Fabulous fishing near Sonoma

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Salmon, striped bass and halibut fishing is sensational right now within an easy hour’s drive (and a boat ride) from Sonoma.

San Francisco Bay is producing outstanding catches of halibut and striped bass for anglers fishing off the Marin shoreline, reports Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. Keith added that if anglers schedule it right, they can get limits of halibut and stripers during the moving tides, and then fish off Cal City (near Tiburon) at the top of the tide for salmon, which are starting to migrate up the Sacramento River now.

Keith handles bookings for bay-fishing party boats. Call him at (415) 456-0321.

Salmon fishing of Sonoma’s coast is also really good right now. I talked to Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing this week while he was out on his party boat, “New Sea Angler,” and while we were talking several of his clients were hooked into salmon.

“It’s been an epic salmon season so far, and they’re everywhere, not just in one location,” said Rick. “We’ve been averaging near limits and limits for every angler, and the average size is between 13 and 15 pounds, with some reaching the upper 20-pound range.”

With the fishing this hot, you need to make reservations in advance or you’ll miss your chance. Call Rick at 875-3344.

Reports for anglers taking party boats out of the Golden Gate are equally good.

Further north, fishing on the upper Sacramento River near Dunsmuir is fair to good, according Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop. Flows are normal for this time of year and the weather has been good. The McCloud River is also fishing pretty good right now.

I got an email message from Steve Arelt that he and Valerie were just up on the Missouri near where our Sonoma gang of eight fished the week before. He reported the water was still running pretty high, but relatively clear. They caught some nice trout in the stretch between Holter Dam and Craig, but had to use nymphs and some weight to get down to the fish. He said the water is dropping and should be pretty good for dry fly fishing soon.

Guide Hogan Brown sent me an email that the Yuba River is looking pretty good right now and that he may have some guiding days available on it soon. In the meantime he has some openings for summer striped bass fishing on the Sacramento River near Chico. Call Hogan at (530) 514-2453.

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