Northern California Fly Fishing Report – Jan 28, 2017
We are thankful for all the rain we have been getting here in Northern California and what it means in the long run. It has unfortunately had an adverse affect on current fishing conditions, however this is all temporary. Lots of water in California is a welcome change to the drought conditions that we experienced in recent memory. Enjoy this wet fishing report everybody!
Best Bets - Trinity River Steelhead or Truckee River trout.
American River – Poor Flows – 9,000 cfs out of Natomas but dropping. Water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – brown.
The American is still a no-go. The rains have stopped but like so many of our rivers the dams above filled with muddy water and are now spilling it onto the rivers. Folsom lake is adding water the color of a latte into the river and releases have it coursing beyond the safe limits for wading and boating. We suggest not fishing it until things clear up a bit and the flows are down around 3,500. This should happen in the next one to two weeks.
Call (707)287-2939 or the shop at (916)722-8594 to check on current conditions or to reserve a trip on one of the other great options this time of year.
Delta Stiper - Poor Water Temp mid to high 50’s degrees. Flows - very high. Water Clarity – Mud.
Striper fishing continues to be tough on the Delta. Lots of rain and cold water have flooded in bringing brown water and very difficult conditions which is common for this time of year. Only the very hardiest of anglers are even going out right now. If you go use patterns with Chartreuse/White around 1/0-2/0 with a rattle and fish down low and slow.
We are taking Spring reservations for March, April and May and the calendar is filling up. Give us a ring 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 – Poor Flows – 800+ cfs through low flow and dropping 10,000+ below Thermalito, water temps – Low to Mid 50’s to Water clarity – chocolate.
We are hopefully a few days away from guiding the Feather again. We have guides fishing it this weekend to check things out. Check back here for updates or give us a call at (707)287-2939 or (916)722-8594.
Napa River – Poor. Flows – 4,600 cfs through low flow, 10,000 cfs below Thermolito. Water temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – muddy.
There are opportunities to possibly get out in between the storms however it takes at least a week without heavy rain before things really improve. This week fishing has been tough with only a few fish caught.Try fishing larger dark flies that push water. Also try some serious sparkle in your flies and perhaps a rattle or maybe two.
We are looking forward to Spring and Summer fishing in the Napa Valley. Stay tuned to the reports or give us a call at (707)287-2939 for updated information.
Putah Creek – Open Flows – very low (65 CFS.) Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – greenish.
Flows on Putah Creek spiked to almost 700 then have dropped over the last couple days to well below the yearly averages for this time of year. They are currently around 65 cfs. The fish still trying to spawning. Our guides have chosen to give the fish a break again during this time of year. Several great groups including Putah Creek Trout, TU and California Fish and Wildlife have worked to help protect and preserve this gem of a fishery. Since it is now a California Heritage Trout Fishery and will never again be planted it is critical that spawning fish be left alone to spawn or subsequent fish populations could be adversely affected. From December 1st to the end of February we stop guiding Putah. Spring will be here soon and we will get back out to fish. If you would like to reserve a Spring date please call us soon.
If you do choose to fish December to February please leave the spawner’s alone and don’t walk on any gravel as 99% of visible gravel is in fact potentiall spawning beds (even if fish are not visible when you go tromping through those areas) Perhaps consider going over to fish the Feather or Truckee River or give Steelhead a try!
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 Truckee”.
Pyramid Lake - Closed Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – 6 to 8 feet.
Pyramid which is usually a stalwart for being open and fishable has fallen victim to the heavy rains. Flows on the Truckee spiked along with everything else and dumped lots of dark water into the lake. On top of that the road washed out so only locals are being allowed in. Things should clear up shortly and we will be updating the blog as things come back into shape.
We are booking trips in March and April and tentatively in February. Call (707)287-2939 or (96)7228594 today to reserve your Pyramid Lake dance with the giants.
Russian River - Poor Flows – Too high(3,500 cfs at Healdsburg) but dropping. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Chocolate.
The Russian was coming into shape before recent rains blew things out. Flows spiked to flood stage, but water is dropping so we will see... Stay tuned. Good news is the Coastal fisheries should be dropping into shape sooner.
Flies (once things clear and drop) - All Intruders, Pick yer pockets, Noah Leaches, Squidros, Prom Dresses, Marabou Volcanoes, General Practitioners, Egg Sucking leeches... etc.
Guide tip - In higher flows, swing weighted Intruders on ten feet of T-14 to get your flies down to the fish. Also use black blue and purple flies with large silhouettes in the often colored water...
Give us a call 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. Also give us a call if you would like a phone call or email when and if things open up.
Lower Sacramento – Poor Flows – 36,000 CFS!!! Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – clearing.
Flows out of Keswick are a whopping 36,000 cfs and off color making for tough fishing. It will take a couple more days before we start fishing it again. Once we do wading will be out of the question. Even drifting should be off limits for all but the highly experienced. Focus on the edges of the river. It may be best to float further out and cast in towards shore to find fish trying to seek reprieve from the the high flows behind any structure. Fish dark stonefly nymphs or eggs for now.
Book your Spring days on the Lower Sac now by calling (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.
Upper Sacramento – Poor. Flows – very high (1,725 cfs at Delta) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – cloudy.
Recent rains blew out the Upper Sac at 8,500+ cfs on Jan 22. and with it the gage at Box Canyon Dam. Water is dropping into shape and currently 1,725 at Delta. Travel has been difficult recently above Redding with closures of I-5. Consult road conditions before venturing north and it may be best to wait a while before heading to fish the Upper Sac. Once the water clears you will want to have some Bird’s Nests, Prince Nymph or Superfloss Rubberlegs in the mix. Other good bets are Poopahs, Pseudo Mays, Poxyback PMD’s, Midges, Hogan’s, Mercer’s, Speroni’s Baetis. Try fishing up near Cantara Loop for clearer water and lower flows.
Guide Tip: “If the River is rising stay home, if it is dropping go fish.Try fishing up near Lake Siskyou for easier wading conditions”
Please give us a call (707)287-2939 for more info and updates on the Upper Sac and other Nor Cal options.
Trinity River – Fair to Good (True steelhead fishing) Flows – 300 cfs out of Lewiston, 380c cfs in Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Steelhead green
Flows on the Trinity rose slightly to 370 below Lewiston and 400 at Indian Creek last week and turned murky. The river has currently dropped back into shape and is fishing surprisingly well. Again this year has been about quality over quantity. Don’t believe all the bad reports as our guest are hooking some nice fish and almost everyone is getting at least a fish or two in the net each day. The next few weeks should be good and we do have some last minute availability.
Traditional stonefly rubber legs, golden stones, Psycho Prices, and Copper Johns have been best. Look to fish eggs only if there is a major flow spike.
Call now to give Trinity Steelheading a go before there gone. (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.
Truckee River – Great!!! Flows – 100 cfs in Town, 420 at Boca, 500 cfs in the Canyon. Water Temps. – 39 deg. Clarity – Decent clarity in town decreasing as you head down into canyon.
The Truckee weather has been cold, but fishing on the river is red hot. May people don't know that it fishes almost better in the Winter than any other time. Fish need to eat even in winter and the snow and cold temps keep all but the hardiest of anglers from fishing. But this does not keep the fish from being hungry and on the prowl.
Winter fishing requires that anglers be in good shape and have the right gear and mentality for success. Always remember to have a full tank of gas, bring gear as if you were planning to spend the night (incase you get stuck and are forced to). Always have chains, a shovel and a tow strap and come along in your rig along with a 4 seasons sleeping bag. Also having food, water and a small stove to make meals or at least a hot drink are essential. Layering is key and remember to pay special attention to your feet and hands. We recommend Goretex outer wear, polypropylene undergarments and fleece, a good wading belt and access is improved with a pair of show shoes.
Jordan says that fish tend to pod up in slow water during winter months. This causes some competition for the less prolific bugs that remain. Fish spread out he says spread out the other 3 seasons of the year. Feeding is predictably in the warmest parts of the day and the bite has been from 10:00 to 3:00 p.m. however you will need to get to the river early to be able to hike to the river while the snow is still solid enough to walk on.
The menu includes Midges, Baetis and San Juan Worms. The big bugs just aren't around yet and there hasn't been any dry fly action, although this may change if the weather warms for a week or so. For now try nymphing the aforementioned
Guide tip: Jordan Romney says "Try dead drift a Halebopp Leach with a small beatis behind it."
Call the shop at (916)722-8594 or OTH direct at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to book some good fishing and a great cardio workout on the Truckee.
Yuba River Trout – Poor Flows – 4,550 cfs at Englebright Dam above Highway 20 bridge.Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – muddy.
The Yuba is very high and muddy as the water spilling from Engelbright is still chocolate. The course of the river changed dramatically with flows that were above 80,000 cfs back on January 9th. The last time this happened the river didn't fish well for months. It is good to have the river bottom scoured from time to time but it has an impact on the insects and the fish. It may be up to a month or perhaps more before we get back to fishing the Yuba.
Call the Shop at (916)722-8594 or (707)287-2939 or check back for updates.
OTHFF Home Blog
Off the Hook Fly Fishing's home blog covering all things fly fishing - information, fishing reports, techniques, tips, cool links, and ramblings.
OTHFF Home Blog
Recent blog posts
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – April 22, 2017
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – April 22, 2017
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – April 7, 2017
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – March 24, 2017
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – Mar 3, 2017
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – Jan 28, 2017
- Silver King TV Season 1 Episode 1 "Don't Count Me Out"
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – Dec 30, 2016
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – December 16, 2016
- Northern California Fly Fishing Report – December 2016