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Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Report

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Anthony Carruesco, AC Fly Fishing

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The Lower Sacramento River continues to fish well despite the weird weather we’ve had. The hatches have yet to really get going but the fish have been eating well, regardless. The fish seem pretty podded up in certain spots of the river so it is important to know where these spots will be. Still anticipating the Dry fly thing to happen soon. We’ve had some fun throwing big flies to some of the river Bass lately too. Fun time of year for multiple species out here. The Lower floats have been pretty vacant of boats.. although the fish are a little smaller down there, most days they are plentiful and the solitude is hard to beat. It’s a great time of year to be on this big tailwater.

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Hogan Brown, Hogan Brown Fly Fishing

Lower Sac Trout - With crowds up through Redding and Anderson I have been spending my time Balls Ferry down and even doing some floats as low as red bluff area. Fishing has been good it seems where ever anyone goes and no matter what the crowds are. Some days fishing is better then others but I get the sense that it is more weather and fish related then people and crowds. Fishing will remain good I am sure through April but as the fish began to get on the spawn on various stretches the fishing usually tends to slow down. Hot bugs have been rubber legs, various egg patterns, Hogan’s March Madness Nymph #14, and Hogan’s S&M PMD Nymph #16…along with a few other Lower Sac Staples. 

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Stripers - There is rumblings of the first pushes of migratory fish up to Tisdale on the Sac. I imagine though with the low water this year the migratory fish will not push to far up the river. I imagine that Colusa will be the highest we see the migratory schools of fish. That said I will be down out of Tisdale next week chasing migratory fish and up out of Chico looking for resident stripers and smallies getting on the feed. 

Open Dates:

  • May 2, 3, 23-25
  • June 22-26, 28-30,
  • July 1, 2, 6-10, 12, 14, 17-23
  • Aug 4-9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

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Dave Neal, Reel Adventures Guide Service

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The Lower Sac is fishing very well right now. Some days the fish are slow to wake up, while other days they’re super grabby all day long. We have had some great days on the river this week!

Springtime bug hatches are getting more active each week. The caddis have fizzled a bit lately, perhaps due to the cooler, overcast weather we’ve been experiencing off and on lately – By Thursday thru the weekend, however, temps will be back to 80 degrees mid day!

A little rock sampling here and there exposes a lot of bug life developing right now! The clingers & crawlers are maturing to pop in the coming weeks as we push further into spring season. In April… you should really consider taking some time off to go fishing!!!

All the usual suspects: stoneflies, mayflies, & caddis along with egg patterns are getting attention from fish. There are many wild trout coming off redds right now and returning to the feed lanes. The ones that are still “doing the deed” deserve our respect and restraint if you can avoid them.

Try #6-10 rubberlegs along w/ smaller yellow stones, #16 Gordon’s Prince nymphs, or black Silvey’s pupa Also, pmd, March brown and bwo mayfly nymph patterns are staples. Hogan’s S&M in brown and olive and pmd, brown RL #6-8, Flatulators in pmd and bwo, #16 Mercer’s micro Mayfly in brown, good ol’ plain pheasant tails, yellow micro spawn, or shrimp pink for eggs… Some days they’ll eat everything that you thrown down there.

This is a great time of year to experience the Lower Sac and particularly beautiful on the river right now. In the late afternoon - after a busy day of hooking these amazing fish – we’ve enjoyed the conclusion of our days floating quietly down the river, admiring the huge proud oak trees studded along the rolling green hills. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear a few wild turkeys wattling and yelping nearby and witness sparring osprey and red tailed hawks… maybe a bald eagle, too. Spring season is simply magical…

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John Rickard, Wild Waters Fly Fishing

It’s officially spring and we’re enjoying amazing days on the river. Fishing has been fabulous as we finish up our last few steelhead days of the season. What a treat to do a couple guide days in a rain jacket, we’ve been so used to low n’ clear conditions, high n’ brown seem foreign.  As we leave our beloved steelhead rivers and start to focus on trout, it’s time to throw some dry flies.  For those ready to dust off their trout rods, give us a shout and lets get out on the rivers.  The Lower Sacramento is fishing wonderfully as is the Upper Sac. Check out these great pics from last week.

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