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Fly Fishing Specialties Northern California Fly Fishing Report

6360 Tupelo Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
Phone:  (916) 722-1055
Shop email:   info@flyfishingspecialties.com
Rick Anderson:   rickandersonffs@yahoo.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

Best Bets: Trinity River - Steelhead, Delta - Striper

American River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 3,600 cfs at Natomas.

Not much new news to report as all our guides are busy elsewhere. Fishing has been pretty slow but flows jumped today from 2,00 to over 3,600 cfs so that should bring in some fresh fish. It has been just few half pounders and an adult fish here or there but not very exciting thus far this season. Rain and bump in flows should help.

Stay tuned...

Delta Striper - Good. Water temp 66 deg., Clarity - Good
Sam Y. gettin it done on the Delta.
It has been a great season on the Delta this year. Good numbers of bait have been in the system making for some pretty epic fishing. Catch rates continue to fluctuate slightly from good to great depending on casting ability and reaction time when fishing near boils or feeding fish. Still some variety with bass and salmon as bycatch to go with plenty of striper.

We continue to pull out all the stops. We are throwing everything from floating lines to Intermediate as well as fast sinking type 7 lines. We are predominantly using sinking lines currently but being able to adapt to what ever the conditions require helps a great deal. Some quality fish caught in the shallows again this week so don't forget to look in skinny water. We are hoping the good fishing continues well into mid or late December. This will be dependent on bait and water temps.

Best flies have been clouser style streamers in 1/0 or 2/0. In cleaner water go with white or chartreuse flies. If conditions are a bit murky combine dark colors in your offerings and perhaps even a rattle to help fish find them.

Feather - Fair  Flows -  1,000 cfs through low flow 2,000 below Thermolito. Temperature  Mid  50's Clarity - Good
Photo credit: Brian Clemens
The Feather has fished pretty well recently for stealhead but things are slowing slightly. Lots of half pounders and some adult fish to 6 or 7 lbs being the largest. Swinging flies as well as nymphing with bugs and eggs has produced recently as well. Most trips average 5 or more fish to the net depending on the day, how many boats are on the water, casting and fishing ability of guests along with and a number of other external factors. Speaking of...on a recent trip we came across a family of otters part way through the day who were going to town on the fish. They followed the boat down river and made for some pretty poor fishing the rest of the day. Some days you just have to scratch your head!

The Feather does offer some decent steelhead fishing close to home so its definitely worth a go right now.

Putah Creek - Poor. Flows - Just over 80 cfs. Clarity - Clear

Fish are in full blown spawning mode so as far as we're concerned we're finished guiding and fishing it for the season. But what a season it was! It has been so good to see so many quality wild trout being caught by our guests. Putah is such a special fishery being this close to San Francisco, the Napa Valley and Sacramento and having such large wild fish. It is a California Heritage Trout Fishery which means it has much larger than average fish in it. It also means it will never ever be stocked again, so if fish aren't left alone to spawn, it will adversely affect subsequent generations of fish. There really is no way to catch fish from now on without fishing to spawning fish. In addition, with the flows so low it is very difficult to maneuver without walking on redds. So give em a rest! Go fish the Feather or Trinity or catch up on your tying. Spring will be here soon enough and future generations of trout and those who love to catch them thank you.

We will begin to fish and guide the creek on March 1st. We have quite a few Spring dates available. Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 to reserve yours.


Russian River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 350 cfs and dropping. Temps - 60's. Clarity - Mud
Not much to report on the Russian unfortunately. Looking on the bright side flows are coming down which is a good. Still too muddy to fish at this point. Keeping our fingers crossed. The Russian blows out first and clears up last of any of our coastal rivers however with the last two good rain years we are hoping for a good return of fish. Only time will tell.

To get on our wait list for the steelhead fishing on the Russian please call (707)287-2939. We will add you to the list and guests will be called in the order that they are added to it once fishing commences.

Note: The Russian and other coastal rivers open and close from time to time throughout a season. The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife number is (707) 944 5533 and is a good resource to call before you go.

Lower Sacramento Trout - Good. Flows 5,000 cfs out of Keswick. Water Temps - Lower 50's. Clarity - Clear (5 feet visibility)

Fishing has been pretty good for trout and even some steelhead on the Sac recently although things have slowed sightly since last month. Expect things to slow a bit more mid to late December however for now things are still good. Blue wing olives are hatching on overcast days and there are even some fish taking dries. These fish tend to be smaller and require anglers bring their A game. Plenty of fish around eating nymphs as well.

Best flies have been Mercer's Micro May and Hogan's S& M in green and brown, Bird's Nests, midges and egg patterns.

Trinity River Steelhead - Good. Flows - 300 cfs at Lewiston, 400 cfs at Douglas City. Clarity - clear
Photo credit: Peter Santley
November was a good one on the Trinity and we are looking forward to December. Fish counts so far are looking good and recent mild weather and rain fall has provided some good fishing. In December the crowds thin a bit and the weather gets a little more challenging but worth it for those who plan and dress for cold weather.

Decent numbers of half pounders along with  1 to 5 adult fish can be expected on most days.  Swinging is still producing a few fish but not as many as nymphing with eggs and bugs.

Best swinging flies have been Tiny Dancers, Hobo Speys, Silver Hiltons, Copper Assassins and Anderson's Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown. As far as nymphing goes, Hare's Ears, Rubber Legs, Copper Johns, Psycho Princes, or other stoneflies and egg patterns have been working well.

Yuba River Trout - Good Flows 1,123 cfs and stable. Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - Clear with slight tinge of color.
Photo credit: Jon Baiocchi
Perfect trout weather the past week with mild to warm air temperatures and clouds. With recent stable flows guests have had some killer dry fly fishing casting to selective risers in the calm flats both in the foam line and on the edges. One day the hatch may happen in the afternoon, and the next day it could happen in the late morning. An angler needs to be flexible, and having two rods set up for both surface and sub surface presentations will be an advantage. Jon saw a few more salmon in the river this week, and a few more redds, but there should be more in the system.

Wild rainbows from 8 to 14” are keying in on Blue Wing Olives (baetis) #18, and tiny Blue Wing Olives (pseudocloeons) #20-22. Sparkle Duns, Hackle Stackers, and Loop Wing Parachutes have been getting the most attention. We have been getting a few rainbows on the swing as well using Alevins, and salmon fingerlings. Remember to strip your fly after your initial swing is done, most of the fish came on the strip. There is a few female Stub Wing stone flies drifting among the currents ovipositing, we saw two bigger fish that were out of reach hammer the floating prime rib dinners.
Photo credit: Jon Baiocchi


We have had some good days recently down below Daguerre Dam with 20 to 30 fish in the net. We have exclusive access to drift this section so if you would like to give this a whirl give us a call. (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

More rain coming in Sunday through Monday morning, an inch is expected to fall. We’ll see what that does to the river, if anything adding a little color from Deer Creek would be an advantage to the fly angler as those rising trout were extremely skitterish yesterday. We've got some dates open for December, if you would like to learn more about the river, and increase your chances with technical dry fly presentations, or how to cover water effectively swinging, give us a call, and let’s get a date on the calendar. See you out there…

Guide Tip : It’s best to make just a few casts to a specific rising fish, and if you don’t get a take, rest them a while or move to another target. 5X tippet is working just fine, but you may need to make a fly first downstream presentation to get a grab.

Almanor Trout- Fair to Good. Surface temps. 56 degs. Water clarity - slight green tinge.
We had a very nice time recently on Almanor with guide Mark Antaramian. Fishing was great by our standards but Mark called it Fair. I guess everything is relative. We had close to 20 fish in the boat up to 25" and there was action from about 10:00 all the way until just before dark. Fishing was not exactly easy as pinpoint casts were required and although we had some refusals and spooked our fair share, fish often grabbed flies even before any action was imparted on them. These are hard fighting fish that can test your skills with hard head shakes, jumps and line peeling runs. The weather this time of year can be challenging so dress as if you were going skiing or snowboarding if you decide to go. Mark says from now until January there can still be good decent fishing and then things start picking up again in March and April. For those of you wanting to avoid the crowds and experience great fishing into winter keep this gem in mind.

Midges, small sparsely tied damsels, leaches and calibaetis nymphs are working best right now. If you would like to get out and give this a try call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055. 

Pyramid Lake NV* Cutthroat - Fair to Good
Marcus H. with his first Cutthroat!
This last week as per usual for this time of year we really had to put in some effort and hours in to get the grabs we wanted. The numbers game wasn't the main focus, it was the larger ledge lurkers of November. The bite was a little slower this week but we did manage to pull some real quality fish out. For example we were able to help client Marcus H. of Incline Village into an 18 pound, 12 ounce Pilot Peak. Which was also Marcus's first fish at Pyramid Lake and caught on an olive balanced leech near Rawhide. That was on the larger end of the fish spectrum caught this week but there were rumors of others around that very size. The good news is the whole lake at this time is seeing noticeably larger fish being caught throughout the day. Like we said earlier, the fishing requires a little more effort this time of year but a more and more common occurrence is days where your fish range from 5-10 pounds and not much anything on the smaller size. The time starts now for shore fisherman to start seeing some large fish being caught and from now into the winter. Still, he have not found one beach to out preform another the fish seem to be spread out so find your favorite beach or two and fish it out. We also want to make sure we are fishing the ledges. Now is the time of year Ol' Red likes to come cruise in the shallower ledges using them as excellent ambush points.

From our time on the water and other reports the fly selection and techniques have not changed much in the last couple weeks. Your baitfish patterns will still be the go to, either stripping or under an indicator with and occasional midge bite on the calmer and warm days. The boobies and popcorn beetles of all colors have brought some larger fish, when paired with your favorite wooly bugger or your favorite baitfish patterns. Blacks, whites, olives and chartreuse are great starting points for color.  Changing the cadence in your retrieve will be beneficial on finding how active fish are and what speed will get them going. As water begins to really cool down try fairly slow pace then pick up speed as time goes on (say 10-20 minutes) and then repeat until we find the bite. When the wind comes in it doesn't hurt to try an indicator rig with a balanced leech or baitfish. Fly colors for both techniques should also be interchanged through the day. Good starting points will be black olive and white and mixtures of all. Don't be afraid to throw some flash into your baitfish patterns. We hate to repeat but incase you missed last weeks report, holiday seasons have been bringing in a larger number of anglers so trying new or hard to get to areas (within the legal boundaries) can turn out to be very productive and it will get you away from the beaches with larger crowds.  The big are fish are coming into play and we would love to see you out on the water holding one of the leviathans that cruise the lake. Dress in layers and prepare for some chilly weather.

* Yes were aware that Pyramid Lake is in Nevada not California, but it is close and such a great fishery that we included it in our report for your benefit.
Source Link:
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