This informative fishing report it brought to you by NorCal Fly Guides and Brian Clemens the owner / operater. Brian is a reputable Northern California guide who prides himself on educating while on the river along with having good times with his clients that keep coming back for the knowledge, fishing quality and skills.
With the weather cooling it has brought a crispness in the early morning air that only means one thing, fall is just around the corner. With that comes some great fishing. Right now fishing is pretty consistent, and just around the corner its going to be great.
October 2015 Fishing Report:
Feather River: This is where I am spending the majority of my time right now, and that will continue till May/June 2016
Despite the hype, the Feather is fishing pretty good right now. Over the past week or so the amount of steelhead in the system has increased to the point of targeting them all day long. Now by no means is it a walk in the park or a home run, you still have to put in some good drifts and have the right flys on, but with a bit of work on both our ends, you can definitely have a fun day sticking a good number of steelhead. The chrome domes range from 12″ to 26″, but the average is 16-22″, and full of steelhead spunk as the Feather steelhead are known for. We hooked one the other day that put us into our backing within seconds. Right now there is very few people fishing the Feather, but that will change in a few weeks when the egg bite really turns on. Looking to experience steelhead fishing at its finest, look no further than now as well as October to November during the egg bite. I still have a few prime dates left in both months.
Nymphs: Eggs, Caddis, Mayflies
Swinging: Egg Sucking Leech, tan soft hackles
Guides Tip: I like swinging a soft hackle egg pattern
Yuba River: Im still doing a few trips here and there and that will continue until the Egg Bite is over
The Yuba took a little hit to the fishing with the last drop in flows, dropping from 650cfs to 500cfs. The con to this is the water is much lower, and the fish are a bit more skittish, but if you can work a run well with both dries and nymphs you will stick some nice fish. The pro to this is the water is so low, its keeping most of the hard boats off the river due to the boats really getting beat up, another reason why the new NRS Freestone Drifter comes in handy. The morning is a bit slow, but the fishing definitely picks up throughout the day. The salmon are slowly trickling in, and in due time the egg bite will be in full swing, Im guessing a few more weeks. Once that happens its lights out on the Yuba, big fish love the eggs, be ready, they pull super hard. If the waters stay low, I dont think there will be much boat traffic, but the wading traffic will be crazy, so get there early and fish it hard, expect to walk a lot to find open water. Again, still a few prime dates available to experience the egg bite on the Yuba River between October and November.
Nymphs: Eggs, Legs, Caddis, Mayflies, PTs
Swinging: Tan soft hackles
Guides Tip: 5x even 6x and cover water, most fish are holding in the faster oxygenated water.
Trinity River: Been doing a trip here and a trip there, and its really good, and only gonna get better
Not to many people know about the summer run on the Trinity, and not to many people fish it, and when they do it stays hush hush, cuz its that good. Hooking 15-20 steelhead a day is not uncommon, most will be 12-18″ half pounders with a healthy handfull being some really nice 18-26″ adults. There are some bigger fish in the system too, but a bit harder to come by as they are more spread out. Did I mention the brown trout, oh ya, they are super active as well, taking almost everything thrown at them. Swinging is epic this time of year, being able to swing up multiple fish on a daily basis is the way to go in my book. What I have noticed when swinging this time of year, is the fish you do hook are going to be adults 90% of the time, those bigger fish love swung flies. Of course nymphing will always be the numbers producer, from the half pounders to the adult steelhead as well as the burly browns that the Trinity has to offer, nymphing will hook um all. Now is the time to be up there as the crowds are at a minimum, come October as well as the egg bite, it will get much busier, but there will also be more bigger fish to hook. Get up there and fish is all I can say. My October dates on the Trinity are fully booked up, however I still have a few November dates available if you are looking to experience one of my favorite steelhead rivers in Nor Cal.
Nymphs: Eggs, Legs, Copper Johns, Caddis, Mayflies, Psycho Princes
Swinging: Anything purple, anything black, slim profile
Guides Tip: Swinging a muddler in the evening can really rock the bigger fish in the tailouts, give an October caddis spey pattern a try as well.
Lower Sac: Havent touched the Lower Sac in a while, but many trips over the next few months
The Lower Sac is on fire, plan and simple. The boat hatches arent prolific yet, so nows the time to fish it. Once the egg bite happens, the crowds will happen as well. The big fish are out and giving many bent rods, hooking them isnt the issue, landing them is, super hot big Lower Sac bows are one mean species, one second you think you have um, the next second you are left with no flies and a big ? over your head. Its hard to beat the Lower Sac right now for quality and quantity, and personally I dont think it will get any better than right now, even with the egg bite just around the corner. Want to experience one of the best trout fisheries on the west coast, look no further than the Lower Sac right now. With that, I still have a few prime dates left in October and November for the egg bite.
Nymphs: Legs, Caddis, Mayflies, Caddis, Caddis, Caddis
Swinging: Anything soft hackle caddis imitations
Guides Tip: Get up there now!!!!!!!
Putah Creek: Done a half day here half day there
The creek is being a bit of a sleeper right now, meaning its fishing really well, and no one knows it, until now. Flows are slowly dropping, the bigger fish are on the move and gorging themselves to get ready for the up and coming spawning season. Most know about the fire out there, yes it burned a lot of the area around the creek, but nothing happened to the creek itself, it actually helped with getting around on the creek, no more berry bushes. So despite the fire, the creek is on fire. It will only get better from now till the beginning of the spawn. And with that, I will only be guiding the creek up until November 1st, I will then be off the creek until February 1st, the reason for this is to let the Putah Creek trout spawn in peace, and to be honest, Id rather be chasing chrome domes during that time frame anyways.
Nymphs: sz18-24s, midges, caddis, mayflies
Swinging: any sz14-18 soft hackles
Guides Tip: Get out and enjoy the great fishing on Putah Creek right now. But please, do not fish the creek from Nov 1 to Feb 1. These fish are extremely stressed during this time of year, and combine that with low flows, poor spawning habitat, and anglers fishing to them, its extremely stressful on the fish. And I know we all want them to spawning successfully, so instead go chase those elusive steelhead.
American River: Havent bothered since the last drop in flows
Flowing at 800cfs, and with the water temps in the mid 60’s up at Sailor Bar, its really making for tough fishing conditions. Doesnt mean you cant get out there and hook some fish, but its just tough out there right now, and other rivers are fishing much better. Look for this place to pick up towards the end of October, beginning of November with the egg bite and the fall/winter steelhead start coming in. Then come Jan 1, its on for those big American River Steelhead that everyone wants to hook into. If you are interested in booking a trip for the American River, look to do so after Jan 1st, for now, fish the other rivers for better success.
There you have it folks, the early fall fishing report. Looking to get out, nows the time to hit the water, or book your next guided fly fishing trip/s. The egg bite is here, and the winter fishing is just around the corner, if you are looking to book, don’t wait, dates are filling up, and once again I have been booked up close to 45 days out.
My Current Available Dates
Please inquire on available dates for 2016.
Also due to the addition of a second guide, additional dates may be available. Please inquire if none of the dates above work for you.
My Trinity River Available Dates
Additional Trinity River dates may be available upon specific requests. Also, due to the addition of a second guide, these dates can be available for local waters. Please inquire if you are interested in booking any of these dates on local waters.
Once again, there is the current fishing report as well as my available dates. I hope you enjoyed it and it gets you fired up to get out and fish now, but also stoked for the up and coming fall/early winter season. Also as you can see, I do not have many prime dates left in October and November for the “Egg Bite”, if your looking to get out, snag those date/s now. Looking to chase those Winter Steelhead, I would still look into booking those date/s now as they will fill up just as fast.
If you have any questions at anytime, please feel free to call or email, I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.
Looking forward to seeing you on the water soon
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER
KEEP THOSE LINES TIGHT
Brian W. Clemens
NOR CAL FLY GUIDES