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Fishing Report

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

TRINITY

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

FEATHER

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

YUBA

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

AMERICAN 

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

YUBA RIVER SHAD and STRIPER trips:

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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Upper Sacramento, Klamath, and Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Upper Sacramento, Klamath, and Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Rick Cox Reports on 12.3.2019

The recent storms have not prevented our Wild Waters guides from getting out on our nearby rivers and finding fish. The Upper Sac has got snow on it from Ney Springs down to Shasta Lake. Access is more difficult but if you are willing to put in the effort you will not only find some hungry fish loading themselves up for the long winter but a completely different landscape that will take your breathe away. With another big storm forecast later this week (3-4 inches rain) the river will probably blow out which isn’t unusual for the winter. Once it settles though your window of opportunity is there so jump on it for some fun with some big fish ready to play. The Klamath remains solid with flows up top around 1000 cfs. Even with the forecast storms this section will not blow out and is a solid option for you steelhead junkies. We have been seeing a very consistent Fall run of steelies and the rain will continue to help tickle these fish to continue their charge up river. The  Lower Sac has been money for us this Fall and continues as such. This has been one of the best years for big rainbows on this river and our clients have been smiley all day long. This amazing fishery just continues to get better and better. If you want it all to yourself and beat the crowds that are normally there Winter is an excellent time for solitude on this big river.

We are looking forward to getting over to the coast soon, the December’s storms are forecast to continue for the next 2 weeks at least, a perfect setup for the elusive beast we live for to start their migration upstream. We are booking trips from the Eel River north into southern Oregon so if you are dreaming of steelhead on these special rivers give us a shout, we have a number of excellent coastal guides at the ready.

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Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Captain Hogan Brown Reports on 11.26.2019

Valley River Striper Fishing - The last week valley striper fishing has been good. The rivers are incredibly low with the indian summer and NO RAIN so that changes the game a bit but the fish are feeding. With weather showing up this week things will change but the rivers and tribs are so low and dry that I can't imagine much will change with regards to clarity or flow. If anything the cloud cover and maybe a slight change in flow and clarity will help the fishing out.

Valley/Foothill Reservoir Bass Fishing - The winter reservoir fishing is starting to pick up on the valley and foothills lakes/reservoirs and should really get going with the weather moving in this week. Fishing the last week on the float'n fly and streamers on sinking lines was decent. Water temps still need to cool down for the bait to come up in the water column and the bass to go on the feed all day. This fishery is an amazing winter fishery and stays in shape when every river in the state is blown out. Many fly anglers are unfamiliar with these fisheries and the fact that they are world class spotted bass fisheries where world record spotted bass have been caught over the last few years.

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Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

Captain Hogan Brown Reports on 10.31.2019

River Striper fishing has been good. Water temps are down in the low 50s and with stable weather there is fish eating every day. This is not the summer or even early fall where fish will feed all day. Most fish feed for a 30-45 minute window and we are having to fish hard all day to find that window. That said we are getting some very nice fish. This time of year is definitely a Quality over Quantity time of year, and those that fish hard throughout the day and stay focused are rewarded. Multiple fish over 20lbs have been hooked or landed in the last few weeks and fishing should remain this way until the weather makes a big shift or change. 
Many of the rivers are dropping and at their lowest flows of the year so only experienced boaters are recommended on the water this time of year. 
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Sacramento River Striper Fly Fishing Report

Sacramento River Striper Fly Fishing Report

Captain Hogan Brown Reports on 10.23.2019

Striper fishing has been good to bad...Fall can be some of the best fishing of the year if you are fishing on the right day. We see some amazingly large fish caught and at times multiple ones on a given day. That said the fish seem very moody and temperamental during the fall as weather patterns, pressure fronts, air and water temps can fluctuate. Water temps are down in the mid to high 50s and I find that fish in these temps go on the feed for very small windows ... maybe 30-45 minutes throughout the day and some times not every day. That said if you are in the right place at the right time it can be epic. A week ago we caught a 21lbs, 10lbs, 14lbs, and 8lbs fish all in about 30minutes in the same half mile of river then struggled to find fish the rest of the day....definitely not the type of fishing that everyone is into but if you are interested in hunting big stripers in the rivers in shallow water this is the time to do it.  

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Lower Sacramento River Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento River Fishing Report

Hogan Brown Reports on 10.2.2019

Fall Striper fishing is in full swing. Fall is the best time of year to target trophy river stripers but it can also be hard to hit it just right as they are not eating every day and consistent weather is key. Weather and just plain luck play a huge part in making it all happen...but when it does it is special. Most fish are coming shallow water and while there are some true trophies getting hooked there are also a fair number of schoolie size fish in the mix. As fall turns to winter the river will fish as long as it stays in shape. Meaning rain and storms don't blow out the river. Clarity is not so much and issue but flows and debris in the river are.

Fall Spotted bass fishing is kicking into gear and should continue to improve over the next month. Many of our valley and foothill reservoirs are some of the most consistent fisheries over the winter as they fish best during the fall/winter/early spring and rarely blow out or muddy up with weather. Many fly anglers fail to utilize these fisheries but in the bass world they are truly world class as the world record spotted bass comes from Northern California and every winter it seems that the record gets broken or rumors of record breaking spotted bass creep through the fishing world.

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Lower Sacramento Trout Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento Trout Fly Fishing Report

Dave Neal Reports on 9.12.19

The mornings in Northern California are feeling more crisp and the days are getting noticeably shorter ... I’m certain that we still have a few hot summer days ahead, but fall season is beginning to creep in with each passing week. It's been a busy couple of weeks and I have been all over the place fishing the Upper Sac, Lower Sac, Fall River, Pit River, Hat Creek and even a little time on the Trinity. There is so much to choose from right now it makes the daily decision that much more difficult. Everything is fishing well.

I’ll focus a report on the Lower Sac- It’s fishing good, but not great or easy by any means. Bottom line is this – if you spend a lot of time on it and know the river you will hook some fish. The local guides that have their finger on the pulse by spending a few days a week on this river are getting a few nice fish consistently, maybe not in the numbers that we see during prime-time periods. Some days are more difficult and then one day everything lines up and it is pretty damn good… it’s fishing!

September is always one of those tweener times. The caddis hatches may not be as thick as they were in July/August … and the egg drop in October is still a few weeks away. The river has been pretty quiet and un-crowded so that is always a bonus! Flows are slightly lower around 9k (was 10-11K all summer) and I’m noticing a lot more moss on the flies if you’re dragging bottom.

Timing is important. Some sections seem to fishing better early in the day while the upper river is usually better late morning/afternoon and then again in the evening time. The lower river (I live in Redding, so the Lower River is below Anderson, lol) seems to be best in the early morning through about 2pm, then again later when the sun gets lower.

Bugs to have in your box… caddis! The usually suspects: tan or brown Bird’s Nest, Gordon Prince, Cinnamon Fox Poopah, tan Silvey’s caddis Bubbleback & LaFontaine style Lower Sac caddis. Sized to match the bugs you see which are all sizes right now #16 - #12. There can also be some prolific bwo’sh mayflies coming off in the evening time and then a spinnerfall of these bugs in the early A.M. The fish are chowing on both of these events, sparse brown and rusty mayfly patterns… Hogan’s S&M and Lance’s X-May.

If you are still reading this then I have your attention… there may be some cool stuff shaping up at mid to end of the September. We are seeing decent fall run salmon showing up and the boys in the Barge Hole and downriver are getting them. Some of these fish are big and bright, including one 32lbr. We should see more steelhead showing up along with more salmon. There are other local rivers with steelhead arriving, too. I have few open due to cancellations this month… September 18, 23, 24, 25 give a shout.

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Lower Sacramento Striper Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento Striper Fly Fishing Report
Valley River Striper Fishing has been good. Fall (Sept-Nov) is always a great time to be on the water as the heat of summer subsides and the fish start to eat for the approaching winter. Fishing was a bit tough over the weekend with the pressure front that moved through but with stable weather sense Monday fishing has been good. There are many options this time of year for fall river striper fishing but most fish are still coming on fast sinking shooting heads but as flows began to drop fishing lighter lines will become more of an option. Salmon anglers are thick on most of our rivers and knowing where they are is key to finding fishable water. 
Valley Reservoirs like Lake Oroville, Lake Shasta, Bullards Bar, Englebright and many others are starting to turn on with the cooler nights and days. While fishing will really pick up starting in November through April there are windows this time of year early and late in the day to catch fish as they go on feeding binges for the approaching winter. Fall fishing for bass can be some of the best of the season but being in tune with weather, barometric pressure, and sunrise and set times is critical. While many people began to turn away from bass fishing as the fall season sets in they end up missing some of the most voraciously feeding bass of the year!
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Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report
Striper fishing continues to hold on strong. The weather is still warm and the stripers are still there to be caught. The pressure on the river has really increased with the number of salmon in the river. The good news is that means most of the local guys switch their attention to salmon and the stripers get ignored. The last week there have been lots of smaller stripers in the mix with a handful of good grabs through out the day. You almost have to weed your way through the smaller fish to find the 7-10lbers. With salmon numbers increasing expect the bigger fish to start pushing out of the deep water looking for safety. I still have a handful of openings for anyone that wants to get out in the next three weeks.
Open Dates:
Sept 4-5, 16
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Lower Sacramento, Lower Yuba, and Lake Oroville Fly Fishing Report

Lower Sacramento, Lower Yuba, and Lake Oroville Fly Fishing Report
Open Guide Dates: 
Nov: 9, 23, 25-27
Dec: 7, 23, 27, 30, 31
Jan: 2, 3, 8-11, 18, 20, 
Feb: 1, 10, 15, 17, 29

Lower Sacramento River Striper fishing has been good. Water temps all over the river have come down and fish are happy and eating throughout the day down to Colusa. Salmon are in the river in good numbers and so are the salmon anglers and guides so knowing how to get away from boat traffic is very important to finding fish that will eat. Flows have not come down from their summer levels so shallow water fishing is still not an option on a regular basis but ounce we get that flow drop fall fishing should really get going and the I Lines and Type 3's will be the ticket. September and October are some of the BEST months to be on the river to chase the trophy fish and this year should be no different. Winter fishing should be good as well as long as flows hold and the river does not blow out. 

Lower Yuba River is fishing good and while I have not been on the river a bunch of my buddies have and they have talked about some good fishing, but mostly from the drift boat. Wade anglers are struggling from what I have heard. That said picking and choosing your spots will help and I am sure there are plenty of fish to be caught. 

Lake Oroville should start fishing here in the next few months and really hit its stride come November - April. Spotted bass fishing is best usually in Dec-March and is at its peak when NOTHING else is fishing! 
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