Northern California Fly Fishing Report - April, 2018

Best Bets: Lower Sacramento or Putah Creek - trout, Sierra Foothill Lakes and Lake Almanor - Trout. Pyramid Lake - Cutthroat.

Spring has sprung...or so we thought. The North State received quite a bit of rain over the last 24 hours and rivers are on the rise all across the state. This will adversely affected the fishing on the short run on virtually all our rivers, but be a very good thing come summer. Instead of fishing come join us Fly Fishing Specialties for our free barbecue from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00. Ten to 50% off and top reps from your favorite fly companies will be on hand. See you there!

American River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 25,000 cfs at Natomas. Water Temps - Mid 50's Clarity - 2 ft. visibility.

Flows spiked from around 9,000 to over 25,000 cfs on the American in the last 24 hours! This has put the skids on things and it is anyone's guess as to when things will come back into shape and if it will be before the end of the run. this river isn't really worth fishing unless it is down closer to 3,500. Time to do some tying or binge watch Monster truck videos on Youtube. We need the rain though so it's all good.

Nymphs: Birds Nests 10 -14, Copper Johns, Black or Olive Poopahs and Princes 14 -16. Micro Mays 14 to 18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6 - 10 and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine)

Swinging: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Hartwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, and Blood Sucking Leaches.
Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055 to give the American a whirl.

Delta Striper - Fair. Water temp 55 to 57 degrees. Clarity - Terrible

Delta striper fishing has been more of a challenge this week with dirtier water from the recent rains. This storm is going to put a kabosh on things for a little while. There are a fair amount of fish int he system so as the water clears over the next week the catching should improve. April and May are shaping up to be prime striper months again so make some time to get in on the action.

Streamers: Byng's Baitfish, Angel's Chartreuse and White, Angels Delta Danger and Angel's Smolt.

Guide Tip: "In dirty water we have been using 3 -5" Rattle Clousers in various colors such as chartreuse over white or Black/Purple over Chartreuse. This last one being nest in dirty water. Get out there once weather clears in the coming weeks.
For more on the Delta click here...

Feather River - Poor. Flows - 25,000 cfs from Oroville. Temperature - low 50's. Clarity - Clear.
Fishing on the Feather had been fair for some and good for others recently up until the last 24 hours when it went from under 5,000 to over 25,000. Things will be on hold big time until flows get straightened out. Once it does fish big dark patterns and San Juan Worms.

Nymphs: San Juan Womrs, Prince Nymphs 14 -16, Birds Nests and Copper Johns 10 -14. Black, Green, and Tan BH Caddis Poopahs 14-16, Red Headed Step Child, Tungsten Salvation 14-16 and Micro Mays 14-18, Brown or Black Rubber Legs 6-10, Cheese Micro Spawn and eggs ( Peachy King, Roe and Tangerine )

Swinging Flies: Silver Hiltons, Anderson's Classic, Fly Fishing Specialties Alevin, Anderson Euphoria, Heisenberg, Green Butt Skunk, Falken's Tiny Dancer, Harwick's Purple Hilton, Hobo Spey, Intruders, Perpetrators, Beach Bums, and Blood Sucking Leaches.

For more on Feather steelhead click here...

Napa River - Poor. Water Temps - 50- 53 degrees. Water Clarity - stained.

Fishing had begun to pick up a bit in conjunction with warmer weather however all of that ended yesterday with a spike in flows due to the rain. Adult fish will begin to spawn in the upper river. April and May are all great months on the Napa and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Delta. Best bets will be heavy sinking lines T - 11 to T - 14 with 1 to 2/0 dark patterns with rattles retrieved low and slow in the upper river.

Streamers: Black/gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0 to 2/0, Chart/white and gray/white Stay Hungry Streamers - 1/0, Angel's Sexy Shad and Angel's chart/white - 1/0, Gray/white Flash Tail Whistler - 1/0.

For more info on the Napa River click here...

Putah Creek - Good. Flows - 140 cfs. Clarity - Decent.

Putah has started off well so far this season pretty well. Flows ironically dropped slightly this week and we continue to find some really healthy fish on this local gem. Fishing the small stuff continues to pay off. BWO's and midges are the go to's, but some solid fish were charging after caddis this week too. Tight line or indicator nymphing are the two main ways to fish here. Takes can be very subtle and if you aren't hanging up occasionally then you aren't fishing deep enough.

If you live in San Francisco, the Bay Area or Sacramento and if you like catching big wild fish then this is one you need to learn. Fishing is prime and will continue to fish well prior to the Summer flow hike sometime in May. Time to go.

For more info on Putah Creek click here...

Russian River Steelhead - Poor. Flows - 2,000 at Healdsburg. Temps - high 50's. Water clarity - murky but dropping.

With recent rain water spiked this will probably do her in for the rest of the season. It has been nice to find some fish on the swing this year on this storied river. Looking forward to next season. Now it's time to go hunt smallmouth starting in late April or May.

To get on our Steelhead call list for next year on the Russian or target spring smallmouth please call (707)287-2939.

Lower Sacramento Trout - Good. Flows 3,200 cfs out of Keswick. Water Temps - Lower 50's. Clarity - Clear (7 to 8 feet visibility)

Things are still good again this week on the Sac despite the rain. Water is still quite low and very wade-able. Caddis and PMD's and even some BWOs continue to hatch sporadically one day vs. the next. Some days hatching in great numbers some days a little more sparingly. Regardless this is a great time to be on the river. Best action has been from noon to 3 p.m.

Nymphs: Best flies have been Birds Nests (beaded and non) 14-16. Peaches and Cream 14-16, X Mays, Hogans S&M and Mercers Micro May in 16 to 18 (black and olive producing best). Copper Johns 16-18 Black and Brown Rubber legs 6-10, Amber Wing Prince - 16,

Dries: Light Cahill 14 - 16, Parachute Light Cahill 14 to 16, Elk Hair Caddis, 14 to 16, Hackle Stacker PMD 14 - 16, Lawson's PMD 14 to 16

Guide tip: Lower Sac fish are notorious for the lightest of takes. Fish will mouth small flies and spit them out without any visible hints transferred up the line to the indicator. Often guests will turn and look at the guide and ask "was that a fish?" after a slight pause or just the lightest of "tick" visible on the indicator. Set on everything! We recommend you set first ask questions later.

Give us a ring to get out for a memorable trip by calling (707)287-2939 or emailing us at

For more on the Lower Sac click here...

Trinity River Steelhead - Fair to Poor. Flows - 340 cfs out of Lewiston, 1,000 cfs at Douglas City. Clarity - clear to cloudy

Fishing is winding down on the Trinity for the season. It has been a decent year all things considered. We had to work a bit for our fish this year, but some quality angling was had and we have some good memories to tuck away for anther day. A big thank you to those who fished with us this season up there. Looking forward to next time.

For more on Trinity steelheading click here...

Truckee River - Fair. Flows 2,000+ cfs in Town and rising, Water Temps - Mid 40's. Water Clarity - Clear

Truckee is fishing great right now despite high water. Flows being what they are on the banks. Some donkeys being hooked right now. Water is cold and has a nice steelhead green color. Typical high water patterns are working, stones, San Juans, eggs and there has been a killer baetis hatch to go with a few Skwalas. Since the fish are in the shallows, there has even been some dry fly opportunities for this with some skills with presentation.

That being said recent rain and snow in the Sierra may have an impact on the fishing. We will just have to wait and see.

You definitely want to plan for cold and dress appropriately. In light of the cooler temps best fishing has been during the warmest part of the day say 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 for more information or to book your dates.Specific patterns include Golden Stones 10 to 14, San Juan worms, 16 or 18 Ju Ju Baetis, Hogan's Military May and S&M in 16 to 18 and size 10 Rubber Legs, Skwala Stone - 16, Speroni's Skwala - 16

Dries: Bullet Head Skwala, 8 -10 Foam Dead Stone, Speronis Skwala Dry, and Skwala Stone Seducer - 8-10. Extended body BWO 18-22, Adam's Parachute 16 to 20, Christian's GT Adult 18-20, Missing Link 14 - 18, Quiggly's Hackle Stacker 14 - 16, CDC Thorax 14 - 18,BWO Parachutes -18, PMD Hackle Stacker -16, March Brown Sparkle Dun -14, Double Dutch Bug and the Unit Skwala -10.

Give us a ring at (707)287-2939 or at the shop (916)722-1055 to get out and make it happen.
For more on the Truckee River click here...

Yuba River Trout - Poor. Flows 15,000 cfs . Water Temps - Mid 50's. Water Clarity - Chocolate latte.

With all this recent rain here in Northern California this month many of our rivers are in flux. The Yuba has not escaped the deluge unscathed. Flows spiked over the last 24 hrs to over 15,000 cfs. Seems like the Yuba fish can't catch a break. Hoping for things to mellow out quickly after this storm, but only time will tell. Again fish larger dark imitator nymphs and San Juan worms once flows dip down below 5,000. Until then it is going to be touch going. A couple weeks or so things should be back in shape once the rain lets off. It will be back to PMDs and March browns. Fingers crossed.

Nymphs: Rubber Legs in brown and yellow, Skwala Stone, Speroni's Skwala nymphs, 8 - 10 , Black and Brown 8 - 14, Brown, Speroni's Baetis 16 - 20, Hogan's S&M and Micro May Olive, Brown, Black 16 - 20, Squirmy Worms in red and natural -12, Hogan’s S&M nymph (olive, brown) -18, and Copper Johns (red, olive, copper) 14-18.

For more on the Yuba click here...

Almanor Trout - Very good! Surface temps. 51 deg. Water clarity - 10 ft visibility

Fishing has been very good on Almanor recently and Spring has Sprung up there. Smelt are moving into the edges and fish have responded. Both bass and browns are targeting them and crawdads along rock edges and drop offs. Rainbows are also eating smelt and midges in shallows amid stumps.

Nymphs : Mercers Callibaetis, Olive Buzzer - 16

Streamers : Clousers, Shiner patterns, crawdad patterns

If you would like to get out and give this a try call (707)287-2939 or (916)722-1055.
Dries: Orange Stimulator

Streamers: Clousers, Smelt patterns, Olive Hale Bopp Leaches 12-14, Olive Assassin 12-14,

Sierra Foothill Bass - Rating - Fair to Good (Englebright, Collins, Bullards, Rollins, Oroville etc.) Water Temps- 38-53 degrees. Water clarity- Clear to Off color

The float and fly fishing continues to produce incredibly well on all but a very few foothill lakes.
Despite wet Spring weather, respectable to incredible numbers have been had by or guests and clients. What's more decent fish up to 5 lbs with bonuses of trout and crappie from time to time have added to the fun. The beauty about this method is that it can be performed by a beginner while at the same time thoroughly enjoyed by an advanced angler. This is a great intro program for someone new to fly fishing as it will produce multiple opportunists to cast, hook and play Fish. For an intermediate or advanced angler they will find it’s still largely challenging while reading the subtle takes. Not to mention it’s a perfect way to extend your fishing season when the rivers blow out like they are now!

Guide Tip: Small balanced pond smelt patterns or craws fished 8-14’ deep under a post indicator. Watch for extremely subtle takes and ticks. Work 30-70 degree slopes walls until you find Fish. If the bass just aren't cooperating then give the crappie a shot. It can really save the day.

Streamers: Float and Fly shad patterns

For more on fly fishing Lake Oroville click here...

Pyramid Lake NV* Cutthroat - Fair to Good. Surface Temps - 45 at noon

Rain and snow have been a welcome change in March and fishing has been good though early April. What's more we are really starting to see some large fish being caught with greater regularity and in all periods of the day especially on cloudy or choppy days. Best fishing has been in the afternoon. Some are having better luck than others right now.

Expect a steady climb as fishing will improve going forward into Spring and we are already seeing decent fishing from North to South. On the sunny calm days stripping the deeper drop off beaches will be your best chance at success during mid day when it is hard fishing. Morning and Evening bites have been fairly consistent every where. The flies you will want to have in your arsenal include: popcorn beetles and boobies in white, black, chartreuse, red/pink and combos of those colors. The trailing fly has been less specific as all bait fish streamers, clousers, wooly buggers and wooly worms etc. all have been doing very well. Again in the same colors as the beetles and boobies but use opposite colors when using the pair for higher contrast between flies. Floating line with or with out an indicator has been hit or miss because of fish being a little deeper this time of year. They do much better in the morning and in the evenings on some of the close drops. Midges and nymphs have been working just as well as balanced leeches for us, especially as the water starts to warm and we aren't getting much for wind or weather. Successful colors for anything hanging is black, olive, grey and red/wine. Don't be afraid to vary depths or retrieve speed as well. There are big fish lurking and fishing hard through next month will be one of your best times to catch your personal best cutthroat.

To read more on Pyramid Lake click here...

* Yes were aware that Pyramid Lake is in Nevada not California, but it is close and such a great fishery that we included it in our report for your benefit.

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