Northern California Fly Fishing Report – October 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – October, 2016

American River – Fair Flows – 1,500 CFS. Temp. – Mid to low 50’s. Water clarity – Perfect

Don’t pass on the American quite yet, there is some ok fishing happening right now. With just a month left before it closes, this is the time to be out there fishing the American. There is always an early push of fall/winter steelhead the love to take flies on the swing, and October is the month to test that out. These fish are spread throughout the entire system, from Paradise all the way to Nimbus, and there are some bruisers lurking. Most fish are 16-22", but some fish pushing 10lbs are in as well. Like I said, great time to swing for these spunky fish, think more spring time steelhead as far as flies and where/how to target them. If swinging isn’t your thing, don’t worry, these fish eat nymphs like skittles. Some of the best fishing can be right before the closure on Nov 1st. Get out there now while the fishing is good.

We have some key egg bite dates still available. Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-8594 for more info and to reserve your trip

Delta Stiper- Great Water Temp mid 60’s degrees. Water Clarity – Good.

Striper fishing is a go on the Delta! We are seeing good numbers of fish right now and some larger fish mixed in. We are seeing quite a bit of bait this year which is making for some good fishing. Key patterns include medium size clouser style minnows in various colors. For Topwater fishing Bryce Tedford suggest large Crease flies & Medium Pole Dancers. "It's a fun time out there right now; good weather, larger Stripers beginning to show, plenty of eager juvenile Stripers!" Now is the time to book your Fall Delta adventure as guides will book up quick for the following few months.

Guide Tip: ”Try throwing a larger fly if you are only into chasing the larger fish. This will help target the bigger ones.”

Call now to reserve great Fall fishing before it is gone. 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 Fall action.

Fall River – Fair to Good Flows – Average. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear

Fishing on the Fall River has slowed slightly with cooling temps. However some PMD’s, Callibaetis and Caddis are still hatching. Look for rings from larger fish and target them or try nymphing the deeper runs. Also you may want to give streamers a try. Experiment with a few different patterns and vary your retrieve to see what they want. Good nymphs include Pseudo’s, Hogan’s S & M, and Flagelators. As far as dries try Missing links, Lawsons PMD and BWO’s. For streamers try Halebopp leaches or small rabbit leaches.

The Fall River will continue to fish well into October and even early November. The best part about fishing it now is that the crowds are gone and you have this beautiful river virtually to yourself. Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 for more info on how to experience Fall on the Fall.

Feather River– Good to Great Flows – 800 cfs through low flow, 6,000 below Thermalito, water temps – Mid 50’s to Water clarity – clear

The Feather has really turned on in the past week, and that's mainly due to the large push of salmon over the past few weeks. With many redds being built, and even a few salmon paired up and more salmon showing up, its only going to get better. We are seeing some quality steelhead spread throughout the Low Flow Section, and the majority of them are taking an egg imitation. While the "egg bite" isn't on fire yet, they are eating the egg on a regular basis, give it another week and the fish will be egg crazy. Over the next month, the Feather will be your local go to steelhead fishery. It’s looking to be a great fall fishery. Not many available dates remain between now and the end of Nov, if you are looking to book during the egg bite, book now.

Guide tip: Any egg pattern will work, but also fish in conjunction with a Prince Nymphs, Fox Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs and Sucker Spawns.

Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939. Dates are going fast!

Klamath River - Good. Flows 1,290 at Seiad Valley Clarity - Normal.

The Klamath has fished fairly well recently with fishing looking to improve as weather continues to cool and we get deeper into October.

Several half pounders caught on recent trips. Some have taken swung flies however nymphing has been producing best. Eggs will be the go to here shortly however don't be afraid to try bugs too. The fish right now are chrome bright and spunky.

We have several key dates available on the Klamath with our guys. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 to get in on the action.

McCloud River – Great. Flows – Excellent - 250 at Ah-Di-Na Water temps - High 50’s’s. Water clarity – Good

The Mac continues to fish well. Water is in great shape and. Our guides reported good visibility in the conservancy section still with lots of willing participants bending our client's rods. PMDs, BWOs and other mayflies are still coming off with an continued presence of caddis are what you can expect to see. Some Yellow Sallies and other stones are always on the menu as well. Nymphing has been the best producer however streamers are also a great idea. Time to go fish!

Give us a call to reserve a really great fly fishing get away weekend in the Redding area. Call direct (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055.

Napa River – Fair to Good. Flows – average, Water temps - 60’s. Water clarity – Fair

Fishing continues to be good. Most fish are in the 16 to 24 inch range with is common for this time of year however fish seem to be getting a bit larger. Some nice ones to 8 lbs were caught last week. Fish chartreuse and white streamers on sinking lines in fast moving water is producing plenty of fish to keep things interesting. This is the time to get out the trusty 8 or 9 weight to handle the larger fish. Watch for larger tides and fish the moving water on outgoing or incoming tide. We like to focus our efforts early and late in the day when looking for larger fish.

Great Fall fishing is here. From mid September through the end of November is the prime time to be chasing striper on the Napa River on fly rods. Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

Putah Creek – Great Flows - 250 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green

Flows on Putah Creek had dropped to 250 working their way down to winter flows. October and November are our favorite time to be on the creek and fish are already into their pre spawn aggressive behavior. Now is the time to begin to think about using egg patterns. Try a Glow Bug, Micro Spawn or San Juan Worm above a pattern like a small midges a Baetis patterns like Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Baetis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May as well as caddis pupae like Fox’s Poopah in tan or green. Try fishing Putah during mid week to avoid weekend crowds.

Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensible in helping to break the code and catch fish. We stop fishing on December 1st and do not start guiding again until the end of February. This is to allow these wild fish time to spawn un-molested. Putah Creek is of course catch and release only, but it is also now a California Heritage Wild Trout Fishery. In other words it isn’t stocked and never will be ever again in the future, so if these wild fish aren’t able to spawn on their own without being harassed then subsequent years the fishing will suffer greatly. If you do choose to fish Dec to February please leave the spawners 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)

Call Off the Hook at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 for current conditions or to reserve a guided day. October and November are by far the months of the year to fish Putah, so Reserve your Fall Putah trip today!

Guide tip: “make sure you have enough weight on this time of year to get to the bottom. If you’re not hanging up from time to time, you’re not catching fish, and don’t forget your wading belt and wading staff”.

Pyramid Good to Great, Temps - Mid 50’s. Water clarity – Good

Now is the time to begin thinking about heading over the hill to visit our friends at Pyramid Lake. Doug and the crew have been absolutely killing it recently. Literally hundreds of fish have made it into the nets by their guests this week! Storms are cooling water temps and opening weekend produced many fish in the 17 to 25 inch range. Both strains of Cutthroat, the Pilot Peak and the Pyramid strain were grabbing flies readily this week.

Fish were caught at all available beaches from the far North end of the lake to the far South. Fish were targeting Tui Chub bait balls. So if you can locate the bait you can locate the fish. Look for bird activity to signal their presence and in conjunction the trout.

Productive patters include Clouser Minnows, Stanley Streamers and Popcorn Beetles. Wade fishing, float tubes and boats are all effective. An 8 weight shooting head style line in 350 grain variety is best. Lodging is available at Crosby Lodge right on the lake. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at catching some large cutties now is the time to go.

Russian River Poor, Flows - 200 CFS at Guernville. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet

Fishing has slowed down on the Russian for smallies. Clousers and crayfish patters are still producing, however top water has been virtually non existent as cooler evening temps have cooled the water below 70 degrees. It is time to start thinking about Steelhead on this and other California waters. A big thank you to all our guests that fished the Russian for Smallmouth with us this summer. We will look forward to next summer…but for not on to other species. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info or to book a trip for steelhead or trout.

Lower Sacramento River – Great Flows – 7,300 CFS Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (4ft visibility)


The Lower Sac never ceases to amaze us, and its only getting better. Lots of great fishing to be had right now, some big fish battled, some battles won, some lost, but all in all, the Lower Sac is the place to be right now! The salmon are showing themselves all throughout the system and in due time the egg bite will be on, but this doesn't mean they won’t eat them now (hint hint). I think the pre-egg bite can give an angler some great fishing before all the crowds show up. As the first few salmon show up and start building redds and even before they begin dropping eggs, the trout go nuts for them. We always start throwing eggs early and it flat out works. Look for the Lower Sac to get "epic" mid Oct, and if you are not up there, you will truly miss out. We still have a few prime dates available between now and the end of Nov, if you are looking to book, now's the time.

Try small nymphs such as PMD's and Caddis (see recent reports for specific patterns) but more importantly begin to think eggs, eggs, eggs!

Guide tip: “Get on the Sac now! Its football season!

Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – low (240 cfs at Delta) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear

Fishing on the Upper Sac has been good. Fall weather has fish on the chow. Water is crystal clear with decent mayflies and caddis hatches popping throughout the system. There has been some good midge activity as well so you will want to have some dark midge patterns like Zebra Midges under a Bird’s Nests, Prince Nymph or Superfloss Rubberlegs. Other good bets are Poopahs, Pseudo Mays, Poxyback PMD’s, Midges, Hogan’s, Mercer’s, Speroni’s, October Caddis nymphs and dries.
Guide Tip: “Don’t leave the river early this time of year as October Caddis are pooping in the evening and some anglers miss them because they leave before things get going. Some days they are hatching in better numbers than others, however if you aren’t there you won’t know.”

We love the Fall here in Nor Cal. Let us know if we can help get you pointed in the right direction. Call (707)287-2939 for more info.

Trinity River – Good Flows 450 Cfs. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity - Perfect

The Trinity is really starting to pick up. Our guides had a week of trips during mid Sept, mostly swinging, but a few nymph trips as well, and what we saw as the week progressed is that the fishing only got better. Lots of smolts to hand, but there where some bruisers hooked, landed and lost. Our last guided trip yielded some good numbers of adult steelhead, as well as many fresh fish fishing moving up river through the tailouts. With cooler temps about to hit the Trinity, the fishing is about to heat up.


Try swinging traditional steelhead flies or egg sucking leaches, but nymphing with stoneflies and eggs is the go to. If you are looking to do a multi day trip, this is the place to be. October and November is always a great time on the Trinity, especially if you like to swing. This is where you can not only get fish on the swing, but the water temps are still warm enough to get them swinging on top. Personally, this is the time of year we like swinging on the T. We still have a few available dates in October and November if you are looking to book a trip.

Things are shaping up for a great Fall on the Trinity River. Our guides are booking up fast! October, November and December are prime time to give Trinity Steelheading a go! Call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info and to set aside your fall trip.

Truckee River – Fair to Good Flows –300 at Boca. Water Temps. – High to mid 50’s. Clarity – a little color.

The cooler temps have brought slightly better fishing in the last couple weeks. Water is low but we are finding some nice fish. With the weather cooling off, Fall is here. With it comes some good streamer fishing as browns become aggressive and the rainbows will respond well too trying to fatten up for winter.

For now nymphing continues to produce best although streamers will start to pick up more quality fish in the coming weeks. If you lack the patience to swing, fish a big dark stonefly with some shot under an indicator. Nondescript stoneflies, and larger mayfly continue to work well.

Little Truckee River – Poor Flows –28 cfs Water temp. high 60’s Clarity – good

The Little Truckee is way too low and warm for any conscientious angler to fish right now but that is in the process of changing with recent colder nights. Wait until flows bump up before giving this one a go. Call us at the shop at (916)722-8594 for updated information.

Yuba River Trout– Fair to Good Flows – 800 cfs at Highway 20 bridge, CFS at Marysville. Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba was a bit tough over the past few weeks, mostly due to the ever dropping flows. Now that the flows have settled and the fish found there new feeding lanes, the fishing has been getting better. With a few salmon starting to spawn, there is a small egg bite happening, but with more salmon on the move, and a good number still below the weir, give it another week or two and the Yuba will be in full Fall swing. If you are looking to get out for a few hours, this will be your go to trout fishery for the next month or two.
If the egg bite is what you want, book now!

Fish pmd, Caddis or other nondescript nymphs along with an egg pattern for best results although swinging flies will still work.

Guide tip: The river is closed above the highway 20 bridge but there is plenty of good water below it.
Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook direct at (707)287-2939 for more info or to set aside your dates.

Yosemite Area

The nights are cooling and stabilizing the water and fishing has been good. Trout are in a looking to put on a little more weight to make it through the cold winter months here in the high country.

Mokolumne - Fair to Good The “Moke” is back down to minimum flows. The Salmon pulse mid month will bring improved fishing. The “Upper Moke” is fishing well. Dry droppers with Stimulators and Caddis are working best. Things are cooling so start with nymphs in the morning and then switch to dries as things warm up.

Stanislaus - Good The South Fork is fishing well. Yellow Sallies and Hare’s Ears are best producers. The middle fork above Twain Hart is fishing well too but Kennedy Meadows continues to see a lot of pressure. Look for this to subside now that the kids are back in school.
Guide tip: Rick Mazaira says “Check out the Herring Creek and the inlet to Lyons!”

Tuolomne - Good to Great Flows are low, but water is cool and stable. A size 16 parachute Adams will work all day!
Middle Fork & South fork - Good Flows are dropping. Subsurface caddis & midges work well, Caddis, Parachute Adams and Yellow Sallies are still the ticket.

Merced - Good to Fair El Portal fish it early, mind your temps and don't fish above 70 degrees.

Lower Merced- Fair lots of Pike Minnows, Suckers, and when you catch a rainbow with a tracking tag on it know it is a rescue fish and keep it in the water!

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