Fly Fishing Report, dream spring season keeps getting better

Carol, Lower Sacramento RiverFly Fishing in the Shadow of Shasta, May 2013

This is the dream spring season fly fishers in Northern California have been waiting for, anglers in the shadow of Shasta have not seen these ideal flows and near perfect weather in years.  All of our trout fisheries have been fishing well and we expect them to get even better as the biggest hatches of the year are just days away.  Tayler, McCloud RiverSalmonflies, Goldenstones, Mayflies big and small, along with blizzard hatches of caddis are on their way. Wildflowers are in their full glory which marks the beginning of the peak of our season so consider this your invitation to get here now, drop us a line, we feature the finest local guides in the north state and still have some availability.


Don enjoys a sunny spring day and another trophy Rainbow on the Lower Sacramento RiverMike, Lower Sacramento RiverPatricia, Lower Sacramento RiverThe Lower Sacramento River continues to produce good numbers of trout and incredibly high quality Rainbows for anglers of all abilities.  Flows remain high, clear and steady, normal for this time of the year.  The weather has been unstable but the forecast calls for clear and warmer weather which we expect will get the summertime caddis in full swing and provide wrenching grabs from hot healthy fish looking to put on some weight after completing their spawn.  Hatches have been sparse but steady with some lingering Pale Morning Duns and small caddis.  The river has been fishing well from top to bottom, boat ramps have been noticeably busier on weekends than weekdays.

Paul, Upper Sacramento RiverUSac spring time dry fly 'bowThe Upper Sacramento is fishing well from top to bottom with ideal flows and our biggest and best hatches on the way.  Goldenstones have been out in good numbers and the fish have been looking up.  A mixed caddis and mayfly hatch in the evening has produced some solid if not spectacular fishing and with steady warmer weather in the forecast we expect to see this action build.  Traffic on the Upper Sac has been very light on most days as this fishery is very under appreciated.  All techniques have been offering up fish provided you find the best water for each.  Try dries in the evening, fish dries and droppers or high stick pocket water all day and run indicators through classic runs morning and late in the day.  The water is at midsummer low levels and ultra clear so exercising maximum stealth is key.

Shasta Trout guest shares photo of a Brown Trout beauty on the Pit RiverJack, Pit RiverThe Pit River has been smoking hot.  While Stoneflies and Mayflies will get grabbed Caddis have been coming off in clouds and the fish have been feasting.  We have some guide availability so if you have not experienced the new flow regime we recommend you schedule a date to learn the “new” river.  Nymphing with or without an indicator during the day has produced best with fish taking smaller bugs more often than the bigger bites but often our biggest fish come on the larger stonefly patterns.  The evening Caddis dry fly bite has been epic at times.  Get here now!

Life long friends Jon and Josh enjoy a magical day on the McCloud togetherBobby enjoys another nice McCloud RainbowIMGP0Tayler, McCloud River941We have a less enthusiastic report for the McCloud River.  While conditions are exceptional and the fish are feasting on the plethora of bugs that are coming off, the river has seen considerable pressure since the opening of the season in April.  Campgrounds at Ash Camp and Ah Di Na have been near capacity for weeks on end now with a good number of the anglers who know the river well.  Flows on the McCloud are very low and ultra clear so the fishing has become exceptionally technical.  Stealth is paramount, fishing water that has seen less pressure also helps as does fishing good imitations that these trout don’t see often.  Fly Fishers who know the river well and grasp this may catch dozens of fish a day, while those who are less experienced will find few. Even then experienced anglers will discover it is difficult to fool the larger, wary trout this river if famous for.  We hope you enjoy the challenge.

Flywater Travel's new Alaska & Northwest representative David Kalinowski is pleased with his first Klamath River SteelheadStoneflies on the Klamath River popped early last week and when temps dropped below freezing and some rain arrived it hampered the hatch.  Warm weather this week should bring the hatch back into full swing.  Water clarity has been an issue since February with visibility running from six inches up to about two and half feet this last week which is poor even for the Klamath, which is not known for clarity, though this time of year it typically is at its best at four to five feet.  This will not help the dry fly bite.

Flows on the other hand are quite low and very fishable, though those without experience drifting the Klamath can easily find themselves perched on midstream rocks.  The Irongate Hatchery, for the second season in a row, did not produce any steelhead smolts. They typically have released about 5,000 fish which in the past has provided not stop action on dry flies during this time of year.  Fishing for spring run steelhead and juvenile wild fish  along with the few half pounder hatchery fish that have returned will provide the bulk of the action this spring that considering these conditions, we don’t expect will go down as  a banner year.

Galen, Shasta Area CreekGalen, Shasta Area CreekPaul, Upper McCloud RiverLocal creeks are accessible and fishing very well, we have enjoyed some outstanding days fishing dry flies (preferably with cane rods) to eager fish, finding Browns, Rainbows and an occasional Brookie,  though they may be small, they are fun and good for the soul.  If you want to experience the feeling of being a kid again try fishing for these little gems on one of our incredible local creeks.  Many of these are fragile small streams that do not suffer pressure well so we will say no more.

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