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Lower Sac and Trinity Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal reports on 2.9.2017

*I just got word that the Lower Sac releases out of Keswick Dam are going to go way up beginning Friday to 50,000cfs, Saturday 60,000cfs and Sunday to 70,000cfs!

Well… it could stop raining tomorrow and I wouldn’t mind one bit. I think for a while we are probably good on precipitation in northern California. I’d love to see it clear and sunny for 7-10 full days and see which rivers recover enough to come into shape. 

It’s alternative hobby time right now for fishing guides in Nor Cal. I think I can speak for most guides in that we get a little stir crazy when we are not on the water for a spell. I can make it about 3 days before I start to act like a caged Tasmanian devil. I’ve been keeping busy tying flies & glo bugs, cleaning out my boat (I found 2 “lost” cameras and a reel). I also just picked up a sick new KHS 29’r hardtail mtn bike that I’m jonsing to ride on Redding’s local trail systems. Currently, it’s getting more pave’ time than trails with all the rain and high water. Trail riding this spring is going to be incredible with all the creeks and waterfalls.   

The Trinity is toast for a while, I’m afraid. Usually one of the fastest to drop and clear the faithful Trinity River is flowing cocoa brown and raging currently. Rush Creek is recording 675cfs and still going up as of 11:30am Thursday… Below Weaver Creek in DC is recording over 5k. It’s gonna be a while steelhead fans. Water flows aside the clarity in both Lewiston and Trinity Lake now becomes a factor… stay tuned… I will be over there as soon as there is a hint of possibility.

The Lower Sac is still flowing brown and turbid. I live 30 yards from the riverbank and I walk my dogs every morning hoping to see more than 8” down. I’m not the only one who is anxious to get back out on this river. It’s gonna be a long time though, I’m afraid.

 Flows have yo-yo’d and currently looking at 15k and dropping (noon 2/9) it was over 30k a few days ago. Not sure why the Bureau of Rec is dropping the release at this point, although mega in-flows coming in downriver might have something to do with it? There is a lot of water management juggling going on and I’m sure some pretty tense gauge monitoring sessions.   

I’ve talked with a few local guide buddies who have put in 20-35 years fishing the Lower Sac - and have been in this situation before – they tell me the high flows 20-35K are a good thing right now and should aid in clearing the dirty water from the lake. When it finally begins to clear it may go from brown water to green – quickly – like over just a few days (I sure hope so!!). So even though we may be waiting for a few weeks… when it’s go-time… be ready to jump on it. These fish have had a long break from any pressure from anglers and the river might be something special when it becomes fishable again.

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