep with spoons and dodgers off of downriggers. The bass fishing is still good out deep for most anglers and the reaction bite has been pretty dead with the exception of some topwater action that has been day to day.
TRINITY LAKE: Big bass are still on the chew on main lake points out to 25 feet deep with soft plastics, drop-shot rigs, big swimbaits, glidebaits, and there has been some early morning and late afternoon topwater action. There hasn’t been much for trolling action seen the past couple of weeks around the lake.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: Big healthy kokanee are still being caught around the lake with dodgers and hoochies, Paulina Peak Tackle, Wedding Rings, all tipped with corn kernels that have been soaked in scents and bait attractants.
AMERICAN RIVER: Salmon season is now open. Many anglers will focus near Discovery Park early in the season. Shad are still being caught down to Ancil Hoffman Park, but the run is winding down. A few large homeguard stripers have been reported chasing shad. Flows at Fair Oaks have dropped to 4,020 cfs, down from 5,000 cfs a week ago.
FOLSOM LAKE: The lake level dropped a foot last week, from 458 feet elevation to 457. The lake is 9 feet from full pool. Inflows and outflows are stable. The water temperature is 81 degrees. Trout fishing is fair. Bass fishing remains good. Granite Bay, Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. Boat traffic has been heavy.
RANCHO SECO LAKE: Bass, bluegill and crappie are being caught. Trout fishing is slow and about over for the year with no more plants coming until winter.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: With flows down to 434 cfs, the upper Sacramento is in good shape for trout. Fishing has been good, with hatches throughout the afternoon.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Salmon season opened July 16. Most anglers are concentrating on the mouth of the American River, trolling spinners or anchoring and fishing FlatFish. Shad fishing is slow. Striper fishing has improved in the deepwater channel and Port of Sacramento for shore anglers. A few stripers are being caught at Freeport and Garcia Bend.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: Fishing is good between Hornbrook and I-5. Fly fishing has been very good. Flows from Iron Gate Dam are 896 cfs, their lowest level so far this season. The first salmon of the season should arrive in mid-September.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The Klamath is now in good shape for steelhead and trout, but effort is very light. Flows over the weekend at Happy Camp were 1,200 cfs, and flows at Orleans were 2,498 cfs. Expect salmon to arrive in August.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Salmon fishing in the estuary picked up over the weekend as schools of kings moved in from the ocean. Some trollers reported very good fishing. Spinners and anchovies are working best. Fishing remains slow for bank anglers at the spit. Fishing is also slow upriver. Flows at Klamath Glen are 5,182 cfs.
BULLARDS BAR RESERVOIR: The kokanee bite keeps on going. The fish are in all the regular places and even beyond, and it appears they are holding a little deeper. Start shallow and work your way down to 50 feet as the day wears on.
COLLINS LAKE: Recreational boat traffic is high and the lake is in its summer mode. Anglers take refuge in coves and along the dam or up the inlet arm, or fish from shore. Very few fish were checked in at the Recreation Area’s headquarters this week, the most notable of which was a 6-pound catfish that bit a trout troller’s offering. Crappie were also in the count, an even dozen caught on green worms by the fishing dock.
LAKE OROVILLE: The landlocked king bite was solid mid-week but slowed after a couple of super-heated summer days. The fish responded by sinking to depths as deep as 70 feet. Quality is still good, with many of the landlocked kings checking in at 16 to 18 inches. Meanwhile, the bass have moved further off the bank, to 30 to 40 feet, and are best targeted with finesse techniques such as drop-shot, but there’s likely an early morning topwater bite along shade lines.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: The water level and temperature have been consistently good, but after a decent week of bassing the average size slumped back to mediocre. Local bass men such as Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle keep on trying in the hopes of catching some of the nice largemouth this water is known for. What else are you going to do?
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Bass and kokanee are still biting great around the lake. Anglers are catching kokanee between 50 and 60 feet deep early and between 60 and 80 feet once the sun gets up while trolling with hoochies and Dodgers. Bass are biting topwater early some days but the worm and jig bite has been best.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: There has been good topwater action early and late in the day with steady reaction bait bites during the day. Better quality bass are sitting in the submerged tree tops and can be triggered into biting by bulging spinnerbaits at high speeds.
BLUE LAKES: 2,000 trout were planted into the lake recently and the fishing remains good from shore and by boat. Bass fishing has slowed down the past couple of weeks with the hotter temperatures, but anglers have been catching some monster carp. The resort has been booked to capacity, so make sure to call in advance before going.
EAST PARK: The lake level is dropping and algae bloom has started in the shallow arms of the lakes. The creek channel and deeper edges have been holding better quality fish for jig and worm anglers. Crappie fishing has been slow and catfish are biting at night on the east side of the lake and near the dam.
CLEAR LAKE: Topwater action has been hit and miss from day to day but anglers are doing well worm fishing on deep rocks, tule edges, and deeper weed lines that are holding bait fish. Catfish have been feeding actively at night.
LAKE SONOMA: Landlocked steelhead are still being caught by boats out trolling and an occasional bass fisherman hooks one. The bass fishing is still good on Senkos and soft plastics during the day, topwater baits in the early morning and later afternoon.
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 are being caught in the ocean just off the mouth. With anchovies along the jetties, feeder kings may be moving back and forth with the tides. Trout fishing is slow upriver.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: The Rogue Bay fished well Thursday and Friday, but was slower over the weekend. Some guides are catching up to four kings a day. The water temperature at Agness reached 74 degrees over the weekend, preventing salmon from leaving the bay. Trolling anchovies is producing the most salmon. Surfperch are being caught along the South Jetty.
RUSSIAN RIVER, Guerneville: Summer dams are up, shad fishing is over and it’s now in summer mode, which means smallmouth bass early and late in quieter sections of the river.
SMITH RIVER, Smith River: Fishing has slowed for trout. Salmon won’t arrive at the mouth until September.
UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Ore.: Salmon fishing is good, with a mix of hatchery coho and kings. Some guides are now limiting out.
Sierra lakes and rivers
BOCA LAKE: Work continues on the Boca dam, the water level is low and the dam road is closed. Only the eastern shoreline is available for bank fishing or launching small boats. Waterskiers and other recreational boaters coming to the ramp via the long way through Prosser are creating heavy boat traffic.
BLUE LAKES: WON editor Bill Karr visited Blue Lakes and he found none of the campgrounds open although the host is set up and it looks like the Lower Blue Lake campground should open soon. At Lower Blue Lake the launch ramp is open and people were launching small boats and kayaks. The road to Twin Lakes and Mosquito Lake from Lower Blue Lake is still gated off, and the road to Upper Blue Lake is still closed.
CAPLES LAKE: WON editor Bill Karr visited Caples Lake and he found it ice-free and full with the launch open, although there was little boat traffic. Caples Lake Resort is open and ready for rental boats, bait shop, meals and lodging.
CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the heavy private stocking of the East and West Carson continued, with 1,800 pounds planted last week and another 1,800 pounds due the upcoming week. The rivers didn’t receive much pressure over the weekend, as the “Death Ride” bicycle race descended on town with some 2,000 competitors and spectators, but those who managed to wet a line did well. WON editor Bill Karr sampled the West Fork at higher elevation off Blue Lakes Road and caught a mess of brook trout but didn’t see a single rainbow in any of the popular holes, suggesting that area has yet to be stocked.
DAVIS LAKE: Ed Dillard of Dillard’s Fishing Guide Service said Davis is fishing great for rainbows up to 18 inches plus a lot of catchable-size stockers to release. Shore anglers who can make a long cast are finding success at Mallard, but otherwise it’s tough. Bass are biting too, the largemouth variety, according to Jeanne Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store at Lightning Tree, Boat Ramp Cove and off Eagle Point on jigs, Rooster Tails, frogs and worms.
DONNER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said Donner fished reasonably well from shore, making it a good option for families looking to fish for a couple hours. Trollers are finding a few Mackinaw in deeper water to 120 feet, and even the kokanee have sounded down to 60 to 80 feet.
FRENCHMAN LAKE: A Goodwin’s and Son staffer said anglers are catching trout at the dam, and some have been up to 18 to 20 inches. Turkey Point is another hotspot.
GOLD LAKES BAIN: Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said Sardine Lake is fishing best. At Gold Lake, the larger fish, Macks and browns, have moved deeper, to 25 to 40 feet down. Boaters have the best chance at getting them.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: This Markleeville area water continues to fish very well for trout.
JACKSON MEADOWS LAKE: This lake is nice and high and fishing well, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. He suggested trying for trout around the dam or inlet using worms or Power Bait.
LAKE TAHOE: The Mackinaw bite rebounded, according to multiple sources, with nice fat fish to 9 pounds biting limit-style, but this was despite heavy boat traffic that sometimes had to be tolerated if it couldn’t be avoided. On the South and West shores the bite was at 160 to 180 feet, and on the North in the 150s. Kokanee can be had at the South Shore up shallow, in only 20 feet of water, and their size is improving to 13 to 14 inches.
PROSSER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said Prosser has been consistent all day for bass. Trout are possible, but best in the early morning. Both species can be targeted at the dam by fishing worms.
PYRAMID LAKE: The cutthroat season ended July 1 and reopens on Oct. 1.
SILVER LAKE: WON editor Bill Karr visited Silver Lake and he found it ice-free and full, although there was little boat traffic. The launch was open and usable.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR: The big advice out of Stampede was to try fishing water as deep as 90 feet to get the big ones without wading through dozens of small kokanee.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said the river is offering good dry fly fishing and consistent hatches of PMDs and caddis. Nymphing is recommended mid-day, and the section of river from Hirschdale to the State Line is biting better.
WEBBER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the fishing pressure is light out there, with just a few fly anglers, tubers and small boaters on the water.
WEST WALKER RIVER: Debbie Bush of the Walker General Store said the river is still running a bit high and the clarity is questionable, but it’s making progress. She expects conditions to improve through the end of July. A number of Chamber and County supplemental trout stocks are on the way soon, and that should help create a tightly contested finish to the store’s “How Big is Big?” free fishing derby that runs through the end of July. The current adult leader remains Kevin Young of Roseville with a 4-pound, 3.9-ounce fish caught July 2.
BERKELEY: Salmon limits were steady as could be during the week, then the bite slowed just a bit over the weekend. The shiny fish were moving closer and many were caught on the Marin Coast aboard on El Dorado, New El Dorado III and New Easy Rider. Top Gun got limits of salmon one day then worked on high counts of bass and halibut another day. Pacific Dawn, Happy Hooker and Pacific Dream enjoyed the awesome halibut and bass fishing inside the Bay.
BODEGA BAY: Salmon catches aboard New Sea Angler was better than a fish per rod and anglers went home with heavy sacks because they got stuffed with limits of rockfish and a pick at the lingcod. Halibut bit well in the back portion of Tomales Bay. The flatties shied away from the northern portion of the Bay because of the influx of cold ocean water with incoming tides.
EMERYVILLE: Emeryville boats Tigerfish, C Gull II, Pacific Pearl and Sundance scored daily limits of great quality salmon averaging 10 to 16 pounds with the jackpot fish in the mid to high 20-pound class. Live bait potluck trips inside the Bay resulted in phenomenal catches of both halibut and striped bass, with limits of bass and a solid 1 to 2 fish per rod on the halibut.
EUREKA: Local boats like Reel Steel got limits of salmon from the 46 line down to the 42 line in 60 to 120 feet of water. The bite wasn’t red hot but it was consistent. There were 14 Pacific halibut caught and the sizes ranged from 25 pounds to 78 pounds. When the weather was nice, the rock fish and lingcod bite down at the reefs at Cape Mendocino was off the charts.
FORT BRAGG: Salmon were caught, and the numbers ran about a fish per rod on Samurai and Capt. Tuna, which is always good. Rockfish and lingcod catches came easy at local reefs aboard boats like Sea Hawk and Telstar. Shore-based fishing was excellent, and most places could be fished safely during the week, but over the weekend the winds and seas came up and limited anglers to protected areas.
HALF MOON BAY: Salmon fishing was good outside the Golden Gate in 280 feet of water for Huli Cat and Riptide. Limits came, with some diligent fishing. Queen of Hearts and Huli Cat worked over the rockfish at Deep Reef and made passengers happy by making them carry heavy sacks of fish off the boats. Striped bass put on a heck of a good bite near Pacifica at Linda Mar and Mori Point.
SAN FRANCISCO: With salmon biting all week, Fisherman’s Wharf boats Wacky Jacky, Bass Tub and Lovely Martha put some serious fish over their rails without having to travel far since the fish moved in along the Marin Coast. Flash boats, Argo and Bass Tub had their way with halibut and striped bass in Central Bay with limits of bass and 1 to 2 halibut per rod. The big news was a 6 1/2- to 8-foot great white shark that bit a bait intended for soupfins for Capt. Joey Gamez of Golden State Sportfishing on Saturday, cutting it off when it came close enough to recognize. The video has gone viral.