Northern California Fly Fishing Report – August 17, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – August 17, 2016

American River – Fair to Poor Flows – 5,000 CFS at Fair Oaks. Temp. – 57 to 60 Degrees. Water clarity – Very clear

Striper fishing had slowed on the American. First light continues to producing a few blow ups on top-water. Later in the day we’re switching to clousers on type 3 to 6 lines to search all the likely holding areas. Depending on the day, we have been averaging between 6 to 8 fish per rod per trip. Most fish have been small to medium size with a few in the 6 to 7 lb range have been caught. If you are fishing on your own keep moving to find fish and search the likely holding water and then move to the next likely spot. Best flies have been Byng’s Bait fish in white/chartreuse, Toby’s American River Rainbow Clouser and the Stay Hungry Streamer in gray/white.

Our guides are switching gears back to the Delta for smallmouth, largemouth and striper. Stay tuned for Steelhead season on the American.

Delta Stiper- Fiar Water Temp 65-73 degrees. Water Clarity – Good to great. Delta smallmouth/largemouth - Great! Water Clarity – Good to great depending on how many boaters are on the water.

Fishing is good with lots of top water opportunities on poppers for smallmouth & largemouth Bass. When Topwater slows mid-day we have been going subsurface with Clousers & Crawdad patterns to beat the heat. It is so much fun using 4-5wt rods & seeing fish after fish come up & eating Poppers on the surface! The water has been busy but now that school is back in things should settle down and the fishing really take off.

Some “schoolie” striper have begun to show up here as well. It won’t be long before the Fall fish are back in the Delta. They are currently being caught on the beaches outside the Golden Gate and in the Bay.

Guide Tip: ”Throw small poppers in various dark or light colors as well clousers, or try the combo popper streamer dropper"

We will be fishing SMB through the end of September weather permitting but will gradually shift our attention over to striper. Give us a call at the shop at (916)722-1055 or (707)287-2939 to get out with Maury, Bryce and Toby for some memorable Summer and Fall action.

Fall River– Great Flows – Average. Water temps – high 50’s. Visibility - Clear

The Fall River continues to fish well this week. There are still some Hex in the mix but hatches are mostly PMD’s, Callibaetis and Caddis. The Caddis and Hex are coming off in the evenings. Also you may want to give streamers a try. Everything from leaches like the Hale Bopp to damsels. Experiment with a few different things and vary your retrieve to see what they want. Good numphs include Pseudo’s, Hogan’s S & M, and Flagelators. As far as dries try Missing links, Lawsons PMD. For streamers try Halebopp leaches.

Call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info and to set aside your trip.

Feather River – Good Flows – 4,000 through low flow, 10,000 below Thermalito, water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

The Feather has been fishing fairly well this week based on some reports, others a bit slower. Fish seem to still be eating a mix of bugs and egg patterns. Concentrate on the riffles and oxygenated water.

Give us a call at the (707)287-2939 or at the shop to reserve what should be a great Summer on the Feather.

Guide tip: Big Prince Nymphs, Fox Poopahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Childs and Sucker Spawns and eggs have been working.

McCloud River – Great. Flows – 250 at Ah-Di-Na Water temps - High 50’s’s. Water clarity – Good

The McCloud has been fishing well. Water is in great shape and now is a great time to go for a hike. Start early. Our guides reported good visibility in the conservancy section with lots of willing participants bending our client's rods. PMDs, BWOs and other mayflies are still coming off with an increased presence of caddis are what you can expect to see. Some Yellow Sallies and other stones are always on the menu as well. Look for fish eating dries in the shadows early in the morning or once the sun is out of the canyon. Dry dropper is killer this time of year as are streamers in low light.

Hot patterns include Rubber Legs, Poopahs. P.T's Micro Mays, Golden stones, Prince Nymphs, Birds Nests, Elk Hair Caddis and Adams.

Time to go! Give us a call to make a great fly fishing get away weekend. (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055

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

Fishing has been decent recently. Most fish are in the 12 to 16 inch range with is common for this time of year however s fish seem to be getting a bit larger. Some nice ones to 24” were caught last week. Fish chartreuse and white streamers on sinking lines in fast moving water is producing plenty of fish to keep things interesting. We generally switch to 6 or 7 wt rods and away from the trusty 8 wt during this time of year. A shaker striper on a 6 wt still put up a really good fight. Watch for larger tides and fish the moving water on outgoing or incoming tide. We like to focus our efforts early and late in the day when looking for larger fish, however all summer can produce some good numbers of schoolies.
Call Off the Hook Fly Fishing at (707)287-2939 or at the Shop at (916)722-1055 for current reports and conditions.

Putah Creek – Fair Flows - 530 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – 6 to 7 ft visibility

Flows on Putah Creek have climbed back up to 530 cfs again from 500 cfs from. Summer flows can be challenging on Putah as agriculture and power needs grow. Jordan, Rob and our guides have some tricks up their sleeves for success during these high water conditions. Focus on the slower edges instead of right out in the middle of the current. Also remember to use plenty of split shot or you will just fish over their heads and not hook much. For patterns use small midges and Baetis patterns including Tungsten Zebra Midge(black), Mighty Mite Beatis, Hogan’s S & M Nymph (olive), Craves Juju Baetis and Mercer’s Micro May. Focus on the edges this time of year and try slightly larger flies. Hiring a guide on Putah is more important than many of our other waters as they will be indispensible 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. September and October are not far off Fall is what we are all looking forward to. Things will be improving as we get closer. Reserve your Fall Putah trip today.

Guide tip: “make sure you have enough weight on this time of year to get to the bottom. If you’re not hanging up from time to time, you’re not catching fish.”

Russian River - Fair. Flows - 250 CFS at Guernville. Temps - high 60’s. Water clarity – 5 to 6 feet.

Fishing continues to be fair on the Russian for smallies. Clousers and crayfish patters are producing best although top water continues to produce some fish first thing in the morning or late in the evening. Being on the water early is important not to beat the fishermen, as there aren’t really any. It is more about beating the “splash and giggle crowd” of rafters and swimmers. This is not as much topwater fishing like the Delta smallmouth fishery, however if you are in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco area it is a good close option. Give us a call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info or to book a trip.

Lower Sacramento – GREAT! Flows – 10,500 CFS Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear (4ft visibility)

Our guides and guests continue to have great fishing on this great tailwater despite hot weather. Water is high and cold and fishing has been great from above 299 bridge all the way to Jelly’s Ferry despite triple digit air temps. Hydropsyche caddis hatch is going strong. Shane Kohlbeck from the Fly Shop says ”fishing has been consistent all day long with a little bit of dry fly activity the last 30 minutes of daylight. If you spot rises throw on a caddis or Blue Wing Olive dry. Caddis are the main game in town throughout most of the day however. We have been getting some really huge hot fish since the Upper opener on August 1st. If you are looking for a spot to stick some really good size rainbows give us a call.

Guide tip: “Wear lots of sun block and long sleeve breathable clothing. Also bring a bandana and dip it in the ice water in the cooler. Then wrap it around your neck and go hook another football!

Upper Sacramento – Good. Flows – low (260 cfs at Delta) Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear

Fishing on the Upper Sac has been good. Water is crystal clear with decent mayflies and caddis hatches popping throughout the system. Water temps are starting to be an issue however fishing from Simms road up stream should help. There has been some good midge activity as well so you will want to have some dark midge patterns like Zebra Midges under a Bird’s Nests, Prince Nymph or Superfloss Rubberleg. On top of nymphing there is also some dry fly action. Take time to scan the areas of the bank or canyon that provide shade on the water. Look for rising fish in these areas. And target them. It is definitely technical fishing but very fun and rewarding. As temps go up during the day consider heading up river to fish Dunsmuir to Cantara Loop.

Trinity River – Flows 450 Cfs

Things are shaping up for a great Fall on the Trinity River. Our guides are booking up fast! October, November and December are prime time to give Trinity Steelhead a go! Call at (916)722-1055 or at (707)287-2939 for more info and to set aside your fall trip.

Truckee River – Good Flows –500 at Hirschdale, 8,500 CFS at state line. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.

The Truckee continues to fish well. With all the water and hot temps in the valley the river has been a bit crowded. Above Boca it is running at 120 cfs but Boca is spilling in 400 cfs of ice cold water. Nymphing continues to produce best although streamers have been getting some nice quality fish this week. If you lack the patience to swing, fish a big dark stonefly with some shot under an indicator. Non descript stoneflies, and larger mayfly have been working as well. A drag free drift is really the key. Whether you are high sticking the pockets or fishing a nice long run, it is critical that the fly drift right along with the current speed. Those who are proficient at the necessary techniques are being rewarded with some nice fish.

Guide Tip: Dan says “Head down below Bocca where cold water is making happy fish”

Little Truckee River – Good Flows –28 cfs Water temp. high 60’s Clarity – good

The Little Truckee has been fishing well too although it is clear and very low. Carpenter ants continue to produce, as well as small dries like Adams and Elk Hair Caddis. Be careful on your approach, keep a low silhouette and go small with your tippet especially if you are having a hard time getting fish to eat.
Give us a call to escape the Sacramento heat and catch some nice wild fish!

Yuba River Trout– Good Flows – 1,600 at Highway 20 bridge, 650 CFS at Marysville. Water Temps - 60’s. Clarity – Clear

The Yuba is fishing well from highway 20 down for trout as well as below Daguerre for trout and striper. From Highay 20 down to the dam trout are chowing fairly well. Pmd nymphs are producing although hatches of them have slowed. Caddis have been coming off in the evening. A few fish have been eating dark caddis dries, but standard nymphs have produced best. Try swinging a streamer if nothing else is happening.

Below Daguerre were still having 20 to 30 fish days on both trout and striper. Stripers are mostly in the 4 to 5 lb range although some fish in the 7+ lb range have been landed this week.

Guide tip: “If you leave early you may miss a short window of caddis activity just before dark”

Yosemite Area

Mokolumne River - Fair to Good As the days get shorter trout will gather near the Dam, start early to minimize heat and reduce fish mortality rates due to warmer water. The “Upper Moke” is fishing well. Dry droppers with Stimulators and Caddis are working best.

Stanislaus River - Fair to Good Rafters are in full swing right now so watch the flows. The south fork is fishing very well. Try Yellow Sallies and Hare’s Ears. The middle fork above Twain Hart is fishing well too but Kennedy Meadows has seen lots of pressure recently.

Guide tip: Rick Mazaira says “Check out the Herring Creek and the inlet to Lyons!”

Tuolomne River - Middle Fork and South fork Good to Great Give these both a try. Subsurface caddis and midges are working well. As far as dries go give a Caddis, Parachute Adams or Yellow Sally dries a go.

Merced River – Good to Fair El Portal is slowing down. There is a shift happening right now so focus on the cooler parts of the day and nymphing has been producing best. The Lower Merced - Fair This section has lots of pike minnows and suckers. When you do catch a rainbow and if it happens to have a tracking tag on it treat it with extra care as it is a rescue fish. Keep it in the water!

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

(877)228-2477 (707)287-2939

© 2008 - 2011 Off the Hook Fly Fishing Travel

11427 Angler Ave. Whitmore Ca California 96096 | 1.707.287.2939 - Cell 1.530.242.4122 - Office |