Northern California Fly Fishing Report - April 30, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – April 30, 2016

American River – Fair Flows - 3,000 CFS at Fair Oaks. Temp. – 53 Degrees. Water clarity – Clear

Striper are already staging on the Sacramento and a few are into the Lower American. Some shad have been caught by conventional anglers at the confluence. Maury Hatch has begun his annual shift up from the Delta to target the striper that come up out of the Sacramento to spawn. Fishing is still a little unpredictable. One day is decent the next is slow. You have to keep moving to find fish. Fish Best flies have been Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white. We are looking forward to some more hot weather which will usher in the 2016 shad run. Stay tuned!

Call the Shop at (916)722-1055 for updates on current conditions or to schedule spring striper or shad fishing. We have a few weekend dates open but things are filling up fast.

Delta - Good 58 degrees. Water Clarity – off color. Smallmouth/largemouth - Poor

The last week or so of striper fishing in Northern California have been crazy. Spring has sprung, and trying to bounce around between the Sacramento River and the Delta chasing these fish is a tough job, but someone has to do it! Maury Hatch has fished the Sac near Colusa in the last few days and had mixed results. One day was epic and the next was slow. He moved down to the Tisdale area and was met with the mass of humanity. “If you don't get your sled in the water by 6:30 AM, there are no places left to park. It's THAT busy. There are so many metal boats and conventional anglers that it was not quality fishing. Trying to set up a drift and dealing with the trollers, live bait bouncers, and anchored up boats just is not very good. There are plenty of fish around, but our guests don’t go fly fishing to sit in a boat traffic jam and neither do we.

Back to the Delta. The stripers are on the move for the spring spawn and when you find a pod, it can be really great. Last Saturday and Sunday were decent, but Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were VERY good. Tons of fish in large schools and bigger fish in the mix too. Many of the larger ones are headed up into the rivers like the American, Sacramento and Feather soon. We are looking forward to that. Yesterday, the fish were on the move again in the Delta. We had to work for them, but we got some nice quality fish. We are still able to find fish in the Delta throughout the summer however we shift our focus somewhat to topwater largemouth and smallmouth.

Recently largemouth bass fishing has been decent as fish are in spawn mode. Some nice ones have been caught last week, however we need some more warm days before the top water bite turns on and becomes even more consistent.

Topwater smallmouth bass fishing is also right around the corner. This is a blast to do and ideal even for experienced anglers wanting to “catch a bunch of fish”. We traditionally have 40 to 70 fish even on half day trips all on small poppers. It’s just about as much fun as you can have with young anglers. It gets started late May or early June depending on weather and continues throughout the summer. It would be a perfect father’s day gift for dads and grandpas!

Guide tip: Bryce Tedford says “Bring dad out for some great topwater SMB action, it’s the best of both worlds… time with family and fly fishing”

Call Off the Hook at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 to get I on the bass fun this father’s day. Or if you prefer email us at info@offthehookflyfishing and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Feather River – Good. Flows – 800 through low flow, 1,000 below Thermalito , water temps low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

The Feather is fishing good to fair depending on the day of the week. Weekends are a bit crowded, while Tuesday through Thursday has been less so and the fishing seems to be good fishing is inversely proportional to the crowds. The typical bugs will get you fish are Princes, caddis and may flies, but a few nontraditional flies will work too. "These fish are pound for pound the hardest fighting steelhead you will hook into unless you are on a coastal river. Come and see what the hype is all about”says Brian Clemens.

Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve what should be a great Spring and Summer on the Feather.

Guide tip: Big Prince Nymphs, Fox Pupahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs and Sucker Spawns have been working. Fish are throughout the system, so don’t just key in on one spot or even one section.

Napa River – Fair. Flows – average, water temps low 60’s. Water clarity – Fair

Fishing has been so so. Most fish reported last week were in the 16 to 24” range. This is typical for this time of year. Fish chartreuse or white streamers on sinking lines in moving water. Watch for larger spring tides and fish the moving water on outgoing or incoming tide. We like to focus our efforts early and late in the day for larger fish, however summer days from the 4th on can produce some good numbers of schoolies.

Call Off the Hook Fly Fishing at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

Putah Creek – Fair Flows - 420 CFS. Temps High 50’s. Water clarity – Slightly off color

Putah had been as high as 510 cfs but is back down to 420 today. It is on its way to high flows in response to summer agricultural usage. Jordan Rob and the guys have some tricks up their sleves for high water conditions. Water is still a little off color due to all the siltation following the heavy rains and last summer’s fire. For patterns use small midges and Baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May. Focus on the edges this time of year. If you find murky water go dark with your flies and a little larger size to combat it. Or, hire one of our guys to help break the code and catch fish during the summer season.

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.

Guide tip: “make sure you have enough weight on this time of year to get to the bottom. If you’re not hanging up you’re not catching fish”

Lower Sacramento – GREAT! Flows – 4,500 CFS Temps- mid 50’s. Water clarity – clear

The Lower Sac is fishing on all cylinders, and will continue to fish great for the next month or so. You simply must go and fish it ASAP! The fish are really keying on certain bugs throughout the day. Stones, PMDs, BWOs and Caddis are all on the menu. Some hot flies that have been getting the job done are: just to name a few. Shane says We’re nearing the best time of year (May-June) for dry/dropper fishing. With this setup, at the right place and right time one can do well on the Sac without bobbers and lots of lead. Casting is actually fun!"

Guide tip: Hot patterns have been Rubberlegs, G6 Caddis, Nitro Caddis, Tung Psycho Mays, Speronies Beatis, Brian also reminds everyone “the area above Highway 44/299 bridge is closed.”

Upper Sacramento – Fair. Flows – 900 to 1,100 CFS. Temps- mid 50’s. Clarity – slightly off color

The Upper Sac is fishing ok for those in the know. Water is a little high Good patterns have been Golden Stones such as the Solitude Stone, Mercers Poxyback Stone, Rubber Legs and Pheasant Tail nymphs. Stay water levels drop and stabilize fishing should improve.

Truckee River – Good. Flows –300+, 1,000 CFS below Boca. Clarity – a little color.

The Truckee has been fishing well with lots of deep cold water. Although the water is high and slightly off color it continues to produce some quality fish.. The go -to’s this week have been Rubber legs, baetis, skwala nymphs, midges, worms and generic dark mayflies under an indicator have been working.

Focus on the edges and even in shallower water as fish are not in deep swift water.

Guide tip: Fish a 9 ½ to 10 foot rod to high sticking and mending easier.

Our spring bookings are looking really good this year on the Truckee with all the water. That said, we still have plenty of guide days open and we would love to get you out.

Yuba River – Poor Flows – 2,100 CFS at Marysville Temps mid 50’s. Clarity – fairly clear

The Yuba continues to fish very slow although the water is finally coming down. We just aren’t seeing the numbers of fish that we normally would this spring. The bugs we usually see haven’t been around in god numbers either. While we will never complain about all the water we have had, we think it has had an affect on the fishing. The heavy rains have scoured the bottom and roughed up the insect population and moved some of the fish down and out of their normal hangouts. Several years ago when we had flood stage on the Yuba the same thing happened and it didn’t fish well until the fall when the Salmon brought with them the “egg hatch”.

Guide tip: There are plenty of other fisheries that are producing well here in Northern California as alternatives to the Yuba.

Thanks for checking out the report. Some of you may notice that the report is missing the normal photos. We have several of them, but are having technical difficulties. We hope to have it fixed shortly.

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