Northern California Fly Fishing Report - June 1, 2016

Northern California Fly Fishing Report – May 1, 2016

American River – Fair to Good Flows - 4,000 CFS at Fair Oaks. Temp. – 53 Degrees. Water clarity – Very clear

Striper are in the lower American although this trip is best suited to the advanced level caster. Clear water is rewarding the long throws and a quiet hunting approach occasionally with some large fish. It isn’t happening every day but there is always a chance at a trophy. First light has been producing some blow ups on topwater.

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 10 to 20 fish per rod per trip. Most fish have been small to medium size up to 5 lbs. We’ve heard reports of up to 40 fish caught on some days.

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.

Shad are being caught throughout the American. They are spread out a bit below Gris Mill but a bit thicker up stream. The middle of the day is traditionally not all that productive for shad however early in the morning and especially the evening have been producing well this week. Try swinging traditional shad flies (stop by the shop for a list of the hot flies) or if you are all about numbers fishing them under an indicator is also producing well.

We have been doing evening shad trips which include 3+ hours of fishing for $200. Call the shop at (916)722-1055 or Off the Hook fly fishing directly at (707)287-2939 to set up a striper or shad trip on the American.

Delta Stiper - Fair Water Temp 56-60 degrees. Water Clarity – Good to great. Smallmouth/largemouth - Good

There are still some stripers being caught first thing in the morning on our trips in the delta but they are almost exclusively “schoolies” so we have shifted our focus to bass for the summer. We had several reports of decent largemouth bass fishing this last week. Most fish were caught on streamers in the central part of the Delta around Franks Tract. Our guides have actually been focusing on the smallmouth bass fishing. These trips are ideal for the entry level fly angler. Light rods and short casts produce many surface grabs that can reward the angler with up to 20 to 40+ fish in a day. These 5 hour trips are close to Sacramento and done primarily on the small protected sloughs in the Delta. Making many casts throwing poppers to the bank against the rocks really helps the novice angler hone their skills. Maury’s advanced anglers who also love this fishery refer to it as "target practice." This summer fishery is off to a great start and we had several great outings last week. We will be chasing these bronze beauties all summer long. “It’s just pure fun catching so many fish on topwater with 4 – 5 weight fly rods an hour from San Francisco and Sacramento on the Ca Delta” according to Bryce Tedford. We totally agree Bryce!

Guide Tip: Throw small poppers in various dark or light colors as well clousers in chartreuse/white, olive/white and orange/white for best results.

We will be fishing SMB all summer. 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 SMB action.

Feather River – Good. Flows – 1750 through low flow, 2,500 below Thermalito, water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – clear

Swinging and nymphing has been producing good numbers of fish this week. One of our boats had 25 fish in the net Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend! There are some salmon in the system as well right now so keep that in mind. Fishing bugs is working but you will want to have an egg in your set up for sure.

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 Pupahs, Micro Mays, Copper Johns, Red Headed Step Child and Sucker Spawns and eggs have been working. Fish are throughout the system, so don’t just key in on one spot or even one section.

Napa River – Fair. Flows – average, Water temps - low 60’s. Water clarity – Fair

Fishing has been so-so. Most fish reported last week were in the 16 to 24” range. This is typical for this time of year. Fish chartreuse or white streamers on sinking lines in moving water. Watch for larger spring tides and fish the moving water on outgoing or incoming tide. We like to focus our efforts early and late in the day for larger fish, however summer days from the 4th on 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 - 600 CFS. Temps - high 50’s. Water clarity – Slightly off color

Flows on Putah Creek have climbed to 600 cfs from just over 400 in the last three days in response to summer agricultural usage. Once it stabilizes it should improve. Jordan, Rob and our guides have some tricks up their sleeves for success during these high water conditions. The water is still a little off color due to all the siltation following the heavy rains and last summer’s fire.

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. If you find murky water go dark with your flies and a little larger size to combat it. Or, hire one of our guys to help 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 you’re not catching fish.”

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

Many people are unaware that the Russian River is a good smallmouth fishery during the summer months. We fish it via walk and wade as well as drift boat although the latter is mostly for transportation from hole to hole. Clousers and crayfish patters are producing best although you may want to try top water first thing in the morning or late in the evening soon. It 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 – 6,500 CFS Temps - low 50’s. Water clarity – clear

The Lower Sac continues to fish very well although flows and hot weather may put a slight damper on things soon. We’ve had reports that flows are supposed to go up to 8,000 shortly. This along with temps over 100 degrees may have an impact on things. The stonefly hatch has slowed so rubber leg stones are not the best producing bug every day anymore. PMD’s, Yellow Sallies and Caddis are all working along with stones pretty evenly. One day one is best, the other it is one of the others. Keep changing flies until you get it figured out. Shane Kohlbeck likes to ditch the bobber and “fish a dry dropper this time of year. With this setup, at the right place and right time one can do well on the Sac without bobbers and lots of lead. Casting is actually fun again!”

Guide tip: Effective patterns have been Rubberlegs, G6 Caddis, Nitro Caddis, Tung Psycho Mays, Speronie’s Beatis.
Truckee River – Fair to Good Flows –800 at Hirschdale, 1,000 CFS at state line. Water Temps. – low 60’s. Clarity – a little color.

The Truckee has been fishing pretty well with lots of water for the first time in years. The canyon on down has been s little off color but should clear up pretty well by this weekend. Even with high flows and being slightly off color it continues to produce some quality fish. 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. Nondescript stoneflies, and larger mayfly yhave been working as well.

Guide tip: Fish a 9 ½ to 10 foot rod to high sticking and mending easier.

Little Truckee River – Fair Flows –375 Water temp. high 50’s Clarity – good

The little Truckee is fishing fair. Nymphing with San Juan Worms and PMD nymphs has been working best. The carpenter ants have started to show so by this weekend it would be good to tie one on. Our spring bookings are looking really good this year on the Truckee with all the water. That said, we still have plenty of guide days open and we would love to get you out. Give us a call to escape the Sacramento heat and catch some nice wild fish!

Yuba River – Poor Flows – 2,100 CFS at Marysville. Water Temps - mid 50’s. Clarity – fairly clear

The Yuba continues to fish very slow. We just aren’t seeing the numbers of fish that we normally would this time of year. We’re starting to see a few bugs but most days have been tough. While we will never complain about all the water we have had, it has had an effect on the fishing. The heavy rains have scoured the bottom and roughed up the insect population and moved some of the fish down and out of their normal hangouts. Several years ago when we had flood stage on the Yuba the same thing happened and it didn’t fish well until the fall when the Salmon brought with them the “egg hatch”.

If you simply must go do not try to wade. It is still dangerous. Fish the slower edges and seams with Stones and caddis. Perhaps wait until the flows come down a bit.

Guide tip: There are plenty of other fisheries that are producing well here in Northern California as alternatives to the Yuba.

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