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Lower Sacramento and Trinity Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal Reports on 2.8.2018

Despite the fact we REALLY need some rain and snow to fall in Northern California I cannot complain with the weather lately. These past few weeks have been PERFECT fishing weather (that is if “perfect” means mild, cool-to-warm, with an abundance of sunny afternoons, temps in the 70’s). 

As an added bonus our local rivers have not been particularly busy lately. Many of the coastal steelhead rivers have been in shape, so understandably this draws guides and anglers to the coastal regions. I’ve had many guide days on the Trinity and Lower Sacramento where it seemed like we were the only boat out there.

Beautiful sunny days and uncrowded waters… what’s not to love?

As far as fishing conditions it has been fair-to-good-to-great depending on the day and nuances and usual variables.

Mayfly activity on both the Trinity and LSac has been strong…bwo, pmd, callibaetis, and MB’s. Caddis are prolific in some sections of the LSac right now as well, too.

The Trinity River has been slow to steady - getting a few adult steelhead (mostly wild) to the net each day. Some days we find more than a few. Most days it takes a lot of drifts and covering a lot of water to find a fish here, and a fish there. But you know, isn’t that exactly how steelhead fishing always seems to be?

Currently, we have been nymphing small stonefly and mayfly patterns throughout the day. I carry a couple 6wt rods rigged with dry flies in my boat - everyday - this time of year. The afternoon mayfly action has been awesome in certain sections of the river. Timing of the hatch and being at the right place/right time is the crux to finding surface players. There are some extra special opportunities for dry fly fishing right now… seek it and dig it. Have some small bwo, crippled callibaetis, or MB patterns at the ready.

The Lower Sac has been a bit moody lately with good days followed by very scratchy days. It can be hit or miss out there right now. Some runs seem completely void of fish, while other spots will save the day. Gotta keep moving and adjusting the fly patterns till you find what they like.

I’m seeing several different smaller mayfly species coming off late morning and afternoon. Some days the hatch is weak but will go all day long. I experienced huge waves of caddis last week in town and below Anderson with smaller trout rising everywhere taking the pupa just below the surface. We saw March Browns coming off late afternoon a few weeks ago on lower floats as well - with occasional fish crushing them on top. There are some dry fly opportunities if you keep your eyes peeled. Look in the shallow riffles.

I have a few open days the next few weeks and would love to get you and yours out on the water. I am not just a fly fishing guide - but an instructor as well – going on 18 seasons. I enjoy teaching new and young anglers and have plenty of experience showing the seasoned angler a few new tricks. February 12, 20-23, 26, 27  is open for the Trinity or Lower Sac.

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