Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Northern Sierra Fishing Report ~ Lake Davis ~ Middle Fork Feather River ~ Truckee River.

Transition time for myself is under way, the Lower Yuba River is in the rear view mirror, and the Northern Sierra awakens. First stop, Lake Davis. The spawn is on yet many of the east side feeder creeks are drying up. Look for the creeks that are still running, and target the areas around them. Fishing is fair at this time. Smaller chironomids are active, and also Callibaetis mayflies. Water color is off slightly with water temperatures 50 to 55 degrees, bays with dark bottoms have slightly higher water temps and the trout are seeking these areas out.

Early season at the lake brings out some amazing water fowl like Loons with their eerie call, and white pelicans strafing the water’s surface with spectacular aerial flight displays. Effective flies for stripping include Wiggle tails in brown, burnt orange, olive, and black, and Woolly Buggers in the same color schemes. For bobicating, try Albino Wino midges, and Pheasant Tail Flashback nymphs. Fish are scattered. It’s early, wait for more hatches to pop for better action. Special thanks to my buddy Pete for giving me a room, and delicious healthy meals. You are the man!

The Middle Fork Feather River opened on the 2nd, beautiful views and sunny skies welcomed my guests and I. Water is high, water temps came in at 53 to 55, but the clarity was good. Streamer fishing got the only grabs with black Wooly Buggers, and nymphing was not happening.

Warmer water temps will dictate all. Keep an eye on this gem, when conditions are ripe, it’s game on. Tons of Gray Drakes hatching and on the water. These trout do not look up until water temps are at least 58. It was great to see so much water in the river, and free standing water in the Sierra, and Mohawk valleys.  Mosquitos are going to be a problem in this area, as well as the Buffalo bugs (no-see-ums).

The Truckee River is awesome right now, sexy water color, high, but very fishable. My guests and I have been doing pretty good targeting deeper pocket water, and deeper tail outs. Lots of weight is crucial. Stick and move, cover water. If you’re hooking fish, stay in the immediate area. 

Effective flies for us have been worms in flesh and red and small baetis nymphs in olive. All of the fish hooked today were sight fished, look at promising slicks behind boulders, and when the clear window appears look for the dark moving shape of a trout. The best aspect of today was the weather, so gorgeous. Unsettled weather moves in from Friday through Tuesday with intermittent snow and rain. Prepare and get out there, it’s AG (all good).


  1. The Truckee is looking beautiful right now. I hope I can get my time on it soon before the summer rolls in.

    The MFFR is one of the most amazing places I've ever fished. My in-laws live around there and I have spent a lot of time climbing up and down the canyon below Quincy. I've never had very much luck above the canyon though besides getting into some legit carp action.
    Is the stretch between Mohawk and Clio the better place to attempt to fish during the opening season?
    I tried fishing that area last year during the opener but the water was super low and I ended up fishing the Truckee.

    1. M- The early opener is between the mohawk bridge and the A-23 bridge four miles east of Portola. Early season is good if water temps are above 55 degrees. The river was such in poor shape last year I opted out of guiding there, A first since 1995. The middle fork does not fish as well as before the 5 golf courses have been implemented, it's hard to see a "Wild & Scenic" suffer so much, golf brings in money, and the wild tout of the MFFR lose out. The NFFR and the MFFR was so good back in the day, doubt we'll ever see that again.

    2. That's a shame. I'm a big fan of both those rivers and I have heard stories of how good they fished back in the day. Last year was definitely a bust for the opener. I'm going to try my luck next weekend with hopes that something will come together. I've seen the pictures of the browns you catch during the opener and it gives me hope of landing one on the MF.

      Thanks for the great reports Jon! Tight lines!


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