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Northern CA Freshwater Fishing Report

Striped bass, steelhead and salmon available on American River

BY JIM JONES/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 10, 2012

RANCHO CORDOVA — Fishing on the American River was pretty good last week, and while salmon fishing was slow, there was a nice mix of striped bass, steelhead and a few salmon being caught.  

Brian Clemens of American Fly Fishing has been going out regularly for striped bass and steelhead, and has been getting his clients on a nice mix of both on most of his outings. He said a salmon even grabbed a Clouser streamer intended for stripers right by the boat, quickly breaking 15-pound test leader.  

Clemens said the stripers have been ranging from 4 to 8 pounds. The numbers have been inconsistent, though, some days yielding just a couple but others, up to 15 pounds.  

Stripers typically have been more numerous in the lower part of the river, from Grist Mill on down, but some are even being taken as far upstream as Sailor Bar. 

Steelhead are ranging in size from resident rainbows or smolts of 8 to 12 inches, to around 20 inches and are taking nymphs under indicators. The smaller fish are even slurping dry flies in the evening. They tend to be bunched farther upstream than the stripers, from Rossmoor Bar to Sailor Bar.  

Although there’s very little fishing pressure, even for salmon, with the season open only two weeks, anglers are well advised to stay away from the American on weekends (except for very early) to avoid the hordes of rafters. Flows are going down to 1,000 cfs from 4,500 cfs temporarily this week so the fish screens can be put in place.

AMERICAN KING — Anthony Windom of Sacramento caught his 15-pound king from shore on the American River on opening day, using a Mepp's Spiner. The photo was sent in by Kristian Du Vall of Elkhorn Bait and Tacke in Rio Linda.

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