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Northern California Fly Fishing Report Oct 22, 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 22, 2017

Best Bets: McCloud, Upper/Lower Sac, or Truckee – Trout, Delta - Striper, Feather, Klamath and Trinity - Steelhead, and Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat. 

American River Striper - Poor. Steelhead - Poor but improving Flows – 2,000 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 are at 2,000 and the river cooled a bit as well this week.

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.

The middle river has good numbers of half pounders and adults continue to trickle in. It is still a little early but we are seeing good signs in the last couple weeks and looking forward to a good season this year. Now is a good time to go practice your swinging as you will have the river to mostly to yourself and there are enough half pounders around to keep things interesting.

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

A recent happy guest in Captain Chuck Ragan's boat.

Fall fly fishing has been exciting for Striper on the Delta. There’s quite of bit of bait throughout the system with birds over them and Striper under them! Numbers can be decent to exceptional depending on casting ability and reactionary time when fishing around boils and feeding Fish. There is a bit of variety too to keep things interesting. From striper and large mouth to even an occasional salmon! The Delta Grand Slam is always a possibility right now. 


We are throwing everything from floating and intermediate lines to lead, however the majority of the time, we use heavy Type 7 sinking lines. 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. 


Guide Tip : Look for diving birds to tell you where the the Stripers are pushing bait, fish heavy sinking lines when no birds are present in 7-15' water & use intermediate lines with large flies in shallow waters if you want to go pig hunting(quality over quantity)! 


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. 

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

Nothing new to report this week. 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 recently but mostly because we have a few tricks up our sleeves. We have been finding mostly half pounders (fish have been in the 12"to 18 range) however some nice adults to 7 lbs landed last recently. 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 – 160 CFS at Old Station, Water clarity – Clear
Flows came up on Wednesday to 160 cfs this week and fishing continues to be good.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 – Good to Great. Flows 1,100 cfs below Irongate

Things definitely kicked into gear recently on the Klamath. Lots of half pounders, some salmon and some "tweeners" (18 to 22" fish) being caught too. As soon as we get some rain it will be on for the larger adult fish too. 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 – 240 CFS at Ah-Di-Na, 900 cfs above McCloud Reservoir, 280 cfs below McCloud Dam 350 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.
Fishing continues to be good on the Napa River this week. 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 - 1,500 cfs at Pit #1. Water clarity – Milky

Flows from Lake Britton continue wild fluctuation again this week from 1,000 to 1,500 cfs. This 500 cfs discrepancy is adversely affect fishing 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 - 200 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. This is a very challenging fishery with big fish on small flies so don't expect big numbers but rather quality fish. 

Flows on the Creek dropped to 200 cubic feet per second today. Fishing has been good and hopefully this drop will not affect the fishing. Fires over in Napa and Sonoma counties are all but contained so we have our fingers crossed. Clients have been having opportunities to hook up to a dozen or so fish a day with chances to catch a big 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), Craven's 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. 

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 - 190 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 to 190 from 170 at the beginning of the week. 

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 some chrome. If you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco and would like to give the Russian a go give us a call to get on the waiting list 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. Shane Kohlbeck had 30 fish in the net with one of our good clients. Some Steelhead hooked on the Lower River below Anderson too. Flows are steady at 8,000 and 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 70's to high 80's over this next 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 –300 at Lewiston dam,  fluctuating slightly 490 to 500 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good.

Not much change on the Trinity this week. Water did drop slightly to 300 from Lewiston but fishing has been good with best action being at Del Loma" says Jon Harrison. Expect a few half-pounders and 1 to 2 adults is possible per day even with low clear water. Fish counts are up and 100 fish were counted through in one day at one of the weirs recently. but were still working a bit looking for the bit ones. When we find them they have been hot says Brian Clemens.

Best flies this week were, Silver Hiltons, Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown. Peter Santley says "Nymphers should try eggs, rubber legs, PT's and Hares Ears". October Caddis, Copper Johns and other stonefly patterns will also work. 

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. Smoke has subsided a bit which was needed. Salmon have been spotted and some are on reds. A few trout being caught 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. 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 the only option for a little 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. The standard bobber rings are catching a few fish we had reports again this week of fish eating dries. Try an XCaddis, BWO's, or stimmys 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. 

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


If a peaceful and serene setting is your goal then look no further. Englebright is void of jet skiers and water skiers now and the fishing can be incredible. Numbers are down compared to the past few weeks but quality is up. Beautiful Spotted and Smallmouth bass are the target here as well as trout if you’d like to hone your Stillwater skills.  Trout have been active most of the morning and late in the evening. Bass have been fairly active throughout the day with 8am-2 pm being the prime time. 


Guide Tip : Chuck Ragan says "Fish streamers in bluegill patterns, white pond smelt patterns tight against the rocks, brush or trees to trigger reactionary strikes. Float n’ fly methods have been exceptional out there as well. Bites are very subtle so ease into the strip or the shake and look for changes before a sharp and high set. Stay focused, keep Fishing. 

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



Better weather in the last week with glassy conditions has allowed for some incredible sight fishing opportunities and better fishing. There are many more fish in the northern part of the lake and it seems much of the population is ganged up there. Most of the trout are in the upper water column with many of them right on the bank in skinny water, you’ll also find the rainbows in deeper open water rising in the middle of the day. Areas with flats and weeds are the most productive when fishing the shoreline. Water temps are 52 to 54. Light hatches of blood midges, a much smaller creamy midge, and a few callibaetis are out. Shorter leaders and heavier tippets will work now as the trout are on the fall grab, their greed in fattening up for winter is their downfall, and an advantage for fly anglers looking for a bent rod. Big buggers and wiggle tails in fiery brown and rust, sheep creek specials, Hare’s Ears, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been the most productive. Mornings have been really cold, but as of late the days are nice and warm if the north wind does not howl. If you want a great stillwater experience, you better get up to the lake as soon as possible".


Guide tip: John Baiocchi says"When fishing from the bank, start close and work your way out while fan casting from side to side. If you're not getting takes, then move. Once you find the fish stay put, Don't leave fish to find fish."

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


Pyramid is fishing well this week but mixed reports on size. Most people landing fish in the 18 to 24" range but some larger fish too it just depends on who you are.

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.

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