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24 November 2014
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

Lake Almanor

Clear, high 40’s, lake level is low.

Fishing is fair to good. Fishing has been best in early afternoon to dusk. Some fish have remained in Hamilton Branch but most have either moved back into the lake or further up the branch. Good numbers of trout feeding around bait balls. Fish the edges with a floating pond smelt on a floating or sinking line. Tip: Find the birds; usually are a great indicator where fish are holding.

Lake woolly buggers/streamers J Fair wiggle tail (olive, brown, burnt orange) BH woolly bugger (black, olive, brown), crystal bugger, mini bugger black/olive, seal bugger (rust, olive, black), hale bopp leach (brown, olive), Mack’s bugger, bunny leach (white), chub minnow (#6-12), Milt’s floating pond smelt (#4-8). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere in report).

Float tube is needed for best access. Fishing pressure during the week is light with some pressure on the weekends at Hamilton Branch. CDAG pg 43. Road work on highway 32. Check Cal Trans for conditions.

Baum Lake

Clear, mid 40s, lake level is normal.

Fishing is good. Fishing has been slow in the morning, but picks up during the warm part of the day. Use a parachute BWO with a midge pupa dropper, or buggers with a sinking line around the main current. Focus on weed beds and change flies often. Fish are smart and will recognize flies if presented the same view over and over again. Tip: Midge and BWO hatches are good  on overcast days.

BWO/Baetis nymphs Hogan’s S&M nymph, Hogan’s better baetis, Burk’s crystal hunchback, Hogan’s olive military may, tailwater tiny, flashy pheasant tail, Sloan’s mighty may, Burk’s olive hunchback two-tone, Mercer’s micro mayfly, tung split case BWO (#16-22). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries and Lake woolly buggers/streamers (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light fishing pressure during the week, can be heavy on weekends. A float tube or pram is best. NCDAG pg 48

Eagle Lake (near Susanville)

Clear, low to mid 50’s F.

Fishing is good to excellent. Fishing is improving daily and will continue as weather gets worse. Walk the shoreline fishing the rocky outcroppings in the shallows.  As the day continues, the fish will move to deeper water. Target trout with a brown leech, orange and light olive scuds or bugger patterns. Use a slow retrieve to entice these big trout. Name of the game is cover water; fish are constantly migrating to different areas of the lake. Good reports from Wildcat, Merrill and Pelican Point.

Lake woolly buggers/streamers J Fair wiggle tail (olive, brown, burnt orange) J Fair trolling flies, BH woolly bugger (black, olive, brown), crystal bugger, mini bugger black/olive, seal bugger (rust, olive, black), hale bopp leach (brown, olive), Mack’s bugger, bunny leach (white), chub minnow (#6-12).

Moderate fishing pressure. CDAG pg 44. Fishing is open until 31 Dec.

Feather River, N.F. (Cresta powerhouse to Lake Oroville)

Clear, low 50s F, 165 cfs below Rock Creek, 221 cfs below Grizzly Creek and 143 cfs below Poe.

Fishing is fair to good. The incoming cold and rainy weather is breaking out hatches of BWOs. In the mornings, nymph riffles and pocket water with rubber leg stones and BWO nymphs. As BWOs start to hatching midday, target rising fish in tailouts with a BWO dry. Fishing an attractor dry with a BWO dropper in riffles and tailouts will also produce fish. Streamers will also produce some nice trout to 18 plus inches. Best fishing is around Pulga. Great location to get away from crowds of fisherman.

Attractor dries irresistible adams, parachute light cahill, Rio Grande trude, parachute adams, paralyzer, royal coachman, crystal stimulator, renegade, royal wulff, para wulff, (#10-18). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (Listed elsewhere in report). BWO/Baetis nymphs (Listed elsewhere in report). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Expect light fishing pressure. Access along Hwy 70 in Butter County from Cresta Powerhouse downstream only. NCDAG pg 59. CDAG pg 51.

Feather River (Hwy 70 Bridge to Gridley)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow in low flow (910 cfs), high flow below the Afterbay (950 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is fair to good.  Best fishing early/late on sunny days, good throughout overcast days. Salmon are dying off and the egg bite is coming to an end. Eggs are still productive, but will taper down.  Fishing BWO nymphs, flashy beadhead nymphs and green caddis pupa is also effective. Steelhead are in the riffles early and late and in the deeper tailouts during midday. Good numbers of hatchery steelhead are yet to arrive, but recent rains should help bring them up. A few reports of success swinging small summer run steelhead wet flies on flats with drop-offs.

Caddis pupa Fox's poopah (olive, tan), Hot wire caddis, Anderson's peeking green, green machine, Fox’s springtime poopah, Amber wing prince, M’s Dirty Bird, Hogan’s steelie caddis, Silvey’s submerger caddis (olive, tan), Silvey’s edible emerger (#12-18). BWO/Baetis nymphs and Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). Egg patterns (listed elsewhere). Steelhead wet flies/streamers (listed elsewhere).

Moderate fishing pressure. Access from Oroville State Wildlife Area. The stretch above Hwy 70 is closed until Jan 1. Be sure to have your steelhead card signed and dated before fishing. NCDAG pg 68, 78.

Frank’s Tract & San Joaquin Delta (including Mildred, San Joaquin River, and nearby sloughs)

Clear to off color (3-8 ft visibility, mid 50s F.

Fishing is good. Good numbers of stripers are around, but they are not always eating. Best days are ones that you can fish both a strong incoming and outgoing tide. Best reports are from the Sac and San Joaquin River areas, or close by. T-14 with medium to large clousers with a fast strip is needed. The pause-and-drop technique is working well. Evening topwater action is spotty, small stripers and a few good ones mixed in. The better stripers are running 3-7 lbs. Looking for birds can pay off. Wind will slow fishing dramatically. Tule fog is starting to show in the mornings. Be careful.

Striper patterns Flashtail clousers and whistlers in chartreuse/white, pink/white, all white, and black (2/0-3/0), pearly poppers (red/yellow, green/yellow), gurglers, crease fly.

Boat needed - rentals are available at Sugar Barge Marina on Bethel Island. Heavy fishing pressure on weekends. NCDAG pg 96 and 106. New CDAG pg. 72, 73.

Klamath River

(Iron Gate to Seiad Valley)

Clear, high 40s, good flow (984 cfs below Iron Gate).

Fishing is good.  Best fishing is below Iron Gate where steelhead are feeding on eggs behind spawning salmon in runs. Fishing rubberleg stones and egg patterns are producing most fish. Tip: look for fish feeding on BWO nymphs midday. When water temps are cold, look for BWO in slow water. Swinging small intruders, assassins, brindle bugs, and silver hiltons on a Scandi line with a fast sinking tip will produce. Recent rain will bring more fish up.

Egg patterns Sucker spawn oregon cheese, Fox's fertilizer (shell pink, fire orange, flo red), glow-bug (peach, pink, champagne, light yellow, cheese, chartreuse), micro egg (flo fire orange, flo orange, flo red, shell pink), Pettis’ Unreal egg clusters (gold nugget, burnt orange, dark roe, light row), clown egg, Pettis’ unreal single egg, unreal egg cluster (dk roe, burnt orange) (#8-16). Golden stonefly nymphs and Attractor beadhead nymphs and BWO/Baetis nymphs and Steelhead wet flies/streamers (listed elsewhere in report).

Expect drift boat and pontoon boat traffic on the weekends. Access above and below Interstate 5 and along hwy 96. New CDAG pg. 25.

Putah Creek (below Lake Berryessa)

Slightly off color, low 50s F, low flow (132 cfs below lake Berryessa).

Fishing is good. Best fishing is on overcast days or in the early morning and late afternoon. Watch for BWO hatches on the cloudy days.  Use a Hogan’s S&M nymph, olive micro may, black zebra midge or a WD-40 (either rust or brown color) nymphs in size #18 and smaller under an indicator. Tip: Use small (white) indicators with alight split shot on 6x tippet is best set up; fish are leader sensitive. Reports of trout spawning below Lake Berryessa, please do not trample redds or fish for actively spawning trout !

BWO/Baetis emerger/dries Brook's KD dun, Mercers emerging poxyback bwo, fluttering mayfly cripple BWO, Harrop captive dun, BWO extended body, Brooks CDC dun baetis, hackle stacker BWO, loopwing paradun, olive hatch master, parachute BWO, twilight baetis dun day-glo, BWO CDC transitional dun, Brook's sprout baetis, quill body baetis cripple, Harrop's CDC BWO emerger, Quigley’s loopy cripple stacker, Burk’s silhouette (#16-20). Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report).

Decreased fishing pressure.  NOTE: Take precautions not to transport New Zealand mud snail. Zero limit. NCDAG pg 85, 95.

Sacramento River, Lower (below Keswick Reservoir)

Green to off color tint, low to mid 50s, normal flow 4,100 cfs.

Fishing is good. Egg bite is still on, but salmon are finishing up. As eggs decline, trout will key on small midge and mayfly nymphs in the morning. Midday look for BWO hatches in riffles. Swinging small BWO soft hackles in riffles will produce. A few reports of anglers swinging egg sucking leeches and intruders on switch rods below Red Bluff. Good reports of steelhead from Clear Creek to Los Molinos. Tip: Water is slightly off color due to recent rains. As water clarity improves so will fishing productivity.

River woolly buggers/streamers J Fair wiggle tail (olive, brown, burnt orange) BH woolly bugger (black, olive, brown), crystal bugger, mini bugger black/olive, seal bugger (rust, olive, black), hale bopp leach (brown, olive), Mack’s bugger, bunny leach (white), chub minnow (#6-12). Golden stonefly nymphs, attractor beadhead nymphs, eggs and BWO nymphs and Egg patterns (listed elsewhere). Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report).

Drift boat fishing is provides best access. Market St, Convention Center, Barge Hole and below Cypress Bridge are all good spots to wade. NCDAG pg 46, 57. New CDAG pg. 41

Sacramento River, Upper (Lake Siskiyou to Lake Shasta)

Clear, low 50’sF. Slightly low flow (420 at Delta).

Fishing is fair and improving. Recent rains have raised the water, but it is already dropping to fishable levels. Best fishing is midday using BWO, prince nymphs, and Hogan’s S&M nymphs. Targeting the tailouts, mid-runs and seams have produced best results. Keep your eyes open for afternoon BWO hatches.

Attractor beadhead nymphs royal flush, Hogan’s Steelie Caddis, hare’s ear, twenty incher, Hart’s dark lord, copper john (red, copper) bird’s nest, black AP, prince of darkness, king prince, dirty bird (tan, olive), psycho mayfly nymph, Hogan’s drifter, biotic nymph, Hogan’s Red Headed Step Child (#10-18). BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere), Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Expect low fishing pressure. Be careful when wading. Access to Mossbrae falls at Scarlet Way is posted no parking. NCDAG 36, 46.

Trinity River (near Lewiston)

Clear, low to mid 50s F, low flow (311 cfs).

Fishing is fair to good. Fishing egg patterns, rubberleg stones and flashy attractor beadhead nymphs under an indicator in pocket water pools and riffles is producing fish. Swinging small assassins, intruders, silver Hiltons on a Scandi line with a Winston Microspey rod will also produce fish in tailouts and runs below Douglas and Junction City. As flows increase during storms, expect fish numbers to increase from steelhead moving in.

Steelhead wet flies/streamers Mossback, assassin (natural, copper), Herniator (silver, copper), cone sucking bunny, egg sucking crystal leach, general practitioner (black, orange), comet, green butted skunk, coal car, skykomish sunrise, prism, purple peril, silver hilton, winters hope, Gareth’s fire fly, red ant (#4-8). Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). Egg patterns (listed elsewhere).

Moderate to heavy fishing pressure in the Lewiston to Douglas City area. Fly only section below Lewiston Lake is closed. NCDAG pg 45. New CDAG pg. 31, 32, 40.

Truckee River (Trout Creek to CA Stateline)

Clear, low 50’s. Low to moderate flow (25 cfs near Truckee, 56 cfs below Boca).

Fishing is fair to good. Due to the low water, trout are mainly congregating in deep pools. Best fishing is best between 10am and 3pm. Use either a psycho mayfly nymph with some split shot and get the fly down deep or use a BWO dry fly with a floating line when trout are rising. Tip: Fish are stacked in deep pools and hooking one fish will spook others. Be stealthy when approaching fishing locations and present flies with a soft presentation.

Attractor beadhead nymphs &  BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (listed elsewhere).

Expect moderate fishing pressure. Access along Hwy 89 down through Hirshdale. NCDAG 81.

Yuba River, Lower (from Englebright dam to Marysville)

Clear, low to mid 50s F, moderate flow 752 cfs below Englebright.

Fishing is fair to good. Reports of salmon below Hwy 20 bridge with trout and steelhead behind them. In the mornings, key on salmon reds with egg patterns and a light presentation. Look for trout keying on hatches of midges and mayflies midday. Swing soft hackles in riffles during the hatch. Nymphing black stonefly nymphs with an attractor beadhead nymph dropper (copper john). Reports of salmon, steelhead and trout below Daguerre Dam. Tip: Access off Hallwood Ave. and cover water.

PMD emergers/cripples/dries Lawson's PMD emerger, fluttering mayfly cripple PMD, last chance PMD cripple, Quigley’s Hat Creek PMD emerger, Brook's KD dun PMD, loopwing paradun PMD, Brook's sprout PMD, PMD biot comparadun, hackle stacker PMD, PMD hair wing dun, PMD sparkle dun, PMD parachute (#14-18) Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). BWO/Baetis nymphs and Midge pupa (listed elsewhere).

Water above Hwy 20 bridge is open from Dec 1 until Aug 31. Access at the Hwy 20 bridge and Sycamore Ranch campground. NCDAG pg 78,79.

Other Reports

Other Reports American River: Fishing has been fair, but improving. Salmon are still arriving and moving through with the steelhead fishing still being slow. Best results are with a egg pattern or caddis pupa.

WH&WN™ FREE flyfishing report would not be possible without the help of: Craig Nielsen/Shasta Trout Guide Service, Jordan Romney (Putah Fly Fishing Guide), Victor Babbit/Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters/Tahoe, Jerry/The Troutfitter/Mammoth Lakes, Ted Fay Flyshop/Dunsmuir, Greg/Sweeny’s sport shop, Andy/Kiene's Fly Shop/Sacramento, Richard Hardy-Davis report, Ken’s Sporting Goods/Scott Freeman-EW report. Special thanks to all the WH&WN™ subscribers who have submitted their fishing reports for the fisheries listed in WH&WN, you help keep us honest, accurate, and up-to-date.

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