Mad River Fishing Report

Report Updated Feb. 6, 2014

RAIN…FINALLY!!!

The Mad is getting rained on and the guidance plots have her jumping to 2100 cfs sometime over the weekend. It looks, for now, anyway, flows should drop quickly thereafter…be there when they do because it should be ON FIRE!!

THE LOW FLOW CLOSURE SYSTEM HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL, SO CHECK FLOWS BEFRE YOU GO: (707) 822-3164


Current River Conditions


DFG Fishing Regulations


Current Weather


Mad River map


View Larger Map


About the Mad River

Steelhead bonkers rejoice! The Mad River sports the state’s most prolific run of hatchery steelhead and is the perfect place to go if you’ve got the jones to eat a steelie or two. The king salmon run here is all wild and slowly rebounding, so they must all be released. Same goes for the paltry coho run. But no worries — it’s the steelies that everybody comes here for anyway.

The Mad River Fish Hatchery, located about 10 miles up from the ocean near Blue Lake, is the epicenter of the action here and most of the best fishing occurs between there and the Blue Lake bridge. In that stretch, fishing is a lonely affair — just you and a couple hundred of your closest buddies. If you’re looking for solitude, this isn’t the place. If you’re into catching a bunch of steelhead, however, you’ve found nirvana.

Though drift boats float some sections of the Mad, it’s mainly the domain of bankies and it’s low graident, smooth gravel bars are perfect for fishing on foot. Grab some good eggs, a bag of Fish Pills and a few Slinkies and you’re in business.

The downside to the Mad is that it can stay muddy for quite a while after a big storm — especially when Ruth Lake gets murky and is spilling.

Rigging Pink Worms for Steelhead
Mad River Worm Jigs Review


Species of the Mad River

1winter-steelhead2
Winter Steelhead
October-March


1fall-king7
Fall Chinook
October-December


Photos from the Mad

The confluence of the North Fork Mad and Mad River off the Blue Lake Bridge
The confluence of the North Fork Mad and Mad River off the Blue Lake Bridge
The Mad's low gradient and smooth cobble make it wader's dream!
The Mad's low gradient and smooth cobble make it wader's dream!
Major carnage on the Mad...that's what hatchery steelies are for!
Major carnage on the Mad...that's what hatchery steelies are for!

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