There might be nothing better in fly fishing than casting a dry fly to rising trout on a summer evening with Mt. Shasta as a backdrop. Base flows in the shadow of Shasta come from cold springs so we expect fishing to be fair to good throughout the summer. After the past couple of weeks of hot weather, temps are dropping and flows on local freestone rivers are at summer time lows with solid hatches of caddis and mayflies and lingering stones, as a result, dry fly fishing on the McCloud and Upper Sac have been great fun, particularly in the evenings. The Hex hatches on the Fall River and Lake Siskiyou have been in full swing and nymphing on the Pit continues to produce some exceptional days. The Stonefly hatch on the Klamath has concluded but we found a few steelies on the swing this week and are scheduling folks for peak fall steelheading starting in September.
The McCloud has been one of our top destinations with cold water and Flows at a season low, having reached summer levels weeks ago with nearly all crossing spots open and wading at it’s best. We’ve been taking advantage of the conditions with several guests, casting dry and droppers to the far bank and pockets all day, followed by excellent fishing to risers during the evening hatch of Pale Evening Duns, Flavineas along with a Rusty Spinner fall. Expect a crowd for the July 4th weekend but expect some solitude after, particularly on weekdays.
Flows on the Upper Sacramento River have been at summertime norms for several weeks. Springs on the upper river keep water temps low so the entire river remains very wadable and fishable all summer long, though we recommend avoiding the lower river afternoon. Local guides Craig Nielsen, Wayne Eng and Fred Gordon have hosted several guests and found nymphing during the early day continues to produce and the evening dry fly bite on Mayflies and lingering Stoneflies have been outstanding the last few weeks. The fish are fat and happy as angling pressure has been noticeably light this season. We have seen the typical influx of Shasta Lake Rainbows that average in the teens moving into the lower river. These feisty, hot fish average 14-18″ and provide great sport, much like half pounder steelhead and we expect them to be showing up increasingly in our nets in the coming weeks.
Tom Peppas, Scott Saiki and George Durand report several guests are enjoying the evening Hex hatch on the Fall River which is moving up from the confluence of the Fall and Tule Rivers. This hatch allows us to nymph and swing emergers prior to the hatch and cast enormous Mayfly dries at last light to target the biggest fish of the season on the surface. Combine this action with some nymphing and casting dries to a morning PMD hatch and it makes for a very fulfilling day. In most seasons we see the hatch continue through July and the first few weeks of August. We still have some guide dates available, drop us a line if you have not yet experienced this amazing seasonal event.
We have been finding good to great fishing nymphing on the Pit River as flows have dropped to the summer minimum. Dry fly fishing in the evening was excellent but turned spotty the past week. Several guests have enjoyed outstanding days, catching chunky ‘bows who have not seen a great deal of pressure this season. The Pit River is one of the local rivers that has warm temperature issues in the summer. We recommend taking water temps prior to fishing and choosing a different river when water temps move into the upper 60′s (which is typical in most summers and particularly this season) to avoid harming the native wild Rainbows.
The Lower Sacramento River has been blazing hot, over 100 degrees almost everyday and over 110 on several days (in the shade!), so we have cancelled or rescheduled most of our trips as a courtesy and our concern for the safety of our guests. With cooler temps in the forecast we expect to find some rested and hungry fish. PMD’s and Hydropysche Caddis have been popping but day time temps have been a bit too much for most of us. Cooler temps and steady flows should making the fishing as well as the catching more enjoyable in the coming weeks.
Local headwater creeks have also provided some excellent action casting small dry flies for eager trout. This is a perfect venue for kids, those new to the sport, and folks who want to relax and enjoy consistent action and the visual joy of watching small trout dart from the stream bottom to intercept their flies. For some it can’t get any better than this!
We have a few fall Steelhead dates available starting in September, including the last two remaining prime time dates at the incredible Scott River Lodge were you can expect to enjoy stunningly beautiful runs and solitude, a rare combination for steelheaders these days. November 16-19th we have openings for up to 10 guests for three days and three nights of steelhead fishing on the Klamath at it’s finest. Cost is $1595 per person double occupancy, two guests per guide. If you have a group of six or more we will discount the trip to $1295. We also have openings for our eighth annual Spey weekend November 19-23rd, three days and four nights of Spey immersion and steelhead fishing for anglers from beginner to expert. Cost is $1795 per person double occupancy, two guests per guide, contact us for rates if you have a group that is interested.
Wishing you a very safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Drop us a line if you are headed our way, we are always happy to share all we can whether you are seeking guide service or not.