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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:

 Jan 26, 2018

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

American River Steelhead - Fair. Flows - 3,000 cfs at Natomas. Water Temps - Mid 50's Clarity - 3 feet vis.

Fishing has been slow on the American recently. Back on January 1st the upper river above Ancil Hoffman Park opened and although not a lot of fish are in the system we are getting a fair amount of half pounders and chances each day at larger fish. 

We are definitely working hard for the fish were gotten. On a trip we did a few weeks back we only had one measly salmon for three boats! Fortunately we have had better success this week. Most fish have been half pounders in the 14 to 17" range however on each trip we have hooked fish into larger specimens in the 20" to 28" range (5 to 8 lbs). With intermittent rain over the next two weeks things should only improve. Steelhead love fresh water that comes from rain run off and the predicted precip should bring even more fish up out of the Sac and into target range. 

Nymphing has been most productive but swinging is what we love most. For better numbers try dropping a nymph and split shot 4 to 6 feed below and indicator. If swinging is your deal, focus on shallower runs and fish the water well before moving on. The upper river will see some pressure now that it is open. Expect it to be productive however a bit busier. The middle and Lower River have been productive too and will continue to do so. The shallow gravel and channels in the clay around William Pond Rec. Area are a good place to explore. Plan to loose a few flies but fish are being caught by walk in anglers.

Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16.  Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine )

Swinging: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, and Blood Sucking Leaches. 

Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 to give the American a whirl.
Coastal Steelhead - Blown out but clearing
Our coastal rivers all blew out recently and the snow level even dropped down quite low. Everything is chocolate right now, but many of them are dropping. We will be out scouting this weekend and are hoping things will be conducive to fishing mid week next week. Fingers crossed!

Give us a ring to get on our call list (707)287-2939 to have a shot at chasing these phantoms and 

Delta Striper - Fair to Good. Water temp 46 deg., Clarity - Clear

Fishing on the Delta has been slow for the most part but a report or two of decent action for striper int he last week and a half. Still a bit cold and off color for all but the hardiest of diehards. 

Streamers:  Byng's Baitfish, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger, Angel's Smolt
Feather River - Fair  Flows -  1,000 cfs through low flow 1,700 below Thermolito. Temperature - low  50's. Clarity - Clear.
Fishing on the Feather has been fair. This is Winter Steelhead fishing folks. It is all about a few fish per day. That being said we have had 3 to 5 fish in the boat per trip on the swing recently!  

The upper River (Table Mountain Bicycle Bridge to Highway 70 Bridge) opened Jan 1st. Fishing pressure had loosened up due to fishing being slow. We are getting 1 to 3 hookeups per day on the swing but this is typical for the time of year. 

Although it is not red hot, there are some fish to be caught and our guides are getting it done so give us a ring if you would like to get out.

Nymphs: Prince Nymphs 14 -16, Birds Nests and Copper Johns 10 -14. Black, Green, and Tan BH Caddis Poopahs 14-16, Red Headed Step Childs, Tungsten Salvation 14-16 and Micro Mays 14-18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6-10, Cheese Micro Spawn and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine )

Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Harwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, and Blood Sucking Leaches. 

Klamath River - Good. Flows 950 to 1,000 cfs and fluctuating. Water clarity - Klamath tea
The Klamath has fished well and has been one of the more reliable Nor Cal steelhead fisheries this Fall and Winter. Things continue to fish very well. Last week we found some great conditions and found fish on the swing in virtually every run we targeted.
Lots of chrome bright half pounders have been around and a few larger fish mixed in. Swinging has produced so well that we haven't bothered to nymph at all. We still have dates available and now is the time to go! Call today (707)287-2939.

Nymphs: Black or Brown Rubber Legs 6 - 10, Red or Black Copper John 12-14, Psycho Prince, 14, Solitude Stone 6, Epoxy Back Stone 6-8, Black or Brown Micro May 14.

Swinging: Perpetrator, Green Butt Skunk, Assassin, Orange or Purple Hobo Spey, Silver Hiltons, Purple Hilton, Morgans tiny Dancer, Rick's Euphoria

Napa River - Fair. Water Temps - 44 to 47 deg. Water Clarity - clear

Fishing has continued to be slow here just like on the rest of the San Francisco Bay Delta due to cold night temps which are common this time of year. Heavy sinking lines T - 11 to T - 14. Smaller 1/0 patters have worked best recently. Some reports of nice fish being caught in the upper river for those in the know. This is traditionally the slow season so low numbers are to be expected.
Streamers: Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and  Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.
Putah Creek - Poor. Flows - Very low - 50 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 now 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 Trinity or Truckee or catch up on your tying. Spring will be here soon enough and future generations of trout and those who love to catch them will 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 - 2,500 at Healdsburg, 3,000 cfs at Guernville. Temps - high 50's. Water clarity - Clear.
Unfortunately the Russian is still blown following rain that we got this last week but the great news is it will most likely be fishable this week. It is dropping a bit and we have fingers crossed. We are excited to say that we have finally got our hands on some Russian chrome already this season which is a vast improvement on last year(it finally stopped raining).
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 4,200 cfs out of Keswick. Water Temps - Lower 50's. Clarity - Clear (7 to 8 feet visibility)
Catching nice fish like this one on dries is one of the benefits of fishing the Lower Sac right now.
We have been having some fun days recently with the "nocater" setup. Water is low and very wade-able and the crowds are gone. Warmish days have produced some caddis activity. That along with BWO's and PMD has made for some enjoyable fishing. Best action has been from noon to 3 p.m. Now is a great time to get out and take advantage of great conditions on this wonderful fishery.
Nymphs: Best flies have been green and brown Mercer's Micro May and green and brown Hogan's S& M 16-18. Bird's Nests 14-16, Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16, Birds Nests 14-16, Black or Red Zebra Midges 18-20 also producing at times.
Dries: Parachute Adams 18-20, Hackle Stacker BWO 18-20, Lawson's Comparadun BWO 18-20 Griffiths Gnat 18-22.

Guide tip: Lower Sac fish are notorious for the lightest of takes. Fish will mouth small flies and spit them out without any visible hints transferred up the line to the indicator. Often guests will turn and look at the guide and ask "was that a fish?" after a slight pause or just the lightest of "tick" visible on the indicator. Set on everything! We recommend you set first ask questions later.

Give us a ring to get out for a memorable trip by calling (707)287-2939 or emailing us at
Trinity River Steelhead - Fair. Flows - 300 cfs out of Lewiston, 400 cfs at Douglas City, 530 and Junction City, and 930 cfs at Del Loma. Clarity - clear
Typical winter steelhead fishing here. Were working for em but are getting some decent results on virtually every trip. This year Fall fish have been taking longer to get to the hatchery. Winter fish are trickling in as well. We're seeing a few more wild fish showing up over last week which is a good sign and sight for sore eyes. The recent rain is probably been helpful in that department and with more in the forecast they should continue to come in. Fishing has been difficult with 2 to 5 hookups per boat which is common for winter steelhead fishing. We have still been getting a few smaller half pounders and some larger ones on dries which can really break up the monotony of the day when things are slow.
We still have some availability coming up Late January as well as February and March if you want to chase some big guys and gals. Call (707)287-2939 or the shop at (916)722-1055 to get on our schedule.
Swinging: Tiny Dancers, Hobo Spey, Pimps, Rocks, Breadcrumbs, Silver Hiltons, October Hiltons, Slump Busters, Copper Assassins and Anderson's Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown. 

Nymphs: Hare's Ears 6-8, Epoxy Golden Stone 6-8, Solitude Stone 6-8, Black or Red Copper John 12-14, Black or Brown Rubber Legs 6 to 10, Copper John 12-14, Psycho Princes 14-16, Black or Green Micro Mays 14, Eggs (Peachy King, Roe, Tangerine).

Truckee River - Great. Flows 100 cfs in Town,  Water Temps - Mid 40's. Water Clarity - Clear
Fishing has been great on the Truckee again this week for those willing to brave the cold. 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 guests catch some smaller fish and some larger ones as well.

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 Ju Ju Baetis, Hogan's Military May and S&M in 16 to 18 and size 10 Rubber Legs.
Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055 to get out and make it happen.  
Yuba River Trout - Good to Great. Flows 1,050 cfs below Englebright. Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - Clear with slight tinge of color.

The time is now to get on the Yuba. This is the first time in years since we have had suitable conditions to fish this time of year. The drought several years back brought bleak hatches and picky fish and the floods of the last two years brought muddy unfishable water. This year the conditions are "normal". 
It is Skwala time! For those who may be unfamiliar, Skwalas are part of the stonefly family. This means they are tantamount to big double double cheeseburger floating down the river for a hungry trout.
Normally winter dry fly fishing in California (if there is any) will usually consist of small midges or Blue Wing Olives which can be very difficult to see on the water. If you do happen to see them and tie on an imitation of your own it can be difficult to see your own artificial on the water. Skwalas are almost an inch long making them much easier to see. We have been seeing tell tale signs of them on the edge of the river. Skalas do not had in the middle of the river like many aquatic insects do. Instead they slowly swim to the shallows and literally crawl out on to stream side gravel or debris and hatch on land. Check out the foliage or rocks in the spring and you will see their casings all over the place. After a while they return to the river to lay their eggs. After ovipositing they float listlessly down the river. One thing we've learned is that you don't have to see them floating on the water to use one. A Skwala dry or large attractor pattern can bring fish to the surface even while bling casting.

Time to find a boat to get in as things should really jump off soon. Remember that Sycamore Ranch is closed for repairs through March 8th, but we have access to still drift down from highway 20 bridge and get after it. We prefer to fish the Yuba out of a boat although we still get out at times. It just allows you to fish more runs and further out in them.

We have also had some good days recently down below Daguerre Dam depending on the day. We have exclusive access to drift this section of the river. Give us a call to get out and connect with some really good late Winter and early Spring fly fishing.(707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

Guide Tip : If your on the water and spot some rising fish, make a calculated game plan and go right at them. Those trout are telling you that they are actively feeding and the moment should not be wasted. Being stealthy like keeping a low profile and fishing the side water before stepping into it is a smart move. With a lower arc of the sun in the winter sky, an angler must watch their shadows as they are very long, especially in the late afternoon. 

For more on the Yuba click here...

Almanor Trout - Fair to very good. Surface temps. 38 deg. Water clarity - 10' visibility

Fishing continues to be pretty decent on Almanor although there has been an uptick in fishing pressure though mostly from shore anglers. Lots of rainbows and browns being caught on leach patterns.

Fishing will really start picking up again in March and April. However for those of you wanting to experience great winter fishing keep this gem in mind.

If you would like to get out and give this a try call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

Guide tip:  Look for moving water and weeds. Start with a small orange stimulator and then switch to leach patterns. Olive has been the best color. Take a Halebopp and trim it up or try an Olive Assassin.

Dries: Orange Stimulator 

Streamers: Olive Hale Bopp Leaches 12-14, Olive Assassin 12-14

Lake Oroville bass - Fair. Surface Temps -  50 deg. Water Clarity - 2 to 4'
Tournament season is dying down on Oroville which will only help the fishing in the coming weeks. right now about a dozen fish are being caught per half day trip. Expect fish size and numbers to increase as we go into February. Action should turn on any day now. 

Over 170 boats descended on the lake this weekend for the Wild West Bass Trials and the results are in. The winners were Terry DeVincenzi and Scott Crawford with a bag of 16.79 lbs with 7 fish.

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

Guide Tip: This can be one of the best times of the year to fish the Lake. Float & Fly is the way to go in the winter. Very slow presentations are needed and the takes can be ever so subtle. The tiniest of twitches can mean the fly is in a bass' mouth.

Streamers: Float and Fly shad patterns 

Pyramid Lake NV* Cutthroat - Fair. Surface Temps - 45 at noon
Still the same old Pyramid this week. Recent storms have gotten things shook up a bit and the conditions are cold. Best action has been first and last light. Fishing has been slow but some quality animals finding the net. One recent angler caught 3 10 pounders and one 12 pound fish on a Popcorn Beetle, but that is the best day we have hear of in a while. Hard working anglers can expect one to two fish per trip or maybe none. The numbers game wasn't the main focus, it was the larger winter ledge lurkers that we have come to expect. The bite was slow again this week but we did manage to pull some real quality fish again. 

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 enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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