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Trout season opens tomorrow

By Bill Lynch

Prospects look very good on Northern California trout streams and lakes for tomorrow’s trout season opener.

The closest stream to Sonoma for decent trout action is the East Branch of the Russian River north of Lake Mendocino. It’s about a two-hour drive from here and the Department of Fish and Wildlife planted it with rainbow trout this week.

Although you can fish for trout (steelhead smelt) in Sonoma Creek above the Adobe Canyon Road Bridge, low water conditions limit your chances of success.

Rainbow trout were planted in Marin’s Bon Tempe Lake this week, and Lake Ralphine in Santa Rosa gets another load next week.

Fall River and Hat Creek are in excellent shape for fly fishers. Other northern streams like the Upper and Lower Sacramento, Yuba River, McCloud River, Klamath River and Pit River also offer great conditions for anglers.

The Truckee River and Little Truckee are also good bets for trout action, although you can expect them to be crowded on weekends.

It is a longer drive, but the crowds are smaller if you head to the Eastern Sierras between Bridgeport and Bishop. This is Sonoman Bill Fernandez’s favorite fishing area. There you will find lots of water and fewer anglers. Check out thetroutfly.com website for current reports.

“We’re having the best fishing I’ve seen in years,” Keith Fraser said this week of the striped bass and halibut action in San Francisco Bay. Keith, who owns the Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, said anglers are drifting shiners off Paradise, Red Rock and South Hampton and pulling in limits of good-sized stripers, as well as limits or near limits of halibut. They are also catching some sturgeon in the North Bay. Keith books Bay party boats, call him at 415-456-0321.

Bass anglers continue to have good fishing at Clear Lake. Guide Larry Hemphill likes to take his clients out for night fishing, avoid the crowds and bass tournament action. He’s been catching a lot of big fish the last two weeks.

Salmon fishing off the Sonoma Coast has been spotty this week due to windy conditions. The fish are there and if the wind stops, catch numbers should rise. Call Capt. Rick Powers, at Bodega Bay Sportfishing, to book one of his party boats, 875-3344.

Rachel and Jim Andras are hosting two fly fishing day camps for kids this summer in Ashland, Ore., June 16 to 20, and June 23 to 27. The classes will cover entomology (bugs), fly casting, conservation, knot tying, reading water and fly tying. Both Jim and Rachel are terrific with kids (they have two of their own) and have a lot of experience teaching at kids fly fishing camps.

The classes include pond fishing and a half-day float trip on the Rogue River. You can call Rachel at 800-488-5794, or go to kidsflyfishingcamp.com.