What's Hot and What's Not™
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18 March 2015
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

American River (below Nimbus Dam)

Clear, low 50’s s. 770 cfs below Lake Natoma.

Fishing is fair to good. Not many Eel River strain steelhead showing but good numbers of blue back steelies in the 22-26” range eating caddis, mayflies and alevin patterns. Nymphing with a caddis pupa and micro may dropper is producing steelhead in the riffles. Be sure to adjust split shot to get the flies down. Swinging alevins on a switch rod in runs and tailouts are producing a few steelhead early and late. No reports of sucker fish spawning but as temps rise they will be dropping bright yellow eggs.

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. Blue bird skies are not helping hatches of midges and BWO’s. Anchor in a float tube, pontoon boat or pram off the main current drifting nymphs through the current either under an indicator or on a 10’ leader with a slow swing in the current with a floating line. As the hatch progresses, switch to a midge pupa under a BWO or attractor dry. Best reports for big fish are from anglers stripping crystal buggers (hot fly is a #6 olive crystal bugger) along the weed beds and on the edges of the main current. Look for hatches of march browns and caddis as temps rise and insects get active.

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 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. 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). 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 (760 cfs), high flow below the Afterbay (810 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is good. The spring run of steelhead have arrived and are holding in the pools, riffles and tailouts in the high and low flow sections of the Wildlife Area. Best fishing is before 9am on sunny days and longer on overcast days. Some success swinging alevin patterns with a switch rod in the runs, riffles and tailouts. Nymph under an indicator with a sucker egg and a bright colored nymph as a dropper in the pools and riffles. Water clarity is good, but water levels are low in the high flow. Spring caddis hatch has started and will get better later in the month as temps rise. Please do not walk on steelhead redds or target actively spawning steelhead.

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). Salmon sac-fry (Alevin) patterns and BWO/Baetis nymphs and Attractor beadhead nymphs (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, N.F. (Cresta powerhouse to Lake Oroville)

Slight tint, mid 50s F, 833 cfs @ Rock Creek Dam, 124 @ Poe Powerhouse.

Fishing is fair and improving. Warm temps are bringing fish to the surface during the warmest part of the day. Look for trout feeding on midges and BWO in tailouts and pools when the sun is on the water. Nymphing in runs, pools and tailouts are producing fish when trout are not rising. Small midges, stoneflies and attractor beadhead nymphs are top flies to high stick nymph or indicator nymph. Be sure the small fly is the trailer off a beadhead or heavy stone to get the flies down. As temps warm, spring caddis will start to show. Good reports from Pulga and Poe Powerhouse.

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).

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)

Clear to off color, 1-5 ft visibility, mid to high 50s F.

Fishing is fair to good. Water conditions are good and the stripers are in their spring holding areas. Fish points of islands and shallow flats in and around the San Joaquin River. If the wind is down the Antioch area is the best producer. Topwater is good if it is calm morning and evening. Going deep with t-14 is best, with fast erratic strips. The usual chartreuse/white clouser gets them excited. Moving tide is good, look for best action on the outgo as the water is clearer. Stripers are running 3-9 lbs and are hot. Weekend boat traffic is a party killer.

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.

Putah Creek (below Lake Berryessa)

Slightly off color, low 50s F, low flow (160 cfs below lake Berryessa).

Fishing is fair. Best fishing is mid-morning and again in the afternoon when trout are rising for midges and BWO’s. Fishing the edges with small midges and BWO patterns, as well as fishing the back eddies off the main current have been effective tactics. Tip: Use small black or olive colored flies. As fish move around during the day, fish runs and pocket water. Fluctuating water levels will turn off trout for a day or so. Good fishing should continue until flows over 500 cfs make it difficult to fish.

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.

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

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

Fishing is good. Water levels are at their normal flows. The most productive method is tight line nymphing with a stonefly nymph and an attractor nymph dropper. Be sure to use lots of weight to get the flies down fast. There are hatches of march browns, BWO and some stoneflies in the afternoon but nymphing is still the most productive method. Some trout are working the dries in the slower moving pools. Hatches and fishing will improve as the weather continues to warm.

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. Fishing is sporadic with the best reports coming in from the West side (Blockhouse and Indian Head). If fishing is poor, change location and/or technique. Fishing a floating line with a midge has been producing with large #10-14 chironomid patterns and Mahalo midges. This can be done under an indicator or on a long leader with a slow retrieve. Use some split shot above flies. Fishing a 250-300 grain fast sinking shooting head with a pyramid bugger and a floating snail dropper is the most popular method. Strip flies back in over the ledge with frequent pauses to yo-yo the floating snail up and down. Fishing is best when weather is at it’s worst; go on rainy and windy days.

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 Keswick Reservoir)

Mud to brown tint, low to mid 50s, low flow (3250 cfs).

Fishing is good. Water clarity is improving and spring hatches are starting to show. Caddis and march browns are hatching on warm days, but small mayflies, beadhead nymphs and stonefly nymphs are producing best numbers. Fish riffles and tailouts where trout are feeding subsurface. Two flies under an indicator are producing good numbers but swinging soft hackles in tailouts and riffles are also producing trout. In the morning, fish yellow and chartreuse egg patterns in riffles and on flats to represent the sucker eggs. Spring is the prime time to hit this river.

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. Attractor beadhead nymphs and BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). Egg patterns (listed elsewhere).

Drift boat fishing is provides best access. NCDAG pg 46, 57. New CDAG pg. 41

Truckee River (Trout Creek to CA Stateline)

Clear, mid to high 40’s. Low flow (82 cfs near Truckee, 333 cfs below Boca).

Fishing is good. Best fishing is on warmer, windless days with cloud cover in the mornings up until early afternoon. Large numbers of BWO are hatching and fish will rise for them. So a parachute adams with a midge dropper is a great set up for a chance to hook a fish along the banks in back eddies and tailouts. Another good combination is a skwala stone with a micro may fly dropper. On colder days, fish have been staying in the deeper runs and can be targeted using tungsten nymphs #10 or #12. Tip: Fish are large and can put up a fight, can use a 4wt rod, but best is a 9’ 5 or 6wt to ensure enough rod to land the fish.

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 572 cfs below Englebright.

Fishing is very good. Best fishing is in the afternoon on sunny days when trout are keying on the remainder of the skwalas, march browns and PMD’s. Both walking and floating is producing. Approach feeding fish with a delicate downstream drift with a long leader. Trout have been eager to rise again if the fly looks right. In the morning, small mayfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs, green caddis pupa and midges under an indicator are producing. Some BWO’s hatching midday and mid-afternoon but best action is on cloudy and rainy days. Reports are consistent above Hwy 20 down to Sycamore Ranch. Heavy fishing pressure.

Skwala Stonefly Adults/Nymphs Hogan’s split wing skwala, Hogan’s skwala, Bullethead Skwala, poxy-back Skwala nymph, Mercer’s tungsten skwala nymph, tungsten bead skwala, flush floater skwala (#8-12). 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 Little Truckee (Between Stampede and Boca Reservoirs) Good reports of a midge and BWO hatching during the warmest part of the day. Technical dry fly fishing with small tippet and small dries are producing some nice fish. Use stealth and a good presentation to trick these educated trout. Sacramento River, Upper Nymphing is picking up with the low water conditions and a tick up in temps. Use a stonefly and a variety of small dark beadhead nymphs. The entire river from Dunsmuir to Lake Shasta is fishing. It is an afternoon game so fish from 11am – 5pm.

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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