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Northern CA Freshwater Fishing Report

Salmon fishing picks up on Sacramento and Feather Rivers

BY JIM JONES/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 30, 2012

SACRAMENTO — Here’s a big lesson for anglers fishing for the salmon on the Sacramento River: don’t get discouraged if the fish aren’t biting on any given day. Put in your time, because a few slow days will likely — especially this year — be followed by good fishing for newly-arrived bright kings, as occurred this past week.

Clients of Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service went 4 for 7 on bright kings hooked on Saturday and 2 for 3 on Sunday fishing out of Ord Bend. He said the fish are constantly moving and were all cookie-cutter 20 pounders taken driftfishing and back-bouncing Pautzke’s-cured roe.  

Casey Stafford of CICC Outdoor Adventures also said that new fish were starting to come through. He said the score might be 5 or 6 kings one day, 2 or 3 the next. One of the better catches on his boat last week was a nice 27 pounder taken by Dan Tod on a Kwikfish at Ord Bend.

Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Service has been fishing a pretty big swath of the Sacramento — Red Bluff, Los Molinos, and Ord Bend, and called the fishing “very good” although he, too, said the salmon were constantly on the move and you have to be in the right spot at the right time. Because of that, he’s been finding more success drifting roe than backbouncing.

Jacobs said the kings have been from 15 to 21 pounds and chrome bright beauties. He’s been using light gear, 20-pound mono and 12-pound fluorocarbon leaders with Pautzke fire-cured roe and a small Puffball. Jacobs has also been getting 4 to 6 kings some days, and a couple on others. He said that over the weekend, it was as busy as he’s ever seen it on the river, but still caught fish.  

One of his client’s more notable catches for the week was the 21 pounder caught by 12-year-old Nick Lytle of Santa Rosa. He was fishing with his cousin and father, and it was his  first salmon. Jacobs said that it was “cool as hell to see him do it all himself.” Jacobs has also been scoring salmon by fishing afternoons after the boat traffic calms down. Then, sardine-wrapped Brad’s Killer Fish are doing the job.  

Closer to Sacramento, Yee Vang of Broadway Bait Rod and Gun said that salmon fishing was “fair” around Sacramento. Dave Clingmna caught a 15 pounder on a Flying C Mepps spinner at the Minnow Hole, and Skyler Foster caught a 25 pounder at Miller Park. He also said that there was a good flurry of action at Freeport with nine or 10 caught one morning last week.  

RIVER FISHING FOR kings is off to a good start on the Sacramento River, despite being early in the season. Staffer Bill Karr fished with guide Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service on Wednesday, July 25, and five kings of 18, 17, 11 and 6 pounds were caught by noon. Pictured are Bob Boucke, owner of Johnson's Bait and Tackle, guide Scott Feist and Rich Sizelove of Orangevale. All the fish were caught on roe. 

More and more salmon loading up the Feather River

YUBA CITY — Salmon fishing in the Feather River has been holding up pretty well, and it appears that early fall run kings are starting to move in, based on the good fishing at Shanghai Bend, Bob Bradbury of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle reported on Sunday.  

He said that Chris Spade got his limit of “real pretty” salmon, 18 and 21 pounders anchored up with Silvertrons, and said there were lots of fish in the stretch from Gridley to the Thermalito Afterbay.  

Guide “Big” John Enos fished the river below the Outlet all week and said the fishing has been as good as opening day, or even better, but with less pressure.  His clients caught 3 and lost 1 on Sunday.  Dave Smathers limited out with 18 and 19 pounders on custom-made jointed Kwikfish, and Archie Grant limited out by 8:30 a.m. earlier in the week.   

In addition to the decent salmon fishing, there’s been some decent fishing for steelhead on the Low Flow Section, according to Brian Clement of American Fly Fishing. He said fly fishermen are catching six to 12 steelies a day on nymphs dead-drifted under indicators.

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