There might be nothing better in fly fishing than casting a dry fly to rising trout on a cool summer evening with Mt. Shasta as a backdrop. After a couple of weeks of hot weather, temps have dropped and flows on local freestone rivers are at summer time lows with solid hatches of caddis and mayflies. As a result, dry fly fishing on the McCloud and Upper Sac have been outstanding, particularly in the evenings. The Hex hatches on the Fall River and Lake Siskiyou have been phenomenal and nymphing on the Pit continues to produce some exceptional days. The Stonefly hatch on the Klamath has concluded and we are scheduling folks for fall steelheading starting in September when water temps drop to a safe level to again practice catch and release.
The McCloud has been one of our top destinations with 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 phenomenal fishing to risers during the evening hatch of Pale Evening Duns, Flavineas along with a Rusty Spinner fall. The July 4th crowd is gone and particularly on weekdays you can find some solitude.
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. Local guides Craig Nielsen, Rick Cox, Alan Blankenship, Wayne Eng and Fred Gordon have hosted several guests and found nymphing during the 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 not yet seen the typical influx of Shasta Lake Rainbows moving into the lower river yet. These feisty, hot fish average 14-18″ and provide great sport, much like half pounder steelhead and we expect them to be showing up in our nets in the coming weeks.
Tom Peppas, Scott Saiki, Jason Cockrum, Jeremy Baker 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 drys 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.
Local guide Alan Blankenship (aka The Pit Pirate) has been finding some fish on the Pit River as flows have dropped to the summer minimum. Several guests have enjoyed outstanding days, catching chunky ‘bows who have seen very few anglers this season. Alan has some availability for hardy waders who have not yet sampled the bounty this fishery can provide.
The Lower Sacramento River has been a bit up and down lately as flows have been fluctuating, and we have had some windy days. Flows and weather have tempered and the bite has taken off. 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 concluded our spring stonefly hatch fishing on the Klamath for the season but still have some fall Steelhead dates available starting in September, including some special offerings at the incredible Scott River Lodge.
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.