Bass Fishing NOW - Capt. Hogan Brown

Spring Bass Fishing this spring could be the only game in town for most California fly fishermen. Record snowfall and rain in our state has our reservoirs FULL and dumping water to make room for the record snowfall to melt in the sierras as the spring weather warms. Our tailwaters like the Lower Yuba, Lower Sacramento, Lower Feather and American have been unfishable or at least near the limits of fishable conditions for a few months. With the opening of trout season approaching, as long as we don’t get a heat wave we may see a small window before the snow starts melting where some of the rivers and creeks are fishable, BUT you have to get to the water with 200% of average snowfall in places…

 SO WHAT better time to try something new.

 Our valley and foothill lakes and reservoirs have remained fishable through most of the winter and will continue to fish through the spring. Also most farm ponds, dredger ponds, and small “lakes” will have plenty of water this year, flooding shallows that will warm with the spring weather kicking the bass into gear!

 Many anglers fished ponds or such places early in their angling journey and then may have graduated to trout, steelhead, or more glamorous species in far off destinations. That said most weekend or day trip fisheries this spring are going to be un-fishable due to flows and run off, snowed in due to record snow, or just plain to damn cold. Use this as a reason to get back to those roots and search out the most widely distributed fish in our state…bass.


The easiest way to get back into, or just get into bass fishing, for that matter is go find a pond and just walk the bank throwing some poppers or even a popper with a dropper (usually an olive woolly bugger will get it done) during the warmest part of the day this spring. If the pond doesn’t have bank access use a float tube, small raft, or even a paddle board to get out on the water and cast back to the bank. Any trout anglers 5-6wt rod will do just fine and get you in the game on most bass water. If tracking down a pond is a problem find a city lake or even the larger reservoirs like Shasta, Oroville, or Folsom have bank access at all the boat ramps and those same float tubes, paddle boards, rafts, kayaks, canoes, logs and a stick paddle can get you out on the water.

 Most of the time during the spring months bass species are going to be close to the bank due to the fact that the warmest water is in the shallows and that is where many will go to spawn. So, there is really no need to fish out in the middle of a pond or even a larger reservoir or lake. Walking the banks or just cruising along the banks in any water craft will work. 

 The bottom line is all the standard trout gear will get an angler out on the water bass fishing.

Hogan Brown