, Fishing News
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


Big rains should entice winter steelhead

Fishing the North Coast, by Kenny Priest, author badge,

orth Coast rivers will likely see the last of the late fall-run salmon push in over the next few days as most impressive storm to date is barreling down on the region. The majority of these late-season kings have already made their way up rivers like the Chetco, Smith, Mad and Eel, but you can bet a few more spurts of fresh fish will push in between now and the beginning of the year. For the Smith and Chetco, the season was a good one. The rest of our rivers had barely enough water to allow the salmon to migrate, and never reached the minimum flows necessary to open for fishing. The exception was the Mad, which opened for a couple of days.

One of the best parts of living in such a fishing mecca like the North Coast — no sooner does one season come to a close, another one’s right behind it. So it’s out with the salmon and in with the widely popular winter steelhead. And as the influx of water hits our coastal rivers this weekend and brings in the salmon stragglers, the first wave of steelhead should begin to make an appearance. Most of the rivers have already seen a few, but I expect they’ll start to show up in bigger numbers in the coming days.

Nelson Money landed this nice hatchery steelhead on a recent float down the Trinity River. Photo courtesy of Steve Huber's Guide Service
Grass Valley resident Nelson Money landed this nice hatchery steelhead on a recent float down the Trinity River. The Trinity, like the rest of the North Coast rivers, should see increased flows over the next few days due to the storms currently hitting the region. Photo courtesy of Steve Huber’s Guide Service

Weekend forecast
We’re entering into an active pattern now, and for the next week we should see rainfall just about every other day according to Reginald Kennedy of Eureka’s National Weather Service. “The first system will have begun Wednesday night and will last through Thursday, with showers continuing on Friday. Rainfall totals will be two to four inches in Del Norte and one and a half to two and a half in Humboldt. The next rainfall will hit Saturday night and stick around through Sunday, with a break coming Sunday evening. Totals will be from one to two inches. A smaller system will arrive on Monday, dropping another half to three-quarter inches. After a break on Monday night and Tuesday, the next system will arrive sometime on Wednesday,” Kennedy added. “These next few storms will be cold, with the snow level hovering around the 3,500 to 4,000 foot level.”

Crab update
State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will host a public forum on Thursday Dec. 3 to discuss the future of the crab-fishing industry in the wake of emergency closures due to a toxic algal bloom. Fishery experts, commercial interests and decision-makers will gather in Santa Rosa to discuss ocean conditions, health issues, economic factors and the future of the $60 million commercial North Coast crab industry. The meeting will run from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Steele Lane Community Center, 415 Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. Live stream is available here.

On the local front, according to the Public Health Dept., the next domoic test results will be available here sometime on Thursday prior to the meeting.

The Rivers:
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, and Van Duzen could all open by the weekend, depending on how much rain falls. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is 707-822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2016

Chetco River
As of Wednesday evening, the Chetco was running close to 1,600 cfs and going up quickly. It’s predicted to rise through Friday and will likely peak sometime Friday evening at roughly 5,000 cfs. If the rain falls as predicted, it should remain fishable through the weekend, especially the upper end. Like the Smith, the last of the salmon are making their way in and the winter steelhead should be right behind them.

Smith River
Like the Chetco, there are still bright salmon around and plenty that have already spawned. Without a major river flushing to date, there’s a good chance more salmon could be on the way. We’ll know pretty quickly this weekend. The river is predicted to reach nearly 10,000 cfs on the Jed Smith gauge early Friday morning, which should also bring in the first wave of winter steelhead.

Main Stem Eel
Predicted to rise beginning Thursday night and may open on Friday morning. It could go as high as 2,300 cfs on Saturday. Minimum flows needed to open are 350 cfs at the gauging station near Scotia, see this file.

South Fork Eel
Predicted to rise beginning Thursday night and may open on Friday morning. Forecasted to peak at roughly 1,600 cfs early Saturday morning. Minimum flows needed to open are 340 cfs at the gauging station at Miranda. Refer to this file.

Mad River
Forecasted to rise on Thursday and again on Sunday, it could open to fishing on Thursday or Friday. Peak flows are predicted at 1,400 cfs on Friday morning. Minimum flows needed to open are 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 Bridge. Check this file for the latest info.

Van Duzen
Forecasted to rise on Thursday and again on Sunday, it could open to fishing on Thursday. Minimum flows needed to open are 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. See graphic here.

Redwood Creek
Predicted to rise on Wednesday and should peak on Sunday evening at roughly 1,700 cfs. Minimum flow needed to open to fishing are 300 cfs at the gauging station near the Highway 101 Bridge. Check flows here.

Upper Trinity
Working the Douglas City area, guide Steve Huber reports the water is low and clear as of Wednesday, but there are some fish around. He said, “The rain coming this weekend is just what the doctor ordered. It’s definitely going to shuffle the deck, moving the fish around as well as bringing in new ones from the Klamath. The steelhead have been sitting in the deeper holes, but the increased flows will put them in their more traditional holding areas like the flats, riffles and tailouts. As of Wednesday, most of the boats were getting between two to five adults per trip,” Huber added.

Find “Fishing the North Coast” on Facebook and for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries,

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.