Northern California Fly Fishing Report, September 25, 2017

Fall arrived in the high country this week... Best Bets, Hat Creek or Pit River – Trout, Delta - Striper, Swinging on the Trinity or Feather – Steelhead.

American River Striper - Poor. Steelhead - Poor but improving. Flows – 3,500 CFS at Natomas. – high 50's to low 60. Water clarity – Good.

Cooler weather signals the end of striper fishing on the American at least for the larger non resident fish. It has been a good year here for striper so we can’t complain.

Best flies have been Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser, Angel's Smolt, Angels Chartreuse and White on sinking lines.

Even more immediately pertinent are the steelhead that are trickling in to the system. It is still predominantly half-pounder’s yet a few more adult steelhead sightings every week. We are excited about steelhead fishing this year and look forward to these fish being in our back yards again.

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 striper or Fall Steelhead trip on the American.

Clear Lake Largemouth - Good. Water Temps - 80-88 Degrees. Clarity 6" - 1 ft

Fishing is still good on Clear Lake. Most fish are 1-2.5lbs right now however there is potential for much larger fish and we are finding good numbers of fish overall. Shad are in big schools and getting drilled by bass on top. Water is cooling slightly but we're seeing fish slashing shad and chasing them right on the surface is a sight to see. Good fishing should continue through the Fall. Fish can be really aggressive once you locate them. Look for fish boiling on the surface. The bass are really keying in on shad right now which is perfect for the fly rod. Small clousers with more realistic colors and allot of white are best. Anything from full intermediate lines to Type 6 shooting heads do the trick depending on the depth where fish are feeding.

Guide Tip: "Don't worry about getting out too early and fish hard all day long. Once fish are located, strip flies as fast as you can with good pauses." Also "try to fish mid week if at all possible."

Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 to get in on some red hot fishing!!!

Delta Striper- Fair to Good and improving. Water Temp 70's. Water Clarity – Good
North Delta Smallmouth - Good. Central Delta - Largemouth - Good. Water Clarity – Good to cloudy. Temps 72 degrees on North Delta.

This is one of our favorite times of the year on the Delta. Warm days and cool nights signal great things at hand and more to come. Right now there is still some good smallmouth fishing on the North Delta while the central part is filling up with aggressive small fish that are boiling on threadfin shad. Targeting these fish is ideal for teaching those new to the striper game. There are some big fish too in the mix to keep our attention as well. The trick is getting the flies through to them past the small fish. There are some nice largemouth being caught by our guides as well. Maury says "we've been hooking 6 to 10 a day without really targeting them.

"We are using standard small chartreuse/white Clousers to match the size of the shad in the deeper water and bluegill colored flies in the shallows, thules and weed beds. Go shallow for the pigs and look for diving terns and gulls to find the schoolies. Find a boat and get out there NOW through Christmas." We couldn't agree more.

Fall dates are booking up rapidly 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 Fall Delta action.

Fall River – Fair to Poor. Flows – slightly above average. Flows - high. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear

The Fall River has slowed recently even more. Sporadic hatches coming off are PMD’s and Calibaetis. Anglers are starting the day nymphing but when adults begin to emerge we have been switching to dries. Some mid day dry fly activity however most fish caught have been small.

We are wrapping up the dog days of summer and cooler temps are just starting. This will improve fishing throughout the North State including up on the Fall River

Call us direct at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 to get tied into some beautiful wild California rainbows.

Good flies nymphs include, Zebra Midges, Anatomay, Poxy back PMD, Mercer’s Swing Nymph. Good dries include any Calibaetis dries as well as Lawsons Thorax PMD.

Feather River – Fair to Good. Flows – 800 through low flow and 7,000 in high. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

An average "half pounder" from the Feather last week.An average "half pounder" from the Feather last week.

The Feather is fishing fair to good. We have been finding mostly half pounders (fish have been in the 12" range) however some nice adults to 8 lbs landed last week. Brian Clemens says “most fish are in the 2-5 lb range but this will change shortly”. The yearly salmon migration is coming on and more and more fish are moving into the low flow section so fishing should improve. Both swinging and nymphing are producing as well.

Best flies continue to be big Prince Nymphs, Fox’s Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs, and Tungsten Salvations, but eggs should start to work once the Salmon start laying them.

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.

Hat Creek – Good. Flows – 150 CFS at Old Station, Water clarity – Clear.

Hat Creek continues to fish well. Best action has been early and late in the day and main hatches are Trico’s early and Caddis later in the day.

Best flies include; Birds Nests, Cinnamon Poopahs, Micro Mays, Zenbra Midges. Also for dries try Stimulators, Parachute PMD’s, Comparadun PMD, Para Extended Body PMD and trico duns and spinners and Elk Hair Caddis. If things slow and you want a change of pace try a leach pattern, it may be just the ticket.

Klamath River – Poor but improving soon. Flows 1,000 cfs below Irongate

Fishing has been so so on the Klamath. Mosty fish are either 'half pounders" or "tweeners" however with these flows it wont be long before larger adult fish begin pushing up river.
Now is a great time to get out and swing and get ready for Fall steelhead fishing in the North State.

We have some prime Fall dates still available. Give us a call to reserve your trip today.

McCloud River – Good. Flows – 275 CFS at Ah-Di-Na , 270 cfs from McCloud Reservoir, Water temps - High 60’s. Water clarity – Good

The McCloud has fished well again this week cooling temps. The dry dropper with a stimulator or other large attractor dry and smaller nymph below has produced best in pocket water and riffles through mid day. Cooler temps will usher the perennial favorite October Caddis Hatch. Don't forget to tie on a larvae or pupae below a large attractor dry.

Good flies include Birds Nests, Poopahs, Anatomays, Black Micro Mays, Brown S&M's, and Stimulators. Caddis flies in the evening but October Caddis and streamer fishing down on lower river should be just around the corner.

Napa River – Good. Flows – average, Water temps - 60’s. Water clarity – Clear to Poor as you head down river.

Fishing continues to be good recently in the Napa Valley. The upper river in town has fished well for good numbers of schoolies. Most fish are in the 12 to 16 inch range with is common for this time of year but some nice fish in the 5 to 7 lb range landed down lower again this week. Still, a shaker striper on a 6 wt will put up a really good fight. The lower river has been dirty but some larger fish have been caught down there. Clouser style flies with some dark contrasted with white/olive, gray/white etc. in size 1/0 or 2/0 will work well. Fishing the sloughs looking for cleaner water can help. If the water is dark go darker with your flies.

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

Lake Oroville - Good. Surface temps 80 deg. Clarity - 4+ ft.

Fishing on Oroville continues to be really good for topwater. It has been a great summer for Largemouth. Lots of blow ups and takes have been ferocious and fish are pulling hard. About 90% of the fish we are getting are on top. With cooler temps and cloudy skies, expect action to last longer into the afternoon for rest of the month. Start early in the morning 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 for those who prefer easier fishing. Some great fly action has been had within, and just outside of the 5mph zone at Bidwell boat launch this season. Anglers can get out here into highly productive water with drift boats, pontoon boats, and even float tubes.

Guide Tip: Ryan Says "Look for rising fish in the evening and don't be afraid to chase fish busting way out. 5:00pm-8:00pm is good. 7:00pm is prime time. "
For more on Oroville click here...

Pit River – Good. Flows – 350 cfs. Water clarity – Milky

The Pit River is fishing well currently. This is partially due to water flows stabilizing coming from Lake Britton and the return of the October Caddis. Now is the time to go.

Best flies are Stimulators, and October Caddis patters like Mercer’s Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Pupae, and Foam October Caddis.

Putah Creek – Good Flows - 310+ CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Fishing on Putah has been very good this year. Flows on Putah Creek are at 300 cfs and rising slightly as of this report. This has been a great summer on Putah and the prime time is just getting started. Clients have been having opportunities to hook up to a dozen or so fish a day with chances to catch a truly giant fish almost daily.

Putah's wild Rainbows are still grabbing small, dark nymphs under an indicator. 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), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May are good aloing with small caddis. Rob Russell says darker flies are working better than lighter colors. Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensable in helping to 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 occasionally you’re not going to be catching fish.”

Pyramid Lake NV – Soon!

Trophy trout hunters around the country are licking their chops waiting for the season the opener of the fabled Pyramid Lake on October 1. With a fresh season rapidly approaching it's time to get your trips in order and plan to get out for what we are expecting to be one of the best seasons to date. With almost 11 vertical feet of water since January there will be many changes to the lake all for the good. The fresh water creates a large influx of the Tui Chub population. The rise of surface elevation will create all new beaches and areas to fish. It also put a better cushion from creeping up on low water marks and high PH levels.

Fishing the season opener can be a little different than the majority of the season. Finding the bait (tui chub) will be key to a very successful day. A lot of the trout that are in shallow water (20 feet and up) will be keying in on chasing the schools of the tui chub and the fly patterns to match. Suggestive baitfish patterns will be the bread and butter for the first few weeks of the season. Clousers, streamers, jigs and of course balanced baitfish. Some essential patterns would be Captain Robs balanced tui chub, the suspending tui chub, and all balanced leech patterns in olive, white, black and grey from our friends at pyramidflyco.com. Air Flo Sinking Lines and a 5 foot long, 15 lb test florocarbon leader paired with any of these flies will put you in the part of the water column you need to be. For rods, a 7 wt or an 8 wt is highly recommended. When heading out to opener a flotation device (pontoon boat/float tube) is never a bad idea and could also make the difference between a good or so so day on the water. Key beaches to fish are Shot Dog, Blockhouse, Warrior Point, and Pelican Point. Concentrate on the beaches with deep water close by.

Crosby Lodge is your one stop shop for all your permits, gas, food, a complete fly shop and all your tackle needs. If you need any help and have questions give us a call at the Shop

Russian River - Fair. Flows - 140 CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.

Fishing continues to be decent on the Russian for smallies although water level recently dropped to 140 cfs. Clousers and crayfish patters are producing best although top water continues to elicit some strikes fish first thing in the morning or late in the evening soon. This Russian tends to be less of a numbers fishery but more about quality fish and proximity to wine country for those wanting to stay close to home. Being on the water early continues to be important (especially weekends) not to beat the fishermen as there aren’t really any. It is more about beating the “splash and giggle crowd” of rafters and swimmers. This is not as much a topwater fishery like the Delta, however if you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco area it is a good close option. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info or to book a trip.

Lower Sacramento Trout – Fair to Good, Striper - Fair. Flows – 9,000+ CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (5 ft visibility)

The Lower Sac continues to fish fairly well from Redding to Anderson for trout although not lights out. It is mostly Caddis and Baetis game right now. Weather is definitely changing here in Nor Cal and this last week we had mixed reports. Some boats landed 10 to 15 per day some less and some slightly more. Weather is supposed to warm back up to the 90’s this weekend then cool back down after that.

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

The Sacramento continues fishing well for striper as well. "It has fished fair to great depending on one’s casting ability and persistence" says Chuck Ragan. We have had good numbers of schoolies with opportunities for some larger fish as well. Come prepared to lift and shoot a 20 to 30' head. Plan on making lots of casts using the ole' double haul and guests should be able to shoot 40 to 70 feet to increase chances of success. "Keep casting, keep focused and you will be rewarded.

Guide Tip: Utilize quick and long sharp strips mixed with long slow ones with pauses will increase your chances.

Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – low (320 – cfs at the Lake) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Fishing on the Upper Sac has been decent. Water is at ideal for wading and the upper river near and above Dunsmuir is fishing great! October Caddis nymphs can be seen on the rocks so it shouldn’t be long before they are fluttering about. Fall run fish should be coming up from the lake so it may wise to pay attention to that portion of the river and have some streamers tucked away.

Good flies include Parachute Adams, dark stonefly and midge nymphs, Birds Nests, Princes Chubby Chernobyls, and October Caddis nymphs and dries soon.

Trinity River – Fair and improving. Flows – 450 cfs Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good

The Trinity continues to produce a few steelhead the last few weeks. There was a good push of fish in the system a couple weeks back including jack salmon and steelhead. They are taking swung flies like candy so this is a good time to get out and practice the swing and get tuned up for Fall. This is not the numbers that one can expect in October or November but now is the time to swing for aggressive chrome bright fish. Expect a few half pounders and 1 to 2 adults is possible per day. This will be the place to be this Fall for sure but anglers heading up now are being rewarded with some decent fishing already.

Best flies this week were Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown.

To give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939. Fall dates are going fast so don’t delay.

Truckee River – Fair. Flows – 85 at Truckee, 200 at Boca. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.

A blast of winter came in this week and it snowed all the way down to lake level. With cooler temps should come a more consistent bite. Flows are getting down to their winter level. Fishing should be good this weekend and coming weeks but dress warm and plan for snow.

Best flies include stone like Mercers poxyback Stone, Solitude Stone, larger dark mayfly nymphs and Caddis patterns.

Little Truckee River – Fair to Good. Flows – 200 CFS Water temp. 60’s Clarity – good

The Little Truckee has been fishing pretty well too. Trout have keyed on Midges in the morning and then shifting their attention to PMD's and even BWO's on cloudy days. There have also been some Little Golden Stones, Pale Evening Dunns (PED's) and Caddis in the evenings to round things out but with cooler temps the dry fly action may slow a bit.

For flies try Poxyback PMD’s under a Adams parachute, Stimulator or Caddis. Also try Midges or caddis pupae or other insects above under dry dropper.

Give us a call to escape the Sacramento heat and catch some nice wild fish! (707)287-2939

Yuba River Trout – Fair. Flows – 1,100 Below Englebright. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is fishing so so. The fish are all small and skinny this year however are eating pretty well and range from 8 to 14 inches. Fish over 15" are pretty scarce right now. The water is finally down and waders are having some success. Competent anglers can catch half a dozen fish or more if they know what they are doing but a good drift boat is recommended over wading. There are not a ton of bugs in the Yuba right now following the scouring that the river received this last wet season. Some BWO’s are hatching and an occasional Caddis can be seen troughout the day. A few fish even reported eating dries including hoppers however the cooler weather should put a damper on that. Try an XCaddis, pinkies, stimmys or hopper patterns with bead head droppers or non weighted PT on your dry fly set up. A 4 or 5 weight is ideal for this. Bump cuts 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 on seams at the bottom of islands or edges as well.

Some salmon sighted this week so keep that in mind going forward and add eggs into the mix once they become more prevalent on the river.

Fishing below Daguerre diversion dam for striper, trout and shad has slowed but what a season it was! One really large trout was caught along with a good amount of smaller fish this two weeks ago below Daguerre Dam with Specialties guest. There is limited access to this part of the river but “we have the key” so to speak. Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or to reserve your shad or striper trip for next year.

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Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 for more info or email us at info@offthehookflyfishing.com to schedule a trip. If you would like to share a personal fishing report feel free to email mike@offthehookflyfishing.com

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