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Fishing Report

Brian Clemens Reports 05/29/24: Northern California Fishing

Brian Clemens Reports 05/29/24: Northern California Fishing


Northern California Fishing:

We are finally seeing a huge drop down in flows as well as a flattened curve in flows across the board. This latest drop has brought with it even better fishing than what we were having just a few short weeks ago. Most Northern California rivers, lakes and streams are in prime shape right now and if you are looking to fish over the next few weeks to few months, you will not be disappointed. If you are looking to book a trip, we have plenty of days left to book shad trips, steelhead trips, striper trips and trout trips, or go big and try for the trifecta or qua-fecta. Its has happened more times than not over the past few weeks. 


Here is your current up to date Nor Cal Fly Guides Fishing Report


Feather River

Low Flow Channel 700cfs

Clarity 10ft clear

Fishing is good to great

High Flow Channel 2100cfs (PRIME TIME)

Clarity 10ft with slight green tint

Fishing is good to great

With the huge drop in flows and the flows being steady now for about a week, the steelhead have settled into their new feeding lanes and are on the chow. Our clients and guides have been having good to great success with both indicators and swinging streamers. Don’t let the summer season fool you, the Feather River is a year-round steelhead fishery and one that’s well worth the trip. We finally had a good push of spring run steelhead show up, a well needed rotation of fish that are eager to take any fly you put in front of them. Look for this river to fish good to great for the next month or 2. Besides the awesome steelhead fishing, we are getting both shad and striper too. One of the few rivers where we are targeting 3-4 species in one day. Steelhead from 16-24” have been the norm and are full of piss n vinegar, what youd expect from a spring run steelhead. Shad are your typical 16-22” and plenty of them to go around. The stripers have been all over the board as well, from shakers to arm breakers. We have been putting in a ton of time on the river and there's no better time than now.

If you have never hooked into a Feather River Spring Run steelhead, do yourself a favor and give it a go.

We still have availability to fish this awesome year-round steelhead fishery. 

Nymphing: Prince nymphs, sucker spawns, copper johns, caddis, mayflies, PTs, worms

Swinging: Sculpins, olive woolybuggers, small olive or rusty colored trout speys, euphorias, alevins, fry patters



Yuba River

Above Daguerre 4500cfs

Below Daguerre 3700cfs

Flows have been on the YOYO curve up till this past week, when we finally saw flows below 5k. 5k is still too high to wade fish from hwy20 bridge down, but there are fish to be had if you have a drift boat. We should see a slow drawdown flow over the next few weeks and this river is going to be on fire once it hits 2500cfs or less. DRY DROPPER ANYONE. We feel with the higher-than-normal flows this year, these fish will be more reluctant to look up at dries, so bust out those dry fly rods and let's get some epic dry fly eats. I have been doing a ton of Lower “Lower” Yuba trips for shad and striper and been hooking some decent stripers and the shad fishing is off the charts.

SHAD SEASON IS ON. More about this below.

Nymphs: rubberlegs, caddis, mayflies, worms, eggs, sucker spawns, pmds, March browns, skwalas and wingless stones.

Swinging: alevins, sculpins, small leech style patterns, woolybuggers in olive, brown, or fry colored 

Drys: skwalas, stonefly patterns, stimulators, hoppers, phat alberts, mays, caddis

Stripers below Daguerre: Anything Adachi clousers, white/chartreuse, white/gray, rainbow/shad colors

Shad below Daguerre: shad crack, mini pinky, Chings bloody maria, Chings too sexy, Chings Ronald McDonald, Chings Red Lipstick, Chings firecracker, Orange comet, Red comet, Pearl comet, Big D's BeadHead Banger, Dave-Os wet pinky
More Shad Info Down Below



Eagle Lake:  If you are interested please contact us

Lake Almanor:
Rating: ON FIRE
Lake Level: 4493 - 8" from full pool

Water Clarity: 8 - 10 ft.

Water Temperature: 58° F

Hot off the water report from our Lake Almanor guide. Now is the time to book your stillwater session! Fishing remains good up here at Lake Almanor. Healthy 20"+ rainbows were the main staple the last week and a half with a handful of 25"+ browns. The East shore, East and West sides of the Peninsula have been producing good numbers (8 - 16 fish per trip). Blood Midge, pond smelt and balanced leeches continue to be the main staple. We have had several opportunities to throw midge dries at some risers in goose bay here and there. There is still plenty of snow melt coming into the lake from the tributaries, as well as the super ditch and springs with a lot of snow still on the mountain tops. If the weather continues to stay warm look for the Hex Hatch to start earlier than the last 2 years. Fish are already starting to seek out our balanced Hex nymphs. The smallie bite has slowed significantly since post spawn and the pressure from all the bass tournaments. 

Hot Flies: Balanced Leech and Blood Midge

Guide tip: When casting small midge dries to risers, use 4x/5x 12' tapered leader. Midge risers spook easily.
Open Dates: Booking Chironomid hatch in May and the Hex Hatch in June. We have a handful of Hex Hatch dates left. Call or email for availability



American River

Dropping to 2500cfs on 5/30

Clarity is perfect 10ft slight ting
Fishing is good to great

We are finally getting into those flows that really rock on the American River. With a good amount of tweener 18-22" steelhead throughout the system it makes for a great day on the water. But with stripers and shad in the river too, you can have a hoot of a time hooking into the trifecta. This river is a great place to play for a day from the Bay and it will fish good to great for the next few months.

Its definitely SHAD TIME on the American!!! More about that down below.

Nymphs: Prince nymphs, eggs, copper johns, PTs, poxyback hares ears, hares ears, worms, sucker spawn, caddis, mayflies

Swinging: hobo speys, euphorias, sculpins, alevins, fry patterns

Stripers: Anything Adachi clousers, white/chartreuse, white/gray, rainbow or shad colors

Shad Flies: shad crack, mini pinky, Chings bloody maria, Chings too sexy, Chings Ronald McDonald, Chings Red Lipstick, Chings firecracker, Orange comet, Red comet, Pearl comet, Big D's BeadHead Banger, Dave-Os wet pinky

Lower Sac

Flows: 8800cfs (PRIME TIME)

Clarity 8ft typical lower sac green

The fishing has been good to great one day fair to good the next. The extreme drop and rise in flows we have seen over April and May were definitely creating unhappy fish. With Shasta Lake being 200,000-acre feet of water from a full pool, I don’t think we will see anymore crazy spike in flows. Hatches have been pretty sporadic and after another big winter, a lot of guides have been saying that the hatches are so poor because of the 40k flows we saw in February, washing a lot of bug life downstream (Information and thoughts from a lot of guides in the area). Good days are finally here and if flows stay steadier, look for this river to heat up and be much more consistent. Warmer weather in the forecast will also turn on the caddis hatches too.  and with warmer days in the forecast, look for the caddis hatches to really pop off. We will start seeing better hatches, more bugs means less selective fish and maybe even some dry fly fishing/hopper dropper action. Cant wait. If it keeps fluctuating up and down like a yoyo, fishing will stay tough till the snowmelt is almost done. Lets keep um crossed.

Nymphs: Coffee, black, brown rubber legs(beaded and non-beaded), light olive Weiss nymph, Chile Verde perdigon, PMD perdigon. Egg patterns have been working here and there, but still inconsistent.

Guide Tip: Patients pays off, we are fishing much harder to get our fish than usual, but put the work in and you will be rewarded. Remember August 1st is the upper river opener and for those that have never fished this crazy day, its pretty cool to fish. So if you want to fish that upper stretch on the opener, give us a jingle.

Stripers: Anything Adachi clousers, white/chartreuse, white/gray, rainbow or shad colors


Putah Creek


Clarity 8ft Putah Creek Green River

Fishing is good to great

Putah Creek has been fishing extremely well and despite the bump from 300cfs to 570, it hasn’t slowed the fishing down. This is the perfect place to fish close to the Bay area and if you want to learn how to unlock the secrets of Putah Creek give us a ring. Its also a great place to hone your skills due to its technical fishing. When it comes to this fishery, with us, its all about teaching and showing you the ins and outs. We have been hitting this river a few times a week as some of our Sac Valley rivers have been a tad too high to wade fish. 

Nymphs: small midges, small mayflies, small caddis, small hares ears. small small and small.



Fall River

               Our NCFG Fall River Guide has been putting some days on the Fall lately and here is what he has to say. Fishing remains good. A lot of little fish are being caught in the upper stretches of the system right now with around 3-5 good fish(18”+) to the net a day on average. The main hatches still start around 11am and last anywhere from 1-3pm. Little trico’s earlier in the morning with larger BWO and PMD’s for the main hatch through the afternoon. Dry fly opportunities have been great as long as the wind doesn’t pick up too strong, with nymphing being the best chance for the most grabs. Leeches on a sink tip or intermediate sinking line has also been producing good numbers. The Hexagenia Mayfly hatch is almost here so fish are starting to migrate downstream in preparation for the big bugs. Normal timeframe for the HEX is June through the beginning of August.             

Nymphs: olive nymphs in the morning(Chile Verde perdigon with a silver or copper bead), black, brown, and tan nymphs in the afternoon(Sweet Pea, 2-bit-hooker, PMD perdigon).

Guide Tips for the Fall: - Having a proper dead drift presentation feeding line from anchor is really what the fish want, and at the end of each drift make sure you let the flys swing through the column for 5-10 seconds before retrieving your drift for another round.

Shasta Lake:
              The Lake is nearing full pool creating a lot of floating debris hazards for boats, but it is also in peak form with numbers exceeding 50 fish a day. "Float and fly” is the preferred method winter through spring, but with warm weather on the horizon, the fish have been eating streamers well and they have started to eat topwater flys more consistently as the weather gets warmer. Currently the lake is slipping out of "pre spawn" and into “spawn” with fish moving into shallow water and making beds. Current Water temps are mid 60’s, but with warm weather coming in, we expect to see the main body heating up quickly. The Pit arm is still very dingy with water clarity fluctuating between 3ft-6ft. All other arms and creek inlets are starting to clear up all the way to 20ft visibility. A lot of fish have been suspended in the 10-15ft range in 30-40ft of water, but still our best success is float and fly up against the bank in the first 10ft of water. Still haven’t seen the big groups of threadfin shad moving around or getting busted by fish, but its only a matter of time before we can hunt bait balls away from the bank chasing the groups of shad and bass around in deeper water. Here very soon the main body is going to heat up and the spots and smallmouth are going to move down into the depths for cooler conditions, or they will push up into the tributaries where the water is cooler. Come July, I'm targeting the tributary water for the remainder of the summer until water temps start to recede in the main body.

Flies: olive and brownish/red crawdads and threadfin shad patterns in the water with better clarity, low visibility, purple crawdads have been the best fly for the past 2 months with Float-and-Fly, or a black or purple leach.

Guide Tips for Shasta: - Using rattles in your flys, especially in dingy water, has proven to get more grabs throughout the day vs a fly without a rattle(mainly crawdads, but also works with baitfish).



Other Local Lakes

Lake Oroville, Rollins, and many others are fishing extremely well right now and are definitely worth the drive if you want to try something a bit different than what your Nor Cal Rivers offer. 





We offer shad trips on rivers throughout Northern California.

Nor Cal Fly Guides and Fly Fishing Specialties has a phenomenal guide crew that cover our Nor Cal Rivers for shad which include:

Yuba and American (main rivers)

Feather and Sacramento Rivers (back up rivers)


With that being said:


NCFG & FFS are offering a 2024 SHAD SEASON special


American River ONLY

Morning or Evening (evening is best)

$375 3hr SHAD Fishing Session

Full day and half day trips available on the Yuba, Feather, American and Sacramento


$600 full day

$475 half day

My 2024 Shad season full days are all booked up, but I am available for evenings trips on the Yuba River for the 2024 season. (reserve your 2025 dates NOW)


We have several guides that will have you covered for all your shad fishing needs. Book now while prime dates still remain.

Don’t forget about the Striper season. We are already seeing good numbers on the Sac with stripers slowly trickling on our colder rivers like the American and Yuba with a few on the Feather too.


There you have it folks, your Northern California fishing report hot off the press. We hope you are able to get out in the next few weeks and enjoy some of the best fishing we will see all season long. Time to get out and get bent. 


Here's my personal calendar and availability

Only 29 days remaining in 2024

Local Waters - Yuba, Feather, American, Lower Sac

August 12, 21

Oct 18 28 30

Nov 26

Dec 21 28 29 30

Evenings: May June July for 2024 Shad season


Northern Waters Trinity & Lower Sac

Sept 3 4 10 11 26 27

Nov 22

Dec 1 2 3 4 10-17


If you’re looking to book with me in 2025, dates are available for Local/Northern Waters upon request.

I am also now booking Swing Only Coastal Trips. Some walk and wade and some float trips.

I'm highly recommending to everyone who would like to book with me, booking at a minimum of 6-8 months in advance for prime-time dates.


Please don't be discouraged that I am more booked up this year than ever before, we can get you booked up with me for future dates if needed. If you would like to book now or in the near future, I am proud to announce that I have hand selected some of the finest guides in Northern California to assist me in the higher demand of bookings for Nor Cal Fly Guides. These guides work "with me, not for me”, and I couldn't be happier with the team of guides that lend a helping hand to NCFG clients. From ex-teachers, to full time guides, ex-fly shop owners, shop workers/guides to part time guides that have been fly fishing all their lives, these guides are the best. The biggest asset these guides have is they all have the same "teaching" mentality as I do. We are teachers first and guides second.


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Thank you for including me in on this fishing report emailer. Greatly appreciated



Captain Brian Clemens

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Bryce Tedford Reports 05/29/24: California Delta

California Delta:
Been a great Spring Striper season on CA Delta with mild weather & plenty of solid fish over the last past few months. Some days we have to really work for them & grind it out but it’s been good Spring overall. Spring Striper season is winding down & I’ll turn my focus to Summer fishing for Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass.
1/2 day 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 novice anglers into the sport of Fly Fishing or seasoned anglers into the fun of Topwater Bass!
Finally, come Fall(Sept-Dec), I return my attention to Stripers to close out the season. I still have plenty of openings this Summer for 1/2 day Bass trips as well as Full day Fall trips for Stripers on the CA Delta. 
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Hogan Brown Reports 05/29/24: Lower Sacramento River Striper

Lower Sacramento River Striper Fishing – Fishing has been fair to good. Flows dropped this Sunday with the latest “pulse flow” and there was a bit of a weird cold front that moved through Saturday. Even with those issues fishing has been fair to good. There is a mix of fresh migratory fish, spawned-out migratory fish, and resident fish in the mix so lots of fish in the system.
Fish have been podded up a bit still, so it is not a steady bite as the fish move around, and finding fish is the key to stringing a day together. Most fish are in 2-8’ of water and type 7 or 5 shooting heads as clarity has improved drastically over the last 2 days are the ticket.
The long-term forecast shows weather in the low to high 90s and this should really stabilize fishing and conditions. That said the pulse flows can mess with the fish a bit as with this last one the river dropped between 1.5 -2’ in about 24 hours – pushing fish out of the water they were in and changing things overnight literally. The flow change does not mess with the stripers as much as it does the trout higher in the watershed but it does move them and that means finding them again.
June through July though should be great fishing with a phenomenal migratory run of fish and plenty of water to keep both the holdover migratory fish and resident fish happy.
June Open Dates 13, 14

Capt. Hogan Brown 

Fly Fishing Guide

Co-Founder of the Cal Bass Union

Owner Alluvial Marketing Collective

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Nor Cal Trout Fishing - July 2023

Nor Cal Trout Fishing - July 2023

 Nor Cal Trout Fishing - July 2023

Truckee River:


The Truckee has been fishing consistently throughout the summer! Both water color and temperature have been stellar. Flows were a little high earlier in the month due to run-off from the big winter snowpack, but now the river is in perfect shape for a trip!


Classic summer dry-fly opportunities can be had, however the Truckee fishes best with a variety of nymphs. Fish are also gorging themselves on crayfish this time of year, so streamer fishing can be a blast! It's pretty hot up there, so don't work too hard and beat the heat while wet-wading! Come through the shop to get those indicator or Euro nymphing rigs dialed in!


Flies: Golden Stones/Sallies- sz 10/16,  Caddis Larvae/Pupa (green/tan)- sz 16/18, Baetis- sz 18/20, PMDs- sz 16, March Browns- sz 14. Plenty of fish can also be had on a variety of streamers, as well as crawfish, worm, and egg patterns! It’s be a shame to skip out on the Truckee this summer, watch those flow gauges and get out there!

Matt Heron

Matt Koles


Yuba River:


In the last few weeks flows have dropped significantly to around 3,300 cfs meaning the Yuba is running cold and clean at a very fishable level!


The Rundown: Summer Hopper fishing is upon us! Dry droppers with big bugs and simple Grasshopper rigs should work great up through August. Fish are consistently holding tight to the bank, be observant and fish smart, risers are around! Drive up for some epic morning and evening fishing and try to beat the heat!


Tons of very healthy rainbows are feeding all throughout the system. There remains a potential to run into a Spring-run steelhead! A few fish from the spring have remained in the river due to the staunch excess of cold water! Try your luck at running into some valley chrome!


Flies: Chubby Chernobyl (yellow, tan, purple)- sz 8,10,12; Morris’s Hopper-sz 8,10,12,14, Plenty of other Hopper patters will also do the trick, Caddis are also hatching, try some Elk Hair Caddis or Mercer’s Missing Link-sz 14-18; Nymphs for dry dropper rigs: Caddis Pupa, PMDs-sz 14-18; Golden Stones 8-16, Duracell-sz 14-20


Captain Ben Thompson


Phone: (916) 743-8290



Feather River:


Summer isn’t necessarily prime time for the Feather, however, with the state having such a huge water year, things are a little funky! A number of Adult Spring-Run Steelhead remain present throughout the system, this winter’s surplus has provided comfortable holding water for these fish. Go try to test your luck! These fish are probably in a mostly trout-like state of mind after remaining in the river for so long, you can’t catch them from the couch, go see what the river has to offer!


Captain Ben Thompson


Phone: (916) 743-8290




Lower Sacramento:


The Lower Sacramento is sticking to its long-held reputation of an extremely consistent fishery all year round! Even with almost unbearably scorching temperatures throughout the Central Valley and North State, the Lower Sac is flowing cold and strong! It’s a perfect time to ditch the waders and cool off for the day!


All tributaries to the Lower Sac are pumping out cold, clean water, allowing 100% of the trout water in the main river to clean itself up! Great fishing can be had from Redding in-town all the way down to Red Bluff, get out there!


Currently the fish are shifting toward an almost completely Caddis-centered diet. Hydropsyche Caddis in all stages and sizes are showing up everywhere, and the fish are eager to take them. PMD and Stoneflies have also been productive. Like always, nymphing is going to be the most consistent method for picking up fish, but plenty of dry-fly opportunities can be had in riffles and tail outs during caddis hatches!


The Lower River is fishing exceptionally well for Striped Bass. Throw around a big Adachi Clouser and turn a hungry Striper, you’ll be into backing in a flash! Some very large fish have been caught down low this summer.


Fishing on the Lower Sacramento can definitely be done through the DIY Walk-and-Wade method, but for the full experience we highly recommend booking a guided trip through Capt. Ben Thompson or our friends at AC Fly Fishing!



Nymphs: Caddis Larvae/Pupa (tan)- sz 12-16; Peaches ‘n Cream/TNT PMD- sz 14/16; Sweet Pea/Hogan’s S&M 14-18


Dries: EC Caddis, Mercer’s Missing Link, Elk Hair Caddis, PMDs- sz.12-16



Captain Ben Thompson


Phone: (916) 743-8290



AC Fly Fishing-


Phone: (800) 201-5047 or



Upper Sacramento:

The Upper Sacramento is fishing great right now. While daytime temperatures are consistently exceeding 90 degrees, getting down to the canyon bottom with wet-wading equipment can be a perfect way to beat the heat!


Golden Stones have come and gone but there should be steady PMD and Caddis hatches in the evenings. Nymphing should be productive all day long, while fishing dries early and late in the day for eager risers can be a blast.


All the water from Simms campground and up has been excellent!



Nymphs: Pats Rubberlegs/Poxyback Stones- sz 8-18; Peaches ‘n Cream/TNT PMD- sz 14/16; Sweet Pea/ Hogan’s S&M/Micro May- sz 14-18


Dries: Parachute Adams/Purple Haze- sz 14-18; EC Caddis, Mercer’s Missing Link, Elk Hair Caddis- sz.12-16


Chuck Volkhausen

Phone: (530) 859-3474


John Rickard

Phone: (877) 934-7466



McCloud River:

The McCloud has been somewhat unpredictable this season; dense snowpack from this year’s winter has brought about sporadic run-off events which have pushed sediment and large volumes of water into the lower river. These conditions can remain for a week or two before things start to clear up which makes pulling the trigger on a trip difficult. The road into Ah-Di-Nah Campground and the Nature Conservancy had a blowout earlier in the summer but has since been repaired and deemed safe to travel.


While the conditions haven’t been consistently optimal, the fish haven’t left the river! Fishing remains on the scale of Fair-Great depending on the day and water clarity! When the water has some decent color, the fish move into the shallower areas (riffles, shallow tailouts) to feed! Dry fly fishing can be a blast when fish are shallow!

Another underlying plus of the McCloud’s unpredictability this season has been a lacking of the usual summer crowds. With people wondering about a possibly washed-out road and high/dirty river, many folks have decided to stay away from the McCloud. This has allowed for a practically wide-open river to anyone who chooses to go! Walk-in tags at the Nature Conservancy should be easier to get than in past years, but you never know! If you want to get in there, it’s better to be early!

The Upper McCloud (above McCloud Reservoir) has also been fishing very well! The McCloud’s own species, the Native Redband trout, are found thriving in plentiful numbers in this isolated section of the upper watershed. The upper river is a spectacular place to bring the family for a summer camping trip and take a little adventure for some really cool fish!



Nymphs: Pats Rubberlegs (Black/Brown)- sz 8-12; Poxyback Stone- sz 12; Sweet Pea, Hogan’s S&M, Micro May, Copper John, sz 14-16; Prince Nymph, Gordon’s Prince, sz 14-16


Dries: Parachute Adams/Purple Haze- sz 12-18; Mercer’s Missing Link, EC Caddis, PMDs-sz 14-18; Potentially Salmonfly/Golden Stone action- sz 10-14


Streamers: Dolly Lamma 06-02, Sculpin Patterns


Chuck Volkhausen

Phone: (530) 859-3474


John Rickard

Phone: (877) 934-7466


Pit River:



The Pit (Pit 3&4) has been fishing very consistently this season. As many know, a trip to the Pit is not for the faint of heart. Wading among the slick boulders and swift current that the Pit possesses can be difficult and, in some cases, outright dangerous. So, make sure your boots are in tip-top shape (both rubber condition and cleat installation), bring along a wading staff for some extra stability in the water, and most importantly, know your body’s limits.


Down to the nitty gritty- the Pit has had a good year. You can expect productive days using mostly nymphing techniques. Per usual, pocket water fishing is everywhere on the Pit, sift through a section with a Euro, Indicator, or Dry-Dropper Rig and see what you pick up!


Flies: Small Stoneflies- sz 12-16; Mayfly patterns (Sweet Pea, S&M, Perdigon)- sz 16-20; Caddis Pupa/Larvae sz 14-18



Chuck Volkhausen

Phone: (530) 859-3474


John Rickard

Phone: (877) 934-7466


Putah Creek

Our local creek is fishing well given the high flows. Flows have been bouncing between 500 and 600 cfs the last few weeks. As a reminder, Putah is used as an irrigational canal used to feed water down into the farmland near Winters, Davis Woodland. 

The standard flies are doing the trick. Flies such as S&M Nymphs, Caddis Poopah and Zebra Midges are doing well! If you'd like to spice things up try tossing Rainbow Warriors, Two Bit Hookers, and Jujubees!

The challenge with these high flows has been keeping the grass and weeds off the hooks, consider bringing the Euro rod out to maintain a much tighter connection and drifting the bugs below the grasses!

Great opportunity to toss Streamers as well. Sculpzillas, Small Peanut Envys and sparsely tied leaches are crushing at the moment! Fish these flies on an  intermediate line swung. Or on a fast sink line above the buckets and pools on the creek.

Reach out to Robert George 707-812-4671 or Clayton Ono 707-365-9012 for trips and availability.






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Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report April 2023

Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report 4/15/23

Spring Fishing has begun! We are stoked to have the report back up and running. We are now working with additional independent guides throughout Northern California as well. Ready to provide a consistent source of up-to-date information for all of of our local waterways and beyond.

The Bay/Beach: The beaches are on the edge of turning on. The bulk of our beach adventures have had to occur further away from home.. areas such as Monterey and Santa Cruz have found schools of striped willing to take a fly. As the bay clears up and water temps begin to rise slightly, more fish will become readily available off of Ocean, Baker and Crissy!

Take a look at our Local Surf Clinics or Call the shop for more info!

Lower Sacramento River:
The Lower sac is currently on fire and fishing great. The section above Highway 44 closed on April 1st and will remain closed until August 1st when it reopens. It does not matter though because the rest of the river is putting up some big fish. The flows are sitting at 3,120 below Keswick and the higher up tributaries have already cleared up. Most of our trout waters are already back in play. In the last week we have seen big hatches of PMDs, march browns, BWOs and black caddis, varying day to day based on sunlight and clouds. We have been catching fish on size 14 march brown pheasant tails, size 16 black fox's pupas, size 16 olive S&Ms, peaches and cream, tech junkie, black birds nests, sweet peas and sucker spawn variations. As temps continue to rise the hatches will get bigger and little sallies will be in play, as well as hopper dropper being a good option in the feeding lanes of the skinnier riffles. 

Lower Feather River-

The Lower Feather River flows just dropped to around 1100 in the low flow but it still around 9k in the high flow. We have been catching fish in both. There are a lot of fresh spring steelhead in the system and April and May are some of my favorite months to be out there. I was out there three days ago and fishing was great, lots of suckerfish are stacked up and getting their black stripes on the sides in their normal haunts, putting the steelhead on the chow. Go to flies have been sucker spawn and alevins as well as red headed step childs and caddis. Similar to the Yuba's current big water state, soft seams and slower runs will often be the best producers. The spring is the best time of year out there to swing a fly out there and they eat it aggressively. 

Call Ben Thompson to get out on the Lower Sacramento Or Feather River: 916-743-8290

Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta

Delta is still challenging to fish, been managing around 10 fish or so over the past week. Finding cleaner water can be difficult as silt is floating around with the tides. Water temperatures are around 60 degrees but clarity is only around 2’ or so. The Steve Adachi Black with grizzly hackle Clouser has been doing the trick in dirty water! On a positive note, each day this past week we’ve had shots at a 10+ lb fish, a few solid 3-5# fish & some shakers in the mix. Hopefully the waters continue to clear up & more fish show up for the Spring Spawn!


Call Bryce Tedford for trips on the Delta year-round: 206-696-2437

Lake Berryessa - 59-63 f
7-9ft via
Float and fly bite is solid and will continue to be for the next two weeks. Right now the best bet for lakes in the Bay Area. Lake is 9ft below spillway. 
Lake Sonoma - 48-55f
2-5tt via
Float and fly bite is also happening, but only on dry creek arm, warms spring side is still very dirty. Bait is abundant and the lake is full! 
Napa River / Bay 58-61f 
Water still dirty in the SP bay/Central Bay. There is clean water and stripers to be caught, but we won’t see a big push of fish until second or third week of May. Stay tuned. 

Call Patrick MacKenzie year-round for guided trips on the Napa River: 707-721-6700

Hogan Brown Reports Lake Oroville Bass- 

The lake is nearly full, water falls are flowing, and timber is flooding. Fish are on the feed during the morning and afternoon with a bit of a slowdown from 11am-1pm. Fishing the float n' fly is catching the most fish but fish are shallow enough that a popper dropper or streamer rig is also getting fish. Fishing should remain good through April into June

Ryan Williams Reports Lake Oroville- 

The prime spring season is slowly shaping up. Water temps are still cold at 52-56. Once the temps hit 60 the action will really turn on. When this happens the 50-100+ fish days will start on the main lake. Still waiting on the topwater & streamer bite to begin. Should begin around the 60 degree mark or even a bit less. For the time being it's all float n fly. Going anywhere from 6'-9' leaders. Currently we're getting about 20-40 fish per day between two anglers. Lots of really nice bass being caught lately, hard to find small ones. Big full bellies getting ready to spawn in the next month or so. The bite is going all day. Mornings and evenings have been best, but we are catching fish throughout the afternoons. Some afternoons have really shaped up to fish really well, producing bigger fish. As far as structures go, we have been fishing lately on points, tributaries, and shade in various canyons.

If you are itching to try Float and Fly Fishing with a fly rod The Cal Bass Union can get you Dialed in! 


Matt Heron Reports on the Truckee River- 

Although the Truckee River looked like it was going to blow out last week with the warmer temperatures, in the end, it didn’t. The water definitely came up on the CA side but has been receding by the day.

With all the snowpack this year, I’d still call current conditions pre runoff. The river is up, a bit off color (2-5ft of visibility) depending on day and location but is nowhere near what it’s going to be when we start to see consistent air temps in the 50-65 degree range…it’s coming.

Flows are hovering just under, and just over 1,000 cfs. in town and through the canyon.

As far as fishing goes, it’s exactly as we’d expect…size, not numbers (with exceptions!). Most fish our guides are running into are in the 13-20 inch rage with opportunities each day for a true Truckee River giant. These conditions are why we love the spring! Typically, the Truckee kicks out way more rainbows then browns but the tides are turning. Browns love the spring and big water and it’s starting to show with more browns in the net by the week.

Flies- Our crew is getting fish on a variety of nymphs: rubberlegs, skwalas, eggs, worms, march browns, and of course baetis and midges. If the water starts to get muddy, you can typically take baetis and midges off the menu and go bigger with more flash. 3-4x tippet will do the trick this week.

If you get lucky you may run into a few noses even with the water being up. Look for baetis, march browns, midges and skwalas. You never know when that 24in brown will let is guard down on a well presented dry. And yes, it does happen this time of year.

Not surprisingly most fish are being landed on bobber rigs, Euro set ups and streamers. If you’re a streamer angler, now’s the time.

This season’s bookings are in full swing, here’s a taste of what we have going on: full and half day guides trips, NV side float trips, our daily classes on the ponds will start around mid May, and our wildly popular 2 Day Truckee Trout School dates were just announced for this summer (101, 201 and Youth/Family).

Putah Creek

Slow start to our Putah Creek Fishing Season. The rains kept us at bay due to limited visibility. Current conditions are challenging as Hwy 128 is currently CLOSED. This is a note pulled off of The Cal Trans Website:


Join us Wednesday April 26th from 5:30pm and on at the Shop for our

Putah Creek *Shop Talk* 



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California Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

California Central Valley Fly Fishing Report
Garret Smith Reports on 9.18.20
The smoke has finally cleared a bit in the Sacramento area, and that means more time on the water! I have mostly turned my attention to steelhead after a mediocre striper season. The feather river will be my main venue this fall. We’ve already been having some great days over there, and that will only get better as fall goes on. Most fish are coming on indicator rigs with nymphs and egg patterns, although there are plenty of opportunities to get out of the boat swing on the Feather if that is more your style. The feather is a great place to go if you’re looking for a good day trip somewhat close to the Bay Area. 
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Lower American River Fly Fishing Report

Lower American River Fly Fishing Report

Garrett Smith Reports on 7.10.2020

Striped bass have made their way up the American River and fishing is getting better each week. We are starting to see good numbers on both half day and full day floats, and it will only get better from here! 

We are in the beginning of the best fishing of the summer. There are lots of schools of stripers up and and down the river at the moment, and they have shifted in to their summer holding and feeding patterns, mostly hunting down squawfish, crayfish and bluegill. We cover a lot of water on these floats and you can expect to see very consistent action throughout the day. 

The American is only an hour and a half from the Bay Area, making it a great option for a single day trip from the bay. 

Flows are up to 4,000 cfs on the American which is a prime summer level. I expect fishing to stay solid until Mid September this season with these flows. 

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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Brian Clemens Reports on Happy New Years Everyone,

I am hoping that everyone had a great and safe New Year and a very Merry Christmas. Where did the 2019 season go? Cant believe 2020 is already here.
I have always loved the new year, it brings openers on rivers in Nor Cal, new license purchases, the start of the NFL Playoffs and new years resolutions. But it also means planning for 2020 fishing adventures and there is no better time than now. With the late 2019 season rains, that were much needed, they brought new life to many of our Nor Cal rivers and Im really looking forward to late winter and early spring.
Here is you 2020 Nor Cal New Years Fishing Report


Flows: 300 Lewiston, 350 DC, 470 JC, 660 Del Loma
Clarity: Clear
Fishing: Good to Great

The December rains really woke up the Trinity from working hard for a few fish to hooking consistent numbers under an indicator as well as swinging. The fish are not as big as usual, but what they lack in size they sure make up in pure spunk. On average, we are hooking 4-8lb fish and each one has been a firecracker. The Trinity will have steady fishing throughout the rest of winter and into early spring. Whether you want to swing, throw dries (Feb/March) or nymph for winter steelhead, the trinity is one of the better choices right now in Northern California. Very limited dates in Jan, more dates available Feb and March.
Swinging: Hobo Speys, GT40s, Heisenbergs, Thalken's Tiny Dancer Green Butt Skunk, Golden stones, Brown/Chartuse/Black Anderson Euphoria's, 
Dries: March Browns
Nymphs: Stones, Psycho Princes, Copper Johns, March Browns


Flows: 800 Low Flow, 1900 High Flow
Clarity: Perfect 8-10ft viz hint of green
Fishing: Good to Great
The section above hwy70 is now open

As always the Feather never disappoints. The fall season was plan stupid with the egg bite and now that the spawn is over, its time to start thinking alevin/fry hatch and fishing more traditional trout patterns. Once again the recent rains have brought in some new winter fish and they are staging in the high flow waiting for some more rain to keep moving up. Fish are definitely spread out. The fishing has been pretty consistent, quality over quantity. Both swinging and nymphing are producing fish and its only going to get better. With more rain in the forecast it will continue to bring in more fish for the remaining winter season and as always spring time on the Feather is something to look forward to. Some of the best days on the Feather, especially swinging starts around New Years and continues on through till April/May. With that being said, from Jan 1st to mid June is some of the busiest times for me so booking well in advance is highly recommended. You wont see the big steelhead like the Trinity or the American, but again their lack of size is made up with their sheer pissed off attitude. Plus the pressure on the Feather is a lot less than the Trinity and American, its also an easy day trip from the Bay Area. 
Swinging: Olive leeches/sculpins, alevins/fry patters, Brown/Chartreuse Anderson Euphoria's, Tan soft hackles, hobo speys 
Nymphs: Caddis, Prince Nymphs, Montana Nymph, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns, Mayflies, Alevins/fry patterns


Flows: 1350 Hwy20 Bridge, 1150 Below Daguerre (perfect flows for the jet boat)
Clarity: Clear
Fishing: Good to Great
This report goes for both the Hwy 20 and below Daguerre
The Yuba has been fishing really good as of late and is always a fun river to fish and mix it up from steelhead fishing. What is super cool is we are already starting to see the infamous Skwala Stone as well as some very early brown drakes, yup March Browns. You know what that means, fish are gonna start looking up and eating dries like candy. You definitely dont want to miss out on this aweome dry fly action. When they start looking up, swinging brown soft hackles drives them nuts and even swinging olive woolly buggers get those grabs we look for. The salmon spawn is also over and fishing an alevin pattern is also a good bet. As long as the river doesnt blow out like last year, this years late winter to early spring is going to be lights out. Book now and watch these feisty rainbows fly out of the water to eat your dry or slam your swung fly like a steelhead. We can also run the lower lower section of the Yuba in my jet boat and be the only anglers on the water all day. We would be getting out of the boat and fishing, swinging, throwing drys and nymphing. Its pretty cool fishing below Daguerre Dam.
Swinging: olive streamers, Brown Anderson Euphoria's, brown/tan soft hackles, alevin/fry patterns
Dries: Skwala stones, March Browns
Nymphing: Stones, March Browns, San Juans, Caddis, Mayflies, Copper Johns


Flows: 2500cfs
Clarity: Perfect 8-10ft hint of green
Fishing: Fair-Good
The upper section is now open.
I have done a few trips on the AR over the past 2 months and each time out we had an opportunity at an adult fish or 2 and several half pounders, trips were combo trips, a bit of swinging and some nymphing. The bigger fish seemed a bit more responsive to the swung flies. From what I have heard, the opener was successful, with boats hooking decent numbers of fish, and bankies finding a fish or 2 where there was open water. There are still salmon spawning, so that means you better be fishing an egg pattern. This will continue for a few more weeks and then you will have to fish more traditional trout patterns. Personally Id wait about a week or so before heading out or hit it during the week to miss the crowds. The fishing will only get better on the AR as we get more rain and as the season moves into spring. The AR is known for its big Eel river strain steelhead, some pushing 15lbs. Your average fish is 6-8lb but 8-12lb fish are not uncommon. If you are looking to stay local and hook into some big hot steelhead, the American would be a good idea. 
Swinging: Hobo Spey, Anderson Euphoria's, GT40s, Heisenbergs, Thalkens Tiny Dancer Green Butt Skunk
Nymphing: Eggs, Princes, Trinity Johns, Hares Ear, Birds Nests, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns

Lower Sac

Flows: 5300cfs
Clearity: Steelhead Green 6-8ft
Fishing: GOOD
The Sac is still fishing well, even after the recent downpours that mother nature gave us. The Sac did muddy up for a few days and was only out of commission for a few days, but now its in good shape and it turned right back on after it cleared up. Flows have been steady at 5k since Dec 29th, and there are no scheduled releases in the near future. At 5k if you know where to wade, you can have some epic fishing, but please wade carefully. Nymphing has been the name of the game as of late, but that doesnt mean you cant see some fish sipping on BWOs late afternoon, so always have a dry fly rod ready. This time of year its not always about the big bugs, Ill always have a rubberlegs on for weight, but the smaller the flies the better, think spring creek style. The Lower Sac will only continue to fish better as the season progresses into the spring, and this is the time of year were we see some big fish on the end of the line and sometimes even into the net. If you are looking to book a trip on the Lower Sac, start booking dates now.
Swinging: Birds nests, soft hackles, small woolly buggers, alevins/fry patters
Dries: BWOs
Nymphing: Xmays, BWOs, S&Ms, Midges, Rubberlegs, Cadds, Alevin/Fry patterns


The 2019 shad/striper season on the Yuba was beyond epic, with most anglers landing 20-40 fish each day, with the best day on the water with 2 anglers they landed 148 shad. The boat ride alone is worth the price of admission, the fishing is just a bonus. If you want to experience some of the best shad fishing in California, join me on the Lower Yuba with my jet boat where we get out on gravel bars and swing for these "poormans tarpon." Dont know how to swing, no worries, Ill have you casting a 2 handed rod in no time, and there is no better time to learn how to cast and swing than during shad season, its a numbers game. Also, the striper fishing on the Yuba can be lights out, fishing gin clear water and watching the fish follow your fly all the way to the boat, then eating it, what more could you ask for. Whether its a shad trip, striper trip or a combo trip, I have the Lower Yuba dialed and as long as we have about 900cfs we can make it all the way up to the dam. Dates are extremely limited, booking well in advance is extremely recommend. I am typically fully booked up from May 1st to July 1st for shad, striper and spring run steelhead, SO BOOK YOUR DATES NOW. Shad season starts around May 1st to July 1st
Prime time May 15th to June 15th

My Available Dates for Feather, Yuba, Lower Sac, American

Jan 10, 25,26,27,29,30
Feb 2,6-17,19, 24-29
March 14,16,19-25, 28,29,30,31
More dates available upon request

My Trinity Lower Sac Dates

Jan 5,6,20,21,22,23,
Feb 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13
Feb 25,26,27,28,29
March 1,2,24,25,28,29
More dates available upon request
There you have it folks, I know its been a few months since my last report, but between the extremely over booked and busy fall season, selling our old house in Antelope and purchasing a new house in Marysville in early Sept, its been a non stop busy roller coaster since Sept 1st. I just now feel like we have slowed down. But that doesnt mean the fishing has slowed down, its has only begun and will only get better as the season progresses into spring. 
Over the past few seasons, my available dates during peak season is becoming harder to reserve due to the high demand of my services. If you enjoy your time on the water with me and know when you'd like to book your trip/s, I would highly recommend booking your trip/s well in advance. At this point I would recommend at least 6 months to even a year in advance for peak seasons for steelhead, trout and shad. I want to be able to guide everyone, however, there are only so many days that I have available, and during peak season those dates become very limited. 
I am also happy to announce that I will be attending the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Expo Feb 21st, 22nd, 23rd at my own booth. My booth is located at A27 which is the first isle to the right as you come through the main entrance. Please come by and say hi, lets talk fishing, enter to win a free guided fishing trip, and book your next fly fishing adventure.
Lastly, cheers to another amazing year season in Northern California. Whether we were chasing steelhead, striper, shad, salmon, trout or anything else that swims, it was an awesome and busy year. I want to thank you all who fished with in 2019 and those who have supported me over the years. I am in disbelief that this is my 12th season guiding after starting Nor Cal Fly Guides in Febuary 2009. Im really looking forward to the start of this guiding season, and adding a few new waters to the mix for those looking for something different. I am very blessed for all the friendships in and out of the industry that have been created through the years and I wouldn't be here with out you. Here is to another great season, stay safe and see you on the water.
Solid Grabs
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Russian River, Yuba, and American Shad

Russian River, Yuba, and American Shad

Shad are in! We have reports for the following rivers:

Russian River

Russian River Fly Fishing Report

Just came into shape, but then the recent rains and upcoming rains will likely affect the clarity.  

American River

A good number of shad and stripers being reported on the American River. She is flowing at 9k fishing from the bank though. 

Yuba River

High and Flowing steady at 6660 CFS. They plan to drop the river to 5k next week if you believe the river forecast. Yuba River Dam Release Schedule 5/14:

Short-term Forecast

Englebright Reservoir is expected to continue spilling until June. It is anticipated that total releases from Englebright Reservoir will range between 7,000 cfs, and 5,000 cfs for the next week. Flows in the lower Yuba River are managed to comply with license and flow requirements. Flows can change swiftly and suddenly, so be prepared when recreating on the lower Yuba River or avoid the river for your safety.

Yuba River Fly Fishing Report



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