Northern California’s Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

Northern California guides fly fishing report

Brandon's Hen_with Pale Peril, a Dave McNeese patternOctober 8, 2015  There is no place like home!

I have not posted a report for a while as I have recently returned from a trip swinging flies for steelhead in British Columbia.  While the Skeena system is considered mecca for the serious steelhead flyfisher, the weather in BC was much like steelheading here on the northcoast in winter, wet and cold.  Returning home to spectacular weather, fall colors and outstanding fishing has made me appreciate the place I live and fish more than ever, there is no place like home.

Despite the much dreaded drought conditions local rivers are holding up well.  The Klamath is cold and as clear as we’ve ever seen it and we’ve found it’s first push of steelhead.  The Upper Sac and McCloud have cold flows and active fish, the Fall River continues to produce on dries, nymphs and streamers, the Rogue is as consistently good as we’ve ever seen it, and the Lower Sac has been outstanding with perhaps even better fishing on the way as Chinook Salmon prepare to spawn and drop eggs.

Fall, particularly October and November is our busiest time of year and this year is no exception.  While guides’ calendars are nearly full, we do still have some openings.   We’ve had a number of requests recently and had to turn folks away,  so to help you plan your fall trip, below is a list of current guide availability.  We don’t expect these dates to last long so contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a trip with the finest local guides.

Lower Sacramento River:  October 10-12, 17-18, 31.  November 15, 21-24, 29.

Upper Sacramento River: October 9, 17-18, 21.  November 19-25, 27-30.

Fall River: October 16-18, 23, 27.  November 4-6, 11-13.

Klamath River: October 17-20, 23.  November 18, 20-24, 28-30.

Rogue River: October 19-20.  November 23.

Scott River Lodge: We still have one opening for 1 or 2 anglers November 16-19th

IMGP2317The Upper Sacramento River has been fishing well top to bottom with a higher percentage of large fish in the lower and middle river but higher numbers of fish upstream.  Early in the day when both air and water temps are cool we have had success nymphing mostly with small and tiny flies.  Later in the day we have switched to dry flies with droppers with satisfying results.  LBT’s (little black things) have been the most productive as fish fill up on black midge larva this time of year but some hatches of small mayflies as well as a few caddis get eaten as well.

Flows on the Upper Sac are low and clear, 186 cfs at Delta,  which makes wading and fishing pocket water as easy as it gets.  Flows out of the bottom of Lake Siskiyou dam and are supplemented by cold springs so upsteam water is cold year round.  Below Simms the hottest days of summer can raise the water temp but currently temps are peaking comfortably in the upper fifties and lower sixties and we expect they will only get lower with the coming of cooler weather this week.  A few October Caddis have popped with the bulk of this hatch scheduled to go off after the first hard frost.  Stay tuned!

IMG_1897The Lower McCloud has had some silting issues of late with the river fluctuating between clear with great fishing and unfishable.  This week the clarity was around two to three feet.  The norm when we see these events is for the river to take days or weeks to clear but remain clear rather than fluctuating so much, best to drop us a line to check on conditions before making the drive into the McCloud River canyon. When the river has cleared our best success has been with small flies hung below droppers and nymphing the bigger water with small mayfly, midge and caddis patterns. 

Current conditions are still fishable, though challenging to get around.  The fish are much less wary with the low clarity so large bright indicators, heavier tippets and larger flies do not spook fish making it easier to hook fish (particularly larger ones) for less experienced anglers.  Streamer specialists hope for this kind of bonanza which gives them a chance to target the larger fish, including some sizable Browns though catch rates can be signifcantly reduced.  Flows at Ah Di Na are a bit above 200 cfs which is ideal to access all of the stream crossings and pocket water.

The fishing on Fall River continues to hold up well with few folks around.   Sparse hatches and fussy fish have made nymphing and swinging the most productive methods.  It is 7X season which means getting them to eat is not always the end of your challenges.  Fishing, particularly with dry flies will likely improve with cooling temps and increased mayfly activity over the coming weeks.

Trophy Lower Sacramento River RainbowThe Lower Sacramento River has been fishing fair to good with the fishing improving over the past few weeks as temperatures have moderated from the hundred plus we had a few weeks ago.  Cooler temps on the way along with spawning salmon will hopefully spark the bite even more.  Fish are podded so searching efficiently and skipping unproductive water to find the pods is key.  Most fish have come on small and tiny mayfly nymphs with a few caddis mixed in.  The bite has been soft, fish are sipping the bugs like a martini rather than guzzling them like a beer.  This can be very frustrating as the fish will often offer a handshake and nothing more, no kiss, dance or picture.  Those with keen eyes and quick hook sets fair a bit better than those of us who enjoyed our athletic prowess decades ago. As salmon move in and drop eggs the bite will become easier and the biggest fish in the river move from their lairs into vulnerable lies downstream from spawning salmon. Flows are steady at  6,830 cfs with no scheduled releases at this time.

Now is the time to plan a trip on the Klamath or Rogue River for fall steelhead fishing.  The steelhead have arrived and we are finding fairly consistent results, particularly on the Rogue.  We have guides that swing flies with two handed rods as well as guides who nymph along with those who feature both.  Fall is our busiest season so we recommend you schedule early for the best availability.   We hope to see you soon, 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.

First Pilgrimage to Skeena, BC

IMGP2299August 24-September 21

IMGP2263IMGP2261Nass Base Camp, British Columbia Steelhead. September 2015I recently returned from a month long pilgrimage to British Columbia’s famed Skeena system where I swung flies for wild steelhead.  My good friend Dan and I took the ferry up from Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert (an amazing voyage) and camped for a couple weeks fishing the Kispiox, Bulkley, Morice and Skeena Rivers.  I managed to land a fish on the Kispiox in my first ten casts of the trip but we fished mostly rising water and we wore rain jackets all but two days so both the fishing and catching were a bit tough.  Unfortunately this year is also the lowest return of fish ever recorded in the Tyhee test fishery at the mouth of the Skeena so there were fewer fish in the system than usual.  We floated most days in our Scadden frameless pontoon boats which were ideal and with wide rivers, making our longest casts over and over using Gary Anderson’s amazing spey rods was a joy in itself. Nass Base Camp, BC.  September  2015Nass Base Camp, BC.  September  2015Nass Base Camp, British Columbia Steelhead. September 2015

For the third week and highlight of the trip, three friends David, Greg and Jason joined us for a week hosted by Flywater Travel at the Nass Basecamp.  We fished the Bell Irving, Meziadan, Kiteen and Cranberry Rivers.  Our guides worked exceptionally hard considering the wet conditions to keep us on fishable water everyday while guests at other lodges sat and played cards.  We landed nine fish on our best day, including a couple brutes pushing fifteen pounds but most other days the group total was a fish or two.   The accommodations were rustic but clean and comfortable and the food was outstanding.  A hot Irish Coffee with a little whip cream on our midmorning break never tasted so good!

IMGP2308Nass Base Camp, BC.  September  2015IMGP2285The rivers and scenery were exceptional and despite the foul weather and challenging river conditions everyone managed to catch fish and have a great time.  We are starting plans for a return trip, drop me a line if you are interested in joining us next season, we are hoping to make this an annual pilgrimage.

Update: Fires & Fly Fishing in Mt Shasta & Southern Oregon

Brandon's Hen_1August 21, 2015

It has been more hazy than smoky in Mount Shasta recently, with the wind blowing the smoke in from the nearby fires on some days and away from us on other days.  Visibility has remained above ten miles in Mt Shasta throughout and there have been no health warnings.  Ashland, Medford and Redding have not fared quite as well with some days of less than five miles of visibility, but both have been over ten miles the past week or so.  We only have one fire close to the area, on the north side of The Mountain, near the tiny community of  Tennant and it is very small at under 60 acres. A link to current fire conditions can be found at: 

Fishing has been fair to good with numerous inquiries and interest in flows, fires and water temps this year.  The amount of misinformation continues to baffle us.  Most all of our rivers are tailwaters and/or have base flows from springs so the only issues we have this year are ones that we experience every season at this time.  The lower section of the Upper Sacramento River can get into the upper sixties or even low seventies in the afternoon during hot spells and so we avoid it.  The same goes for the Pit River, in addition PG&E sent us notice that the Pit 5 whitewater releases will occur on the weekend of September 12-13, 2015.  Target flows for the Pit 5 Reach for September 12 and 13 will be 1,200 cfs.  Releases will be made from 10 AM to 4 PM on those dates and will be ramped down between the Saturday and Sunday.  Every season we have also closed our guiding on the Klamath River July 4th (or earlier) and opened again in September or early October when water temps drop enough to safely catch and release wild steelhead.  If you are fishing on your own and are in doubt, it is simple to check the water temps with an inexpensive thermometer.  If temps are in the upper sixties or lower seventies, we recommend finding another place to fish .

Brandon's Hen_with Pale Peril, a Dave McNeese patternBrandon's Hen_5The Rogue River just outside of Ashland and Medford has been the place to be on the west coast this season.  A good number of fish have arrived early, conditions are ideal with cold clear water and the catch rate has been exceptional as a result.  No need to wait until October to schedule your steelhead trip this year.  We have a few great local guides we feature who’s specialty is swinging with two handed rods.  If you are experienced you will appreciate their expertise, if you are not experienced they are great teachers who can get you started right.  Craig has taken a few trips to sample the fishing including a recent one with local guide Brandon Worthington and found a hot hen on a Pale Peril.

IMGP2212IMGP2202The Upper Sacramento River has been low and crystal clear all season and as a result the fish have seen it all.  There continues to be fair hatches early and late in the day with some heads popping up here and there but the fishing is tough and technical.  One sloppy cast and the whole pod typically goes down.  For this fishing we have brought out the long leaders and 6X tippet, tying on small caddis in the am, PED’s in the eve.  We have nymphed early and late in the day, fished some dry dropper rigs through pockets and fast water and found some fish but they have been mostly small.  There do not seem to be a large number of fish around this year in the lower and mid teens though we have managed to find more than our share in the upper teens and lower twenties.  Do avoid the lower river as discussed above, perhaps at Pollard Flat and below, during the heat of the day until air temps and water temps drop.

The Lower Sacramento River has been fishing quite well if you manage to find the right day.  On hot days (over 100) the bugs tend to be more active and as a result so are the fish. On cooler days the fishing is more enjoyable but the bite isn’t, well…quite as hot.  As we move into fall, the weather will cool overall with the result that bugs will still need to hatch, fish will need to feed and you can catch them in comfortable weather.  Much ballyhoo followed the reopening of the river between the Posse Ground and Highway 44 with some reporting amazing fishing  for big fish “because the fish were rested”.   While this was the case it was not as dramatic as many folks looking to fill guide dates made it out to be.   Many of these folks are the same ones who drift trout egg patterns through Rainbow spawning beds in the spring for the trophies that spawn in this section of the river and claim they are fishing “sucker spawn”.  We have lobbied for a spring closure on this prime section of spawning habitat for over a decade to protect the wild spawning Rainbows (our biggest competitor voiced opposition to this year’s closure), and fortunately this season some endangered spring Chinook caused the closure and protected at least the late spawning trout as well.

IMGP2244IMGP2249IMG_1897The McCloud has recently cleared from a silting event, and in the public water ,the clarity is a bit less than a foot and a half.  With water knee deep you can see the top of your foot but not the bottom, as a result wading is a challenge.  Some guide services have reported better clarity (two feet or more) but they have been fishing on private water downstream of public access or are offering up hearsay.  The bite has been good on small dark nymphs with no particular pattern working noticeably better than others.  With this clarity the river is much less technical as you can get very close to prime lies without spooking fish.  The seasoned angler who knows the river well will be at a disadvantage while the beginner or intermediate who is athletic in their wading skills will do nearly as well as the “expert” in these conditions.  We’ve been out with several beginners recently and they had exceptional days, landing a number of fish, mostly small as the bigger ones they could hook in these conditions still most often managed to get away.

The Fall River continues to fish consistently well.  Fishing nymphs (both dead drifting and swinging) and streamers have produced best as dry fly fishing has been spotty at most.  On many days you can have a run to yourself.  As always the fishing is technical with 6X and even 7X the rule.  As weather cools and hatches build the dry fly fishing should improve.

IMG_2602Lake Siskiyou continues to be a sleeper for smallmouth bass and a few trout.  The Hex hatch is done but the topwater action with small poppers and stripping buggers has been a hoot.  Great for the whole family, it is ideal for swimming and getting in your last trip of the summer.


Feel free to drop us a line for the latest fishing conditions if you are considering heading this way.

Annual Umpqua Pilgrimage

IMGP2216July 17-27

Photo courtesy of Ed and Malinda FeliceEvery summer for several seasons, Craig and Jerri have enjoyed a tradition of friends and family joining them for an annual pilgrimage to the Umpqua River to search for summer run Steelhead.  The Umpqua has one of the few remaining runs of wild summer fish in the lower 48 states that supports angling.  The fish are also surface oriented and getting one to tip up from a deep emerald pool for a skated fly can be one of the most magical moments in our sport.  The Umpqua is steeped in tradition and is famous in the lore of the sport so for us sharing this tradition with those we love is what it really is all about.  We enjoy telling some fish tales about our success or lack of it during cocktail hour, a breakfast at the Steamboat Inn or one of our afternoon potluck BBQ’s.

Photo courtesy of Ed and Malinda FeliceCobra @ Steamboat InnThis year sixteen folks joined us for the week, nine of which took the opportunity to fish.  Some folks new to the river, as well as a couple not so new, opted to fish with some great local guides who we heartily recommend, Rich Zellman and Tony Wratney.  A big thank you to Nana & Papa, Dan, Ed & Melinda, Tim (hope you make it next year Judy), Jason & Chris, Dave & Judith, Greg & Nancy, Jim & Marna, Dave, and Gui, for helping to make this year one of the most memorable visits ever. A great trip for family and friends who don’t fish as well, some folks took hikes, biked, toured Crater Lake, swam, camped, ate, drank, and slept under the stars.

IMGP2226Walking on waterGui's HenGui's CuttFishing conditions were challenging as like most other rivers in the west, the Umpqua is in drought.  It had been a long while since the flywater had seen fresh fish and so coaxing them to grab was difficult. Some stuck to searching with dry flies while most found success with sink tips.  Over the week about a dozen wild fish were caught and released.  I did manage to land my largest fish to date on a dry fly, a 31″ buck, after an epic battle that involved hanging up on rocks, not once but twice.  Tim was there to laugh at me the entire time and capture a few images on his IPhone.  What a treat to share with a longtime friend.  I hope to break my record on my first pilgrimage to the Skeena system this September with Dan, Jason, Dave and Greg.  Look for a Skeena Steelhead report in late September or early October.  For more photos of this season’s trip check out the Shasta Trout FlickR Umpqua 2015 album, for pics of previous trips check out the Umpqua Selects album.


Five Secrets to Summertime Fly Fishing Success

Scott poses his Shasta Trout Hawg of Fame dry fly McCloud River RainbowUpper Sacramento River summertime dry fly RainbowJuly 16, 2015

For many anglers, the summer heat, or the summer doldrums, often means few hatches and small fish. The prolific springtime hatches have come and gone. The rivers have become creeks, the water is crystal clear, the fish are spooky, and the most accessible runs have been fished over hard. By late summer, trout have seen it all, and running a big bright indicator through the run that produced in the middle of the day in the spring rarely produces. Summer flows might make fishing accessible and fun, but the catching can be downright challenging and technical.

Over the years we have discovered some strategies for approaching freestone rivers in the summer that helps to keep fishing fun, improves our success rates, and doesn’t require that we purchase new, expensive equipment or develop completely new skill sets. Quite the opposite in fact, most of these techniques return our fishing to the simple approach we loved as a kids.

Fish Fast Water

Fish suffering from the higher water temps of summer will seek out cool oxygenated water.  This most often means the heads of runs and fast moving riffles and pocket water will produce much better than the heart of the run that offered us so much action in spring.  Deep water can also provide thermal relief so nymphing or running streamers through these water types is most often productive when fish are not showing on the surface.

Take a Nap

Taking a nap during the least productive middle part of a long summer day not only adds to your enjoyment but leaves you fresh and rested for early morning starts and allows you to save a few casts until the very last light in the evening, when hatches are best and the fishing turns magical.

Take a Hike

Finding fish that have not been heavily pressured on public water is not as hard as you might imagine if you are willing to walk for them.  A half hour walk from access points is good, an hour or more is better.  We usually fish our way back to access points in the evening and make our way further from access points in the morning to save the longest part of hikes for the middle of the day.  Unpressured fish will be more willing to forgive small errors in presentation and imitation and are a joy to catch particularly on dry flies.   Summer is the ideal time to hike to out of the way spots on well known rivers or even better yet search out small creeks and wet wade while you cast small dries to eager trout.

Be Extra Stealthy

Frightened fish do not feed. When the water is low and clear and the fish have seen it all it is critical that we avoid spooking them prior to getting a fly in their feeding zone.  Try to avoid wearing bright colors, wade cautiously and fish turbulent, oxygenated or deep water to mask your presence.  This is a great time of year to take the indicator off and high stick your nymphs in the whitewater heads of runs, pocket water and deep pools.  In less turbulent water try presenting nymphs as droppers off a dry with a “Hopper, Copper, Dropper” rig.

Go Small

While it can be incredibly satisfying to get trout to grab your big Hopper dry, many more fish in summer are caught with small or tiny flies tied to light tippet.  If you prefer to fish a large dry, try adding nymph droppers on 5X and  6X tippet and you can still enjoy a few fish on the “Hopper” while your nymphs do the busy work.

For a more complete treatise on summer strategies, check out our article “Fishing Freestones to Beat the Heat” available on our website and first published in California Fly Fisher Magazine in August of 2006.

Fly fishing good & cooler weather has arrived!

Richard casting at MossbraeJuly 9th

There may 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 have dropped, we’ve enjoyed evening showers 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 last week and are scheduling folks for peak fall steelheading starting in September.

IMGP1582The 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.  Clarity has dropped from about five feet to two or three making approaches easier but wading a bit more challenging.  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.  The  July 4th weekend crowd has passed, you can now expect some solitude, particularly on weekdays.

IMG_2528Greg USac 003Flows 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 in the 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 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.

Hexagenia Dun a large bite for trophy trout 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 Pit River Rainbows.

IMGP2189 The Lower Sacramento River was been blazing hot, over 100 degrees almost everyday and over 110 on several days (in the shade!), so we cancelled or rescheduled most of our trips as a courtesy and concern for the safety of our guests.  With cooler temps this week  we expect to find some rested and hungry fish.  PMD’s  and Hydropysche Caddis have been popping but the unsettled weather makes for inconsistent results.  Cooler temps, stabilizing weather later this week, and steady flows should make the fishing as well as the catching more enjoyable in the coming weeks.

photo 5Local 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!

Klamath102105.03Scott River LodgeWe  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.

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.

Fishing Guide Report: Upper & Lower Sac, McCloud, Pit, Klamath and Fall Rivers

McCloudMay 26, 2015

With low, clear, ideal flows we are experiencing fantastic fly fishing in Northern California on all of our trout fisheries.  The unstable weather and thundershowers have passed and the biggest hatches of the year are just days away and we only expect the fishing to get better.  All kinds of bugs are starting to show: Salmonflies, Goldenstones, Mayflies big and smallTayler, McCloud River, as well as multiple hatches of caddis and with perfect weather now in the forecast we expect this to only improve.   Wildflowers are in their full glory, with Dogwoods, Azaleas, Rhododenrons and Lilies lighting up the streamside vegetation.   We hope you can join us soon to wet a line, we feature the finest local guides in the north state and still have some availability.

Upper SacramentoIMGP1576The Upper Sacramento is fishing well from top to bottom with ideal flows and our biggest and best hatches on the way.  Goldenstones and Salmonflies have just begun to show and the fish have been looking up.  A mixed caddis and mayfly hatch in the evening has produced some solid if not spectacular fishing and with steady warmer weather in the forecast we expect to see this action build.  Traffic on the Upper Sac has been very light on most days as this fishery is very under appreciated.  All techniques have been offering up fish provided you find the best water for each.  Try dries in the late afternoon and evening, fish dries and droppers or high stick pocket water all day and run indicators through classic runs morning and late in the day.  The water is at midsummer low levels and ultra clear so exercising maximum stealth is key.

Creighton with his Shasta Trout Hawg of Fame dry fly McCloud RiverRainbow!The McCloud River  has been about as good as it gets.  We are enjoying outstanding numbers of fish and while most have been on the smaller size, there have been enough fish in the teens each day to keep anglers challenged.  While conditions are exceptional and the fish are feasting on the plethora of bugs that are coming off, the river has seen considerable pressure since the opening of the season in April.  Campgrounds at Ash Camp and Ah Di Na have been at or near capacity on weekends but have been clearing nicely midweek.  Flows on the McCloud are very low and ultra clear so the fishing has become quite technical.  Stealth is paramount, fishing water that has seen less pressure also helps as does fishing good imitations that these trout don’t see often.  Fly fishers who know the river well and grasp this may catch dozens of fish a day, while those who are less experienced will find few. Even then experienced anglers will discover it is difficult to fool the larger, wary trout this river is famous for.  We have been enjoying this challenge and hope you do too!

Jerri enjoys another lunkerCraig, Fall RiverFishing on the Fall River has been fair to good with hatches building and the dry fly fishing taking form.  The weather has been unstable and on days when the wind is not a factor the dry fly fishing has been good.  Otherwise swinging nymphs and streamers along with dead drifting nymphs has produced well.  The majority of fish have been on the smaller size but spawners are returning in increasing numbers and good fish are coming to the net most every day, though a few of the biggest do manage to still get away.  The river is in great shape and the weeds are filling in nicely.  Fall River is in great condition for this time in the season and makes for a very relaxing, soulful experience.

Fly Fishing Guide Fred Gordon with a hefty Lower Sacramento River RainbowThe Lower Sacramento River continues to produce good numbers of trout and incredibly high quality Rainbows for anglers of all abilities.  With the variable weather, hatches have been on and off and so has the fishing.  Some days have been outstanding, others requiring working hard for a few good fish.  With clear weather in the forecast, the bite should pick up and become much more consistent.  Flows remain low, clear and steady, at 7,460 cfs, a bit below the norm of 10,000 for this time of the year.  The weather has been variable but the forecast is calling for clear and pleasantly warm weather which we expect will get the summertime caddis in full swing and provide wrenching grabs from hot healthy fish looking to put on some weight after completing their spawn.  Hatches have been variable with some days being steller and others sparse with some Pale Morning Duns, small spring caddis and summer caddis on warmer days.  The river has been fishing from Caldwell to Red Bluff but boat ramps have been noticeably busier on weekends than weekdays.  Note that the river above Hwy 44 bridge is closed to all fishing to protect endangered salmon.

Pit River springtime RainbowThe Pit River has been great except for a short period a couple weeks ago when the water came up and muddied.  While Stoneflies and Mayflies will get grabbed Caddis have been coming off in clouds and the fish have been feasting.  We have some guide availability so if you have not experienced the Pit we recommend you schedule a date to learn this rugged river.  Nymphing with or without an indicator during the day has produced best with fish taking smaller bugs more often than the bigger bites but a few of our biggest fish have come on the larger stonefly patterns.  Get here now!

Salmonfly dry fly and Klamath River steelieStoneflies on the Klamath River popped early last week and we expect the dry fly fishing to take off with the warm weather this week which should make  the egg laying adults available on the surface.   Flows are low and very fishable at 1180 cfs, a few hundred below the norm, though those without experience drifting the Klamath can easily find themselves perched on midstream rocks.  The Irongate Hatchery typically releases about 5,000 juvenile steelhead which in the past have provided not stop action on dry flies during this time of year.  Targeting spring run steelhead  along with juvenile wild fish and the few half pounders that have hung around will provide the bulk of the action.

Local creeks are accessible and fishing very well, we have enjoyed some outstanding days fishing dry flies with cane rods to eager fish, finding Browns, Rainbows and an occasional Brookie,  though they may be small, they are fun and good for the soul.  If you want to experience the feeling of being a kid again try fishing for these little gems on one of our incredible local creeks.  Many of these are fragile small streams that do not suffer pressure well and most will likely suffer poor conditions turning to small trickles once summer arrives.