LST.com FISH REPORT
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THE LATEST from the water -
It's not looking good for March on the Lower Sac. Normally, fishing is great. Weather is great.
Not this year. The flows aren't all that high, but it's chocolate milk. Shasta Lake is chocolate milk. That's the problem.
I have seen a few photos of people with fish from this last week, but not very many, and what fish I did see were 'dark bellies' (spawning)...With recognizable spawning redds in the background.
As I say to the duck hunters... "You wouldn't shoot a duck sitting on its nest would you?"
Please don't fish the spawning redds folks. Let 'em do their thing in peace. It'll benefit us all in the long run.
I did get out last week on the Upper Sac. Flows were 2,000 cfs at Delta. Clarity was 5 ft. Normal summer flows are 250 cfs. So, it was tough to find water to fish. I did manage to land one fish. A super-chromer 18" missle on a stone nymph. And....that was it. Only spent an hour or so fishing. A few days after that the flows went up to 11,000 cfs... clarity went back down to a foot maybe.... and it's raining more today. AND more on the way Sunday.
Even wonder when you should book a trip? Take a look down this page. I keep reports on for a while so you can check to see what fishing was like last year during the second week of May, for example. Another good resource is looking at old LowerSacTrout Facebook posts.... history tends to repeat itself. (when Mother Nature doesn't get in the way)
Scratching the fish itch on a remote mountain lake this weekend. Not a huge fan of lakes, but I need me some tug drug.
Mar 13 -
FLOWS ARE DOWN TO 10k... however, it's dirty. Like 4-5" of visibility. Should be 4-5 FEET right now. I took a ride in the jet today just to check it out. Some spots are VERY different. Nothing super dangerous in the main channel. Edges are what's changed. Riffles moved.... side channels filled in.... etc....
Shasta Lake is starting to get clear water from the Upper Sac arm, which should help to clear the river in the next 2-3 weeks. (Found a willing bass or two this a.m. on the lake)
We won't see the "spring caddis" this year. It usually starts late Feb, and ends mid-March. Well, it's mid-March and the river won't be fishable this week....so we wait on the PMD hatch when it clears. And Mr. Salmonfly.
Get out. Fish.
Even if it's on a lake with a spin rod.
Got the bonefish bug? Want a shot at Permit and Tarpon ? There is a spot (maybe 2) open for my Fly Fishing in Saltwater School in the Yucatan this year. Late May into early June is the time.
Mar 5 -
I'm not sure how long it'll last, but flows are DROPPING !!! Finally, we're back down to "normal" high flows. Not "uber" high flows.
Today, the river has dropped down to 36,000 cfs. I have fished it up around 30,000 cfs. Not super fun, but fish can be caught. The issue we have now is clarity. The whole lake is dirty, so it'll take a little while for that silt to settle.
How long ? Not sure.....
But - Hey, it's a start !!! We could be floating the Lower Sac before the end of the month. Which would be great. My hands are getting way too soft....
Feb 25 -
Drove over the river yesteday and couldn't see the banks. WAY up in the trees. It (fishing) won't happen anytime soon.
Generally, the caddis hatch would start this week. With normal flows and clarity. Flows are higher than they've been in two decades, and the water color is far from ideal....
Options are around. Fished Rock Creek Lake yesterday and landed fish to 6 lbs. Excellent streamer fishing happened. Snow happened. Sun happened. Wind and calm happened. Overall, a nice day with great company. Felt good to wet a line after 70 days of not fishing and getting rid of cancer.
Will be exploring stillwater fisheries for a while....
#16 MicroMay with 5x tippet fooled this guy.
Feb 17 -
Not too much to report. The river is huge. And brown. It's supposed to be in the 70k range for "a few weeks", so I'm guessing mid-March will be the earliest we'll get back on the river.
There are a couple options around - Baum Lake, Rock Creek Lake, Sugar Creek Ranch... but all stillwater fisheries. Seems any river/stream in the area is out of the question.
Upper Sac hit 39k cfs last week. Normal summer flows are 250 cfs. A lot will have changed by the time it's fishable again. Rocks move with these flows...
Good time to tie some bugs for the coming months....
Feb 10 -
Good News/Bad News report.
First the good news. The test results were negative. The cancer has been removed. I'm G.T.G. (good to go). Check ups/PT scans every 4-6 months will be all I have to do now. Moving on.... and buying more buffs. And SPF 50.
Now the bad news. Sit down for this.
The Lower Sac flows will increase to 70k cfs by Sunday. SEVENTY THOUSAND. This hasn't happened in at least 20 years. Not sure how long it will be that big, but room needs to be made in the lake for more rains and snowmelt. The river is going to be HUGE. I will try to take some pix. I hope the city closes the ramps....the river is NOT safe at these flows.
Seeing some crazy images of massive flows on Upper Sac and Upper Mac. Then there's the spillway at Oroville. It's completely falling apart.
We wanted rain.... we got rain. Drought busted.
The river isn't coming down anytime soon from what it looks like. The lake is 35-40 ft. from crest, and inflow keeps coming. Wether it's from rain, or high snow levels melting low snow, it's filling. So, they're emptying. The color is horrible. Coffee with cream.
That being said, the Trinity is the main game in town lately. And it's blown out as of yesterday. However, it's been clearing fast and people are able to sneak in a day here and there, if they take advise from their guide and watch the weather.
I'm hoping to get out next week. Maybe check out Shasta Lake. It's 15 min. from my house and the jet boat is itching to get wet. There's gotta be some trout and/or bass hanging out wherever creeks are flowing in. I tried in November and got one nice trout in 4 hours. Would be nice to find something new to play with...
SO - I found out in mid-December that a mole I had removed from my scalp tested positive for Melanoma skin cancer. (Clarks Level IV)
It's been a rough time since then with two operations (scalp excision/skin graft/sentinal node extraction, radical neck dissection), lots of doctors and needles, and CT, PET, and MRI scans. The people at UCSF Melanoma Center have been fantastic, sympathetic, and truely professional to say the least. At this time, I'm healing up from my last surgery and waiting to hear pathology results hopefully by mid-week. Then maybe this will all be over.
I've been guiding for over 20 years. I lived on tropical islands in the South Pacific and Venezuela for months at a time. I grew up water skiing Lake Shasta. I've lived in Redding since I was 6. That's a lot of sun. More than the average person gets I'd imagine.
When I started guiding, back in the 90's, sunscreen was just to prevent the pain of getting burned. Heck I wore shorts and cut off sleeve shirts all the time. (it was fashionable back then!) Didn't think much about 'covering up'. Soaking up the sun was the thing to do. We all wanted to be that "tan man"!
I've changed my ways years ago, but seems it was too late.
This goes without saying, but you can bet I'll be covering up like never before from here on out. I'm not convinced sunblock does the job. Long sleeve shirts and pants, buff(s), and wide brim hats are the ticket.
"Having a good tan" when I was younger, wasn't worth weeks of not really knowing if I'd be around for my daughters 10th birthday.
The Lower Sac is still HUGE. It's muddy also. Nobody is fishing the river.
It may be a couple weeks.....
Heading back for another surgery next week.
This should take care of things...and hopefully the river drops and I'm back on the sticks by March 1.
If the river doesn't drop, LST might be fishing Baum or Shasta Lake to get a fix and search for a tug drug.
Regarding the Lower Sac. It's huge.
Up in the trees-type huge.
I wouldn't bother for a while...not too safe.
Going to be a while before I have any fresh reports.
Before anybody has fresh reports. We've gotten pounded with rain lately. The 'drought' is officially over in this part of the state. The lakes are either full or will be by springtime.
The river is running HUGE. "Unsafe to be out in a boat" type huge.
36,000 cfs is pumping right now...so nobody (wise) will be fishing it anytime soon.
Redding actually got a few inches of snow last weekend. It's been a while...
Also, I'm dealing with a medical issue that will keep me off the oars a few more weeks. I'm hoping to take care of it quickly and be ready for the springtime caddis action that usually kicks off late February or early March.
Be well and stay safe if you're out in these storms. Another couple days of "atmospheric river" supposedly coming early next week....
HUGE gap in reports. Sorry about the lack of.... just have not been on the LS much. Did the Trinity last week and scored a nice wild fish and a beauty chrome hen hatchery fish. Damn it's cold up there....
I'll be getting back on the water in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, there are some medical issues I have to deal with, so have not been fishing.... and will not fish for another two weeks at least. Surgery recovery time.....
Happy New Year to all. Thanks a ton for following/reading LST.com.
Be safe out there.
Bring on 2017 !!!!
Dec 9 -
I have been taking quite a bit of time off. Fishing was great the last day I was out. Even had fish rising to dries. BUT, weather was in the 60's and partly sunny. For 3 days, it hasn't gotten above 47*F. Snowed the other evening. Here in Redding. Yeah, it's been very wet, and super cold.
Fishing should continue to be good as long as the water clarity holds. It's been very good so far. Rains are steady but not overwhelmingly heavy. BWO on most days. Some caddis on warmer days. The 'sphere' fly still works here and there. On certain days, better than others.
Starting to hear stories of better steelheading happening. Might get bundled up and give it a shot next week.... brrrr !!!
Would rather be chasing these.....
My first ever bonefish in the South Pacific. Tongereva (Penrhyn/Pahonu) Atoll - Cook Islands
Pic by Baar Tapu
Hoping all had a good Turkeyday. My stomach is finally recovering today from all the intake over the past week or so.
Back to 'normal' life tomorrow on the water.
Reports have been decent. Rains have kept just a little color in the water, but not too much. Egg patterns, along with mayfly and caddisfly nymphs are doing most of the damage.
Bonus fish on my last day with Dan - a beauty on a dry fly - taken in a spot where I'd never seen fish rise before. The Dry fly action is few and far between on the Lower Sac, but in the fall, if you're in the right place, with the right fly, and the right presentation, with the right weather, it can happen.
I don't often throw dry flies on the Lower Sac, but when I do, the Missing Link is one of them.
Stay dry my friends....
Kind of done with my 'busy season'. No more working 6-7 days a week for weeks on end. Taking some time off around the holiday, working a day or two until Dec.
The salmon run is about over. A few fresh fish showing up here and there, but not a ton.
Spent some time in the jet last week having fun on different sections of water. Even managed a big 'bow on Shasta Lake. Found some bait balls and got him on a little shad minnow fly. Variety is the spice of life !!
Fishing today is tougher on the river. Muddy waters have graced us. TONS of rain yesterday. And I was out with Cole and his dad, Chris. And we kinda could do no wrong. Many fish were hooked and landed. Couple over 20". Had double hook-ups. And didn't see a single boat all day. The fishing was great even tho the weather was not. Had to pump water outta the boat a few times!
Going back out after the dirty stuff clears to see how it fishes...
Been a busy week. Fishing continues to be pretty stable. Most days we're getting over a dozen nice fish into the boat. Some days can be 2 dozen.... Weather is pretty nice this week. Late Oct was WET !!
Salmon are pretty much gone on most of the river. Seeing a pair of spawners is rare. Pretty sad.
The river is low - around 5k cfs. Going to 4500 cfs soon I hear.
Caddis and small mayfly nymphs are on the menu on most days.... we even poked a fish on a dry fly yesterday a.m. Bug activity has been decent for November.
Trinity steelhead fishing is real steelhead fishing. Fish are not being caught by everybody. A fish here and a fish there is the rumor. Give it a couple more storms... maybe it'll get better.
Doing my last day on the Mac this week. Looking forward to the Oct caddis hatch. And maybe some brownies. For sure some big 'bows!
Had a rare encounter with a fin-clipped hatchery steelhead in Redding last week. Alan, 17 years-straight fishing with me in October, landed it on a small nymph.
Happy Election Day.
May god help us....
Weather is not great. Been cold and wet. Fishing is fair. Not excellent. Average size has been good. Salmon are few and far between. Fishing eggs is still working in some spots, but nymphs are also working. It's still a little crowded. I guess the Trinity isn't fishing well. It should not long after this storm. This could be the wettest October we've had in decades....
Trick or treat!
Typical Fall weather pattern lately. Today was windy but mostly sunny. The two days prior were wet and cold and windy. And that's coming back tomorrow thru Sunday. Lots of rain expected this weekend.
Fishing has been fairly good. Not off the hook. The salmon aren't late. They just aren't.
Numbers are lower than I've seen in while. I won't be surprised if the powers that be close recreational and commercial salmon fishing again, like they did a few years back...
The river has been dropping seadily over the past two weeks. Today, it hit 5,500 cfs. It's getting low.
Mayfly hatches are happening on the crappy days, and some fish are being caught on nymphs. It's not just an egg game right now. I've even seen a couple noses pop up lately.
Stay warm and drive safe.... I hear higher elevations around Tahoe will get dumped on this weekend. Happy skiiers and boarders right now.
Congrat's to Kendall M., 15 yrs old, for big fish of the week. Down around Anderson she landed a 24.5" beast on a small nymph. The girls get it done on the Lower Sac!
I'm not one to beat around the bush,so....
Fishing has been fairly good. On a 1 to 10 scale, mabye 6 or 7 on some days.
It's not the typical October egg bite that we're used to.
Salmon are few and far between. It's not looking good this year for the salmon.
Egg patterns ARE working, but fish are being caught on nymphs as well.
Crowds are still kind of an issue...but not horrible. I guess the Trinity is getting good....
The fish are spread out, not all stacked behind the masses of salmon. Because there aren't masses of salmon. Which is kind of nice.
I hear Orange is the new Black.
Maybe on the Lower Sac, August is the new October.....
Oct 14 -
Heavy rain and very windy last night. Wind will be around for a few days. Trees down-type of wind. Power outages for some.
Taking some time off to let things settle. Back at it in a few days.....
Fishing's been decent.
No Salmon Is the Story. They got trucked to the bay 3-4 years ago and didn't get the 'road home' imprint, and went back up the Feather.
Egg bite is not the usual egg bite.
Fishing is good if you know where and what to use.
If you came for the egg bite, better think outside the box.
Oct 2 -
Holy boat hatch, Batman!!
Waited in line to launch the boat the other day, and when I rowed out of the ramp and looked upriver, downriver, and back to the ramp, I counted 18 boats. EIGHTEEN !!
The crowds are upon us. And the egg bite isn't really here yet. Been floating over shallows, and not seeing much. Sure a fish is being caught on an egg fly here and there, but it's far from being a 'wfo' egg bite. (Salties will know what that means)
The dark, rainy days we're having today and tomorrow should help to get them in the mood to start digging.
Word is that the hatchery is expecting less than average returns this year. Could be interesting...
A steelie or two are starting to show in the nets of those guides fishing below Balls Ferry. Hope it's better than last year!
Downriver fishing continues to be good for numbers and decent size. Crowds are not bad.
Will be on the Lower Sac all week then checking out the McCloud. Kinda looking forward to that. Big browns should be in the river on their spawning migration.
Still hearing decent reports on the Trinity. This crappy weather is what they like. Guessing today and tomorrow will fish well over there.
One more way downriver trip tomorrow for fish taco supplies. Not sure if the weather will do harm or help?
Guess there's one way to find out....
Be safe out there, slick roads !!
Sept 28 -
Had a tough day doing my 'usual' stretch on the 26th... flows spiked on us and the fishing was not the best I've seen. We had to clean grass and weeds off our flies every 2 minutes. We did hook 20+ fish, and lost some pretty big ones, but overall mediocre.
So the next day I ventured to a different section, where they're usually smaller. Well... they weren't. The first few almost showed us backing. We crushed all day long. Lots and lots of fish from 15-18". And not a boat in sight. Only bald eagles. 5 spotted that day.
Today, went back, and same scene. Broke off our first hog, landed a bunch of quality fish after that. Double hook-ups and stuff. No eagles. One other boat - a co-worker. Lots of hook-ups. Lots of laughs.
River has been fishing well. Flows continue to drop. It's around 8k now, going to 7,500cfs soon.
I'm booked up until November something....
Crowds are starting to show. Lots of out of towners will be crowding our river for a month. Then they'll go home.
Lotsa guys selling their coctail dresses and evening gowns at the local thrift store to raise money. Getting a motor for your drift boat seems to be the new fad.
Caddis hatch was good yesterday. Stacy and "Dev" kinda crushed.
Weather has been nice. Warm and windy today... but cooler nights.
Word is that the Trinity is kicking out 10 pound steelies already. Nice time to give that a try...before it gets super cold.
Fishing is good. Crowds are not bad. Hatch today was good. Lots of hook-ups and lots of fish landed. And some bent hooks.
At least 7 double hook-ups. Even had a triple hook-up today!!
Salmon are not being seen yet on beds ...eggs are not working yet.
Give it until around Oct 5-10. Then it's gonna be time.
Caddis was the bug du jour today. By far.
October may not be too bad this year.... word is out that steelhead on the Trinity River are showing early.
Last week consisted of Upper Sac, Lower Sac, Bollibokka, and Ah-Di-Na. Saw a lot of time on the water, and saw a lot of fish.
Busy lately, and it won't change anytime soon. Cooler temps have things on the upswing.
Trinity Steelhead are showing.
Lower Sac Salmon are not showing - in the shallows at least.
Another 2-3 weeks at least.
Upper Sac and Mac are fishing better.
Cooler water temps, and some hatches on the way.
Floated downriver yesterday, and found a few places where fish were STACKED!
They weren't all 18-20" up-river fish, but who complains when it's a grab on every other cast.
Flows are still around 9k. Guessing it'll drop again very soon...
Back on the Mac tomorrow, then Lower Sac will be home for a while.
Sept 9 - Wow....
Super busy lately. Sorry for the lack of reports.
Lower Sac is on the drop.
Flows are 9100 cfs as of this report.
Spent today fishing Bollibokka. Not guiding.
Stripped buggers 70% of the day, tossed dry/dropper 30% of the day. Spent 10 minutes fishing with a 'cator.
The fishing was pretty decent. Not huge numbers, but larger fish than usual. And sight fished a brown.
Upper Sac earlier this week was the usual Sept. mediocre. Landed ten fish to 12". Mostly on midges.
Lower sac has been good most days. With flow changes, things are fickle at times.
However, big fish are being caught.
Skip catches big fish....
25" Long Trout big....
Before long, there won't be any good boats left for the Oct season. I'm booked full into November.
Find time and find a LOCAL guide.
530 is the way to go...
Spent a few days on the water this week.
Fishing was good overall. Big fish. Lots of fish. Lots of lost fish.
They're not as grabby on the upper end as they were a couple weeks ago.
Motor'd drift boats are doing "Posse to Posse" and POUNDING the normal runs of the upper 1/2 mile of river. It's kinda sad that they can't catch fish anywhere else....
Even though, fishing is good. Those guys don't have open minds. They fish 8' deep in the same spots over and over and over. We scored some big fish in 3-4 ft. of water this week. And some dry/dropper fish in even shallower water. Lots of fish and lots of places for 'em to hide!
Spent some time fishing below a big dam yesterday. Stripped buggers for a bunch of good grabs, but not as many hook-ups as we would have wished. Hard grabs, but quick to spit the barbless hook. They like to spin and twist once hooked. Kinda like Fall River fish do...
We did land a good number of nice ones. Also scored on nymphs. Almost saw backing. Saw zero other anglers.
Today was rest day. Tomorrow starts 5 in a row.... reports to follow.
Don't forget to follow LST.com on Facebook and Instagram. Photos that don't make it here usually end up there.
Aug 22 -
Not much to report. Sometimes life is more important than fishing....
My weekend was filled with air conditioning, my daughters 2nd birthday, family and friends, and patio boat time on Lake Shasta.
Taking another day or two off before getting back on the water.
Enjoying a cooling trend this week ! Only 99*F today!!!
Recovering after 13 days in a row on the water. In some form or another. Mostly work.
Bokka was great. Slow on a few days, but Sunday was a 25 fish day. Midge pupa were the ticket. Didn't see another soul for days....
The Lower Sac is still fishing well. Crowds are thinning out from the "opener". The poor fish of the upper river are finally getting a break.
Played with a few of 'em last week. Here's Lisa's hog...
Had a good day yesterday with 3 clients, walking/hiking about 4 miles of the Upper Sac. Saw water that rarely gets fished. Had good dry fly action in the a.m., and good nymphing action throughout the day. BWO dries and midge pupa were very productive. The midges are out in force. Rocks covered with midges in every riffle.
Covered a bunch of water. Saw a rattle snake. And a really nice bear. Hooked around 30 fish.
Lower Sac continues to fish well. Doing a 1/2 day later today, then up to "The Bokka" for a few days of wet wading on miles and miles of private McCloud River. Shouldn't suck.
Spent the past two days fishing the upper river. Yes, it fished well. Yes, we caught nice size fish.
No, we weren't alone. By far.
Boats on every riffle and re-rowable run. Motor boats on the other spots. It was like taking a number at the bakery.
And we didn't hook 50 fish like we did on the opener.
We did hook an indicator somebody lost. And it was attached to a 8 ft leader with three flies. And an 18" bow hooked in the back on the end. Landing that was interesting....
So, those folks that can only catch fish on the upper 1/2 mile of river can have it.
All 20-something of 'em.
I'll take the unpressured 13 miles of river below that.
Back out tomorrow. Then a wade day. Maybe Upper Sac. Then a day off before Bollibokka for a few days.....
Wet wading will be sweet. It's been pretty freakin' hot lately.
August 2 -
Skipped out on the "opener" above the 44 bridge yesterday. Didn't feel the need to get in that mess.
Asked my clients if they wanted to see 20 boats on 1/2 mile of river, or 14 miles of river with maybe 2 other boats.
The choice wasn't hard.
Fishing, afterall, is supposed to be somewhat of a solitary experience.
I heard the traffic was of epic proportions. I also heard fishing was very good for most people.
We didn't see another boat until 2 pm. We hooked upward of 50 fish. And had the river to ourselves.
Saw a good number of double hook-ups and lost some big fish due to small hooks and tackle malfunctions. (Check for wind knots often!!!) We had 2 TRIPLE hook-ups. Were lucky enough to land and photograph one of them!! This doesn't happen every day.
And it didn't happen anywhere near the "opening day" melee.
Back on the water tomorrow. Hoping the crazy boat hatch has settle down... might give it a try.
Fishing continues to be hot. And daytime temps. Topped out at about 113F* yesterday. Roasting!! Staying cool and drinking lots of water is important right now.
Caddis and small mayflies were out in force last night. Floated from 4:30-8 and fishing was good. Very good in some spots. Lots of 'bendo' happening. Going for a repeat performance tonight.
Doldrums of summer are here on the smaller rivers. Working a lot of water, espcially near more oxygenated areas will be key. Dry dropper techniques can be productive, especially early and late.
Bookings have been coming in fast lately for the fall. Especiall October.
For Aug, not much open until 22-26 for me...
September has much better availability, and the past two years, has fished very well. Like October-type good, but without spawning salmon, and without the epic drift boat hatch we see in October.
Have a great weekend.... be safe.
Have been enjoying some time off. Fished a little. See pic below.
Now, just catching up after a long and busy couple weeks. Back on the Lower Sac tomorrow, then Mac, then back on the Sac.
The Lower Sac continues to fish very well. The caddis bite is good. Evening dry action is happening - 8pm.
The upper 1/4 mile section that's been closed, will re-open on Aug 1. (Motorized DRIFT boats will be tearing up the water, so don't expect peace and quiet up there. It's gonna be a shit-show. Lots of dresses!)
Looks like 100*F will be the norm starting this weekend. Even heard talk of up to 110*F by Wednesday. Ugh.
It's been a nice July of not too hot temps. It could've been 100 everyday....
My last few days on the "Bokka" were great. Landed fish on dry/dropper, nymphing, and streamers. Big fish went to Peter L with a 19.5" Mac 'bow on a bugger. We spot em' - we got 'em.
Have a great weekend - and be safe.
BIG. DAM. FISH.
First time fly fishing.
First 20 inch LowerSacTrout.
July 9 -
Fishing has been pretty good. The caddis bite is on. The mayfly bite is slowing, but still on. The stone bite isn't anything to write home about but fish are being caught here and there on stone nymphs. Fish size has been excellent, and they're very healthy. There is dry fly action on some nights, but it's the last 20-30 minutes of light. You have to be out until dark to get it. It's all about the caddis.
I'm pretty much full for July, and August is filling up, especially the first week (the 2nd annual "opener" of the upper mile or so of river.) It should fish VERY WELL the first few days. Until the motor guides POUND the hell out of it and put the fish down. Last year, by the 5th, the fishing slowed way down.
(Saw a bumper sticker on a drift boat the other day. It said - "If you use a motor on your drift boat, then surely you wear a dress") I had to laugh a little.
Flows have jumped up again to 10,500 cfs. PLEASE let this be the end of the increases. Don't empty the lake to feed golf courses in Palm Springs and swimming pools in SoCal. The past two years, the Federally Endangered Winer Run Chinook Salmon had a 99% death rate of juvenilles because of warm water. Because the lake was empty. Because the water was sent south in massive quantities and then followed by two very dry winters. The summer before the drought, flows averaged 14-16,000 cfs. Hopefully they learned and will keep it around 10k this year.
Golf courses and pools are not Federally Endangered. Nor are thousands and thousands of acres of newly planted crops up and down the arid Central valley.
*I have clients that are farmers and golfers, so no offense to you personally.
I do understand pollution, predator species, and overfishing are also causes. There are many causes if you ask me. The big problem is when all the causes come together. And then we have drought to top it off. Like a cherry on top. A bad cherry.
Everybody has a personal opinion. Feel free to disagree.
I just hope there are fish around for my kids' kids to fish for when I'm long gone.
This is a touchy subject for many. There are a bunch of vids and things to read on the interweb.... here's one -
Busy week ahead. Lower Sac and McCloud are on the destination list. Weather going back to triple digits by Wednesday.
Hope you're out this weekend enjoying the cooling trend! Only mid-80's in Redding today. UNHEARD OF for July in Nor Cal. I'll take it !!!
Crushed about 30 linesides yesterday downriver a ways. First one of the day was keeper size, the rest were 'schoolies'. Not finding the really big ones yet...but there's time. And the water is a little higher and cooler than last year. Weed beds are few and far between. Hoping those bigger keepers show up in decent numbers soon! Love to bonk me some stripers for fish tacos. And save the lives of a bunch of baby salmon and trout at the same time!
July 7 -
Had a nice vacay up in Mt. Shasta with the fam over the 4th.
Back to the sticks now....
The fishing has been good. Very good at times. The river is kicking out some really nice fish in the 16-20" range. The post spawn fish are fat again, and they are eating. Flows have been 9700 cfs... which is nice. Might not get much above 10k this summer.
Upper Sac is fishing fair.
McCloud is fishing better than fair, but water clarity is still so-so.
Chasing some bullies tomorrow... then back to the LowerSacTrout program.
On another note - October is very popular with the famous egg bite. Dates are getting filled up, so it's best to book early if you want to get out in the Fall. Call early and get a date with a local guide. Don't wait til the last minute and settle for an outta towner guide from a different area code. They just don't know this river like the local guides do.
The only way to go? Stick to the five-three-oh when picking a Lower Sac guide.
There are at least 20 excellent local full time fly fishing guides on this river. The gear fishing guide who fly fishes a month or two each year might not be the best choice. The construction worker who part-time guides 20 days a year might not be the best choice either. So, BOOK EARLY for the fall folks!!!! You won't regret it.
Happy 4th of July!
I will be taking a few days off of the sticks to enjoy time off and some R&R.
The past few days on the water have been good. Lots of grabs. Some of the fish were eating very small flies, so we lost 50% of what we hooked on my last day out. But we did land a good number over the past few days. Some to 20". Lots of 17-19" fish around now.
Oh, and it's been friggin' hot. 105-108F this week. Ugh....
Flows increased today from 9k to 9,700. Hope it doesn't get too high this summer.... I like 9-10k cfs. Not 15k cfs. We need to save the water for the fish and the future... not for walnuts. The farmers sucking our rivers and lakes dry need to move on to something else. I don't even like walnuts. Why do they grow that shit in an arid desert enviromnent anyways?! If you're moving tumbleweeds to grow stuff, you're in the wrong place.
Other news - McCloud is starting the milky phase. Water clarity is not too great. In knee deep water, it's hard to see your foot. Fishing is decent. Not great. This usually goes on for a few weeks. If you didn't get up there over the past two months, you missed some great fishing!
Upper Sac - flows are GREAT. Clarity is very good. I just might find myself in that very river this weekend. No better way to beat the 100*F heat than to wet wade the river. And there is NO SUCH THING as a crowded day on the Upper Sac. Walk 10 minutes on the tracks and I guarantee you'll find some good water. Best flies for me up there last week were copper johns, SnM, sally nymphs, PMD's, and small stimi's. Midges should work from here on out up there.
Have a happy and safe holiday !!
Been on the water a lot. Different water all week.
Actually did 1/2 day wade trip on the Upper Sac yesterday, then we drove down the hill and did a 1/2 day afternoon float on the Lower Sac. And we scored some BIG fish. Most were lost due to small hooks and bad ass fish, but we boated a few beauties and had two double hook-ups on our float. The am wade sesh was ok. Not great. Scored a few 8-12" fish on dry/dropper and indicator'd one at about 17".
Spent a day bullying the river bully last week. I'll be back for more even tho we didn't hook 60 fish. 30 was enough. And one bonus big fish that gave Rob a great fight. Forgot the fillet knife this trip... but I won't next time!
Pete with a typical 'big' LowerSacTrout. One of many we saw that day.... hatches have been great!
June 20 -
Officially Summer now. And it's hot.
Weather, and sometimes the fishing.
Been super busy lately. Last week I did 9 in a row. Then went right into a 3 day camping trip for fathers day.
(oh, and I had a birthday last week)
So we get to the Upper Sac to camp, and it's raining. In June.
Luckily, we have our trusty '62 Shasta AirFlight Camper, restored, to keep us dry. Got there early and it was more of an occasional drizzle, so I wader'd up and went on a hike. Found some good dry/dropper fishing in pocket water that friday afternoon, followed by a PMD hatch at 2:30. Fished dries for 1.5 hours. So sweet it was.
Rained all night.
Next morning, river had risen from 320 cfs to 550 cfs.
Tried dry/dropper and it was decent. Not great. Found deeper water. Bobber'd up.
Dropped a prince and little s-n-m.
Got to shake hands with a 19-20" fish and a 10" fish.
Back to camp for lunch. Killer sando. Good fam time. BBQ burgs.
Next a.m. , went for a drive up a small creek. Clank, clank, clank goes my truck.
limped back to camp. Called AAA.
Left camper in MS, borrowed truck from UJ, got broken truck towed to redding.
Long story. So, that was my fathers day.
Back on Big Sac today. Flows up to 9k. Didn't fish as well as 8k. Went from great to good.
But that'll change. Lost some biggies today.... some spit, one broke. Big water big fish. Tom and Eileen fished hard and fished well. Pretty good for some salites. ;-)
Back out tomorrow, then taking a few off to be a daddy and fish for me ! Could be bonking something for the table....
The Mac was great yesterday. Killer dry fly action after 2 pm !!!! Landed a bunch on dries.
The Lower Sac has been fishing great, especially on nicer days. LOTS of bugs have been around, so the fish have been happy.
Be safe out there...
June 9 -
Fred B. with a girthy one
Weather has cooled off to upper 80's and low 90's this week. Very nice to see !!
Have had mostly good fishing lately. The Lower Sac is fishing pretty good. Deb and Tim did great yesterday on a half day trip, boating fish to 19" and getting a lot of grabs.
The McCloud was good this past week. Lots of bugs. Lots of fish around. Not many huge fish, but no crowds also.
The Upper Sac kinda kicked my ass last week. Twice. Guided it one day and didn't get many hook-ups. A day or two before that I walked a section with a budddy and covered a TON of water. Just didn't fish great. Not sure what the deal is there....
Back on the Lower Sac today for another half day trip. Then a full day. Then a day on McCloud. Then Lower Sac for a couple days, then Battle Creek Ranch for a few days. Busy, busy !!
The weather has turned warm. Very warm. The Donald got to experience it yesterday - 104*F at his rally down at the Redding Airport.
Heading out early today to hike a multi-mile section of the Upper Sac that I have never really seen. Flows are down to 430 cfs. Stoked to see some new water! Taking two cars and dropping one, so there will be zero "Walking Back" today.
The Lower Sac fished pretty good my last day out with Fred B. Flows bumped a thousand cfs that morning, so we didn't get them in a couple spots, but we did get them in a lot of spots. And they were big, hard fighting, FAT, strong fish.
Since then, flows have gone up again. It's around 8k as of this a.m.
Spent a day on the Mac this week. Hooked over 30 fish with my guys. Lots of dry/dropper fishing and even an hour of good solid dry fly fishing. Nice to not look at a bobber all day! Fish were plentiful, but not overly large. Fish were caught on dries, dry/dropper, indicators, and streamers.
It's been a great week overall. Lower Sac trout, McCloud trout, Upper Sac trout, and tomorrow ??? Maybe drive downriver a ways to search for some stripers or shad.
Stay cool and drink lots of water !
Memorial Day - May 30-
Thank you to all who are, or have, served our country!
So, last Monday, a buddy and I hammered fish on a short afternoon jet boat excursion. ZERO BOBBERS USED !!!! All fish caught while anchored. No chasing flies or bobbers downriver that day.
Then went out Friday for a little bit with the wife, and we did pretty good. Not great. Monday saw TONS of bugs. Friday not so much.
Sorry but no weekend reports from the Lower Sac. I made a pledge a few years back to stay far away from the river during this particular holiday weekend. Some of the craziest traffic days I've ever seen on the river were during Memorial Day Weekend. It's not quiet. It's not as much fun. And it's not as safe.
Jet skiis. Rafters. Kayakers. Weekend jet boaters. Canoes. Pontoon Boaters. Paddle Boarders....the list is a long one.
Lots of lesser experienced boaters out this weekend. Almost been run over by weekend jet boaters before. No Thanks! Spent the weekend with family.
Will be out on the big water tomorrow, after everybody has gone back home or back to the office. Expecting pretty good fishing. My guys can fish, so drifts will be good !!!
Time to spend some days on the Mac and Upper Sac. That will happen this week. And this weekend. Wet wading.
Mostly cuz forecast calls for next Saturday to be 108F*. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT !!!!
Phil and Chris absolutly crushed today.
Lots of action. Big, fat fish. Half dozen double hook-ups, at least.
Lots of bugs... Mild wind, 20 min of rain all day.
Woke up to dark skies. Cloudy and cooler today. MUCH cooler.
It's been in the 90's. Today will struggle to hit 70F.
Doesn't stoke me out... not a fan of weather change. Keeping fingers crossed for today...
Report to follow.
Lower Sac flows are 6500 cfs.
Upper Sac flows are 650 cfs.
Chance of rain the next 3-4 days.
May 17 -
Great News - Upper Sac down to 710 cfs.
Lower Sac wasn't anything special today.
There are different PMD's out now. Smaller. More creamy white-olive.
Not larger creamy-orange.
And some caddis.
Stonefly hatch is coming to an end.
Fishing was tough in 20-30 mph winds.
Landed 'em up to about 20". But not a bunch.
The fish were kind of a$$holes today....
Out tomorrow for a half day. Wind supposed to lay down.
May 16 -
A couple days on Bollibokka was nice. Got some good exercise hiking around looking for hungry fish. Overall, fishing was so-so. We got fish but not a ton. The river is sill kind of high with all the tribs dumping snowmelt. We did score a couple fish on dries - Missing Link and Ants. The fish were eating flying ants in some spots, which was cool. The water is painfully clear, so they were a bit spooky.
Good news on the Upper Sac - flows are in the 850 cfs range. This is the start of a short but sweet peak season on that river. I hope to get on it soon... not many free days lately. By mid-late June fishing can slow if it's 100F every day.
Back on the Lower Sac tomorrow with another guide and a long-time client with three of his buddies. The flows have been 6500 cfs for a while. Surprised it hasn't come up a little higher by now.... At least it's stable, which helps fishing.
Windy today. And it's in the forecast for tomorrow as well. And temps over 90F tomorrow. Summer heat will be upon us in no time...
River fished pretty good yesterday. Nice to see higher flows.
David and Susan had plenty of hook-ups. Our landing ratio was a little off... the fish were spitting the hook after 3-4 seconds of thrashing. But we did land some beauties up to about 19". And some post-spawn fish. Good to see them finishing up and getting back into the grove of eating.
Have I mentioned how many fish are spawning above 44?? TONS! And how awesome it is that the fishing is closed up there ? People (some guides) who used to sit there all day and abuse those fish are not happy about the closure, but those who care about the future of our wild trout - we're happy its closed. Those fish need to spawn un-molested.
Sorry to say but I won't have any Lower Sac reports for about a week.
I will, however, have a report soon on a private section of the Mac. Not that it'll do you any good.....
Locking a gate behind you to fish an exclusive piece of world-famous river... for 3 days... does not suck. One bit.
Have a good weekend, y'all.
Sad to say, but my vacation is about over.
Tomorrow is my official first day back to work after a long, much enjoyed vacation.
Got out yesterday for a couple hours to test some new lines, and catch a couple bass on The Fly Shop's Steiner Lake.
Got out on Mother's Day with mom for about 3-4 hours. Fishing was pretty good. Actually broke a hook on a fish. It's been a while....
Lower Sac flows are creeping up. Very slowly, which is good. Won't mess with the fish too much with little bumps in flows. Today, it's 6500 cfs. Mothers Day saw very happy fish. They were hungry. Some good bug activity also with Hydrosyche, Sallies, and Peemers around. (Caddis, lil Yellow Stones, PMD mayflies)
There's been great hatches of motor boats lately also. It seems that motors on DRIFT boats is the new thing. Sad to see so many people feel the need to do that.
Spread out. Explore the river and the different types of water to catch fish in. And the different sections. It's good all the way down to Red Bluff. And it's beautiful down there.
Upper Sac - still not much great news here. Flows are around 1100 cfs. Fishable, but plan to cover a lot of water to find the good spots. Stones will work NOW.
I've heard good things about Pit and Hat and also McCloud. Heading to the Mac late this week for a 3-day stint on the famous Bollibokka Club. Should be fun to hike around the Lower Mac for a couple days. Rattlesnakes will be on the list of things to watch out for, as it's that time of year.
May 4 -
Sorry for the delay in reports. Once in a while, the fish can wait.
My wife and I took a few days off to enjoy some quiet time. And some great wines.
The past few days were spent in Sonoma, tasting great wines, eating great food, and relaxing at 'the spa'.
Another couple days of relaxation are coming up, then back to the grind.
The opener was... well... not sure how the opener was. I was on the Lower Sac that day. But only in the afternoon. It blew 30 mph pretty much all day. Had a friend in town, so I took the weekend off. We wade fished a small stream with mediocre results. I got 3, my friend got 1. Then drove back to Redding and grabbed the boat for a very short drift. We both landed a few nice fish that afternoon, and my buddy broke of a monster about the time I said "let it go for 10 more seconds, then we're done". It only took 4 seconds and all hell broke loose. The fish was hot and he wasn't expecting it to push the Nitrous button .5 seconds into the fight.
The next day, the wind layed down, and we floated the river - with around 20 fish landed. And a couple Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's were enjoyed. Sure was nice to have somebody row me around for a change!! Forgot what it was like to fish out the front of a driftboat...
Upper Sac - flows are hanging around 950 cfs. It'd be nice to see that number lower, but it is fishable.
Hat, Fall, McCloud - I have not heard any reports, as I was in wine country. And I rarely, if ever, go to those places on "opening day". Not into crowds much.
I'm sure as this storm passes and we get back to normal weather, those streams with fish very well.
It's offiical. The Lower Sac is on the rise. It has bumped up over the past few days. Flows are 6,000 cfs today. This should continue until they reach "summer flows". Who knows what that'll be this year. Normal is 12-14k cfs. The last two summers, it's only been 7k cfs. I'm hoping we see at least 10k this summer.
My next open dates are May 23 and 25.
Late May and most of June is usually my best "no bobber" fishing of the year. Traditionally, history has a habit of repeating itself.
May 23 and 25 are my next openings.
Have a great weekend. Hug your mom if you're lucky enough to still have her in your life.
Had some great fishing with Fred and Mike this week. Windy as all get out, but we pulled it off and saw action all day.
The Rabbi - 17 years in a row fishing with LowerSacTrout. Wouldn't be a day with Bruce without fish over 20" in the net.
Leonard and his 'missle'. 21.5" of fighting fury - with that huge tail.
Fishing was good this week. The fish were keying on different flies during different parts of the day.
It's been windy and today is cooler and chance of rain. Working a little this weekend, then taking a little time off with the family.
PMD, Sallies, Salmonflies, Caddis, BWO - lots of things happening.
Expecting the flows on the Lower Sac to start increasing any day now. Flows are currenty 5k cfs.
Absolutely wonderful day to be off. Thunder, lightening, and heavy downpours are the norm today. Flooded streets, accidents, trees down, black skies.... all happening today around town while I ran errands.
Lightening and fly rods aren't so good together.
Yesterday, fishing was pretty decent. Not on fire like it has been. LOTS of boats out, and pretty strong winds that affected our fishing a bit. Overall, landed some beauties, had some double hook-ups, and enjoyed the pleasant weather with Dave and Tom.
Again, we found some fun fishing in shallow water that rarely, if ever, gets fished. Thinking outside the box can pay off once in a while.
One more week til the opener. Hat Creek, Fall River and McCloud River will all open next Saturday. Could be a great year thanks to El Nino and full lakes.
Bad news for the Upper Sac. Before the storms today, it was 1400 cfs - which can be sort of fishable. As of noon today, flows have spiked up to 1920 cfs. Not very fishable. It could drop quickly, so don't totally count it out, but I'm guessing it'll be mid-May before it gets down to the 300-400 cfs range, which is fairly normal.
Bummer....love that river in the Spring. Hopefully we don't totally miss the stone hatches.
Have a great weekend!
April 20 -
Enjoying the day off. Kind of. The list of chores is long after 7 days in a row on the water. The mower and weed wacker will see some time today.
The fishing, overall, has been great. Indicator nymphing is working well. Stones (golden, lil yellow, giant) are hatching. Caddis and PMD and BWO are hatching. But none of the above in "really big numbers" like we like to see.
That being said, changing flies during the day, and even for specific stretches of river, can pay off.
The norm for me has been 30-something or so landed each day. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. But numbers of 16-19" fish are good right now. Dry fly opportunities are few and far between during the day. At dusk, there can be fish found rising if you put in the time.
Have had some fun catching fish in 2' of water lately. Especially when drift boats with motors aren't chewing up the water. Lots of boats row-thru or motor-thru water that has fish. Rowing thru doesn't disrupt things nearly as much as motoring thru. Some of us have figured out how to catch those fish, so be respectful when possible.
I actually had a 'drift' boat with a motor behind me yesterday, maybe 50 yards. They fired up the motor, passed me, and cut the motor about 50 yards below me - then started fishing the same line I was on !!
Don't be a DB and low hole other people. If you didn't get there first, you didn't get there first. Accept it.
My best friend, the wind, has been absent the past few days and it's been HOT! Like, low-90's hot. It's way too early for that if you ask me.... This will change soon. Possible rain on Friday, and our old pal, the wind, is coming back tomorrow.
Don't forget The Fly Shop's pre-Opening Day party. Good food, good people, and all the newest gear - and the reps on hand for any questions you have.
My openings are few and far between. The next days I have abailable are May 9, 11, 12, 19.
Wind and rain yesterday. Cold morning. Good fishing.
Warmer afternoon. Very Windy. Good fishing.
Today, all sun.
Wind strong from the north.
Thirty-something saw the net.
Our game was on.
That is all....
The fishing has been great. Lots of hook-ups lately. Word is out....so there are a few other boats around. At least until the last Saturday of this month, when small stream trout fishing opens up. Then the crowds will thin and the outta-towner guides will go home and we'll see less pressure out there.
The weather HAD been great. Lately, cloudy and cooler is the rule. Rain has been around, but not too much. Just enough to keep everything wet, and knock down some of that stinkin' yellow pollen on everything.
Windy conditions will arrive tomorrow afternoon and remain thru Thursday. And I'm scheduled to be out in it.
We'll play the cards we're dealt and not let it affect us too much. Fish will be caught regardless.
Except for April 26 - I'm full for the month.
For May - the next open date I have is May 11, 12, 16.
Upper Sac flows are going up. Sorry, no good news there.
April 6 -
Weather has been beautiful. Fishing has been good, but it's been windy. That's supposed to settle down Friday. Rain is is in the forecast for Saturday. That'll be interesting....
Boards are in. Higher flows are not far away.
April 5 -
Fishing has been pretty darn good lately. 30 and 40 "hook-up" days are not uncommon. The fish have been happy and bugs are around. Saw PMD and Salmonfly hatches this week. And it'll only get better.
The boat traffic has increased a little, now that the Trinity is done, however, there are a TON of fish and the river is huge. Plenty of room for all.
That being said, remember to be respectful of other anglers. I had a very productive little spot all to myself yesterday - a small spot - maybe a 150-200 ft. long drift - and another boat just jumped right in and started fishing our spot. Rowing back up over and over. Now, a lot of spots are big enough to share with others, but this one was not. It's a big river..
Upper Sac is still raging at 1700 cfs. Normal flows are 250 cfs. Snowmelt has started with the warm days. Once it gets around 1000 cfs... time to start checking it out ! Don't leave home without your rubberlegs ! 600-800 cfs can fish great if you find slack water. They'll stack up wherever it's "slower".
April 6, 11, 27 are about the only days I have open for the next month.
Fishing is good. Weather is good. Time to get out.
Spending this Sunday doing a 21 boat trip for Project Healing Waters. Actually it's a "Two Pattern" tournament. Only two patters per angler, up to 6 of each pattern can be used. Hope my guys picked good flies! Should be fun.
OK - SO THE BIG NEWS is that a trip to Kamchatka is in the works. I'm looking for 3-5 anglers who want the trout fishing experience of a lifetime. At this time, a lodge package is open and a "float and camp daily" package is open.
In Soviet Russia, trout eat mouse. And even duck.
It's kind of bad-ass to see a 24" rainbow take a mouse pattern. There will also be streamer fishing. And some dries. Indicators will NOT be used. Beads will NOT be used. Some big char and hard fighting chum salmon are also known to frequent the river.
The river is remote, and only sees about 20-30 anglers PER YEAR.
Flight to the Kamchatka Penninsula from Anchorage is about 4.5 hours.
Timeframe is looking like late July or sometime in August.
This is a lifetime trip.
Email me if you are at all interested and I can forward more detailed information.
In the meantime - a guide pal and I spend a couple hours on a private pond leased by The Fly Shop this morning. Bass to 5 pounds crushed my "crafty Stripper" fly I use for stripers. We stuck a bunch of fish in shallow water. We saw every take.
Sight fishing at it's finest.
If you get the bass itch, check out Swarts Pond - booked thru The Fly Shop.
March 28 -
Given the choice to be on the water today, or do chores around the house, I picked the latter.
Winds to 25 are the norm today, and tomorrow is calling for wind to 30+ mph. Sustained. No fun.
Wednesday, it's back down to 20 mph... and even lower Thursday and Friday.
Those are the days this week to get out. Make it happen !
Flows are BACK DOWN to 5,000 cfs. Fishing should be pretty good this week once conditions improve.
May could prove to be a great month around here. The Lower Sac should fish well. The Upper Sac should be on fire - depending on how fast snowmelt happens. Flows under 800 cfs are ideal. Today, it's 2100 cfs. It's got a ways to go...
Hope y'all had a great Easter with family and friends.
Yesterday flows were around 15k. Today the flows are 12k. By Monday, the flows are supposed to be 5k. That's a lot of change over the weekend.
Usually changes are not the best for fishing. Yesterday, however, was a different story.
Belan and Rob - frequent visitors of LowerSacTrout - put over forty fish in the net. We had 21 by lunch. Fishing was OUTSTANDING !
The best day of the year so far, for numbers of fish landed. And size. We landed (and lost) fish over 20". And I lost count of the number of 17-19" fish we released. I'm guessing only 4 or 5 fish were under 15".
We could do no wrong yesterday. And it was an absolute beautiful Spring day.
Get out and get some of this great fishing before the 100-degree days are upon us.
I have a fair amount of openings until April 7, then not much available after that.
Lots of wind and thundershowers today. Calm one minute, DUMPING the next. It's a short lived storm, expected to drop maybe 1/2 inch of rain. Then it's back to clear and sunny skies by tomorrow.
The river is stable at 20k and the fishing has actually been pretty good. Between family events, minor construction job at home, being sick, and taking care of my daughter.... I have not had time to get out, but friends who have are saying the fish are eating, and they're nice sized fish. Just gotta find where they moved to.
They are not in the same spots, and those who don't know the river, will struggle.
Those of us who have been fishing the river for decades will not. (If you're one of those guys who spends half the day motoring back and forth under the sundial bridge, you're in for a rude awakening next time you go out !! :-)
I will be out guiding this week. Reports to follow.
March 17 -
The river, she-a not in so good-a shape. (add itialian accent)
Yesterday was decent fishing for the conditions. Visibility is down to 18" and mustard yellow brown ish colored. It's from Spring Creek on Keswick - the SuperFund site. Toxic stuff. Don't eat the fish this week !!
As if the dirty water wasn't enough, I just heard this a.m. that the river will be running at 20,000 cfs by tomorrow a.m. TWENTY THOUSAND CFS !! You read that right.
Now, we have fished it at that height in the past, and done well. So, if the added velocity helps is clear up, fishing might get back on track after a week or so.
But I'm pretty much going to advise my clients for this Saturday and Sunday to cancell. Contitions are far from 'ideal'.
Remember the river above Hwy 44 bridge will be closed after April 1. To protect winter run salmon. And in-directly protect spawning rainbows. Again yesterday, I watched a boat row back and forth, up and down, POUNDING a very heavily populated trout spawning redd. I politely informed them of what they were doing, and the guy hardly looked at me. Embarassed? I'm not sure if it's ignorance or greed, but I hate to see that. It's like watching a duck hunter sneak up to a duck on a nest, and blowing its head off. Not cool.
Chris and "E" and I had the river to ourselves today for a half day float after noon.
The water was not clear. Maybe 2.5 ft. of visibility, which isn't all that bad. Then again, it's not good.
Soon as I pulled out of the ramp, I noticed the water was higher than I'm used to. Thought it was the rain adding some cfs until I checked the flows.
Flows INCREASED from 3200 cfs to 5500 cfs around 11 a.m. today.
This is the first increase we've had in quite a while that wasn't due to irrigation needs. SO, that being said, the powers that be are possibly afraid of the lake over flowing during snow melt..so they're making room now. Shasta Lake full ????
Maybe. Or close to it.
SO, this weekend the weather will be shite. Not much fishing will happen. Monday things clear up. Water should have time to clear and by mid-week the fishing could be back on. Temps to 70 by Wednesday. Fish will have adjusted to the new flows... bugs should be happening.... it could be go-time.
The fish were not happy today. Flow changes are never good. Fishing was tough, but we did put a couple in the net and saw some backflips from large fish that didn't see the net in the end...
The rains have not yet come. 48 hours of drizzle is what we've been seeing.
It's on the way though. Friday- Sunday will be wet and windy.
The storm is supposed to pass by early Monday a.m.
Then we're looking at temps to 70*F by next Wednesday. That'd be nice!
March 9 -
Weather has gone sour. Heavy drizzle all day today, with some serious rain and wind coming our way over the next 4-5 days, starting this afternoon. Weatherman said we have 4 separate waves of storms coming. One after the other. Looks like we could get 3-4" by the weekend. Rivers could swell and waters will dirty. Not the best conditions for the Lower Sac right now. Could be until next Tuesday until we see a break in the weather. After that, fishing should be good if we have at least 2-3 ft. of clarity. Only time will tell...
Stay tuned for updates.
Before the weather turned, we had huge hatches and warm sunny days. I had a few opportunities to get out and found some fantastic fishing with my 5 wt. No bobber. No split shot. Just gotta think outside the box....
If you're tired of the bobber thing but love fishing the river, keep this in mind when the weather gets better and look me up. Historically, April - June is the best time to ditch the heavy gear and go light.
Fishing was not on fire today. Went out for a little bit with a pal and we did not use bobbers or split shot. Fish were hooked and landed. Water clarity is not good after the weekend storms. It's not totally blown out, but visibility is about 2 ft. Maybe. It should clear up a little over the next few days, but more rain is coming Thursday/Friday, so not sure what will happen for next weekend..
The UPPER Sac hit a high of around 27,000 cfs last weekend, and is still cranking at 7,500 cfs. That's twice the water flowing down the Lower Sac !! Bad news for early fishing on the Upper Sac, but good news for the lake. We need the water. And there's more on the way.
After the next storm passes and we get back to cleaner water and nicer weather, I expect fishing to be pretty darn good.
Kamchatka - Russia. Huge rainbows. Mouse Flies.
Interested ?? Email me for info....
A little blurb from my pals over at Kennedy Bros Fishing - about motors. I think it's well said. If you float under the Sundial bridge 10 times in a row, or motor below everybody to get to the redds first in October - this could be about you.
March 2 -
Spent a couple hours on the river today, kind of a play-day. Noticed the news talking about the storm coming, and talk of rain everyday for the next 10 days, so decided to get some while it's still nice and kinda sunny out.
Had some stellar dry/dropper action in very skinny water. DURING THE HATCH. After the hatch, those fish moved out. I was even lucky enough to find some rising fish, and tossed the old faithful Mercer's Missing Link and they ate. Just a nice day, not rowing, tossing tight loops with my new Winston Bx3 5 weight, watching dries instead of bobbers....
The caddis hatch could be very thin by the time the weather breaks in a week or two. It usually doesn't last for very long.
Next on the menu....PMD's and Salmonflies. Could be worse....
Had a really fun day yesterday with a great group of four guys who could get it done. We hooked a good number of fish despite the weather being cloudy/cold/dark. The caddis were not out playing much at all yesterday, so the numbers weren't as high as they have been on the sunny days we've had recently. Nail the warmer, bright and sunny days and fishing can be a little better.
Feb 25 -
It's been 'en fuego'. Great fishing, especially from 11-3 pm.
We absolutely crushed them yesterday, and got a bonus fish in the 19" range. No indicator.
Caddis hatches are going strong, but won't last more than another two weeks or so.
Take advantage of the great weather and get a line wet. You won't regret it!!!
Email me for open dates....
Weather the past couple days has been nicer. Much nicer. And the caddis are back at it.
Saw massive numbers of bugs today. Tried a dry, but litterally could not pick out mine from the thousands on the water. It was insane.
Fishing the past few days has been outstanding. Good numbers of big fish. It's been rare to see fish under 17" lately.
The weather has been absolute shite ! Black skies, sideways rain, winds to 40 mph. It looks like it'll blow on out of here tonight. So, tomorrow should see mostly sunny skies, little to no wind, and temps to 60*F. Sweet. I like rowing in that kind of weather. Lets hope the bugs come out to play!
Feb 16 -
Took a good return client out for a half day yesterday. We didn't see the Sundial Bridge.
Fishing was great. Each spot we fished (with the exception of one or two spots) held fish. I'm guessing we netted around 15 fish, and lost a fair number before they saw the net. And we were off the water by 1:30. Bugs were out. Fish ate what they were supposed to eat.
After this storm passes, and weather gets back to 60-70*F out, the fishing should be great.
My last day out was spent downriver a ways with Zach and Matt. They landed around 20 trout and three different bonus species while using a sink-tip.
Sometimes fun to have some 'no bobber time' now and then.
River is in great shape, and it's fishing well. Weather (except this coming Wed/Thurs) is looking great for February.
Crowds are thin. Time to get some!
I have a decent number of open dates for the remainder of Feb.
If you don't hire me, hire a local professional...
Don't settle for an "out of town" guide or a local guide who spends 80% of their time spin fishing and hunting, but call themselves "fly fishing guides".
If you're gonna do it, do it right !!
Got some buddies that are bass crazy. They invited me to tag along on a bass trip. I said I'd try to do what they were doing, but with a fly rod. It wasn't super easy, but I scored the largest smallie on the boat. With my 8 wt. and a sink-tip. And a fly I tied for stripers....which has now caught stripers, smallies, and trevally in the South Pacific.
I did get a nice 4-5 lb. largemouth with a level-wind reel and NOT a fly. Which was fun. Been a while.
The nice weather most likely won't last long.
You really should be up here fishing next Monday. Seriously.
Spend a few days on the Lower Sac with some dudes from SoCal. Even tho they were from SoCal, they were pretty good dudes ;-)
Chris, Pete and Steve nailed the weather. Sunshine and temps to 80 degrees in early February? Yup.
Caddis, BWO and PMD were all out yesterday. Didn't see more than a handful today. Not sure what that's all about.
Water conditions are pretty good and we're looking at sunshine and temps near or over 70*F for the next week.
GET SOME !!!!
Fish of the weekend - Peter with his 24" wild LowerSacTrout. With fish-shoulders.
Great weather coming this weekend, starting today. No wind. Sunshine and temps to 60F* today. Tomorrow it's going to be 70F* and up to 75F* on Sunday. That is kind of sweet, as I'm out on the water 3 out of the next 4 days.
I'm expecting to see a few more bugs with this change.
And warmer water. And happy fish.
Little dark springtime caddis could make a good showing.
Stay tuned for current reports... and "LIKE" LowerSacTrout on Facebook for live-from-the-river reports and pictures.
Giant Trevally (GT) aren't born giant. They're BT (baby Trevally) and MT (Medium Trevally) first. And they love to SMASH poppers on the surface. Joel with one of many we had fun with during a week of sore arms and good times down at Christmas Island.
Fishing was mediocre yesterday. The bugs that have been showing, didn't show much, and water temps were down in the upper 40's. Which is cold. The break in the weather and cold rains should help warm things up a little bit. We did land fish to 21". Big, fat, strong fish. We lost another 20" fish at the net, and had a couple come unplugged.
The sink-tip and dry/dropper saw very limited time, and didn't do much.
Everyday is different....
Might head out tomorrow to try some new experimental flies. And try a few spots that don't get hit much this time of year.
One of the parts of travelling all over the world to fish that I like is seeing the local culture and how they live. These kids do not have ipads or Playstation. Doesn't seem like they miss those things looking at this shot.
The week has been busy, getting back to 'normal' life. Planned to fish the river tomorrow, but forecast calls for sustained winds around 20 mph with gusts to 30+. So, might postpone that plan.
Water clarity is a nice steelhead greenish color. Rains coming today/tomorrow shouldn't change it too much. Unless it POURS.
In the mean-time, here's a shot of one of the strongest fish I've ever had the pleasure of fighting. Milkfish are vegetarians, and can be difficult to catch most days. We were there on a good day and landed somewhere around 15 before calling 'uncle'.
OK... back to real life. Will be checking the river later today to see just how dirty it is. I'm guessing it's not crystal clear after the rains I didn't experience - because I was in Hawaii for 4 days after a week in Christmas Island.
An epic time was had by all. We had quadruple hook-ups with yellowfin tuna. We had numerous double hook-ups on Milkfish, which are absolute freight trains. Yellowfin trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Giant trevally, triggerfish, and tons of bonefish were hooked. Absoute incredible time. (pics coming soon..)
I had been going every three years, but might shorten that.
Christmas Island 2018 anyone ??
February and March on the Lower Sac can be goooood !! (Scroll way down to see reports from last year!!)
Book prime weekend dates now.
Don't miss out!
Jan 6 -
The river is dirty, but not unfishable. Flows are still 3300 cfs - LOW.
Rain has been coming down for hours. Days. This is good.
I was supposed to be out today, but we decided to postpone due to foul weather. Heavy rain and winds to 35 mph isn't so good for what we had planned. (We weren't planning to do the 'drift alongside an indicator' thing.)
Never did make it to the coast. Things looked good for a day or two, but I couldn't sneak away. Now, it's all blown out again.
Fishing here on the river should continue to be good for the next few weeks - if the water stays clean enough. BWO hatches are happening on some days. Even saw a few PMD lately. The egg bite is still kinda happening. Alevins have been catching fish. Low water means plenty of wade spots avaliable. Go out and get some!
Sooooo.... Sorry to say that I won't be reporting much for the next two weeks or so. I've got other things on my plate.
Report to follow. Stay tuned!
Happy New Year folks.
The river in town has dropped down to the lowest it'll most likely get. It's 3200 cfs. And clean. Fishing has been pretty decent. Small mayflies and a few fish on eggs here and there. My last two days out both saw over 20 fish hooked, so it's still fishing well.
I'll be back out on Wednesday, but maybe not until then.
The rivers over on the coast have dropped into shape. I may be hitting the road for a day or two of trying to catch a REAL steelhead. (Drifted the Trinity on a beautiful snowy day this past week. We caught some fish, but not very big, not many were wild, and they didn't fight anything like a fresh coastal fish can.)
We'll see if it happens....