Fishing Report 4/20/09 (USac & LSac & Trinity flows updated 4/25)

The General Season Opens Saturday April 25th!

This will be your first opportunity to sample the McCloud, Hat Creek and Fall River!

If you are planning an opening day trip we suggest arriving a few days early to enjoy our year round opportunities.  The Lower Sac, Pit and Trinity are all fishing well while the Upper Sac is fair and they all offer a pleasant way to round out your adventure.   We have also added a few great local guides that feature Fall River for this season.  If you are headed this way, drop us a line for the very latest on conditions!


Upper Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


Dramatic increases in flows since last weekend limited fishable water.  Fishing was good and has improved as flows lowered with normal daytime temps returning.  Flows are dropping and clearing.  Clarity has improved to five feet.  We’ve seen the beginning of Salmonflies this week, with the  Goldenstones and the big Mayflies of spring soon to follow.  Mostly caddis, small mayflies and yellow sallies midday.  Larger nymphs are productive particularly for the larger fish, though more fish typically come on the smaller offerings. Still a few late spawning Wild Rainbows this time of year. If you spot fish in shallow water in groups or pairs enjoy the show but please avoid spooking or fishing to them.

The Upper Sac is an excellent venue to start your opening day weekend trip early!


Water Conditons


Flows are steadily dropping after a dramiatic increase last week from snowmelt. Flows on the the very biggest longer runs are more approachable.   Water clarity cleared with water temps in the mid fifties which is  perfect!

When low flows return expect it to really turn on! 


Flies


Small nymphs produce more fish on average than the larger ones but the big fish have been taking the bigger flies. Fish Copper Johns in copper and gold, Micromays, Pheasant Tails, Iron Sallies and small caddis patterns in 14-18’s in long runs, slots and slicks. Prince nymphs, dark and golden stone imitations are increasingly finding fish. Expect to see increasing hatches of the big bugs in the coming weeks.



Pit River

Fishing Conditions


The fishing as well as the catching has been on fire!   Flows have dropped and are below normal. Water clarity is fair and improving making dry fly fishing very productive. We are finding fish nymphing classic runs and slots prospecting with two fly rigs but  attractor dries with droppers in pocket water and caddis in the evening have brought some very fine fish to hand. Small patterns have been out fishing large ones but the larger specimens have preferred the bigger bites. Might consider trying a streamer? This is an early season gem as spring hatches are terrific and come off sooner here than local sister rivers.

All reaches are now fishing well.  An excellent venue to start your opening day weekend early!  


Water Conditons


Flows are near optimum and currently a bit below the norm for the season and have cleared. All reaches have been fishing though most anglers who have sampled the Pit recently have concentrated their efforts on Pit 3.



Flies


Dry flies and droppers!  Try large attractors with droppers fished in pockets then switch to small caddis or mayfly dries when the hatches get going.  Standard prospecting nymphs have also 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. Pull a large streamer in olive or black and hang on.  Plan to start your season here on a high note!



Lower Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


PMD’s have arrived in full force.  Water clarity continues to be poor but is not much an issue as it is steadily clearing.  Unfortunately the poor visiability has hampered what otherwise could be and an outstanding dry fly bite. Warmer weather has brought out a few Yellow Sallies and some summer caddis.  We continue to have great success side drifting small nymphs, microspawn and floss rubberlegs. The river has been  fishing well from the Posse Ground all the way to Bend, though clarity improves downsteam from the flows contributed by the clearer sidestreams.


Water Conditons


Releases at Keswick increased by 1,000 cfs on April 18th and since the 22nd are increasing 250 cfs per day through the 29th with flows scheduled to stabalize at 8500 cfs. Flows at Bend Bridge are three quarters of the median and while the water is still a tad off color (but clearing steadily) the bite has remained good.

Walk and wade opportunities are shrinking and at 8,500 will become limited to a few productive spots.



Flies


Small nymphs are the norm. Try Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Ironsallies, Fox Poopahs & Birdsnests, along with your favorite PMD nymphs, various Pheasant tails and Micromays in #14 – 18″s. For two and three fly rigs try adding a Super Floss Rubberleg or Microspawn.



McCloud River

Reopens Saturday, April 25th.


Fishing Conditions


We are very much looking forward to the opener on the McCloud this season.   A banner year in 2007 was followed by dismal conditions in 2008 as PG&E disrupted normal flows with relicensing flow tests and powerhouse repairs.  Scouting forays show the lower river to be in great shape with flows a bit below the norm but unlike last season quite clear.

The McCloud’s sister rivers, the Upper Sac and Pit have been superb of late and we expect much the same for the McCloud.  Flows on the Upper McCloud are at the seasonal norm but much higher than the trickle we see in summer.  The road to Ash Camp is open though only one lane due to rockfall at one point. The road to Ah Di Nah is still snowed in but may open by the season start. Access on the Upper River still has patches of snow.  The first couple weeks after the opener can be very crowded on the Upper River as folks look to fill their freezers with hatchery fish as well as the wild rainbows trying to spawn. 


Water Conditons


Flows on the lower river have been dropping steadily and unlike last season  clarity is good. Provided PG&E doesn’t decide to dump water to dampen the opener we expect it to be excellent.

As usual for this time in the year, there will be very few places to cross but at these flows it will be very fishable wading from the near bank.   The Upper River is high but normal for this time of year.  The upper river is stocked so expect crowds. 


Flies


The opener is primarily a nymphing affair but look for opportunities for dry fly action midday and towards evening. Big bugs will become increasingly important, a few Salmonflies have been spotted. Perhaps a sign that hatches will come off earlier than usual this season?  Be prepared with small flies as well as large.  We like to offer one of each when nymphing and tie droppers off our big dries.   Try Stimis in orange or yellow #6-10, hanging Copper Johns, Iron Sallies, PT’s, Micromays and your favorite caddis Pupa in #14-18 off the bend.  Use these small nymphs in combination with Poxyback Goldenstones, Rubberlegs, and Princes when exploring with an indicator or high sticking.



Hat Creek

Reopens Saturday, April 25th.


Fishing Conditions


On scouting forays we’ve seen some heads rolling on small mayflies and good hatches of caddis.  The Hat is in the best condition we’ve seen this early in a few seasons. The opening weekend on Hat Creek can be a community affair, particularly at the Powerhouse. With other rivers in the area in great shape 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 but your most likely top water action will come on PMD’s and spring caddis.  Nymphing the fast riffles downsteam can provide some relief from the crowds and is generally more productive than prospecting with dries during nonhatch periods.   Parachute and Paradun PMD’s, emergers and cripples #14-16, plan on changing flies often for fish than can be selective.  EC Caddis & Elk Hair Caddis #14-16 consider adding a pupa as a dropper.  Not a bad idea to have a few ants and beetles tucked in the box just in case.


Klamath River

klamath-fall

Fishing Conditions
Some dry fly action on caddis though we like to add droppers.   The hatchery will release smolts they will provide a smoltathon for those so inclined.

Look for some Salmonflies to arrive in May, current conditions are condusive to an early hatch.  Still a few steelhead hanging around including some small springers though most are spawning so avoid fishing shallow water and spawning beds. Water temps have increased and will continue to rise.



Water Conditions
Flows have been steady at  1600 cfs since April 1st and are scheduled to drop to 1400 May 1st. We expect this to be optimum for the big Salmonfly Hatch starting in May.  This is nearly half the mean flow and very fishable. Plan on drifting as wading is still limited and except for spawners most fish are holding in deeper water.



Flies


Flies for the smoltathon include small nymphs and caddis dries which may provide more action than some find desirable.  Salmonflies are on the way!


Trinity River


Fishing Conditions


Releases on the Trinity are scheduled to increase from 300 cfs to 4,000 cfs on May 1st!  This will make the Trinity not only unfishable but dangerous. Enjoy the Smoltahon until then as it is in full swing! 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 and large browns 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.



Water Conditons


Releases on the Trinity are scheduled to increase from 300 cfs to 4,000 cfs on May 1st!  This will make the Trinity not only unfishable but dangerous.

Flows have been steady and a bit below the median in Lewiston through Junction City for ideal wading access. Warming temps and increased fish activity and is making it easy for the average angler to get numerous grabs, 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 small mayflies showing as well.

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