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Northern California Report

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Brian Clemens reports 3.8.2016

Well it likes like the weather has finally come in, mainly the rain and the snow, but some wind as well, and it has been dumping a bunch all throughout Nor Cal. The reservoirs are filling up fast, and things are really looking up for this years water/fishing season. The tough part with all of this is the ever fluctuating river flows, river clarity and over all fishing conditions. It hasnt given us a big number of fishing days this year, but when it has been time to get out and fish, the fishing has been good. With these rains, comes the fish, really looking forward to April, May, June and the remaining season.


Currently flowing at 15k , and with more rain in the forecast, I think its only going to get higher. Folsom is over 60% full, and with that, what ever flows in must flow out. A law that was created over 30 years ago is still in place, and once Folsom reaches 60% during winter months, the flood gates open up to help with flood control. Right now this is not the place to be fishing. However, with these flows, the Spring should be phenomenal for steelhead, stripers and even shad. With that all said, I would really look into booking trips for April, May and June for the species above, and if the flows stay up, this should be one epic shad year.


Blown, blown and blown. Currently at 7k cfs and dropping fast, but was over 24k just a few days ago. Englebright is at 102% of full capacity, which means anything flowing in, flows straight out and over the top of the damn. With more rain in the forecast, the Yuba will be out of commission for weeks to come. I was really looking forward to fishing it this winter for the skwalas, early spring for the March Browns, but with the big blow outs this year, it really scoured the river for all those big bugs, only saw a handful of those stones in 2 months of fishing it. I am really hoping that the March Browns show their faces, only time will tell. Once these storms dissipate, look for this place to start fishing good again. April is a great time to be on the water, caddis start showing up, and the fish are still on the feed for the big March Browns.


This has been the go to place as of recent. Clarity has been good, and flows very steady at 800cfs in the low flow. The big fish are not in yet, but with this big rain, they are sure to come soon. We have been hooking a good number of half-pounders ranging 12-20", with an occasional bigger fish. Oroville is filling up fast, it holds 2.6 million a.f. and with it currently at 2.1 million a.f. and on the rise, we should be seeing an increase in flows soon, with that, comes the big spring run fish. Look for this place to really turn on in the next few weeks and stay fishing well for at least a few months. Dont forget about the stripers, bass and salmon fishing during this time as well.

Lower Sac

Is firing on all cylinders, and this is the place to be if you are truly looking to get out. With all the rain that has come down, and in the forecast, this is one river that will not blow out and this is where Ill be doing a good amount of my trips over the next month. Big fish are on the move, and being hooked on a daily basis, landing them is another story. You can expect to hook fish ranging from 16 to 22"  all day long, with the opportunity to hook bigger fish, ones pushing 30" as well. Number of fish are tough to predict on a daily basis, but this is the time that good numbers of hooked fish happen. From now till mid May the Lower Sac is on, and its got to be the best trout fishery on the west coast. Book now for prime dates.


Well as much as I want to give you a great report, I cant. Its blown out, and will continue to be for the next week. However, after that it should be fishable, but dont know for how long. Fish came in early this year, and the last big storm pushed up a large number of them, then the fishing really slowed down. I still think there is one good big push of fish to come, and this storm/blow out would be the one to pull of the remain fish. Once it clears and drops, there will still be some fish in the river, just have to work for them. The fly fishing only section opens April 1st, this is one place worth giving a shot.

Putah Creek

When things clear up, about a week after this next heavy rain, and it will be a pretty steelhead green and will be the place to get your wade on. The fish are done spawning and its time to hit the creek once again. Great place to hone your skills, and become a better angler all around, and no better way to learn it that with an experienced guide. Putah Creek is one hot spot during the spring.


Once the river flows drop a bit more, but mainly once the river clears up this will be another hot spot as well. Right now flows are 1000cfs at Floriston, 900cfs at boca, and 200cfs though town, give it a week to recover, and the river should be a steelhead green and I would definitely recommend hitting it. Just like Putah, another great place to hone your skills, and no better way to learn it that with an experience guide.

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