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Northern California Fly Fishing Report – June 17, 2017

Best Bets... American(shad/striper), McCloud, Hat Creek(trout) or Lower Yuba (shad!!!)

American River  Striper – Great  Shad – Great  Flows 6,400 cfs Water Temp high 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – clear

Shad are everywhere on the American and striper are too. Both are being caught with good regularity. Flows are still high and wading can be difficult but those fishing out of a drift or jet boat are having good success. For striper stripping flies on sinking lines is the name of the game. Traditionally good flies for this time of year will be Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white. 

Shad have been taking Bloody Marias and Bernie’s Bangers along with Spasmodiam 335 and Reanimator Shaddis. Swinging sinking tips or 4 or 5 weight switch rod is our favorite way to get them. Stop by the shop for the complete list of striper and shad patterns that are currently getting it done. Fishing has been best early and late for shad and striper on most days but just because the light is on the water is not reason to leave especially for shad. If you find them they will usually eat and where you find one you will find several.

If you are looking forward to striper or shad fishing on the American and would like some professional help give us a call at (707)287-2939 916)722-8594 at the shop. We have some of the very best, most patient and competent guides around. Let us assist you in getting the most out of your time on the water.


Delta Stiper – Poor Delta Largemouth/smallmouth – Good to Fair Water Temp high 64 to 70 degrees. Water Clarity – Clear in some areas, murky in others.

Fishing has gotten more difficult in the last 1-2 weeks for striper. Water temps vary from 64to 70 degrees depending on where you are. We’ve been scratching some days of 5 to 10 fish with few quality fish in the 2 - 9lb range but the recent success will be short term. Things are definitely on the decline however the good news is that with warmer temperatures the largemouth and smallmouth bass will start looking up. We should see some great topwater in the coming weeks.

We are finding good largemouth fishing and the bite improves when you find 70+ degree water. Focus your flies along rock walls where the weeds and rocks meet. Throwing frog poppers in these areas can be very fun and productive this time of year.  Also try throwing a clouser minnow variation or bluegill patterns on sinking lines along drops near weeds. 


We have had some fun recently chasing bass in the back bays in Kayaks the last few weeks. If you are interested in a fun adventure let us know and we can set something up. Captain Bill Beckett says a "size 10 Foxee red Clouser is still producing the most fish".



Additionally we will be looking forward to chasing smallmouth on the Delta soon. Consistent fishing for them is still a ways off. Water in the North Delta where they live is still only 65 degrees and water is still murky due to all the high water. Bryce Tedford says “persistent anglers are finding some action in the evenings after a warm day on small poppers.” Small poppers tend to work well. Stay tuned as the fishing should improve soon. Dates are booking up fast for July. Give us a ring to get out and experience this fishery for yourself. If you like fast action and surface grabs on poppers at point blank range than this could be just the ticket for you. This is an ideal fishery for young anglers and lasts throughout the end of summer. Captains Bryce, Maury, Toby and Chuck have this thing dialed. Give us a ring to reserve an SMB trip for you and yours!



Guide Tip "Look for 70 degree water and you will generally find smallmouth"

Fall River – Good.  Flows – still a little high. Temps 50’s. Clarity – Clear


With all the rain this winter the Fall River is very full and looks to be in great shape. Fishing has been good but not great. Best hatches have been PMD’s but nymphing and streamers are also working when hatches are sparse. Reports of some quality fish being caught this week by our guests, but just not the numbers that were used to.

Best Nymphs include Pseudos, Hogan’s S&Ms, Nose Pickers, Red Copper Johns, Sin Citys, and  Zebra Midges. Best dries have been Missing Links, PMDs, BWOs,Parachute Adams, and Elk Hair Caddis. Don't neglect leaches and damsels too!


Feather River Steelhead Good to Fair ShadGood Striper – Fair Flows 2,500 CFS Clarity- Clear



Fishing has been pretty good overall on the Feather. Steelhead have fished best with a few adult fish mixed in with the half pounders. We have had 6 to 15 fish in the net most guided days. The Feather is definitely worth doing right now. Additionally there are some striper in the system and shad are in the low flow too. This is definitely enough to keep things interesting and add some variety to the standard steelhead day.


Best flies are Copper Johns, large prince nymphs, Red Headed Step Childs, Bird or Prey and Sucker Spawns. For info on Striper and shad flies call the shop at (916)722-1055


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


Hat Creek continues to fish well and the water levels look better than it has in years. 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 pretty much to yourself. Anglers have been seeing some decent bug activity including, PMD’s, Little Yellow Stones, a few caddis, some large Stoneflies although fish don’t really seem to be keying on the adult stones. As far as fishing dries look for rising fish or fish and attractor dry and see what pops up.  Try fishing 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/BWO.



McCloud River – Good Flows – 328CFS, Water temp 50’s. Clarity – Clear




The river below Lake McCloud has dropped considerably with flows at 328 CFS now. It is fishing well and you can finally get in to your favorite riffles, runs and pockets. Hatches are picking up and with improving clarity the fish are grabby. Expect to see some salmonflies and yellow stones coming off soon. Dries, nymphs and streamers are all working well. Try fishing a small mayfly nymphs below a rubberlegs. Brian Theriot says “Indicatorless high stick nymphing is a great technique for this river but indicators work just fine too”.  Otherwise, the good mayfly and caddis hatches are just around the corner.


There are plans for a more permanent repair to the road in to Ah-Di-Na & the Nature Conservancy section. There is a temporary fix in place now which they plan to keep it open as much as possible.


Guide tip: "The McCloud is a good river to throw streamers on. Try a Sculp Zilla or other large offering and hang on".


Give us a call to get out on this storied fishery. (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939



Napa River – Fair.  Flows – above average (42 cfs), Water temps - 57-60. Water clarity – Stained

School may be out, but the striper schoolies in the Napa river are in! Some good fun being had on 6 or 7 weights but don't expect a ton of monsters right now.  Good numbers of fish out balances out that most fish are small.

Any small clouser style flies in olive/white, gray/white size 1/0 or 2/0 will work. Our favorite is the Stay Hungry Streamer in Chartreuse.

Pit River – Good  Flows – Pit 3 - 345 CFS, Pit 4 - 580, Pit 5 – 2,100 cfs

Flows on the Pit are down a bit and fishing is good at access 3. Recent high water this Spring have scoured things a bit but it is fishing well. Below Hat 4 the water is a bit high so be cautious if you go.

Best flies continue to be PT's, Stones, Red Copper Johns, Zebra Midges, Psudo and Micro Mays, Poopas and E. Caddis.

Again fishing will improve as water levels drop below #4 and become more manageable for fish and fishers. Remember to watch for Rattlesnakes!


Putah Creek – Fair  Flows –400CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green


Water is at 400 cfs on Putah and fishing has been fair. One or two quality fish to hand is about all to be expected right now. Flows have been fluctuating a bit too. The good news is we are hooking some really big fish. As usual landing them has been a challenge as many are heading straight for the moss. It is critical to put lots of pressure on these big ones to land them quickly. Rob Russell says “you may want to leave your 4 wt at home”. “BWO's, midges, Caddis and SJWs have been working best” he says. Bugs on Putah don’t fluctuate much like other streams. Some days there are more baetis present than midges, but at Putah, fishing a midge during a baetis hatch often brings better results...  Get your flies near the bottom with plenty of weight.  Start with a AAA.  If you are not cleaning moss of your flies, you are not deep enough.  Bring a wading staff and wade carefully.


Good Summer fishing is here. Reserve your Summer Putah trip today! Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055.


Russian River  – Good   Flows – 300 CFS at Guernville. Temps - 64 to 70. Water clarity – 2 to 3 feet of visibility “ clear green”


Shad fishing is mostly done as water temps have finally come up to 70 degrees.  Fortunately Smallmouth are getting more and more active. You can find them early in the morning as they are chasing and boiling on bait.  This only happens during ideal conditions in the Spring as the bass are fattening up from the spawn and recovering from a long Winter.  Toss a clouser minnow to boiling bass and you will most likely get bit.  Clousers are great this time of year, as are crayfish and leech imitations.  Stripping flies on Intermediate or type 3 lines is a great way to spend the day.  Fish the morning and evening on hot days.



Lower Sacramento Rainbows – Fair.  Flows – 10,000 CFS. Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – normal 3 to 4 ft visibility.


The lower Lower Sac is fishing fair. Some days it's good some days just fair. Hatches are not going off like usual due to the intense scouring that took place this winter. As a result there are no weeds or moss on rocks.  Clarity is finally back to normal. Caddis and PMD nymphs are currently working best. 

Shane Kolbeck says "It's getting hot in here" Temps in Redding are slated  to hit 107 by Sunday.

The upper section above highway 299/44 will be closed in the next week or so until August 1st to help with the dwindling numbers of Chinook Salmon. This only affects the short section from Posse Grounds down to the highway bridge. There are still 38 miles of fishable water full of big wild rainbows below this to take advantage of. OTH and FFS support the efforts to try to help support our native Salmonids. Don’t let the closure keep you from one of the best pieces of fly water anywhere in the West.

Guide Tip: “Wear a wide brimmed hat and a buff and dunk it in the cooler or river for some reprieve from the heat”.


Book your Summer trip on the Lower Sac now by calling (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.


Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – High! 2,000 CFS at Delta. Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – Clear


Water is high on the Upper Sac making for tough wading. Hot weather will keep flows high due to melting snow. Wet wading is a good way to cool off. We also recommend a wading staff and a CO2 inflatable hip pack or suspenders may not be a bad idea either. Best fishing has been above Dunsmuir. Salmon flies and Golden stones have been flying around. Best flies continue to be small nymphs fished behind a rubberleg stone. Princes, Dark Lords, Copper Johns, Birds Nests, Fox’s Poopahs, Mercers’ Micro Mays etc.

Fishing will improve as the water drops and this will develop into a good place to escape the Valley heat this summer Give us a call to set up some good summer fishing.

Truckee River  –  Good  Flows – 1,800 cfs in town, 2,500 cfs at Boca. Water Temps. – Low 50’s. Clarity – some color.



Fishing on the Truckee has slowed a bit with increasing snow melt due to warmer temps. Our guides have been catching some nice sized fish however. They’re still here, you just have to work a bit harder. There is definitely more water than we normally see this time of year but the additional water hasn't put the fish down entirely. It has been all about quality not quantity this season so far. There are still some bwo's and pmd's hatches right now so these are good bugs to have in your setup. Streamer fishing is also not a bad idea right now either.

Good flies include Peaches and Cream, Sweat Pea, Stonedaddy, Jimmy Legs, San Juan Worms and streamers. Stop by the shop or call in for the complete list of Truckee flies.


Call the shop at (916)722-8594 or OTH direct at (707)287-2939 for current conditions or to schedule the cure for the valley heat.

Little Truckee River  - Good.  Flows fluctuate from 400 to 650 each day = big!  Temps – Cold! Visibility - Clear                

The Little Truckee continues to fish fairly well despite the fact that it is flowing at over 900 cfs. These aren't the normal flows and fish are up in the willows, tucked in deep buckets and in slow side seams. They're still here you just have to adjust where you fish and get the depth right and you may have to go small when it comes to flies. BWO's midges, eggs and San Juan worms have been working lately. There has been a mid day blue wing olive hatch which has gotten things going. Czech nymphing and indicator nymphing both worked last week as did streamer fishing, but you have to work hard to get them on the big uglies.

This will be a great spot to beat the heat as water drops in the next few weeks and temps soar in the valley. Give us a ring to get up out of the heat and hooked up. 


Yosemite Area – Poor


Two words... BLOWN OUT! This is just a waiting game at this point, but it is going to be a good Summer and Fall of fishing in the Yosemite area. It is still a little early. We hope to be at it soon! Check back for updates or call current info. There are some opportunities 2 hours away from Twain Harte, call us if you would like to come out to the Yosemite high country.

Mokelumne-  20,048 CFS- Too big to fish, best to stay away. 

Stanislaus- Hell's Kitchen, and small streams are your best bet.Below Goodwin Dam - 5,200 CFS - Too high to float. 

Tuolumne - 13,500 @ Merals Pool. Some Tribs are fish-able South Fork is off color. Lower T below La Grange 7,400 CFS - Stay out of the current- VERY High flows, hard to access both banks.       Merced- CLOSED by Park Service - 7,500  below Briceburg- Some tributaries are open3,000 below Crocker Huffman- still too high to drift.


Yuba River Trout – Fair  Flows – 3,800 cfs?  Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Slight color
Lower Yuba River Shad - Great!


The Yuba is still very high but has dropped to 3,800 and is fishable although not very wadeable. We had guides on it in the last few days. Nymphs are producing a few trout thought nothing to get excited about. Trout have also been smacking at stimulators and other attractor dries so that is a good sign. The river has changed drastically so we are going to enjoy getting reacquainted with this fishery.


If you are venturing out nymphing with PMDs BWO's under a medium size stone works best, although with increased interest in dries fishing on the surface should improve soon.

The Lower Yuba for shad is fantastic right now. We are having guide days with 100+ fish. Our best day last week netted 120 fish! We are the only one's with a key to the Lower area below Daguerre Dam. If you like shad fishing you simply must go now! 

Best flies have been what ever you tie on but Bloody Maria's and anything Bernie ties are also safe bets.

For more on the Yuba click here...

Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-8594 to reserve your trip. Don't let this red hot fishing get away.

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