What's Hot and What's Not™
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3 February 2015
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

American River (below Nimbus Dam)

Clear, low 50’s s. Super low flow 550 cfs.

Fishing is fair. Averaging 1-4  touches a day. Best time is early morning and late evening when the sun is off the water. Fish are more active on cloudy days. Fish are still coming up the river, but very slowly due to low flows. Swing Alevin patterns and small wet flies with a Scandi on a switch or a sink tip on a single hand rod. Egg patterns under an indicator is also a productive method. Add a flashy caddis pupa dropper to increase your action. Please protect the future of this fishery; do not target spawning fish or stand on steelhead redds.

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).

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, mid 40s, lake level is normal.

Fishing is good. Best fishing is warmest part of the day on cloudy and rainy days. Fish a BWO nymph in the main current with a midge dropper under an indicator. When trout are starting to rise to the BWO hatch midday, a BWO emerger will hook fish under an attractor dry. When good numbers of trout are rising, switch to a sparkle dun. 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. This lake is a great fishery when everything else is blown out. Some monster trout caught in the last week.

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 (950 cfs), high flow below the Afterbay (950 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is fair to good.  This is a quality over quantity year above Hwy 70. Numbers are low but we are seeing steelhead in the 8-10# range. Best fishing is on overcast days when steelhead are feeding on BWO nymphs and flashy attractor nymphs #12-16. Best fishing is in the morning with salmon fry along the edges, try a switch rod with a Rio Switch Chucker line. Swing the flats with a 9’ 2X leader and no sink tip. Water depth is between 1-3 feet with good drop-offs and holding spots. Extremely crowded on the weekends. We are waiting for spring steelhead to show. Please watch where you’re walking! Steelhead are digging redds!

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 to mid 60’s F, 195 cfs @ Rock Creek Dam, 95 @ Poe Powerhouse.

Fishing is fair to good. Nymphing midges and BWO patterns under an indicator in pools and tailouts are finding best numbers during the warmest part of the day, best on cloudy days. On sunny days, go deep with rubberleg stones and beadhead nymphs. Get deep without an indicator in runs and pocket water. Some dry fly action in the afternoon in pools and tailouts using BWO and midge dries with a 12’ 6X leader. Great time of the year to strip streamers in pool and bends of the river. Best access is from Pulga.

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, 1-4 ft visibility, high 40s to low 50s F.

Fishing is poor, but improving. The water temps are starting to creep up slowly. Best time to fish is during the outgoing tide s water clears. The last of the incoming and slack tide is slow. Stripers are being found in 4-15 ft of water, so fish the appropriate sink rate line from an intermediate to a T-14. Use lots of pauses in your strip. Fishing east and south of Franks is better than in the west. Lot of water hyacinth floating around. Expect fishing to improve as clarity improves and water temps rise.

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 (954 cfs below Iron Gate).

Fishing is fair to good. Best reports are from Irongate to I-5 on half pounders and adults. Nymph riffles, tailouts and runs with a rubber legged stone and an egg dropper (steak and eggs). Midday, switch to a rubber legged stone with a BWO dropper to match the hatch. Unseasonably warm temps are keeping the swing alive! Use silver hiltons, assassins and small intruders fished on a switch rod. Add a prince nymph for increased success. A few good reports of steelhead caught in Seiad Valley.  

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

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, high flow (437 cfs below lake Berryessa).

Fishing is good. Fishing has been consistent throughout the day, picking up slightly during the late afternoon. 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. There are fish to be had, but it is important to stay off redds and respect the spawners in the creek so there will be a next generation of 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.

Pyramid Lake (outside of Reno)

Clear, good lake level.

Fishing is fair to good. Reports are all over the place. If fishing is poor, change location, flies, and retrieve. Best fishing is with a 7wt rod with a 250 grain shooting head. Strip a bright bugger with a floating snail dropper. Fishing chironomids under an indicator will also hook large fish. These cutts run from 2-10 lbs. The largest fish showing in the next two months.

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 (3100 cfs).

Fishing is fair. Water is off color due to dirty water coming out of Shasta. As water clears, hatches of midges and BWO’s are getting trout back on the bite. Best action is around Posse Grounds (Sundial Bridge) where big trout are feeding in riffles and seams between fast and slow water. Reports are fair around Balls Ferry and Jelly’s Ferry with better numbers but smaller size. Great time of the year to swing soft hackles in riffles when BWO’s are active. Not a lot of pressure this time of the year.

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).

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

Trinity River (near Lewiston)

Clear to off color, low 50s F, low flow (300 cfs).

Fishing is fair. Fishing is picking up with rain adding some color to the river. Steelhead numbers are not as high as previous years. In comparison, brown trout are in greater numbers than usual. Nymphing golden stones and beadhead nymphs around points and ledges have a good shot at the browns. Best fishing is when the sun is off the water. Move and cover water by swinging small assassins and leeches with a switch rod. Please stay off  redds and leave spawners alone.

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, mid 40’s. Low flow (53 cfs near Truckee, 176 cfs below Boca).

Fishing is good. Water clarity has been an issue in past weeks but water is clearing and trout are feeding on BWO and midges. Best fishing has been midday, between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm. Baetis and midge nymphs are been producing fish along the banks in back eddies and tailouts. An attractor dry with a BWO nymph will get action on the nymph along the edges. Size 20 or smaller midges are producing the best numbers. Streamers are getting better quality over quantity. Stripping leaches and sculpins along the edges below Boca is producing some lunker browns.

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 513 cfs below Englebright.

Fishing is fair to good. Best skwala and overall bug activity is above Hwy 20 bridge. Trout are keying on skwalas in riffles and along the edges all day. Best skwala dry activity is in the afternoon, but numbers are down from past years. Small nymphs, green caddis pupa and midges under an indicator are producing best. Some BWO’s hatching midday and mid-afternoon but best action is on cloudy and rainy days. A few reports of steelhead below Hwy 20 bridge. Fish riffles and tailouts with beadhead nymphs and egg patterns. Most steelhead caught recently are Feather River fish.

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. Pit River #3,#4, #5 Is fishing fair to good with stoneflies, BWO nymphs and beadhead nymphs in pocket water under an indicator. Look for a magical hour during the warmest part of the day when trout are feeding on BWO’s. Sacramento River, Upper Hatches during the warmest part of the day. Magical hour of trout rising to midges and BWO’s. Water is cold and trout are not eager to move to a fly in the morning or after the sun is off the water. Stanislaus River, Lower (below Tulloch Reservoir) is fishing fair. Water is low and clear. Trout are spread out in runs and pools where they can hide. Some opportunities for fishing dries in the afternoon, but best tactic is subsurface with Beadhead nymphs and BWO nymphs.

North Coast Steelhead - (Fishing conditions change daily, to check on coastal river low flow closures call the following numbers: North Coast River Closures 707.442.4502. Central Coast River Closures 707.944.5533). Gualala River- Flows are currently low but incoming storms will braise flows and bring steelhead into the system. Access around Thompson’s Park and Regional Park above Thompson when flows were fishable. Swing assassins, skunks and silver hiltons with a type 3 sink tip. Russian River- Flows are low but incoming rains will bring steelhead into the system. Swing skunks, silver hilton’s, string leaches and assassins on a skagit, scandi or shooting head. Decent reports from the lower river around Johnson’s Beach, Vacation Beach and Steelhead Beach when flows were fishable. Smith River-Good numbers of big steelhead in the system. When current high flows recede, swing intruders and string leaches on a Skagit line in tailouts and drop-offs. Best action for swinging flies is below Jedediah state park where the river spreads out. Keep an eye on river flows. This river will blow out quick but will also recover fast. Eel River is open. Best fishing is on the SF of the eel around Miranda, Bonbon and Redway. Flows are currently good but are expected to rise with incoming weather. Swing leaches and intruders in runs and pocket water. Mad River Fish are in the system but the flows are on the rise after the last storm. When flows start receding, fishing should improve. Swing an egg sucking leach or traditional steelhead patterns on a sink tip line. Redwood Creek-This is a difficult river to time right. Flows are low but expected to increase. Best fishing is when the flows are on the drop. Be sure to check flows before venturing this Redwood. Van Duzen River- Fish are in the system. If you can catch this river when flows are fishable, this can be a fantastic steelhead fishery.

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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