Jan142019

By Boots Johnson

We are told steelhead are in the system. These ocean going rainbow trout have been taken in the Feather and Yuba Rivers on various lures and bait. We advise checking with regulations for closures, bait restrictions and other info including catch and release and/or barbless hooks.

I have fished for steelhead both in the Yuba and Feather Rivers in the past and have accidentally caught them when salmon fishing or catfish fishing in the Feather River. Some favorites are spinners and lures along with night crawlers, salmon eggs. Roe is also a good choice when allowed.

The biggest mistake anglers make when steelhead fishing is to wait too long for water clarity after a storm. Water clarity is extremely important for success, but cloudy water is when you want to fish and continue as the water clears. Color is also a big item no matter what you are using at the end of your line. I have had success on natural colored salmon eggs when nothing else would work. Also sometimes changing lure color will get some action.

Steelhead always move close to shore when storms are around. They will also move in that direction when boats run the rivers. As the storms pass and the water clears you will find them more in the deeper water towards the middle of the rivers. Early morning seems to be the best time for these fish and this brings to mind another story. The biggest steelhead I have ever caught happened early in the morning. We were anchored up at the mouth of the Yuba, sitting in Feather River water. We were after salmon but I decided to toss out a large spinner. My boys both were fishing with a flatfish and sardine wrap. I had a pull down and watched that beautiful steelhead break water and dance on its tail as the early morning sunlight created brightness from the fish and the water spraying into the air each time he jumped.

I brought the fish to the boat and Ted netted him................a beautiful five pound steelhead. We caught salmon that morning but the conversation was about that fish dancing on top of the water so beautiful and colorful in the early morning sunlight.

Closing thought: “Get out the tackle boxes, check them out and clean up your gear. Good fishing will be here before you know it.”

Jan72019

By Boots Johnson

Welcome to a wet and cold New Year. We hope all had a good holiday. We certainly did and are looking forward to 2019. Currently the weather is wet and cold. Our weather source predicted this a month or so ago so we called him for an update. He advised, according to his records since the 40’s, to expect things to get back to normal this year with lots of rain, snow, wind and colder temperatures compared to what we have experienced for a long time.

The current weather system, which we are told will be around awhile, will muddy up the rivers and bring the sturgeon upstream. Many of you out there fish for the prehistoric monster and we know this rain will bring smiles to your faces. Also, the steelhead season is upon us and we expect to see good fishing in local rivers for the next month or so.

Currently, according to a report from that area, Lake Berryessa has gone hog wild last week as bass, perch, crappie and trout turn on in this reservoir. Expect the lake to turn murky with the rain we are experiencing. Those who were on the water before the current storm had a ball fishing.

Those folks who braved the cold last week caught some nice trout at Collins Lake above Browns Valley. Fish were brought in which weighed up to five pounds.

Several years ago we were invited up to Lake Almanor before the Holiday season in Mid-December. Back then we encountered snow on the highway and snow just about everywhere. At the lake it was a beautiful sight with the blue water and the white snow. We fished off the bank in several areas without much success, but we did have frozen fingers and cold noses before we returned to the cabin. It has been some time since we have had that kind of weather and it appears we will once again see the Sierra Nevada Mountains with deep snow all around.

Closing thought: “Bring out the long johns, the sweaters and that extra warm coat that have been sitting in the closet for years and enjoy a normal, regular winter season.”

Dec312018

By Boots Johnson

Well folks, Christmas is gone and we are looking forward to the New Year. Research has told us, which includes computers and other things, along with the old folks who have kept track of the seasons by hand, that two thousand nineteen will be quite a year for folks who fish. In fact if all the predictions come true we will see records broken, limits common and many surprises for just about most of those who enjoy the outdoors and make fishing a hobby. Wait a minute....hobby? This may be true for the majority of anglers, but there are some who take fishing one level above or even more to challenge the sport or become guides or experts. But for most of us all we want to do is catch a fish or two and teach our children the wonders of the fishing world. God bless you all and good luck!

By the time you are reading this column it will, more than likely, be the New Year and most will be thinking about spring and summer.....mostly about spring to catch those fish, regardless of what species, and enjoy the experience with family and friends. What a wonderful way to take in the New Year and enjoy the planning of each fishing adventure for 2019.

So, without further comment....................Happy New Year and good fishing!

Closing thought: “When you decide failure is not an option....everything changes....”

Dec242018

By Boots Johnson

Those of you out there who still want to wet a line can find some action on local rivers fishing for steelhead. There has also been a showing of sturgeon in the Sacramento River although reports tell us the fishing is slow with few fish being brought into tackle shops.

Conditions at Lake Almanor are definitely on the cold side with snow and more snow in the forecast, but the trout are cooperating here and those who whether the storm are catching some nice fish.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife planned to plant catchable trout last week in the following waters: Folsom Lake, Auburn Regional Park Pond was also on the list. This water is located in Placer County. Rancho Seco Lake in Sacramento County also was planted along with Collins Lake above Marysville.

We are told that those who have large boats should avoid Camp Far West Reservoir due the low conditions of the lake. Small, preferably aluminum boats can make it on the gravel bar to launch. It is also recommended if you have a small fiberglass boat to leave it home.

Englebright Reservoir is full as usual and we have a report of success in the upper end of the lake trolling. Fish caught there last week were in the 18 to 24 inch range.

If it is bass you are after we recommend Lake Oroville. Fishing in the main part of the lake is best due to all the arms being somewhat still muddied up from the last storms.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Closing thought: “Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives.”

Dec32018

By Boots Johnson

We are told to expect more rain by the end of the week. Foul weather this time of year raises the rivers and brings the sturgeon upstream into the Sacramento Valley. Old timers will tell you when the rivers turn color and get muddy it is time to get the sturgeon gear ready.

The holidays are upon us and all of us should be thankful for what we have, including some of the best fishing anywhere else. Let us not forget the fisherman or the fishing lady in your family. Nothing makes the holiday more memorable than a fishing gift under the tree. I recall my surprise as a young man when I received a new fly rod from my Dad on Christmas morning. At the time I was 10 years old and I still have that rod and will cherish it for all time.

The weather has turned cold and the fish are cooperating is some areas. Many lakes and reservoirs, both at the foothill level and the high sierras, have turned over for the winter. One natural lake would be
Eagle Lake near Susanville. Serious anglers are still catching limits of trout there and more than likely will continue until it closes the end of this month. If you decide to take a break from the holidays and go fishing at Eagle Lake be sure to take your tire chains, warm clothes, hot coffee and whatever else you would need in the frigid weather up there.

Another thought, if you want to have trout for dinner, is to hit the local rivers for steelhead. These ocean going trout are currently in the rivers and are cooperating with anglers. Check with your favorite sporting goods store to find out what to offer and where the best areas are located.

Our weather source it the nail on the head for the storms last week. We asked him for a forecast and he advised to expect cold nights, cool days and rain by the end of the first week in November. In addition, he says we should be prepared for a cold winter, a very cold one and to expect freezing here and there in the coming weeks and into December.

Closing thought: “You were born to be a real person, not one to be perfect.”

Nov262018

By Boots Johnson

We hope all had a Happy Thanksgiving Day and all of you who fish and enjoy the outdoors have said a prayer for the people in Paradise, California. Keep in mind that this community is so close to the Yuba Sutter area as well as most of the area those who trout fish pass through on their way to the high country. I have driven through Paradise so many times I cannot count them and I am horrified for what has happened to the community up there. God bless each of you who lost everything and let those most unfortunate who perished rest in peace.

As a small boy I was introduced to the world of fishing. My Father, who was one of the most devoted people to fish for trout, taught me how to fly fish, to bait fish and to spin fish for the elusive trout. It did not matter if it was a rainbow, a brown, brook or one of that no one at the time could identify, we always had a wonderful time camping and enjoying the outdoors and the challenges and the streams we fished.

I was fortunate to have been able to fish for trout before it was invaded by many anglers. I was fortunate to have been able to fish for all varieties of trout in streams which were basically untouched by humans. I was also lucky to have been able to catch native trout all morning long, releasing most , but saving the injured ones for a great breakfast of freshly caught trout, bacon and eggs. We appreciated the magic of Mother Nature and always released most of what we caught. In some streams it was not uncommon to catch and release a hundred trout a day, always being careful to catch and release them unharmed.

I have returned to many of the rivers and streams I fished as a young lad with my Dad always nearby, keeping a keen eye on me so I would not stray and get lost or fall in the water and drown. He always was there and as I grew up it was me and my own sons who fished the streams and rivers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was me who looked out for them and who showed them the way to success in fishing.

In closing, except for the closing thought this week, I say a prayer to a friend who has departed and is now fishing in the Kingdom of Heaven. God bless you Buster Eugene Foster. You will always be “Buck” to me and to all our friends and associates. Rest in Peace, my lifelong friend.

Closing thought: “Be yourself, forgive all who trespass and always love your family.”

Nov192018

By Boots Johnson

Collins Lake, last week end, proved to also be smoky with wind Saturday night strong enough to shake the RV. We went prepared to fish, but with the smoke and the wind we never wetted a line. The reservoir was down over thirty feet. On Monday morning it was beautiful up there but we had to pack up and head home.

Several nice fish were caught by others, both rainbow trout and a very large nine pound three quarter ounce catfish which was caught by Dr. David Bradley in Elmer Cove fishing from the bank. The trout reportedly caught by others which were checked in at the store ranged in size from 4 ½ to 5 pounds.

The lake was almost empty of boats the entire three days with anglers fishing off and on from shore in the open areas and near the dam.

As usual this time of year there are lots of reservoirs which have dropped their water capacity considerably. We certainly hope the rains come and fill them back up this winter. Speaking of the weather, our weather source tells us to expect some rain on Thanksgiving Day and continuing into Friday and possibly the week end.

We are told that the salmon run is about over. We also have reports of striped bass showing in the Sacramento River down in the deep channel area.

Closing thought: “Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, attitude and your mood.”

Nov122018

By Boots Johnson

This time of year always brings on the Fall bite for many species of fish. One area which has this happening is Clear Lake. Bass are being taken in the shallows during morning hours and in the deeper parts of the lake by afternoon. Most of the bass being caught are ranging from two to four pounds with three pounds being the biggest percentage of the catch. Another hot spot where the fish are running shallow and are being caught in numbers is Collins Lake above Dobbins.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife have planted catchable trout in Stumpy Meadows in El Dorado County and in Elk Grove Park Pond and Hagan Park Pond in Sacramento.

Salmon fishing is on the way down considerably at this time. The Feather River is so low what is left of the salmon run and the late Fall Run will have some difficulty making through some areas. At this time only jet boats are recommended unless you want an expensive bill for prop replacement.

The Mackinaw at Lake Tahoe are on the bite as well. Fish are being caught at South and North Shore. We have reports some anglers were having double hookups last week.

Closing thought: “So many folks spread gossip. You be the one to put a lid on it.”

Nov52018

By Boots Johnson

As reported previously the salmon run is slowing down but the late fall run of king salmon is underway at this time on the Sacramento River. Fish are being taken from Sacramento to Garcia Bend. The middle of the river by boat seems to be the best bet at this time. The chance for a huge salmon is coming up as the late season progresses.

If anyone has checked the weather report in the high country lately you will find warm conditions still in effect. This has slowed down the bite as well as some reservoirs being very low in water capacity while others, including stampede Reservoir, are almost full. Donner Lake is low at 30 percent capacity with difficulty launching a boat due to the low water being below the concrete boat ramp. The ramp also has hazards in regard to rocks and holes. Shore anglers are doing some good by fishing with bait. The Mackinaw bite should be just around the corner when the area gets its first cold weather.

Speaking of Mackinaw, the fish in Lake Tahoe have spawned but fish are still being caught both at the north and south side of the lake.

We have heard of reports of big brown trout being caught, both in rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. As you all know, this is the time of year to catch a trophy trout.

We have reports from Eagle Lake near Susanville. The bite is still in full swing and anglers are all smiles.

We contacted our weather source for his report on weather conditions this week. He advised not to expect any rain in the coming weeks, but to expect colder days and nights as we get into the month of November.

Closing thought: “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

Oct292018

By Boots Johnson

We returned from Lake Tahoe last week. The day we planned to fish was windy which made for ocean type water on the lake. I have been on Lake Tahoe in these kinds of conditions and it is common for someone on board to get sea sick. Anyway, we decided to take a rain check on fishing this last time. Speaking of fishing at Tahoe, we have reports the mackinaw lake trout have started their pre-winter binge with fish being caught at around 250 to 350 feet down. Most fish are in the three to five pound range with a few dropping the fish scale at around 14 pounds. Rainbow and brown trout are also available near shore and in the shallower waters.

We hear from up high at Gold Lake. The trout fishing here is outstanding and will continue to be good for the next couple of weeks. Now is the time to go because we are told you can limit out with no problem using just about any lure, spinner or bait.

Our weather source tells us to expect cloudy and cooler days for the next week or more. He also advises the night temperatures in the valley will remain about the same. As far as rain goes he says he is looking into the first part of November with no rain in sight.

Steelhead is showing in the Feather River. Salmon have really slowed down in the areas where the season is still open. Be aware of the low water levels in the river. We highly recommend leaving props home and go, if possible with a jet boat.

We talked about trout plants last week. The only area being planted this week is the Bay Area and vicinity.

We remind folks who fish of the “Save our Fisheries dinner” which will be held at the main hall of the Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds on Saturday, November 3, 2018 starting at 4:30 P.M. On line tickets are available at www.ncgasa.org or call 530 923-9440 for tickets or more information.

The trout plant we talked about at Collins Lake happened last week with more plants being planned up until Thanksgiving Day. This program really turns on local anglers who have great fishing practically in their back yards. If you want a bunch of trout for dinner now is the time to head up to Collins Lake and dip a line.

Closing thought: “As we age we realize just how wonderful a good nights sleep is.............”

Oct222018

By Boots Johnson

We talked about Eagle Lake a couple of weeks ago, just prior to the opener of the late deer season which covers the X zones. We advised for those who fish and hunt to take a morning off of the deer hunting and fish Eagle Lake. This advice proved to be right on. Just about everyone who fished Eagle Lake these past weeks have limited out with trout ranging from 2 ½ to four pounds. The fish were also where we recommended..........almost on the surface and down to five or ten feet. Current weather conditions are excellent for trout fishing with nights in the 20’s and days in the 50’s up at 6000 feet so it is not to late to fish Eagle Lake for exceptional success.

The salmon are gearing down some and will continue to drop as October ends and November begins. The steelhead has shown in local rivers. Expect them to be around awhile.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife have slowed down their stream plants for the year but we are told they will be doing some plants here and there into the winter season.

Now is the time to head up to Davis Lake. The trout are going nuts with limits of fish almost guaranteed which are in the 16 to 22 inch size range. This feeding frenzy will not be around long so if you get a chance we recommend going before the forest service pulls the docks at the three boat ramps.

The access road to Hell Hole Reservoir has re-opened. The fishing here is on the slow side but some big browns have been caught, some up to 24 inches. French Meadows is also putting out some nice browns. If you go we recommend you troll with rapalas which imitate the smaller trout in the Reservoirs.

Collins Lake, above Oregon House, will be planting trout now. Some of the pen fed fish will be large ones. They always release some of the spawners which give anglers a chance for a thrill.

Closing thought: “Charge your cell phone in the “Airport mode”, which will get your phone charged faster.”

Oct152018

By Boots Johnson

We had an interesting response, in fact two of them, in regard to my comments about smelling fish. As I stated last week I would tell you about that experience.

Many, many years ago my Uncle Tom Hammons called me and asked if I would like to accompany him to fish for stripers. He told me the striped bass run was about at its peak. Of course I jumped at the chance. My Uncle’s boat was moored at Bob and Pat’s Marina on the Sacramento River where Lovies Landing now stands.

He headed downriver and with an inboard boat that was capable of 50 plus miles per hour it did not take long to pass under the Meridian Bridge and run about three more miles when he abruptly killed the engine, looked at me and said quietly, “I smell fish, do you?” His comment took me by surprise until I realized there was a fish smell in the air. He slowly drove the boat downstream until we could really smell the fish. He turned on his sounder (Back then sounders were used to locate fish) and moved back and forth across the river, stopped and dropped anchor.

The river was so full of fish that our bait almost never reached the bottom before a striper hit it. We lost a bunch of bait to the shakers (small stripers) but Uncle Tom told me we would not move. His reasoning was where there were small fish there were big fish or keepers. His philosophy was correct because we returned to the marina before lunch with two limits of fish ranging from 6 to 12 pounds and a great fishing experience which would last a lifetime.

I have run the river during striper season since and I have enjoyed the Sacramento River for a lot of reasons, but the experience described above has me alert and the old nose sniffing every time we hit the water for stripers. Perhaps the fish in the water will never be so huge that this will not be possible, but as Uncle Tom always said, “Find the fish, stay on the school and don’t move because the big one could be the next fish on your line.”

Uncle Tom passed away several years ago, but the memories of us fishing and hunting together will linger in my mind for as long as I live. RIP

Closing thought: “When someone does something wrong, don’t forget the things they did right.”

Oct82018

By Boots Johnson

Everyone is enjoying the cooler weather we have witnessed these past weeks and our weather source tells us to expect warmer days, but the daytime temperatures will probably be in the low eighties for a spell. He advises we will continue to have cooler nights which make it great for sleeping. Personally I cannot sleep well with the A/C running.

As far as the fish go...............they are also moving up from the cool depths of the reservoirs and lakes to shallower waters. Expect big fish to be caught this year in the coming month.

Keep in mind most streams close to fishing the end of this month. Check your regulations to determine what is open the rest of the year.

The long time people who fish local rivers for salmon, including myself, say at this time the salmon run is just about as good as it gets. This means the run has peaked and will slowly take a downward trend through the rest of October. So, if you have waited patiently and missed out on some outstanding fishing, now is the time to get out there and go after the salmon because it will not be long when the fish turn dark.

There is one important fact and that is you need to know where to fish for salmon in the Feather and Sacramento Rivers and what kind of lures to use, including roe. Best bet, if you do not know the river, is to contact someone who does or hire a guide. We suggest you check your local sporting goods store for info or guide service. Speaking of guides and the Sacramento River, remind me to tell you about my Uncle Tom Hammons. He was a guide for many years and I can attest to some of his knowledge, even the art of smelling for fish, especially for the Striped Bass.

We have a suggestion if you plan on fishing for trout in local reservoirs, or even up in the high country. The Department of Fish and Wildlife have been busy planting catchable trout and these fish are a prime menu for the bigger fish in the water so go after them with the larger trout lures which imitate a rainbow trout. You will not catch a bunch of fish but you just might catch the trout of a lifetime.

Closing thought: “A single day seems to linger on...........but the years just fly away.”

Oct12018

fishing talkpic for boots10 3 18By Boots Johnson

We reported last week about the Salmon fishing in the Feather River. Ted Johnson and Steve McClain, both Yuba City residents, along with Ken Malott, who resides in Grass Valley, dropped the red boat into the water at Boyd’s Pump Boat Ramp below Yuba City. They caught limits of salmon below Yuba City which weighed in at 16, 17 and 18 pounds. All three of the fish hit a flatfish lure wrapped with a sardine. Congratulations to all! (see picture on the right)

A dinner, raffle and live and silent auction will be a part of the Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association’s save our Fisheries Dinner to be held in Yuba City on November 3, 2918 starting at 4:30 P.M. at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds main hall located at 442 Franklin Avenue. Dinner will be available at 6:30 P.M. with fun and games through the evening until closure at 11 P.M.

This event will be huge with cocktails, table sponsored raffles, 150 raffle prizes and a special raffle ticket for a vinyl boat cover. In addition, the prizes are for ladies, children and anglers and over 100 firearms, 75 guided trips and five lifetime fishing licenses will be won in the raffle.

Tickets are available from James Stone @ (530) 923-9440, Bob Boucke @ (530) 870-2003, Ron Kelly @ (530) 870-1449 or Robert Weese @ (530)755-1796. Tickets are also available on line at www.ncgasa.org.

Fall in here and the bass bite at Lake Oroville has hit the high note early this year. While a couple weeks or so early the bass are on the move and are being caught on the surface near or close to the banks. The bass are very active and aggressive. Limits are the norm.

If you are after planted trout the Department of Fish and Wildlife have planted Butte Creek, Deer Creek and the North Fork of the Feather River near Lake Almanor and Belden.

Closing thought: “I cannot teach anything.......I can only make them think.” Socrates

Sep242018

By Boots Johnson

The name of the game is “SALMON” with fish swimming all over rivers at this time. Limits of salmon are common on the Feather River, with the Sacramento River right behind angler’s success. The size of the fish is running from 10 to 30 pounds and is hitting spinners and plugs. We are told, and we can vouch for same, that limits are being caught within an hour after dropping your spinner or flatfish in the water. Most of the salmon are in excellent shape.

Lakes in the high country are starting to put on nice trout at this time. The cooler weather has been given the credit along with the time of year. Fall is officially here as of last weekend and as you all know, October brings the big trout to shore searching for the food they will need for the upcoming winter.

The kokanee salmon bite is on the verge of ending and the fish are turning color for the annual spawn and will begin to travel up streams in October which enter the lakes and reservoirs. Valerie and I will be in Lake Tahoe the middle of October and will be going to Taylor Creek to see the migration of the kokanee as they spawn. Another treat for this stream is the mallard ducks that are there for their share of eggs. In addition, if you are there at the right time you will see a bear or two as they also come to the area to feast on the land locked salmon. If you want to go, Taylor Creek is located off State Route 89 about five miles from South Lake Tahoe. If you keep an eye out for signs you will not have any trouble seeing the entrance. Also, this is an area which has trails, observation areas, rest rooms and plenty of parking and there is no fee.

Those traveling to deer hunt in the X zones around or near Eagle Lake should plan on fishing there. Report tell us eagle lake trout are being taken in the 2 to 3 pound range trolling in 15 feet of water.

Fishing has picked up at Lake Almanor. Slow trolling with night crawlers at the east end of the lake is producing some nice fish, including a mix of salmon, browns and rainbow trout.

Closing thought: “Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind you need to convince.”

Sep172018

 

By Boots Johnson

This time of year always reminds me of days gone by while up in the high country enjoying the small signs of the beginning of Autumn, which include the beautiful golden colors of the quakers standing out from the deep green colors of the pines.

Steve, who worked in the same office as I did, and I decided to head up trout fishing in the Humbug Valley area. The weather was starting to turn cool in the valley and we heard reports of temperatures dropping down into the thirties at night. This was my first fishing trip with Steve. We talked fishing on break and even brought up the subject after work at the local pub.

We left work on a Friday afternoon and headed up to set up camp. In those days it was considered ideal to own a canvas umbrella tent, you know the one with a center pole and a floor. We had it set up and ready before dark, with just enough light left to wet a couple of lines in the Creek nearby. All the fish we caught that evening were on the small size and were returned to the water unharmed.

We were both tired from the trip and the setting up of camp so we retired early the first night shortly after dinner. That time of year is usually exceptionally quiet so we had no trouble sleeping, but when I awoke and opened the tent flap at first light I was greeted with snow on the ground, about four inches. This was a surprise because we had not heard of any snow from the weather reports.

I woke Steve up and told him to look out the flap as I pulled it open. He had a fit, jumped out of his sleeping bag and started mumbling about breaking camp and getting out of there. I advised I was going fishing and there was no need to panic.

I caught my limit of trout in less than an hour that morning. The forest was like a Christmas greeting card and the fish made for a great breakfast of trout, eggs and bacon with Steve complaining constantly that we must get out before we get snowed in. My attempt to reason with him only made the situation worse so we broke camp and headed down the mountain to the valley below.

That surprise snow storm disappeared as fast as it came and by the afternoon the sun was out and I suspect the snow probably melted by nightfall.

Needless to say, I never went fishing with Steve again and since have camped, hunted and fished in the company of snow, sometimes with drifts as deep as four or five feet. Yes, Mother Nature has dropped the white stuff many times up in the high country...... whenever she feels fit, in the middle of the night or during daylight hours and in any month she desires.

Closing thought: “The most magnificent sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness, always clear and calm.”

Sep102018

By Boots Johnson

We have lost another great outdoorsman. I fished and hunted with Dan Derks a lot of times, probably, now that he has passed, not enough. Danny was excellent at whatever he did, including his ability to just about make or create anything from steel or metal. His shop was always coming up with a great idea or he was putting together someone’s dream or creation. Danny Dirks, you would have been proud to see the gathering at your service last Friday. The church was full. So, my friend and buddy, along with memories of hunts and fishing trips past.................rest in peace and God bless you.

If it is rainbow trout, the bigger variety you are after, now is the time to head up to Lake Tahoe and fish the shallow parts of the Lake. Big rainbows have been taken at South Lake Tahoe on the western shoreline. A good mix is the kokanee salmon, which are cooperating for anglers.

The restricted boating under the 5th Street Bridge at Yuba City and Marysville is finally over with the construction completed over the water for the new bridge.

We hear the eagle lake trout are on a frenzy bite at this time hitting trolled lures and flies. Best part of this report is we are told the bite is on all day long. Best bet is to troll down to 10 feet in waters at Eagle Lake in the areas which are 30 to 40 feet deep.

The hot spot this week for catfish is Collins Lake above Marysville. The cats are being caught up to 14 pounds at this time. Bass are on the bite also with fish being weighed in at over five pounds. All this action, according to our report, has the trout coming out of hiding and some are being caught.

A call to our weather source tells us the current weather will be with us into the middle of September. He also advises everything is in order for an early fall. Wouldn’t that be nice?

This is the time of year when the water in lakes and reservoirs begins to drop in temperature which usually brings back the trout bite. Expect water temperatures to continue to drop a bit as we head into September and then into October.

The kokanee bite at Stampede Reservoir has finally slowed down at this time. The fish are currently mixed as far as color goes with some bright and others turning dark due to the upcoming spawn in October.

Hat Creek, the portion near the Caves, off of State Highway 89 is a good bet for brook trout casting flies or fishing in the shadows or under the banks with red worms. We are told at this time to use a gob of worms compared to a single. Fish are ranging from 8 to 14 inches.

Closing thought: “Sometimes music is the only medicine that the heart and soul need.”

Sep42018

By Boots Johnson

The salmon bite has slowed down a bit on both the Sacramento and Feather rivers at this time. Some of the old timers blame the warmer water, while others say it is just a normal trend and the fish will return with a better bite later on in the week. Fish are being taken as this report is written but the salmon are not cooperating like they were yesterday and last week.

The excellent kokanee bite at Stampede Reservoir has really slowed down and if you go after these land locked salmon you might as well sleep in a bit, to say around 8 or 9 A.M. to hit the water. Snoring in the sleeping bag is an excellent idea at this time due to the fish being active after the sun hits the water.

Bill Malott Ted Johnson and Ken Malott hit the Feather River last Wednesday looking for salmon. They found a big hen above the rapids and she nailed a spinner with a terrific fight to follow. Ted, who was in charge of the red boat, set the hook on the fish and handed the pole to Bill who is recovering from triple bypass surgery, Needless to say the pole was handed to his son Ken, then back and fourth untail the big one was netted and place in the boat. Bragging rights were curtailed when the electronic fish scale proofed to have a dead battery and the weight was estimated at between 17 and 20 pounds. At any rate, during a Chinese fire drill, the credit goes to all three. Kudo’s guys!

The Department of Fish and Wildlife seen to plant the same areas over and over again. However, last week they managed to plant a pretty small lake off of highway 20 heading for the junction of Interstate 80. I am referring to Fuller Lake and it is a beauty. To go there turn off of State Highway 20, above Bear Valley, onto the road to Bowman Lake and you will find it several miles from the highway.

Closing thought: “If you wait until you are ready, you will wait for the rest of your life.”

Aug272018

By Boots Johnson

Everyone has been enjoying the cooler weather which includes the fish that swim in local low level reservoirs. Some bodies of water have the trout back on the bite which includes Collins Lake near Browns Valley.

In regards to the cooler weather.................we contacted our weather source and he advised to expect the cooling trend to stay with us until around Labor Day, and then expects warmer conditions. We could have temperatures close to three digits in September and into October.

We have reports of kokanee salmon being taken at Lake Tahoe with limits available. In addition, the fish are running larger than normal with one fish reported to be a 20 incher. This is huge compared to the usual size of land locked kokanee salmon which range from 12 to 14 inches.

We remind all who fish and those who do not about the free fishing day coming up on September 1st. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW)allow several days a year when you do not need a license to fish. So if you have a friend or relative who is curious about fishing but does not want the expense of a license, this would be the way to go.

The DFW planted trout last week in Butte Creek, Upper Susan River, Halsey Forebay, North Fork of the Feather River and Deer Creek. Halsey Forebay is located in Placer County. The Feather River was planted near Lake Almanor. The Susan River is located in Lassen County near the town of Susanville.

Salmon can be found all over up and down the Sacramento and Feather Rivers. As they move up river there will be hot spots. The fish will be in a certain area one day and gone the next as they head up to spawn. Salmon are different from Striped Bass. The stripers come up, spawn and then return to the ocean. Salmon come up to spawn and then they die so there is no returning fish to bend your pole. Both these fish can travel miles a day until they reach the area where they were born. Here they will spawn and stay around to protect the eggs, then as stated above will die.

This is the time of year when the Kokanee salmon start to change color as they prepare for the annual spawn. These land locked salmon will swim up a stream or river which flows into the lake or reservoir to lay their eggs. Both male and female fish leave the waters of the lakes and reservoirs; enter the streams, never to return to the deep water from which they came. As with their cousins the King Salmon, they also will die after the spawn.

Closing thought: “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”

Aug202018

By Boots Johnson

The Woodson Bridge area, located on the Sacramento River, has been a good spot for salmon as well as at Verona. Fish have also been caught on the Feather River both above and below the rapids near Yuba City.

We have reports of striped bass being caught in the Delta, with most fish being on the small size. Large Mouth Black Bass are also being taken here with fish ranging up to 6 pounds.

The Mackinaw Lake Trout at Lake Tahoe are being taken with some up to 15 pounds. Kokanee are also cooperating with anglers with fish up to 3 pounds. However, smoke is a problem.

The trout at Collins Lake are once again off the bite. The warmer water has bass, crappie and catfish cooperating.

Trout fishing at Boca Reservoir has been good early in the morning and late in the evening. We were told fishing during the daytime is a waste of time.

Shore fishing at Donner Lake has improved for trout after the Department of Fish and Wildlife planted a bunch of catchable trout there.

We have a report of king salmon in Lake Oroville. Anglers have been coming in with limits of fish. Find what depth they are hanging out in and bingo.

All of you out there who fish for salmon are reminded of the one fish limit this year.

Reports tell us Folsom Lake is holding its water. Expect the reservoir to be about the same until after Labor Day which will bring shallower water as the reservoir drops.

Rainbow and brown trout are being caught at Lake Almanor at this time. Trolling is the best bet and fish finders are a necessity to locate the fish. Both these species get big in Almanor and it is not unusual to catch them in the 6 to 10 pound range at different times of the year.

Closing thought: “Yard by Yard, life’s awful hard, but inch by inch, it’s a cinch.”