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Northern California Fly Fishing Report Oct 27, 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 27, 2017

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

American River Steelhead - Poor to Fair but improving. Flows – 2,000 CFS at Natomas.  – high 50's to low 60. Water clarity – Good.

Flows are stable at 2,000 and the middle river has good numbers of half pounder steelhead and larger 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 Water Temp - 66 deg. Water Clarity – Good. 

Right now is the time to go! Give us a ring to get in on the action!

Fall fishing has been exciting for Striper on the Delta so far. This last week the good fishing continued although we had some good days and some closer to what we consider great. 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 in the back sloughs has been good. If you are looking for an adventuresome and unique way to fish the Delta then Kayak fishing may be for you. It is a unique feeling to hook a fish when you paddled yourself out to find it.

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 season is coming to a close. Hatches have been a bit sporadic but include PMD's Calibaetis and Tricos. Midges are also productive this time of year. Fish are starting to head up river towards gravel spawning areas and trying to put on a little weight to get through the winter. 
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. 

Try swinging nymphs in the runs or dredging the pools with a leech or other streamer. 

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 –  Great. 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.

Brian found this handsome hatchery steelhead this week on the Feather.
The Feather has fished really well for our guides recently. This week the fish have gotten a lot bigger and some nice adults to 7+ lbs landed along with the typical half pounders. salmon are on the move and numbers are increasing daily with fish 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 and eggs are the ticket right now. 

Best flies continue to be big Prince Nymphs, Fox’s Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs, and Tungsten Salvations, and oh ya and did we mention lots of eggs! 

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 have maintained at 160 cfs this week and fishing continues to be good throughout the whole river. Hatches up at Hat #2 power house riffle include baetis and small midges, however good fishing is being had on the slicks below all the way to Lake Britton. Having a stonefly in your setup above highway 299 is a good idea. On the slower slick areas a variety of May flies and even some caddis are hatching sporadically. Matching the hatch is critical. 

Best flies continue to be Micro Mays in brown and black, Zebra Midges, Rubber Legs.  Also for dries try Stimulators, Parachute PMD’s, Comparadun PMD, Para Extended Body PMD BWO's 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. Some larger adults coming up and reports of adults hooked in the middle river at Happy Camp. 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 with Mike and J.Z.

For more on the Klamath click here...

McCloud River – Great.  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. Temps warmed this week, but it is definitely time to dig out the waders, beanie and gloves as temps first thing in the morning can be a bit chilly. 

Fishing was great this week. Running an October Caddis dry with a O.C. nymph suspended 24" below has produced good numbers this week. 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 keep ones attention.

Good flies again this week include October Caddis dries and nymphs, Birds Nests, Poopahs, Anatomays, Black Micro Mays, Brown S&M's, and Stimulators. Zonkers, buggers and articulated sculpin 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.  Flows – average, Water temps -  65-67’s. Water clarity – Fair.

Fishing continues to be good on the Napa River this week. The middle and upper sections of the River continue to fish well with fish averaging 20". Bait fish 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 to Great. Flows – 1,100 - 1,500 cfs at Pit #1. Water clarity – Milky

Flows from Lake Britton continue wild fluctuation again this week from 1,100 to 1,500 cfs however fishing continues to be good despite this 500 cfs discrepancy. The good news is that the October Caddis are around and there is some streamer opportunities on the lower river. Pit #3 has been very good, however everything down to Pit #4 has fished pretty well too. Fish are eating Stonefly and Mayfly attractor nymphs presented on the dead drift. 

Expect some really tough wading conditions. There is no flat ground what so ever here. Instead there large holes and drop offs that are virtually invisible. We recommend that anglers not fish the pit alone and bring long a wading belt, wading staff and possible a CO2 personal flotation device. 

Best flies last week were Stimulators, and October Caddis patters like Mercer’s Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Pupae, S&M's, and Foam October Caddis.

Putah Creek – Great! Flows - 200 cfs. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Putah produces some of the largest trout anywhere in California!
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. They are really looking chunky this season and we are happy to be seeing more caddis which had all but disappeared in the last 5 to 6 years.

Fishing has been great this week and 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 Ju ju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May are good along with small caddis. Egg's should be producing shortly as fish are getting closer to the spawn. 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.

Doubles on the Lower Sac are common...doubles on Putah...not so much. What a season were having.
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 more on Putah's big wild rainbows click here...

Russian River - Poor. Flows - 170 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 is back to 170 yesterday.

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. Some Steelhead hooked on the Lower River below Anderson too. Flows are steady at 8,000 and baetis and midges are the only hatches right now. No Salmon on reds yet but we're keeping our fingers crossed. 

Best flies have been Mercer’s Micro May in green and browns, Hogan’s S& M, Mercer’s Missing Link and Birds Nests, and midges.
Guide Tip: "Find a boat and get in it"

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

Upper Sacramento – Good.  Flows – 240 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. The October Caddis are coming off and laying eggs late in the day on the upper river above Dunsmuir. 

Dry droppers rigs with a Caddis adult and either a Caddis pupae, dark stonefly, midge or mayfly will work. Often one must dance the surface fly around to entice takes. Even skating an over sized Goddart's Caddis has elicited strikes this week.

Fall run fish are coming up from the lake too 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. Shad patterns or large articulated streamers are not easy to throw but are producing some really nice fish for those with the patience and skills to make it happen.

Good flies include Mercer's TB October Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Adams, dark stonefly nymphs, Gordon Princes, midge nymphs like a Zebra Midges and birds nests. Don't forget a zonker or some buggers or balanced leaches.

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 changed on the Trinity this week. Water dropped last week to winter low flows of 300 from Lewiston but fishing has been good with best action being at Del Loma. Jon, Brian and Peter have been finding 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. 

Next week were supposed to get some rain which should bump the flows slightly and hopefully pull in some more fish. 

Best flies this week were, Silver Hiltons, Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown or a Copper Assasin. Peter says "Nymphers should try eggs, rubber legs, PT's and Hares Ears". October Caddis, Copper Johns, Psycho Princes 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 – 60 cfs at Truckee,150 cfs at Glenshire bridge, 370 cfs at Boca Bridge, and 400 cfs at Farad. Water Temps. – low 50's. Clarity – a little color. 
Many of the visitors have gone but the locals are in fine form on the Truckee!
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 – 100 cfs at Boca. Water temp. 60’s Clarity – Clear
The Little Truckee continues to fish well this week. Small dark flashy nymphs with a red or natural San Juan Worm produced well again this week on "indo 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, 525 cfs near Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is fishing so so again this week but slowly improving. We caught our first good fish of the season last week (a 17" rainbow that we're still waiting for the photo of). Salmon have been spotted and some are on reds. A few trout being caught but definitely still not red hot by any means. Most have been in the 8  to 14 inch range. Competent casters and anglers can catch half a dozen fish or more. 

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 on warmer days. The standard bobber rings are catching a few fish we had reports again this week of fish eating dries. Try an X Caddis, BWO's, or stimmys with bead head droppers or , eggs and 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. It is a blast to see big fish cruising in shallow water sipping midges. Fish are cruising around on the surface. If you find fish on the Sonar they are not feeding fish. Look for fish that are cruising.

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

Clear Lake Largemouth - Good. Water Temps -  62-67 deg. Clarity 4'+ 

Not much has changed again this week. Conditions glassed out at times last week but the fishing was still good. 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. Fish are 1-7 feet down and the bite was really good this wee. Reports of 40 to 50+ fish in the net! Good fishing should continue through the Fall. Fish can be really aggressive once you locate them. Small clousers with more realistic colors and allot of white and some blue are best. Anything from full intermediate lines to Type 6 shooting heads do the trick depending on the depth where fish are feeding.

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 - 64-66. 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 : 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 - Great! 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: "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 65 deg. Clarity - 4+ ft.

Fishing on Oroville continues to be good again this week. With cooler temps surface action is slowing. It is still good to start 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 and we will use this technique and sinking lines in the coming weeks now that topwater is slowing. Most fish are in the 12 to 13 inch range but opportunities for larger ones.

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 to 10 pounds reported. Winter weather advisory for next week should only improve the action.

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. Don't miss out give us a call today (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.

* 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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