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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

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Dave Neal Reports on 3.11.2020

There are a lot of solid fly fishing options in Northern CA right now and through the months of March and April. My short list includes: the Lower Sacramento River, Trinity River, Upper Sac, Pit 3, Shasta Lake for bass.

Steelhead season is winding down. There are fish in the upper Trinity River and believe it when I say that February & March have been some of the best fishing we have seen all season long. The reason? The wild fish arrived and with the tribs too low they’ve been hanging out in the river with no place to go. That all may change this weekend when/if we see a return of rain. If the tribs bump… those fish will too! I wish them the best…it’s been a tough few months to be a steelhead in northern CA and they have places they should be.

Lower Sac is a solid option right now. Fishing has been what you’d expect in March with great weather… it’s ON. Water conditions are good, flows are good and many of the springtime bugs are active. PMD’s, BWO’s, spring caddis, along with stoneflies, large drake nymphs, midges and egg patterns rounding out the menu.

The Lower Sac should remain a top choice for anglers over the next few months…

For those walk n wade fly fishers who just wanna… the Upper Sac and Pit 3 can offer up some amazing potential right now. Flows are prime time perfect… just keep an eye on the precip headed this way this weekend. Heavy rain might affect the Upper Sac more than the tailwater of the Pit River below Lake Britton. Similar bugs to the Lower Sac with maybe more of a focus on general attractor patterns like Pheasant Tails, Price Nymphs (hard to beat the Gordon’s Prince), black midges, rubber legs, etc… along with any of your favorite tung. Czech nymphs you’ve been tying up all winter. 

Finally, Shasta bass fishing is really heating up. Yesterday, on the eastside of the lake I saw some of the warmest surface temps yet 55-58 degrees. I got into a mess of spots and some nice hard pulling smallies, too. A lot of fish still clinging deep in 30-40’ of water but plenty are willing on the float n fly as temps warm up in the shallow areas later afternoon. When I’m not trout fishing on the Lower Sac or running late season trips to the Trinity… I am out on Shasta Lake in the bass boat every chance I get right now. 

I have a few open days so take a look at my calendar online at or hit my contact info at the

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