Mid Fall Fishing is shaping very nicely in northern California and winter fishing is right around the corner. Here is what has been happening and what is coming up.
Lower Yuba - has come back down to earth after fishing lights out for the last month. Fishing has been very good from about mid September until very recently. I spent Saturday guiding the river and fishing was good but we had to work for our fish and there were some dry spells at times. Fish are up on the reds eating eggs and usually the first guy through the reds is going to catch the easy fish after that you are going to have to work a bit for your fish. This is pretty typical for the lower Yuba as the flows are low this time of year and guides in boats and wade fishermen are all fishing the same water and the fish are getting a bit weary. Most of the fish we caught were on egg patterns but when I fished water I knew had been fished I switched up to finer tippet and some smaller flies as the fish usually drop back off the reds once a few have been pricked.
COMING UP - Yuba is usually up and down for most of the end of October and early November. I usually head back over in late November once the crowds disperse, the winter fish start to move into the river, and the baetis hatch gets going. Mid November through Mid January is a great time to be on the L. Yuba as you have opportunity to hook a winter steelhead and fish dry flies over a baetis hatch if the conditions are right.
Lower Feather – Spent a few days on the Lower Feather this last week as well. This is where I usually move once the Yuba gets tough. There is a ton of salmon in the feather and good numbers of half pound and jumbo half pounder steelhead in the river. I spent most of my time down in the high flow and fishing was good. Most of the salmon in the high flow are still hanging in the deeper holes and staging in the riffles. A few reds are popping up but over the next few weeks good numbers of fish should move up into the riffles to spawn.
Lower Sacramento – I have not moved up to the Lower Sac yet as all my buddies that have been guiding up there are kind of grumbling about the fishing. The egg bite doesn’t seem to have really gotten going with all the salmon that we were seeing in the lower river earlier this summer. Many of those fish may have gone up Battle Creek to the hatchery and not on up into the upper river. I have heard of some guys have good days down lower in the river but I have also heard the same guys struggling down low so….who knows. I am waiting to hear of some consistent fishing before I move up, but I am getting a little anxious to move up to Red bluff to start looking for some steelhead down low personally.
COMING UP – it should be a great season over the feather from Oroville down to Gridley. The end of October through the middle of November is usually prime time down through the high flow to Gridley. This year with the number of salmon in the river it should be a great year on the feather. I am pumped to fish over here over the next month.
Butte Creek – Opens Nov. 15 and should have a great winter season. I will be doing walk and wade and floating the creek this winter. This is a true winter steelhead fishery minutes from down town Chico, ca in a beautiful river canyon. A great place to spend a winter day nymphing or swinging flies for steelhead and trout.
As always check out my blog for the most up to date fishing reports and ramblings. I still have winter dates available if any one is looking to get out.
Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, 20-23, 27, 31
Jan. 2-8, 21, 22, 28, 29
Feb. 4, 5