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Northern California Fly Fishing Report Sept. 29, 2017

Northern California Fly Fishing Report Sept. 29, 2017

Best Bets: McCloud, Upper Sac, Pit River or Truckee – Trout, Delta - Striper, Trinity - Swinging for half pounders and adult steelhead and Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat.


American River Striper - Poor. Steelhead - Poor but improving Flows – 3,470 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. Water flows dropped slightly this week and the river cooled a bit as well. There are  few less in the system this week. Some shakers still being caught and an occasional adult. It has been a good year here for striper on the American so we cant really complain.

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.

Even more immediately pertinent are the steelhead that are trickling in to the system. It is still early but we are seeing good signs. Usually it isn't until early to Mid October is when things start to get good. 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.


Clear Lake Largemouth - Good. Water Temps - 80-88 Degrees. Clarity 6" - 1 ft

Not much has changed this week. Fishing is still good on Clear Lake. Most fish are 1-2.5lbs 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!


Delta Striper- Fair to Good and Improving Water Temp - Mid 60's.  Water Clarity – Good.

North Delta Smallmouth Good. Water Temp - Low 60's. Central Delta Largemouth - Good. Water Clarity – Good to cloudy. Temp- Mid to high 60's in Mid Delta.

The black and orange is bait and stripers!!!

This is one of our favorite times of the year on the Delta. Water cooled by a couple degrees throughout most of the Delta recently and these warm days and cool nights signal great things at hand and more to come. Right now there is still some good smallmouth fishing on the North Delta while the central part is filling up with aggressive small fish that are boiling on threadfin shad. Targeting these fish is ideal for teaching those new to the striper game. There are some nice largemouth being caught by our guides as well. Captain Maury Hatch says "we've been hooking 6 to 10 a day without really targeting them. As far as striper go fishing is getting better every day and October and November are shaping up to be a very good this year. Captain Bryce Tedford says "there is plenty of bait and reports of stripers coming into the Bay bode well for the Delta to keep getting better." There are some big fish too in the mix to keep our attention as well. The trick is getting the flies through to them past the small fish according to Maury. "We are using standard small chartreuse/white Clousers to match the size of the shad in the deeper water and bluegill colored flies in the shallows, tules and weed beds. Go shallow for the pigs and look for diving terns and gulls to find the schoolies. Find a boat and get out there NOW through Christmas." We couldn't agree more.

Fall dates are booking up rapidly 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 – Poor to Fair Flows – slightly above average. Flows - high. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear

The Fall River continues to fish so so but we are anticipating an uptick here shortly. Part of the problem is hatches of PMD’s and Calibaetis and BWO's have been sporadic. Anglers are starting the day nymphing but when adults begin to emerge we have been switching to dries. Some mid day dry fly activity however most fish caught have been small. Cooler and over cast days should bring out more Baetis so this should help. Stay tuned.

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 –  Fair but improving Flows – 800 through "low flow" and 7,000 in "high". Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

The Feather is fishing fair but continues to slowly improve. Rain this winter has drastically changed this river. 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. Brian Clemens says “most fish are in the 2-5 lb range but this will change shortly”. The yearly salmon migration is increasing daily and fish are moving into the low flow section so fishing should improve. 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 Fall River click here...


Hat Creek  – Good.  Flows – 160 CFS at Old Station, Water clarity – Clear

Flows came up 10 cfs this week on Hat Creek 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 include; 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 – Poor but improving soon. Flows 1,000 cfs below Irongate

Fishing continues to be so so on the Klamath. Most fish are either 'half pounders" or "tweeners" however with these flows it wont be long before larger adult fish begin pushing up river.

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 – 275 CFS at Ah-Di-Na , 280 cfs from McCloud Reservoir, Water temps -  High 60’s. Water clarity – Good

Brian "Bucko" Theriot has been putting anglers on nice browns like this recently.

We are finally transitioning into cooler weather after a blazing hot summer. We have had 80 degree weather the past couple days, but that is soon to change to high 60s and low 70s starting today.  We will even see mid 30s as the low for night time temps here coming up. We will finally have to start wearing our waders consistently now with the cooler temps. As the fishing goes, Fall is our favorite time of the year to be on this magnificent river. We have the big October caddis hatch coming up and I have never seen so many October caddis cases on the river bottom as I did this summer says "Bucko". "Get ready for a big hatch! On the McCloud, 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 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 should be just around the corner.

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


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

Fishing continues to be good 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 but some nice fish in the 5 to 7 lb range landed down lower again this week. Still, a shaker striper on a 6 wt will put up a really good fight. The lower river has been dirty but some larger fish have been caught down there. Clouser style flies with some dark contrasted with white/olive, gray/white etc. in 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.

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...

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

Fishing on Oroville continues to be really good for topwater. It has been a great summer 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...


Pit River – Good Flows – 350 cfs. Water clarity – Milky

The Pit River is fishing well again this week. This is partially due to water flows stabilizing coming from Lake Britton and the return of the October Caddis. Now is the time to go.

Best flies are Stimulators, and October Caddis patters like Mercer’s Tungsten October Caddis, Moorish October Pupae, and Foam October Caddis.


Putah Creek – Good Flows - 340 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – clear.

Putah Creek produces some amazing fish. Here guide Rob Russell gently hoists a wild trophy!


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. Flows on the Creek are stabilized at 340 cfs as of this report. This has been a great summer on Putah and the prime time is just getting started. 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 daily.

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 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.”

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

Pyramid Lake NV – Soon

Trophy trout hunters around the country are licking their chops waiting for the season the opener of the fabled Pyramid Lake on this Sunday October 1st. Some of us would rather fish than watch the NFL anyways. Now is the time to get your trips in order and plan to get out for what we are expecting to be one of the best seasons to date. With almost 11 vertical feet of water since January there will be many changes to the lake all for the good.  The fresh water creates a large influx of the Tui Chub population. The rise of surface elevation will create all new beaches and areas to fish. It also put a better cushion from creeping up on low water marks and high PH levels.

Fishing the season opener can be a little different than the majority of the season. Finding the bait (tui chub) will be key to a very successful day. A lot of the trout that are in shallow water (20 feet and up) will be keying in on chasing the schools of the tui chub and the fly patterns to match. Suggestive bait fish patterns will be the bread and butter for the first few weeks of the season. Clousers, streamers, jigs and of course balanced bait fish. Some essential patterns would be Captain Robs balanced tui chub, the suspending tui chub, and all balanced leech patterns in olive, white, black and grey from our friends at  Air Flo Sinking Lines and a 5 foot long, 15 lb test fluorocarbon leader paired with any of these flies will put you in the part of the water column you need to be. For rods, a 7 wt or an 8 wt is highly recommended. When heading out to opener a flotation device (pontoon boat/float tube) is never a bad idea and could also make the difference between a good or so so day on the water. Key beaches to fish are Shot Dog, Blockhouse, Warrior Point, and Pelican Point. Concentrate on the beaches with deep water close by.

Crosby Lodge is your one stop shop for all your permits, gas, food, a complete fly shop and all your tackle needs. If you need any help and have questions give us a call at the Shop at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939.

While we are aware that Pyramid Lake is not in Northern California but actually in Nevada we feel fortunate to have it right over the hill from the shop and can't wait to get out there this Sunday.

For more on this world class fishery click here...


Russian River - Fair Flows - 140 CFS at Healdsburg. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.

Fishing was good again this week for Russian smalleys. We are at the end of the season unfortunately as there is a low water closure on October 1st to allow for Salmon to spawn un molested. It has been 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 – Fair to Good, Striper - Fair Flows – 9,000+ CFS at Keswick. Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (5 ft visibility)

The Lower Sac continues to fish a little slow this week from Redding to Anderson for trout. The Lower Sac on a slow day is still more productive that many rivers here in California. It is mostly Caddis and Baetis 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 warm back up to the 90’s this week and is now supposed to cool back down. We will see how that plays into hatches and fishing, 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: Utilize quick and long sharp strips mixed with long slow ones with pauses will increase your chances.

Read more about the Lower Sac here...


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

Fishing on the Upper Sac is fishing fair to good throughout the whole river. Try dry droppers rigs, tight line high stick nymphing and indicator nymphing on both rivers to have the most success. 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 accoring 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 away.

Good flies include Parachute Adams, dark stonefly and midge nymphs, Birds Nests, Princes Chubby Chernobyls, and October Caddis nymphs and dries soon.

For more on the Upper Sac click here...

Trinity River – Fair and improving Flows –450 at Below Lewiston dam,  fluctuating slightly 490 to 500 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – Good

The Trinity continues to produce a few steelhead the last week. There was a good push of fish in the system a while back including jack salmon and steelhead. They are taking swung flies pretty well still so this is a good time to get out and practice the swing and get tuned up for Fall. The best fishing has been on the lower river as opposed to up top.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. It is a good time to go now before the crowds show up soon. Expect a few half-pounders and 1 to 2 adults is possible per day. This will be the place to be later this Fall for sure but anglers heading up now are being rewarded with some decent fishing already.

Best flies this week were Tiny Dancer, Hobo Spay and Anderson’s Euphoria in Chartreuse or Brown.

To give Trinity Steelheading a go call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939. Fall dates are going fast so don’t delay.

For more about Trinity River steelhead click here...


Truckee River – Great  Flows – 85 at Truckee,150 at Glenshire bridge, 300 cfs at Boca, and 600 cfs in canyon. Water Temps. – low 50 to low 60’s. Clarity – a little color. 

Fall is officially here in the high country. Subsequently fishing has been good in the Truckee area. "Weather is cooling, crowds are thinning and fish are doing their best to fatten up for winter" says Dan LaCount. Fishing will be good this weekend and coming weeks but dress warm and plan for snow. Fishing is prime right now with good flows From the Lake down.

Hatches have included BWO's Caddis, Midges and even some October Caddis skittering about.

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

For more on the Truckee click here...


Little Truckee River  Great  Flows – 100 CFS Water temp. 60’s Clarity – good

The Little Truckee has been fishing pretty well too. Flows had dropped to 15 cfs for some work on culverts however they are back to 100 which is perfect. 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 are int he mix as well making for some fun fishing.

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.

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


Yuba River Trout – Fair Flows – 1,100 Below Englebright. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear


The Yuba is fishing so so. The fish are all small and skinny this year however are eating pretty well and range from 8  to 14 inches. Fish over 15" are pretty scarce right now. The water is finally down and waders are having some success. Competent 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. There are not a ton of bugs in the 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.

Some salmon sighted this week so keep that in mind going forward and add eggs into the mix once they become more prevalent on the river. 

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...

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