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Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal reports on 4.19.18

Lower Sac

Fishing on the Lower Sac around Redding this week was nothing short of spectacular. Each day was different given the vagarities of the weather. We experienced everything from sunny warm afternoons to cloudy, rain-filled periods along with an impressive 20 min hailstorm the other day… typical spring conditions.

Bugs life continues to be primarily mayfly and caddis varieties, however, we are beginning to see a few little yellow stones and the occasional big bombers… Pteronarcys California (or salmonfly) fluttering about. I would expect to see more of these bugs along with golden stones and drakes as we move closer to May and a more stable, warmer pattern. A few days of warm weather followed by some cloudy or rainy days are the ticket to a smorgasbord of different aquatic insects to emerge. The dynamic forces of nature will challenge anglers to be observant and adaptive!

On the cloudier days this week the pmd and tiny baetis came off in impressive numbers… Monday, in particular, was insane. We had blanket hatches of bwo and pmd’s in the afternoon and fish (big fish) were rising all throughout the river. We had some awesome high-five moments fishing dry flies to surface eaters. There has also been opportunities to swing flies as well… small sculpins and caddis emergers & soft hackles; so if you have a new trout spey or light switch rod, bring it, let’s fish a bobberless day on the Lower Sac.

Flows (as of noon 4/18) are still @ 3k but I expect we will see the river bumping up soon – whenever irrigation season begins.

Currently, the low flows have offered some excellent opportunities to wade fish the shallower riffles and flats. It’s been fun at 3k but personally, I’m ready for some bigger water! A large flow increase will change things by opening up more holding water and activate the flats with more current… basically hit the reset button on the river. Many of the side channels will be flush with water and can offer some fun side-trip walk n wade exploration. I look forward to higher flows, as it will also allow us to run longer floats in the drift boat. All that water below Redding will get more interesting under higher summer flows. Bring it on…

My next available dates are May 1-3, 15, 16, 18, 21-23 I would love to show you around the Lower Sacramento River. Let’s go fishing.

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