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McCloud River Fly Fishing Report

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Rick Cox reports on 9.28.18

The Delta Fire

Fires, fires have been the theme this summer. First the Carr Fire that devastated Redding, then the Hirz Fire that threatened the McCloud River and now the Delta Fire which engulfed the lower section of the Upper Sacramento River and I-5. My trip to the North Umqua and Montana was cut short by the alarming threat of the Delta Fire as it spread rapidly along I-5 in an area that hadn’t seen a fire for over a 100 years.


 Fortunately, the first two are out and the Delta Fire is now at 98% containment. We are finally seeing smoke free days but on the downside, the fires have had a toll on the forest. With winter approaching we can only hope that the McCloud and Upper Sac River watersheds don’t suffer too bad …. time will tell. For the moment though conditions look good for an excellent Fall season here.

The McCloud River

The McCloud River is having a very good showing of Browns. With the cooling nights and days, Fall is the wake-up alarm that triggers these brutes into an active mode in preparation for their spawning later in November/December. 


The Rainbows are waking up also and have received the getty up memo as the water temps drop and the bugs start showing. Expect the hatches to ramp up soon, not seeing any October Caddis yet but any time they will start migrating off the bottom and moving towards the bank. Nymphing and streamers have been the ticket for success, fish deep for nymphs, the clarity is about 3-4 ft. and put a heavy sink tip on for those deep pools. Most productive bugs have been LBS and a variety of streamers. Big bushy dries can work too, seeing a lot of looks along with an occasional suicidal grab. 

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