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Lower Sac Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal reports 9.29.2016 

Autumnal Equinox has arrived and thus marks a special time of year to be excited about fly fishing in Northern California. There’s fall color popping at the higher elevations and salmon & steelhead entering our longer river systems at the lower elevations.

Evenings are noticeably cooling off and the mornings at sunrise are now chilly enough to warrant that cotton hoody or fleece pullover you left stuffed under the driver seat last spring. It’s a lot more comfortable to be out all day – fishing - and enjoying the wonderful wild places we have out our backdoors. Trout fishing, striper fishing and definitely steelhead re-con trips are all likely to pay off if you put your best foot forward from this point on… and go fish.

As far as guiding, I have been bouncing all over the north-state from waters near the Clearwater Lodge (Fall River, Hat Creek, and Pit River) and the venerable Lower Sacramento River here in Redding. Most of my time has been on the Lower Sacramento because it’s been simply THAT GOOD.

The LSac is fishing best on the warmer to hot days that we are still occasionally experiencing and this is due to the caddis activity around mid-day. I expect the river to go into a lull and maybe get a little scratchy once the cooler weather prevails. We will have a period between the summer caddis action and the much anticipated “egg drop” and sometimes this lull can spell slower “catching” of trout at the rate we have been spoiled on the last few months.  

The mighty Chinook salmon run seems to be running a little late this year, so maybe the egg drop will be a little later, too. Who knows?

Recently, there have been better fish reports from the salmon guys fishing downriver. Last week I floated the Balls Ferry float with a good buddy and we saw a lot more salmon rolling around than had been there the week before. The dudes in the Barge Hole were occasionally hooking up on kings so things should begin shape up soon as we start seeing more salmon in the upper river. When the digging ends the craziness begins…  

My fall/winter steelhead calendar is filling in fast. I’m now booked solid for October, I have only 3 days open in November and half my days are booked for December already… snap it!

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