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24 April 2015
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

American River (below Nimbus Dam)

Clear, low 50’s. 497 cfs below Lake Natoma.

Fishing is fair. Fishing has been slow with best action around Sailor Bar. With low water levels, fish are hiding in deeper runs and pools. If no fish are hitting at one specific spot, changing locations is best idea. Most fish are being caught caddis pupa under an indicator in the tailouts and riffles. Fishing is steady through the day, but does pick up toward dark. Be sure to adjust split shot often to match water to ensure flies are getting down to the level desired. Look for steelhead rising to caddis in the evening on warm days.

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, Trailer Trash, Hartwick’s Hoser, Spot on Prawn, marabou spey 2/0. Salmon sac-fry (Alevin) patterns Gummy fry, Milt’s Micro Fry, Milt’s Floating Pond Smelt (#2-8). Simmons’ salmon fry, Sloan’s American Alevin (#10-12) Egg patterns (listed elsewhere). BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Heavy fishing pressure at Sunset. Please do not target spawning fish and please stay off the redds. Barbless hooks only. Report snaggers to DFG. NCDAG pg 86, 87.

Baum Lake

Clear, low 50s, lake level is normal.

Fishing is fair to good. Fishing is best on cloudy and overcast days when hatches of midges and BWO’s are abundant. In the morning, midges and BWO nymphs under an indicator are producing trout pre-hatch. As trout are observed rising, switch to a BWO dry with a midge dropper. These trout will remember specific patterns. Switch to different BWO dries after catching a few fish. Streamers on the edges of the current with a sink tip or type 3 sinking line will find big browns and rainbows. Be sure to bump up your leader to 3X for these big brute stocks. Look for hatches of March browns beginning any day.

Attractor dries irresistible adams, parachute light cahill, Rio Grande trude, parachute adams, paralyzer, royal coachman, crystal stimulator, renegade, royal wulff, para wulff, (#10-18). 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), Hogan’s drifter, biotic nymph, Hogan’s Red Headed Step Child (#10-18). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries. 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). BWO/Baetis nymphs and Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light fishing pressure. A float tube or pram is best. NCDAG pg 48

Feather River (Hwy 70 Bridge to Gridley)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow in low flow (900 cfs), high flow below the Afterbay (1440 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is good. Spring steelhead are in the low and high flow, but most are hanging in the low flow. They will feed in riffles in the morning then move into deeper water to find relief from the sun in the afternoon. Dead-drifting and swinging caddis pupa are top producers. Yellow/chartreuse egg patterns fished in riffles will also find steelies. Some action fishing dries on the flats and in tailouts in the afternoon with the best of the actions coming right before dark. Fishing dries is better on sunny days when caddis are hatching. Steelhead will range from 16 inches to 26 inches. As temps rise, look for steelhead keying on caddis in the afternoon.

Egg patterns for salmon 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), Leeson's crystal egg (chartreuse, orange) 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). Caddis pupa/emergers Fox's poopah (olive, tan), Hot wire caddis, Anderson's peeking green, 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 and Caddis cripples/dries (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.

Feather River, Middle Fork (Graeagle downstream)

Clear, mid 50s F, good wadeable flow.

Fishing is fair. Fishing has been spotty due to cold water temps. Trout and bugs will be more active in coming weeks. Fishing attractor beadhead nymphs under an indicator is most productive in the mornings and early afternoons in riffles and tailouts. Later in the afternoon when temps increase, trout have been rising for caddis during the caddis hatch upstream of the feeder creeks. Carpenter ants along the edges are successful around the feeder creeks. Stripping streamers in deep water will find some bigger trout.

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), Hogan’s drifter, biotic nymph, Hogan’s Red Headed Step Child (#10-18). Little yellow stone dries Hogan’s yellow hanging stimulator, Brooks headlight little yellow sally, Cutter’s little yellow sally, Quigley’s little yellow sally, yellow stimulator, yellow crystal stimulator (#14-16). Attractor dries (listed elsewhere).

Best fishing is from Two Rivers upstream and Layman’s Camp.

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

Slight tint, mid 50s F, 174 cfs @ Rock Creek Dam, 122 @ Poe Powerhouse.

Fishing is fair and improving. Warm spring temps are bringing out hatches of caddis and mayflies in pocket water and tailouts around Pulga. Best results are fishing nymphs subsurface in pools and pocket water where fish will hold. A rubberleg stone and a beadhead nymph dropper with plenty of weight to get it down will find fish around boulders in pocket water. In the afternoon, use to a caddis pupa under a stimulator. Stripping streamers in pools will get aggressive grabs from trout and pike minnows. Buggers and sculpin patterns with a sink tip line or floating line with a versileader will get the fly down to the fish. Caddis and stoneflies will be hatching soon with warm temps.

Attractor beadhead nymphs royal flush, Hogan’s Steelie Caddis, hare’s ear, twenty incher, Hart’s dark lord, copper john (red, black, lime, copper) Hogan’s amber wing attractor, Tungsten Hotwire prince (olive/copper & Green/Yellow), Queen prince, bird’s nest, black AP, prince of darkness, king prince, dirty bird (tan, olive), Hogan’s drifter, biotic nymph, Hogan’s Red Headed Step Child (#10-18). Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere). Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (Listed elsewhere in report). Caddis cripples/dries (listed elsewhere).

Expect light fishing pressure. Access below Cresta Powerhouse and along Hwy 70. Only open in Butte County in off season. NCDAG pg 59. CDAG pg 51.

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

Dirty water, 1 ft visibility, mid 60s F.

Fishing is poor to fair. Recent wind has roiled the water and along with weed eradication visibility is poor. Fish points of islands and shallow flats in and around the San Joaquin and Moke River. Topwater is spotty on calm mornings and evenings. Going deep with t-14 is best, with fast erratic strips. The usual chartreuse/white clouser gets them excited. Stripers are running 3-9 lbs and are hot. Weekend boat traffic is a party killer. Almost over until the fall.

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.

Pit River #3,#4, #5 (below Lake Britton to Big Bend)

Slight tint, mid 50s F, normal flow 330 cfs on Pit #3.

Fishing is good to excellent. Nymphing with stoneflies and beadhead nymphs are producing some healthy, big football rainbows in Pit 3, 4 and 5. High stick nymphing through riffles and pocket water is picking up healthy rainbows from 10am on. Best fishing is in the moving water where these trout feed. Cover water to find fish. Look for trout rising on Pit 4 and 5 on the edges of flats. Mayflies on overcast and rainy days. Caddis and stoneflies on warm days with the stoneflies around closer to dark.

River woolly buggers/streamers Black beadhead woolly bugger, conehead double bunny, muddler minnow, Hogan’s puff’clawdad, Cutter’s goblin, matuka, Morrish’s sculpin, black woolhead sculpin, near nuff sculpin, orange blossom (#4-10). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). Attractor dries (listed elsewhere in report). Stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). March brown nymphs/dries (listed elsewhere in report).

Light fishing pressure. Access below Lake Britton or from Big Bend. Studded boots and a wading staff are a must for fishing the Pit. NCDAG pg 47.

Pyramid Lake (outside of Reno)

Clear, good lake level.

Fishing is fair to good. Best fishing has been early morning and late afternoon, preferably on windy days. Most successful reports are coming from the beaches along the West side (North/South Nets or Indian Head are a few options). Try the shallows and along the shoreline. Retrieving a wooly worm or Pyramid bugger with a snail or tadpole trailer is a good setup. This is best done with a very slow retrieve allowing the dropper to yo-yo up and down. A floating line and indicator with a Mahalo midge or chironomid pattern has also been producing some nice cutthroat as well.

Pyramid Flies woolly worms, pyramid buggers (black/purple, chartreuse/white, olive, black), Pyramid snail (black/purple, chartreuse/white, olive, black) (#8-12)

Expect light to moderate fishing pressure. Access at Separator and Wino beaches. Fishing from a float tube or pontoon boat is an option. Note: Day permit required.

Sacramento River, Lower (below Highway 44 bridge)

Mud to brown tint, low to mid 50s, low flow (5000 cfs). Flows are increasing to 7,000 by April 26th.

Fishing is fair to good. Warm weather is bringing out hatches of mayflies and the beginning of caddis. Best caddis hatches are around Los Molinos where trout are keying on caddis pupa and stoneflies. Hwy 44 down to Anderson has more mayflies and stoneflies with the bulk of the caddis on their way with some warm weather. Some opportunities for fishing PMD dries on the shallow flats from Bonnyview to Balls Ferry. Hot fly is a rubberleg stone. Also swing soft hackles, high stick nymph and strip streamers at these flows. New Regulations: Closed from Keswick to Hwy 44 until July 31.

Golden stonefly nymphs jumbo john, Morrish cone stone, Morrish WMD, Mercer’s raghead, Poxyback golden stone nymph, Mercer's poxyquill golden stone, micro cable stone, beadhead twenty incher, copper back, Pat’s Rubberleg. BWO/Baetis emerger/dries Brook's KD dun, 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). Attractor beadhead nymphs and BWO/Baetis nymphs and Caddis cripples/dries (listed elsewhere).

Drift boat fishing is provides best access. NCDAG pg 46, 57. New CDAG pg. 41.New regulations: Closed from Keswick to the Hwy 44 bridge until July 31st.

Sacramento River, Upper (Lake Siskiyou to Lake Shasta)

Clear, mid 50’sF. Slightly high flow (but low for this time of year) 378 at Delta).

Fishing is fair to good. Best fishing is midday with good numbers of trout feeding in runs and riffles. Midges are producing the most fish as a dropper under a BWO or attractor dry in the morning. In the afternoon, fish caddis pupa and stonefly nymphs under an indicator or under a dry. Best of the dry fly fishing is during the warmest part of the day with trout rising to stonefly and some march browns. A stimulator fished in pocket water will bring fish up with a good dead-drift.

Caddis cripples/dries Hogan’s last call caddis, Henryville, Brook's headlight, elk hair caddis (brown, tan, olive), Cutter's E/C, Overly's spotlight (tan, olive), Hemingway, Goddard caddis, hot butt peacock caddis, peacock caddis, Lawson's E-Z caddis, Blue ribbon X2 caddis, Fox’s crowning poopah olv/cinn, Kyle’s better foam caddis (#12-20), Hopper Stone Tan (#6,8). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere), BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere), Caddis pupa/ emergers (listed elsewhere) Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Expect moderate 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, mid 40s F, low flow (500 cfs). Flows increasing to 800 cfs by May 4.

Fishing is fair to good. Best fishing is in the afternoon when trout are actively feeding on the surface. An attractor mayfly such as a parachute adams or red quill is good enough to rise these voracious trout. Lots of juvenile steelhead in the river. Using a 2 or 3 weight rod will get a good bend and a jump from the juvenile steelhead. To get away from the small fish, a sculpin or bugger on a sink tip in deep runs has a good chance of getting slammed by a big brown. A few late steelhead remain but the run is just about done until next fall.

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). Attractor dries irresistible adams, parachute light cahill, Rio Grande trude, Pink & lime trude, yellow humpy, parachute adams, paralyzer, royal coachman, crystal stimulator, renegade, royal wulff, sierra bright dot, grey wulff, pink cahill, light cahill, royal coachman, para wulff, (#10-18). Attractor beadhead nymphs (Listed elsewhere in report).

Moderate fishing pressure on the weekends in the fly only section above Lewiston. NCDAG pg 45. New CDAG pg. 31, 32, 40.

Truckee River (Trout Creek to CA Stateline)

Clear, mid to high 40’s. Low flow (92 cfs near Truckee, 304 cfs below Boca).

Fishing is good. Best reports are below Boca where trout are eating sculpins stripped through tailouts and off the bank. High stick nymphing through riffles and tailouts are producing some nice trout. Midges, BWO nymphs and skwala nymphs are top flies. Change flies to find out what’s working best. Best dry fly activity is in the afternoon target risers with march brown dries, skwalas, BWO’s and midges.

River woolly buggers/streamers (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere). 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, low flow 1169 cfs below Englebright.

Fishing is good. Fishing has been hit or miss with the best fishing coming later in the afternoon during the caddis hatch. Fishing dry flies over ledges and tailouts have been producing the most fish.  March brown dries are still the hot fly on cloudy and rainy days. PMD’s and caddis are starting to show on warm sunny days. Great time of the year to swing soft hackles in riffles and tailouts. These fish are aggressive and eager to eat a swung fly. Good fishing will continue with the emergence of caddis as weather continues to warm up.

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) Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). BWO/Baetis nymphs and Midge pupa and Caddis cripples/dries  (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 Stanislaus River, Lower (below Tulloch Reservoir) is good at 519 cfs. An attractor nymph with a BWO nymph dropper is fishing well in riffles and tailouts. Best access is below Tulloch Reservoir and at 2 Mile Bar. NF Yuba River Water is cold and fish are slow to move to a fly. Fish slow water with dries and nymphs where water is warmer and trout can get a long look at a fly.

Trout Prediction McCloud River Water flows are good (206 cfs at Ah-Di-Na) with very little runoff. Clarity is very good. Expect hatches of brown drakes, BWO’s and midges. Best fishing will be subsurface with lots of salmonfly and golden stone nymphs crawling around the rocks. High stick nymphing pocket water and indicator nymphing runs will produce good numbers of fish. Deer Creek No runoff. Fish ants and attractor dies in pools and pocket water.

Shad Report American River is starting to fish with shad showing up in lower section of the river. Sacramento River Shad are already up to Scotty’s in Chico. Numbers are low but more will continue to move up the river. Feather River Some shad in lower section above Verona up to Boyd’s Pump. As weather warms shad will continue to arrive and be more active. Yuba River No reports.

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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