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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:
Rick Anderson:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Best Bets: Trinity River or Feather - Steelhead, Yuba, Lower Sac or Truckee - Trout

American River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 3,500 cfs at Natomas. Water Temps - Mid 50's Clarity - Clear

Not much new news to report. Fishing has been pretty slow but flows jumped last week from 2,000 to over 3,500 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...or call the shop for updates.(916)722-1055

Delta Striper - Poor. Water temp 50-53 deg., Clarity - Poor (Stained)

Things took a major turn for the worse on the Delta this week. Howling winds and freezing temps at night have things muddy and cold. Water temps dropped to 50 degrees first thing each morning this week so fish have been a bit lethargic. Hopefully the water will clear and fish will acclimate to the change or the prognosis will not be good for the foreseeable future. Some really good anglers this week struggled to put 5 or 6 fish in the net but we will have to see what happens in the coming days. We really can't complain as it has been a great season on the Delta.

With conditions a bit murky combine dark colors in your offerings and perhaps even a rattle to help fish find them fishing low and slow also helped at least get a few touches.

In addition to Striper fishing Bill has been finding some bass fishing in the back bays and sloughs in the warmer water given the mild winter we have had to this point. With temps dipping below freezing this week we will have to see how long it lasts. He guides out of a kayak allowing him to slip into very shallow water and deep into areas the rest of us can't go. If you haven't tried fishing from a Kayak you may want to give it a try. We have and it and its a blast!

One of Bill's favorite Delta bass magnets.

For more on the Delta click here...

Feather River - Fair  Flows -  1,000 cfs through low flow 1,800 below Thermolito. Temperature  Mid  50's Clarity - Clear.

The Feather had fished well recently for steelhead but things are slowing slightly here too. Some half pounders and a few adult fish to 6 or 7 lbs being the largest were caught again this week. Swinging flies as well as nymphing with bugs and eggs has produced but nymphing by far is the most productive. Water is a bit low and clear. This combined with fishing pressure a while back and not a lot of new fish into the system has led to picky fish and slightly more challenging fishing. We could use some more rain and it will be back on in a hurry. We're kind of in a holding pattern waiting for more storms.

This river does offer some decent steelhead fishing close to home this time of year so its definitely worth checking and even without the rain is probably the best valley river option right now.

For more on Feather steelhead click here...

Napa River - Fair Water Temps - High 40's and Low 50's. Water Clarity - iced late

Fishing has slowed here just like on the rest of the San Francisco Bay Delta due to heavy wind and freezing temps at night. Fish are going down deep and started to go into their winter feeding cycle. Fishing deeper holes and slowing down the retrieve will get them to eat. Larger patterns in 2/0 and 3/0 have worked best in natural colors.  

For more info on the Napa River click here...

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

Fish are in full blown spawning mode so we're done guiding and fishing Putah 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.

For more info on Putah Creek click here...

Russian River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 250 cfs and dropping. Temps - 60's. Clarity - Mud

So we got in one day of fishing on the Russian last week on December 1st.  We found a couple half pounders but that was about it but just nice to get out on the water. Unfortunately the low water caused a low flow closure on the 3rd. The river closes when flows drop below 300 cfs, so for now its a waiting game. We have our fingers crossed and are hoping for the best. As we've said before the Russian blows out first and clears up last but with the good water years the last two seasons we are hoping for a good fish return and the weather to cooperate. Stay tuned...

To get on our wait list for a guided steelhead trip 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 (7 to 8 feet visibility)

Fishing has been pretty good again this week for trout. Small flies have been the ticket. Blue wing olives are hatching on overcast days and there are even some fish are looking up at times seeking 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.

For more on the Lower Sac click here...

Trinity River Steelhead - Good. Flows - 300 cfs at Lewiston, 400 cfs at Douglas City. Clarity - clear

This past November was a good one on the Trinity and we are looking forward to a good December too. Fish counts so far are looking good and recent mild weather and rain fall has provided some good fishing. We are hoping for more rain though now as water is clear and low.

Despite this 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. Were getting one to two grabs per day swinging and 2 or 3 times that on nymphs. Right now you have to take advantage of every grab you get and make every set count. You "gotta work a little bit harder for em given the conditions." 

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.

For more on Trinity steelheading click here...

Truckee River - Great. Flows 1,000 cfs in Town Water Temps - Mid 40's. Water Clarity - Clear

Fishing has been great on the Truckee for those willing to brave the cold snap that came in last week. Despite this our guides have been finding fish pooled up in some of the deeper holes. Focus on fishing the "walking speed" water.  Doing so is helping us catch good numbers of smaller fish and some hogs mixed in.

You definitely want to plan for cold and dress appropriately, however for those of us die-hards, a chance to tangle with a nice brown or two is worth the price of admission. In light of the cooler temps best fishing has been during the warmest part of the day say 11 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m.

Best fly patterns have been eggs, worms, Baetis and Midges fished under an indicator on the bottom. Specific patterns include size 16 or 18 JuJu Baetis, Hogan's Military May and size 10 Pats Rubber Legs.

A sweet recent Truckee double!

This coming weekend and next week should be epic winter fishing. Captain Chris, Jordan and the guys have spots where they're getting 10 to 15 fish out of one run and with mild temps and no rain in the forecast it should be awesome. 

Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055 to get out and make it happen.  

For more on the Truckee River click here...

Yuba River Trout - Good. Flows 1,123 cfs and stable. Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - Clear with slight tinge of color.

Perfect trout weather again this past week with mild cool nights and fairly warm days. 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.

Please stay off shallow gravel and redds as little eggs are hiding in the gravel and are easily crushed. With such a small return of salmon this year every smolt counts. 

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.

We have also 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 of the river. This next week looks like nice weather again so good fishing should continue on the Yuba. Give us a call to get out and connect with some really good winter fly fishing.(707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

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.

For more on the Yuba click here...

Almanor Trout - Fair. Surface temps. 40's. Water clarity - slight green tinge but 6' visibility

Guide Mark showing off a local native.

Fishing continues to be pretty decent on  Almanor. Water temps are dropping quickly however fishing will continue to be good through mid January. Water levels are stable and with weather is looking mild for the next week at least so fishing will be very good. Bank fishing has improved recently and it is mostly rainbows finding the net with an occasional brown. 

Recently we fished with Mark and it was great by our standards but Mark called it Fair for this fishery. Action has started recently at around 10:00 and been steady all the way until just before dark. Fishing on Almanor right now in not exactly been easy as pinpoint casts are required and although we are getting some refusals and anglers scare 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. Be careful driving as roads ice up at night and thaw during the day. The boat ramp at Canyon Dam is open and will remain so all year however the West shore dock is slated to be pulled out any day. 

Mark says from now until mid 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 but Calibaetis and even streamers will give way shortly to mostly midges. If you would like to get out and give this a try call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

Guide tip: Look for muddy bottoms with weeds or old stream channels. Try a Red Headed Step Child in a size 15 or a midge.

Lake Oroville bass - Poor. Surface Temps - 55 Deg. Water Clarity - 4 to 6'

The Lake turned on like a light switch in November and has absolutely on fire! With great weather and 60 to 70 fish days we have been having the lake to ourselves and what a blast it has been. 
Well...apparently someone forgot to pay the electric bill and fishing has switched off big time. We are now getting 5 to 10 fish per day. This is common this time of year and normally by late December and early January, when fish get acclimated to the new colder water temps, fishing takes off again. 

To be honest some of the best days of the year will be coming in mid to late January where anglers will see both quality and quantity on our float and fly technique. We have the cure for cabin fever so give us a call (707)287-2939.

Guide tip: Keep in mind when all the rivers are blow out in Jan, February and March it will be prime time on Oroville.

For more on fly fishing Lake Oroville click here...

Pyramid Lake NV* Cutthroat - Fair to Good. Surface Temps - COLD

A happy guests contemplates success while enjoying a moon rise.

Nothing much has changed since last week.  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 winter ledge lurkers. The bite was about the this week but we did manage to pull some real quality fish again. 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, we 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 when O'l 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. 

To read more on Pyramid Lake click here...

* 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.

If you enjoyed this report please like and share it. if you have comments or to share your own personal fishing report email me at (707)287-2939 C (530)242-4122 O. 

Thanks and have a great weekend!


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