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.
The spring like weather has turned the bite on with very few anglers taking advantage of the opportunity. We’ve seen some fresh grabby fish arrive in the upper river which can spark the bite as well. Fishing for Klamath River Steelhead on the upper river typically holds up well through March in most seasons. Most of the action has been on eggs, legs and nymphs though the swing has been surprisingly good as water temps are approaching the mid forties. On the Klamath on most winter days we can count on catching fish on the swing rather than merely practicing our casting and hoping. We most enjoy swinging with Switch Rods and Skagit or Scandi lines and can provide them if you’d care to give them a try. Though there are still a few half pounders around the majority of fish on most days are hefty adults. Now is an ideal time to plan your final steelhead trip of the season as we still have some openings available.
Flows have been steady at 1330 cfs since October 1st and visibility is normal, about four feet. We expect a flow increase on March 1st, best to wait a few days after for fish to settle into new holding lies and then expect the grab to take off! Water temps have increased into the mid forties and more Steelhead are arriving daily. March can be exceptional for Steelhead on this legendary stream if we have a reasonably normal water year.
Swing leeches and classic wets on a
tip. We most enjoy swinging with Switch Rods and Skagit lines and can provide them if you’d care to give them a try. Surprisingly nymphing has been out producing swing fishing by only a slim margin. Fish are holding in the deeper winter lies most easily accessed by boat. Nymphing with eggs and legs or nymphs in the deep slots and runs is most productive.
With the warm weather the midday window has opened a bit and the bite has improved. Though the Blue Wing Olive hatches have been sporadic the grab for small caddis and bigger nymphs as turned on. Keep on the move to find fish as the high flows have them spread out. If you get a few grabs don’t leave fish to find fish, fish carefully through holding water completely. If you discover a hatch fish it like a spring creek. 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 nymphing and finding deeper, heavier water can sometimes be more productive for practical, less exacting and patient souls. Nymphing with large stones and small caddis patterns or tiny mayflies droppers produces best in the late morning prior to hatches. Fishing in the very early and late hours is most often futile.
Flows are volatile, currently around 1600 cfs at Delta with surges as storms pass through. This is very close to the “normal” flow for this time of the year. Water temps have increased into the mid forties with superb water clarity, perhaps ideal particularly for less seasoned anglers.
Small to tiny BWO dries and emergers midday produce best. Hang emergers & droppers off your #16 & 18 BWO dries for the midday hatch as fish can be very 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 indicator nymphing the softer water in the heart of deeper runs with large stones and the above smaller flies as droppers.
The warm weather has kicked in the hatches of small mayflies including March Browns, BWO’s & Tibilias along with the famed spring caddis. The fishing as well as the catching has been good most days and great on others. Some trophy fish are showing with an occasional Rainbow that can make your day if not your season. 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 big fish on tiny flies. 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.
Releases at Keswick are steady at 3250. 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 often the most productive and subsequent passes much less so. Flows downstream at Bend Bridge are running below 6,000 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. The Lower Sac has had recent water clarity issues during heavy storms, be sure to check the latest conditions before planning a trip.
Spring Caddis will increasing become the most important bug but don’t leave home without a few Mayflies patterns (BWO’s, March Browns, PMD’s and Tibilias) particularly on drippy 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.
The warm weather has the Pit going off. The Pit can provide epic days in the springtime! We have enjoyed some incredible days with little or no company. Though still a midday affair the window has opened and as the days grow longer fishing should only improve provided water condtions remain. Try nymphing Rubberlegs and tiny nymphs. Be forewarned however that similar to the McCloud last season, continued dam 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!
Access is also limited as the road is closed at both the Pit 3 and Pit 4 dams.
Nymphing with a large rubberleg or stone pattern and small or tiny caddis and mayfly droppers has produced some exceptional days. Try Prince Nymphs, Birdsnests, Caddis Pupa in 14’s and 16’s and PT’s or Micromays
in 16’s and 18’s hung off your favorite dark rubberleg or Goldenstone nymph.
Season Reopens April 24th, 2010.
Contact us to schedule prime dates.