Friday, March 22, 2019

2019 Russian River Steelhead Fishing Map and Report, Hunting Clubs and Private Ranches

  Russian River Steelhead Fishing Map and Report

Russian River Fishing Reports 

February 28th 2019 - Duncan Mills  to Coyote dam rains have swelled the  lower river to near flood stage. But the  river was dropping into shape late last  week and fishing should be good from  now through March as long as the river  remains fishable.

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Map of Russian River & About Russian River

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 Location :
 The Russian River is located in Sonoma  and Mendocino counties and is accessible from  highways 1, 101, 12 and 116. Easiest drive is from  101 to Highway 116 which leads to the lower river.  Species: Winter steelhead, Chinook and silver  salmon, smallmouth bass, shad, catfish. striped  bass, sturgeon. 
Camping: Overnight camping and RV hook-ups are  available at the Casini Ranch at Duncan Mills;  Western Sonoma County, 707-869-9009.

New Fishing Lodge on the River in Geyserville!!
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 The Russian steelies are coming this fishery, but American anglers are tossing Spin-N-Glos and battling bright winter winter  steelhead from Duncan Mills all the  way up to Ukiah! 

Still, the Russian  River is no Eel. In fact, many local  anglers who live in the Santa Rosa area  often bypass the Russian and keep driving north  to the famed Eel .
But the Russian River is  starting to regain some of its respect it  lost after Coyote Dam was built in I957,  thanks largely to a successful hatchery  program up on Dry Creek.   gets  about 3000 to 5000 fish that return each winter.  There are some native spawners, but  very few. That’s because Coyote Dam  north of Ukiah wiped out hundreds of  miles of prime spawning waters and the  fishery has never been able to fully  recover. 

 Many anglers are reporting  fair to good catches of steelhead in the  10 to l8~pound weight class all the way  up to Cloverdale.

Heavy rains hampered fishing success early on,  but anglers have been  catching fish 8 to 10 pounds at Sulphur  Creek off and on for about two weeks  now. Most anglers cast and drift gear  from the banks with fair to good results,  but access is limited. 

That’s why many  Russian River anglers own a McKenzie  River-type driftboat. They can float the  entire river and not have to deal with  unfriendly property owners. A  popular drift in the upper section of the  river is from Asti to down to   Geyersville. It‘s about a 7- to 9-mile  stretch — a good full-day drift — and  fishermen have a pretty fair chance of  pulling out some nice fish.

 Most boaters pull plugs like Wee  Warts and Hot Shots, but anglers who  like to cast Spin-N-Glos, Okics and  Corkies with small pieces of roe will  usually hook more fish.  The lower river offers anglers the  best winter steelhead water, and fishing  is best from Duncan Mills to Hacienda. 

Our fishing map has detailed these holes so  you can easily identify them. Angling is  pretty tough on the Russian, but if you  fish with the right gear and concentrate  in these lower-river holes, chances of  coming home with a fish are excellent!  

When the river is low and clear, definitely fish the lower reaches. One of the  top holes down there is Brown’s Pool,  according to sources at King’s Sport  Shop in Guernevillc (707-869-2156).  Austin Pool and Reins Beach are good  steelhead producers as well. Upriver,  anglers will find good access and some  pretty good steelhead water to  Hacienda. There's public launches at  Hacienda, Guerneville and Monte Rio  so boaters can use this section of the  river to their liking.  

Bank anglers can drive along Highway 116, park and walk down to the  river. Be sure you don’t trespass,  though, because much of this lower  stretch is privately owned. One secret:  Anglers can park their vehicles off the  main road at Korbel and walk down to  the river. 
  The best  place to catch a steelhead on the entire  river is at the mouth of Dry Creek. Most  all of the steelhead in the Russian River  are hatchery-raised fish and most all of  those were reared at the Warm Springs  Hatchery at Dry Creek. Most of the  steelhead smolts — or yearling steel-  head — are raised and released in Dry  Creek, but some are planted in Sulphur  Creek.

The baby steelhead swim out to  the Pacific Ocean in the late spring and  summer where they eat and grow to  adult size for three to four years. When  it's time to spawn, they gather at the  mouth of the river and move upstream  every January in search of their native  place of birth. Since most of them were  born at the hatchery, most of them are  returning there as adults. Dry Creek  itself is closed to fishing, but anglers  can — and should fish at the mouth.  Steelhead often gather at the mouth  before heading upstream to spawn. So if  you want to catch a fish, then drift gear  at the mouth of Dry Creek.

 If you're  looking for solitude, then go somewhere else because it's a rare occasion  when anglers aren’t fishing shoulder to  shoulder there. Check Brown’s Pool. Park off Highway II6 and hike down  to the river. This is an excellent drift for steelhead. 'Austin Pool. Fish the mouth of Austin Creek where  fresh winter steelhead will gather.   Korbel Winery. Park near on Highway 116 and walk down to  river.  And finally, the Mouth of Sulphur Creek. This is probably the best  spot to catch a winter steelhead above Healdsburg.

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