Three branches of the Feather River, the North, Middle and South forks, transverse the Plumas National Forest in Northeastern California. All three branches are known for their deep picturesque canyons and good fishing. The Feather's best known for its epic king salmon run, but it's also a solid producer of steelhead, striped bass, shad, trout and the occasional sturgeon.
Thanks to a remarkable hatchery program, the Feather River is consistently one of the best fisheries along the entire west coast. Spring king salmon begin to return to the river each May and continue showing until July. In August, the first waves of the massive fall salmon run arrive and more and more fish push upstream through the middle of October. As many as 146,000 salmon inhabit the Feather annually and the fishing for them is often phenomenal.
Fall-run steelhead start trickling into the system in September, and by October, theyre firmly entrenched in the riffles between Live Oak and Oroville. Winter steelhead and wild rainbow trout keep anglers busy until April, when an excellent striped bass fishery develops in the lower river. Shad fishing heats up in May and, in high water years, there can be some good sturgeon action in the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet area in spring and early summer.
The North Fork shares the canyon bottom with Highway 70, the route of the Feather River Scenic Byway, the Western Pacific Railroad, and a PG&E Hydro-Electric complex. Low flows during the summer and numerous large boulders preclude extended canoeing or raft floating.
The Middle Fork is a Wild and Scenic River. The Wild Zones are in a deep canyon with numerous large boulders, narrow steep canyon walls, and some impassable waterfalls. Rafting and canoeing are not feasible in these Zones.
The upper stretches of the Middle Fork are in the English Bar Scenic Zone and Recreation Zone. These Zones are more gentle with easy access. Rafting and canoeing are feasible in the Zones, from Clio downstream to the Quincy-La Porte Road, in the spring. By early July, flows are low enough so that inner-tubes and air mattresses are the usual mode for short float trips.
The Feather River is a principal tributary of the Sacramento River, 170 miles in length, in Northern California in the United States. It drains part of the northern Sierra Nevada and a small portion of the middle of the Sacramento Valley.
One of the top fisheries on the West Coast!