Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

North Fork American River - North Fork Dam - California

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

powered by Advanced iFrame. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

powered by Advanced iFrame. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Morning/Afternoon 18-26 Zebra Midges
Blue Wing Olives Some Cloudy and Cool Evenings 16-18 Rusty Spinner
February Midges Morning/Afternoon 18-26 Zebra Midges
Blue Wing Olives Some Cloudy and Cool Evenings 16-18 Rusty Spinner
March Blue Wing Olives Afternoon 16-18 Rusty Spinner
April Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
Blue Wing Olives Cloudy Days 16-18 Rusty Spinner
May Stoneflies All Day 6-10 Golden Stonefly
Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
June Stoneflies All Day 6-10 Golden Stonefly
Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
July Hoppers Mid-morning/Mid-afternoon 6-10 Dave's Hopper
Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
August Hoppers Mid-morning/Mid-afternoon 6-10 Dave's Hopper
Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
September Caddis Afternoon/Evening 14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
October Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 Rusty Spinner
November Midges Morning/Afternoon 18-26 Zebra Midges
Blue Wing Olives Some Cloudy and Cool Evenings 16-18 Rusty Spinner
December Midges Morning/Afternoon 18-26 Zebra Midges
Blue Wing Olives Some Cloudy and Cool Evenings 16-18 Rusty Spinner

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The North Fork American River – North Fork Dam area offers excellent settings for fly fishing, laden with diverse fish species. It is recommended for both seasoned anglers and newcomers. The hotspots include:

  • China Bar: Accessible from Foresthill Bridge, this spot is famous for shad and king salmon fishing.
  • Shirttail Creek: Located upstream from the North Fork Dam, it’s an ideal spot for rainbow trout fishing.
  • Codfish Creek: A serene location, excellent for winter steelhead fishing.
  • Clementine Lake: Near the dam, it’s known for brown and rainbow trout fishing.
  • North Fork Dam: Most popular spot favored for channel catfish, smallmouth bass, and carp fishing.

Always remember to check local regulations before fishing as seasonal changes may affect availability of certain fish species and fishing legality.

Best Access Points

The North Fork American River, specifically around the North Fork Dam, is one of the most scenic spots for fly fishing. Here are the best access points:

  • Mineral Bar Campground: Situated close to Colfax, the facilities here make it an ideal starting point. There’s a modest day usage fee.
  • Green Valley Access Point: This is a less crowded spot closer to the dam, but involves a strenuous hike.
  • Mumford Bar Trail: A challenging option, this access point leads to extreme remote stretches of the river. Be prepared for a steep trek.
  • Ponderosa Way: Found above the dam, Ponderosa offers easier access but, it can be seasonally restricted due to weather conditions.

Note: As conditions can change quickly, always check local updates before attempting to access these points.

Local Fish

  • Trout: The most common species targeted by fly fishermen in the North Fork American River, specifically Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Cutthroat Trout.
  • Chinook Salmon: Highly-prized for their size and strength, Chinook Salmon are a fall-spawning fish favored by fly fishers.
  • Coho Salmon: Also known as Silver Salmon, they are somewhat smaller than Chinooks but provide a rewarding challenge to fly fishermen.
  • Steelhead: They are ocean-going Rainbow Trout which return to the river for spawning, providing a significant challenge to even experienced fly fishermen.
  • Shad: They are strong fighters and thus, a popular target amongst fly fishers. The Shad run generally occurs in late spring/early summer.
  • Bluegill: They present a fun and relatively easy challenge, perfect for beginners. Though small, they are known to put up a good fight on a fly rod.
  • Bass: Both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass can be targeted in the North Fork American River, offering a different type of fly fishing experience.
  • Sturgeon: While not traditionally targeted by fly fishers due to their size, Sturgeons are a highly-prized catch.

About The River

The North Fork American River weaves an intriguing history almost as scenic as its natural attractions. Graced by the North Fork Dam, this river is an integral part of California’s watery heart. The area’s traditional natives, the Nisenan Indian tribe, once lived along the river before the rush of European explorers.

With the interesting traces of the Gold Rush era, the North Fork Dam became a significant part of the exciting historical tapestry. Erected in 1869, it ignited a powerful surge of growth and industry, fuelling California’s development.

  1. Gold Discovery: Gold was discovered near the river in 1848, adding substantial significance to it.
  2. Construction of the Dam: The Dam was established in 1869, acting as an irrigation source for mining.
  3. Promotion of Recreation: Today, it’s renowned for recreational activities, acting as a prominent spot for rafting and fishing.

Thus serving as a silent witness to a vibrant historical saga, the North Fork Dam paints a rich canvas of fascinating stories of the past.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Recent Articles

Guide To A Euro Nymph Setup: How To, Techniques, and Tips

Guide To A Euro Nymph Setup: How To, Techniques, and Tips

Euro Nymphing: Setup, Techniques, and Tips A fly fishing technique that originated in Europe, has rapidly gained popularity…

Streamer Fly Fishing: Guide to Catching Big Fish

Streamer Fly Fishing: Guide to Catching Big Fish

Fly Fishing With Streamers A thrilling method to reel in some of the biggest fish in the water.…

Fly Tying Articles