FOR WINTER & SPRING BASS
During the winter from JANUARY-FEBRUARY, this is Northern California's #1 option for high fish numbers on guided trips...
Winter days here start early so anglers need to tough through a bit of a cold boat ride. However the fishing definitely makes it worth while. This is a great option for both experienced anglers wanting to get into a great number of fish during the winter, and new anglers up to fish in the cold alike.
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During the spring, things begin to warm up, and the Lake begins producing larger fish, and 50-60 fish days become a possibility. This action can remain good until June.
In the winter, fish here can average around 2lbs. During Spring however, average fish sizes begin to fluctuate much more. We start getting a bunch of fish over 2lbs in the mix, along with smaller fish as well. And all sizes in between.
Spring = higher hookup numbers. And the weather is MUCH more comfortable.
March-May, Lake Oroville is one of the best options in Northern California for new fly anglers to see incredible action.
Being a great deal of fun fun expert anglers as well.
Year round independent guide service. Feather River, Sacramento River, clear lake, & lake oroville
Photo: Chuck Ragan
When doing research on the State or Nation's best Spotted Bass fisheries, LAKE OROVILLE is sure to pop up somewhere along the line. Oroville is a very reliable fishery, probably one of the most reliable fisheries in all of California. The lake can produce 20-50 bass days on the fly 9 months out of the year. 40+ fish days are not uncommon either. The lake is predominately home to spotted bass which average 1-4lbs, with a few largemouth that can grow much bigger.
With small pond smelt as a primary food source, and fewer snags than most bass waters, six weights are ideal here. 4 or 5 weights can be great as well. Fly Fishing pressure on the lake still remains nearly non existent. "I've still never seen another fly angler out here at the same time as myself." -August 2017
What I find most appealing about Lake Oroville is the freedom to fish seemingly anywhere. With our Valley Rivers, fishing pressure can become an issue. High pressure both lowers catch rates, and makes it harder to find open areas to fish. Just above the dams on the Lakes however is a very different scenario. Granted some of the more obvious spots get higher pressure than others. But even on the most crowded of days on Lake Oroville, anglers will still have an incredible number of prime locations to choose from.
I've broken the seasons down here to basically 2. There's the float & fly (indicators) season and the topwater season.
This is one of the most fun and reliable fly fishing options in the entire North Valley.
When I moved right next to the lake a few years ago, I had absolutely no idea Lake Oroville would become the great topwater fishery it is. Each trip I've taken in the Summer has helped put this into perspective. I'm realizing the topwater here is so good, that I need to start focusing much more attention here in my back yard.
Great topwater action can begin as early as March depending on water temps and clarity. However the surface action becomes much more reliable starting in May/June.
Ryan is located about 1 minute from here...
Float & Fly Season
Half Day or Full Day?
During the early summer, full days are recommended because we can switch from topwater to float & fly.
July-September we go strictly topwater tactics, during this time, half days are the best option. Early morning and evening trips are most productive.
What to Expect?
Conservatively speaking, brand new anglers can expect 12-20 blowups in a half day between two people. Experienced anglers can expect more like 20-40 blowups between two people in a half day. So this is really some action packed stuff.
It's hard to explain the excitement of seeing bass violently crush a topwater fly time and time again in a single evening. Also tough to put into perspective how much fun it is watching these fish instantly appear from the depths to eat your streamer a foot under the surface.
I highly encourage any serious fly angler here in Nor Cal who enjoys guided trips to hire me here and see what this hype is all about. Also, feel free to ask about 2 hour discounted trips.
FLY FISHING CALIFORNIA'S NORTH VALLEY