Hatchery footballs-- 2-5 lbs, 18-25". Volume increases in the "Low Flow" late August thru September, peaks second half of October, starts to putter towards the end of November. Handful of fish year round.
Beware of personal belongings parking in the Wildlife Preserve-- that is, drive in a beater if you own one and leave nothing in the car, nothing. In the late 80's/early '90's it was terrible. In today's economy it's got to be even worse anywhere within walking distance of Oroville.
If the kings are back, the steelhead just stack up around redds throughout the "Low Flow." See any map to identify this area, which is everything above where the Thermalito afterbay dumps in. Before the salmon get thick, if they do at all, you can swing small nymphy stuff and expect a few biters. Lots of guys used to fish dink pupae, above the salmon, through the redds and riffles with a lot of success. Again, if there are salmon spawning it's the same thing as anywhere else, small roe colored stuff catches the most.
Find someone who knows safe(r) places to park, then go. I think the fishing is probably pretty bad, but you never fished it when it was any good so who cares. Crowds shouldn't be a problem and it definitely has a special beauty all its own.
Incidentally, although small, when you do find a fish they tend to be little fireballs. And I did see several to hand bigger than stated average.
Last edited by Rob Hesse; 05-10-2011 at 05:32 PM.
Reason: spelling error