Northern CA Freshwater Fishing Repot

Eel River main, South Fork filled with steelhead

BY BILL KARR/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 13, 2012

GARBERVILLE — Fishing on the Eel River system has been switching back and forth between the Main Stem and the South Fork, depending on rain and river conditions, but a big run of steelhead is currently in the rivers and some are having double-digit days.

"We saw big numbers of fish for the early part of the week with double digit scores on the best days," said guide Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures. "The Main Stem was fishable it's entire length and the South Fork was holding just enough color to keep the fish from getting wary."

Conditions have been swinging back and forth since then with off and on rains.

"I've been fishing the Eel River system for the last week and fishing has ranged from slow to excellent," said Mike Stratman of Redwood Coast Fishing. "Of course, certain stretches of river seemed to be holding fish, while others have not. Periodic rain has made conditions tough for a few days as well."

He said that on Friday he ended up with 7 fish for 10 hookups on the Main Stem Eel in a light rain that raised and murked up the river on Saturday, turning off the great bite. They ended up with one fish, and it hit a plug.
"There is rain in the forecast for tonight, but after that things look to be drying up down here for a bit and the Eel River System looks to be in play from Tuesday on," Stratman said. "There seemed to be lots of fish moving yesterday, so look for fresh fish all up and down the South Fork. I would also expect the downrunners to start showing in numbers soon."  

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