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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal Reports on 5.26.2016

We have experienced a lot of unsettled weather conditions in Redding and the surrounding mountain regions this week. Afternoon thundershowers brought some moodiness and cooler temps to the high country and there was even a bit snowfall on the lower elevation passes along hwy 299 going west and east out of Redding this past weekend.

The cooler than average temps have been nice for fishing and we could always use more water for the water bank this summer… I think a lot of aquatic insects are saying, “Enough is enough, let’s get on with summer already”. Up until the colder weather and rain we were experiencing some great dry fly fishing in the evenings on the Lower Sac, Hat Creek and Pit River… the cold snap put the kibosh on that. Summer bugs like summer like weather. Maybe we will say, “game on” again as the temps rise back to seasonal normal real soon.

Lower Sac

Still tough to beat the big river! Fishing continues to be lights-out in the right spots and peak bug hatch periods of the day. I’ve experienced the best fishing from morning to late afternoon, then again in the evening time from 6:30 to after sunset. PMD’s and caddis have ruled the day, with little yellow stones filling in as well.

Don’t overlook the shallow riffles and drop-offs. If you time it right and carefully observe the water you might just stumble into some big fish feeding in these areas, even mid-day under bright light. While these fish may not feel comfortable breaking surface and eating your dry fly… a dry/dropper is a great way to reach out and tap them on the shoulder. Presenting an emerging nymph just a few inches under water surface is super effective with a tungsten bead nymph and a soft landing dry fly like a #12 parachute adams.

In the evening time it’s a whole mixed bag of mayflies, caddis, stones and several different spinnerfalls in the mix… bugs galore. Bring a full arsenal of fly patterns and anticipate some great dry fly opportunities as the sun leaves the water at dusk.  

Pit River

Spent some time in on Pit 3 this week with guests from Clearwater Lodge. The #3 section is still a little higher it seems and cold. The water clarity is not great either… about 3 feet maybe less. Pit 1 has been running very dirty for weeks and it may be finally affecting the water below Lake Britton. Despite all this, fish can still be earned here and we got a few throughout the day in all the normal spots. We saw good numbers of little yellow stones, golden stones, caddis and pmd’s coming off all afternoon.  Plenty of bugs and things should only get better real soon.

I’ve got some dates open in June and would love to book them: June 1, 8-16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 30. Fishing should be very good on most of the Intermountain Region waters in the coming weeks.

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