Northern California Fly Fishing Report - September, 2015

Off the Hook Fly Fishing
Northern California Fly Fishing Report
September, 2015

Fall is right around the corner and despite drought conditions there are plenty of fly fishing options here in Northern California. Dates are booking up quickly so give us a call today to reserve your trip(707)287-2939.

Putah Creek - Fair to good. Flows - low and clear. Temps high 50’s to low 60’s, 400cfs. Best fishing has been first thing in the morning and again in the evening. Sporadic hatches of Blue Wing Olive caddis and some midges are the main items. Indicator nymphing with a two fly rig has been producing some a few nice fish. We’re still seeing quite a few smaller fish (6 to 10 inch range) being caught which is indicative of recent spawn success. Blue Wing olives have been hatching in the afternoon so fish BWO nymphs under a caddis or other attractor. Remember to go small and light with point fly with a Blue Wing Olive or midge down to 6x tippet. Fishing should only improve as water levels drop and fish begin staging for the spawn.

Guide Tip : Try using a San Juan Worm with a small Baetis dropper in deeper slots. Some nice fish landed last week on SJW’s. Also hesitate to throw on an egg pattern soon as fish will begin keying on them.

Napa River - Fair to good. Flows – average, clear, water temps high 60’s to low 70’s. Fishing has been good although most fish are in the 16 to 22” range. Look for larger Fall fish have headed in increasing numbers . Reports of a few larger fish to 12 lbs caught.

Guide tip: Be on the water at first light. Some topwater action to be had!

Delta smallmouth - Good to very good. (striper) Poor to fair.
Flows slightly below average. Clear, Temp - low 60’s to 80. The topwater bite for smallmouth continues to be on fire! Forty to 50 fish are being caught on most days and a 75 fish day recently had by clients last weekend. This is the time to get out before the weather gets cold or trout and steelhead fishing takes off. Spending the day hammering smallmouth is an ideal tune up for casting and line management skills for the fall season.

Delta smallmouth

Striper fishing has been fairly slow. Good numbers of small fish are being caught and some reports of fish up to17 lbs out West but the larger fish are not in in great numbers yet and wind has been an issue. Watch for water temperatures to drop which usually with the big fall fish arriving.

Guide tip: Fish for smallmouth or tune up on the little guys until the big boys arrive!

Yuba River - Poor to Fair. Flows –clear and low, Temps mid 50’s 400cfs. The current low flows have fish scattered. Concentrate on fishing the deeper water including deep slots, drop offs, pools and riffles. Trout are taking stonefly nymphs and dries, midges and a few remaining caddis. Either fish a large dark stonefly and a midge or a stonefly dry with midge or caddis dropper. (dry/dropper style) Best fishing mid morning with hopper dropper rig from highway 20 bridge down.
Guide tip : There are some salmon in the system but we have had no reports of them on the redds. Fishing an egg is still not a bad idea to try especially in the coming weeks. Try a tandem large stone and an egg or midge pattern as dropper.
Feather River - Poor. Flows low and clear. Temp low 50’s. Flows - 960 cfs. A few steelhead are coming into the lower system. By mid September this should improve and be full tilt by October 1st. Try fishing an egg pattern behind spawning salmon. Best action has been first light to mid morning.
Guide tip Wait until reports improve or just keep searching and heading down stream until you find fish.

Lower Sacramento - Fair to good. Flows - clear mid 50’s 7,200 cfs. Nice weather and decent fishing reports from Posse Grounds down to Jelly’s Ferry. Good fishing should continue through November with “egg bite coming right around the corner. Lower water conditions have opened up Posse Ground Riffles and 299 Bridge Riffle to wade fishing early this year. Currently hatches are fairly sparse however nymphing continues to produce. Seams and edges are holding fish and two fly indicator rig has been the ticket. Fish a Stonefly above either a caddis pupae or PMD nymph. Best fishing has been before noon.

Guide tip: Throw an egg patter behind any salmon you can find or wait until dark when fish begin to take dries for some dry fly action with Caddis patters.

Truckee River – Fair. Flows low and clear high 50’s - 5.1 Water is low however temps have dropped in the canyon section and guides have begun guiding there again. A stealthy approach and small dries with light tippets are required to hook fish. There are also opportunities to catch fish on slightly larger attractor nymphs under an indicator
Guide tip: Head down river where water is higher and fish larger attractor nymph patterns under an indicator in deeper pools and runs. Remember to play and release fish quickly and limit any time out of the water to decrease fish mortality. Or go fish the Little Truckee.

Fall River - Good to great! Flows clear 50’s below average The Fall River fished very well this summer and will continue to improve into the Fall. You still need to find the right water as the fish on this spring creek move around quite a bit. Local knowledge really pays off here. Consider hiring a guide. Anglers fishing nymphs on the swing or suspended under indicators are doing best. Trout are rising to tricos first thing in the morning. Hatches vary day to day, however best trico spinnerfall has been above Spring Creek Bridge. Also, small midges and mayfly nymphs fished below an indicator are producing along the flats. Look for trout rising to callibaetis adults in the afternoon. Remember trout concentrate on areas with good insect activity. In the evening caddis hatches are still producing. Try swing caddis emergers and soft hackles on a floating or intermediate line. Fishing will continue to improve as Fall approaches.

Fall is the time for the Fall!Fall is the time for the Fall!

Guide tip: Remember to swing a leach in the large pools and bends in the river and hang on tight!

Trinity River Fair to good. Water is clear mid to high 60's 1,100 cfs. Best reports coming from the area below Junction City. High flows make drift boat fishing best option. Some half pounders, salmon and nice browns being caught. As long as water stays below 70 degrees expect good fishing. Fall days on the trinity are booking up rapidly. call to book yours now! (707)287-2939

Trinity River browns are one of three great options to target right now!Trinity River browns are one of three great options to target right now!

McCloud River - Fair. Water has been slightly off color and slightly lower than average. Temps- mid 50’s. Some anglers are finding easy success, while others are having to work hard for fish. Most success has been high stick nymphing large dark stoneflies with a caddis dropper, or try an attractor dry such as a stimulator or caddis along edges.
Guide tip: Don’t let the green color dissuade you from fishing. Visibility is 2 feet and ideal as fish tend to be less finicky during these conditions.

Pit River - Good. Water greenish-brown tint, low to mid 60’s 330cfs at Pit #3, slightly high mid 60’s to 70 degrees and 427cfs at Pit #4 and 64-70 degrees on pit #5. The Pit has fished well of late with best fishing being first thing in the morning until noon. High stick nymphing the pocket water and riffles with stoneflies and dark all purpose nymphs and caddis. Remember that the road is closed a couple miles below Lake Britton due to construction, however should re-open mid September.

Guide tip: Try a tan bird’s nest and cover water to find fish willing to eat.

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