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Northern CA Freshwater

Guerneville: Russian River fishable, but barely

BY SCOTT HEEMSTA/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 04, 2020

GUERNEVILLE —Fishing has been tough on the Russian River due to low flows, but there are nice steelhead in the river if you can outsmart them.

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THE RUSSIAN RIVER is flowing low and clear and any fishing required stealth tactics. Steve Jackson, owner of Kings Sport & Tackle, used a Cleo for this 9-pound bright steelhead.


“As of Feb. 29 the Russian was flowing at 430 cfs with clear conditions,” said Scott Heemstra at Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “Fishing has been tough with the clear, spooky conditions. Fish are being caught swinging flies, small comets and bosses, floating roe, jigs or soft beads and casting Cleos.”


Due to the low flows, the Sonoma County Water Agency decided it was necessary to inflate the diversion dam at Wholer. “If you plan to float from Healdsburg down you will have to take out at the Wholer access before the dam,” Heemstra warned. “The forecast is calling for a chance of weather starting the weekend of March 6.


Recently Steve Jackson, owner of Kings, fished near Guerneville and used a Cleo for a 9-pound bright steelhead, and Pete Taylor fly fished with a Boss for a 7 pounder.


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