AMERICAN RIVER - Steelheading was tough early in the week, primarily because of the bitterly cold mornings which put ice in the guides. The steelhead bite improved greatly as the storms hit--warmer river flows putting steelhead on the bite, and more fish coming in on the flows added to the river from runoff. Fishing pressure upstream of the Sunrise Blvd was heaviest, especially in Nimbus Basin, but that's where most of the fish were stacked up. The best success came from guides and experienced steelheaders. Drifted roe and nightcrawlers, and Little Cleos on the swing were producing the most action for waders. Fly fishers swung steelhead patterns and drifted nymphs and egg patterns under indicators.
FEATHER RIVER - Striper fishing continued to improve around Shanghai Rapids to Star Bend in anticipation of the steelhead plant that occurs around this time of year. The river mudded up below Jack's Slough, but was still in good condition upstream. Steelheading was pretty good around Gridley. Indicator fishing with small nymphs and drifting with nightcrawlers was also fair in the Low Flow Section.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento - Sturgeon fishing was picking from around the Fremont Weir to above Tisdale. South River Road, and around Tisdale were two of the better spots. It should really take off as the river drops back down--up 2 feet and rising over the weekend.
COLLINS LAKE - The lake received a DFG trout plant this past week of 2000 pounds of catchable rainbows. Trollers and shore anglers were doing equally as well on lots of limits of planters. Shore anglers do better right after the plants, but trollers prevail as the fish spread out into the lake.
ROLLINS LAKE - The lake received a DFG trout plant this past week. Casey Reynolds at Long Ravine Resort said that the DFG planted 2000 pounds of rainbows and fishing was good for shore anglers using Power Bait and worms. Catfish to 8 pounds were hitting bait fished at night and some bass were caught by anglers casting Panther Martins, according to Reynolds.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Ore. - Way blown out, going from 1,000 cfs on Wednesday to 60,000 cfs on Thursday, causing some flooding, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. It was expected to still be at about 6,000 cfs by mid-week. Another 20-pound steelhead was caught in guide Tony Sepulveda's boat, and another big push of steelhead is expected in the river from this storm.
EEL RIVER - Both the South Fork and the main are totally blown out.
GUALALA RIVER - Blown out at 10,000 cfs.
MATTOLE RIVER - Blown out.
NAVARRO, NOYO rivers - Blown out.
REDWOOD CREEK - Blown out.
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore. - The river blew out big time, going to 50,000 cfs at Agness last Thursday and currently running about 25,000 cfs, and expected to stay there until mid-week when they would reach 13,000. Plunkers were finding some steelhead action on good numbers of wild and hatchery fish still-fishing with Spin-n-Glos. Jet boats expected to be running plugs by the weekend, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
RUSSIAN RIVER - Blown out and running 10,000 cfs at Healdsburg, probably 12,000 cfs at Guerneville (the gauge is broken). Running muddy with logs and debris on Monday morning. Should have crested on Monday, and by Friday should be around 2500 cfs, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tacke. If it greens up it should be fishing by the weekend. The steelhead currently holding in the system will run up into the creeks, but there should be a "whole bunch" of fresh fish coming in with the runoff.
SMITH RIVER - Flows went to 100,000 cfs after 8 1/2 inches of rain hit it from the current storm, and some flood damage was reported. Flows were back down to 17,200 cfs in Hiouchi on Monday a.m. Plunkers were already picking up some fish along the soft edges on Sunday, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, and guides were already plunking from driftboats on Monday, and expected to start sidedrifting by Tuesday. A new run of steelies should be piling into the river, but call ahead, and there may be more rain.
SOUTHERN OREGON RIVERS - Storm after storm has all the rivers blown out and some at flood level, causing damage, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. He said that several of the rivers are dropping, but it will take some time for them to be fishable. He said that the higher levels will spread the fish out, from holding in the low, shallow conditions.
TRINITY RIVER, Lewiston - Storms blew out most of the Trinity River below Weaver Creek at Douglas City, but conditions were fishable, though off-color upstream. It was still raining and snowing as of Sunday night and more weather was expected. It's going to be a bait affair for awhile, but the storms should bring a big new push of fresh steelhead upriver.
TRINITY RIVER, WILLOW Creek - The river was blown out through most of its length beginning at Douglas City.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam - The upper end of the Klamath right below Iron Gate was little affected by the storms and remained clear and fishable (1,400 cfs). Anglers continued to hook a around a half a dozen half-pounders and trout plus a few adults to about 6 pounds on nightcrawlers behind divers, and backtrolled crawdad plugs. A 12 pounder was caught a week ago.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen - The balance of the Klamath was blown out and will remain so for awhile.
BOCA LAKE - The lake is at 16-percent capacity. Heavy rain and snow over the past weekend with more coming, but you can drive to the dam on a plowed road. The dam area was still iced over, with open water at the inlet. There was little fishing pressure with the poor weather.
CAPLES LAKE - John Voss at the Caples Lake Resort reported that the ice was 12 inches thick on the lake. Ice fishermen were auguring holes through the ice at the spillway and catching a few rainbows. Over the weekend, the lake received a foot of snow and more was in the forecast--this should just about eliminate the problem associated with slippery ice.
CARSON RIVER (East) - The heavy rain from what turned out to be a warmer storm than forecast for this area melted most of the ice off the river and flows and doubled or tripled, according to Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort. The warmer water and increased flows should improve fishing in the trophy trout section below Hangman's Bridge.
DAVIS LAKE - The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Ed Dillard reported spotty ice fishing this past weekend in light of the unstable weather--there was more rain than snow. Ice fishermen were finding a quick flurry of action in the mornings that lasted until about 10 a.m. followed by a shutdown of activity. The weather was forecast to improve later this week, so fishing should get better.
DONNER LAKE - Mountain Hardware and Sports reported some action on rainbows with bait, but weather was making for tough conditions with rain and snow over the weekend.
FRENCHMAN LAKE - The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that the ice at the dam was UNSAFE for ice fishing. Anglers were shore fishing at Crystal Point, Turkey Point, in Big Cove at the creek inlet, and west of the dam by the Forest Service campground. Rainbows were running 15 to 20 inches.
GOLD LAKES BASIN - Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported lots of rain and some snow over the past weekend that made for tough fishing conditions. Bassetts Station was still closed, waiting for deep snow to attract cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR - The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale's Foothill fishing Service reported that the water temp had dropped to 36 degrees and the trolling bite had slowed considerably. With rain and snow over the weekend, conditions were worse still.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR - Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort reported that the roads to both ends of the lake were open--off Hwy 89 and Diamond Valley Road. The lake was iced over as of the last report, but not thick enough for ice fishing. If it gets windy, the ice could break up.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR - Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the lake was still open but there were sheets of ice floating around on the surface. Shore fishing was productive for rainbows to 16 inches on worms and Power Bait.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) - Over 4 inches of rain and a couple of inches of snow made for less than stellar fishing conditions. Sly Park Resort reported no fishing pressure over the weekend.
LAKE TAHOE - Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters was at the Sacramento ISE Expo this past week and didn't get out much, but reported decent action for macks trolling 400 to 500 feet deep off Carnelian Bay with Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos for fish running 3 to 9 pounds--the size depending on the school of fish that were the most active.
LOON LAKE - The lake is at 58-percent capacity. There was just a little snow here after the recent storms, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. The facilities were still open, but there were few anglers hauling up this far to fish in the cold.
PROSSER LAKE - The lake is at 34-percent capacity. The lake was still frozen over and ice fishermen were working the area at the dam. With the snowstorm over the weekend, be prepared for a walk to the dam.
PYRAMID LAKE - Some rain and strong winds kept boats off the lake this past week. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters said that the strong winds could form some of the shallower dropoffs needed for the fly fishing and shore casting to improve. When the weather settles, trolling should get back to normal--10 to 15 fish per day. Crosby's Lodge Presidents' Day Derby is coming up Feb. 11-12 and Feb 18-19. $80 entry gets you a free hat, dinner on Feb 18, and a chance at cash and prizes for the Top 20 fish. Call Crosby's Lodge at 775-476-0400 or check crobyslodge.com for entries and rules.
RED LAKE - Thick ice and a coating of fresh snow to reduce the slipping hazard will improve the ice fishing. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters will resume booking ice fishing trips here with the snow on the ice. Access along Hwy 88 should produce a few rainbows, cutthroats, and brookies.
SILVER LAKE - Thick ice with a covering of snow should help reduce slipping hazards for ice fishermen. Try access along Hwy 88 and use a cocktail shrimp on a small crappie jighead, a Kastmaster, or worms/ Power Bait.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR - The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Before the storm hit, the lake was still open and boats could launch. There was 6 to 12 inches of snow in the area, but Mountain Hardware and Sports said you could probably still access the lake with 4-wheel drive. Big macks were providing sporadic action for trollers working the dam with Sting Fish at 15 to 30 feet.
TOPAZ LAKE - A 51 member group from the Auburn/Loomis/Colfax area reported great fishing this past weekend. Their rainbows weighed from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds and were caught trolling or shore fishing on the south end of the lake.
TRUCKEE RIVER - The lower main river through Reno and below has been the most productive for fly fishermen casting midge and baetis patterns for the infrequent good fish to 20 inches. The Little Truckee road access got some snow but was still passable with 4-wheel drive. The fish here received incredible pressure before the storms and really need a rest.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR - The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Cold weather dropped the water temp and slowed the already sporadic mack trolling. Watch out for ice on the road and at the ramp after the storm this past weekend.
FOLSOM LAKE - Bass fishing continued to be slow, and the best way to get a few bites was to find the baitballs over deep structure, then slowly spoon, drop-shot and jig. A few trout and salmon were being caught long lining with small Rapalas fished near the surface on the main body and from 25 to 35 feet with Speedy Shiners and hoochies.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding - Lots of mud in the river below creek mouths meant that the only trout fishing available for the immediate future is around Redding. Drift Glo-Bugs, Mayfly or caddis nymph imitations under indicators while spin fishermen drift Glo-Bugs and nightcrawlers.
AMERICAN RIVER - Heavy rains during the storms this past week increased flows, but few anglers were out.
BULLARDS BAR - The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that one bass angler was catching "good ones" on Senkos at 65 feet deep on main lake points. Trollers were picking up some rainbows in the North Fork on Needlefish.
CAMP FAR WEST - Wind and heavy rain over the weekend brought fishing to halt. Wait for the weather to break to try for bass in what will surely be a rising lake level.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR - The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported that shore anglers were still doing well on planter rainbows on the bank between the marina and Army Corps ramp. The lake was hit by heavy rains and wind over the weekend.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR - Last week's storms only brought a dusting of snow to this area preceded by heavy rains. Few anglers ventured forth in the foul weather. Check with the Foresthill Ranger Station for the latest road conditions at 530-367-2224.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR - The Georgetown Ranger Station reported a dusting of snow after heavy rains. Few anglers chose to brave the weather to fish for browns and macks. Check with the Georgetown Ranger Station for the latest road conditions at 530-333-4312.
LAKE OROVILLE - The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Heavy rain this past weekend started water running into some of the creeks and drainages triggering a movement of bass into the incoming runoff. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and drop-shot worms fished up shallow resulted in spots to 3 pounds for guide Ron Gandolfi this past weekend between storms. Bass were spread out from 5 to 30 feet deep. Small coho salmon were stacked up in the runoff and could be caught in limit numbers on small spoons.
SCOTT'S FLAT LAKE - The lake is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Fishing will be good in the marina right after the plant is made.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR - Heavy rain fell here this past week during the series of storms that moved through the mountains. Few anglers were out, though the day-use and launching facilities are open.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR - The Georgetown Ranger Station reported only a dusting of snow here over the weekend, so anglers could still get to the lake. Few anglers were out due to the severe weather.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY - The lake was at 135.3-foot elevation at press time. The last report indicated that the water temp had dropped and the bite had slowed. There must be a lot of water being released from Lake Oroville for the elevation to be this high.
BERKELEY - Weather and water flows are expected to push the crabs out farther into the bay which will make it easier to target sturgeon and striped bass. Sturgeon action is centered in San Pablo Bay while striped bass counts remain low.
BODEGA BAY - Sanddab and crab fishing remain viable options and local party boats including the New sea Angler have run trips when reservation counts make it possible. Attempts to find Humboldt squid went unrewarded but more trips are planned. Shore anglers enjoyed good success casting snares for crabs at Lawsons, while surf fishers scored good counts of barred surf perch at beaches including Stinsons and Dillon.
BROOKINGS, ORE. - Rockfish and lingcod action was good while the weather lasted and is expected to resume when post-storm conditions improve.
CROCKETT - Sturgeon fishing in San Pablo Bay west of Crockett turned on mid-week thanks to great tides and water conditions which were muddy and fishy, just right for sturgeon with a few flounder mixed in. Striped bass action proved difficult but possible to find other than as incidental to sturgeon fishing.
EUREKA - Private boat crabbers hauled in Dungeness within the one-mile radius where commercials are not allowed. Other than a couple of days, weather kept boats in and people off the beach. When the rain stops and the rivers clear up, steelhead fishing is expected to go wide open. Anglers casting snares are enjoying good crabbing from the jettys and rocks from Eureka and Trinidad.
FORT BRAGG - Weather and sea state combined to make fishing difficult. Boat activity, though sparse has focused on nearshore areas targeting crabs and sanddabs. Shore anglers have found it difficult to fish preferred areas such as Mendocino Headlands because the water is too surgy to effectively present baits. A few hardy souls worked the beach to take advantage of larger surf and managed surf perch on double hook rigs and Carolina rigs with squid or Gulp! baits.
HALF MOON BAY - Anglers in the Pillar Point area are still fishing the pier and the jetty for crab successfully during weather windows. Some are using hoops and some are casting snares. Perch is the most popular fishing target with most fishers using live pile worms and Gulp! sandworms.
PACIFICA PIER - Mid-week pier crabbing was decent for anglers casting snares baited with squid, mackerel or anchovies. High surf advisories late in the week forced closure of the pier (surf was reported running up to 18 feet). No surf fishing reports were available due to the dangerously high surf.
SAN RAFAEL - After two relatively tough weeks, sturgeon fishing turned on mid-week thanks to ideal tides and outflow from rivers and streams. Mud and ghost shrimp have been the best baits. Striped bass fishing continues to be scratchy.
AMADOR LAKE - Debbie Grayson at Lake Amador Store said the trout bite was very good in the storm with limits for the few anglers that braved the weather. She said the trout plants of 800 to 1000 pounds of cutbows every weekday has continued. The corner of the dam has been producing huge trout with Power Bait or 'crawlers.
CAMANCHE LAKE - Trout fishing good both from shore and trolling. Trolling from Hat Island to the dam is a good place to try. Bank anglers should try near the boat ramps or at the trout pond where they are planted. Power Bait or spoons are working. There was 600 pounds of trout planted at the ponds and 1200 pounds at the South Shore ramp and 600 pounds at the North Shore ramp.
DON PEDRO RESERVOIR - There is still a good bite for hatchery truck trout in the top 15 feet of water. Try Wedding Rings w/'crawler and spoons at least 100 feet behind the boat. For salmon try 50 to 100 feet deep. Bass are deep use a slow presentation at 40 feet deep.
LAKE MCCLURE - Bagby has been the hot spot for trout fishermen with limits for several anglers using Power Bait. Trollers using spoons like ExCel and Needlefish or blades with 'crawlers have been catching trout by the dam. Bass are still deep, try 30-50 feet.
LAKE MCSWAIN - Recent trout plants have improved the action but the weather has hindered anglers ambition to catch them. Bank fishermen on the handicapped dock and around the marina are catching trout with 'crawlers and Power Bait.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR - Good trout bite going on and the bank anglers are out-catching the trollers. Bank fishermen are using all types of scented Power Bait to make there catches. Bass fishing is good with shad pattern Drop-shotting worms and crawdad colored jigs.
MODESTO RESERVOIR - Modesto Irrigation District filled the canals for irrigation but the reservoir level is now rising. Boaters should be careful as there are lots of shallow island tops. Cold weather has put the bass bite off and the strong inflow makes trout fishing difficult.
LAKE PARDEE - Closed for the season.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE - Weather kept most anglers off of the lake, but tournament fishermen have been finding a good artificial bite with Alabama-Rig variations, swimbaits, rattling crankbaits, or jerkbaits at depths from 4 to 8 feet in the north and 8 to 15 feet in the south in the Redbud Arm and midlake areas. Ospreys in light hitch, shad, or bass; Huddlestons in rainbow trout, or River2Sea SWavers in some of the newer patterns such as hitch or rainbow trout are working around rocks and ledges with access to deeper water. Shag Rock, the Narrows, Frazier Point, Wheeler Point, Monitor, and Bass Alley, are top areas as the bass are schooled up chasing the available bait. The action should heat up in the coming weeks during the breaks between the storms.
LAKE BERRYESSA - Don Paganelli of Paganelli's Bass Experience reported fair bass action with the better cut of spotted bass found at depths from 30 to 50 feet with 1.25-ounce BladeRunner spoons in electric chicken or morning dawn. The key is to find the schools of bait, and the bass, trout, and king salmon are close behind. Drop-shotting with 4.5- to 6-inch Robo Worms in Aaron's Magic or Hologram Shad has also been effective on a slow, methodical presentation. Trout fishing has slowed from its apex over one month ago, but live minnows are the top technique to locate the fish in the open waters of the lake.
LAKE SONOMA - Steelhead to 9 pounds have been landed in the top five feet of the water column in the creek mouths of the lake with small spoons such as Sep's or Needlefish. Pulling a nightcrawler behind an action disc is also effective, as is dragging a stickbait very slowly on the surface, particularly when the fish are feeding on the surface. With the number of submerged trees in the coves, inexperienced fishermen are advised to work the main body of the lake close to the shoreline.
UPPER BLUE LAKE - A trout plant is scheduled for the week of January 29, and bank anglers should be scoring with Power Bait or nightcrawlers with trollers pulling blade/crawler combinations or small spoons for the catchables.
SACRAMENTO RIVER side - Striper fishing remains best in the deep water in the Pittsburg area with cut bullheads or mudsuckers. Otherwise the action is limited to a small window at the change of the tides. Sturgeon fishing is good in Honker Bay, Buoys 33 and 34, and the deep water near the PGE Plant with ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, or eel.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side - A few sturgeon have moved into the deep stretches of the San Joaquin near Mossdale with ghost shrimp, but striper fishing remains slow throughout the system. Crappie and the occasional striper are found in the holes in the weeds in Discovery Bay. The warmer water temperatures have spurred on the reaction bite for largemouths with Timber Tiger crankbaits or 1/2 oz. Persuader spinner baits.
LAKE ALMANOR - Trout are found in the top 15 feet with silver No. 2 Needlefish in a silver pattern behind a dodger or a nightcrawler behind a tractor-patterned dodger along the east side of the lake. The storm should push the trout into the depths as the warmer temperatures should be close to the bottom. Canyon Dam is currently the only launch open.
BAUM LAKE - Midges, blue-winged olives, red copper Johns, or callibaetis cripples are all producing rainbows or browns for fly anglers. Spincasters are scoring with Kastmasters with nightcrawlers effective for bait fishermen.
PIT RIVER - The slippery rocks make for dangerous conditions for anglers wading the river, and current reports have been difficult to obtain. The section of the river below the Lake Britton Dam is catch and release until the stream opener in April.
SHASTA LAKE - Trout fishing remains very good with the trout holding at depths between 10 and 25 feet with Shasta Tackle's Humdingers in Captain America or orange/gold and orange Cripplure scented with garlic. The lake will be inundated with bass fishermen over the coming weekend with the three-day FLW Outdoors EverStart series. With the arrival of inclement weather, the bass should be moving into to stained water of the shallows, as currently they can be found anywhere from 15 to 50 feet.
- Western Outdoor News