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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – June 29, 2017

Posted by Pescaconmosca 

Best Bets: American - Striper and Shad, Lower Sac and McCloud - trout, Feather - Steelhead, Delta - Smallmouth and Yuba - Shad!


American River Striper– Great, Shad – Good Steelhead – Poor to Fair. Flows – 5,000 CFS at Fair Oaks. Temp.  – 57 to 60 Degrees. Water clarity – Very clear



The American has fished quite well the last couple weeks for Striper and Shad. We have been having some awesome striper numbers on the lower river  and clients have been boating upwards of 50 fish per boat on guide days!


Water is clear and this is making for some exciting fishing. Seeing a nice fish stock your fly before attacking it in a rush is awesome. It is time to go now as fish are on the move and will be heading up river soon.


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


Shad fishing continues to be good although things have been  a bit busy on the upper river.  Our guides have been doing Sailor to Sunrise and those in boats are catching most fish however bank anglers who are ok with busy water are catching some fish too.



Best shad flies have been Bloody Marias, Reanimator Shaddis and Spasmodium 235. Indicators and swinging sink tip lines both working. Stop by the shop for the hot flies.

There are some half pounders in the system and we have had a report or two of possible steelhead sightings. We’ll confirm that and update shortly.


Guide Tip: “Shad are throughout the system so if you prefer less crowds move away from Sailor Bar area. There may be less fish but less crowds can be a good thing too”


Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook fly fishing directly at (707)287-2939 to set up a striper or shad trip on the American.


Delta Stiper- Poor Water Temp 56-60 degrees. Water Clarity – Good to great.  North Delta smallmouth/largemouth - Good Water Clarity – Good to cloudy depending on time of day.


Fishing is good with lots of topwater opportunities for smallmouth & largemouth Bass. When topwater slows mid-day for Largemouth we have been going subsurface with Clousers & Crawdad patterns to beat the heat.

Smallmouth fishing is pretty hot right now. Some days it’s on fire some days it’s just good. Regardless it is so much fun using 4-5wt rods & seeing fish after fish come up to attack poppers on the surface! We had fish this week “hit the popper several times before finally hooking themselves” says Kayak guide Bill Beckett. You gotta love their enthusiasm! Captain Bryce Tedford says “hit the steep rocks walls with size 6 poppers”  



Guide Tip: Captain Bryce” a small crawdad pattern or size 6 to 8 Carey Special 12 inches below a popper makes for some crazy good fun.”


We will be fishing smallmouth all summer. This is ideal for introducing young anglers to fly fishing and those wanting some great fishing. 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 Summer SMB action. Book now or miss out!


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



The Fall River continues to fish well this week. The hex hatch is going and PMD’s and Tricos are coming off as well. Anglers are starting the day nymphing until adults start to emerge and then have been switching to dries. Mid day and before the hex hatch dredging the deep holes with streamers has worked well. Try throwing Hale Bopp or other leaches  in olive or black or gray/ yellow to mimic the emerging hex nymphs.  If you haven’t ever tried this, come fish for giant trout crushing these giant mayflies at sunset! It’s a blast! Call us direct at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055 to get in on this evening magic.


Good flies nymphs include the Anatomay, Poxy back PMD, Mercer’s Swing Nymph. Good dries include any Trico adults or spinners as well as Lawsons Thorax PMD. For fishing the Hex hatch the pattern isn’t as important as finding one that will float well in the surface film and that produces a silhouette that both anglers and fish can see in the fading light. We have even had success swinging a gray Hale Bopp Leach in the afternoon in the lower river before the hex hatch.


Feather River –  Great  Flows – 1,700 through low flow but dropping, 10,000 below Thermolito. Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear



The Feather had fished really well recently for those willing to put in the work to get on the water.  Boat access is a little limited for the Low Flow due to Riverbend park being closed due to damage by high water. We have been finding everything from half pounders and some larger adult steelhead, to striper and shad. Now is a great time to get on this river.


Best flies have been Big Prince Nymphs, Fox Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs, Tungsten Salvations and Sucker Spawns and eggs have been working.

Stop by the shop for confirmed killer shad and striper bugs for the Feather.

Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve what should be a great Summer steelhead action on the Feather.


Guide tip: “Fishing is good ”


Hat Creek  – Good.  Flows – above average, Water clarity – Clear


Hat Creek looks better than it has in years with all the water. It is about a foot higher than it is normally this time of year and warm weather is bringing extra water from Mt. Lassen’s North East Slope. Hat 2 powerhouse has been busy but once you get away from that you can have the river more to yourselt. Anglers have been seeing some decent bug activity including, PMD’s, a few caddis, some larger Stoneflies and some Tricos coming off. Fishing has been good but not great. Look for rising fish or fish and set up with a down stream slack line presentation. (stand up stream and cast down to fish to spook less fish and get a drag free drift. If the fish refuse let the fly swing out of their feeding lane before you retrieve and re cast.  Best fishing has been early and late but some nice fish caught mid day on dries again this week.


Best flies include; Stones, Sin Citys, Micro Mays, Flatulators, Squirmy Wormies and Streamers. Also for dries try Stimulators and Adams or Prachute PMD’s, Comparadun PMD, Para Extended Body PMD and trico duns and spinners.



McCloud River – Good.  Flows – 235 CFS at Ah-Di-Na , 250 cfs from McCloud Dam, Water temps -  High 50’s’s. Water clarity – Good



The McCloud has been fishing well. Water clarity has been decent. Arron Grabiel says that dry dropper with a stimi or other large attractor and smaller numph behind has produces best in pocket water and riffles through mid day. Deeper pools have some nice fish but it is usually the first angler through that get them Temps are warming. Focusing early and late will be most productive going forward but there have been some hatches going on mid day.


Good flies include Birds Nests, Anatomays, and Red Copper Johns under, Poxyback PMD’s and Stimulators.

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


Fishing has been 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. A shaker striper on a 6 wt still put up a really good fight. The lower river has been dirty but some larger fish have been caught down there. Clouser style flies in olive/white, gray/white 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.


Putah Creek – Good Flows - 535 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Slightly off color



Flows on Putah Creek have dropped from 600+ cfs down 535 cfs which is low for this time of year. Summer flows are generally higher and flows have correlated with improved fishing this year over last at this time.  Focus on the slower edges instead of right out in the middle of the current. Also remember to use plenty of split shot or you will just fish over their heads and not hook much. For patterns use small midges and baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May. With higher flows you can get away with slightly larger flies.  Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensible 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.”

Russian River - Good Flows - 300 CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet

Fishing continues to be good on the Russian for smallies although water level recently spiked form 200 to 300 cfs. Clousers and crayfish patters are producing best although top water continues to produce some fish first thing in the morning or late in the evening soon. The Russian continues to produce some nice fish this last week. Being on the water early is important 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 – GREAT! Flows – 1,050 CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (4ft visibility)

Our guides and guests continue to have great fishing on this fantastic tailwater despite really hot weather. First thing in the morning we are finding fish on all the drop offs. Water is high, cold and fishing has been great from 299 bridge all the way to Jelly’s Ferry despite triple digit air temps. Lots of fish are in the area above 299 bridge although fishing is closed so we’re looking forward to the opener. The PMD hatch is pretty much over however Hydropsyche caddis are going strong. Having PMD nymphs in your set up is still a good idea. Shane Kohlbeck form the Fly Shop says ”fishing has been consistent all day long with a little bit of dry fly activity the last 30 minutes of daylight. If you spot rises throw on a caddis. Some days the hatch will start sooner, some days it is the last half an hour of daylight. Aaaron Grabiel says fish a PMD emerger behind a larger caddis late in the day for some dry fly grabs. We still have open dates the weekend of the opener at the beginning of August with Peter Santley. Fishing that weekend can be silly good.

Guide tip: “Wear lots of sun block and long sleeve breathable clothing. Also bring a bandana and dip it in the ice water in the cooler. Then wrap it around your neck and go hook another football!


Upper Sacramento – Good .  Flows – low (525 – cfs at Delta)  Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear


Fishing on the Upper Sac has been good despite warm temps. Pools have fished better than riffles for us recently. Try fishing a Chubby Chernobyl dry with a small stone beneath it.  As temps go up during the day consider heading up river to fish Dunsmuir to Cantara Loop. There has been reports of some decent dry fly action in the evening so that may be worth sticking around for.


Good flies include Chubby Chernobyl, Mercers Poxyback Stone, Solitude Stone, Amber Prince, CDC Prince, Hotwire Prince or Birds Nest.


Guide Tip: “A jig prince is a good fly right now. It has a tungsted head to get down in the riffles and rides point up so it doesn’t hang us as much as some bugs.”

Truckee River Fair  Flows –1200 at Truckee, 1,000 CFS at Lake Tahoe. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.  


The Truckee has been fishing decent despite high flows. Down below Grey Creek there has been a land slide and the river is chocolate below that. Up in Truckee and down to the top of the canyon it continues to fish well. Fish are still on the edges and not in the rushing fast water. Hatches are mostly caddis and yellow sallies. Our guides and guests continue to land a few really handsome fish. It is great to see so many good fish being caught after the drought of two year ago.

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



Guide tip:  Fish a 9 ½ to 10 foot rod to high sticking and mending easier.


Little Truckee River Fair to Good  Flows –100 CFS Water temp. high 50’s Clarity – good


The Little Truckee has been fishing pretty well too although it is cold and clear. The only thing keeping it from fishing great is the wild fluctuation of water releases. Focus on fishing after at least a day of constant flows. As far as insects it has been mostly PMD’s, Midges, A few Drakes and some Caddis in the evenings.

For flies try Poxyback PMD’s under a Adams parachute, Stimulator or Drake. Also try Midges or Caddis pupae or Drake emerger under a dry.

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


Yosemite Area Fair


Things are starting to shape up finally after the highest water year in as long as anyone can remember. The recent heat wave has melted things down and our guides are finally able to get out and fish. Water is still high but things are shaping up and fish are being caught by our guests. Right now the Stan is your best bet. Focus on the small tributaries of the rivers below and wait until things drop a bit more before fishing the main rivers.

Mokelumne -  Snags are taken care of and drifting is good.

Stanislaus- Hell's Kitchen, and small streams are your best bet.
Below Goodwin Dam - 2,800 CFS - Too high to float. 

Tuolumne - 1,400 @ Merals Pool. Some Tribs are fish-able South Fork is off color.
Lower T below La Grange 1,700 CFS today.
Merced- Tribs are your best bet!!!  4,500@ Pohono Bridge - Some tributaries are open

Below Crocker Huffman things are still too high to drift.

Good fishing is right around the corner on the big 4! Stay tuned.


Yuba River Trout – Fair to Good, Shad - Good, Striper - Good. Flows – 3,800 at Highway 20 bridge, 650 CFS at Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear


The Yuba is fishing ok for those with a boat. Wading is still dangerous and so wade with care. Those really in the know could catch half a dozen fish if they know what they are doing but a good drift boat is the preferred method. Some PMD’s and Caddis in the evening. Try nymphing if no hatches are visible. We should be getting out on the Yuba more in the next few weeks so will have an updated report that will be more favorable. 


We're still having some good days below the diversion dam for Shad and Striper. Not the 100+ fish days we were having a three weeks ago but still very good. 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 before they're gone!


Sierra Foothill lakes - Great


There are several Sierra foothill lakes that guides Chuck Ragan and Ryan Williams fish that are fishing really well. 20 to 50 fish days are possible right now. Call (707)287-2939 for more info.


Thanks for checking out the report. Feel free to share it and email your own personal reports to (877)228-2477  (707)287-2939

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