Northern California Fly Fishing Report 10/6/09

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.



Upper Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


The October Caddis are popping and the fish have been on them!  More will start showing in the next few weeks. With the cool weather bug activity  has increased including the tail end of the Tricos and PED’s with the Blue Wing Olive hatches building .  Cooler temps have improved nymphing during the day as well, particularly on the Lower River with several sizable ‘bows hooked and some landed.   The river is low, clear and still a bit technical.  Stealth is key as is covering a lot of water to find feeding fish. With low clear water, delicate presentations with tiny flies is a must during hatches.  Try hanging tiny emergers off big caddis dries.



Water Conditions


Flows have been steady at 200 cfs at Delta for quite some time.. Water temps are returning to the fifties which will help stimulate the bite.

Clarity is near perfect which makes stealth

and good presentations critical.



Flies


Small to tiny nymphs produce best. Try October Caddis imitations and attractor dries with small beadhead droppers including Copper Johns, Micromays, Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges and small Caddis patterns in 14-18’s. Try both high stick and indicator nymphing with the same flies. Hang emergers off your #16 & 18 BWO dries for the evening hatch as fishing are getting selective. Add some Rusty Spinners #14-18″s, Soft Hackles #16-20 and Trico Spinners in #20 & 22’s for fussy fish.



McCloud River

Fishing Conditions


The Lower McCloud is our favorite place to fish this time of year and has been outstanding though with the weather change angling pressure will increase.  We’ve enjoyed the beauty in near solitude and have found some larger fish including some nice Browns recently.  Nymphing during the day in the deep water of runs and pocket water continues to produce.  Dries with droppers in the late afternoon and early evening are starting to get some attention as hatches are developing.   The Upper McCloud continues to be a dry fly and dropper zone for small natives and hatchery clones with angling pressure dropping dramatically.


Water Conditions


Flows are steady at 242 cfs at Ah-Di-Nah and 380 cfs downriver at the Shasta Lake Gage. The river has clouded a bit after being unusually clear all summer making approaches and presentations a bit easier.   Water temps are dropping to the lower fifties and the fish are starting to binge.  The Upper River at Fowler’s is at low fall flows and is stocked, with the cool weather the campgrounds have emptied.


Flies


Small and smaller bugs is the name of the game this time of year. We like to offer a Caddis and a May or Midge when nymphing and tie similar small droppers off our attractor dries. For the late afternoon and early evening it is BWO’s, small and micro Caddis and spinners.  Our favorite early fall flies include Gordon Princes #14-18, Micromays #16-18, Midge nymphs #18-22, Birdsnests #14-18, PT’s #14-18 and the like. For dries bring your favorite October Caddis imitations and hang droppers, add some Mayfly dries #14-18 along with emergers and a few softhackles. A few spinners #16-20 can sometimes make your evening. For those so inclined streamers will find fish including the occasional outrageous Brown that shows up this time of year.



Pit River

Fishing Conditions


Conditions on the Pit have improved dramatically with the cooler weather, and dropping water temps though similar to the McCloud last season, construction has caused flow and clarity issues at times resulting in poor fishing. When the river flows are normal and clear and access opens it has been epic as there has been little fishing pressure.  We are finding fish nymphing the fastest water during the day though October Caddis dries with droppers will increasingly get grabbed. High stick the pockets and toss on an indicator as needed for the larger runs. Ideal for streamer fishing if you prefer bigger fish and are willing to fore-go numbers.



Water Conditions


Flows are currently at the norm for the season. Water clarity has fluctuated with construction. Pit 4 & 5 are fishing best though 1 & 3 are improving daily.

PG& E has a road closure at the Pit 4 dam reducing access, and some closures on Pit 3 and the Pit 4 powerhouse which have been difficult to predict at times.



Flies


Prospect with two nymph rigs in the fastest water with or without an indicator. Prince Nymphs, PT’s, Birdsnests, Caddis Pupa and Copper Johns. October Caddis dries with droppers in the afternoons and evenings are producing and will get better.  Pull streamers in olive, black, yellow or white.



Lower Sacramento River

Fishing Conditions


Fishing has continued to get better daily as Salmon are pouring into the upper river and the egg bite is on!   This is the time of year to seek a trophy Rainbow of a lifetime!  Flows have been below normal for this time of year and well below the summer high.  Cool weather has got BWO’s going though on sunny afternoons Caddis are the go to bug.    Some action continues on Rubberleg Stones as well though taking off an egg pattern is a tough call. We’ve found a couple summer steelhead in the upper reaches though the bite is bit better downstream. Air temps have cooled a bit and the river has been fishing well from Bonnieview all the way to Bend. Cypress Street Bridge boat passage at the overpass is open as flows are below 7,000.

A fair amount of access for wading opportunities.


Water Conditions


Releases at Keswick have dropped to 6,000 cfs which is  below the norm and ideal for fishing. . Flows downstream at Bend Bridge are running below 6,000 cfs, well below the norm. Water clarity is clear and normal for this time of year.

Walk and wade opportunities are good at 6,000 cfs. Boat passage at

Cypress Street Bridge is open as flows are below 7,000.



Flies


Do not arrive without your favorite egg patterns.  Trout have become selective compared to seasons past so plan on changing colors and sizes to find one they want.  Hang your favorite Caddis Pupa such as Fox Poopahs & Birdsnests off the bend in the afternoon and early in the day go with various Pheasant Tails and Micromays in #14 – 18″s. Prince Nymphs, Rubberlegs, Copper Johns & Ironsallies also find fish.

Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis & Mayfly crips for the evening hatch.


Fall River

Feisty Fat 'Bows all day!

Fishing Conditions


Our guides report fishing on the Fall River has been exceptional and getting better.  The fish are fat and feisty and full of fight. Conditions are perfect and there may be no better place to practice or learn your match the hatch & delicate presentation game on the west coast. Hatches of PMD’s & BWO’s have offered some dry fly opportunities with some of the larger fall species beginning to show.  Some trophy ‘bows have shown while swinging leeches and nymphing. Callibaetis are still popping in fishable numbers in the lower river as well.

Early fall is prime time on this sterling spring creek and we have added some exceptional veteran new guides for the Fall River this season.



Water Conditions


Flows are clear and steady, conditions could not be better.



Flies


Bring your box of finest dries and cripples to match the hatch of PMD’s, BWO’s, Callibaetis and afternoon Caddis.

For nymphing Micromays, PT’s, HBI’s, Caddis Pupa and Birdsnests. Try swinging and stripping leeches, damsel & dragonfly imitations.



Hat Creek

Fishing Conditions


Fishing has been fair but improving on the Hat. The October Caddis hatch  should pick things up even more. Some morning Tricos on the wane with Blue Wing Olives building but it is still quite technical for most anglers and a couple of fish in a session is considered good. When hatches aren’t popping finding fish willing to grab nymphs under an indicator is becoming a bit more productive.  The Hat is in great condition, the best we’ve seen in a few seasons but has been inconsistent of late?



Water Conditions


Hat Creek, being low gradient with spring creek conditions does not receive the runoff other local streams experience. It is one of the few rivers that can be fishable even during big storms. If you want to avoid the circus on the Powerhouse Riffle, fish other access points, seek out other area waters and/or have a go midweek.



Flies


Your most likely top water action will come in the late afternoons and early evenings on drippy days.  Look for the BWO’s to turn on.  We like to hang an emerger off our high floating dries.   Nymphing the fast riffles can provide some action during non hatch periods.  Bring your favorite BWO dries and emergers.   Try small nymphs, Birdsnests, Caddis Pupa, PT’s, Princes, Iron Sallies, Micromays and Midges for the riffs.



Klamath River

klamath-fall

Fishing Conditions
October, November and December are prime time on the Klamath particularly for swinging flies. There may be no better place to learn steelheading than on this legendary river.  Steelhead have arrived in the upper river and cooler temps and increased flows will have them continue to pour in over the next few weeks.  Salmon anglers are plying the deep holes so don’t expect solitude on popular drifts.  Reports from downstream, particularly regarding numbers and size of adult Steelhead are encouraging. Schedule your fall Steelhead trip now particularly if you are interested in swinging flies as the best dates fill early.



Water Conditions


Flows increased to  1300 cfs on October 1st and visibility has improved dramatically. Water temps have dropped to 61 degrees and more Steelhead are arriving daily.  October is the beginning of the Steelhead season on this legendary stream and fishing remains good through March in dry and normal water years. We recommend you schedule your trip now.



Flies


Swing dries, muddlers and classic wets with us the fall!

Go with a sink tip midday if you feel the need.  Fishing eggs and legs or nymphs behind Salmon will also find fish. 




One Comment

  1. Joe Eberle
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the report, Craig. I hope to make it up your way next month.

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