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Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal reports on 5.8.19

The  Lower Sac River continues to be a solid option in northern
California right now. Fishing was fantastic this week. We have been drifting the big Sac from Redding to Anderson as well as down through Cottonwood these past few weeks - fishing 3-4 different floats in order to keep things interesting. The Redding area and floats below Anderson are starkly different - each providing not only contrasting views but different experiences for anglers. The entire river is fishing well right now for wild trout but if you want to mix it up further - bring a streamer rod for side projects like smallmouth bass in the many trib creeks along the way. 

Bug hatches have been sparse probably due to the scouring 40K releases we experienced in early springtime… Despite that, fish are still keen on the classics: PMD nymphs, caddis and a variety of stoneflies. If you are observant you will see all three throughout the day and fish will eat your well-placed patterns.

Each day I continue to notice quite a few pteronarcys nymphs and shucks in the surface film and on bridge pilings. There are also more and more adult little yellow stones emerging along with a few goldens. The trout have been chowing on Rubber Legs in all sizes and patterns.
I have a few dates still open in May for drifting the Lower Sac… 14,
15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30. Get in my boat and let’s go fish. Another side observation… I’ve seen a fair number of salmon rolling and squirting up tailouts this week. I’ve noticed fresh ones in all sections of the Lower Sac that we have been fishing and I’ve talked with other guide buddies who have also noticed more of these fish around lately. I had a chance to chat w/ the survey crew the other day at Posse Grounds and they told me they are already seeing winter-run spawned-out carcasses along w/ fresh spring-run salmon in the river. They seemed pretty optimistic by these encounters.

Keep your fingers crossed that these past coupla wet spring seasons
(2017 & 2019) continue to provide these fish with better water
conditions and hopefully a rebound in numbers. Get up here before the heat of summer kicks in and pushes us out of the valley and up into the mountain freestone rivers (not a bad option either… the Upper Sac & McCloud and spring creeks… Hat Creek and Fall River will be fishing great really soon).

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