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Northern California Report

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Dave Neal Reports on 5.19.2016

Lower Sacramento River

Still one of the best shows in town, the Lower Sacramento River right here in Redding, CA continues to provide us with awesome fishing week in and week out. Hatches this past week have been strong in the late morning and afternoon with intense pmd activity leading the charge. Caddis are out in good numbers as well and the bottom of the river (look at the rocks in the riffles) is loaded with various species of mayfly nymphs and caddis larva that will provide a steady flow of bugs for the coming weeks and months.

Many trout have come off spawning redds in recent weeks and are now back on the chow line gaining their strength back and recovering. 

Besides the occasional battle scarred trout we have seen many more bright and beautiful fish in the net this week. Fish that are in immaculate condition - fat, healthy, strong and full of piss and vinegar. The river system is incredibly healthy and fishing well at 6,500cfs. If you have not yet experienced the Lower Sacramento this spring it’s not too late - Get up here now!! Contact the top local guides (there are many great guides in Redding area) and let us show you the magic of the Lower Sac!!

Pit River

I spent some time on the Pit River this week with guests staying at Clearwater Lodge. We fished a couple spots in the Pit 3 section and the fishing was very slow for us on Wednesday. It seems that the river is a bit high, a bit cold, and a bit tougher than it should be for mid May.

We did see lots of bug activity in the afternoon, however, with midges, caddis, and quite a few stoneflies buzzing all around but the fish were very tight lipped. Maybe it was an off day? We hooked a few fish on random mayfly nymphs mostly while tight-lining and indicatorless nymphing - the grabs were very quick and light - not the usual aggressive eats this river is known for. I love the Pit and the feisty wild trout that live in it… So I won’t be licking wounds for long. I’ll be back on it as soon as I have either willing clients or a day off to fish it myself.

Hat Creek

The little creek is fishing pretty well in the mornings and fishing really well in the evening-to-dark session. The dry fly fishing this week has been awesome. I encourage you to stay till sunset and catch the evening stonefly event. Look up in the sky around 7:30-8:00pm and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacle of golden stones and salmonflies fluttering everywhere.  

Bring an assortment of your favorite big foam stonefly dries and don’t forget your dry shake powder (like I did). Go old school and lose the dropper nymph for a change… fish the simple single fly!  Cover the water and keep moving, cast to all the fishy spots and hold your breath… the blow-ups are worth it!!!

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