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28 April 2016
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

Baum Lake

Clear, mid 40s, lake level is normal.

Fishing is good to excellent. Hatches start around 10am with fish eating midges and BWO emergers subsurface. Anchor your boat or pontoon boat off the current and cast to rising fish in the current. Tandem midges under an indicator is the best tactic pre-hatch. As hatches progress, switch to BWO dries followed by March brown dries. Change flies often to give fish a different look. A mixture of stockers and nice 12-17 inch wild trout. Best fishing is in the afternoon with trout rising to caddis and mayflies in the main current. Anglers are also hooking fish on small un-weighted streamer patterns on a sink tip line.

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). Midge pupa glass bead midge (red, black), crystal dip, disco midge, brassie, desert storm, zebra midge (rust, black), WD40 (olive, chocolate) WD50 tungsten (olive/wine), skinny nelson, biot midge, crystal HBI (#18-22). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (Listed elsewhere in report). BWO nymphs (Listed elsewhere in report). Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light fishing pressure. CDAG pg 34. Best access is from boat or pontoon boat.

Feather River (Hwy 70 bridge to Gridley)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow in low flow (800 cfs), good flow below the Afterbay (1,050 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is good. Spring steelhead are throughout the system holding in riffles during the hatch and in tailouts during the heat of the day. In the morning, start with midge pupa’s, BWO nymphs, under an indicator in riffles and tailouts. Be sure to use enough split shot to get flies down in fast water. In the afternoon, switch to caddis and PMD’s. Swinging tactics are a productive method to hook steelhead when hatches are in full swing. It’s not uncommon to find steelies slashing caddis and PMD’s on the surface in the afternoon. Stick with the emerger until well into the hatch, then switch to a caddis dry. E/C caddis is a great favorite for these aggressive spring steelies. Best way to cover water is from a drift boat, pontoon boat or kayak

Attractor beadhead nymphs  royal flush, Hogan’s Steelie Caddis, hare’s ear, twenty incher, Eng thing, Fred Gordon amber wing prince, Hart’s dark lord, copper lite brite prince, 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, Red Squirrel (#10-18), san juan worm (worm brown, burgundy). 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, green humpy, Blue ribbon X2 caddis, Fox’s crowning poopah olv/cinn, Kyle’s better foam caddis  (#12-20). PMD emergers/cripples/dries (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light to moderate fishing pressure. Above Hwy 70 is open to fishing. DO NOT wade into the salmon redds. Access from Oroville State Wildlife Area. NCDAG pg 68, 78.

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

2-3 feet visibility, mid to high 50s F.

Fishing is fair to excellent depending on wind. Stripers are on shallow points of islands and shallow flats along the Mokelumne and San Joaquin Rivers. Use a fast sink shooting head with chartreuse and white clousers. Use an erratic retrieve to entice big grabs. Most stripers are running 3-7 lbs and are very strong. The black bass bite also on. Topwater action for black bass is heating up mornings and evenings. Reports of several 7+ pound black bass caught on the fly in the last week.

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. Moderate to heavy fishing pressure. CDAG pg. 72, 73.

Hot Creek

Off color to clear, low to mid 40s F, 8 cfs.

Fishing is fair. Cold temps are making trout sluggish but hatches of BWO and midges will get trout feeding during the warmest part of the day. Fishing an extended body bwo using a delicate downstream drift will hook some of these educated fish. Switch between bwo dries, emergers and a dry with a nymph dropper to find what the fish will take. Indicator nymphing with small mayfly nymphs and midges are productive when fish are not rising.

Midge pupa glass bead midge (red, black), crystal dip, disco midge, brassie, desert storm, zebra midge (rust, black), WD40 (olive, chocolate) WD50 tungsten (olive/wine) (#18-22). BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). BWO emerger/dries (listed elsewhere in report).

Expect moderate fishing pressure on weekends. Access at upper parking lot and fish downstream to the hot springs. NCDAG pg 112.

Oroville Lake

Slight tint, mid to high 60’s F.

Fishing is good. Water temps have increased, and bass are pre-spawn and aggressive. Fish back bays in order to block out the wind. Best fishing access is by boat, with moderate fishing pressure as bass become more aggressive to take flies. Be sure to fish edges, structure such as rocks, and logs to locate spotted and smallmouth bass. Look to target bass sitting on spawning beds. Stripping a weighted fly along the shore will trigger a strike. Suspend balanced leeches, tui-chubs, and minnow patterns under an indicator. Make sure to pause between strips. Another method is using a sink tip with weighted flies in order to reach deeper water along ledges. Guided trips available through Fish First Shop!

Bass subsurface flies Hogan puff-claw dad, bluegill, Wyatt's rattle shad, Wyatt's rattle rainbow, Cutter’s goblin, rag sculpin, zonker, woolhead sculpin, blossom, Double bunny, blossom,  Cowen’s coyote, Whitlock’s scorpion, garage door opener (rust, chartreuse), Burk's bass flash, Clouser Darter, flexi-tail bunny, baby smallmouth (#2-10), Balanced Leaches.

Expect light pressure with a lot of lake to fish. Access at Lime Saddle and Bidwell Marina. CDAG pg.51

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

Slight tint, mid 50s F, high flows Pit #3. High on Pit 4 and high on Pit 5 to Big Bend.

Fishing is fair to good. Flows are very high and extremely difficult to wade, but fishing is productive all day using different tactics. In the morning, high stick nymphing with a dark stonefly and a flashback pt dropper will hook fish in pocket water below lake Britton. Midday, switch to a streamer on a sink tip line. Cast to the top of the pool and strip the fly through the pool. Vary the retrieve and cover water to find eager fish. Might be some trout rising to salmon flies, stoneflies, caddis and mayflies in the late afternoon. Fishing a rogue stone with a caddis pupa dropper will get some action. Hatches will improve with warmer temps. Good reports from Pit 3 to Pit 5.

Green drake dries Green Drake parachute, Neally's green drake challenged green drake (#8-10). Salmonfly dries Rogue foam stone giant, hedgehog, stimulator (orange), B1 bomber. Lake woolly buggers/streamers J Fair wiggle tail (olive, brown, burnt orange) BH woolly bugger (black, olive, brown), crystal bugger, seal bugger hale bopp leach (brown, olive) (#6-12). Golden stonefly nymphs jumbo john, Morrish cone stone, Morrish WMD, Mercer’s raghead, Poxyback golden stone nymph, Mercer's poxyquill golden stone. Caddis pupa/emergers (listed elsewhere in report).

Moderate 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 (NV)

Slightly tinted, high 40’s to low 50’s.

Fishing is good. Reports of 10+ lb fish being caught throughout the day. Cover water to find pods of trout cruising the shoreline. Cold, windy days and churned up water are producing huge Lohanton Cutts cruising the shallows aggressively eating maholo blood midges, flashy beadhead nymphs and balanced leaches under an indicator. Tandem flies that are tossed around by choppy water will pick up cruising fish. Tip: Trout will sometimes hug the bank. Be sure to look for cruisers behind your ladder. Another popular method is using a fast sinking shooting head to get pyramid buggers down along the ledge where they are cruising.

Pyramid Flies woolly worms, Pyramid buggers (black/purple, chartreuse/white, Olive, black), Pyramid snail (black/purple, chartreuse/white, Olive, black). (#8-12) Blood Midge Pupae bead brain blood midge, desert storm. WD 40 red, red brassie, disco midge red, red and copper zebra midge (#10-14). Attractor  nymphs (listed elsewhere in report).

Expect heavy fishing pressure. The Area from Sutcliff Marina to the very South end of the South Nets is closed. NAG pg 34.

Sacramento River, Lower (below Keswick Reservoir)

Slight tint, high 40’s to low 50’s. 5000 cfs release from Keswick Reservoir.


Fishing is good to excellent. Trout are on the bugs! Switch between midges and BWO in the morning, caddis and PMD’s in the afternoon. Big rubberleg stones all day. The sucker egg bite is waning. Swinging soft hackles (caddis, pmd) in riffles as the hatch progresses will produce good numbers. Fish tailouts and runs when hatches are not present. Indicator nymphing from a boat is deadly in 4-6 feet of water with enough split shot to get flies down. Best action is afternoon to last light with trout feeding on PMD’s and caddis on the surface. Target rising trout with a delicate downstream drift along the flats. Great wading flows at 5,000 cfs.

Caddis pupa/emergers Weir’s caddis pupa (caramel, lime), Hogan’s Yuba pupa, Hogan's swingin’ caddis, Amber wing caddis, pulsating caddis (tan, olive), Fox’s springtime poopah, Amber wing prince, M’s Dirty Bird, Hogan’s steelie caddis, Kyle’s killer caddis Silvey’s prime time pupa, (#14-18). Stonefly nymphs jumbo john, Morrish cone stone, Morrish WMD, Mercer’s raghead, Poxyback golden stone nymph, Mercer's poxyquill golden stone, beadhead twenty incher, copper back, (#8-12). Attractor beadhead nymphs (Listed elsewhere in report). Stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere in report).

Flows at or over 7000 cfs the Cypress St Bridge is closed to all boat traffic. Boats need to put in below the Cypress St bridge. Closed from Keswick down to Hwy 44 bridge from April 1,2016 and will remain in effect until July 31, 2016.NCDAG pg 46, 57.

Yuba River, Lower (near Highway 20 Bridge)

Slight tint (3 foot visibility), mid 50’s, high water 2,809 cfs near Smartville.

Fishing is poor to fair. Insect activity is slowly improving with warmer weather but flows are high and difficult to wade. In the morning, nymph with a golden stone and a small beadhead nymphs. Trout are rising to march browns, pmd’s, and caddis in the afternoon where there is a break in the current. Cover the riffles and tailouts with a good drag free drift. PMD’s will be the first hatch around 11am. Caddis and some stoneflies will be active in the afternoon. Fish a yellow stimulator with a pt dropper in back eddies off the main current. Good to have a variety of dries. Fish are very selective. If no fish are rising, stripping streamers around structure and in deeper runs can get some huge grabs. Best fishing is from a drift boat to cover the width of the river.

PMD emergers/cripples/dries Harrop PMD captive dun, Lawson's 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) Pale morning dun nymphs Hogan’s s&m (brown), Beadhead flash back pheasant tails, Mercer's micro mayfly (brown), Burk’s crystal HBI (#14-18). Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). Attractor beadhead nymphs and Golden stonefly dries (listed elsewhere in report).

Above Hwy 20 bridge is open. Expect heavy pressure on weekdays and weekends. Barbless hooks and catch and release only. Access of Hwy 20. NCDAG 78

Other Reports

Trout Opener Prediction Trout season opens Saturday April 30th. Good snowpack and warm weather is bringing out good spring hatches. Flows are high with runoff but lots of fishable streams. Good luck. Please Call or email us with your results. Mac@FishFirst.com Crowley Lake Should be a good opener. Suspending midges a foot off the bottom is the name of the game. Expect crowds on the opener. Deer Creek Reports of salmon flies spotted in the lower reaches near Ishi Wilderness. Warmer temperatures should bring good hatches of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies in the wild (catch and release) section below Deer Creek falls. Fish ant patterns, stoneflies, spring caddis (small, dark), and BWO’s (baetis). Expect crowds in the campgrounds, (Potato Patch, Alder and Elam). The section above Deer Creek falls in the put and take section was planted on 4/24/16 and will be planted again on 5/1/16. Fall River should fish well. It’s cold but warm weather should bring out hatches of spring caddis, BWO, and brown drakes. Swinging light streamers and soft hackles is also a great method for finding eager trout. Feather River, N.F. (Cresta powerhouse to Lake Oroville) Flows are high at 713 cfs @ Rock creek and 678 cfs @ Cresta. Fishing will improve when flows recede. Hat Creek Expect hatches of BWO’s, PMD’s, green drakes, brown drakes, spring caddis and lots of anglers at PH2. Salmon flies should be around but should improve in coming weeks along with caddis. Swinging soft hackles, fishing dries and dries with a dropper should all be good techniques for the opener. Start with small baetis dries and nymphs early and finish with caddis and stoneflies. McCloud River below McCloud reservoir has controlled water released from the dam making this a good destination.  High stick nymphing with a dark stone and a copper john is a good tactic to hook some fish. Expect hatches of midges, mayflies and caddis in the afternoon. This is also a good time of the year to fish ant patterns along the bank to rise big fish. Mill Creek Is a little high at 343 cfs and the water is cold but nymphing off the main current with stoneflies and beadhead nymph can produce some trout. North Fork of the Feather near Beldon. Flows are high in Beldon and below Cresta. Expect to mainly nymph with stones and attractors along the edges. Fishing will improve when flows recede. Truckee River (Trout Creek to Stateline) is poor. Currently recovering after low flows from last year. Most trout have moved down stream to better water conditions. Best fishing is below Boca where flows are high at 575 cfs. Nymph golden stones and baetis in the mornings. Be sure to switch to March browns in the afternoon.

Other Reports North Fork Feather (Butte County) Flows are high below Cresta. Wading will be difficult but warm weather will bring out hatches of mayflies and the start of stoneflies. Nymphing runs along the edges will find trout. Look for trout rising in pools and tailouts where the current is light. Flows are good below Poe powerhouse wit some caddis, stoneflies and baetis. Recent high water has flushed out a lot of insects. Reports of sparse hatches. Little Truckee River The road is open all the way to stampede but temperatures are down and fish are sluggish. Look for fish feeding on midges, baetis and winter stones. It has been difficult to get fish to bite. Look for better fishing when weather warms. Lower Stanislaus River is roaring over 2,821 cfs and currently unfishable. Putah Creek is fishing poor to fair. Flows have increased to high summer flows (468 cfs). Trinity River – High but fishable. Running at 1,000 cfs and will continue to increase drastically due to annual summer high flows. Nymphing the edges with stoneflies and beadhead nymphs under an indicator will find fish off the main current. Look for trout rising along the edges. Sacramento River, Upper (above Lake Shasta) Currently at 1,200 cfs and cold. Few BWO’s hatching mid-morning. Walker River, East Fork (below Bridgeport Reservoir) . Water temperatures are low and fish are sluggish. Currently at 64 cfs and unstable. Fishing will improve with warmer weather.

Shad Report Shad have arrived! The first batch of male shad have arrived with female shad to follow. Fishing a 225-300 grain fast sink shooting head with Rio’s Grip Shooter running line will hook shad on the swing, stripped in, or jigged off the back of a boat in slower back eddies where shad can find relief from the current. Sacramento River- Wading off the bank for shad is good on the Sac at these flows (5,000 cfs). Accessing along river road offers the best access around Chico. American River- Shad are starting to show from Gristmill to the mouth. Look for slower water where shad can get a break from these high flows. Yuba River- No reports of shad, but increased flows will bring fish up the Yuba to Daguerre Dam. Access off Hallwood Ave. Feather River- No reports at Shanghai Bend. Best numbers on of fish are on the Sac and American.

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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