Fishing Guides report: Klamath, Upper & Lower Sac & Trinity Rivers

IMGP1449February 2014

We continue to experience phenomenally fine weather in the shadow of Shasta which our guests have enjoyed to the fullest.  We finally saw some light rain last week, with fair skies forecast for the near future and possible showers on Wednesday and Thursday.  Blue bird days in winter are to be savored with sunny skies and daytime highs in the 50’s which means steelheading on the Klamath River in shirtsleeves midday while the Lower Sacramento River has required an extra layer of sunscreen while chasing trophy trout. Both seasoned anglers and beginners alike experienced some of their best days of steelheading ever recently. We are certain to get some more weather before winter (?) is over but we plan to take advantage of the year round fishing and sunshine while we can.

IMGP1419IMGP1422IMGP1452The Klamath River continues to be exceptional.  Conditions are nearly ideal, with fair weather and higher flows than most visitors expect.  While water levels are about 1/3 of normal at 950 cfs below Irongate dam and very bony in a boat, this has the fish concentrated and grabby as they are not able to enter tributary streams.  Water temps have also increased slightly with the longer days so we have been enjoying a wide open bite most every day.

IMGP1404IMGP1442IMGP1413IMG_9635Water temps are hovering in the lower forties into the mid forties in the afternoon which keeps nymphing still considerably more productive than swinging but a  few dedicated anglers have found some hot chrome fish taking swung flies. Nymphing with legs, eggs and classic nymphs however continues to be the most consistent bet.  Some of the steelies we’ve enjoyed this season have also been a bit heftier than the norm on the Klamath with Steelhead in the 5-8 lb range most days and an occasional fish going 8-12lbs.

larrylsacFishing on the Lower Sacramento River has been great as well though the catching has varied from day to day.  While the number of fish to net each day might not be what we expect to see in spring, the size of the fish has made up for it more than once.  On most blue bird days the hatch has been light and anglers need to search for grabs.  It has been hard to find pods of feeding bows which is more the norm, allowing anglers to target the pods with multiple passes. On overcast or days with light rain the hatches have been better, and results improve provided it doesn’t blow too hard.

Flows on the Lower Sac  increased to 3,8500 cfs from Keswick on January 27th and are holding steady with no scheduled releases.  The  fly of choice on the Lower Sac has varied considerably with a mixed bite on eggs and small nymphs, and rubberlegs.  Little to no dry fly action to speak of yet…

Springtime fly fisher on the Upper Sacramento River lands a lunker! Classic runs, gorgeous fish and a beautiful winter day fly fishing the Upper Sacramento RiverPit River springtime RainbowThe Upper Sacramento and Pit Rivers are low, clear and ideal for those wanting to sneak away for some solitude and winter walk and wading.  Guests enjoyed some unexpectedly great fishing the past few weeks. The catching is by far best during the warmest part of the day and though your catch rates won’t be as high as they are during peak season later in spring, the average fish will be considerably larger.  Expect most Rainbows to be in the teens, with a real shot at a trophy this time of year.  Nymphing with both small and big bugs works best, and stealth is key in these “late fall” like conditions.  You can always keep your fingers crossed that you’ll bump into midday risers sipping Blue Wing Olives, usually best on drippy days.  What a winter treat!

The Trinity remains trying, mostly due to a lack of water.  With a weak front forecast for midweek, we are hoping flows will increase and some fish will move to help spark the bite.  Anglers are working hard with low clear water and stale fish for a couple grabs per angler per day.

If you are considering heading our way, just drop a line, we are always happy to share all we can whether your are seeking guide service or not.  We hope to see you soon!

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