Fly Fishing guide reports & summer special: McCloud, Upper & Lower Sac, Pit and Fall Rivers

samusacJosh, Jeff & Jake, father & sonsCassandra, Upper Sacramento RiverThe Blackberries are ripe, the weather is perfect (no local fires), the trout are fat and feisty and solitude is easy to find. We recommend you join us soon!  To help you take advantage of the great local fishing we are continuing our group special.  Bring family or friends and hire two guides for a day (or longer) and receive 20% off.  Save $180 per day, guide fees are $445 per day reduced to $355, or $90 off per guide per day.  Contact us now to schedule remaining summer prime dates with the finest local guides, this offer expires August 31st.

Sophie, Upper Sacramento RiverFall is just a few weeks away, and we are enjoying some exceptionally fine weather and the final days of summer, enabling us to wade wet on our local freestones, the McCloud, Upper Sac and Pit Rivers.  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 pocket water, fishing a dry dropper through a classic run, or casting tiny dries to selective evening risers.

As is typical in summer, fishing has been best early and late in the day when the sun is off the water.   Evening hatches on local freestones 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.  We spotted our first October Caddis of the season but we expect the main hatch of these big morsels is still weeks away.

Carly, McCloud RiverMollie, McCloud RiverRyan, McCloud RiverLocal creeks have been outstanding all during the day.  A number of families have joined us to share the joy of fast action, casting dry flies to eager trout, perfect for folks new to the sport.  Most of the native fish are small but a few places harbor some larger natives along with some hatchery plants that keep it exciting for the more experienced souls.  Not just for beginners, local creeks are one of our guides’ favorite places to go on a day off.  We take a picnic lunch, enjoy a swim and perhaps a midday nap making for a very soulful day.

Sophie, Upper Sacramento RiverThe 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 largest specimens in the river.  For those who know where and how to “high stick” the fishing has been epic 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 light and difficult to find at times, fish are very wary so stealth is at a premium.

The Pit River has been a bit on and off during the day, with fishing being tough for a few hours but when it turns on it has been exceptional with folks enjoying a couple hours of the their best fishing ever.  The bite is usually driven by a caddis hatch which comes off later in the day.  Nymphing earlier in the day has been less reliable.  Flow gauges are currently down, but flows have been steady at the new norm.

Judy and Tim, McCloud RiverThe 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 a day.  Unfortunately Mud Creek started spilling silt into the creek on Wednesday and water clarity has dropped from ten to fifteen feet to a foot or two.  If this is caused from thundershowers on Mt. Shasta the river will clear in a few days, if it is from the lowering of the reservoir and Mud Creek delta disturbance (more likely) then it will likely take weeks, stay tuned!

Lower SacramentoThose who like it hot have enjoyed some fine catches on the Lower Sacramento River of late with plenty of big ‘bows.  Daytime temps have been in the nineties, not scorching by Central Valley summer standards, and when flows are stable fishing has been good.  Unfortunately irrigation demands have fluctuated frequently throwing the bite off.  Fall will bring stable flows, making hatches of summer caddis and mayflies more predictable.  A good place to visit after sleeping in, the grab has been best later in the day with some mornings and early afternoons being unusually slow, more than made up for by the late afternoon and early evening bite.

Fine New Zealand Wine (notice the pinky finger) & Fall RiverTom with a big bend and big smile!  We have enjoyed some great dry fly fishing on the The Fall River with a mixture of Callibaetis, PMD’s and Tricos from morning into the afternoon with some nymphing and streamer fishing before and after.  You can have the place to yourself.  On most days the fishing drops of completely mid-afternoon and doesn’t pick up again until the caddis hatch during the last hour of light. Still a lingering Hex or two, but too few to target the hatch. As soon as the weather cools we expect Blue Wing Olives and PMD’s to reappear along with some Mahoganies providing good top water action.

We hope to see you soon, drop us a line if you are headed our way, we are always happy to share all we can whether you are seeking guide service or not.

 

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