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10 March 2014
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H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

American River (below Nimbus Dam)

Slight tint, low 50’s to low 50’s. 481 cfs.

Fishing is fair to good. Reports of numbers of steelhead being caught by dead drifting small nymphs under an indicator or high stick nymphing in riffles. Big fish are being sighted on overcast and rainy days when the BWO nymph bite increases midday. Swinging riffles and tailouts with assassins and intruders early morning and late evening will catch steelhead. The river is closed from Nimbus dam to Anvil Hoffman Park until May 1st. Recent weather has the water off color. Sunny weather will bring out spring caddis hatches.

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. BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere). 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. Good sized trout are being caught suspending flies under an indicator in the main current. Zebra midges, BWO nymphs, small attractor beadhead nymphs are most productive during midday when the temperature is the warmest. Stripping a crystal bugger on the edges of the main current and along weed beds entices big fish lurking in the weeds to bite. Access to fish is best using a pram, pontoon boat, or float tube. This fishery is always a great time when everything else fails. Big fish are not uncommon in these waters.

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

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

Davis Lake (near Portola off hwy 70)

Clear, low 50s F.

Fishing is good to excellent. Fishing with pheasant tail, hares ear, and prince nymphs when the sun is off the water is catching great numbers of fish. Nymphs under an indicator or wind drifting nymphs with a floating line and long leader are most productive tactics for this lake. The blood midges have been reported on the water as air temperatures rise. Fish are averaging between 17-22 inches. The east side of the lake is most productive early morning and later evening. Conditions will continue to improve as insects start to become more active as temperatures increase.  

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). Lake woolly buggers/streamers (listed elsewhere). Midge pupa (listed elsewhere).

Moderate to high fishing pressure. Coves may be busy during the weekends NCDAG pg 70. Tributaries around Davis lake open Saturday preceding Memorial Day to Nov. 15th.

Feather River (Hwy 70 Bridge to Gridley)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow in low flow (800 cfs), high flow below the Afterbay (825 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is good to excellent.  The spring steelhead are starting to show with best reports coming from the low flow section, (Hwy 70 bridge to outlet). Fall run mixed with spring run steelhead are in the upper section (above Hwy 70 bridge). Swinging 1-2 inch pond smelt (Alevin) without a egg yoke on a 9’ 2x leader with a Rio switch line. Dead drift a floating pond smelt along the edges with a swing at the end. Egg patterns, bright green caddis pupas, and san juan worms have been producing steelhead when the water is off color. BWO nymphs are hot flies midday on overcast and rainy days. Best access through the wildlife area. Best access on the top section is with a pontoon boat.

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). 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 Gummy fry, Milt’s Micro Fry, Milt’s Floating Pond Smelt (#2-8). Simmons’ salmon fry, Sloan’s American Alevin (#10-12) BWO/Baetis nymphs and Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Moderate to heavy fishing pressure on weekends. 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 to high 50s F.

Fishing is fair. Water conditions have muddied on the San Joaquin River, where the best bite has been. Look for cleaner water south and east of Franks Tract. Best bite remains on the outgoing tide with clousers retrieved with a fast strip. Topwater action can be very good in the evening with the key of no wind and concentrate on water less than seven feet deep. The fish are concentrate, so fishing is poor until you find the eaters. The better stripers are running 3-7 lbs, with plenty of smaller fish around.

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 (1060 cfs below Iron Gate).

Fishing is fair to good. Flows on the river are lower than the average. Trout and steelhead are concentrated. On days where the temperature is warmer focus on fishing the main runs with a rubber legged stone and beadhead dropper system under an indicator. Midday switch to a BWO nymph to have best chances of fish. When the weather takes a dip in temperature fish slower water where temps are warmer. Best reports come from Iron Gate dam to I-5. A popular drift is from Iron Gate to Ager Bridge.  

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, low flow (108 cfs below lake Berryessa).

Fishing is fair. Fish the breaks in the current and along the edges with midges and BWO nymphs suspended under an indicator. Best fishing is midday when the BWO hatch kicks off. 6x tippet is essential for spooky fish and the small midges. The flows have decreased and made the productivity of fishing increase. This is a great fishery for anglers in the bay area with not a long distance to travel.

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.

Stanislaus River, Lower (below Tulloch Reservoir)

Slightly off color, high 40s F, moderate flow (470 cfs  at Orange Blossom bridge).

Fishing is fair. Reports of quality over quantity. Anglers nymphing riffles and tailouts with attractor beadhead nymphs and BWO nymphs are producing a few fish in the 12-16 inch range. Expect some BWO’s hatching midday, best on overcast and cloudy days. Best access is below Tullock Reservoir and at 2 Mile Bar. Best production is from the dam downstream a quarter mile.

Egg patterns (listed elsewhere). Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere in report).

Moderate fishing pressure. Access from Tulloch Rd and from 2 Mile Bar. NCDAG pg 108.

Trinity River (near Lewiston)

Clear, low to mid 50s F, low flow (317 cfs).

Fishing is fair. The recent rain has blown out the tributaries including Rush Creek. There are reports of fresh steelhead and brown trout. Nymph a golden stone under an indicator off the main current. Golden stones, March Brown nymphs, BWO nymphs, and bright attractor beadhead nymphs are producing fish. An 11ft 6wt switch rod with a Scandi line, swinging small intruders, assassins, and sculpins on a light sink tip is producing fish in runs. Best swinging is when water temps are above 42 degrees. Some reports of steelhead caught on march brown dries.

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). March brown nymphs/dries Hogan’s march brown nymph, March brown emerger, copper john, beadhead  flash back pheasant tail, march brown spotlight emerger, spun dun, march brown parachute, march brown cripple, PT challenged, March Brown dun (#12), Hogan’s Clinger March Brown (#12). Golden stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Moderate to heavy fishing pressure in the Lewiston to Douglas City area. Best access with a drift boat, raft, or pontoon boat. 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 (135 cfs near Truckee, 405 cfs below Boca).

Fishing is fair to good. Best fishing is midday when temps are 45 degrees or higher. In the morning fish midge pupa, followed by BWO nymph dropper under an indicator or attractor dry. As trout start rising to BWO dries, switch to a #16-18 and target rising fish. The Skwala hatch will be upon us soon, followed by march browns. Cleats and a wading staff are essential for getting around in the snow this time of year.

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). River woolly buggers/streamers (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere in report). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (listed elsewhere).

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

Other Reports

Pit River #3,#4, #5 No current reports. Sacramento River, Upper Water is high from recent rains, but dropping. 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. Feather River, N.F. Flows are currently high and off color. Fishing is open from Cresta Powerhouse to Lake Oroville. Water is cold but fish are active for a couple hours during the warmest part of the day. Best method is suspending midges and BWO nymphs under a small indicator. Fish riffles and tailouts. Great time of the year to have the river all to yourself. Sacramento River, Lower (below Keswick Reservoir) Fishing is poor to fair. Sac is flowing muddy throughout. When the rain stops allow two to four days for the tributaries to clear. When warm weather and clarity improve trout will key on caddis, march browns, and stone flies. Yuba River, Lower (from Englebright dam to Marysville) Fishing is poor. Recent weather has increased flows muddying up the river. When flows decrease and clarity expect hatches of BWO and march browns on rainy days and caddis, PMDs and remaining Skwala’s on sunny days. Deer creek in Smartville is a good indication whether the river will be off color, (dreamflows.com)

Coastal Steelhead Report There hasn’t been too much to talk about on the coast with no rainfall. Best reports have been from the Smith in California and Chetco in Oregon. When they have received rain, steelhead have come into the system. Reports of nymph fisherman and two-handers landing some fresh steelies in low/clear water with light tip, small egg patterns and small intruders. Let’s hope for some rain to get this season going!

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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