Fall 2016 Delta Fishing Report

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August 8, 2016

San Joaquin, Potato Slough, False River

Water temp: 72

Visibility: 4-5 feet
Stripers- fishing is just getting started. Lots of dinks have moved in and can be found throughout the main river and around the edges of Frank's Tract. The fish are eager and willingly take small flies on both the incoming and outgoing tides. You can sort through the dinks and find a few barely legal fish but be careful in releasing the little guys. After all, each one has the potential of growing to a 40 pounder.

LMB- Fishing is good. It appears we're in the summer doldrums. The fish are still hitting but not with the frequency or violence of a few weeks ago. Things should pick up soon as the water cools and the fish become more active. Late August to mid September is when, on a good evening, 60 fish per rod is possible with a mixture of LMB and stripers, some of the stripers big enough to put a fly fisher on the reel.
Stripers-topwater. Look for working boils and toss a small white gurgler into the mix. It should be good for an almost instant hook up.

Stripers - subsurface. Look along the rock walls on the main river and areas around Franks. Once you're on the fish, use a chartreuse over white clouser.

LMB-topwater. Work close to the rocks along the walls on high water for grabs. Gurglers, flip-flop poppers, hair poppers, crease flies all work.
July 29, 2016

San Joaquin River, East Delta Sloughs

Water temp: 74

Visibility: 4 feet
LMB - Fishing is excellent
Largemouth from six to less than a pound are scattered throughout the delta. Almost any wall will produce from 25 to 30 fish per rod on a good day's fishing. Plan your trip so that you are fishing around the time of a high tide. It really doesn't matter whether it is an incoming or an outgoing, as long as the water is high enough over the heavy weeds of summer to allow you to cast to the shore and retrieve without the fly totally fouling in weeds and algae.

You'll want to be on the water just before daybreak and fish for the first three hours of the day, or arrive late in the afternoon and fish until dark. While the evenings fish slightly better and you have a longer fishing day, the summer winds can be a problem.

This fall is my last four months of guiding. I'm hanging it up on the last day of November. I'd love to fish with all of my past clients at least one more time around. I hope you all feel the same about me.
Topwater - The best time to fish topwater is during a high tide phase. The fish move into the troughs between the rocks and the weeds and over the weeds themselves. Cast within inches of the shore, expect a grab at any time. If no action, use short strips to bring the popper out to the inner weed line. Stop and wait for a few seconds and then chug the popper to the outer edge of the weed line. Wait again until the boat motion starts dragging the popper making a wake.

Gurglers, crease flies, pole dancers, hair poppers and my own flip-flop poppers all bring non stop action when the bite is on.

Subsurface - The fast growing delta weeds make subsurface fishing tough during anything other than a high tide. Fish an intermediate line with weightless fly such as a Puglisi or a large woolly bugger or leech. Work the fly as deep as you can without ending up in the weeds.