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Fishing Report

Northern California Fly Fishing Report, Yuba, Sac Stripers, Feather River

Ben Thompson Reports on 5.9.2024

River Stripers- Fish are spread throughout the rivers with the majority around Colusa. It can get crowded until the end of May when most of the conventional boats thin out. The pre-front bite last had some quality fish on the chew and we were fortunate to land some of them. Standard Adachi style rattle clousers have been the go to lately. I still have availability in June and July to chase linesiders.

Northern California Striper Fishing
Lower Feather River- The low flow section is at 592cfs, with the high flow around 10,000cfs. Fish have been primarily eating caddis with some on worms and baetis. Good time of year to swing birds nest or leeches, high flow not recommended for bank anglers.
Northern California Trout Fishing
Lower Yuba River- 5,670 cfs as of today, not recommended for wade anglers and only seriously proficient rowers. At these higher flows, fish will sit in the soft edges. Big attention getters like rubberlegs and large caddis are a go to in big water. When the flows come down a bit we look forward to a good hopper season throughout this summer!

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Northern California Fishing Report, McCloud, Upper Sac, Lower Sac, Fall River

530 Outfitters Reports on 5.8.2024

McCloud River: The McCloud River has started off with a bang and the color of the river is looking like the normal McCloud we are accustomed to. Late April and early May was a little chilly in the McCloud river canyon but a couple extra layers and good fishing solved the chilly weather.

I think the cold weather is behind us and the weather forecast is looking great! I have been finding better fishing on the shallower rigs, dry dropper,  than the deeper indicator rigs. There haven't been many sightings of the big salmon and golden stoneflies yet, but there has been some--this warmer weather should help! I've mostly seen Yellow Sallies, PMDs, and Baetis.

Northern California Trout Fishing
Upper Sac: The Upper Sacramento continues to flow big. Not much to report on. But if you were to fish it, find the soft edges or pools and throw a big rubber leg! Current flows are 1500 cfs.
Lower Sac: May and June are known as prime months on the Lower Sacramento River. The warm spring weather that is on the forecast should spice things up with the hatches! With the whirlwind of weather and inconstant flows that April and early May brought, we are excited to see the PMD hatches start to get going in full force! Baetis and Caddis are also on the menu. 
Northern California Trout FishingNorthern California Trout Fishing
Fall River : Fall River season is here and it is already looking like a promising season with a strong bite already happening on the big spring creek. Mid morning hatches of PMDs and Baetis are getting the trout excited. May, June, and early July are some of our favorite months to be on the Fall River.
Northern California Trout Fishing
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California Delta Stripers and Summertime Bass


Capt. Bryce Tedford Reports on 5.8.2024

It's been a great Spring Striper season on CA Delta with mild weather & plenty of solid fish in the mix! Some days we have to really work for them & grind it out but it’s been good fishing overall. My Spring Striper season is all but booked up, but  I will soon turn my focus to Summer fishing for Largemouth & Smallmouth on the Fly. 
Delta Striper Fishing
Half-day excursions and prime Summer fishing for Largemouth & Smallmouth is just around the corner (June-Sept.). For Largemouth we use 7-8wt rods, floating lines & large poppers or Gurglers. For Smallmouth we use 4-5wt rods, small poppers & jig flies if they don’t eat topwater. These trips are a great way to get new people into the sport or just fun in the sun for seasoned anglers to chase topwater Bass!
Delta Striper Fishing
Finally, come Fall (Sept-Dec), I turn my attention back to Stripers to finish the year. I still have plenty of openings in the Summer for 1/2 day Bass trips as well as Full day trips in the Fall for Stripers! 
Delta Striper Fishing
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Northern California Fishing Report, Truckee River

Matt Heron Reports on 5.8.2024

Truckee River: After an unusual run of three weeks on the road, it was great to get on the Truckee again, and boy did it deliver. 
While I was gone, I chatted with our guides quite a bit, keeping up with conditions and our clients fish stories. But what I wasn't prepared for was how clear the river was going to be when I got back.
Although the Truckee is running high, it's really clear, especially above the Boca confluence in the mornings. 
If it wasn't so high, you could damn near sight fish!
Northern California Trout Fishing
With the clarity, the usual attractors of eggs and worms for mid May haven't really produced this week, but mayflies have. 
Nymphs in 14, 16 & 18s will catch about any fish in the River right now...above Boca. There are Baetis and March Browns hatching, and tons of pre season PMD Nymphs around. And with the clean water, almost all our fish have been on 4x. 
Below Boca things are a little more "normal" for mid may. The Little Truckee is cranking in water, and a decent amount of color in the canyon. 
We were getting fish a bit more regularly on eggs and worms w 3x, and the same nymphs listed above. Rubberlegs aren't a bad idea either.
Northern California Trout Fishing
Things are only going to get better from here out and Carpenter Ants should be just around the corner. 
And for what it's worth, afternoon water temps are 46 just after lunch. 
If you're looking to unlock a few secrets on the Truckee this year, drop us a note. Our guides would love to show you around our backyard.

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Eastern Sierra Spring Fishing Report

Jarrett Coons Reports on 5.08.2024

Eastern Sierra: So, the main season is open and temps are a little cooler than usual. We had a few late storms and still have a good snowpack in the mountains that is slowly starting to melt. Runoff has not hit in force and most streams are still at pre-runoff flows, aside from the Lower Owens (currently at a high of 522 cfs)- not very fishable and not very safe! Be careful near the edge of the river as large chunks of bank can break off (Sometimes while your on them!) and pin you underwater. The ticks will be showing up soon too!
 Eastern Sierra Trout Fishing
Crowley Lake: The lake is open and full to the brim, most fish are being caught deep in 20-30'. This seems to be the new normal and has us experimenting with new and better ways to fish deep. Midges and leeches are my go to flies this time of year.
It's also time for the cutthroats to leave Crowley Lake to spawn in the tributaries. Please be aware of redds and try not to wade in the shallow gravel bars where these fish will be making nests. If you have to wade or cross the river do it in deeper water where you are less likely to disturb redds.
Southern Owens Valley: The Largemouth Bass fishing has been great in the Southern Owens Valley. The Owen's River ditches and canals have been producing nice fish this month, most in the 3-5lb. range. Baitfish and crawdad patterns have been best.
All we need is a few warm days in a row and it should get the ponds and carp flats going. I think it's going to happen this week, if this cold wind would stop!
Southern Owens Valley Bass Fishing
Hot Creek (Interpretive Site): There are not many trout feeding on the surface of the creek. Nymphing is the successful method of fly fishing the creek. Using a dry and a dropper is a good way to nymph fish the creek without spooking the trout with the splashing of an indicator. For the dry fly fish with a size 16 Adams parachute, size 10 Chernobyl ants and size 12 stimulator. For nymphs use size 18 olive quildigons, size 18 bead head flash back pheasant tail nymph, size 16 Frenchie’s, size 18 tiger midge and size 18 zebra midges.
Hot Creek (Canyon Section):
Nymphing with a dry and dropper has been excellent in the canyon section of Hot Creek. The trout are feeding on blue wing olive nymphs that are active on the substrate. Any blue wing olive nymph in size 16 or 18 will work. I like to fish with bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs, olive quilldigons, Frenchie’s and
hot spot pheasant tail nymphs. Other nymphs that produce in Hot Creek in the spring are olive burlap caddis, scuds, tiger midges and zebra midges. For the dry fly in the dry and dropper rig on Hot Creek use size 16 Adams parachutes, size 10 Chernobyl ants, size 12 or 14 Stimulators and size 14 Elk Hair Caddis. The best time to fish the creek is from 9:30 to 2:00 P.M.
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Northern California Fishing Report, Putah Creek

Clayton Ono Reports on 5.8.2024

Putah Creek: Putah is fishing great right now. The fish have fattened back up post spawn, and are in prime fighting shape. The bigger fish will take you for a serious ride, have your drag and knots dialed in.

Northern California Trout Fishing
Flows are absolutely perfect for wading, around the 300cfs range and lower, flows will begin to increase any day as the weather heats up here. Remember to always wade with caution, and check the flows before fishing. The fish are eating size 18-16 PMD nymphs, 20-18 BWO nymphs, 22-18 midges, and the occasional 16-14 caddis. Fish under a strike indicator or euro nymph, whatever you have more confidence in and feel you can make the best drag free presentation with. The drag free presentation is the key to success on Putah. PSA: The ticks are out with a vengeance right now, check your waders when you get to the water after long hikes through brush, it’s pretty easy to flick them off and prevent bringing them home with you.
Northern California Trout Fishing
Now is the time to get some great easy fishing and wading in before the summer heat sets in.
Some of my favorite patterns right now:
#18-16 Juju Baetis 
#18-16 Mercer’s Micro Mayfly
#22-18 Zebra Midges & Midge emergers
#16-14 Beadhead Caddis Larva 
#18-16 Bird’s Nest
#12 San Juan Worms
Putah Creek: Putah is in full spring fishing mode right now. The fishing has been great! Flows are right under 300cfs and the water clarity is perfect. I predicted we only have a few more weeks of these perfect conditions before the summer flows start to ramp up. PMD’s, BWO’s, caddis and midges are hatching throughout the day. Fishing emerger patterns about 2 1/2 feet to 3 1/2 feet down from your indicator is producing grabs. Some go to flies on Putah right now are Flashback WD40s, Hogan's S&M, Pheasant tails, San Juan worms, Barr emergers, zebra midges, micro mayflies, split cased PMDs, and fox’s caddis pupas.
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Northern California Fishing Report, Shasta Lake, Lower Sacramento

Aaron Gabriel Reports on 5.08.2024

Lower Sacramento River:

The fishing on the Lower Sacramento River is truly exceptional right now, with the bite heating up significantly over the last week. Anglers are experiencing 20 to 30 hookups per day, a number that's expected to rise with the ongoing warm weather. The river's flows have been fluctuating, but they're stabilizing around 11,000 to 12,000 cubic feet per second (CFS), setting the stage for even more consistent and phenomenal fishing from mid-May through June. The fish have been chewing Pale Morning Duns (PMDs), smaller sizes, 16-18, proving to be more effective. These flies, beaded, featuring a subtle flash, or even beadless, have been highly successful. Additionally, patterns such as caddis, Yellow Sallies, and rubber-legged flies are also enticing strikes. Depending on the specific spot along the river, anglers are finding success using a 6 to 8 foot leader with a setup of two to three AAA split shots to perfectly balance their presentations. Call Harvest Wild for an outstanding fishing experience on the Lower Sacramento River.


Shasta Lake:

Shasta Lake is offering phenomenal fishing experiences this season! The bass are just beginning to spawn, and we’re catching incredible numbers of fish. Shad balls are starting to appear, though the surface temperature isn’t quite perfect yet. With another week of solid warm weather, we expect an all-out frenzy on the lake. Fishing should remain excellent through June, with July promising exciting topwater bites and opportunities to strip small streamers. The fish this year are in exceptional health, and two to three-pounders are becoming much more common than in recent seasons. We’ve even landed a few in the four to five-pound range using fly rods. Join Harvest Wild for an incredible and well-rounded trip on Shasta Lake. Experience the best of local fishing with us and make unforgettable memories on the water!

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Pyramid Lake-January/February '24

Pyramid Lake-January/February '24

Pyramid Lake-January/February '24


We have experienced a slow start to the action at Pyramid Lake in 2024, but great fish are being caught by those willing to persevere. Lately the most effective tactic has been running various colors of balanced leeches 8-11 feet under an indicator. As the water begins to warm up come March, the bite should shift over towards midges. Top patterns have been classic balanced leeches in olive, black, purple and white, pine squirrel leeches and moo minnows.  

Between passing storms that make it over the Sierra Nevada, the lake can be dead calm. During glassy conditions, the bobber bite can be tricky, and stripping can be much more effective. Guys have been sticking quality fish stripping smaller beetles and tadpoles as well as leech patterns. Top patterns have been Popcorn Beetles, Foam Boobies and Midnight Cowboys. 

As far as gear goes, we have been doing it all with the LCO Golden Gate rods. Switch rods have truly revolutionized the way Pyramid is fished, and the Golden Gate has performed perfectly. The ideal line setup for indicators for us has been the #6 420gr Rio Elite Switch Chucker with a Light 10ft floating Rio MOW Tip. It perfectly loads the Golden Gate rod. It is easy to hold onto, and even with frozen fingers, it turns over long and heavy bobber rigs like nothing. The Golden Gate is a great option for a stripping rig as well, in our experience the Rio Outbound Shooting Head in ST9S6 has been perfect combined with the Airflo Ridge 2.0 running line. 


Big indicator rigs can be challenging to cast. We like to start out with twenty inches of 20 lb Maxima Chameleon with a large loop on one end, large enough to pass a sizable indicator through without too much trouble. Using a blood knot, attach 6 ft of 15 lb Maxima Ultragreen and slide on a Large Size Jaydacator. On the opposite end, attach a Rio Micro Swivel. From the swivel you can attach different lengths of tippet depending on how deep you'd like to fish. For example, add 3 feet to your first fly and then 2 feet to the second fly. As for tippet we recommend, Rio Fluoroflex in 1-2 x. Pyramid fish can be a bit picky and unpredictable, especially the big ones, so it’s best to cover as many bases as you can to up your odds at a hog. It’s a big rig, but Maxima Chameleon is stiff.  A switch rod will make quick work turning over, even in the wind and chop. Consider adding a heavy split shot above the swivel, size SSG is ideal. Adding weight has a few advantages. It gets your flies down quick, but will also make your indicator sit a bit lower in the water. This allows the indicator to become a hair trigger, and will exaggerate the most subtle of takes. Very helpful in calmer conditions. 

Stripping rigs are much simpler, to the end of your shooting head,  attach 6ft of 1x Rio Fluoroflex. Then, with a loop knot, attach your fly of choice. 

Another option is to strip a two fly rig. Attach 4ft of 1x Rio Fluoroflex to your fly line, and create a small dropper loop about 18 inches from the end. Next, attach 6 inches of 2x Rio Fluoroflex to the dropper loop and with a loop knot, attach a weighted fly of your choice. We recommend the Beldars Bugger in black or olive. Finally, attach a buoyant fly of your choice off the other end of the tippet. We recommend a JF Popcorn Beetle or a similar pattern with plenty of movement. 

This time of year, where to fish on the lake can be a bit of a crapshoot. Just about anywhere on the lake can produce. Crowds can suck to fish in, but typically don’t mean there aren’t fish in the area. Find a rock or beach you like and grind it out. Fish are on the move and will make an appearance eventually. If not, roll a fatty, and enjoy the view.

Need help getting out on the water? We have the connects to get you dialed in! Give our friend Autumn Harry a call. As the first female Paiute Guide in the area, she has done a lot for the fishery and community locally. Furthermore, she is incredibly knowledgeable on where the fish are throughout the season, and how to get them to hand. 

If you are a member of the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club or Peninsula Fly Fishers, We highly encourage you to take them up on a fish-out they may be hosting up at the lake! 


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Fishing the Trinity River: Bobber or Spey

Fishing the Trinity River: Bobber or Spey

Fishing the Trinity River: Bobber or Spey

No matter how you approach it, both fishing techniques offer an angler a multitude of opportunities in wrangling up their own ghost on the coast. Steelhead are such a special target species along our California Coast Line.

Now that the seasons are going to start changing on us we can expect to see more Steelhead showing up in our favorite rivers.

Whether you're dead drifting a nymph to a holding steelhead, or swinging a fly across a greasy tailout, the Trinity River has something to offer for the eager angler. 

One of the most magical traits the Trinity presents is the length of the season. We start seeing our chrome friends arrive in numbers in the warm days of August. They will continue to move from salt to fresh water all the way through the early spring days of March. This gives the angler a lengthy season of chasing these ghosts. Let's break down the seasons a bit more.
Late Summer-Early Fall: This is the Spey Fishermans time to shine. Water temps are warmer, which increases the Steelheads motive to move towards the fly. Waders are replaced with shorts and wading boots this time of the year. Not only do our waders stay in the truck, but so do our skagit heads and sink tips. I've found that during the warmer water temps, the fish need little motivation to move several feet up in the water column to crush our fly. Lighter wt spey rods in the 5-6 wt category matched with a skandi head provide an arm saving day, and a fun well matched fight against the hot summer fish. 
Late Fall-Early Winter: At this time the big push starts showing up. We see a good mix of wild and hatchery fish, resulting in more daily encounters. The fish start to hold up with the water and air temperatures dropping. Dead drifted nymphs or the swing of a Spey fly will fool these fish. This is also when we see the most fishing pressure on the River, but for a good reason. By this time the Steelhead will be spread out from top to bottom.
Late Winter-Early Spring: With water temps cooling off, the fish start to slow down. This time of the year we focus on the warmer parts of the day, no need to be out at the crack of dawn. Don't be deterred by the weather forecast, the biggest fish of the season are typically caught during this time. The crowds start to dwindle and it's not uncommon to have the river to yourself. As the days start to lengthen we start seeing some spring insect activity, and in turn, rising fish. The Trinity is one of the few places where we get to throw dead drifted dry flies to adult steelhead. 
Throw a dart at the Calendar between August and March, and it's bound to land on a day with steelhead potential. My biggest pieces of advice to the new or experienced steelhead anger, don't trust the weather forecast, and ignore the fishing reports. Some of our best days are found when the weather scares most people away. Write the report, don't read it. 
Andrew Rossow is a fly fishing guide based out of Northern California through Clearwater Fly Guides, offering a multitude of fishing opportunities throughout the north state. Reach out to Andrew and the team for availability and future dates this fall!  Clearwater Fly Guides
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Summer Time Bassin' w/ Max Garrison

Summer Time Bassin' w/ Max Garrison

Summer Time Bass Fishing 

Just like Baseball and Apple Pie bass fishing is as American as it gets. A pastime that offers a simple outlet for beginner and advanced anglers alike. We have lakes available all throughout the Bay Area and are accessible for a fun day of fishing.

With the Dog Days of Summer is in full swing one of our favorite things to do is walk the banks of our local lakes and throw some big bugs at aggressive bass. A great resource we wan to share with is from our local bass guide and friend of the shop, Max Garrison.

When going fly fishing, you want to make sure to have the correct flies that imitate what fish will be interested in eating. As Anglers we focus on the food supply of the fish, and how / where they are hunting.  This can change multiple times throughout the year.  Dropping and rising water levels cause changes to the structures that fish live in, especially during the Summer.  It also changes the areas they feed, the ways they hunt, and what they eat.

Our goal here is to choose the right fly that imitates what the fish are most interested in eating. My two go-to flies, the Popper and the Woolly Bugger, mimic food sources found both on top of the surface of the water as well as below.

A Popper is a common type of dry fly or top-water fly. It is designed to float on the surface and make a distinct bubbling/ gurgling noise when it breaks the water's surface tension.  Bass are able to sense low-frequency changes in water, commonly caused by the movement of their prey (learn more in this blog). The popper is intended to mimic the frequency changes and appearance of frogs, bugs, birds, and struggling baitfish that bass feed on.

When fishing a Popper, the angler pulls in their fishing line with an abrupt motion causing the popper to dive and quickly push water. This motion brings an air pocket, that bubbles at the surface making ripples. It is important to make pauses of varying duration to allow the fish to come and inspect the potential prey moving through its territory. 

I recommend having a variety of poppers ranging from size #2-#10 that are made with different materials including foam, plastic, and natural material like deer hair.

These different sizes and materials will have a different sound, motion, and appearance in the water and light. I currently recommend fishing a size #8 popper starting with darker colors in lower light and moving lighter as the day goes on. 

A Woolly Bugger is a famously diverse type of wet fly or streamer that is fished subsurface. It can be used in fresh or saltwater to target countless types of fish. Much like a popper, it comes in many different sizes and colors, but the shape of the Woolly bugger typically remains uniform. The Woolly buggers we use at Garrison Fishing Guides have varying weights of beads on the head (or front of the fly) that allows it to fall deeper into the water at varying speeds. 

When the angler pulls their line, the streamer rises up in the water column and falls again when the angler stops. This creates a rise and fall “swimming/ twitching motion”, that depending on the buggers size and color, can imitate baitfish, large nymphs, leeches, drowning terrestrial bugs, crayfish, or endless other food sources.

To be prepared for anything, I recommend a variety of woolly buggers; primarily in size #6-#8. My favorite colors are black, olive green, and white/brown. Nearly all of my Woolly buggers have bead heads or cone heads to help them sink.  I typically start with a classic black, which in my opinion, imitates the largest variety of food types. If I am not getting bites I will move to other colors.

Poppers and Woolly Buggers have been the winning flies when targeting Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and even Bluegill in the reservoirs and lakes of Marin. Recent clients of Garrison Fishing Guides have been extremely successful with both of these flies and methods because the fishing is so interactive and visual. 

When going fishing, be sure to switch up your flies, tactics, and methods to find where the fish are and what they are most interested in eating. Humans and fish are similar in that variety is the spice of life!

Now that you know what to fish with let's give you some ideas on where to fish!

San Francisco

  • Lake Merced


  • Bon Tempe Lake
  • Lagunitas Lake
  • Phoenix Lake
  • Nicasio Reservoir


  • Spring Lake
  • Lake Ralphine
  • Lake Wilson (Riverfront Regional Park)
  • Russian River
  • Stafford Lake


  • Lake Berryessa
  • Lake Hennessy

Contra Costa

  • San Pablo Reservoir
  • Lafayette Reservoir
  • Los Vaqueros Reservoir


  • Lake Chabot
  • Lake Temescal
  • Shadow Cliffs
  • Fremont Quarry Lakes

Santa Clara

  • Coyote Reservoir 
  • Lexington Reservoir
  • Del Valle Reservoir
  • Shadow Cliffs

...Just to name a few.

The Same 5wts and 6wt fly rods you already have are perfectly applicable at these places. In addition to bass and bluegill; Carp, Crappie, the occasional trout and gluttonous catfish are all on the hunt for your fly.

Short stocky leaders like the 7.5' 2x 10lb Rio Powerflex Trout are perfect for bass poppers. Longer leaders like the 9' 3x 8lb Rio Powerflex Trout are preferred for leeches and streamer fly patterns!

Book a Day with Max Garrison

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