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McCloud, Upper Sacramento & Hat Creek Fly Fishing Report

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Ted Fay Fly Shop reports on 4.27.17


Celebrating a New Fishing Season

The holiest of days is close and I’m sure the twitches are settling in for all you die hards. As you know and can witness below the north state is experiencing the results of the record setting Winter. Current conditions on most of our rivers present marginal fishing until all this settles down. The nonstop march of storms from the Pacific is predicted to finally end and a normal Spring with dry sunny weather is in the long range forecast. 

Right now the best option for those who have to pay their respects Saturday is Hat Creek. I recently paid a visit to it and enjoyed the great work Caltrout has put into it’s restoration between Power House 2 and Carbon Bridge. Although hatches were very sparse I noticed feeding fish dimpling under the surface. The down side here is it will be CROWDED for the opener. Otherwise all the other local rivers are big and dangerous. The saving grace is all are slowly dropping so a window of opportunity will soon present itself until the high mountain melt starts when the weather warms. Recent info from the Forest Service snow survey shows the McCloud watershed water content running about 105% above normal and the Mt. Shasta content about 109%. 

The Upper Sac River should be approachable by this weekend for high water spots that open up when flows drop below 2000cfs. The McCloud River is pumping water out of the dam and is a beast. For those of you who just have to get on it be prepared for lots of walking/hiking between spots, it’s presently running about 1100cfs at Ah Di Na which is big (normally 250-300cfs summer). Attempting crossings on either river is suicidal. Figure hanging on a branch with one hand and casting with the other. 

Also, good news, the Lower Sac flows have dropped from 30,000 to a more manageable 20,000 cfs and great reports are coming in for fish being caught … nothing like a beautiful Spring day float in May for this river….give us a shout!

Now for those who are concerned about the McCloud River access to Ah Di Na and the Conservancy. I had a discussion yesterday with 3 different Forest Service administrators. They said they are attempting to open up the road and make it temporarily available for the opener by Friday. If the government doesn’t experience a shutdown they will then close the road next week and do a more permanent fix. They mentioned they have a very large tree blocking the road entirely and another washout past the Battle Creek culvert washout to deal with.


Stay tuned kids, more updates to follow. The up side on all this, fishing will be stellar all the way through summer.


Rick Cox

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