Northern California Fly Fishing Report - March 10, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – March, 2016

American River – Flows - high and flooded!(15,000+ CFS) Temps - Mid 50’s. Water clarity – Dark roast java

Currently the American is blown out! USGS reports 15,000 CFS at Fair Oaks, where normally they would be pushing 3,000cfs at this time. The river is probably done for steelhead now that the river flooded. Jordan Romney says “From here on out we are on shad watch. They should be here by April if not sooner.” This should be a great season for Shad, and Striper!

Call the Shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the hook at (707)287-2939 for updates on current conditions or to schedule spring fishing.

There are these guys there somewhere, but they are hard to find these days!(Photo credit: Fly Fishing Specialties) There are these guys there somewhere, but they are hard to find these days!

Delta Striper - Good, Water temp 58 degrees and off color Smallmouth/largemouth) Slow Clarity – Decaf latte

Fishing in the Delta was very good last week. We had over 25 fish per rod average every day out with some nice quality fish mixed in with the rats. This week has been a little slower due to a ton of rain that dirtied the water a bit. After the delta cleans up from this big storm I expect the fishing will real get good. Find yourself a boat and go get e'm!

The San Francisco/ Sacramento River Delta produces some great striper on the fly(Photo credit: Maury Hatch)The San Francisco/ Sacramento River Delta produces some great striper on the fly

You will want chartreuse fly especially one with a rattle tied on when things start coming back into shape. Patterns like DPF Clouser, American River Special and Thalken’s cruiser are must haves!

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been slow but will kick into gear in April, but most anglers have been targeting striper for now.

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

Feather River – Poor to Fair, Flows - 180 CFS. Water temp low 50’s. Clarity - Latte

Fish are still being caught in the system. Despite high water we have still been able to find fish each day. Nymphing has been successful but reports of some fish on the swing as well. Stick with the lower flow area and the upper river as things get muddy the further down you go.

The big fish are not in yet, but with this big rain, they are sure to come soon. We have been hooking a good number of half-pounders ranging 12-20", with an occasional bigger fish. Oroville is filling up fast, it holds 2.6 million a.f. and with it currently at 2.1 million a.f. and on the rise, we should be seeing an increase in flows soon, with that, comes the big spring run fish. Look for this place to really turn on in the next few weeks and stay fishing well for at least a few months. Don’t forget about the stripers, bass and salmon fishing during this time as well. 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: "There are fish around, that gets me excited even in dirty water. Remember, this is steelhead fishing it is a low numbers game anyway.” “Try swing dark patterns with some flash low and slow on a sink tip”.

Napa River – Flooded! Water temps low 60’s. Water clarity – Chocolate milk

Fishing was great right up to this most recent system. Many of the fish reported were in the 6 to 10 lb range, fish to 15 lbs have been reportedly caught in lower river. This recent rain has turned the river to chocolate. It will take a week or so without heavy rain to bring it back into reasonable shape. When it does throw full sinking lines in the 250 to 400 grain range in the cuts.

Fish chartreuse or white streamers on sinking lines in moving water. Watch the tide and fish the incoming or outgoing tide.

Guide tip: “Find a cuts opening into the ponds way back in the sloughs as some have cleaner water and many have fish in them.”

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 are average 90 CFS. Water temps mid 50’s. Water clarity – Vanilla Latte

Putah spiked like many of our Northern California waters with the recent rains to around 200 cfs. Water is still a little off color but should clear up a couple days after the rain stops. Fish in the 20+ inch range caught in the last weeks. Small midges and Baetis patterns have been producing well including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive) and Craves Juju Baetis, Mercer’s Micro May.

Rob Russell with a nice Putah Creek fish from 3/1/16: The spawn is done and were back guiding Putah!Rob Russell with a nice Putah Creek fish from 3/1/16: (Photo credit: Off the Hook Fly Fishing)The spawn is done and were back guiding Putah!

Guide tip: Jordan says "Things are going to get worse before they get better. With the rain coming this weekend it will only put more mud in the water. I would give it at least a week before even considering getting out of bed to fish there."

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. Spring is prime time to fish Putah and dates are going fast! If you prefer email us at info@offthehookflyfishing and we will get back to you as soon as possible with open

Pyramid Lake - Great Water is fairly clear mid 50’s.

Pyramid has been fishing great, but that good fishing has brought the anglers with it. It’s crowded but producing some great fish. Big dark chironomid style midges are a solid first choice. Our Patriot Midge is a good fly to start with. If you don't want to watch a bobber, stripping flies like wooly buggers, tui chub and dragonfly nymphs is also a good idea, especially early and late.

(Photo Credit: Doug Oullette) Now is the time to fish Pyramid: Call (707)287-2939 to reserve your spot today!(Photo Credit: Doug Oullette) Now is the time to fish Pyramid: Call (707)287-2939 to reserve your spot today!

Call the shop at (916)722-1055 for hot patterns. We’ve had reports of some really large fish being caught and a solid 24 pound fish was released recently! So get up there, chuck and duck, hang on and don’t fall in! The water is chilly.

Lower Sacramento – Good, Flows - 5300 CFS, Temps- mid 50’s. Clarity – Chai green tea with a teaspoon of creamer (slightly off color)

Fishing right in Redding continues to be good. Focus on fishing from the Posse grounds to Bonnyview and a little further, but things muddy up below that. Several fish in the 20 to 24” range were caught this week Flows came up March 11 from 2,000cfs to 5,300! so visibility is down to around a foot or two. Within a few days after the rain stops good fishing should resume. "Hopefully by Wednesday" says TFS guide Shane Kohlbeck. Try throwing an olive or brown Micro May or Hogan’s S & M Nymph below a mother’s day caddis under and indicator.

The lower Sac will continue to fish well all Spring.: Call us to set up a trip (707)287-2939(Photo credit lower Sac will continue to fish well all Spring: Call us to set up a trip(707)287-2939

Guide tip: Brian Clemens says “ Numbers of fish vary a bit from day to day, but this is the time of year that good numbers of hooked fish happen. From now till mid May the Lower Sac is on, and it’s got to be the best trout fishery on the west coast. Lets fish!”

Truckee River – Fair to Good. Flows 150 CFS Clarity – grayish. Little Truckee 50 CFS, Clarity – “grayish”. Temps- low to mid 40s

The Truckee has been fluctuating from fair to good and back. It was really good the day this current system came in and the barometer dropped, but once the low pressure settled it's slowed down a bit. Water's a bit high and cold with snowmelt coming down. Clarity is so-so, kind of greyish almost like glacial runoff. Water spiked on March 6 to 1,000 cfs but is back to 150 cfs as of this report. There are some skwala stones hatching some days, you might get a fish here and there on dries but it hasn't been lights out with the cold water. It's mostly been deep water nymphing with midges and baetis and junk food like worms and eggs. There's also a few small winter stones and mother’s day caddis out and about. The fish caught have been in very good shape with a lot of vigor.

The Little Truckee has been fair to decent as well. Hatches have been slim, but there's some nice fish in the system, including holdover lake run browns from Boca. There's a lot of weed growth close to the dam, so you might be better fishing lower in the system unless you only want to fish dry flies. There's some midge hatches, small winter stones and baetis. You can also throw the trusty tailwater special, the dirt snake (aka the san juan worm) if you need to improve your self esteem and catch a fish.

Guide tip: Dan La Count says “try dead drifting a streamer. You won’t land as many fish but the ones you do will generally be nicer fish.” Give us a call at (707)287-2939 if you would like to get up out of the valley and enjoy Spring in the Sierras.

Yuba River – Flooded! Flows – 4,000CFS Temps mid 50’s. Clarity - Hershey’s Chocolate Milk

The Yuba is blown out right now however should fish well as soon as the rain subsides a bit. Consider fishing it once flows get around 1,500 cfs. Right now the skwalas would be hatching as well as march browns and some baetis but that will have to wait for a week or so after the heavy rains stop. When it does come back, fish San Juan worms or attractor nymphs along the edges where the water is slower. Once things settle down a bit and color clears up fish skwala dries such as the Double Dutch or Rogue Foam Stone. If march browns are in the mix try throwing the Spotlight March Brow, Parachute March Brown or even swing a March Brown soft hackle. Nymphs such as the Rubber Leg Stone, Micro May, Pheasant Tail would also be good to fish sub surface patterns even after the clarity comes back.

Guide tip: Mike Folden says “go fish the Feather if you simply must get out or head up the hill to Pyramid.”

Thanks for checking out the report and to all of you who contributed personal photos and reports. Feel free to "like", "share" and send in your own personal reports to

Tight lines everybody!


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