Meandering Angler: Steelhead fishing picking up

I got a report last week from Steve Kyle that he and Steve Starke found some steelhead in the Eel River near Garberville. He said that the river was rounding into shape after previous rains and they managed to hook five fish, landing two up to nine pounds.

He said hooking those five was a lot of work with many hours of casting, which indicates the number of fish in the river is not high.

The Fly Shop in Redding reports that a good number of steelhead have entered the Trinity River and are starting to keep anglers busy. The same is true on the Klamath River.

Trout anglers are having a good time fishing on the lower Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson, and the upper Sac near Dunsmuir.

The Fly Shop has an excellent guide service for the Trinity, Klamath and Sacramento. For more information go to

High winds kept anglers off most local waters last weekend and early this week, but sturgeon action should pick up on San Pablo Bay this weekend. To get the latest reports and conditions, call Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael at (45) 456-0321.

Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing is still taking clients out for Dungeness crab and having excellent luck. Rick also hosts whale-watching trips. Call him at 875-3344.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted rainbow trout in Marin’s Bon Tempe Lake and Santa Rosa’s Lake Ralphine this week. These little lakes are excellent places to take the kids for a day’s fishing. You can also catch largemouth bass and bluegill in them.

I met Ken Baccetti, the president of the California Striped Bass Association’s Isleton-Delta Chapter, at the Golden State Salmon Association dinner at Viansa last week. He is a retired S.F. policeman and avid striper fisherman. And told me that his organization is disputing the Fish and Game Commission’s proposal for a new striped bass policy that could have a negative impact on those prized game fish. The meeting at which the commission will discuss the proposal is set for Friday, Feb. 21.

Dottie and I drove up to Lake Sonoma Saturday for the annual Steelhead Festival. We were surprised by the large crowds. There were lots of information booths on the environment of Sonoma County, and tours of the fish hatchery, along with many food booths and activities of interest to kids and adults. It was well worth the drive.

Another event local fly-fishers need to put on their calendar is the Fly Fishing Show at the Alameda Fair Grounds in Pleasanton, Feb. 21 to 23.

Every new fly rod, reel, gadget and tool, along with the best fly-fishing lodges and resorts that should have a place on your bucket list will be at this annual assembly of just about everything you need or want to know about fly fishing.

There are seminars, casting demonstrations, fly tying, destination films, the Fly Fishing Film Festival and the newest tackle and clothing in a sold-out exhibition hall. There will be some 15 presentations per hour.

Admission is $15 for one day, $25 for two days and $35 for three days. Children 5 and under are free as are Boy and Girl Scouts under 16 in uniform; xhildren 6 to 12 are $5. Active military with an ID is $10. And Scouts in uniform can earn credits toward a fly-fishing merit badge.

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