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Conditions great for salmon opener

By Bill Lynch

The 2014 salmon season opens off the Sonoma Coast tomorrow (Saturday, April 5), with high expectations.

“You never really know until you’re out there fishing, but the conditions are perfect for salmon right now,” Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, said this week.

Rick added that the water temperature is at 53.5 degrees, which is the best for salmon and local boaters have noted lots of bait in all the right locations for salmon to fish in.

Rick charges $110 for his party boat salmon trips and still has some room on his boats for both Saturday and Sunday (April 6), as well as next week. Call him at 875-3344. He also mentioned that he still has crab pots out and will probably be stopping to retrieve them so his clients can get dungeness crab limits along with their salmon.

Rough weather kept most anglers off of San Francisco Bay this week, but that is supposed to change starting today through the weekend. Striped-bass fishing has been red hot and halibut action is also good. Sturgeon are still biting in the Sturgeon Triangle between the Pump House, China Camp and Buoy 5, and that action ought to improve with all of the new fresh water runoff.

Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, books Bay party boats. Call him at 415-456-0321.

Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa fishing has been excellent, weather permitting, with bass anglers reporting good action all over both lakes. Be warned, the bass tournament season is on and that means lots of boats on the weekends.

Lake Ralphine in Santa Rosa was planted with rainbow trout last week and should provide good trout and bass fishing especially if you have a child or grandchild who likes to fish.

Most north-state rivers are too high this week (and weekend) to provide decent fishing. Expect that to change as the rain frequency changes. I talked to Bob Grace, at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, on Tuesday, who said the flows on the upper Sacramento River went from around 500 cfs to more than 4,000 cfs over the weekend and have dropped to around 1,500 cfs by this week’s end. That’s fishable, but barely.

I was introduced to Sonoma fly fisherman Art Dollosso at Peet’s last week by John Gurney, Sonoma’s former police chief who met him when Art was chief of the Colma PD. Art is an avid fly fisher and has written a book, “Where Trout Sing,” which is a collection of short stories about growing up in the Bay View area of San Francisco. There are lots of chapters about fishing.

I especially enjoyed reading about his boyhood experiences finding places to fish in that urban environment. He actually caught lots of fish off Candlestick Point where the first Giants stadium was built.

If you like swapping fishing tales, you’ll love reading Art’s book. You can order it online from adamsanglingbooks.com. The hardcover price is $28. I imagine Readers’ Books in Sonoma could also probably order it for you.