PUTAH CREEK

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FISHING REPORT
Updated - 12/4/22
Scroll down for links to information about Lodging,
Maps and up to the minute Stream Flows.


Current River Conditions: 75 CFS (scroll down to link that will take you to site that will show up to the minute flows).  Voluntary closure is in effect to protect spawning redds, however it is still legal to fish the creek should desire to do so.  If you do go please keep your eyes peeled for spawning redds (lighter areas in the stream bottom) and avoid either standing on them or disturbing any fish that are present. 


Fishing Report-Good: Flows have been fluctuating over the last few days which may have negatively affected fishing. If they stay the same for a couple of days fishing should be good.  One of our Putah regulars says that he's been doing very well over the last few weeks.  Lots of fish are in the system though no real large spawners yet.   Stay tuned. He said he did best with BWO larva patterns such as olive WD-40s or Zebra Midges.  Don't hesitate to try different sizes if the one you are using isn't getting grabs.  

If you happen to be visiting the Napa area and are getting tired of poking in and out of boutiques and wineries why not spend a day fishing at close by Putah Creek.  We have guides who are on the Putah every day no matter what the season. Give the shop a call (800)410-1222
or click here and we will set you up.

Recommended General All Around Patterns

Click Here to Go To Our Fly Catalog
 

Nymphs:

Bead Head Pheasant Tail  #18 & #20 San Juan Worm/passionate pink, Copper John/red or copper #16, #18 & #20, Bead Head Prince Nymph (various sizes), Wooly Bugger/rusty, black, Glow Bug/red.  tungsten bead Zebra Midge/black, brown, olive , red #18-#20, WD 40 #18 & #20, Fox's Poopah #14 & #16. Scud/pink #14. Micro May Fly #18 black, olive. Vinci's "Depth Charge Bird's Nest/ natural or black #18.

Dries:

Adams Parachute #14 & #16 Split Wing Parachute #14 & #16, Elk Hair Caddis #14 & #16, Comparadun #18, Brooks Baetis Cripple #20. EC Caddis #20

 
 
See Hatch Chart Below!
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LODGING NEAR
Putah Creek

Get what you need
before you go
Kiene's Fly Shop
About Putah Creek

 

Putah Creek is one of the most accessible, winter fisheries in Northern California close to Sacramento and the East Bay.  Thousands of bay area and Sacramento area fly fishermen caught their first fish on a fly here.  Being that it is located within an hour from much of the Bay Area and slightly less than an hour from Sacramento it is, as can one can imagine, a very popular piece of water. 

 

Putah Creek is a tailwater that flows out of the coast range of Northern California into the Sacramento Valley.  One wouldn’t expect to be fishing for cold water fish like Rainbows in a low elevation foot hill environment surrounded by Oak Trees but being that it is a tail water, water temperatures stay cool during the Summer and rarely freeze in the winter.  The consistent water temperature means an active year round bug population and active healthy fish who feed and grow while their mountain counterparts are half asleep.  

 

Being that Putah is a tail water, its flows are determined by agricultural needs downstream so late Spring, Summer and early fall flows can be difficult for fly fishermen to fish.  Come Autumn, the flows drop from over 500 cfs to as low as 50 to 70 cfs and this is when everyone heads to Putah.  About this time the mountain fishing is winding down to so anyone in the North or East bay area or Sacramento who needs a small stream fish fix, can easily get to Putah and back home in time for dinner.

 

Access to the water is easy since Hwy 128 runs right along Putah between the towns of Winters and Napa California.  As you leave the town of Winters and pass by Lake Solano you soon come upon the first of five county operated fishing accesses that have been strategically placed at each freestone section of the creek. This is one of the few trout creeks who’s facilities have been put in place to accommodate the fisherman’s needs. 

 

Food is abundant in the creek and the fish benefit not only from bugs that live there but from food, among them lake dwelling midge larva that wash into the creek from the lake above.  Midge and Baetis are the bugs that hatch on Putah during the Winter months but their larva are present year round.  Caddis larva are always present too.  Stoneflies are not a significant bug on Putah.

 

When the fish are spawning during the winter, a micro egg pattern Size #16 in orangish yellow can be deadly pattern if fished just downstream from where you spot hens and their suitors. It’s not a good idea to disturb fish on their redds.  The basic two fly indicator rig works well and most successful fishermen use long 5X or 6X tippets depending on the water clarity.  Generally a two fly rig with a Caddis larva pattern and a Baetis or Midge pattern tied on as a dropper works most of the time.  The egg pattern can be substituted for the Caddis larva during spawning.

 

HATCH CHART - PUTAH CREEK