PLUME RIVER: River levels have risen significantly, with flows at Gridley remaining steady at 793 cfs. Conditions are expected to continue to improve throughout the week as water levels stabilize.
TRINITY LAKE: The cold water pushed the fish into deeper water 40 to 45 feet with finesse techniques. The lake rose slightly to 30 percent.
AMERICAN RIVER/Above Folsom: Water levels remain high and unusable but flows have dropped slightly from 1181 to 1039 cfs at Chili Bar. The American River watershed above Folsom Dam will be closed for bait fishing or trout retention until the week before Memorial Day.
AMERICAN RIVER/Sacramento: Flows remain high despite falling from 5650 to 4970 cfs at Fair Oaks on Sunday. The rainbow trout opening was disappointing, but Bill Kiene’s Fly Shop reported that fishing had resumed for anglers using eggs under a bobber near shore under the hatchery and under the Sailor Bar. Wading is difficult due to higher water flows. The hatchery ladder is open and a decent number of fish are showing up.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, from Keswick Reservoir to Red Bluff: Flows descended over the upper Keswick to Anderson to 3300 cfs, but the river is gusty below Anderson. Water quality is starting to improve, but visibility is still limited to a few feet or less. Guides working in Sacramento mid-week near Redding reported a decent trout bite with fish caught on egg models or spoons. Guides Kirk Portocarrero and Justin Thompson saw a mix of trout and rainbow trout with up to a dozen fish per day. Both guides displayed a mix of trout including browns up to 22 inches as well as some nice rainbow trout. Fly anglers in drift boats see improved catches using eggs or small nymphs under a bobber, but most fish Trinity, Eel, Klamath or Smith where conditions are better and the rate capture is much higher.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Chico: Water levels are high, but conditions are improving and it could be fishable this week.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, metro area: The water level remains high and the water is muddy and full of debris. A few sturgeons are coming, but it’s still early. Action for striped bass in Sacramento Harbor remains daily as striped bass move in and out of the harbor depending on vessel traffic and the presence of bait.
OROVILLE LAKE: Reaction bite for spotted bass at 2.5 pounds improved with Bass Union custom umbrella rigs loaded with Keitech 3.5 inch swimbaits in Pro Blue, Red Pearl or Arkansas Shine. Heavier weights inside live hooks hold larger baits down, attracting more strikes. The reaction bite is the best first thing in the morning. It’s still very early days for king salmon, but diehards are still trying with hoochie/green Sling Blade combinations, but the best salmon action will begin towards the end of February when the bait begins to flow. The lake continues to rise from 38 to 41%, and there is floating and submerged debris on the lake. Boaters should be careful. Three club tournaments scheduled for January and four more in February in addition to the American Bass Association tournament on February 12 and the two-day Wild West Bass Trails event on February 19-20.
SHASTA LAKE: Water levels continue to rise and bass bite has slowed to drop water temperatures, especially in the arms. The main body was best for bass anglers using Hula Grubs and slow mode jigs between 10 and 50 feet. Rainbow and brown trout weighing up to 7 pounds are caught on Speedy Shiners long trolling, Trinidad Tackle’s Optimizer Juniors or Needlefish on light line. There are two big tournaments this weekend with the Wild West Teams on Saturday and Phil’s Propellers on Sunday, both kicking off in Bridge Bay. The lake rose to 32 percent.
The weekly fishing report, compiled by Western Outdoor News, highlights the best angling opportunities in the northern state.