What's Hot and What's Not™
(THE Northern California Flyfishing Report) from

Fish First! Logo

Subscribe to WH&WN™, change email address, or remove from list.

Download a .pdf file of the latest fishing report for easy reading and to take with you when you head out fishing WH&WN™ 10 May 18.pdf.

View the latest flow and reservoir release info here.

10 May 2018
WH&WN subscribers Help keep What's Hot and What's Not™ the most honest, accurate, and up-to-date fishing report in Northern California.  Submit Report Button
H2O Conditions
Fishing conditions, Techniques, and Hatches

Baum Lake

Clear, low to mid 50s, lake level is normal.

Fishing is good. Best fishing is from 11am to dusk with fish rising to midges followed by BWO in the afternoon. Start the day fishing a dry/dropper combo of a big mayfly supporting a smaller midge pupa. Most of the trout will eat the dropper. As the hatch progresses and fish start rising, use a sparkle dun with an emerger dropper. Some rises are very subtle. Stripping streamers along the weed beds are hooking larger browns. Good alternative to Hat Creek when its crowded.

Lake woolly buggers/streamers J Fair wiggle tail (olive, brown, burnt orange) BH woolly bugger (black, olive, brown), crystal bugger, mini bugger black/olive, seal bugger (rust, olive, black), hale bopp leach (brown, olive), Mack’s bugger, bunny leach (white), chub minnow (#6-12). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (Listed elsewhere in report). BWO nymphs (Listed elsewhere in report). Midge pupa (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light fishing pressure. NCDAG pg 48

Davis Lake (near Portola off hwy 70)

Clear, low 50s F.

Fishing is fair. Trout are scattered on the east and west side feeding on the leeward side of islands around Jenkins and Cow Creek. Strip small streamers on an intermediate or type three sinking line. Fishing snails and damsel nymphs will be good as the day warms. Not a lot of damsels yet but warm weather will bring them out. Primetime for damsels and hex is June.

Blood midge pupa desert storm, WD 40 red, red brassie, disco midge red, red and copper zebra midge, red copper john, Hogan’s red headed step child, Chironomid Larva (#12-14). Chirono Cones Red (#16,20). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). Lake woolly buggers/streamers (listed elsewhere). Midge pupa (listed elsewhere).

Low to moderate fishing pressure. Coves may be busy during the weekends NCDAG pg 70.

Deer Creek (Along Highway 32)

Slight tint, high 40’s F, good flow.

Fishing is good. Flows are slightly higher than normal but not too much runoff this year. As water warms, hatches of salmonflies, caddis and PMD’s will be more prominent than the BWO’s and midges currently hatching. Caddis will start to show in the afternoon on warm days. Best fishing is around Elam Campground where hatchery trout provide action for kids perfecting their dead-drift. For wild trout, hike to more secluded spots in the Transfer and in Ishi Wilderness. Fishing should be good all summer here.

Ant patterns Deer hair ant, 2 tone Para ant, Cutter’s perfect ant, Schroeder’s parachute ant, hi-vis foam ant, flying ant, fur ant, flying ant (#12-18). BWO/Baetis nymphs Hogan’s S&M nymph, Hogan’s better baetis, Burk’s crystal hunchback, Hogan’s olive military may, tailwater tiny, flashy pheasant tail, Sloan’s mighty may, Burk’s olive hunchback two-tone, Mercer’s micro mayfly, tung split case BWO (#16-22). Caddis pupa/emergers and Golden stonefly dries and Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere in report).

Expect moderate fishing pressure. Access off Hwy 32 from Deer Creek bridge upstream to Hwy 36. Catch & Release from Deer Creek Falls down stream to Ishi Wilderness. NCDAG pg. 58.

Fall River (Cal Trout access to Spring Creek Rd)

Clear, good flows, high 40s F, few weeds starting to show.

Fishing is fair. Best fishing will be from late morning to mid-afternoon. Slack line nymph with BWO nymphs, midge pupa, and small caddis pupa under an indicator. As the day warms, look for a few rusty spinners. Watch for a sparse PMD hatch in the afternoon. Tip: Key to catching fish on Fall River with nymphs and dry flies is a dead drift. Make sure to use enough slack during the drift. Streamer fishing with a sinking line during non-hatch periods is producing. Dry fly fishing will improve with warmer air and water temps.

Caddis emergers Lawson's emerger, Overly's spotlight, LaFontaine's emergent sparkle pupa, Hogan's swing’ in caddis, Silvey’s submerger caddis (olive, tan), Silvey’s edible emerger, BH soft hackle (olive, rust) (#12-18). PMD nymphs BH flash back pheasant tails, Kyle's super flash PMD, Mercer's micro mayfly (brown), Black AP nymph, dark lord, Burk’s crystal HBI, flashy PT (#14-18) Woolly buggers Krystal bugger, beadhead mini-leech, Argentina bugger, J Fair’s wiggle tail, marabou leech (#8-12). Caddis pupa (see Pit River). Midge pupa (see Hot Creek).

Expect light to moderate fishing pressure. Pram with electric motor needed. Only public access is from Cal Trout. NCDAG pg 38.

Frank’s Tract & San Joaquin Delta (including Mildred, San Joaquin River, and nearby sloughs)

2-5 feet visibility,  high 50s F.

Fishing is fair.  Stripers are around the San Joaquin are still spawning. Should be good for a few more weeks on days where the wind is down. Use a fast sink shooting head with chartreuse and white clousers. Use an erratic retrieve to entice big grabs. The black bass bite is turning on. Fish are eager to take a bulky whistler on the edge of weed beds and in shallow water. Look for topwater action for black bass starting in a couple weeks. Reports of several 7+ pound black bass caught on the fly in the last week.

Striper patterns Flashtail clousers and whistlers in chartreuse/white, pink/white, all white, and black (2/0-3/0), pearly poppers (red/yellow, green/yellow), gurglers, crease fly. Bass surface flies Rubber leg hard foam popper (grn/blk, red/ylw), Umpqua swimming frog, Messinger frog, Swimming frog, Bass hopper, dancing frog). Price’s Mudflap Jr. Olive, Price’s Mudflap Jr. Chartreuse, Price’s Mississippi Mudflap Olive, Price’s Mississippi Mudflap Chartreuse, Price’s Warmwater Whammy Olive, Price’s Warmwater Whammy Yellow.

Boat needed - rentals are available at Sugar Barge Marina on Bethel Island. Moderate to heavy fishing pressure. CDAG pg. 72, 73.

Feather River (Hwy 70 bridge to Gridley)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow in low flow (800 cfs), good flow below the Afterbay (1,050 cfs) at Gridley.

Fishing is good. Spring steelhead are throughout the system holding in riffles during the hatch and in tailouts during the heat of the day. In the morning, start with midge pupa and BWO nymphs under an indicator. Be sure to use enough split shot to get flies down in fast water. In the afternoon, switch to caddis and PMD’s. Swinging tactics are a productive method to hook steelhead when hatches are in full swing. It’s not uncommon to find steelies slashing caddis and PMD’s on the surface in the afternoon. Try an E/C caddis is a favorite for these aggressive spring steelies. Best way to cover water is from a drift boat, pontoon boat or kayak.

Attractor beadhead nymphs  royal flush, Hogan’s Steelie Caddis, hare’s ear, twenty incher, Eng thing, Fred Gordon amber wing prince, Hart’s dark lord, copper lite brite prince, copper john (red, black, lime, copper) Hogan’s amber wing attractor, Tungsten Hotwire prince (olive/copper & Green/Yellow), Queen prince, bird’s nest, black AP, Red Squirrel (#10-18), san juan worm (worm brown, burgundy). Caddis cripples/dries Hogan’s last call caddis, Henryville, Brook's headlight, elk hair caddis (brown, tan, olive), Cutter's E/C, Overly's spotlight (tan, olive), Hemingway, Goddard caddis, hot butt peacock caddis, peacock caddis, Lawson's E-Z caddis, green humpy, Blue ribbon X2 caddis, Kyle’s better foam caddis  (#12-20). PMD emergers/cripples/dries (Listed elsewhere in report).

Light to moderate fishing pressure. Above Hwy 70 is open to fishing. DO NOT wade into the salmon redds. Access from Oroville State Wildlife Area. NCDAG pg 68, 78.

Hat Creek (PH#2 to fish barrier)

Clear, low 50s F, good flow.

Fishing is good. The PH#2 riffle is producing well with a stonefly nymph and small PMD dropper all day. Some BWO and PMD are hatching mid-morning, with some nice trout rising on the flats. Cripples and emergers fished downstream on 7x tippet is needed to catch these wary trout. Afternoon slows, but once the sun goes down the salmonflies are out, along with small caddis, rusty spinners, and green drakes. Fish until dark.

Green drake nymphs tungsten hunchback green drake nymph, Poxyback green drake, Quigley’s crown jewel, black AP, prince nymph (#8-10). Golden stonefly nymphs jumbo john, Morrish cone stone, Morrish WMD, Poxyback golden stone nymph, Mercer's poxyquill golden stone, copper back, Pat’s Rubberleg. Attractor beadhead nymphs and Midge pupa and salmonfly dries (listed elsewhere).

Expect crowds at the PH#2 riffle on weekends. To escape the crowds, try fishing below Carbon Flat or the Hwy 299 bridge. NCDAG pg 48.

Hot Creek

Slight tint to off color, high 40s F, high flow (27 cfs).

Fishing is good. Water is a little off color due to runoff but will clear soon.  BWO’s are hatching in the morning. The beginning of the caddis hatch is in the afternoon. A few green drakes have been spotted on overcast and rainy days. Nymphing a midge under an indicator or as a dropper under a dry in early morning is producing consistent action. Best tactic is to fish the edges and between weed beds where fish will hold looking for a meal.

BWO/Baetis emerger/dries Brook's KD dun, Mercers emerging poxyback bwo, fluttering mayfly cripple BWO, Harrop captive dun, BWO extended body, Brooks CDC dun baetis, hackle stacker BWO, loopwing paradun, olive hatch master, parachute BWO, twilight baetis dun day-glo, BWO CDC transitional dun, Brook's sprout baetis, Harrop's CDC BWO emerger, Quigley’s loopy cripple stacker, Burk’s silhouette (#16-20). Midge pupa and Attractor dries and BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Expect moderate fishing pressure on weekends. Access at upper parking lot and fish downstream to the hot springs. NCDAG pg 112.

McCloud River (below McCloud Reservoir)

Good clarity, mid 50's, normal flow (189 cfs at Ash Camp, 222 cfs at Ah-Di-Na)

Fishing is good. Some march browns are still lingering in the morning and caddis are just starting in the afternoon. PMD’s are hatching around 2pm along the flats and salmonflies are still active just before dusk. Ants are productive midday when nothing else is hatching. Drift an ant pattern back to the bank where there is a concentration of vegetation. Nymphing with a dark stonefly and a small red or black attractor nymph is a deadly combination. Stripping streamers in pocket water is also good with a sink tip. Beware of rattlesnakes and poison oak. Salmonflies are starting and dry fly fishing is good near dark.

March brown nymphs/dries Hogan’s march brown nymph, March brown emerger, copper john, beadhead flash back pheasant tail, march brown spotlight emerger, spun dun, march brown parachute, march brown cripple, PT challenged, March Brown dun (#12). Golden stonefly dries Hogan’s split-wing stone, hedgehog, Hogan’s hangin stimi, crystal stimulator, yellow humpy, rubber-legged stimulator, Rogue foam golden stone, Gould’s half down golden, Sloan’s paralyzer, Carlson’s egg sack stone (#8-12). River woolly buggers/streamers (listed elsewhere). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries (listed elsewhere). Ant patterns and PMD emergers/cripples/dries (listed elsewhere).

Moderate fishing pressure. Access below McCloud Reservoir. NCDAG 36.

Oroville Lake

Slight tint, mid to high 60’s F.

Fishing is good. Water temps have increased, and bass are aggressive. Fish back bays to block out the wind. Best fishing access is by boat, with moderate. Fish edges, structure such as rocks, and logs to locate spotted and smallmouth bass. Stripping a weighted fly along the shore will trigger a strike. Suspend balanced leeches, tui-chubs, and minnow patterns under an indicator. Make sure to pause between strips. Another method is using a sink tip with weighted flies in order to reach deeper water along ledges. Guided trips available through First First Fly Shop!

Bass subsurface flies Hogan puff-claw dad, bluegill, Wyatt's rattle shad, Wyatt's rattle rainbow, Cutter’s goblin, rag sculpin, zonker, woolhead sculpin, blossom, Double bunny, blossom,  Cowen’s coyote, Whitlock’s scorpion, garage door opener (rust, chartreuse), Burk's bass flash, Clouser Darter, flexi-tail bunny, baby smallmouth (#2-10), Balanced Leaches.

Expect light pressure with a lot of lake to fish. Access at Lime Saddle and Bidwell Marina. Best is best but some wading is good too. CDAG pg.51.

Sacramento River, Upper (Lake Siskiyou to Lake Shasta)

Clear, low to mid 50’sF. Low to moderate flow (510 at Delta).

Fishing is fair to good. Water levels are excellent for this time of year. Nymphing with a stonefly and black attractor nymph from mid-morning on is good. Keep moving to find active fish. A mix of march browns, caddis, PMD, golden stones, and salmonflies are starting to show, but dry fly action is still spotty. Expect the bite to be very good soon. The entire 35 miles of river is fishing so go exploring.

Attractor beadhead nymphs  royal flush, Hogan’s Steelie Caddis, hare’s ear, twenty incher, Eng thing, Fred Gordon amber wing prince, Hart’s dark lord, copper lite brite prince, copper john (red, black, lime, copper) Hogan’s amber wing attractor, Tungsten Hotwire prince (olive/copper & Green/Yellow), Queen prince, bird’s nest, black AP, Red Squirrel (#10-18). Caddis pupa/emergers Fox's poopah (olive, tan), hot wire caddis, Anderson's peeking green, Amber wing prince, M’s Dirty Bird, Hogan’s steelie caddis, Silvey’s submerger caddis (olive, tan). Attractor beadhead nymphs (listed elsewhere), BWO/Baetis nymphs (listed elsewhere), Caddis pupa/ emergers and Golden and salmonfly stonefly nymphs (listed elsewhere).

Moderate fishing pressure in Dunsmuir area, below that there is lots of room. Be careful when wading. NCDAG 36, 46.

Truckee River (Trout Creek to CA Stateline)

Green to clear, low 50’s. moderate to high flow (392 cfs near Truckee, 1110 cfs at Farad).

Fishing is fair. Flows are high but fishable near the edges, especially above Boca. Nymphing green drakes, BWO’s, PMD’s, and stoneflies under an indicator is best bet. Use plenty of shot to get down. Cold water temps mean best fishing from mid-morning on. Bring lots of flies as there are many snags. Streamers brining up a few big browns and rainbows. Not much dry action yet, just a few heads up later in the day for occasional BWO, March Brown, and leftover skwalas.

March brown nymphs/dries Hogan’s march brown nymph, March brown emerger, copper john, beadhead flash back pheasant tail, march brown spotlight emerger, spun dun, march brown parachute, march brown cripple, PT challenged, March Brown dun (#12). BWO/Baetis emerger/dries and River woolly buggers/streamers and Attractor beadhead nymphs Caddis pupa/emergers (listed elsewhere).

Expect moderate fishing pressure. Access along Hwy 89 down through Hirshdale. NCDAG 81.

Other Reports

Other Reports Walker River, East (below Bridgeport reservoir) Flows have been fluctuating. If you catch it with three days of consistent flows it will be amazing. Fluctuating flows will put fish down. Fish midges under a dry fly in the foam along the edges in the morning. As the day warms, fish will rise to spring caddis along the edges. Look for trout rising to BWO’s in pocket water. Stripping streamers will also entice a big grab. Pit River (3,4,5) Flows are high and difficult to fish due to runoff. North Fork Feather (Beldon to Poe) Flows are high below Rock creek. Wading will be difficult but warm weather will bring out hatches of mayflies and the start of stoneflies. Nymphing runs along the edges will find trout. Look for trout rising in pools and tailouts where the current is light. Flows are good below Poe powerhouse wit some caddis, stoneflies and baetis. Recent high water has flushed out a lot of insects. Reports of sparse hatches. Sierra small streams Most are still running high due to snowmelt, but it will be a much earlier year than last year. Expect good fishing conditions by late May early June.

Shad Report Shad have arrived! The first batch of male shad have arrived with female shad to follow. Fishing a 225-300 grain fast sink shooting head with Rio’s Grip Shooter running line will hook shad on the swing, stripped in, or jigged off the back of a boat in slower back eddies where shad can find relief from the current. Sacramento River- Wading off the bank for shad is good on the Sac at these flows (5,000 cfs). Accessing along river road offers the best access around Chico. American River- Shad are starting to show from Gristmill to the mouth. Look for slower water where shad can get a break from these high flows. Yuba River- No reports of shad, but increased flows will bring fish up the Yuba to Daguerre Dam. Access off Hallwood Ave. Feather River- No reports at Shanghai Bend. Best numbers on of fish are on the Sac and American.

WH&WN™ FREE flyfishing report would not be possible without the help of: Craig Nielsen/Shasta Trout Guide Service, Jordan Romney (Putah Fly Fishing Guide), Victor Babbit/Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters/Tahoe, Jerry/The Troutfitter/Mammoth Lakes, Ted Fay Flyshop/Dunsmuir, Greg/Sweeny’s sport shop, Andy/Kiene's Fly Shop/Sacramento, Richard Hardy-Davis report, Ken’s Sporting Goods/Scott Freeman-EW report. Special thanks to all the WH&WN™ subscribers who have submitted their fishing reports for the fisheries listed in WH&WN, you help keep us honest, accurate, and up-to-date.

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Contact Us | Site Map
©1993-2007 Fish First ! All Rights Reserved Worldwide.