Middle Fork Feather River

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Middle Fork Feather River

Sierra Tahoe Hatch Selection

Woolly Bugger #4-10
Mohair Leech
Marabou Muddler #4-10

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear
Birds Nest
Prince Nymph
Burk's Hunchback Infrequens #14-16
Little Yellow Stone Nymph

Attractor Drys:
Royal Wulff
Parachute Adams
Elk Hair Caddis #12-16
Yellow Humpy #14-16
Rio Grande King
Parachute Madam X

Dave's Hopper
Parachute Hopper

Current River Flows, Feather River

Click for Quincy, California Forecast

Directions: From Quincy, three approaches; 1) Take Hwy 70 East and go 13 miles to Sloat. Turn right, follow road by railroad yard and cross bridge. 2) Take Highway 70 East through East Quincy to far edge of town. Turn South on La Porte Road and continue 11.5 miles to Feather River bridge crossing.3) From Oroville, on Highway 70, take Oro Dam Blvd East and go 2.5 miles to Olive Highway. Turn Right and go 18,5 miles, pass Berry Creek to Brush Creek. Turn Right and go 0.3 miles, then turn Left onto Milsap Bar Road (about 8 miles of steep, narrow road into canyon).

The Middle Fork Feather River is one of the original streams named within the Wild Trout Program and designated as a Wild and Scenic River for the State of California. It is about 85 miles long flowing from Sierra Valley, in the middle of Plumas County, to Oroville Lake. Above the town of Sloat, the river is a freestone stream with easy access along Hwy 89. Much of this area consists of hatchery plants. The better fishing is downstream of Sloat where the river enters a rugged canyon with almost no access. The easiest access being the La Porte Road where it intersects the river. Within the canyon, the river consists of large pools with long runs and riffles holding wild Rainbows within the faster waters and large Browns inhabiting the pools.

The season usually starts around mid-June when the runoff begins to recede and continues until the end of the season in mid-November. Most fish are in the 10-14 inch category. Yellow Humpies, Elk Hair caddis, and other attractor patterns are used. Generally, tight line nymphing is used throughout the season in the deeper pools and slots. In June, small Golden and Black Stoneflies hatch with most using nymph patterns of these insects. Between mid-June and mid-July , there is a small cream-colored mayfly hatch that comes off, a Fall River Special or Light Cahill in sizes 12 to 16 will work. Through July and August, an olive and light brown caddis hatch usually appears in the evening hours. Try an emergent caddis pupa within the riffles and slicks. During the midsummer days, grasshopper patterns work well with a small bead head dropper. September can be a difficult month as the water warms. The best fishing during this period is in the morning or evening when the sun is off the water. During this time, try an attractor dry with a beadhead dropper. In October, the October Caddis Pupa works well and the BWO and Isonychia will start to hatch. Fish midday with small nymph patterns. Griffith's Gnats are a good midge indicator here also. In the pocket water, try nymphing without an indicator.

One of the choice areas to fish is the Hartman Bar to Butte Bar section of the river. The fish average about 12 inches in this section with lots of big pools. You can reach this are from the Pacific Crest Trail which crosses at Butte Bar and by the Hartman Bar Trail which crosses about 5 miles downstream at a suspension bridge.
Another good area to fish is the section of Cleghorn Bar to Nelson Point. This area is reached by the Oddie Bar Trail and the No Ear Bar Trail. The cool waters of Nelson Creek emptying into the MF Feather at Nelson Point maintains excellent fishability. The streambed is wide and by July the river is low enough to wade safely. Large pools pocket this area as a classic freestone riffle-run-pool type river.

Nelson Creek can produce trout up to 15". It is a spring-fed stream that maintains a cool temperature throughout the season. Many of the larger trout that reside here are actually transients that have left the middle fork of the Feather for the cooler water. The best area to fish is from Nelson Point to the Quincy-Laporte Road bridge. Attactor dry flies work well as to caddis patterns and Stimulators. The stream is shallow so that it can be waded easily. Best access is by Nelson Point Trail. This will give you about 2 miles of stream to fish while proceding upstream.
Little Grass Valley Reservoir is stocked with Rainbows and has an occasional Brown. Spring and Fall is the best time here when the trout are feeding nearer the surface. During the summer month, early morning and evening is your best bet, particularly with midges. Use small Brassies, Griffith's Gnats, and Blood Midge pupae. The six campgrounds (Black Rock, Little Beaver, Peninsula, Red Feather, and Running Deer) around the lake provide for nearly 300 campsites.

© 2013 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.