Fishing Report 9/08/09

Upper Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


The river is low, clear and a bit technical but has been fishing well for those in the know.  Stealth is key as is covering a lot of water to find feeding fish.  Bug activity is light as is typical this time of year, a few Tricos showing each evening with a spinner fall in the early morning along with a few PED’s & BWO’s late in the day.   The October Caddis are pupating and will start showing in a few weeks.  Cooler temps have improved nymphing during the day, particularly on the Lower River with some very sizable fish showing up lately.  Evening hatches are compressed and a run one evening can be superb while the following evening it is devoid of rising fish.  With low clear water fish are getting fussy and sloppy presentations will put them down while delicate presentations with tiny flies will find them steadily . Those who cover the most water most often find the most fish, look for well oxygenated or deep cool water, particularly downstream. Wet wading is still a satisfying option on warmer days.



Water Conditions


Flows have dropped to summer lows and are steady at 200 cfs at Delta which is right at the norm.  a must. Water temps are in the upper fifties and sixties, colder upstream than down.

Higher water temps in the lower river means it fishes best earlier and later in the day. Clarity is near perfect which makes stealth

a must.



Flies


Small to tiny nymphs produce best.  Try hopper imitations and attractor dries with small beadhead droppers including Copper Johns, Micromays, Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges and small Caddis patterns in 14-18’s. Try both high stick and indicator nymphing with the same flies. Hang emergers off your #16 & 18 PED dries for the evening hatch as fishing are getting selective.   Add some Rusty Spinners #14-18″s, Soft Hackles #16-20 and Trico Spinners in #20 & 22’s for fussy fish.



McCloud River

Fishing Conditions


The Lower McCloud is our favorite place to fish this time of year and has been outstanding.  We’ve  enjoyed the beauty in near solitude and have found some larger fish including some nice Browns recently.   Unlike last year the clear water has made it a bit technical with savvy stealthy anglers making the most of their opportunities.   It has been mostly a nymphing affair in the deep water of runs and pocket water though dries with droppers continue to produce as well.  The evening hatches have alternated between magical and a complete bust without any rhyme or reason we have been able to discern.   Fish are becoming less tolerant of poor imitations and presentations and refusals can be frustrating, great drifts with emergers hung off your dries will often turn the trick. The Upper McCloud has become a dry fly and dropper zone for small natives and hatchery clones.


Water Conditions


Flows are steady at 242 cfs at Ah-Di-Nah and 350- 385 cfs downriver at the Shasta Lake Gage.  The river has been unusually clear all summer and the fish have been wary, stealthy approaches are key.  Water temps remain in the fifties, still a bit nippy for us to wet wade deep comfortably all day. The Upper River at Fowler’s is at low summer flows and is stocked so expect crowds especially with campgrounds full on weekends.


Flies


Small and smaller bugs is the name of the game this time of year. We like to offer a Caddis and a May or Midge when nymphing and tie similar small droppers off our attractor dries. For the evening it is PED’s, small and micro Caddis and spinners. Look for rising fish and keep moving until you hopefully discover a magical evening hatch. Our favorite late summer flies include Gordon Princes #14-18, Micromays #16-18, Midge nymphs #18-22, Birdsnests #14-18, PT’s #14-18 and the like. For dries bring your favorite attractors (a few large and a few small) and hang droppers, add some Mayfly dries #14-18 along with emergers and a few softhackles. A few rusty spinners #14-18 can sometimes make your evening. For those so inclined streamers will find a few fish including the occasional outrageous Brown that shows up this time of year.



Pit River

Fishing Conditions


Conditions on the Pit have been up and down related to to PG&E construction.   Similar to the McCloud last season, construction has caused flow and clarity issues at times resulting in poor fishing.  When the river flows are normal and clear and access opens it can be epic as there has been little fishing pressure.   Water temps can be a problem for successful catch and release angling.  We recommend taking a thermometer and heading to another destination when temps are above the mid sixties.  Access has also been a concern with the construction and closures on both Pit 3 and Pit 4.  When open Pit 3 can be accessed using Clark Creek Road and  5 can be accessed from Big Bend.   We are finding fish nymphing the fastest water during the day though large attractors with droppers will get the occasional grab. High stick the pockets and toss on an indicator as needed for the larger runs. Ideal for streamer fishing if you prefer bigger fish and are willing to fore-go numbers.



Water Conditions


Flows are currently at the norm for the season.  Water clarity has fluctuated with construction.  All reaches except 1 are fishing fair.

PG& E has a road closure at the Pit 4 dam reducing access, and some closures on Pit 3 and the Pit 4 powerhouse at times which have been difficult to predict.



Flies


Prospect with two nymph rigs in the fastest water with or without an indicator. Prince Nymphs, PT’s, Birdsnests, Caddis Pupa and Copper Johns. Attractor dries with droppers in the afternoons and evenings have produced on occasion but work best on shaded water. Pull a large streamer in olive or black and hang on.



Lower Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


Fishing continues to be very good and should improve with lower flows and cooler temps.  Flows hae  dropped below normal for this time of year and well below the summer high.  With the continued sunny weather the Hydropsyche Caddis are in full swing with occasional dry fly opportunities in the afternoon and evenings.  Though the number of Salmon showing continues to be dismal there are Kings in the system and the egg bite will become increasingly important.  Small mayfly nymphs continue to get grabs in the morning and early afternoon. Some action continues on Rubberleg Stones as well.  We’ve found a couple summer steelhead in the upper reaches though the bite is bit better downstream. Air temps have cooled a bit and the river has been fishing well from Bonnieview all the way to Bend. Cypress Street Bridge construction has closed boat passage at the overpass until flows drop below 7,000.

Some access for wading opportunities.


Water Conditions


Releases at Keswick have dropped to 8,000 cfs which is a bit below the norm and ideal for fishing.   We don’t expect these pulses to throw the bite off much if at all. Flows downstream at Bend Bridge are also running at 8,000 cfs, well below the norm. Water clarity is clear and normal for this time of year.

Walk and wade opportunities are fair at 8,000 cfs. Boat passage at

Cypress Street Bridge is currently closed due to construction and is expected to reopen when flows drop below 7,000.



Flies


Small nymphs are the norm. Try your favorite Caddis Pupa along with various Pheasant tails and Micromays in #14 – 18″s early in the day. Prince Nymphs, Rubberlegs, Copper Johns & Ironsallies also find fish. Try egg patterns behind Salmon where you find them. Caddis patterns such as Fox Poopahs & Birdsnests are most productive in the afternoons and evenings as the warm weather sparks Caddis hatches.

Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis & crips for the evening hatch. Swing a Birdsnest or #14 softhackle in tan or orange and hang on.


Fall River

Feisty Fat 'Bows all day!

Fishing Conditions


Our guides report fishing on the Fall River has been exceptional. Conditions are perfect and there may be no better place to practice or learn your match the hatch & delicate presentation game on the west coast.  Tricos in the morning followed by hatches of PMD’s, BWO’s and afternoon Caddis have offered some dry fly opportunities though the largest fish have come swinging leeches and nymphing. Some good hatches of Caddis midday into evening. Callibaetis are showing in the lower river as well.

During nonhatch periods some very fine fish are taking a swung fly or nymph under an indicator.  Late summer is prime time on this sterling spring creek and we have added some exceptional veteran new guides for the Fall River this season.



Water Conditions


Flows are clear and steady, with the weeds really filling in.  Some boat passages under the bridges is starting to get exciting. Weed growth has been exceptional and finding a lane for nymphing and swinging can be challenging.



Flies


Bring your box of finest dries and cripples to match the hatch of PMD’s, BWO’s, Callibaetis and afternoon Caddis.

Small olive Caddis, both dries and pupa will find aggressive fish. For nymphing Micromays, PT’s, HBI’s, Caddis Pupa and Birdsnests. Try swinging and stripping leeches, damsel & dragonfly imitations.




Hat Creek

Fishing Conditions


Fishing has be fair on the Hat. The October Caddis hatch starting later this month should pick things up. Some morning Tricos and the evening Caddis have been buzzing but it can be quite technical for most anglers and a couple of fish in a session is considered good. When hatches aren’t popping finding fish willing to grab nymphs under an indicator has become increasingly difficult. The evening Caddis bite has been fair. The Hat is in great condition, the best we’ve seen in a few seasons but has been inconsistent of late?



Water Conditions


Hat Creek, being low gradient with spring creek conditions does not receive the runoff other local streams experience. It is one of the few rivers that can be fishable even during big storms. If you want to avoid the circus on the Powerhouse Riffle, fish other access points, seek out other area waters and/or have a go midweek.



Flies


Your most likely top water action will come in the evenings on Caddis and in the mornings on Trico spinners. Nymphing the fast riffles can provide some action during non hatch periods. Trico spinners in 20-24’s, EC Caddis & Elk Hair Caddis #14-16 consider adding a pupa or softhackle as a dropper. Try small nymphs, Birdsnests, Caddis Pupa, PT’s, Princes, Iron Sallies, Micromays and Midges for the riffs.



Klamath River

klamath-fall

Fishing Conditions
October, November and December are prime time on the Klamath particularly for swinging flies.  There may be no better place to learn Steelheading than on this legendary river.  Early numbers of fish downstream, particularly adult fish, are encouraging.   Schedule your fall steelhead trip now as the best dates fill early.



Water Conditions

Flows have been steady at 1000 cfs and visibility is clear.  Water temps now exceed 69 degrees.  There is a blue green algae warning and folks are advised to avoid coming in contact with the water.  We will return in October for the steelhead season.

As of June 19th water temps increased to 69 degrees and it is not possible to safely catch and release. We have canceled or rescheduled all remaining trips until October when water temps drop to allow ethical angling. We recommend you do the same.



Flies


Swing muddlers and classic wets with us the fall!





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