Fishing Report 4/2/09

The General Season Opens April 25th!

Look for our updated report April 20th previewing the McCloud & Hat Creek.



Lower Sacramento River

Fishing Conditons


Consider this your complimentary notice to get here now!  We have had a number of epic days of late, particularly when the wind takes a break.  Spring blizzard Caddis have arrived along with very strong showings of PMD’s, March Browns and Callibaetis!  Water clarity has been off a bit which unfortunately has hampered the dry fly bite but  we have had good to excellent action side drifting small nymphs, microspawn and floss rubberlegs. The river has fished well from the Posse Ground all the way to Bend.

Some spring run steelies are showing in the lower reaches. An unusual condition for the Lower Sac, you’ll find clarity improves as you move further downstream.   Still some walk and wade opportunities though drifting has been considerably more productive.



Water Conditons


Releases at Keswick increased by 1,000 cfs on April 1st and are currently at 4500 . Flows at Bend Bridge are two thirds of the median and while the water is still a bit off color the bite has remained good.

With Shasta Lake still low we expect lower than normal flows to continue for the near future.



Flies


Small nymphs are the norm. Try Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Birdsnests, along with your favorite Olive Caddis Pupa,  Micromays, Pheasant Tails and your favorite Callibaetis, March Brown or PMD nymph in #14 – 18″s. For two and three fly rigs try adding a Super Floss Rubberleg, an egg, microspawn or alevin.



Upper Sacramento River

Fishing Condtions


Fishing has been fair to good.  Flows have stabilized with good clarity providing optimum spring conditions.  The upper river is still quite low and very wadable as a good portion of the flow at the gage is coming from tributaries. Hatches of Salmonflies, Goldenstones and the big Mayflies of spring will be arriving soon.  Still some midday action on small mayflies though droppers as well as nymphing deeper runs with small caddis and mayfly nymphs when the hatch is not on is still the most productive.

Some larger nymphs have begun to produce with the big spring bugs just a few weeks away from popping. Wild Rainbows spawn this time of year. If you spot fish in shallow water in groups or pairs enjoy the show but please avoid fishing or spooking them.



Water Conditons


Flows have fluctuated and then steadily dropped as storms have passed.  Flows on the middle and particularly the upper river are much lower and have been very wadable with good fishing particularly during the warmest part of the day.

Expect the arrival of warm weather to also increase flows from snowmelt. 


Flies


Small nymphs are out producing large ones on average. Fish Copper Johns in copper and gold, Micromays, Pheasant Tails and small caddis patterns in 14-18’s in deep runs, slots and slicks. Prince nymphs, dark and golden stone imitations are increasingly finding fish.  Expect to see hatches of big bugs in the coming weeks.




Pit River

Fishing Condtions


Fishing has been fair to good.  Though still high, flows have dropped below normal.  Water clarity is still a bit off making approaches easy but dry fly fishing less productive.  We are finding most fish nymphing classic runs and slots prospecting with two fly rigs.  Small patterns have been outfishing large ones but some larger specimens have prefered the bigger bites.  This is an early season gem as spring hatches can be terrific and come off sooner here than local sister rivers.

As clarity improves and hatches get underway expect some top water opportunities. 


Water Conditons


Flows are high but currently a bit below the norm for the season and continue to be off color.  All reaches have been fishing though the few anglers who have sampled the Pit recently have concentrated  their efforts on Pit 3.



Flies


Standard prospecting nymphs have done the trick.  Prince Nymphs, PT’s, Birdsnests, Rubberleg Stones, Golden Stones, Copper Johns and Yellow Sallies.  Try mixing  and matching, one large, one small, one dark, one light.  Plan to start your season here with the big bugs of spring, Salmonflies, Goldenstones, Green Drakes along with their smaller cousins.



McCloud River

Reopens April 25th

.  Check for our update April 20th



Fishing Conditons


Fishing has been GREAT! , oops I mean closed.  After a banner year in 2007 followed by dismal conditions in 2008 we are very much looking forward to the opener on the McCloud this season.  Fishing Scouting forays show the river in great shape with flows a bit above the norm but unlike last season quite clear.



Water Conditons


Flows are high and currently a bit above the norm for the season but clarity is good.  Provided PG&E doesn’t decide to dump water to dampen the opener we expect it to be excellent.



Flies


The opener is usually a nymphing affair with opportunistic dry fly action usually midday. Big bugs will become increasingly important.



Hat Creek

Reopens April 25th. Check for our update April 20th



Fishing Condtions


The Opener on Hat Creek can be a community affair, particularly at the Powerhouse.   With other rivers in the area in good shape this spring Hat Creek could see some relief but a good many anglers will still make the pilgrimage.  Spring hatches are the reason.  The fish have had a break from angling pressure and larger bugs make it easier on the angler, particularly those of us with aging eyes.



Water Conditons


Hat Creek, being low gradient with spring creek conditions does not receive the runoff other local streams experience.  In high water years it is one of the few rivers that can be fishable early.  This year flows on area streams are  currently average to below average so if you want to avoid the circus seek out other area waters for the opening weekend and give Hat Creek a go midweek.



Flies


The attraction here is the big bugs of spring, Salmonflies, Goldenstones, Green Drakes, Flavs, and Mahoganies along with PMD’s and Olive/Green spring caddis.  Get your fly boxes filled.


Klamath River

klamath-fall

Fishing Conditions
Still a few steelhead hanging around including some small springers though most will be starting to spawn.   We avoid fishing shallow water and spawning beds in spring.   Water temps have inceased to the mid forties and will continue to rise. While we have been successfully nymphing lately we plan on taking advantage of warmer temps which will increase the productvity of swinging and help avoid catching actively spawning fish. The hatchery will release smolts later this month and it will provide a smoltathon for those so inclined.



Water Conditions
Flows dropped to 1600 cfs on April 1st and are scheduled to go down again May 1st. This is nearly half the mean flow and very fishable.  Plan on drifting as wading is very limited and fish are holding in deeper water except for spawning wild steelhead which should not be targeted.



Flies
Swing small dark leeches and classic wets such as Skunks and Silver Hiltons.

For the smoltathon small nymphs and caddis dries will provide more action than some may find desirable.


Trinity River


Fishing Conditons


The Smoltahon has begun!  The upper river is filled with hatchery juveniles that provide nonstop action for individuals with oversensitive funny bones.  What a hoot.  To maximize the fun factor most folks fish with a four or five weight and throw dry flies.  A few adult steelhead will join the fun and you will be seriously undergunned.  A six weight makes for a compromise and at least gives you a chance to land an adult and clean the broken off flies out of it’s snout.

Many wild steelhead are spawning throughout the river.  If you sight them in pairs or small groups avoid disturbing them. These are likely wild and will produce our fish four years from now, give ’em the chance.



Water Conditons


Flows have been stable and bit below the median making wading a breeze.  Warming temps and increased fish activity is making it easy for the average angler to get a grab, particularly on juvenile fish. Most adult fish have moved in to the upper river preparing to spawn or are spawned out and heading back out.


Flies


Small dries are the norm, try Stimis, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis or the like for the smoltathon.  Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Birdsnests, Hare’s Ears and small stones in #14’s and perhaps as small as #16’s as droppers if you need. Some March Browns and small mayflies showing as well.

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