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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Fly Fishing on Upper and Lower Sac is outstanding!

IMGP1528March 24th Fly fishing on the Lower Sacramento and Upper Sacramento Rivers has been outstanding and the Klamath and Trinity still have a few steelhead hanging around for those who want to sneak in their last trip of the season.  We appear to have some much needed spring showers on the way midweek with the forecast calling for clearing over the weekend. River conditions could not be much better with low and clear flows which should make for an exceptional spring and opportunities to take advantage of the best hatches of the year. jeremylsacphoto3IMGP1524Water conditions on the Lower Sacramento River are ideal with clear, steady flows from Keswick which were bumped slightly on March 20th to 3750 cfs and there are currently no scheduled changes.  Hatches have been good on most days, sparse on others with Pale Morning Duns being the main feast.  There are still a few March Browns, Blue Wing Olives and on and off spring caddis with large Stoneflies and summer caddis starting to show.  Most fish prefer eating the small nymphs but of course our land rate is higher when they eat our large rubberleg patterns as most of the bow's we've seen have been big and hot! Northern California fly fishing guide Anthony Carruesco hooks up in an emerald Upper Sacramento runUpper Sacramento River Rainbow TroutThe Upper Sac has been mostly a nymphing affair with a Rubberleg or Goldenstone and small nymph combo.  Similar to the Lower Sac, most fish are eating the small Mayfly and Caddis offerings but our land rate on the bigger bug is better, particularly on the largest fish.  Dry fly fishing is just around the corner, we saw our first Salmonfly of the season and the big Mayfly Drakes are on the way as well.  Flows at Delta on the Upper Sacramento River have dropped below 500 cfs, less than a third of the norm and are clear and dropping, which makes access throughout ideal.  Flows upstream are nearly at early summer levels with most crossings open.  We enjoyed several successful Upper Sac trips this week with the vast majority of fish in the teens, real trophies on this river. We hope to find that illusive twenty incher in our net soon as this is the time of year we get a shot at the biggest fish in the river while enjoying some solitude, as there are few if any other anglers around. The Pit River had been fishing well until some work began on Pit 3 and flows have blown it out.  Work is scheduled to be completed on May 7th.  Pit 5 has some limited access providing good opportunities for hearty souls. DSCF3907Steelhead fishing on the Trinity has slowed but there are still some fish to be found.  Some of them have been the largest fish of the season, still a week or two to get in your final steelhead trip of the season. IMGP1505IMGP1517steveklamathThe Klamath has enjoyed an influx of bright spring fish, both half pounders and small adults from two to four pounds.  Some larger winter fish continue to linger but will be spawning soon.  Nymphing has been best and despite warmer water temps into the fifties, the swing bite has remained surprisingly slow. With the low flows,  we hope and expect this spring to be the best one we've seen in several seasons and recommend scheduling your spring dates on our local freestones, the Pit, McCloud and Upper Sacramento River soon!  The Upper Sac and Pit are open year round, McCloud and Fall Rivers as well as Hat Creek open April 26th.  Look for our preseason preview post and newsletter a week or so before the general opener. IMGP1509Drop us a line if you are headed our way.  We are always pleased to set you up with the finest local guides or send you in a direction you can enjoy on your own.  We hope to see you soon, until then we wish you tight lines and singing reels!

Fly fishing guide’s report: Klamath & Trinity Steelhead, Lower Sacramento River Trophy Trout

Gabe poses Lower Sacramento River Hawg of Fame EntryMarch 2014 After a long period of drought, rain has returned to the Northstate and has sparked the bite for trophy trout on the Lower Sacramento River and steelhead on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.  Ducks, Geese, and Osprey are returning to begin their annual mating rituals and blooming Redbud is marking the beginning of spring.  Consider this your invitation to get here now, it doesn't get much better. IMGP1504IMG_5414Despite the long period of dry weather we have experienced and angler's misunderstanding that this offered only poor fishing, the Lower Sacramento River and Klamath in particular have been fishing quite well.  With the recent precipitation, the Trinity has joined the parade of rivers that are currently outstanding. The weather forecast is calling for a few more days of rain or showers followed by sunny days into the weekend with temps into the 70's in Redding.  It appears this pattern of showers followed by sunny days will continue on and off through next week. IMG_1018IMGP1486IMGP1488This is the time of year when we some of the Lower Sac's trophy trout come out to play. The bite has been good to excellent with caddis on clear sunny days (a few blizzard bug days have popped already) and small mayflies hatching on the drippy days.  Flows on the Lower Sacramento River have been low at 3340 cfs, clear and steady on upstream beats but blown out and dirty on occasion during the heaviest storms downstream of Anderson.  Egg patterns and rubberlegs have found fish during non hatch periods as well.  The peak of the famous spring Brachycentrus caddis hatches  (our favorite hatch on the LSac) and March Browns  are just days away.  Crowds have been non-existent.  We recommend you schedule a trip with one of our great local guides while prime dates are still available. IMGP1492IMGP1480IMGP1497Now is also the time to fit in your last steelhead fix of the season. The Klamath River has been consistently great with some epic days mixed in.  Several guests have recently enjoyed their best day fishing ever!  We have been finding most steelhead while nymphing but now that water temps have increased to the mid forties more fish are coming on the swing as well. The majority of steelhead are adults in the 2-5lb range, with a couple trout sized half pounders each day and a trophy 5-12 pound fish on occasion. We rarely see another angler. Flows have been low, clear (2-4' visibility) and steady.   If solitude and multiple steelhead per day fit your style, drop us a line, there maybe no better place than the Klamath! 187Jason Cockrum poses Ed's colorful Trinity SteelheadStorms have brought some much needed rain, moving some fish and sparking the bite on the Trinity River and our great local guides have treated our guests to some of the best fishing they've enjoyed all season.  March Browns are popping and some Brown Trout as well as a few steelhead have found them.  As a result,  some lucky folks have enjoyed the rare experience  of hot spring run steelhead on a dead drifted dry fly.  There are steelhead beginning to spawn as the season concludes and we suggest being aware to avoid fishing over their shallow spawning gravel beds this time of year. For more great pics of our recent trips with guests, just click on any photo or check out the Shasta Trout Flickr site.  Please do drop us a line if you are headed our way, we are always happy to share all we can whether you are seeking our guide service or not.  

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!

Chico Area Fly Fishing Club President enters Shasta Trout “Hawg of Fame”

Davidbigbuck2Klamath River, December 2013 David, President of the Chico Area Fly Fishers and  a regular Shasta Trout guest returned on a trip to the Scott River Lodge and enjoyed an epic day steelheading on the Klamath River.   The weather had just cleared after a snow storm and was one of the coldest we have ever experienced.  Luckily the fishing was hot and David enjoyed catching several steelhead both nymphing and swinging flies with two handed rods, including this monster buck to enter Shasta Trout's Hawg of Fame. Craig will be presenting a program at the Chico Area Fly Fishers meeting on the evening of May 14th, mark your calendars now if you plan to be in the area.

Shasta Trout Fly Fishing guides holiday report

Klamath, Trinity, Upper & Lower Sacramento Rivers November & December 2013 MikebigbuckWith the exception of a short record breaking spell of cold weather last week, fly fishing in Northern California has been outstanding.  This fall has been unseasonably warm and dry except for the bitter cold spell that brought snow to the valley floor and subzero morning temps to Mount Shasta.  As a result the Klamath Trinity, Lower & Upper Sacramento rivers remain low, clear and very fishable. The fishing as well as the catching on the Klamath River has been exceptional with many of our regular guests enjoying their best days ever for both numbers and size of fish. -2 on the KlamathFishing on the Lower Sac, Trinity, and Upper Sac on the other hand has been more challenging, particularly for less experienced anglers as conditions have been quite technical, with crystal clear water and sparse hatches of small and tiny bugs.  The warmer, fair weather we have been experiencing recently is improving conditions, sparking hatches and has melted the light snow cover and  improved access on the Upper Sac.  With the warm temps and a few brief, light one day storms in the forecast we expect the fishing to be superb through the holidays and beyond. Flows Flows from Iron Gate on the Klamath have been very low and steady at 950 cfs which is half the norm.  Water clarity has been three to five feet which has created ideal conditions and an exceptional bite.  Flows on the Trinity  have remained at 300 cfs at Lewiston, which is the norm but only 350 cfs at Junction City, so the low, crystal clear water is causing steelhead to sit in tanks with a very soft bite despite good return numbers for Steelhead this season.  With warmer weather on the horizon and hopefully some light precipitation to move some fish, we hope to experience the same kind of epic days several guests enjoyed earlier this fall. Releases out of Keswick on the Lower Sac have been low and steady at 3,800 cfs with no flow changes scheduled  The mean is 5,540 and the median 8,270 cfs so the fish are packed tight and very wary.    Our guests recently enjoyed some spectacular days fishing egg patterns behind a few remaining spawning salmon we found, otherwise tiny nymphs have been the ticket.  Flows at Delta on the Upper Sac are currently at 210 cfs, which is about as low as they get.  Water temps are in the low forties so the bite has been best midday.  We hope and expect this warm weather and particularly the few small storms passing through to spark the grab particularly for the trophy fish which show this time of year. Fishing Conditions Davidbigbuck2Jimbigbuck2IMG_4310On the Klamath, anglers of all levels have been enjoying multiple steelhead days, along with some solitude.    Most adult steelhead have been running 2 to 5 lbs but several fish in the the larger range have shown recently along with a few hearty half pounders each day.   For those nymphing, legs and eggs have been the most consistent producers but later in the day when it warms some fish have been taking small nymphs as well.  Swinging flies has been quite good until last week when air temps dropped below freezing.  Sink tips with small leech and Intruder style patterns have been the top producers, though anglers committed to floating lines are still finding a few!  On more than one occasion jigged or retrieved flies have out fished those swung slow and deep.  For details on tactics, techniques and flies, you might like to check out our post on Fly Fishing the Klamath in Winter, first published in California Fly Fisher magazine. DSCF3814Fishing this fall on the Trinity was fair to good for the most seasoned anglers, but poor for those less familiar with the river.  With low, cold crystal clear water fish have "tanked" so even when you get the fish to take the bite has been soft.   The biggest problem has not been a lack of fish, but the lack of any rainfall whatsoever so the fish are not moving and stale as a result.  The good news is that with one of the better run in years, and warmer water temps and a few light storms in the forecast the fish should get back on the grab and we could be seeing some great days coming this winter as well.   Eggs, stonefly nymphs, PT's and Copper Johns have all found fish.  Swinging successfully for fish recently has been difficult at best. photo3A winter beautyThe Upper Sacramento River has been cold, and due to the low snow level recently, access has limited the bite to a midday affair in a few spots primarily with hatches of Blue Winged Olives.  Nymphing the slow water in the biggest runs has been the most productive.  Finding accessible and productive runs has been key.  With the fair weather and the snow melting off we are hoping to find some dry fly fishing opportunities utilizing our favorite dry dropper rig.  For more on fishing the Upper Sac in Winter check out our articles first published in California Fly Fisher, Winter Angling on the Upper Sac Year Round Angling on the Upper Sac. Val with a true Lower Sac winter porkerSince the peak of the egg bite and Salmon spawning has passed, fishing on the Lower Sac has been a bit of a hit and miss affair with fair days outnumbering the great days.  The great days have been worth waiting for as some of our best fish of the season show this time of year.  We found a few pods of late spawning salmon last week and the fishing was epic.  Otherwise, hatches of mostly Blue Wing Olives have been sparse and unpredictable, if and when you find them they are also a bit technical as the bugs are tiny and the fish just sip them making hooking and landing the trophy trout that eat this time of season a challenge.  For those that can play the game and are in the know,  the dry fly fishing this time of year can also be superb. For the latest on conditions please drop us a line.  We are always happy to point you in a direction you might enjoy whether you are seeking guide service or not.  Wishing you and yours the very best of holiday seasons, we hope to see you soon!