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Russian River Fly Fishing Report

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Rob Russell reports on 3.21.18

Russian River

1.22 inches of rain at the Sonoma County Airport in the last 24 hours has the Russian River rising fast.


    The steelhead season is all but over.  With this storm putting the Russian out of shape until April.  Although fresh fish are occasionally caught, the low returns this year don’t hold much promise for a late season fish.


    By the middle of next month, and definitely by May 1st, shad will enter the river.  Fishing should be fantastic for shad this year!

    Smallmouth will be spawning now through April.  By the end of April, smallmouth will have finished spawning and will begin feeding very aggressively.  This is my favorite time to target them;  walking the banks looking for fish chasing bait on the surface.  Fishing can be lights out for the first few weeks after the spawn, as the fish leave their nests and feed aggressively. 


    In summary, the Russian is not your best bet in the coming few weeks.  However, if you are looking for another option, Putah Creek is fishing as well as I have seen in at least 10 years.  It is awesome!  Many fish caught with some big boys as a bonus.  I feel like the floods of last year may have “sweetened” the Creek.  Many factors and variables involved,  but the streambed itself was deepened and cleaned of silt.  Bug life is great, with increasing populations of many species.  Check out, Putah Creek!


Dates available next month for shad and smallmouth on the Russian.  Dates available now at Putah Creek. 

 Hope to see you.  Cheers!  - Rob Russell 707-888-2571
Facebook and Instagram @robrussellflyfishing #robrussellflyfishing

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