Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3703 Jan 18-Feb 2 2018 - Page 18

16 Jan 18 - Feb 2, 2018 MAP FEATURE Anglers patiently wait for a steelhead bite on the American River on January 1. T VOL.37 • ISS. 03 Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. American River Steelhead Opener Yielded Few Fish here couldn’t be a bigger difference between January 2017 and January 2018 on the American River below Nim- bus Dam. Last winter, high flows ranging from 15,000 cfs to 80,000 cfs were raging down the river as record snow and rain hit the river watershed. This year, on January 1, the Bureau of Reclamation was beginning to ramp down flows from 3,500 cfs to 2,000 cfs after we experienced one of the driest Decembers on record. A crowd of over 50 anglers lined the river below Nimbus Hatchery and at Sail- or Bar on the opener this year, arriving in the early morning hours to get their spots on the river. Dale Isidro of Santa Cruz thought it was going to be a great day when he caught and released a 4 lb. hatchery steelhead while fishing a 2/5 oz. Little Cleo on his third cast below the hatchery. “I missed one other fish and got no other bites,” said Isidro. His fishing partner, Armand Sladwick of Santa Cruz, also was excited when he hooked and released a 4 lb. wild steelhead on his fourth cast while shore fishing with salmon roe below the hatchery. “I though the fish was much bigger by the way it fought,” he stated. “I saw another angler land an 8-lb. steelhead and that was the last steelhead I saw landed, although some fly fishermen hooked and lost s few steelhead.” Fish Sniffer staffer Roland Aspiras re- ported “dead slow” fishing on the opener below the hatchery. “I hooked two steelhead and landed one,” said Aspiras. “I saw only one other hookup in my immediate vicinity. Rodney Fagundes of Sacramento and I fished in his drift boat below the hatchery, but we didn’t get any bites on any of the baits we used, including Wee Warts, Hot Shots, Little Cleos, shrimp and roe. Isidro and Sladwick joined us in the boat Steelhead like this beauty are released back into the American River by the CDFW staff after being spawn at Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. later that morning, but they didn’t hook any fish either while fishing with us. J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing also reported tough fishing – and was thankful he got one steelhead in the boat opening day. “We had been doing much better in the past few weeks in the lower section of the river,” stated Richey. “There must have been at least a few fish caught on the opener, but the only one that we were aware of came on our boat.” “We saw three sea lions in the upper Da fRvVB6VvBB&VV6VBF2W6W&6&fW"7FVVƆVBvRf6rFRvW"&fW"FV6V&W"#F6W'FW7bU2%$EBw&72fW&fW"V"6"&"vR66r7@7vr6"66&672ЦW22GW&r&V"FR&fW 6V2g&bFR&GFr6&676W2FRvVFW"v2f"FvBBFW&PvW&RVGbf6W&VWBG'r( P7VVBWGW&r#BFR'W&VRb&V6ЧF6GV7FVBRV"WW&VB'&VV6rS6VFf6F6W'7G&7FVVƆVBFFR&fW"( F2v2BFRF7WVVBFPW&6&fW"'V'WBv27GVGFfBFVF&W6VVBf"FR7W'&V@7G&b7FVVƆVB( 6Bv'fF6W'vW"( FWvW&Rrf &&FR&W6VVBf"FR7W'&V@VV&fW"7G&vRvFVBF6VRbFW6P