15 Nov 18
HAT CREEK: Thursday is the final day until the season closes on the 15th. The fishing has still been great using downsized gear spinners, Rooster Tails, spoons and Panther Martins. Use fly gear like tiny baetis, drowned spinners or micro caddis.
SHASTA LAKE: Fishing is still good for bass. 5.8 Jackall worms in green pumpkin pepper, 6-inch worms in green, brown, blue, and morning dawn. Use swimbaits when the wind is blowing. There is still a lot of bait fish around the lake, so focus on the arms of the lake instead of the main body and look for whatever fresh water you can.
GOLD LAKES BASIN: Fishing remains very good in the Gold Lakes Basin, particularly at Gold Lake for 18- to 24-inch rainbows and browns. The water level is low and it is rumored the dock has been pulled, so boaters should exercise caution.
FEATHER RIVER: The Outlet Hole closed Oct. 15. Lower water has slowed salmon fishing downriver. Boaters are having to deal with low flows. Steelhead are showing up and are biting roe, Glo Bugs and nightcrawlers. A few stripers are being caught in the Yuba City area on topwater lures.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Some big stripers are being caught at Verona and Knight’s Landing. Salmon fishing is slow at Knight’s Landing and Verona. Fishing for catfish also has slowed at Verona and Knight’s Landing.
Far north lakes and rivers
LAKE ALMANOR: Focus on pond smelt patterns. Trolling Speedy Shiners, ‘crawlers and Gulps! in shallow water. Most of the fish have been small, so stay persistent and sort through them until you find larger fish. Flyfishing and bank fishing from the coves is picking up but yields smaller fish.
BAUM LAKE: The colder the weather gets the better the fishing will get! Fly fishing with leeches, zebra midges, and midge dryflies.
EAGLE LAKE: Fish are starting to scatter, but when you find them they are still biting. Surface trolling Jay Fair flies in orange is working. Morning lows are much colder and have been in the single digits, the dock remains in but they can pull it any day. Fishing pressure has been light for both boats and bankies.
FALL RIVER: Fly gear on flats and edges of deep holes work well using water boatman, baetis, callibaetis and leeches.
LEWISTON LAKE: Drifting ‘crawlers, or trolling hardware has been good for the boat anglers. The fish are in big pods, so you want to find them and stay on them. Fly fisherman have been using leeches, woollybuggers, midges and Mercers Midgling.
PIT RIVER: Pits 3 and 4 are still very high but Pit 5 is fishing great! Amber prince nymphs, tungsten bead pheasant tail prince, dark lord, zebra midge and rubberlegs flies are all working great.
TRINITY LAKE: Trinity center ramp is closed for the season.
AMERICAN RIVER: Salmon fishing has been slow overall on the American, although some kings are being caught below the power lines at Rossmore Bar. Flows at Fair Oaks were 1,780 cfs over the weekend, unchanged from a week ago. A few small steelhead are being caught. Fishing is slow near the mouth.
FOLSOM LAKE: The lake level is 397 feet elevation, down 4 feet from a week ago, with a water temperature of 66 degrees. The lake now has a 5 mph speed limit since it is below 400 feet elevation. Speedy Shiners with flashers are tricking trout and salmon near Brown’s Ravine 30 to 40 feet down. Bass fishing also has improved with the cooler weather. Bank anglers are catching trout on Power Bait and salmon eggs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Fishing has been slow, although fly anglers are still catching trout.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Flows from Keswick Dam were down to 4,470 cfs, down from 5,190 cfs. Salmon fishing has been fair to good at the Barge Hole, with guides reporting a few fish daily. Many of the fish are getting dark, but a few fresh fish a day are being caught and it picked up for late fall kings over the weekend. Trout fishing remains very good in the Redding area for anglers drifting Glo Bugs, roe or beads. Steelhead also are being caught between Anderson and Red Bluff.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Salmon fishing has slowed near Woodson Bridge, where guides are reporting one or two fish a boat. Many of the kings are now dark. Drifting roe is working best. Most anglers have quit salmon fishing for the season.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Salmon fishing is best between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, where bright kings continue to be caught. Fishing is winding down, but some kings are still being caught on Pro Troll Flashers and Brad’s Super Baits, reports guide James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service. Stripers are being caught on minnows at the Port of Sacramento.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: Catch-and-release action for adult salmon remains good near Hornbrook, while a few jacks are also being caught. Jacks less than 22 inches may be kept. Fishing for steelhead is good from Iron Gate Hatchery to the Klamathon Bridge. Flows over the weekend at Iron Gate Dam were 1,010 cfs, unchanged from a week ago.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The fall salmon quota has been reached. Only jack salmon less than 22 inches may be kept. Fishing for steelhead has been very good near Happy Camp and Orleans. Roe and yarn, as well as flies are working well. Flows at Seiad Valley near Happy Camp are 1,280 cfs. Flows at Orleans are 1,740 cfs, down from 1,884 cfs a week ago.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Only jack salmon less than 22 inches can be kept, as the adult quota has been met below the Highway 96 bridge. Salmon fishing has slowed between Klamath Glen and Blue Creek as the run winds down. Some salmon are being caught above Blue Creek. Flows at Klamath Glen, near the mouth of the river, are 2,360 cfs, down from 2,560 cfs.
TRINITY RIVER: Fall salmon fishing is expected to last a few more weeks on the Trinity, where this year’s quota has not yet been met. Low water is challenging anglers, and driftboaters have to drag their boats from pool to pool. Small MagLip plugs are still working at right light. The river is crowded near Junction City, where fishing has been best. More steelhead have arrived. Flows at Lewiston were 315 cfs over the weekend, down from 392 cfs a week ago. Flows at Douglas City were 329, down from 487 cfs, while flows at Junction City were 440 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 507 cfs.
BULLARDS BAR: The lake is open for fishing and boating.
CAMP FAR WEST: The lake is 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. The area was under heavy smoke cover from the Camp Fire on Sunday.
COLLINS LAKE: Due to road closures associated with the Camp Fire, Collins Lake was not stocked last week. Trout fishing was good early in the week, then effort tailed off likely as a result of the fire. The “Open Area” was a trout hotspot. The dam also produced. The trout are on top. According to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle, the lake is turning over and plugged with shad. Bass anglers take note.
ENGLEBRIGHT: The lake remains slow, with very little fishing activity, although a couple small browns were reported to Skipper’s Cove Marina.
FRENCH MEADOWS: A customer told Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle that the fishing for rainbows and browns at French Meadows is good for 18- to 19-inch fish.
HELL HOLE: Hell Hole should be producing browns, it’s that time of year. Be aware, the lake is low, necessitating boat launching off the dirt shoreline.
LAKE OROVILLE: Services were limited due to the Camp Fire. The Lime Saddle Marina and campground were closed due to the approach of the fire. The status of Bidwell, the only launch ramp still in the water, was unknown, as no one answered the phone at the Visitor’s Kiosk. The situation was fluid and subject to change. Fishing is an afterthought as people in the area cope with the massive destruction in nearby Paradise.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: No report was available due to the nearby and highly damaging Camp Fire.
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Fishing slowed down from last week with cooler temperatures, increased boat pressure, and the thick layer of smoke from the fires. There is a lot of bait around the lake right now so the fish are staged all over. Shallow, aggressive fish can be found in the early morning with topwater and glidebaits. When the bite gets tougher fish can be found deep with spoons, drop-shot rigs, dartheads and football jigs.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: The lake is extremely low still, prevailing north winds have had the lake dangerous to access the past week with large white caps slamming against the launch ramp at Eagles pass. There are more ducks rafting up every day and some geese have started using the lake as well.
CLEAR LAKE: Schools of baitfish are over abundant, fish and fowl are in a feeding frenzy. Larger fish are being caught on Lucky Craft LV 500 lipless cranks but the bite has toughened since last week with heavy smoke on the lake and strong north winds.
LAKE MENDOCINO: Football jigs, dartheads, and drop-shot rigs have been the go-to baits for bass in deeper water.
LAKE SONOMA: Landlocked steelhead and bass have been feeding on schools of baitfish around the lake. For steelhead, find fish busting the surface and troll Kastmasters or crankbaits. Some have reported catching steelhead casting the Kastmasters as well. Find bait offshore with your sonar and fish with a drop-shot rig, or a darthead for bass.
UPPER BLUE LAKES: The trout plant happened this past week 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 the lake right from Highway 20.
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 estuary by anglers trolling along the jetties. Upriver, the Chetco is too low for driftboats. Flows were down to 85 cfs over the weekend, summer time levels. There are fish in the tidewater, but fishing is slow.
ELK & SIXES RIVERS, Port Orford, Ore.: Both rivers are too low to float with driftboats. A few salmon are being caught at the mouths of both rivers. Access is difficult. Rain is needed to increase flows for effective salmon fishing and bring fish in from the ocean.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Salmon fishing is slow in the Rogue Bay. Very few anglers are still fishing. Summer steelhead are being caught near Agness.
SMITH RIVER: Flows are down to 240 cfs, well below the 600 cfs needed for an opener above Rowdy Creek. Salmon fishing is slow in the section of river open to fishing. Big numbers of kings are holding in the deeper pools upriver. Guide Phil Desautel of Smiling Phil’s Salmon Guide Service confirmed the report and said, “There are a few fish at the mouth of the river and at the Sand Hole, but getting them to bite is not easy. Fishing pressure is very low.”
Sierra lakes and rivers
BOCA RESERVOIR: Boaters who consider launching from the shoreline should beware the thick mud exposed by the recent lake drawdown. If you manage to launch you may have the entire lake to yourself, but local guide Marc Christophel says it isn’t worth the risk. The drawdown should continue for some time, as Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports reports dam work may be in the offing. Trout fishing is still good at the dam using bait or gold Kastmasters. A 20-inch brown was caught last week.
CARSON RIVER (East, West): Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East Carson was fishing well for trophy fish as the general Sierra trout closure (Nov. 15) approached. After Nov. 15, he said the East Carson from Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada border will remain open to catch and release, single hook barbless flies and lures only. The West Carson was giving up small DFW stockers as the closure approached.
DAVIS LAKE: Jim Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store reported that it’s been around freezing in the mornings, but it’s warming up during the day and that’s made trout fishing from shore comfortable. The best bet to catch a trout this week was at Mallard Cove. If trollers and fly anglers did any good, they weren’t talking.
DONNER LAKE: Trolling for Mackinaw has been slow according to multiple sources. Shore fishing, however, is producing trout and the occasional Mackinaw according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said Indian Creek is loaded with trophy trout stocked in mid-October. The lake has yet to turn over but is close.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park): Karen Ward at Sly Park Resort said the lake still hasn’t quite turned over. She reported a couple of 20-inch Mackinaw came out this week. Otherwise the main catch is small trout.
LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw fishing is good for the guides who ply Tahoe, so steady that some have been able to spend time on trout after they’ve accounted for their lakers. An east wind slowed things a bit on Sunday. Late afternoons have been wide open on the South Shore for Tahoe Sportfishing.
PROSSER RESERVOIR: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports reported Prosser is dropping quickly. The shoreline is muddy. Boaters should use caution if they plan on launching over the dirt. Bass are still somewhat active mid-day. Trout fishing is steady using bait in deeper water.
PYRAMID LAKE: The lake turned over, slowing overall action but bringing the cutthroat up shallow where they are more accessible to shore anglers. The bite should rebound once the conditions stabilize, which should happen as soon as this week. The fish are expected to hold at 20 to 40 feet.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said trout fishing is steady from shore, and best at the Little Truckee inlet. There were rumors a 10-pound plus trout had been caught on a large swimbait, which would be a unique approach for the area. Toplining for rainbows is steady, and since the dam road opened, shore casters are offering their lures right from the dam. Some bass are active.
TRUCKEE RIVER: The river remains in good shape according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Most are focusing on the Canyon section from Hirschdale to the Nevada state line. Blue wing olives are coming off. Fly casters are offering PEDs and midges.
WEBBER LAKE: The access gate has been closed for the season. Although there is no boat launching, the lake is still open to those who walk in.
WEST WALKER RIVER: Jenna Casanova at the Walker General Store said several customers were out last week, and for the most part, they did well. The fish weren’t large, a bit bigger than pansized. Many are already catching and releasing. After Nov. 15’s general Sierra trout closure, the river will be open only to C&R, barbless artificials only.
BERKELEY: Some boats, like Happy Hooker and California Dawn, fished the Farallones for a higher overall grade of fish along with great crabbing. Most boats from Berkeley Charter Boats worked on crabbing along the Marin Coast and then fished for rockfish and lingcod. In either direction the typical fish report was limits of crab and limits of rockfish with some lingcod on the boat. A 22 pounder was taken on El Dorado.
BODEGA BAY: Point Reyes was the hotspot for rockfish and lingcod of impressive proportions and New Sea Angler was on the spot. Between there and Harbor, the crew pulled pots for easy limits of Dungeness crab. Ten Mile Beach was a good crab spot and many private boaters got limits there. A few crab were taken inside Tomales Bay. Water temps dropped inside Tomales Bay, causing a decline in halibut catches.
EMERYVILLE: Early in the week, Fish Emeryville boats New Huck Finn, Pacific Pearl, Tigerfish, Wet Spot and Sea wolf worked along the relatively-protected Marin Coast. By the weekend when conditions improved considerably, some of the boats ventured out to the Farallon Islands because the average fish size was bigger and passengers love to fish the islands. The Flats off of Emeryville were a popular place for skiff fishers and kayakers to soak baits and cast lures for striped bass.
EUREKA: Crabbing was excellent and charter boats like Sea Weasel II, Shellback, Reel Steel and Scrimshaw got out to pull quick limits for their customers which were often back to dock in time for lunch. Boats didn’t have to travel far, as 120 feet of wter northwest of Eureka was very productive. People casting baited snares from the jetty got some crab, as did people using hoops and snares inside Humboldt Bay at piers and good casting spots.
FORT BRAGG: It was a windy week with big seas which hampered boaters, but fortunately by the weekend the winds and seas calmed and boats like Sea Hawk, Capt. Tuna and Telstar made it out to pull quick limits of crab and set the hook on easy limits of rockfish. Some people got their limits of lingcod too, for the trifecta. Shore fishers cast snares from Noyo Jetty or Big River. Lingcod fell prey to swimbaits in front of the Mill.
HALF MOON BAY: Crab combo trips down the coast were popular and productive on Huli Cat. Queen of Hearts and Riptide stuck with the rockfish and lingcod, pulling steady limits of rockfish and some lingcod from Pescador and other rocky zones down the coast. Shore fishing for perch was improving seasonally and the catch included some large specimens of both barred surfperch and redtail perch.
SAN FRANCISCO: By the weekend when conditions improved, and the seas calmed, the Farallones were the favored destination for Bass Tub and Lovely Martha. The Marin Coast was a favored destination during the week and gave up limits of both crab and rockfish for Flash and Argo. Trips to San Pablo Bay for striped bass fishing on anchor were fun on Argo.
The weekly fishing report, compiled by Western Outdoor News, highlights the best angling opportunities in the north state.