Fishing on the Feather River – Oroville, Yuba City, Marysville: A Diverse Fishery

Feather River, flowing gracefully from Lake Oroville down to its convergence with the Yuba River near Marysville, promises a thrilling adventure for fishing enthusiasts. With its abundant fish species and diverse fishing opportunities, the Feather River stands as a prime destination for anglers seeking excitement and relaxation amidst scenic landscapes.

As you cast your line into the Feather River’s pristine waters, you’ll encounter an array of fish species eager to take the bait. From the prized Chinook salmon migrating upstream in the fall and spring to the feisty steelhead offering an exhilarating fight year-round, there’s no shortage of angling excitement here.

In addition to salmon and steelhead, the Feather River is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, sturgeon, and striped bass, each presenting its own unique fishing challenge. Whether you’re trolling with large spoons for Chinook salmon near the river mouth or fly fishing with nymphs for steelhead, there’s something for every angler to enjoy.

The Feather River has earned its reputation as a premier fishing destination, thanks to its thriving fish populations and strategic interception points like the Thermalito Afterbay outlet hole. Here, anglers can reel in thousands of salmon each season, making it a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts seeking a memorable catch.

For first-time anglers looking to make the most of their Feather River fishing experience, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the river’s regulations and optimal fishing spots. Anchoring strategically at the Thermalito Outlet Hole and exploring the river’s diverse sections, from riffles to deep pools, are just a few tips to enhance your angling adventure.

With careful planning and the right gear, you can make the most of your Feather River fishing expedition. Whether you’re targeting salmon, steelhead, or striped bass, investing in quality rods, reels, and lures tailored to your desired catch can significantly improve your chances of success.

In conclusion, the Feather River offers a world of angling opportunities for enthusiasts of all skill levels. With its scenic beauty, diverse fish populations, and year-round fishing potential, it’s a destination that beckons anglers to explore its waters and create lasting memories. So pack your gear, heed the river’s call, and embark on an unforgettable fishing journey along the Feather River.

Types of Fish to Expect:

  1. Chinook Salmon: The most sought-after species, migrating upstream in the fall and spring. Trolling with large spoons near the river mouth and the Thermalito Afterbay is most effective.
  2. Steelhead: Abundant throughout the year, offering an exciting fight. Fly fishing with nymphs and streamers is a popular method.
  3. Rainbow Trout: Stocked regularly and thriving in the river, readily taking a variety of baits and lures.
  4. Brown Trout: Less common than rainbows but larger, preferring deeper pools and riffles. Nymphs and streamers are their downfall.
  5. Sturgeon: An unexpected bonus, occasionally caught in the deeper sections of the river. Bottom fishing with sturgeon-specific baits is the key to success.
  6. Striped Bass: Migrating through the river in spring and summer, offering a chance to catch trophy-sized specimens. Trolling large baits near the Thermalito Afterbay is effective.

The Feather has become one of the brightest spots in California for salmon, striped bass, and shad. Good natural spawning in the river’s low-flow section, combined with a state-of-the-art hatchery facility in Oroville, have made the Feather a salmon factory. The main interception point is the Thermalito Afterbay outlet hole, where shore anglers casting spinners or bead/yarn combinations, as well as boaters back-bumping roe or Kwikfish lures or jigging Gibbs Minnows, catch thousands of fish per season. Do not snag salmon. Got it?

Top 5 Tips for First-Time Anglers:

  • Familiarize yourself with the river’s regulations, especially around snagging salmon.
  • Anchor strategically at the Thermalito Outlet Hole for prime salmon fishing.
  • Explore the river’s diverse sections, from riffles to deep pools, for different fishing experiences.
  • Check the DFG regulations for rolling closures, especially above Honcut Creek.
  • Utilize live minnows for drifting major holes and runs for a chance at tremendous numbers of stripers.

Top 5 Strategies and Tactics:

  • Seasonal Timing: Plan your visit for specific species – salmon peak in September, steelhead in winter, and striped bass in late May.
  • Time of Day: Optimal fishing times vary, so plan your arrival accordingly, especially for salmon and steelhead.
  • Boat Access: Invest in a boat for better access to prime spots for shad, salmon, and striped bass.
  • Shad Fishing: Head to Shanghai Bend for some of the best shad fishing in the state, especially in May.
  • Gear Recommendations: Explore our Gearlist account for specific gear recommendations to maximize your fishing experience.

Top 5 Gear Recommendations:

  • Rods: Medium to heavy rods for salmon and sturgeon, light to medium for trout and bass.
  • Reels: Quality reels with smooth drag systems for a seamless fishing experience.
  • Lures: Experiment with Flatfish, Spinners, and Kwikfish for salmon, and jumbo live minnows for stripers.
  • Check Gearlist: Explore our Gearlist account for specific gear recommendations tailored for this location.
  • Explore Gearlist: Visit our Gearlist for comprehensive gear recommendations to optimize your angling experience.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Feather River, with its tranquil flow and abundant fishery, remains a cherished destination for anglers seeking adventure and camaraderie. As the sun sets on another day of casting lines and reeling in memories, it’s evident that the Feather River holds a special place in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of fishing its waters.

Throughout the seasons, the Feather River offers a dynamic fishing experience, from the exhilarating chase of migrating Chinook salmon to the serene pursuit of rainbow trout dancing in its currents. Each fish tells a story of resilience and adaptability, thriving in this ecosystem nurtured by the river’s gentle embrace.

The Feather River’s allure extends beyond its diverse fish populations, encompassing the camaraderie shared among fellow anglers and the tranquility found in nature’s embrace. Whether casting lines from the riverbank or navigating its waters by boat, every angler is united by a shared passion for the sport and a reverence for the river’s bounty.

As we reflect on our time spent fishing the Feather River, we are reminded of the importance of conservation and stewardship in preserving this natural treasure for future generations. By respecting fishing regulations, practicing catch-and-release, and minimizing our environmental impact, we ensure that the Feather River remains a thriving habitat for fish and a sanctuary for all who seek solace in its waters.

In the twilight hours, as the last echoes of laughter and the gentle splash of fish bidding farewell to another day fade into the distance, we carry with us the memories of moments shared and the anticipation of future adventures. The Feather River may be just a stretch of water on the map, but to those who have experienced its magic, it is a sanctuary, a playground, and a home away from home.

So, as we pack up our gear and prepare to depart, let us take with us not only the fish we’ve caught but also the memories we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned. For in the grand tapestry of life, the Feather River remains a steadfast companion, guiding us with its gentle currents and inspiring us with its timeless beauty. Until next time, may the river’s song echo in our hearts and lead us back to its shores once more.