Northern California Fly Fishing Report - November 19, 2017

Best Bets: Lower Sac or Putah – Trout, Delta - Striper, Feather, Klamath or Trinity - Steelhead, and Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat.

American River Steelhead - Poor to Fair Flows – 2,000+ CFS at Natomas. – high 50's to low 60. Water clarity – Good.

Flows are stable again this week at 2,000 and recently the middle river has had good numbers of half pounder steelhead and some larger adults are trickling in. Most adults right now are in the 5 to 7 lb range and should be coming in in better numbers with recent rains.

Give us a call at the shop (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook fly fishing directly at (707)287-2939 to set up a Winter steelhead trip on the American.

Delta Striper - Good Water Temp - 66 deg. Water Clarity – Good.

Captain Bryce put a happy guest on this fish this last week.

Fishing has been exciting for Striper on the Delta this Fall. Again this last week we had some good days and some closer to what we consider great. There remains quite of bit of bait throughout the system. Catch rate numbers have fluctuated from decent to exceptional depending on casting ability and reactionary time when fishing around boils and feeding fish. There is a bit of variety too to keep things interesting. From striper and large mouth to even an occasional salmon! The Delta Grand Slam happened again this week. What's more the size of fish has jumped recently by leaps and bounds. Now is the time to go.

We are currently throwing everything and the kitchen sink at em. From floating and intermediate lines to lead, however the majority of the time, we are using heavy Type 7 sinking lines. Outgoing tides have been really clear water so we are using flies in Olive/White, Gray/White, and of coarse, Chart/White. When the incoming brings in the dirty water we have been switching over to darker patterns with rattles to elicit grabs. Don't forget to look for fish in shallow water. Some of the largest fish this week have come in inches of depth.

Guide Tip: Look for diving birds to tell you where the the Stripers are pushing bait, fish heavy sinking lines when no birds are present in 7-15' water & use intermediate lines with large flies in shallow waters if you want to go pig hunting(quality over quantity)!


Fly fishing Specialties owner Rick Anderson with a monster from this last week! Way to go boss.

Fall/Winter dates are just about booked up so if you are interested in reserving one of our guides, now is the time. Give us a call at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce, Toby, Chuck and Bill for some memorable Winter Delta action.

Feather River – Great to Good. Flows – 800 through "low flow" and 7,000 in "high" and 3,700 CFS out of Oroville. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear.

The Feather has fished really well for our guides recently. The run is on in full swing. The last couple week the fish have gotten a lot bigger and some nice adults to 7+ lbs landed along with the typical half pounders. Salmon are in the low flow section and jockey around on the Reds. Both swinging and nymphing are producing but nymphing is most productive and eggs are the ticket right now. The river has been a bit busy recently but we're getting some good fishing regardless.

Note: Please wade carefully and stay off the redds.

Best flies continue to be eggs, worms and big attractors. Prince Nymphs, Fox’s Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs, San Juan worms and Tungsten Salvations, and oh ya and did we mention lots of eggs!

Guide tip: Jig head nymphs are sticking fish and keeping them on also try swinging leeches on sink tips has been good too".

Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve a trip for what should be a great Fall steelhead fishing on the Feather.

Klamath River – Good. Flows 1,100 cfs below Irongate 1,640 at Seiad. Clarity - Klamath river tea(perfect).

The Klamath has fished quite well recently. Our guides are finding several half pounders and 1 to 3 adult fish( 18" to 25" ) each day. Salmon numbers are down however steelhead numbers are up. We have been fishing Horse Creek to Seiad and each good run has produced at least one half pounder or adult on the swing which we consider very good fishing. Water is in good shape and what we like to call "Klamath River Tea". There is some color to it, however you can see all the way to your feet when wading deep. We honestly consider it perfect conditions.

As far as flies go traditional steelhead patters in dark colors have produced well. Purple Freight Trains have worked well and old school flies like the McGinty continue to be a productive fly up here. We have been swinging them exclusively on floating lines as fish are active, looking up and on the move. Get out now for some productive fishing and work on your two handed fishing as a "ramp up" to coastal fishing to come.

We still have a few dates available (Nov 28, 29, and 30 are open) Give us a call to get in on these last dates.

Napa River – Good. Flows – average, Water temps - 65. Water clarity – Fair.

Fishing continues to be good on the Napa River this week. The middle and upper sections of the River continue to fish well with fish averaging 20". Bait fish patterns tied in 1/0- 2/0 on a type 7 will get your fly down to where the fish are quickly and will keep in in the zone longer. Always be on the move, they are where you find em.

From now until Thanksgiving is prime time on the Napa River. Now is the time to go!

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 – Great! Flows - 87 cfs. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Putah Creek has produced some healthy fish recently for our guests. We have a few dates available... call us.

Fishing on Putah has been very good this year and will continue through December 1st when we stop guiding it to allow for these amazing fish to spawn. This last week produced some quality healthy fish for our guests. Flows jumped from 75 to 87 but that should't adversely effect things much. As we have said Putah is a very challenging fishery with big fish on small flies so don't expect big numbers but rather quality fish. They are really looking chunky this season and we are happy to be seeing more caddis which had all but disappeared in the last 5 to 6 years.

Putah's wild Rainbows are still grabbing small, dark nymphs under an indicator however eggs and San Juan worms are also working well. Flies to try are all small sized caddis, mayfly, and midge nymphs 16-22. Dead drifted flies get the most attention. Small midges and baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Baetis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craven's Ju ju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May are good along with small caddis. Egg's are coming on strong and will be the majority of what we fish from now until Dec 1st.

Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensable in helping to "crack the code" so to speak and catch fish on this challenging but fantastic tail 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.

Russian River - Poor. Flows - 170 CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.

The Russian is open although the river is very murky. Flows spiked back on the 15th with all the rain we had last week but are currently dropping back into shape. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to fish soon. This river blows out first and clears up last during Winter and Spring rains. While we love getting as much rain as possible here in California we are hoping for some lulls between storms to get after some chrome.

Both swinging traditional flies and nymphing are productive when fish are in and water clarity allows us to fish. If you are in the Santa Rosa, Napa Valley or San Francisco areas over the holidays and would like to give the Russian a go give us a call to get on the waiting list at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife can close or open the Russian as needed depending on stream flows. Please call before you go to ensure the river is open to fishing.(707)944-5533

Lower Sacramento Trout – Good Flows – 5,000 CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (5 ft visibility)

The Lower Sac continued to fish well this week from Redding to Anderson for trout. Some Steelhead hooked on the Lower River below Anderson too. Flows dropped last week to 5,000 cfs. Baetis and midges are the only hatches right now. Almost no Salmon on reds but some eggs have been effective.

Best flies have been Mercer’s Micro May in green and browns, Hogan’s S& M, Mercer’s Missing Link and Birds Nests, and midges and eggs.

Guide Tip: "Find a boat and get in it"

For more on the Lower Sac click here....

Trinity River – Good. Flows –300 at Lewiston dam, 400 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good to fair.

Jon Baiocchi recently fished the Trinity with Brian Clemens.

It is go time on the Trinity. Recent rains have fish pushing into the lower and middle river. Water dropped last week to winter low flows of 300 from Lewiston but fishing has been good throughout the river. The guys have been finding half-pounders and 1 to 5 adults are possible per day with things looking to get even better.

Best flies this week were, Silver Hilton's, Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown or a Copper Assassin. Peter says "Nymphers should try eggs, rubber legs, PT's and Hares Ears". October Caddis, Copper Johns, Psycho Princes, other stonefly patterns and eggs will also work.

November and December are prime time so give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 to get your guide reserved.

Truckee River – Good. Flows – 105 cfs at Truckee,150 cfs at Glenshire bridge, 331 cfs at Boca confluence, and 463 cfs in the Canyon. Water Temps. – 44-47 depending on location. Clarity – a little color but still quite fishable.

Things are in flux up on the Truckee. Flows spiked back on the 15th from 100 cfs to over 1,100 on the 16th. Flows have dropped back to more normal levels. With colder temps most bug activity has been in the afternoon but the morning has still fished well too. Captain Chris has found that most of his fish have been caught in "walking speed water". Water that is going about as fast as you can walk though requires good presentation as fish will have longer to look at your offerings so a drag free drift is essential.

Hatches have included BWO's, Midges predominantly. Best fishing has been nymphing midges under an indicator or fishing streamers. Jordan says "Go small or go big"

Best flies include stone like Mercers Micro May, Poxyback Stone, Hogan's S&M, Solitude Stone, larger dark mayfly nymphs and midges. For streamers try brown buggers, balanced leaches or small articulated streamers in black, olive or white.

Guide Tip: With the transition into winter streamer fishing really comes into its own. You can even drop a small baetis 10 to 12 inches behind a streamer and be prepared for a big grab.

Yuba River Trout – Poor Flows – 1,00 cfs at Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is is in flux right now. Flows spiked to 7,078 cfs on the 17th and Deer Creek jumped from 17.5 to 1,200 cfs. Fortunately with a break in the weather flows are back down to 1.300. It may take a few days for fishing to resume where it left off so it may be best to wait a while before giving it a go.

Steak and eggs would be a great place to start; dark rubber let stones and mottled yolk eggs proved effective last week before the rain came in. Look for soft side waters and BWO hatches to occur on overcast days. Most recent fish have been in the 8 to 14 inch range but are hard fighters.

Bump edges and drop offs with stones and your choice of #18 or #16 beadhead nymphs. S&M's, Mercer's, CJ's, PT's, etc... Small swung streamers in olive, rust or black have produced some fish as well recently but eggs are probably the most productive thing to be fishing.

Northern California Lake Reports

Lake Almanor - Great. Water Temps - 50 Deg. Water clarity - 10 ft

Lake Almanor has turned over and fishing is hot. Warmer days in the last couple weeks had small insects hatching, however recent bad weather put a damper on that. Regardless fishing has been good using nymphs and leeches. Muddy bottoms with weed and shallow sloping shoreline will produce better fish. Lots of rainbows at Canyon Dam. Larger browns have been taking streamers recently.

Guide Tip: 12 ft 4x leaders on floating Line or Camolux for Leech patterns. Deep 5 or 24' 200 gr for Cloudser. Look for rising Fish and water flowing into the Lake.

Lake Englebright - Fair to Good. Water temps - 64-66. Clarity - Gin clear

If a peaceful and serene setting is your goal then look no further. Englebright is void of jet skiers and water skiers now and the fishing can be incredible. Numbers are down compared to the past few weeks but quality is up. Beautiful Spotted and Smallmouth bass are the target here as well as trout if you’d like to hone your Stillwater skills. Trout have been active most of the morning and late in the evening. Bass have been fairly active throughout the day with 8 am-2 pm being the prime time.

Guide Tip: Fish streamers in bluegill patterns, white pond smelt patterns tight against the rocks, brush or trees to trigger reactionary strikes. Float n’ fly methods have been exceptional out there as well. Bites are very subtle so ease into the strip or the shake and look for changes before a sharp and high set. Stay focused, keep fishing.

Frenchman's Lake - Good. Water temps 52 to 54 deg.Water clarity- clear to a tad of color.

Water temps have dropped to the mid to high 40's, and ice is beginning to form on the edges in the morning. Light hatches of midges and a few callibaetis are out. Shorter leaders and heavier tippets will work now as the trout are on the Fall grab, their greed in fattening up for winter is their downfall, and an advantage for fly anglers looking for a bent rod. Big buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown and rust, sheep creek specials, Hare’s Ears, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been the most productive. Mornings have been really cold so focus on fishing the middle of the day. If you want a great stillwater experience, you better get up to the lake as soon as possible.

Guide tip: Fish during the warmest time of day.

Lake Oroville - Great. Surface temps 60-61 deg. Clarity - 4+ ft.

Fishing on Oroville continues has gotten even better recently. With cooler temps surface action is slowing a but but still good to start with surface flies. Once the TW bite slows, fish a weightless streamer on a floating line. Bass should come to the surface to grab flies 1' down until around 2:00 or so. The float & fly rig has been producing well and we will use this technique and sinking lines in the coming weeks now that topwater is slowing. Most fish are in the 12 to 13 inch range but opportunities for larger ones. The good news is 40 to 50+ fish days are being had by our clients.

Look to this fishery to be a great option this winter for a getaway and escape from crowded local steelhead rivers. We love fishing Oroville during this time and often fish all day without encountering another angler. Give us a call to get out for some catching!

For more about fishing Oroville click here...

Pyramid Lake NV* – Good. Water temps - 60's Clarity - clear

Big fish season is just around the corner and we are starting to see more 10+ fish showing their faces! Prior lake turn overs have settled, colder night temps are cooling down the water, winter storms are starting to bring wind and clouds and the list goes on. If you are on the hunt for your trophy Lahontan Cutthroat then you better start planning your next trip to the salty oasis and wet a line. Mild winter storms have started bringing in big fish this past week and continuing into the weekend. The high pressure blue bird days can be a occasionally be battle and the numbers may not be extreme this time of year even with great fishing conditions. Though the odds of one of those grabs being a 10+ pound fish are getting better and better. It seems as though the Pilot Peak (particularly the males) thrive in slightly colder temperatures than the pyramid strain. This meaning cold temperatures in the shallows allows for longer periods of time for the larger fish to come close to shore to party and gorge themselves.

As far as flies go Popcorn Beetles, Boobies, and Balanced Leaches in black,olive and white under indicator along with other Tui Chub patterns are all working well. A few fish caught on midges as well but Beetles and leaches have produced best by far. Some really nice fish have already found the net this season. You simply must experience this fishery to believe it. Don't miss out give us a call today (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.

* While we are aware that Pyramid Lake is not in Northern California we feel fortunate to have it right over the hill from the shop and are glad to have such a great fishery with great guides this close.

© 2008 - 2011 Off the Hook Fly Fishing Travel

1076 Kansas Avenue, Napa, California 94559 | 1.707.287.2939 or toll free 1.877.228.2477 | info@offthehookflyfishing.com