Fishing Reports

Current information on river flows, fishing conditions, fly selection, and closures for Northern California including the Upper and Lower Sacramento River, the Klamath River, the McCloud River, the Pit River, the Trinity River, and Hat Creek.
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Summertime fly fishing in the shadow of Shasta

28575961462_000526ca80_kAugust 6th The Blackberries are ripe, the weather is perfect (no local fires), the trout are fat and feisty and solitude is easy to find.  Fall is just a few weeks away, and we are enjoying some exceptionally fine weather after a hot spell, enabling us to wade wet on our local freestones, the McCloud, the Upper Sac, and some local creeks. As is typical of summer, this is not the time of year we expect epic days catching loads of big fish.  It is the time of year we enjoy the simple pleasures of fly fishing, the solitude of casting dries on scenic creeks to native fish, nymphing pockets for hot rainbows and perhaps even a streamside nap.  With flows at their lowest we can chose a water type and technique to suit our mood, whether it is high sticking pockets, fishing a dry dropper through a classic run, or casting tiny dries to selective evening risers. 28626726896_3ea30cd3b4_m28397601920_4ccd8ef7e4_mAs is typical in summer, fishing has been best early and late in the day when the sun is off the water.   Evening hatches have been compressed, sometimes lasting an hour or more but seldom longer, mostly small to tiny mayflies and caddis with a few lingering yellow sallies.  Nymphing, as well as fishing dry fly attractors with droppers, has been effective before the hatch as well as earlier in the day. The Upper Sacramento River is low and clear and fishing exceptionally well with dry flies and droppers finding good numbers of small fish, while nymphing fast water pockets has found some of the larger specimens in the river.  For those who know where and how to "high stick" the fishing has been exceptional at times.  The bite has been best on Black Fly Larva imitations, small to tiny caddis and mayflies, and October Caddis case patterns.  The evening hatch has been superb but is compressed into the last hour of light. 28397593940_7e4a6b46ae_mThe spring crowds on the McCloud have dissipated and guests enjoyed some great fishing in the past weeks fishing dries and droppers as well as nymphing.  The action has been nearly non stop but most of the fish have been small, with a few fish in the teens mixed in during the day.  Unfortunately Mud Creek recently started spilling silt and water clarity dropped to a foot or two but has started to clear.  As this event has a habit of varying greatly from season to season be sure to check conditions before heading to the McCloud. I hope to see you soon, drop us a line if you are headed our way, I am always happy to share all I can whether you are seeking guide service or not.

Fly Fishing Superb on McCloud and Upper Sac

IMGP2538June 28th Conditions could not be much better on the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers and the fishing has been superb!  Flows on the Upper Sac are low and clear while some glacial melt has made it's way into the McCloud helping to disguise anglers approach and create conditions that are much less technical than we saw earlier in the season. GaryUSac'bowNymphing has IMGP2526produced best early in the day with dry fly fishing becoming productive once the sun goes off the water.  A few Stoneflies are still about though fish are not as keyed IMGP2503on them as they were the past few weeks.  Several species of Mayflies and Caddis are out in force and fish have been taking them all.  The weather forecast for Mount Shasta is calling for ideal weather with daytime temps in the 80's so if you are looking to escape the heat I recommend making the pilgrimage to enjoy some splendid fishing.  I do have a few openings in the coming weeks so drop me a line if you are seeking one of the finest local guides.

Guide Report: Dry Fly Time on the Upper Sac & McCloud Rivers!

IMGP2478IMGP2496June 5: It's Dry Fly Time! If you are like me and fishing dry flies to eager trout on freestones releases your juices and makes you feel like a 12 year old again, consider this your invitation to get here now!  This weekend the dry fly fishing on the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers turned on.  Yesterday afternoon guests fished a couple runs (among others) that I know intimately as they are only a few minutes from my front door and I have to admit I had no clue that they harbored so many large fish (that rose to eat dry flies!).   IMGP2472IMG_2165IMGP2490The feast features Goldenstones, a few Salmonflies, half a dozen species of Mayflies from large to small, and a couple different Caddis along with some Sallies.  We have been fishing dry flies with droppers and had nearly nonstop action from early morning until dark.  It doesn't get much better.

Sandy River Speyclave, McKenzie River & Shasta Area Report

IMGP2457May 13-28th It's been a few weeks since I have posted a report as I have been traveling and spending time with family as my father has been ill.  He passed peacefully on Wednesday morning May 25th with my mother and his wife of 63 years at his bedside.  He was a good man, and a great father.  He taught me to fly fish and tie flies and to play baseball though he never had a chance to do those things as a child.  He started working to help support his impoverished family in the Mission District before he was old enough to drive.  I will miss our conversations about the Giants, Warriors and Niners, he was a lifelong San Francisco sports fan, having worked at Seal Stadium as a vendor when the Giants moved from New York.  I  enjoyed a visit with him on Monday and Tuesday and was able to comfort him before his passing. IMGP2452IMGP2466Last week I drove to Portland Oregon for the Sandy River Speyclave fishing the McKenzie River with my friends Tim, Katie and Brandon on my way there.  The McKenzie is just minutes east of Eugene and I had stopped to walk and wade it on previous trips north but this is the first chance I've had to float it.  This is the place where driftboats got their start and back in the day we even called them McKenzie River Boats.  The McKenzie is incredibly scenic and fishing from a boat  allowed us to experience in a historic way, at it's best.  We took the opportunity to get out and wade a few exceptional runs but most of the time on the first day we fished indicators from the boat.  On the second day we fished further upstream where the river is faster and has fewer deep runs so we fished dry dropper rigs.  The action was nearly nonstop, there was a brief period of about ten or fifteen minutes one afternoon when no one got a grab and we were wondering what was going on.  Not to worry a quick fly change and a few minutes later we were back into them.  If you are driving north or visiting the Eugene area I highly recommend taking a day or two to sample this outstanding fishery, drop me a line and I can arrange a trip with the finest local guides. Gary AndersonThe Speyclave was a great time as usual though the weather didn't cooperate on Saturday and Sunday when it was very windy and rained hard.  I visited with long time friends and met some new folks I hope to fish with in the near future as well.  I was able to sample some new products including Gary Anderson's new Elite and Elite light series Speyrods.   Wow!  Gary has new proprietary graphite that is incredibly light and powerful, allowing him to build tapers that for my tastes are the best in the business.  Though I already own nearly 30 rods, including several ACR's I need to convince my wife the need to purchase his new 12'5" Elite 5 weight and the 12'7" Elite Light 5 weight for this season on the Klamath.  The whole series is exceptional but the 12'7" 7 weight is also a rod I hope to add to the arsenal for this coming winter.  During my visit I fished the Clackamas and met area guide Jeff Hickman who suggested rigging a second rod with a floating line and a muddler which paid off the following morning on the Sandy with a bright fresh wild hen, marking my first fish of the new season.  My favorite time of year has arrived, summer steelhead are on their way! Fishing in the shadow of Shasta is taking off, the weather forecast is perfect and spring bugs are starting to pop, including Salmonflies and Goldenstones!  I have been fishing the McCloud and Upper Sacramento typically nymphing in the early day and fishing dries and droppers later in the day including a couple days when we cut our droppers off as the fish were looking up.  My availability in the next few weeks is limited but I work with the finest local guides so drop me a line if you are able to head this way to enjoy the bounty!

Klamath River Chrome


Photo courtesy of fly fishing guide Brandon Worthington

April 15, 2016

I fished the Klamath a few days this week.  The river dropped again and flows are now at 1420 cfs with water temps at 54-55 degrees, which is ideal!  The water color is still a bit off at one and one half to two feet or so, I prefer water that has 2-3 feet of visibility.  On these trips we caught bright, well conditioned adult steelhead each day, along with a few juvenile fish.  As is typical this time of year each angler enjoyed two to six grabs a day on the swing with half to a third of the fish hooked, not outrageously great but consistently better than most other steelhead destinations I know of this time of year!  I still have a few dates open in the coming weeks drop a line if you are interested in joining me.

crystal Klamath steelie

Photo courtesy of guide Brandon Worthington