We are still a couple weeks out from what I feel is an ok time to start fishing the creek again. Most of the fish are finishing up their spawning season and are still a bit lethargic. I will start guiding Putah Creek again after February 25th and from then on its game time. The spring is by far my favorite time to be out there. The hills are lush green and the flows are perfect. We have a small window where the flows are in our favor. Generally by May 1st the flows will start to roar making too much of the creek inaccessible.
The bug life is pretty predictable on Putah, midges and mayflies. The spring offers a decent caddis hatch in the afternoon as long as the temperatures are warm. Use 5x, the rumor is that you have to use 6x but that just leads to a lot of heart break. I like to throw streamers this time of year really early in the morning and switch to a nymph rig once the sun is visible. The creek is rich with sculpin and stickleback minnows.
Please be gentle with the fish, try to land them in hurry and handle them with care. I think a good rule of thumb is to get a photo with your first fish in your hand. From there on, just snap a photo of them in the net while still in the water. If you catch a trophy fish take a photo but just lift them a few inches off the water. Be careful where you wade this time of year so that you do not crush eggs and alevins. The spawning areas are marked with caution tape and signage thanks to Putah Creek Trout and their volunteers.
Check out this go pro video I made a few years back for Spring Fishing on the Creek. This was taken over two days of fishing. It’s a little dated; I need to make a new one.