We have been out on the Upper Sacramento River a few times this past week and the fishing has been VERY solid. The early spring like weather has the bugs and the fish active. Right now the larger rainbows in the Upper Sac are dominating the pools and runs – pushing out the smaller fish so that they get first dibs on the food coming downstream. Fish seemed to be in all the spots you would expect them to be, heads of runs, seams and on the edges. Caddis pupa definitely were the hot fly but smaller stones, micro mays, and some attractor type nymphs (red headed step child) picked up some fish as well. Quite a few fish were taken with caddis on the swing after the drift too.
On the warmer days the fish have been keyed in on mid day caddis hatch as well as rubber leg stones and smaller mayfly nymphs in the morning and evening. Bob Grace at Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir ties a killer little soft hackle PT that has been very effective as well (See Craig’s article on Winter Flies for tips on fishing this fly).
The afternoons can also provide for some nice dry fly opportunities. Keep an eye on the soft seam lines and foam lines for noses poking through the surface. Flows remain exceptionally low. Now is the time of year to be stalking the banks of the Upper Sac, it’s hard to beat solitude and big fish on a freestone in February or March.