Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report
The big news in northern California these past few weeks has been
the large wildfires… The Mendocino Complex (largest fire in
modern CA history) and the Carr Fire (6 th most devastating fire)
along w/ two others - the Hat Fire and Hirz Fire burning near Hat
Creek/Fall River and McCloud River arm of Lake Shasta, respectively.
The Carr Fire, which devastated areas to the west and northwest of
Redding, now stands at well over 200,000 acres burned and has
destroyed over 1500 structures, 1100 of which were homes. 8
people linked to the fire have lost their lives. The Carr Fire is
currently, 71% contained with the % slowly improving daily.
Air quality… Much of California is suffering poor air quality with the
numerous wildfires that are burning all over the state as well as
Southern Oregon. I think we will be dealing with this all summer.
We saw an improvement in air quality this last week as containment
increased on the Carr Fire - but with the Hirz Fire growing (burning
to the north) the smoke has returned, especially in the a.m. hours.
The air quality typically improves in the afternoon to evening with
the south wind.
Most of the days I have guided this past week have
been in the later afternoon-evening session and it hasn’t been bad
if that south wind comes along.
Fishing… I’m primarily fishing the Lower Sac and fishing has been
good to great once the caddis get active. There are also lots of very
small bwo mayflies in the early evening. The fish are aggressive
when you find them and in great shape!
The other night we fished the typical nymph rig hooking many
strong, healthy, wild rainbows that this river is know for. The last
45 minutes of the day we switched to a single dry fly (Mercer’s
Missing Link!) and hunted for heads. It was fantastic. Many big fish
were looking up and aggressive on the surface. These big trout go insane when you pin them on a dry fly! There are not many fish like these Lower Sac rainbows.
In addition to the Lower Sac the Pit River may be worth a visit soon.
This time of year and heading into September I really enjoy fishing
the Pit. Now that kids are back in school and families are mostly done
vacationing and camping around Burney the Pit can be a quiet place
where only the most ardent anglers venture. Bring your wading staff
and sense of adventure.
I’m also looking forward to returning to Clearwater Lodge. Fall River
area can be fantastic this time of year and the fish are now spread
throughout the system.
The recent Hat Fire gave everyone a scare burning right up to and all
around the Lodge. These buildings and cabins were built by PG&E in
the 1920’s. Not only are they are of great historical significance, but
the lodge operation is loved by many anglers and guests and has
been a popular mecca for fly fishers for years. Michelle manages a
special place employing a wonderful staff and great group of local
guides. This could have been devastating…
Once again, Cal Fire and other firefighters made a heroic stand
saving all the buildings and cabins on the property. Be sure to thank a
firefighter along with all first responders and LEO’s, utility workers,
etc… they have been working beyond the call this summer and we
still have a long fire season ahead.
Here are my next available dates. I would like nothing more than to
get back to work and take you fishing!
August: 21, 22, 26-31…currently we are floating the Lower
Sacramento w/ possible trips to the Trinity. Half-Day trips are
perfect right now.
September: *1-4 (possible dates) 11, 12, 17, 21, 24-27… trout
on the Lower Sac, Trinity steelhead.
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