Fly Fishing Report: Klamath River, Upper & Lower Sacramento Rivers

The ShastaTrout fishing report features the most recent information obtained from the very finest local guides. All of our guides are seasoned professionals who in most cases spend as much time individually on the rivers they guide as our biggest competitor’s guides spend collectively. We hope you find our report informative and useful in planning your next adventure in the Shadow of Shasta.



Klamath River

klamath-fall

Fishing Conditions
The Klamath has been bitter cold with the recent record low temperatures but the fishing has remained hot!  On most days the bite is evenly mixed between half pounders and adults in the 16-23′ range with an exceptionally large fish or two mixed in.  With the bulk of the hatchery fish just arriving and the winter fish headed our way we are finding  more big fish in the upper river most every day.

With the cold temps most fish are holding in the deeper water most easily accessed by boat.  Unlike the Klamath’s sister rivers, the Rogue and Trinity, most epic days on the Klamath occur  from January through March.  It is also a place where there is a very realistic opportunity to catch fish rather than just practice casting while swinging for winter Steelhead.  We most enjoy swinging with Switch Rods and  Skagit lines and can provide them if you’d care to give them a try.  There may be no better place to learn steelheading than on this legendary river. Schedule your winter Steelhead trip now,  we have several openings available.



Water Conditions


Flows have been steady at 1300 cfs since October 1st and visibility is normal, about four feet. Water temps have dropped into the lower forties and more Steelhead are arriving daily.  January through March can be exceptional  for Steelhead on this legendary stream if we have a dry or reasonably normal water year.



Flies


Swing leeches and classic wets on a

fast sinking

tip.  We most enjoy swinging with Switch Rods and Skagit lines and can provide them if you’d care to give them a try.    Not surprisingly nymphing has been out producing swing fishing by a wide margin.   Fish are holding in the deeper  lies as water temps have dropped.   Fishing eggs and legs or nymphs in the deep slots and runs is most productive.



Upper Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


With bitter cold weather the Blue Wing Olive hatches have been sporadic and the Upper Sac has become a midday affair.  Keep on the move early in the hatch in hopes of finding a run with good numbers of bugs and rising fish.  This can be exciting but very challenging fishing with fine tippets, tiny flies and wary fish.  Fishing a big Caddis dry with emergers and droppers or nymphng and finding deeper, heavier water can sometimes be more productive for practical, less exacting and patient souls.  Expect to also see a few small caddis popping in fishable numbers on warmer sunny days.   Hopefully a few straggling October Caddis will show again as temps warm?  Nymphing with small caddis patterns along with small and tiny mayflies produces best in the late morning prior to hatches.  Fishing in the early  and late hours is most often futile.



Water Conditions


Flows are a hovering around 300 cfs at Delta with surges as storms pass through.   This is half of the “normal” flow for this time of the year, with low summer like flows it is very wadable and fishable but also quite technical. Water temps have dropped into the lower forties with superb water clarity, perhaps a bit too clear to be ideal, particularly for less seasoned anglers.



Flies


Small to tiny BWO dries and emergers midday produce best. Hang emergers & droppers off your #16 & 18 BWO dries for the midday hatch and go to 6X tippet as fish are very wary & selective.   Try October Caddis imitations with small beadhead droppers including Copper Johns, Micromays, Pheasant Tails and small Caddis patterns in 14-18’s in heavier water if you find the big ‘Bows too saavy for your tastes.  Try both high stick and indicator nymphing the softer water in the heart of deeper runs with the same flies.



Lower Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


BWO’s hatches have often times been heavy on cold, drippy days of late though dry fly fishing is quite limited. The catching has been solid most days with  some very nice sized fish on average and on occasional trophy Rainbow that can make your day if not your season.  With the hordes chasing Steelhead on the Trinity you can enjoy the place by yourself.  With exceptionally low flows wading is a great option though fishing from a boat is almost always more productive.  Some action continues on eggs though very few Salmon are in the system as the run has collapsed.  Rubberleg Stones also find fish and produce more large fish than trying to land trophies on tiny flies. Some Steelhead are showing in the downstream reaches.  Cypress Street Bridge boat passage at the overpass is open as flows are below 7,000 though a good deal of care and skill is required.



Water Conditions


Releases at Keswick have dropped to 3200 and are steady.  This is half the norm.  These low flows stack up the fish and make wade fishing much more productive and attractive. Unfortunately with fish concentrated fishing pressure has a greater impact making the first few passes through a run the most productive and subsequent passes much less so.  Flows downstream at Bend Bridge are running below 5,000 cfs, nearly half the norm.

Walk and wade opportunities are great. Boat passage at

Cypress Street Bridge is open while flows are below 7,000 though care and skill are required for safe passage.



Flies


BWO’s are the most important bug but don’t leave home without a few Caddis particularly on warm sunny days. The big LSac ‘bows have become selective compared to seasons past so plan on changing patterns and sizes to find the ONE they want. Hang your favorite BWO’s or Caddis Pupa off the bend of an egg or  Rubberlegs which offers a big bite and a large hook to land the fish that might make your day. Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns and the like will also find fish.



Pit River

Fishing Conditions


ShastaTrout friends and guides have been fishing other destinations of late (they’ve been so great) and we have very few reports on the Pit.  The folks we have talked to have found some fish midday nymphing Rubberlegs and tiny nymphs.  We hope that means it is rested and ready for you to give it a go as it is open year round and can be superb! Be forewarned however that similar to the McCloud last season, construction has caused flow and clarity issues at times resulting in poor fishing and even a few anglers stuck on the wrong side of river needing to swim back across! Check back we will post a reliable report at our earliest opportunity.


Water Conditions


No recent reports, check back as we expect to have an update soon.

Flies


We don’t care to guess, though we have some good ideas.


McCloud River

Season Reopens April 24th, 2010.

Contact us to schedule prime dates.









Fall River

Feisty Fat 'Bows all day!

Season Reopens April 24th, 2010.

Contact us to schedule prime dates.

Hat Creek

Season Reopens April 24th, 2010.



One Trackback

  1. […] fly fishing guide Craig Nielsen has done well recently for Klamath River steelhead (read his fishing report here), and the reports of good-t0-great fishing on Lake Siskiyou keep […]

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