Northern California Fly Fishing Report – December 16, 2016
Northern California Fly Fishing Report - Dec 16, 2016
Best bet - Pyramid Lake Cutthroat Lower Sacramento Rainbows, or Trinity Steelhead!
American River – Fair Flows –1,250 cfs out of Natomas. Water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – clear
The American is closed from Ancil Hoffman power line to Hazel Avenue bridge. Scattered adult fish are moving in with each storm and swinging traditional flies below Hoffman for winter steelhead has produced some fish. Water is still a bit off color and blown out. Things will really kick in to gear in late January and fish well through February so stay tuned.
Swung flies as well as nymphing are both producing. Perhaps it may be good to give the Trinity or Klamath a try or perhaps head over the hill to Pyramid and wait until the fish get in a little thicker. Remember the middle/upper section open up Jan 1st and things will be a go! Call us at (707)287-2939 or the shop at (916)722-8594 to book a trip on the American or one of the other great options this time of year.
Delta Stiper - Poor Water Temp mid 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – Dirty!
Last week the water temps in the Delta went up a few degrees and with it the bite improved a bit. We had a couple of 25-30 fish days with a decent Dink to Legal size ratio. Then on Tuesday of this week the Sacramento and Mokelumne rivers poured a bunch of mud and debris into the system. The central area of the Delta is "Chocolate Milk" There is still some clear water on the south so we will target those areas next week. Time to use some rattle flies in dark colors to get bit.
Bryce says "A few warm days in a row could help to bring the catch rate up and as long as we don't get to much rain, all at once, we should be able to get after them in January and February.
Guide Tip: Maury Hatch says” There is still some clear water on the south so target those areas. Time to use some rattle flies in dark colors to get bit."
We are also taking Spring reservations for March, April and May. We can be reached at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce and Toby for some memorable Spring striper action.
Feather River – Fair Flows – 800 cfs through low flow, 2,000 below Thermalito, water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – Green tint
The Feather is off color right now but should come back in a week or so. It may be the only game in town in the Sacramento area if you are looking to get out around New Years. Recent storms have undoubtedly gotten fish moving again. The river should drop into shape hopefully soon. For nymphing try mayfly nymphs, eggs, and worms. Swinging flies should also work but will require more patience.
Guide tip: "Try swinging an egg sucking leach to cover more water"
Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 to get out on the water
Klamath River – Poor Flows – 4,500 below Irongate Dam, 8,000 below Seiad Valley and dropping. Water temps – Mid 50’s to Water clarity - Cloudy
The Klamath is off color and blowing hard right now like the rest of Northern California. Prior to the rain steelhead fishing on the Klamath had finally picked up. Adult fish we're being caught along with half pounders form Horse Creek to Sciad along with some reports from Irongate as well. What's more were finding fish on the swing in the lower floats. The flow bump from recent rain is probably will make it unfishable for at least a week. Once water color improves fishing will hopefully still be good. Swinging traditional stealhead flies and leaches is our favorite way to get these anadromous beauties. Small dark traditional flies in dark purple, black and blue seem to be preferred. Silver Hiltons, Brindle Bugs swung on floating and I-lines are what has worked. Nymphing is also productive however not as much fun in our book. Steelhead fishing is not for the faint of heart and wearing the appropriate foul weather gear and having four wheel drive and carrying chains is a must. However for those willing to put in the time the rewards can be amazing. Hopefully the Klamath won't remain blown for long.
We still have some available dates in late December, and January so give us a call at (707)287-2939 to set something up.
Napa River – Poor. Flows – high, Water temps - Low 60’s. Water clarity – Murky
Fishing has slowed to a halt with with the recent rain we have had. Prior to this most fish average 2-6lbs with adult fish scattered throughout the system. When the river clears all delta baitfish patterns should be effective if you can find clear enough water; clousers, FT clousers and Stay Hungry minnows sizes 1/0-3/0 depending on water clarity. Primary color being white over chartreuse, white over pink&grey and white over red being second and third respectively. Full sink, t-11 or t-14 for depths ranging from 6-15 ft. Topwater: Crease flies and Poledancers size medium.
Incoming and outgoing tides have both been productive with the best water clarity being on the outgoing. Big tides and dropping water temps have begun to ball the bait up. Find clear, moving water and you will find the fish.
Guide Tip: "Look for the cleanest water possible and fish dark patterns low and slow"
Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions or to get out and fish.
Putah Creek – Poor Flows - 50 CFS. Temps - high 52’s. Water clarity – clearing
Flows on Putah Creek had been steady at 80 cfs until the rain hit. It spiked to near 200 but is back down and up to 55 at the writing of this report. Fish are spawning in earnest all over the Creek. Time to give her a break and let them be about their crucial business. Spring will be here soon and we will get back out guiding this treasured fishery.
If you do choose to fish Dec to February please leave the spawner’s alone and don’t walk on any gravel as 99% of visible gravel is spawning beds (even if fish are not visible when you are tromping through those areas) Perhaps consider fishing for steelhead on the Trinity or Feather, trout fishing on the Lower Sacramento or there is always Pyramid!!!
If you are interested in conservation we have some up-coming opportunities to get out and help these fish. Call Steve Karr at (530)400-1171 for more information.
Spring is coming, so Reserve your Spring Putah trip today! Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055.
Guide tip: “Go fish the Trinity or Pyramid”.
Pyramid - Good to Great Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet
Cold stormy weather has continued to produce some good results this week. Time to head over the hill to visit our friends at Pyramid Lake. Doug and the crew continue to put guests on some nice fish. The numbers of 15 pound plus Lahontan cutthroat trout last month(November) at Pyramid Lake Nevada has been the biggest numbers of big fish since their extrapolation in 1939. Several double digit fish were recorded in November and December. These monster trout continue to be caught on a daily basis. Although the numbers of fish per angler hours are a bit low, the numbers of BIG fish are very good. These fish are the reintroduced native species known as the Lahontan Cutthroat (Black Spotted Trout) or as the Tribe called them “Hoopa Agi”. They now are referred to as the “Pilot Peak” strain which were discovered in 1978 and reintroduced on 2006. The other strain of cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake are known as the “Pyramid” strain which were developed by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the Federal biologists. The “Pyramid” strain is a combination of Independence Lake, Summit Lake and Walker Lake cutthroat blood. They are often incorrectly called the “Summit” strain which is wrong, the Summit Lake fish are native to Summit Lake, Nevada and are a pure, clean strain in to themselves. Summit lake is a closed system (Endorheic System).
Retrieving Popcorn Beetles, Midnight Cowboy Buggers and Tui Chub patterns continue to produce this week. Fishing under indicators with 49ers, Chan’s Bomber, CBR midges and Jerry Mc Bride’s balanced leeches/minnows in black/red and Tui Chub colors have also been good.
Things are only getting better at Pyramid. Call today to reserve your guided day on Pyramid this Winter and Spring.
Russian River - Poor Flows – 2,261 CFS Temps – mid 60’s. Water clarity – Chocolate
We are still about a month away from the best chances at steelhead on the Russian and it is high and dark. Keep checking back. We generally fish nymphs for our guests, but guides like to swing em up on our days off on the Russian. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info on getting on the call list for when it is firing. If we have another wet winter like last year tings could be looking up for the Russian. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 if you would like a phone call or email when and if things open up.
For more info on the Russian including flows click here...
Lower Sacramento – Fair to Good Flows – 5,000 CFS Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – fairly clear (2 to 3 ft visibility)
Fishing continues to be fair to good most days but just not great up in town. It is one of the few options available right now so may become crowned in the next few days. Water is blown out below Redding, however should come back in to shape soon. Weather has been cool and wet. Salmon have come and gone and clarity has remained good even with all the rain for those floating above Anderson. Nymphing is the best way to put fish in the net, however there has been some dry fly action on overcast days as a bonus.
Best bug activity remains BWO's, midges, and with some caddis activity on warmer days. Key patterns include patterns like Zebra Midges, Mercers Micro May, Hogans S&M in olive, Speroni's Baetis, Bird’s Nests, Princes, Poopahs, and Pseudo Mays and S.F. Rubberlegs.
This is a great option for winter trout fishing if cabin fever has you restless. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-8594 for more info.
Trinity River – Fair to Good Flows – 320 cfs out of Lewiston, 460c cfs in Douglas City and 800 cfs above North Fork. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Perfect
This year has been about quality over quantity. Rigth now the river is fishable but waiting until after the weekend would be best. Our guest are hooking some nice fish and almost everyone is getting at least a fish or two in the net each day sometimes several more than that. Even swinging has produced some surprisingly numbers this week for those in the right boats. Being on the right float has been key to our success. We have some tricks up our sleeves that have been putting some nice fish in the net!
Traditional dark patters are working on the swing and stonefly rubber legs, golden stones, psycho prices, and Copper Johns have been best under an indicator. Look to fish eggs since there was another flow spike. From now to March should continue to fish well. In Feb to mid March should be good swinging/ dry fly fishing.
To give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.
For more on the Trinity click here...
Truckee River – Good to Fair Flows – 215 cfs below Boca, 30 cfs in Truckee. Water Temps. – High to mid 50’s. Clarity – a little color.
Winter has arrived on the Truckee River and recent drops in temperature have slowed things a bit. Fishing still continues to be good despite the weather however fish seem to be less aggressive. We have been finding fish in the deep pockets and slower water. With the flow being a bit off color, take more time to cover the water effectively and thoroughly. The dry fly action has slowed however nymphing continues to produce. Try Baetis, dark heavy stones and zebra midges. Don't be afraid to fish shallow either, tight line nymphing with tungsten bead-headed nymphs is a nice change of pace from an indicator. Hope for cloud cover to get Baetis poppin' and fish keying on dries. “Ham and eggs also works says” Dan LeCount.
Jordan Romney says “although it is cold, it is worth getting out.”
Guide Tip: Fish are in slower water now so don’t rush past the frog water to get to the riffles because you may be missing the best fishing.
Call the shop at (916)722-8594 or OTH direct at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to book some R&R on the Truckee over the upcoming holidays.
Read more here about the Truckee...
Little Truckee River – Fair Flows – 28 cfs. Water temp - Low 60’s. Clarity – good
The Little Truckee is way low and cold, but there are some fish to be had. With the cloudy cold weather the baetis and midges have been popping. There has been pretty good dry fly fishing as long as the wind stays down. The best set up with the conditions and flows is a dry dropper. Sight fishing is a possibility if you know where to look. If you have the determination to snow shoe, cross country ski, or hike in on the LT the rewards could be epic. The other option is to head down to fish the main river instead.
Yuba River Trout – Poor. Flows – 8,000 cfs at Highway 20 bridge and rising. Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Chocolate milk
The Yuba is totally blown out as of this recent rain. It will be at least a couple weeks before the Yuba is fishable again. Muddy water is coming from the bottom of the dam as well as from feeder creeks so expect to give the river time to get back. When it does good patterns will include Dark Lords, CDC Princes, San Juan Worms and Stoneflies. Stay tuned!
Depending on the flows the Skwala fly hatch will be happening in late January into February. If you are interested on being kept in the loop please call (707)287-2939 or call the shop at(916)722-1055.
Guide tip: Jordan Romney says ”We are waiting to see what is going to come of the next strom. This will tell us if the river will be fishable again. It may be a while"
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