Northern California Fly Fishing Report – April 7, 2017

Best bets, Truckee, Delta or Pyramid Lake.

American Steelhead – Poor Flows 8,500 cfs Water Temp high 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – Off color

Steelhead fishing continues to be challenging on the American due to high water. Our guides were out two weeks ago and landed some fish but it has been scratching and clawing for them. Recent rains have the flows even higher than last report. Nymphing has fished best on the periphery. It is still not safe wading at this point. We don’t recommend wading above 3,500 cfs and even drifts can be a bit sketchy.
Steelheading is tapering off and it may not come back in shape in time to fish again this year. All the water is good for future fishing so we can’t complain.

Delta Stiper – Fair Water Temp high 50’s degrees. Water Clarity – Muddy

Striper fishing continues to be challenging on the Delta although we’re still getting enough fish each trip to keep things interesting. Captain Bryce Tedford had nearly 30 fish in the boat recently! Most keepers have been 3 to 5 lbs with an occasional 6 to 9 lber. This recent rain will again make the water cold and a bit muddy. A day or two after this rain stops good fishing will resume. Weather can be great one day and terrible the next. Watch the report and shoot for good weather after a couple rain free days. Our guides have been burning quite a bit of gas to get to fish but it’s been worth it. We have been running floating, intermediate and sinking lines recently with success on all. Bill Beckett says that dark flies with rattles have been fishing well for him for largemouth bass. Best bet has been at the ends of the dead end sloughs. We will need some more warm weather without cold rainwater coursing in for largemouth to be a thing.

Smallmouth fishing on the Northern Delta is still not doable as the Sacramento is still blown out. For now we suggest focusing on striper. Best flies for them have been clousers in Chartreuse/White or baby blue and white. Rattles can help fish find flies in muddy water.

With all the water it is going to be a good year on the Delta!

Guide tip: Find clean water and you will find fish.

Call now to reserve your Spring days for April and May with Maury, Bryce and Toby.

Feather River Steelhead – Poor. Flows
Napa River – Poor to Fair. Flows – average, Water temps - 60’s. Water clarity – Stained

Some really good fish were caught again this week on the Napa River. Recent rains will put things off for a little while though. The river usually needs at least 3 to four days without heavy rain for fishing to pick back up. Move around to find cleaner water and pods of fish.

Stay hungry streamer or clouser type patters are working best but it is mostly about finding clearer water and pods of fish than anything.

We are looking forward to good Spring and Summer fishing in the Napa Valley. Stay tuned for updated reports, or give us a call at (707)287-2939 for current information.

Putah Creek – Poor to Fair Flows – 900 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Green

Flows on Putah Creek dropped to 750 two days ago but are back up to 900 cfs due to recent rainfall. Water is high as a result of the glory hole spilling over and will probably continue to do so for at least a few more days with this recent rains. This has been a welcome sight as it has blown out much of the heavy siltation caused by two summers of fires and the deposits from two subsequent heavy runoff years. We are catching some nice fish but fishing is not red hot by any means due to high water.

Try fishing larger Pheasant tail nymphs, Blue Wing Olive nymphs under an indicator. Midges and San Juan worms are also a good idea. With higher water you should start with #14 and #16 instead of going straight to 18# and 20#’s
Good spring fishing should be just around the corner, so Reserve your Spring Putah trip today! Call us at (707)287-2939 or at the shop at (916)722-1055.
Guide tip: “Wade carefully and a wading staff and inflatable life jacket would be wise this time of year.”

Pyramid Lake Cutthroat - Good. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – 6 to 8 feet

It has been a strange year at pyramid. From fires and floods, to newly formed points and bowls around the waters edge; a lot has changed this year but we are on the uphill climb and the future is looking bright. With the big influx of freshwater the lake is continuously on the rise. The lake is averaging a vertical inch a day with much more water to come through summer. That being said, the surface water temps are still much cooler than the recent past seasons during this time of year, occasionally reaching a 3-4 degree difference. Which may not seem like much to us but it is the fish. Usually this time of year we start to see the big pods of cruisers in the shallows at most of the beaches getting into spawn mode. As of recent these visible cruisers have been few and far between in comparison again to the past seasons. We can take that thought too far and think the fish aren't close, because they are. During certain parts of the day we notice the bite moving in and out. So be sure to try fishing far out and in close and see where cruising lanes are.

As far as flies and techniques the indicator and "no cator" bite has been the most productive of the fishing. Midges and nymphs in black, wine, and red have been great. A very close competitor has been the balanced leech in black olive and grey. Vary your depths through the day to find the feeding fish. Stripping has been good with darker flies in the lower light and brighter flies during the day. A contrast of a black and a white fly combo is the best start. The beaches are changing fairly rapidly so please be careful wading even in the familiar spots. Again, fish hard with confidence and you will be rewarded. Don't get discouraged, wait for the schools of fish to come and take advantage of all opportunity. The right attitude makes all the difference. John Gierach was just recently out at the lake for a week with us at Pyramid Fly Company and saw how much having the right attitude makes a difference when fishing pyramid. We believe the fish have a keen sense for bad attitude. So leave your problems behind and come have a blast chasing monster fish dreams are made of. On one of our recent trophy pursuit guide trips this week, our clients had 5 fish over 10lbs. It's been great fishing and time to get out!

Now is the time to go fish Pyramid! Call today to reserve one of our top guides on this amazing fishery. The fish of a lifetime awaits… Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055

Russian River Steelhead - Poor Flows – Too high but dropping. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 1 foot of visibility but clearing.

This may sound familiar…”the Russian was just coming into shape again last week when it blew out again due to this recent storm.” Arghh! It happened again! We are hoping for a crack at the Russians steelhead this season, but are not sure if it is going to happen.
Regardless, all this water has allowed many steelhead to spawn in peace and will also provide some great summer smallmouth fishing.

Give us a call at (707)287-2939 for more info on getting on the call list for when the Russian is firing or to chase Spring and Summer Smallmouth.

Lower Sacramento – Poor Flows – 10,000 CFS at Keswick. Temps - Low 50’s. Water clarity – “Brownish green”

The Lower Sac is fishing, albeit not excellent. Flows are 10k so wading is out of the questions. Even drifting should be left to the pros as currents are strong and there is new debris in the river that can ruin one’s day.

Water clarity (pre storm) was about 20-22" and brownish-green however we are expecting 3+ inches of rain this weekend. Sunday should be nicer weather, but not sure the fishing conditions will be on the same page with this new system coming in to dump so much more water. We’re really just not sure what will happen but have our fingers crossed.

Fishing yesterday guide Shane Kohlbeck had a single angler, half day - 15+ hooked. Almost all on egg patters.
He says “this is not the time of year for 'fly' purists.....as hatches are almost non-existent. A PMD here, a Caddis there. Stone shucks are on bridge pillars and streamside brush, but hatching at dusk/dark so zero dry action right now. It is fishing, but if I were to only fish it a day or two all Spring on the L.SAC, now wouldn't be that time. Give it a week or so following this rain and things should be good to go. Also remember once the water comes down and fish get on the spawn to please leave the spawners in the shallows alone to do their thing.

Book your Spring days now by calling (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.

Trinity River – Poor (True steelhead fishing) Flows – 1,500 cfs out of Lewiston, 2,500 cfs at Douglas City. Temps – Low 50’s. Clarity – stained.

With high flows all the way up through Lewiston the Trinity is all but done for the season. It was a good one when rain allowed us to fish. While it wasn’t about numbers (as steelheading rarely is) we definitely had guests on some really good sized fish this year. We will be looking forward to the Summer Salmon fishing and then Stealhead showing up in September.

Give us a ring to set aside your fall dates to chase steelhead on the Trinity. Call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.

Truckee River – Fair to Good Flows – 1,500+cfs in town, 5,000 at Boca. Water Temps. – Low 50’s. Clarity – clear to murky.

This winter has been one of the best fishing winters on the Truckee in recent memory. The weather has been cold, but fishing on the river recently continues to be good. Access to the river continues to be good as some of the snow has melted with the last storm’s warmer rain. Decent numbers of rainbows, browns and whitefish are being caught with chances at some really nice fish. Recent rains have the river climbing right now, but it should plateau and start coming down Sunday.

Nymphing and streamers have been the ticket. There isn’t much dry fly action right now. Hopefully in a couple weeks or so the Skwalas will kick in, but for now it’s down and dirty. Try San Juan Worms, squirmy worms, skwalas or stones. Get your flies down and fish them slow.

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

Yosemite Area - Poor

This weekend’s storm is expected to drop 4” of rain in some parts of the Yosemite Area.' of rain expected, narrow windows of opportunity so get out and enjoy when you can. As always check still water opportunity with some hungry brood stock. For now it is a waiting game for things to drop back into shape. We are hoping to get back out and fish in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned…

Mokelumne- 4,980 CFS- Too big to fish, best to stay away.

Stanislaus- 1,900 CFS - Too high to float.

Tuolumne - 10,000 CFS - Stay out of the current- VERY High flows, hard to access both banks.

Merced- 4,300 below Briceburg - 4,660 Crocker Huffman- still too high to drift.

Yuba River Trout – Poor Flows – 2,100 cfs Water Temps – Mid 50’s. Clarity – Slight color.

We have nicknamed the Yuba the Newba recently! It has totally changed with the high flows. Water was at 4,100 but recently spiked today(4/7/17) to 4,500. Our guides have been out exploring but only a few fish to hand. The last time the Yuba blew out like this it took months to come back and didn’t quite fish the same for a couple seasons. We are optimists by nature as fly fishers so we are hoping for the best and not getting to fish the Yuba for a while is a willing trade for excess water and what it means for the state as a whole. The river has changed drastically so we will have to wait and get reacquainted with this beloved fishery once she comes back to us.

Nymphing with Skwala stones, march browns, and San Juan Worms should produce best.

Guide tip: “wait until the Yuba drops below 1,000 cfs or go fish the Truckee or Pyramid!”

Coastal Steelhead

There are several coastal rivers that are in shape and we are hooking some nice fish. If you are interested please call us for updates or to book your dance with destiny. Some folks say wild California steelhead are rare like white unicorns. We can agree that seeing and cradling a wild steelhead briefly before watching her swim away is definitely memorable. We would love to make memorable happen for you. Call (707)287-2939 and we will do our best to make it a reality.

Thanks for checking out the report. Feel free to share it and email your own personal reports to info@offthehookflyfishing.com.
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