LOUISIANA: Strippers

March 1st, 2013

Great fishing this past weekend on false river.Caught fish after fish and reached our limit in about an hour then played catch and release til the wife said she had enough.

It was really fun watching her catch all those fish as we do not get to fish together very often.All fish were caught on a variety of swimbaits in about 15 foot of water around mid lake.

NEW YORK: Johnson Creek Good for Steelhead/Rainbow Trout

March 1st, 2013

The weather pattern for the rest of the week and into the first part of next week is back to below freezing temperatures and light snow several days.

Right now conditions on Johnson Creek are moderate to high water flows and low visibility all the way from the lake to Lyndonville Dam.

There is open water all the way up so if things calm down over the next few days, Johnson Creek should have a good fishery for both Steelhead/Rainbow trout (both fresh and seasoned) and Brown trout.

On Oak Orchard River the water flow is more moderate and visibility is more like 1 to 2 feet.

The “Oak” has open water all the way north to past the bridges area but there is still some shore ice for a large portion making access limited.

Right now there is very little fishing pressure on the “Oak” but those who are braving the elements are having moderate to good success.

As it always is when the water temperature is in the low to mid 32 degrees, your presentation needs to be very slow and close to the bottom to entice these lethargic fish.

Marsh Creek do not seem to have much open water and Sandy Creek was fishable but should go to high and muddy with the precipitation over the past few days.

Let’s hope that this weather pattern moderates itself over the next week or so and we can get more stable fishing conditions.

Let’s make everyday a great fishing day, right here in Orleans County.

Mike Waterhouse
Olreans County Tourism
p: 585-589-3103

MISSOURI: Fish Are Still Shallow on Rock & Mixed Rock and Gravel Points

March 1st, 2013


Cooler days and snow and ice storms have lowered water temperatures throughout the lake including Branson. Fishing guides haven’t noticed much change over the past week even with the changing conditions. The majority of fish are still shallow on rock and mixed rock and gravel points and banks, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs have been the dominate patterns in Branson. Fishing guides have had success with Jewel football jigs in PB&J or watermelon candy with green pumpkin Tightlines UV trailers from 10′ – 20′ deep, SPRO and Megabass stickbaits in the same depth range around isolated timber and Wiggle Warts and Bandit crankbaits on windy rock points.

Kimberling City:

Bass are still shallow in the Kimberling City area just like in Branson. Fishing guides are using the same patterns here as on the lower end targeting rock and mixed rock and gravel points and banks with Jewel jigs, SPRO and Megabass stickbaits and mid depth crankbaits. Add to those patterns an Umbrella rig and you have the potential to put some real quality fish in the boat. Most of the action on the rig has been around timber both exposed and submerged. Look for isolated tree tops on rocky banks to be the most productive, Tightlines Big Jerk and Broken Back Jerk have been the most productive baits in a natural shad color.

James River:

The James River has felt the effects of the colder temps and weather patterns more than the rest of the lake. The bite seems to be delayed a little especially where the water has a little stain in it. As the sun rises and warms the shallows the bite gets much better. The same patterns have been effective on the James and the Umbrella rig bite seems to be strongest in the mid James than anywhere else on the lake. On warm windy days fish have been moving extremely shallow on rocky banks, Branson fishing guides have been catching fish less than two feet deep later in the day under these conditions.

White River:

The strongest crankbait bite has been in the upper White and Kings Rivers over the past week. Wiggle Warts in brown craw and fire tiger and Bandit 300’s in green / orange and brown / orange have been the best patterns. Branson fishing guides are having the most success on steeper banks with rock and small patches of pea gravel, any isolated wood on these banks tend to hold several fish. Position your boat around 10′ deep and make casts more less parallel to the banks trying to maintain bottom contact throughout the retrieve.

Capt. Eric Prey
Focused fishing Guide Service
p: 417-860-4743

ARKANSAS: Best Baits Right Now Are Nightcrawlers, Frozen Shad & Sculpins

March 1st, 2013

Fishing conditions this week have been cool, but perfect for all anglers.

Several guide trips this week all were very productive for some real nice fish. Trophy Browns are being caught at night.

The equipment used by Big Phil’s Guides is some of the best on the market. Some cooler to cold weather for the New Year, however fishing conditions could not be better. Most days water has been running some generation, however they have had some periods with little or no generators as well. Be aware of the changing river conditions and be safe. When the generators do come on, take advantage of the rise it creates a very good bite for the Rouges, Spoons, Roster Tails, and other artificial baits. Trophy Browns are being caught at night when the generators are shut down. Come see me for details on this method.

Best baits right now are Nightcrawlers, Frozen Shad, and Sculpins. Flat Fish in gold or silver, Broken Back J-9 Rapala’s it the trout and shad colors, or a Stinging Lizard. Powerbait and Powerbait Trout worms in white, bubblegum,or orange has been doing well to catch numbers. For the Fly Fisherman Streamers and White Jigs. Call me if you have questions.

Be sure of yourself or get a guide. Now is some of the best times to catch world class fish.

Don Schnable
Spring Creek Ent.
P: 417-273-4859

S CAROLINA: Redfish – Fish Them with Soft Plastics Like Gulps or Live Mud Minnows

March 1st, 2013

Prime month to catch Redfish sight fishing on the flats.

The fish are in large schools, trying to stay away from the oh so prevalent “friendly Flipper”. Redfish are one of the main staples of Dolphin diets this time of year. we fish them with soft plastics like Gulps, or live mud minnows. Casting ahead of the school and letting them come to the baits seems to work the best, although I have thrown right in the middle of the school and hooked up numerous times. Trying to be quiet in the boat pays big dividends, as once you spook these fish they may shut off completely. And fly fishermen are in their zenith this time of year, sight casting to cruising fish.

The weather plays a huge role in success, as slick calm days are few and far between, but offfer the best shot at putting decent numbers in the boat.

Capt. Rick Percy
Reel Chance Charters
p: 803-535-6166

ALABAMA: Lewis Smith Lake Striper Fishing

March 1st, 2013

Cold weather fronts that keep coming and have keep the water temp around or below 50.

The last weeks fishing has been up and down. When the water clears up the bites pretty good, but the fish have been scattered out. So it’s been a grind it out kinda trip lately. All we need is a couple days in the mid 60’s and 40’s at night to get thing going. I’ve had trips with 1 – 13 fish boated over the past week. Up and down with no solid fishing. The ten day forecast domestic look real warm, but there’s only two days with rain over the next ten. That’s great news and should help the bite drastically. It’s rained about 20 of the last thirty days.

Mike Walker
Fishing 24/7 Guide Sevice
p: 205-503-2020

TEXAS: Fish Are Beginning to Feed on Live Shrimp

March 1st, 2013

Fishing in Galveston, Texas



The weather this month has been a little off.

When the weather cooperates we are nailing some nice fish in the back lakes and marsh.

The fish are beginning to feed on live shrimp again and as usual live mullet is working as well. Yesterday we had a flounder right at 6lbs off a live shrimp.

Capt. Greg Verm
Fishing Galveston TX
p: 409-739-8526

COLORADO: Best Fly’s Are Red & Cream Larva in the Mornings

March 1st, 2013

Fishing On the San Juan RiverThe fishing below the dam has been great with very few anglers out fishing. The water is running at 355 CFS today and the fish are stacked up. Our best fly’s have been red & cream larva in the mornings, then chocolate & grey foam wings in the afternoon. If you see fish eating some moss, put on a woolly bugger or a leech pattern. There is still some dry fly action and now that we are getting into a more winter like pattern with snow in the high country, and overcast and rainy / snowy days on the lower Juan. Midges mid – morning and I would keep an eye out for some BWO’s. Over all the fishing has been good, with very little fishing pressure.

In Pagosa, the higher up streams are freezing, but we are still fishing on the town stretch. The fishing has been best mid-day. If you get out to early the river has been a giant ice Slurpee. Once the morning ice flow is gone, the fish will turn on. It is not like fishing in the summer where fish are scattered all over the river. They are stacked in the deepest holes knowing that in a few weeks the river will be iced over 3 -4 months.

Let’s hope for a snowy spring, so we have better river flows next summer. It would also be nice to fill Navajo Reservoir back up.

Capt. Scott Taylor
High Country Fishing Charters
p: 970-946-5229

GEORGIA: Crappie Bite Will Stay Really Good

March 1st, 2013

Its that time of year when the big crappie stage in the channels on Lake Oconee, and as always, we catch the biggest fish of the year.

Last week our guys boated a crappie that weighed 2.6 pounds and it that is any indication of the season, there are many more to come. Right now we are having to fish around the rain, and the huge amounts of fresh water that is coming into the lake. By the end of this week, things should be settled weather wise and the fish will began. The bite will stay really good all the way to the last full moon in March, and we are looking for great results.

Capt. Doug Nelms
BigFishHeads Guide Service
p: 770-354-0300

CALIFORNIA: Winter Has Pretty Much Fizzled

March 1st, 2013

The Lower Owens River has been the top location for fly fisherman looking for quality trout and beautiful scenery.

The Owens Rivers are the place to be if you are a fly fisherman looking to get into some numbers, and a shot at a trophy trout. Low flows and dry weather have made conditions very consistent on the Upper and Lower “O” recently. Tis the time O’ year when you may experience some strong gusty winds at times associated with the dry cold fronts that pass through. Access to both areas is good although you will find some 4 X 4 only areas on the Upper Owens on several of the smaller feeder roads leading down to, and along the fence line. Hot Creek is also easy to hike as of this report. The East Walker has good access, but remains at very low flows with limited water to fish.

Winter has pretty much fizzled out with the extended forecast calling for above average temps to begin in early March. Good news for fly fishers this spring; however the piper will be paid as the season rolls on and the second year of below average snow pack takes its toll. To put it in perspective-Crowley Lake reached a near record low point in late October 2012. It has only come up ten vertical feet and needs another 15 more to reach a normal starting point for the season. The LADWP has been doing extensive work on the hydroelectric facilities and when this is completed flows will come up on the Lower Owens further slowing the filling of Crowley for the season. Could be a very tough fall here. Bridgeport Reservoir is also filling slowly and will suffer later in the summer unless we get a good jag of additional snow soon.

On the bright side we are looking at an extended period of lower flows on the tail waters, early thawing of Crowley and Bridgeport (both will be pretty much ice free by mid-March), & the alpine lakes will have good access earlier than in most years. If the trend continues, look for an early spring migration of trout into the tribs from reservoirs and lakes with “diploid” bows and cutty’s.

Speaking of “diploids”…2012 was the last year California will see trout that can reproduce planted in the Eastern Sierra and other waters of the state.

There will be some rainbow brood fish planted in a few limited areas that have not been nuked, but they are not likely to live long enough to spawn again. The DFG has been ordered by the Supreme Court in Sacramento to plant only “triploid” rainbow trout (triploids are fish that have been rendered sterile in the embryonic stage) in waters that do not have a documented native species of rainbow in them. Since there are no rainbows that are “native” to the Eastern Sierra, fertile trout will not be planted in ANY of the local waters from now on unless legislation changes in Sacramento. The Hot Creek Hatchery Facility has already converted to triploids. Brown trout and brook trout are not native to California and may eventually be phased out totally from the hatchery system in California, although I have heard from a reliable source that some brood stock browns and brooks are being kept at this time in the event the laws change, or the interpretation of such warrants alterations to some fisheries. They will most likely be triploids when planted in any event. Here is a link to Senate Bill 1148:


I strongly suggest you read it, the meat is chapter 565, section six. “Discourage artificial planting of hatchery-raised hybrid and nonnative fish species in wild trout waters or in other areas that would adversely affect native aquatic and non aquatic species.” This is a paragraph from Assembly Bill 1148. Do not sound your opinions or voice your “what the hell’s?” to me. Write your representatives and the CDFW Commission if you have an opinion. Don’t shoot me- I am only the messenger people. This bill currently signed into law, will change the landscape of trout fishing in the Sierra in a very, very substantial way. It will help aquatic and non aquatic native species like steelhead, golden trout,(this is a good thing for sure) Tui Chubs, Tahoe Suckers, Hard Headed Minnows, Sacramento Perch, yellow legged frogs & willow fly catchers (you gotta be kidding me) in a very positive manner. The latter of these species we know as valuable resources crucial to business’s, job growth and providing recreational opportunities to sportsman who pay for licenses each year. Those Sacramento Perch pull like a wet gym sock on a five weight baby, and if you have ever gazed at a speeding willow fly catcher hit a caddis fly it takes your breath away! I’m just saying people…This law was passed with far to broad of a brush stroke and is not sensible or logical in many ways.

There are some paragraphs and verbiage in the bill that gives the CDFW in isolated instances some latitude to alter or amend some sections after using the best possible science to determine the alterations. If you have an opinion on this issue I strongly suggest you contact your representatives and the commissioners with such immediately.

To contact your local representative go to www.house.gov/htbin/findrep and enter your zip code.
To contact you’re Senator; www.senate.gov/states/ enter California as your state.
To contact the DFG Commission; www.fgc.ca.gov/

Lower Owens River

I have not used the word epic to describe fly fishing down here in a long, long time. Due to a combination of ideal water conditions and a large planting of catchable rainbows put in below the wild trout section-we are enjoying some fantastic fishing on the LO. The last three drifts had fish counts of 47, 112, & 88 caught and released. I call this “catch’N” not fish’N! The wild trout area is also fishing well with flows remaining at, or below 100cfs. The wind has been a factor at times messing up the baetis emergence; however this is the main course for the wild fish. Have a #16 BWO adult ready to go after 1 pm, find a deep pool with a long riffle leading into, or below it for some consistent dry fly action mid-day. Stick to pheasant tails or birds nest patterns while nymphing #14-18. Light to moderate sinking tip lines and the “dip & strip” method of streamer fishing is crushing the rainbows. Sierra Drifters Spruce-a-Bu, Punk Perch #14, and Loebergs #10 are all working. Flows look to remain low for a longer duration this year, so if you want a combination of warm weather and good fishing give us a call and we will set up a drift trip for you in March.

Upper Owens River

Access is pretty good but you will still encounter some muddy sections on the feeder roads leading into and along the fence line. Remember- all wheel drives just take you further in to get stuck! Flows have been bumped up to 110cfs and this has actually helped the conditions improve. We are still seeing some bigs that have migrated up from Crowley but the huge fall rainbows we call Crowley Steelhead are spawned out and the hens have deposited their eggs. Look for the Kamloops and Eagle Lake strain bows to begin moving in mass as soon as the ice thaws near the inlet to Crowley. It is receding quickly and should be open by mid-March for sure. There is also spotty dry fly action on the warmer days. I suggest midge cluster patterns, or #20-22 para midges. With the onset of this warmer weather forecast the BWO’s will begin to show soon. First generations are good sized, #16’s will get looks. Nymphing is best, always is this time of year. Use attractors as your upper fly on a tandem rig, stick with small flashback PT’s, birds nest, crystal & broken back midges as the dropper. Egg patterns will also get grabs on the colder days when the fish are more lethargic. With the higher flows we have seen some nice fish move out of the pools and along the deeper cut banks, so look for those darker slices of water along the channel side for opportunities now.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir/the Gorge

Perhaps the most heavily planted body of water in California this time of year. I have had reports of clients without the use of guides banging 1oo catchable rainbows in an outing. Tubers and waders are enjoying the benefits of a well stocked lake. There are also some nice wild browns showing up, especially during the BWO hatch after lunch. Stick with dry/dropper bead head nymph rigs in the small river section and transition area (my favorite place to fish here). Tiger midges and Assassins are dynamite #16 & 18 under a para BWO, Stimulator, or hi-Vis BWO adult that is well dressed with desiccant. “Freeze tubers” are punishing the fish from the launch ramp to the inlet currently, with some nice brood fish showing as well. Use a full sink, or heavy sinking tip line to get down 10 feet quickly. It is not that cold anymore and the fish have become much more active than during the ice age we saw earlier in February. The Gorge has some excellent dry fly action during the calmer days, small mayflies and para midges here. Access is good so long as you don’t mind some moderate hiking and rock hopping. Good place to seek refuge on the weekends…

East Walker River

Still very skinny on the flows, look for 40cfs or better to move the fish around some-75cfs or better will rock. Fishing is great in about three or four spots if you don’t mind fishing one location all day. Bring lawyers, guns and money to secure a position!

Hot Creek

Same story here. Good fishing, just limited water that is holding. Midges are the rule with the BWO’s taking command soon.

Eagle Lake

We only have a few dates left and have brought up three 24 foot “Fish Magnets” this season due to demand. Give us a call if you want to fish the best public rainbow trout still water in the state. We are going all of June and into early July. Info is found on “trips & programs—waters we fish—Eagle Lake” at the top of the page. Do this, you won’t regret it.

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250