Northern California Fly Fishing Report - March 28, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – March 28, 2016

American River – Poor. Flows - 3,000 CFS. Temps – 53 Degrees. Water clarity – Off color but clearing.

With all this water Spring and Summer fishing for shad and striper should be great!With all this water Spring and Summer fishing for shad and striper should be great!

Currently the American above averaged flows but is clearing and dropping like many Northern California waters. USGS reports recent drop back to 3,000 CFS at Fair Oaks as of this report. Things are all but done for Steelhead for the season here in sacramento. Jordan Romney says “From here on out we are on shad watch. They should be here by April if not sooner.” The larger striper should not be far behind as well. This should be a great season for both Shad, and Striper due to improved water flows over the last few years.

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

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

Fishing in the Sacramento River Delta was decent last week considering that only 30% of the water was clear enough to fish with flies. Mild sunny weather and pleasant days made up for murky conditions. As long as you move to find clean water you will find fish. We had over 10 to 15 fish per rod average with some nice quality fish mixed in with the rats.

We are heading into a nice weather pattern and slowly, but surely, the conditions will improve every day. With the big moon and the rising water temperatures, the male stripers have started milting again. And the fish are attacking the fly with gusto and pulling really hard. I have had several clients this week that had the rod almost yanked out of their hands when the fish ate the fly at the boat near the end of the strip! Good stuff for sure!

The next month should really be good! Most productive by far is a dark-colored rattle bluegill pattern that has been working best for me in this dirty water. If you don't yet have a date on a boat in the next 30 days then get on it as dates are almost full for most of us. Before this last storm, the fishing was Off The Hook and any day now it is going to get back to that.

Spring is finally here!

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

Guide tip: Maury Hatch says “The topwater bite has been better in the last hour of the day than the first hour, but throwing the big Pole Dancer has raised a few nice fish for me on a couple of calm evenings.”

Call Off the Hook at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 to get in 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 – Good to Great. Water temps - low 60’s. Flows – 800 through low flow, 5,000 below Thermalito. Water clarity – slight color

The Feather has been fishing really well recently. Last week we had two beginners in one of our boats land 40 fish in 2 days. Despite higher water we have still been able to find fish each day. Nymphing has been successful and we have gotten some fish on the swing as well.

The Feather continues to be hot!: Give us a call at (707)287-2939 to get in on the actionThe Feather continues to be hot!: Give us a call at (707)287-2939 to get in on the action

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, will come even more big spring run fish. Fishing should stay good for at least a few months. Don’t forget about the stripers, bass and salmon fishing during this time as well.

Guide tip: "Fish big eggs!”

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.

Napa River – Fair. Flows – average. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – stained but clearing.

Fly fishing on the Napa River: Another reason we love the Napa Valley!Fly fishing on the Napa River: Another reason we love the Napa Valley!

Fishing was great right up to that most recent system. Many of the fish reported were in the 6 to 10 lb range, fish to 15 lbs were reportedly caught in lower river. That rain turned the river to chocolate. It is beginning to come back into shape. If you simply must fish 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 movement.

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 - 120 CFS. Water temps - mid 50’s. Water clarity – slight color and clearing

Putah Creek below lake Berryessa had been as low as 60 in the last couple weeks but is climbing and currently at 120 cfs. Water is still a little off color but should clear up a couple days after the rain stops. Unfortunately recent rains have washed silt into the upper portion near the bridge. It will take the higher summer flows to hopefully scour some of that out. For now fish down lower from access 1 down to 5. 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. It never hurts to give it a try if you are in the Napa Valley and it can bring a welcome reprieve form wine tasting on your Napa vacation.

Putah will fish well once the water clears up.Putah will fish well once the water clears up.

Guide tip: “Throw a san Juan Worm in the mix, it should help fish find it in the off color water.”
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 - Good to Fair. Water is fairly clear on calm days and slightly off color on windy days. Water temps - 46 degrees at 6 ft.

The fishing at Pyramid Lake near Reno Nevada has been jumping from Red Hot to Molasses. One day it has been lights out and the next extremely slow. This is directly tied to weather patterns. As we have reported all season, the fishing here is weather driven. Just before and just after storms on the wind blown shore has been best. For example, last night (3/22/16) was a full moon with 15 mile an hour winds creating big waves blowing into the west beaches, the fishing was awesome! The "Floater no cator" was dynamite! Today (3/23/16) with little wind bright skies, and no waves, the fishing got real tough. The evening grab was ok. On 3/21/16 Mike Cruz released a 15 1/2 pounder with our guides. It has been a great year for trophy fish for us. Best flies on shooting heads have been the Original Popcorn Beetle, Black buggers, Red/Black leeches. On the "Floater no cator", the best flies are "Bird of Prey" 49ers, Tiger Midges, and Snowcones.

Pyramid Lake continues to fish well. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 to go get after em!Pyramid Lake continues to fish well. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 to go get after em!

Guide tip: “Time to fish is now” says Doug Oulette!

Pyramid will continue to fish well into Spring. Give us a call at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to check available dates. Now is the time to go!

Lower Sacramento – Good to Great. Flows – 5,000 cfs Water temps - mid 50’s. Water clarity – slight color

Fishing right in Redding continues to be good despite dropping flows. Focus on fishing from the Posse grounds to Bonnyview. Shane Kohlbeck was stoked to have “double hookups yesterday even at these flows like they had last week.”

Shane with another nice Lower Sac bow!Shane with another nice Lower Sac bow!

Guide tip: Given the current flows and visibility Shane suggest using larger dark “stone flies, assorted egg colors and even some caddis.” Remember “the upper river above Highway 44 closes April 1st

Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – 1,200 CFS. Water temps- mid 50’s. Clarity – good.

The Upper Sacramento above Redding is fishing well for those in the know. With two weeks since the rain it has dropped from 1,600 at Dog Creek to around 1,200 and local anglers are having success. The key is to not try to wade out in the water as it is still high. Instead fish the edges, behind boulders and in the back eddy’s. Good patterns have been Golden Stones such as the Solitude Stone, Mercers Poxyback Stone, Rubber Legs and march brown imitations such as a Pheasant Tail.

Guide Tip: “You may want to start checking the water at Dog Creek and more up stream until you are comfortable with the flows and give it a shot.

Truckee River – Good. Flows – 900-1,000 CFS at Boca. Temps – Low 50’s Clarity – surprisingly clear.

The Truckee has been fishing well. Lots of clear cold water and all the spring bugs are around.

Spring bugs are here and the water is clear.Spring bugs are here and the water is clear.

Flows continue to hover around 900-1000cfs for the second straight week in a row near Boca and in the canyon. I wouldn’t say this is unusual, but it sure doesn’t happen very often. The drop in flows has been very slow this week and that’s not a bad thing. These are the flows we’ve been waiting five years for!

Now to the fishing…Although the water is high, it’s surprisingly clear and fishing has been good. We’ve been getting into a fair share of good, quality adult fish this past week and all of our spring bugs are around. The go-to’s this week have been baetis, skwala nymphs, worms, march browns and generic dark mayflies under an indicator have been producing fish.

If you’re looking to throw dries, I would throw skwala’s with a baetis emerger as your dropper. This can be a very reliable set up this time of year across the west as our first round of big stoneflies start to hatch. You might also try some march browns, there aren’t a lot around, but enough to give it a shot. If you’re seeing tiny sips and not many bugs, go with a good old midge. It’s hard to beat this time of year.

Guide tip: “With the river being as high as it is, try to concentrate on the softer edges and seams. The last thing the fish are doing right now is holding in fast water, wasting energy with cold water temps.”

Little Truckee - Good. Water flows - 50 CFS. Water clarity – clear. Water temps - low to mid 40s.

The Little Truckee river just outside of Truckee California has been hovering around 50 cfs for some time now and the fishing is still decent. Not much has changed recently, small baetis, winter stones and midges have been working well. A few rainbows have started to spawn, so be careful were you walk and give them some space.

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

Yuba River – Poor. Water flows – 4,000CFS. Water temps mid 50’s. Water clarity – cloudy.

The Yuba River near Marysville is blown out right now however should fish well as soon. 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. When it does come back, fish San Juan worms or attractor nymphs along the edges where the water is slower. If march browns are in the mix try throwing the Spotlight March Brown, Parachute March Brown or even fish 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: Jordan Romney says once things settle down a bit and color clears up skwala dries such as the Double Dutch or Rogue Foam Stone should be in order.”

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