Guides report: Summertime fly fishing in the shadow of Shasta

DSCF4036The 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 offering a 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 dates with the finest local guides, this offer expires August 31st.

IMGP1654Fall is still 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.

With the warm weather as usual, the 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.

IMGP1712Local 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.

IMGP1703IMGP1706IMGP1715The Upper Sacramento River is low and clear and fishing well even midday for anglers searching fast water pockets with nymphs or dry droppers.  Dry flies and droppers find good numbers of small fish, while nymphing fast water pockets has found some of the larger specimens in the river.  For those who know where and how to “high stick” the fishing has been terrific 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.

IMGP1707IMGP1656The McCloud experienced a glacier silt event two weeks ago (same as last year at this time) and is still colored but is again fishable.  Water clarity dropped from ten to fifteen feet to less than a foot and is back to a foot or two.  As it clears more, fishing will improve and actually be better than having the crystal clear water that made fishing technical prior to the event.  Prior to the silt, the action was nearly non stop but most of the fish were small, with a few fish in the teens mixed in during a day.  Best action was on dry dropper rigs with nymphing fast water finding fewer but larger fish.  Not a bad time to consider streamers!

Fall River Hexagenia Hatch SunsetA Handfull of Hexagenia MayfliesWe 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 last of the Hex hatch during the last hour of light.  In early fall as the weather cools we expect Blue Wing Olives and PMD’s to reappear along with some Mahoganies providing some top water action.

Those 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 hundreds, so it is most comfortable to fish later in the day.  Flows have been steady, around 10,000 cfs making hatches of summer caddis and mayflies more predictable and fishing has been consistently good.    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.

photo 1photo 2We have enjoyed some summer evenings on Lake Siskiyou casting poppers to smallmouth and finding some Rainbows as well at dusk with our Hexagenia dries.  Watching the alpine glow build up the mountain at sunset is a great way to cap off your day in the shadow of Shasta.

Breakfast-in-LodgeSummer fishing on the  Klamath has concluded for the season but we still have some fall Steelhead dates available starting in September, including some special offerings at the incredible Scott River Lodge.  Now is the time to schedule your fall Steelhead trip as bookings for prime dates fills early.

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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