FREE SHIPPING on All Domestic Orders over $50

Fly Fishing Specialties Northern California Fly Fishing Report Oct 13 , 2017


Fly Fishing Specialties Sacramento, CA

Courtesy of Fly Fishing Specialties

6360 Tupelo Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
Phone:  (916) 722-1055
Shop email:
Rick Anderson:

Northern California Fly Fishing Report Oct 13, 2017

Best Bets: McCloud, Upper/Lower Sac, or Truckee – Trout, Delta - Striper, Feather and Trinity - Swinging for half pounders and adult steelhead, and Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat. Watch out for fires and smoke!

American River Striper - Poor. Steelhead - Poor but improving Flows – 2,200 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. A few caught again this week but most were shakers as we're on the tail end of things now. Water flows dropped slightly again this week to 2,200 and the river cooled a bit as well. 

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.

Steelhead are trickling in to the system more and more each day. It is still a little early but we are seeing good signs again this week. Right now we are predominantly seeing half-pounders yet we get reports of a few more adult steelhead sightings every week. We are excited about the potential for a good season this year and look forward to these fish returning to 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 Winter steelhead trip on the American.

Delta Striper- Fair to Good and Improving Water Temp - 66 deg.  Water Clarity – Good.
North Delta Smallmouth - Fair. Water Temp - Low 60's. Central Delta Largemouth - Good. Water Clarity – Good. Temp- Mid to high 60's in Middle Delta.

Part of the Galvan clan enjoying Fall striper with Maury on the Delta!

Striper fishing has been getting better each week and Oct./Nov. are shaping up to be great Striper months according to Captain Bryce however recent winds have made things a little challenging and resulted in some good days and others not as much. Captain Maury says "The north wind has been playing a role on those slower days but winds should lay down and we will get into a great fall weather pattern. "The key to being successful has been a fast boat and a big gas tank. There are not tons of fish in the system but the stripers that are here are in big groups chasing thread fin shad. If you find e'm stay with e'm."  This is a great time to be on the Delta. From striper and large mouth to even an occasional salmon! The Delta Grand Slam is always a possibility right now. Outgoing tides have been really clear water so we are using flies in Olive/White, Gray/White, and of coarse, Chart/White. When the incoming brings in the dirty water we have been switching over to darker patterns with rattles to attract our quarry. 

Striper, largemouth, smallmouth and salmon are all in the mix right now on the Delta.

Guide Tip: Use smaller flies(1/0) if you just want to catch fish, use larger flies(2/0-3/0) if you want to limit smaller fish & possibly catch a big one! 

Kayak fishing in the Stockton area has slowed slightly perhaps due to the full moon. We continue to catch fish but they are a bit smaller than last week according to guide Bill. Kayak fishing is a fun and rewarding way to approach the Delta. 

Kayak guide Bill Becket with a typical Delta smalley.

Guide Tip: Sink tips are picking up the most fish as fish seem to be suspended due at least in part to the fact that there not many weed lines here this Fall. 

Fall dates are just about booked up 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.

For more on the Delta click here...

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

The Fall River continues to fish so so but some reports of things improving. Part of the problem has been that hatches of Calibaetis and BWO's had been sporadic. Anglers are seeing some insects begin to hatch in the morning leading to some dry fly potential. Cooler and over cast days should bring out more Baetis so this should help. FYI some nice fish caught this week on streamers,

Good flies nymphs include, Zebra Midges,  Anatomay, Poxyback PMD, Mercer’s Swing Nymph. Good dries include any Calibaetis dries as well as Lawson's Thorax PMD and BWO. 

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

For more on the Fall River click here...

Feather River –  Good. Flows – 800 through "low flow" and 7,000 in "high" and 3,700 CFS out of Oroville. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear.

The Feather has recently fished really well for our guides but mostly because we have some tricks up our sleeves. We have been finding mostly half pounders recently (fish have been in the 12"to 18 range) however some nice adults to 7 lbs landed last week. The yearly salmon migration is increasing daily and fish are moving into the low flow section and beginning to jockey for gravel real estate. Both swinging and nymphing are producing but nymphing is most productive. 

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.

For more on the Feather River click here...

Hat Creek  – Good.  Flows – 150 CFS at Old Station, Water clarity – Clear
Flows came down 10 cfs this week on Hat Creek to 150 however it continues to fish well. Best action has been early and late in the day and main hatches are Tricos early and Caddis later in the day. Some blue wing olives hatching on cloudy overcast days.

Best flies continue to be Birds Nests, Cinnamon Poopahs, Micro Mays, Zebra 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 – Fair improving soon. Flows 1,000 cfs below Irongate

Fishing continues to be so so again this week on the Klamath. Most fish are either 'half pounders" or "tweeners" however we have had report of some adult fish as well. Now is a great time to get out and swing and get ready for Fall steelhead fishing in the North State. 

Good news is we have some prime Fall dates available. Give us a call to reserve your trip today.

For more on the Klamath click here...

McCloud River – Good.  Flows – 246 CFS at Ah-Di-Na , 280 cfs from McCloud Reservoir, 340 cfs at Lake Shasta. Water temps -  High 60’s. Water clarity – Good

Fall is our favorite time here in Nor Cal and the McCloud is one of our favorites during this season. Definitely time to dig out the waders, beanie and gloves as temps first thing in the morning can be a bit chilly although they warm up during the day. October caddis hatch has started On the McCloud. On top of that streamer fishing has produced some nice fish recently. Right now you have a chance to hook into big browns as they are migrating up river form the lake. But if you don’t get a big brown, the rainbows are there to fill in and give you a good fight. 

Good flies again this week 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. Zonkers, buggers and articulated streamers are all producing. 

Time to go now! Call us to get in on the fun.

For more on the world famous McCloud River click here...

Napa River – Good and improving.  Flows – average, Water temps -  65-67’s. Water clarity –Fair.

Fresh fish from the Bay are coming in on a daily basis and they are starting to school up as water temps are dropping. Captain Patrick Mackenzie says " the middle and upper sections are fishing very well with fish averaging 20". Baitfish patterns tied in 1/0- 2/0 on a type 7 will get your fly down to where the fish are quickly and will keep in in the zone longer. Always be on the move, they are where you find em."
From now until Thanksgiving is prime time on the Napa River. Now is the time to go!
Call Off the Hook Fly Fishing at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

For more on the Napa River click here...     
Pit River – Good. Flows – 1,000 cfs at Pit #1. Water clarity – Milky

No new report on the Pit River this week as our guides were fishing the Lower and upper Sac, and McCloud.  Flows from Lake Britton went back to wild fluctuation this week from 1,000 to 1,500 cfs. This 500 cfs discrepancy should unfortunately adversely affect fishing at least a little. The good news is that the October Caddis are around and there is some streamer opportunities on the lower River. Still worth checking out and if you go please send us an updated report.

Best flies last week were 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 and will continue through December 1st when we stop guiding it to allow for these amazing fish to spawn. As of this weeks report there are fires to the West of the Creek and although they are quite a few miles away the predominately western winds are pushing some of the smoke towards the creek. There is currently a closure on Napa 128 just west of the dam for issues to the West. Access to the creek is still possible as of this report and smoke is not an issue at all today but that may change at any time. Stay tuned.

Flows on the Creek have fluctuated a bit however as of this report they are at 310 cubic feet per second. Fishing has been good. 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 every trip.

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 along 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 "crack the code" so to speak and catch fish on this challenging but fantastic tail water.

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: “Watch the news for fire conditions and as far as flies, go small or go home"

For an interactive map on current fires in California click here..

For more on Putah's big wild rainbows click here...

Russian River - Poor. Flows - 150 CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.

The Russian is closed due to a low water closure back on October 1st to allow for Salmon to spawn. Water came up 10 cfs this week. It was a good season for SMB here and we will look forward to next year.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to target steelhead on the Russian this season. The Russian blows out first and clears up last during Winter and Spring rains. While we love getting as much rain as possible here in California we are hoping for some lulls between storms to get after these chrome marauders. If you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco and would like to give the Russian a go give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.

To learn more about the Russian River click here...

Lower Sacramento Trout – Great. Flows – 8,000+ CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (5 ft visibility)

The Lower Sac continued to fish well this week from Redding to Anderson for trout. Some Steelhead reported on the Lower River below Anderson. It is still mostly a Baetis and Caddis game right now. Weather is definitely changing here in Nor Cal and this last week and there were some mixed reports. Some boats landed 10 to 15 per day again and some less and some slightly more. Weather will fluctuate between high 60's to mid 80's over the next week this week. We will see how that affects hatches and fishing especially the caddis, but expect blue wing olives to hatch on cloudy days going forward.

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.
Guide Tip: "Find a boat and get in it"

For more on the Lower Sac click here....

Upper Sacramento – Good.  Flows – 243 cfs at Delta. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Fishing on the Upper Sac is fishing pretty good throughout the whole river again this week. Try dry droppers rigs, tight line high stick nymphing and indicator nymphing are both working. 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 according to guide Brian Theriot. Chilly nights and lower day time temps are getting the perennial favorite October Caddis Hatch going. Don't forget to tie on a larvae or pupae below a large attractor dry even if you don's see fish rising.

Water is at ideal for wading and the upper river near and above Dunsmuir is fishing well. 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 in with your gear just in case.

Good flies include Parachute Adams, dark stonefly and midge nymphs, Birds Nests, Princes Chubby Chernobyls, and October Caddis nymphs and dries soon. Don't forget a zonker or some buggers.

Trinity River – Fair and improving. Flows –350 at Lewiston dam,  fluctuating slightly 490 to 500 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good

Guide Jordan Romney and his dad fished with Peter Santley recently on the Trinity.

Not much change on the Trinity this week. It continues to produce a few steelhead but November will really take off. "Fish are scattered throughout the river with Del Loma being the best area for right now" says Jon Harrison. 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. Swinging traditional fly's or Nymphing is good. "It is a good time to go now before the crowds show up soon" says Brian Clemens. Expect a few half-pounders and 1 to 2 adults is possible per day. 

Best flies this week were Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown. Nymphers should try October Caddis, black stones, Copper Johns, PT's and egg patterns.

November and December are prime time so give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 to get your guide reserved.

For more about Trinity River steelhead click here...

Truckee River – Great.  Flows – 85 cfs at Truckee,150 cfs at Glenshire bridge, 380 cfs at Boca Bridge, and 460 cfs at Farad. Water Temps. – low 50's. Clarity – a little color. 

Fall fishing is under way on the Truckee and it has been quite good. Water and fish are prime and expect things to be good this weekend and coming weeks but dress warm and plan for snow. It hasn't been all that important to get there super early. Most bugs activity has been in the afternoon but the morning has still fished well too. 

Hatches have included BWO's, Caddis, Midges and even some October Caddis skittering about. Best fishing has been nymphing midges under an indicator or fishing streamers. Jordan says "Go small or go big"

Best flies include stone like Mercers Poxyback Stone, Solitude Stone, larger dark mayfly nymphs, brown woolly buggers, and Caddis patterns.  

Guide Tip: "Throw on a rabbit leach or other streamer and hang on!"

For more on the Truckee click here...

Little Truckee River – Great!  Flows – 190 cfs above Boca. Water temp. 60’s Clarity – Clear

The Little Truckee has been fishing really well too despite some crowds. This week small dark flashy nymphs with a red or natural San Juan Worm was a great producer on indicator rigs. For the skinny water try a dry/dropper.  Lots of insects out right now...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 some Caddis in the evenings to round things out but with cooler temps the dry fly action may slow a bit. October Caddis and mahogany duns are in the mix as well making for some fun fishing. The Browns are getting ready to spawn. Please do not fish for them if they are on reds. "Please also show respect to other anglers with stream etiquette, ask first before moving immediately upstream of another angler."

For flies try Hogan's S&M in olive or other BWO under a Adams parachute, Stimulator or Caddis. Also try Midges or caddis pupae or other the insects mentioned above under dry dropper.

For more on the Little Truckee click here...

Yuba River Trout – Fair. Flows – 550 to 600 cfs below Englebright, 525cfs near Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is fishing so so again this week but slowly improving. Unfortunately there is quite a lot of smoke in the area right now making the air quality poor. If you have asthma or other breathing issues do not go fish the Yuba. Some salmon are on reds and a few fish being hooked but not red hot by any means. The fish we have been getting range from 8  to 14 inches. Fish over 15" are still pretty scarce right now. The water is finally down and wade fishers are finally having some success. Competent casters and 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. Sycamore Ranch boat launch is closed due to refugees from several California fires so wading may be only option for a while. 

Hatches continue to be sparse on 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 throughout the day. Jon Baiocchi recently saw some some stub wing stonefly(Claassensia Sabulosa) which is cool and his guest did best with Hopper dropper rigs trailing baetis nymphs or swinging caddis emerger patterns. The standard bobber rings also caught a few fish as well.  A few fish even reported eating dries including hoppers however the cooler weather should put a damper on that. Try an XCaddis, BWO's, 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 as well. 
Fishing below Daguerre diversion dam for striper, trout and shad is all but done 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. 

To learn about the Yuba's potential click here...

Northern California Lake Reports 


Lake Almanor - Fair. Water Temps - 58 Deg. Water clarity - 9 ft

Lake Almanor is turning over and Smelt are moving into the shallows. Midges have been working for the Rainbows and Smelt patterns for Browns. Fish are cruising around the surface. If you Mark fish on the Sonar they are not feeding fish. 

Guide Tip : "Looking for Muddy bottoms with weeds and shallow slopping shoreline will produce better fish. My Almanor Cloudser with a Rio 150gr 24' has been best. For the patient a Floating POD Smelt has got the big Browns. It's best to fish from 5ft to 20ft."

Clear Lake Largemouth - Good. Water Temps - 80-87 Degrees. Clarity 6" - 1 ft 

Not much has changed again this week. Things have been a bit windy however fishing is still good on Clear Lake. Most fish are 1- 2.5 lbs 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 great bass action!

Lake Englebright - Fair to Good. Water temps - 64-68. Clarity - Gin clear

Englebright continues to fish well for topwater and subsurface streamers for smallmouth, spots and largemouth bass. The evening around Boston Bar can make for some great still water fishing for trout as well.

Guide Tip: Chuck says "For topwater bass, fish deer hair frogs or small poppers tight against rocky banks or deep branches of downed trees. Don't be afraid to to try a popper dropper either with a baby bluegill or Rick's Papichulo along steep banks or downed trees. Stay focused, catch fish and get home safe!"

Frenchman's Lake - Good. Water temps 53 to 56 deg.Water clarity - clear to a tad of color.

It’s been a wild ride at Frenchman’s Lake, the north wind made its presence known with wind chill in the teens and unfavorable fishing conditions. Frenchman’s Lake is much more open and prone to getting hammered by north and east winds, and there are simply very little areas to hide in. Water temperatures have been as low as 53 and as high as 56 depending on wind and air temperatures. Jon says "The trout are still somewhat scattered but there are less in the southern lake and more in the northern lake, and most are in the upper most water column. There is way more fish in 1 to 3 feet of water than the week before, and fishing off the bank has really picked up. The action has been pretty good when the weather cooperates. We’ve had some stellar days with fish cruising the shallow flats sipping callibaetis and midges. it does not get any better than that. The most effective fly of late has been a simple nonleaded pheasant tail presented on a floating line. There is no need for an intermediate line in the shallow bank water, you’ll have better control of your fly’s depth with a floater. Fishing pressure has increased on most days, and on other days it is very quiet and easy to find your own spot. Fall colors are peaking right now in eastern Plumas County, time to load up the vehicle and make a run to the hills. See you out there."

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

Fishing on Oroville continues to be good again this week. It has been a great summer and fall so far 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 5 mph 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. 

Look to this fishery to be a great option this winter for a getaway and escape from crowded local steelhead rivers. We love fishing Oroville during this time and often fish all day without encountering another angler.

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

For more about fishing Oroville click here...

Pyramid Lake NV* – Good. Water temps - 60's Clarity - clear

The highly anticipated opener of the Pyramid Lake met our expectations and fishing was good.  All beaches were fishing very well with good numbers and many reports of big fish being caught the first day. 

Popcorn beetles, and dark leaches along with Tui Chub patterns were all working and some really nice fish have already found the net already this season. You simply must experience this fishery to believe it. Give us a call!

* While we are aware that Pyramid Lake is not in Northern California we feel fortunate to have it right over the hill from the shop and are glad to have such a great fishery with great guides this close.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published