Lake Oroville Fly Fishing - Bass Fishing in Sierra Gold Country

Lake Oroville offers fantastic and virtually year round fly fishing opportunities. It's great choice for beginning fly fishers due to the variety and numbers of fish caught as well as for experienced anglers looking to do something different and catch allot of fish.

Situated one hour north of Sacramento in the Sierra Foothills Oroville is a great place target spotted bass as well as largemouth and smallmouth on the fly. Bass strike aggressively and most takes are either on topwater or at least visible to the angler making for some exciting fishing. It's close proximity to down town Sacramento make it a great spot for a quick trip. If you live in the area and are looking form some exciting action on the fly or perhaps are in Sacramento for business and can spare a few hours to get in some good fishing then Lake Oroville may be just the ticket.

The lake can produce 20-50 bass days on the fly 9 months out of the year. 40+ fish days are not uncommon either. The lake is predominately home to spotted bass which average 1-4lbs, as well as largemouth that grow to 5 lbs or better as well as a few smallmouth.

With small pond smelt as a food source, and fewer snags than most bass waters, a 6 weight is the ideal rod for here. 4 or 5 weights can be great as well. Fly Fishing pressure on the lake still remains nearly non existent.

We feature only the very top local guides on the fisheries like Lake Oroville. This fishery is literally in our guides back yards and one of our top Oroville guides lives one minute from the boat launch. You can book with confidence knowing that your guide will be a top professional guide with all the necessary skills and equipment to make your experience safe, enjoyable, productive and a valuable learning experience.

Lake Oroville provides year round opportunities for good numbers of healty bass!Lake Oroville provides year round opportunities for good numbers of healthy bass!

If you would like to learn more, keep reading or Call (530)472-1014 or (707)287-2939 for current fishing reports, water conditions or detailed information on experiencing enjoyable and memorable fly fishing for yourself. Dates fill up quickly for many of our offerings so don't delay. You may also email us at, or fill out our Online Trip Request Form by clicking here.

The Seasons :

Winter (December-February) - Oroville is the best option around for catching high numbers of fish during these months. Early mornings produce best. 6:30am-7:30am starting times recommended.

Rods: A standard 6 weigh nymphing setup is what we use most.
Tactics: Float & Fly (Indicator tactics) are the way to go.

The Fish: The spotted bass that inhabit Oroville are all large and healthy, averaging 1.5-3 lbs. We usually hook 20-30 in a day.

The Fishing: We like fishing the rugged sierra like terrain where the forks of the Feather River enter the lake. Features that we target include creeks, giant boulders, vertical rock drop-offs, etc.

Spring (March-May) Fishing traditionally picks up best around mid day. Days can start as late as 10:00 a.m.

Rods/Lines: Our standard topwater and nymphing setups are 9 foot 6 weight rods and Rio Outbound lines.

The Fishing: Float & Fly (Indicator nymphing and topwater poppers).

The Fish: Spotted bass are healthy and hungry in the Spring, averaging 1.5-3lbs, and grow even bigger. We usually hook 30-50 on our guided days.

We love targeting Oroville Bass on topwater poppers!

We fish similar structure as during Winter for sub-surface action, however the shallower areas of the main lake will also produce with topwater flies as well.

Summer (June-September) This is all about the topwater bite. Morning and evening both can be the most productive, however the last 2 hours of light may be the best time to be fishing. Fishing a half day with us is a good way to avoid the heat and focus on the best portion of the day. It will also not tie up a whole day fishing. If you prefer to do a full day it is possible to fish poppers all day stripping streamers mid day can be productive in mid day sun before returning to topwater later in the afternoon often wrapping up the day as it gets dark. Takes even on streamers are usually visible so once can expect a fun and exciting day out with us.

Topwater is our favorite way catch Oroville bass!Topwater is our favorite way catch Oroville bass!

Rods/Lines: Our go to Oroville rod is a 9' 6 weight rod topwater. We use Rio Outbound lines for topwater, and type 6 shooting heads for fishing streamers sub surface.

Tactics: Summer is all about topwater. We do some streamer fishing mid day. Hitting structure with poppers in summer is a blast. Later in the year you will get chances to cast to boils created by schools of pond smelt and hungry bass. Talk about exciting! Action like this gets us fired up and is an unforgettable experience for guests.

The Fish: Spotted bass average 1-2.5 lbs and this is also the best time of year to target the lakes largemouth that can grow to 5 pounds of better. During Summer evenings anglers can usually expect 10-20 blowups each. And another 6-12 hookups fishing streamers and indicators prior to top water action.

The Fishing: We focus on the main lake in the Summer and early Fall. We target points, shallows, rock piles, logs, etc.

Fall - Oroville fly action slows down from October to Mid December.

Flies & Food Source: Fish in Oroville love eating Wakasagi Pond Smelt and they seem to be the main food source for these bass, which works out really well for us fly fisherman. For flies any 1.5-2.5" small baitfish/pond smelt imitations work best. Darker colored Ballanced leeches can work great as well. As far as topwater goes, baitfish imitations around 4-6" or so that make good surface commotion work great.

Lake Oroville Guided Fishing Trips

Spotted Bass, Largemouth, and occasionally smallmouth landlocked salmon and trout.

Salmon and trout are a pleasant surprise on Oroville Oroville is full of surprises!

Full Day: $500
(8 hours) 1-2 anglers

Half Day: $375
(4-5 hours) 1-2 anglers

Dawn Patrol Topwater: $350
(4 hours) 1-2 anglers

Evening Bite: $350
(4 hours) 1-2 anglers

We can accommodate 2 to 3 boat trips with ease with a little bit of advanced notice.

Getting Here :

Bidwell Canyon Marina Park is located at 801 Bidwell Canyon Rd, Oroville, CA 95966 Note: There is a $5 entrance fee at
the marina for parking and day use.

Click the photo for info on Bidwell Canyon MarinaClick the photo for info on Bidwell Canyon Marina

From Sacramento:

Lake Oroville is located 1 hour 20 min from Sacramento International Airport (74 miles).

Take 99 north to 70 North towards the Town of Oroville. Once you arrive in Oroville take Oroville Dam Boulevard exit. Turn right on highway 162 and continue 6.8 miles untill you come to Kelly Ridge Drive/Miners Ranch Rd. Turn Left on Kelly Ridge Drive/Miners Ranch Road. Follow signs to boat launch (Turn left on Arroyo) Arroyo goes into the park. Follow road straight to boat launch.

From San Francisco: Lake Oroville is located roughly 2.5 hours from the City by the Bay excluding traffic (160 miles).

Take Highway 80 East to 99 North near Sacramento. Head north on 99 then take 70 north from 99 towards Oroville. Once you arrive in Oroville, take The Oroville Dam Boulevard exit. Turn right on highway 162 and continue 6.8 miles until you come to Kelly Ridge Drive/Miners Ranch Rd. Turn Left on Kelly Ridge Drive/Miners Ranch Road. Follow signs to boat launch (Turn left on Arroyo) Arroyo goes into the park. Follow road straight to boat launch.

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