Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Upper Sacramento
River In California
The Upper Sacramento River must provide the ideal
rainbow trout habitat. After a train car load of pesticide
was dumped in its upper waters in 1991, the river
recovered within a relatively short time to again become
a heavily populated wild trout stream without having to
rely on stocked trout. It's a very diverse river that has a
dense population of hard fighting rainbow trout. Fly
fishing the Upper Sacramento River is ranked at the top
of the better California fly fishing destinations.
The river begins from the flow through the Box Canyon
Dam at Lake Siskiyou. It ends at Lake Shasta, near
Redding. The total length of the upper river is about
Its first couple of miles are in the Box Canyon. Its a very
narrow canyon that flows to Ney Springs which is the first
access point below the dam. Numerous springs and
small tributary streams add to the flow. It is a beautiful
setting with springs coming through the walls bordering
the stream at certain places. The river widens below Ney
Springs. Fishing remains good down to CantAra.
At CantAra, the Union Pacific Railroad tracks begin to
paralleling the river providing access. From CantAra to
Dunsmuir more springs and small brooks increase the
flow of the river. It becomes more like a typical freestone
stream as it winds its way through canyons. This area
isn't fished as much as many other sections of the Upper
Sacramento. The river is closely followed by Interstate 5.
Just about any exit will take you close to the river. There
is a large tributary stream that flows into the river at
Mossbrae Falls. It is a beautiful, moss covered area
where the stream flows into a pool. The river continues
to increase in size from Dunsmuir to Soda Creek.
Access to the river in this area becomes much easier.
It's heavier flows become more difficult to wade. The
Soda Creek area is probably the most popular area to
fish for visiting anglers.
Below Soda Creek downstream to Sweetbriar, a distance
of about five miles, the river flows through Castle Crags
State Park. Fishing in this park puts you out of sight of
the residences along the river. It is about four miles from
Sweetbriar to Sims Road. Access is provided at Conant
and Flume Creek Road. The Sims Road area is another
very popular fly fishing section.
At Sims Road, the river widens as it flows through a
wider valley. There are numerous access points all the
way to Lake Shasta. The river is not unlike a large
spring creek in this section. The flows slow down and
become much smoother. The river gets larger in this
area. There are plenty of access points in this section of
the river. Gibson, Pollard Flat, Shotgun Creek, Shiloah,
Dog Creek and Lakeshore at Lake Shasta are a few of
The water levels of the river constantly change
throughout the year. The makeup is very diverse. There
are pools of all sizes, pocket water with runs and riffles,
undercut banks and a variety of other physical makeup.
Catching trout greatly depends on where you fish at any
given time and the particular methods, techniques and
strategies one uses.
Upper Sacramento River
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Except during times of high water and
Upper Sacramento River can be a little
challenging but it is usually very rewarding
Spring is an excellent time to fish provided
the water isn't too high. Runoff begins in
late April and can last to near the middle of
Summer is a good time for fly fishing the
Upper Sacramento River. In extremely hot
weather you may want to fish the higher
Fly Fishing Guide to the Upper The
methods and techniques for fly fishing the
Sacramento River vary from the upper box
canyon section to the lowest section above
Lake Shasta. The Upper Sacramento River
actually begins as two tiny streams that flow
into Lake Siskiyou. This is in reality, the only
freestone section of the Sacramento River in
the sense that everything else lies below and
downstream of a dam. The river really begins
below the Lake Siskiyou at the Box Canyon
Dam and is a tailwater although many want to
call it a freestone stream. The river flows for
thirty-eight miles into Shaska Lake.
The entire river is closely parcelled with
Interstate 5 and is accessible from almost any
exit. In addition, all but the upper few miles of
the river are closely parcelled with railroad
tracks, offering access to most of the entire
river. This requires some hiking but makes it
possible to fish just about anywhere on the
The uppermost couple of miles in the Box
Canyon is in a very narrow canyon that can
be accessed from Ney Springs. Below there,
it widens out some. The next access
downstream is at CantAra. This is where the
railroad begins to parallel the river.
One problem in fishing the Upper Sacramento
River is its clarity. The water is almost always
extremely clear and deceptively deeper than
it appears to be. There's a lot of small brooks
and springs that add to the flow between Ney
Springs and Densmuir. This part of the river
flows through some very beautiful canyons.
They seem to be rarely fished. From
Densmuir downstream to Soda Creek the
scenery changes from remote canyons to a
more residential atmosphere. This is a very
popular area of the river to fish. The same
setting continues downstream to Sweetbriar.
The Castle Crags State Park is a popular
area to fish because it is void of the house
along the river. Conant, Sims Road and
Flume Creek Roads provide additional
access in this area.
Within the next few miles, the decline of
the Upper Sacramento River flattens out
some and the water becomes smoother.
There are several access points along the
river some of which are Shotgun Creek,
Pollard Flat, Gibson, La Moine, McArdle
Flats, Dog Creek and Lakeshore near the
During the early part of May, melting snow
or the Spring Runoff, raises the water
levels to a point the river become difficult
or impossible to fish. The river is usually
takes until the first to the middle of June
before it subsides to a fishable level.
During July and August, the hot weather
can raise the water temperatures up in
the lower section of the Sacramento
River, and you are better off fishing the
upper sections. In September, the water
cools down and the action usually picks
Most of the upper river consist of pocket
water. You have riffles, runs and pools
that give it the appearance of a freestone
stream. In effect, considering all the water
it picks up along the way, it is a freestone
The generally accepted methods of
fishing in the Spring is to match the
hatches. During the summer, the surface
action subsides and nymphing becomes
more popular. High Stickin is the best
method to fish the pocket water with
Fall is the second most popular time to
fish the Upper Sac. There are more
hatches, including one hatch the river is
known for - its Fall Caddis.
Upper Sacramento River Hatches
and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Upper Sacramento River and in all stages
of life that are applicable to fishing. If you
want to fish better, more realistic trout flies,
have a much higher degree of success,
give us a call. We not only will help you
with selections, you will learn why, after
trying Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands
of our customers will use nothing else.
This stream provides a very diverse
population of aquatic insects. Blue-winged
Olives are about the most consistent of all
the mayflies and other hatches for that
matter. They start hatching in April and
continue off and on, depending on the
species, into November. The larger baetis,
size 18s, hatch mostly in April and May and
then again in September and October.
There are several species of smaller, or
Little Blue-winged Olives mixed in
throughout the year.
Green Drakes hatch in part of the river
beginning around the first of May and
lasting through June. This is not a very
heavy hatch but there are some present.
The next most consistent mayfly is the Pale
Morning Dun, or PMD. They start hatching
about the first of May and can last into
October. There are two species present,
but it is almost impossible to tell the
difference with the naked eye so that is
The Spotted Sedge is the most plentiful
caddisfly. There are more than one
species of them but it makes no difference
as they all behave and look alike. They
start hatching around the first of May and
last all the way into the first of September.
The next most plentiful caddisfly is the
Green Sedge. It hatches from about the
first of May to the middle of July. The larva
of this caddisfly is the most important stage
of life. Most anglers call it the Green Rock
The big caddisfly hatch, as far as anglers
are concerned, is the October Caddis.
These larger caddisflies are hatching when
nothing else of importance is hatching other
than some BWOs. True to their name, most
of the hatch takes place during October
although it can continue on into November.
The Upper Sacramento River provides a
good habitat for stoneflies. There are some
Salmonflies in the river that hatch during
the month of May each year. A larger hatch
of the Golden Stoneflies occurs from about
the first of May through June. The most
plentiful species of stoneflies are the Little
Yellow Stoneflies. Most anglers call these
Yellow Sallies. They hatch from the first of
June through the month of August.
Terrestrial insects can be very important
during the Summer on the Upper Sac. It is
possible to run into a flying ant fall anytime
during May and June. Don't bet the ranch
on it though. From June through
September, ants can be found along the
banks of the river. Grasshopper are also
plentiful from July through September.
Beetles can be found from June through
September and imitations of them are also
effective at times.
Don't overlook the mighty Midge. They can
hatch anytime of the year, but become
more important when the water is cold and
nothing else is hatching.
Streamers that imitate baitfish, minnows
and sculpin are very important flies to have
anytime you are fishing the Upper
Sacramento river. They work best during
low light conditions such as early and late in
Several of our Perfect Flies have been
tested and proven successful on the
Sacramento River. If you haven't already
tried them, we certainly hope you will. We
are confident you will be pleased with the
results. We have specific imitations of
everything that hatches on the river.
Fall is a great time to fish, maybe the best
time, with October Caddis and
Blue-winged Olive hatches. It is for
certain the best time for dry fly fishing.
On warmer winter days, the middle of the
day can provide decent action from
nymphs and streamers. Remember, it is
catch and release fishing only.
|1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Headlines: The river is a little high
but falling. Trout were being caught
before the high levels and we feel
certain that will continue to be the
case. Sculpin streamers should
work great right now, including our
Articulated streamers. Keep track
of the latest information by clicking
the above link to our weekly
updated fishing report. .
01/07/16 As you probably know, there is a lot of rain and snow in the forecast for this coming
week. The air temperature is actually a little warmer but the water is high, too high to safely
wade. It will probably continue to rise if the forecast holds up. You can fish from the banks with
streamers like our White Belly Sculpin. It works great under cloud cover conditions. Winter
stonefly nymphs and midges are the other options.
01/14/16 The river is very high even though it is falling right now. There is snow today and
tomorrow then rain for the next five days. The water will be very stained and start back up. We
see little opportunity for fly fishing this coming week unless you do it from the bank with
01/21/16 The upper Sac is very high, to the point most anglers would call it blown out. You can
fish it from the bank in areas where you can get to the bank. You will be fishing in rain than will
be heavy at times until Saturday. Streamers is the best option as long as the skies are cloudy.
You might fish an indicator rig with BWO nymphs, winter stonefly nymphs or midges when it
clears. The water is stained.
01/28/16 The river level is down from the blown out status of last week but still a little high. We
are expecting the levels to rise again due to the large amount of rain in the forecast and that will
be followed by snow through next Wednesday. The stream could probably be waded in some
places if one carefully picked their spots but extreme caution should be used.
02/04/16 The weather is turning a little warmer with almost no chance of rain for the next week.
That will allow the river to continue to fall, except for some effect from melting snow. We
recommend fishing the upper river. It is a little clearer but it is stained as well, just not as bad. It
should continue to fall and get better within the next two or three days.
02/11/16 The weather is going to be much warmer than it has been and snow along the banks
is melting. There will be a runoff effect but not drastic. The stain in the water actually helps in
some cases. Midges, winter stoneflies and little Blue-winged olives are hatching. The water
temperature will rise a little ant that will help as well. The Brown and White Belly sculpin are
good flies to use under these conditions.
02/18/16 The river is very high and dingy. There are two more days of heavy rain to come and
then the river should begin to fall back, hopefully, to near normal levels but we will just have to
wait and see. Streamers, fished from the banks and maybe, high sticking in some spots are
about the only feasible options. You will just have to keep a check on the water levels.
02/25/16 The river is back down to it's normal level for this time of the year. It is clear and can
be waded in most sections. The water is still relatively cold but Blue-winged olives are hatching
on cloudy days. MIdges, both cream and reds, and winter stoneflies are also present. The
weather is going to be warm and the water temperature should increase this week providing
03/03/16 There is a chance of heavy rain several days this coming week and rain or snow,
every day for the next seven days. The stream levels are high right now and will continue to
increase. It is going to be a while before the streams get low enough to wade. You will just have
to keep checking the levels.
03/17/16 The stream is still high and not safe to wade but is clearing up and falling pretty fast.
There is some rain forecast for the first of next week, but the levels should be much lower. Our
White Belly sculpin streamer is a good fly to use under these conditions. When it settles down, it
is back to midges and little BWOs.
03/24/16 We thought the river level would be down by now, but it is still high, too high to wade
safely. It is falling and there is only a slight chance of rain a day or two this coming week, so we
think the levels will be fine soon. Little Blue-winged olives are hatching along with the midges.
Right now, streamers like our Brown Sculpin, is a good fly choice.
03/31/16 The Upper Sac is finally coming into good conditions with warmer water that should
only continue to increase. The weather is much warmer with almost no rain and no snow. March
Browns will be hatching within a week or three. Little Black caddis should begin to show up in
the near future. Blue-winged olives and midges are hatching now.
04/10/16 Just about the time things begin to get into good shape, here comes another week
long round of rain. The river is fine now, with good clarity, but the warmer and rain expected is
sure to put up back up high and dirty. March Browns and Blue-winged olives are hatching along
with little Black Caddis, but you will just have to keep a close check on the stream levels.
04/17/16 High flows continue on the upper Sac. Most of it comes from melting snow due to the
warm temperatures. It is also very dirty and high stained in most areas. We expect this to
continue for the coming week, as the weather is going to continue to be warm. If you fish, fish
from the banks using streamers, but quite frankly, you odds will be pretty low.
04/21/16 The river is still down and clear with several aquatic insects hatching. Our customers
were able to catch trout the last few days and some on the dry fly. This probably won't last for
long, as three is more rain coming. The forecast calls for a chance every day for the next
seven. Right now, conditions are great. It is going to be a little cooler this coming week, but we
don't think that will slow down the hatches.
04/28/16 Good conditions exist from the headwaters to the lower end of the upper river. Two
good reports came in this past week from customers. There are more caddis showing and some
trout were taken on the surface yesterday. Stream levels are good, water color good and you
should have no excuses for not getting off the a good start.
05/05/16 About the time the stream levels were getting back down to a good level for fly fishing,
the rains set in again. There are flash flood warnings out for the next three days and you can
expect high stream levels again and continuing through the weekend. March Browns, little Black
Caddis and Blue-winged olives are hatching good but to little advantage to anglers.
05/12/16 The stream level is still a little high but the water is getting much warmer. Several new
hatches have started including Salmonflies, Golden stoneflies (about to start), Green Sedges,
Spotted Sedges and Pale Morning duns. There is little rain in the forecast for the coming week
and conditions should be very good.
05/19/16 The stream levels have come down a lot since last week's report. We had two good
reports from customers using our Sculpin streamers last week with the higher levels. Now, you
should be able to use the stonefly and mayfly nymphs until you see surface action, and then
switch to the appropriate dun or adult imitation of the hatch.
05/26/16 The river is getting into very good shape with much lower stream levels and clearer
water. the recent cool weather slowed the hatches down but they should pick back up this
coming week. There is no rain in the forecast and the water should get a little warmer. That will
trigger more hatches and more dry fly fishing. It looks like a good Memorial Day weekend for
those fly fishing the upper Sac.
06/02/16 The weather is much warmer and that will soon change the hatches, big time. The
stream levels are down and offering anglers plenty of wading opportunity. We are getting some
good reports from our customers. Little Yellow stoneflies are starting to hatch along with more
Pale Morning duns. Two species of caddis are also going strong.
06/09/16 The temperature was very hot this past week but is going to be a little cooler or more
normal for this time of the year this coming week. Our customers still reported catching a lot of
trout. The early morning PMD spinner fall is overlooked my many anglers. The late afternoon
egg laying activity of the caddis also provides some good opportunities for anglers to catch a lot
of trout in a short time.
06/16/16 Recent rain has brought the stream level up a little and close to normal for this time of
the year. The weather is returning to a more normal pattern. There are still a lot of insects
hatching and our customers are reporting that they are catching a lot of trout. Many are being
taken on the duns, or dry fly imitations. We recommend fishing nymphs up until you observe
06/23/16 The conditions have gotten better the past week. There is no rain in the forecast for
the next week, and the stream levels are in good shape. Hatches are taking place but vary
depending on the section. There are a lot of caddis, Greens and Spotted sedge caddis. Fish
the pupa during the hatch and the adult patterns when they are laying eggs late in the day.
Pale Morning duns are hatching good and producing some god dry fly action.
06/30/16 Good conditions exist from the uppermost section to the lower river. Lots of insects
are still hatching. The late afternoon egg laying activity of the caddisflies is bring a lot of trout to
the net for those who fish late. Egg laying little Yellow stoneflies are doing so as well. Make sure
you fish late in the day, otherwise, you will miss a lot of the action during the best time of the
07/07/16 The stream levels are in very good shape and the water clear. The weather forecast
is calling for cooler weather with little chance of rain this coming week. There are still a lot of
insects hatching and our customers are catching a lot of trout. Wading is possible in much of
the creek. The late afternoon spinner falls and egg laying caddis activity is producing a lot of
action for those who stay late.
07/14/16 The weather is turning warm again and the water temperature is high, as high as 72 in
places. Please don't fish water over 68 degrees. Not only will you stress the trout, you will find it
difficult to catch them. They become a little lethargic at high water temperatures. Head
upstream toward Lake Siskiyou to find cooler water, the higher the cooler.
07/21/16 The stream level continues to drop and it is low. That means you have to stay hidden
from the trout and make good presentations. Fish upstream as far as you can to find slightly
cooler water. Fish early and late in the day. The last two hours of daylight is bringing our
customers some good action. There are a lot of egg laying caddis and little Yellow stonefleis.
07/28/16 It is going to be very hot as I'm sure you know, but the cooler nights help keep the
water temperature down some. Fish early mornings and the last two hours of daylight. The egg
laying caddis should provide some action. Fish as high up towards the lake as you can.
08/04/16 The weather is going to be just a little bit cooler this coming week, but still hot. You
need to fish as high up the river towards the lake as you can. The water is cooler the higher
you go. There are still a lot of Pale Morning duns and caddisflies hatching. Fish early in the
morning if you can. The egg laying caddis are bringing trout to the surface to feed right before
08/11/16 The weather is going to be even hotter this coming week with no chance of rain. Fish
as high up as you can. Fish early and late in the day. There are still some hatches taking place.
Remember, PMD spinner falls take place in the mornings some times. They hatch just about
noon. Caddis egg laying is taking place the last two or three hours of the day.
08/18/16 The blazing hot weather continues. It appears it will be a little cooler later on in the
week. The only reports we received this past week were from anglers fishing early morning with
Sculpin streamers. The reported catching a few trout.
08/25/16 There is no rain in the forecast again, for the coming week but the high temperature
are down just a little. Fish as high up as you can get, the higher the elevation, the cooler the
water. Fish early mornings for the best results. Tricos have begin to hatch in the middle and
lower sections of the river. Morning spinner falls and later, hatches are taking place.
08/01/16 The weather is much cooler and that is a huge help in the conditions of the river. Our
customers reported some good catches the past couple of days. Those fishing the long
weekend should do well. Imitations of hoppers, ants and beetles are working as well as those
imitating the few hatching aquatic insects. Late afternoon egg laying caddis are bringing trout to
the surface to feed.
08/08/16 Although it has been cooler a few days, it is going to be hot again the middle to the
end of this coming week. Fish upstream as high as you can. The higher you go, the cooler the
water. Fish early and late in the day. Early morning streamer fishing has worked well using
Sculpin streamers. The last two hours of the day, caddisflies will be depositing eggs and
bringing trout to the surface.
09/15/16 Same story second verse. We wish we could report some precipitation and much
cooler weather but that isn't the case. Mahogany duns should begin hatching soon, but so far,
they haven't shown. Once the water temperature begins to drop, the fish will become more
active. Fish Sculpin streamers early morning. Fish as high up as you can get for slightly cooler
water. Egg laying caddisflies still provide the most surface action.
09/22/16 The coming week's weather forecast shows the weather is finally going to change. It
ranges from very hot to fairly cool, and indicates Fall is just around the corner. The water
temperature needs to drop a few degrees before the fish become very active. We still think you
need to go upstream a good ways for the best opportunity.
09/29/16 Much better conditions exist with the much cooler weather. The water temperature is
down and fall hatches of Blue-winged olive are already strong. These are baetis species. There
are reports of October Caddis hatching but it is still a little early. Our customers have been
catching good numbers of trout. Early morning and cloudy sky conditions make the Brown
sculpin streamer a favorite. Stream levels are normal.
10/06/16 The stream is in very good condition for this time of the season. Our customers sent
in some good reports just the past three days. The stream levels are normal and water
temperature down to where you don't have to be concerned about that. There are several
hatches taking place but they do vary greatly with the particular section of the river you happen
to be fishing.
10/13/16 Wow! Finally, lots of rain is on the way. The stream levels are normal right now and
you can easily wade most sections. That won't last long. There is a chance of rain everyday for
the next week and they are expecting heavy flows. You will need to go to streamers like our
Brown sculpin very soon.
10/20/16 Stream levels are back in excellent shape again. Our customers caught some nice
trout the past two days. The forecast for the coming week looks good and hopefully, good
opportunities will continue. The Brown Sculpin streamer is still the top big trout fly. It is best to
fish in during low light levels, early and late in the day.
10/27/16 The stream levels are very high and rising. There is more rain in the forecast this
coming week, so we feel certain they will continue to be high for a while. Sorry, but the river
won't be in condition to fish this coming week.
11/03/16 The river is still flowing very high from the recent rains. You will just have to keep
checking the levels to know when to fish. It should be falling most of the week but that's a
guess. We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week due to the high water
11/10/17 The stream is still flowing high, too high to wade safely in most places. It is dropping
and could get back down to normal levels soon. There is a little chance of rain the first of next
week. Blue-winged olives and Cream midges are hatching good. You can fish streamers from
the banks. Our Brown and White Belly sculpin have been catching some nice trout.
11/17/16 No reports from this past week. The stream levels are still a little high, too high to
wade safely in most places. You can fish from the banks and Sculpin streamers would be a
good option. Midges and Blue-winged olives are about the only things hatching at this time.
There is more rain in the forecast this coming week.
11/24/16 The weather is a little colder and there is rain and snow in the forecast for the next
week. The stream levels are very high, too high to safely wade anywhere. You can fish from the
banks. There are midges, creams and reds or blood midges hatching. There are some good
Blue-winged olives hatches taking place. Streamers like the Brown sculpin should also catch
12/02/16 The stream levels are in much better shape than last week at this time but still high -
too high to safely wade in most places. Midges, reds and creams, are hatching. You can fish
the larva and pupa fly in tandem for the best results. That works good under an indicator. The
Brown and White belly sculpin streamers are also a good choice.
12/09/16 The stream is in very good condition for the first part of December. There are little
Blue-winged olives hatching and lots of Cream and Red midges. The cloud cover is really
helping the "catching". The Brown sculpin streamer will work great. Winter stonefly nymphs
should begin to catch trout.
12/15/16 The stream is currently blown out. It will be a while getting back down to a fishable
level. All you can do is to watch the gauge. The good news is the weather is clearing up and the
rain ending today. It will be clear for the next four days, but then another round of rain will likely
come. Streamers will be the best option as soon as the water levels get back down.
12/22/16 The water levels are back down to near a normal level and in good shape. It is clear
though melting snow may keep it stained near the banks some. There is snow forecast
everyday this coming week. Midges, Blood midges (red) and Cream midges are hatching. Fish
the larva and pupa in tandem. Winter stoneflies are hatching.
12/29/16 Stream levels are dow a lot and almost low enough to wade safely. They should
continue to fall but there is a lot of snow on the banks. Don't slip in. That could be deadly. Carry
an extra set of dry clothes with you and it is best to fish with someone. Midges, and a few little
Winter stoneflies are hatching. Fish the midges with the pupa and larva in tandem, with the
pupa the top fly.
01/05/17 As of the time I am writing this report, the river is in good shape. Wading is possible
and safe in many areas. There is a lot of rain and snow in the forecast, so make sure you check
the stream levels. Midges and Winter stoneflies are the main insects you should be imitating.
Fish the midge larva and pupa in tandem. If the water gets a little stain, switch to Sculpin
01/12/17 The river is blown out and will take a few days to fall out. There's another round of
rain coming the first of next week. You will just have to watch the weather and stream levels. We
will keep you posted each week.
01/19/17 The river is still very high. The weather is much colder and there is a lot of snow in the
forecast, so we think it will continue to fall but make sure you check to see. When it gets down
reasonably low, fish the Black Matuka sculpin streamer. When it get down to lower level, fish the
Cream or Red midges, with the larva and pupa in tandem. You can do this under an indicator.
01/26/17 The river is getting into good shape fast. The stream levels are still high, too high to
wade safely, but that won't last long. It should be done in good shage soon. Fish the Black
Matuka sculpin while it is still high and Cream or Red midge pupa and larva when it gets lower.
New hatches will be starting soon, mostly Blue-winged olives, as the water is getting warmer.
02/02/17 The river is still high, too high to safely wade and it is likely to remain high for the next
few days. There is rain or snow in the forecast, mostly rain, for the next week. Some of it will be
heavy. You can fish from the banks, but that is about it. Streamers, like our Black Matuka
sculpin, may catch some trout in the high flows.
02/09/17 The river is blown out completely. There is more rain today and tomorrow and then it
will start clearing up. It will be a at least a week before it can be fished. Keep up with the levels
and our weekly reports.
02/16/17 Sorry, to have to give another high water level report, but I do. The river is not flooded
any more, and way down from the past week but still too high to fish. There is more rain coming
everyday this coming week and it is unlikely to come down much more. It will most likely get
02/23/17 The bad news is the stream levels are still too high to fish. The good news is the
stream is falling and there is only some snow coming until a shower next Monday. It should
continue to drop and clear up. Streamers, like our Black Matuka sculpin, will probably work
good at first. Midges will still be the most important insects to imitate.
02/29/17 The stream levels are down a lot but there is still rain and or snow in the forecast
everyday for the coming week. Fish above Dunsmur for the best opportunity. Little BWOs, and
Cream and Red midges are the most important insects to imitate. Sculpin streamers are a good
option. Fish the larva and pupa rigged in tandem.
03/16/17 There is rain forecast everyday for the next week and the stream levels are already
too high to wade and fish, for that matter. The water is highly stained. You could cast streamers
from the bank. The water is warm and the fish are aggressive. For decent conditions, all you
can do is watch the stream levels. This situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.
03/23/17 The river is blown out and the water ranges from pure muddy to highly stained. We
think this is going to be the situation for the next week. There is rain or rain/msnow mixtures in
the forecast for the next week. Please check back with us and check the stream levels. It will be
a few more days but most likely, but the discharges controls most of the situation.
03/30/06 The river is down a lot but still high. It is flowing at 3220 cfs at 7.64 ft. and normal for
this time of the year is 1700 cfs. It is still far to high to wade in any section. It will continue to fall
this and get into better shape. There are lot of insects hatching but they are doing little good for
fly anglers, just keeping the trout fat and healthy..
04/06/17 There is heavy rain in the forecast for the next two days and rain and snow for the
next five. The discharges and stream levels are back up high, too high to fish. All you can do is
keep in touch with us and check the levels. Fishing should be very good as soon as the levels
04/13/17 The discharges and stream levels of the Upper Sac are still very high, too high to
wade and too high to even fish from the banks in most places. There is rain or snow in the
forecast everyday this coming week but one. Hopefully, these conditions will soon change to the
good. All you can do is keep checking back with us.
04/20/17 The river is in much better shape than last week but still very high, too high to wade
safely. The water is clearing and dropping and won't be long getting into good shape. There is
some rain beginning Saturday but hopefully showers and not the heavy downpours. It shouldn't
be long before the water is warmer and lots of new hatches begin to take place.
04/27/17 The weather has finally cleared up and the stream levels are coming down. It is still a
little high, too high to wade in most places, but falling out fast. The lake level is getting in good
shape and the discharges and levels should be in good shape very soon. There are some
caddis, stoneflies and March Browns hatching. Now is the time to be getting down to business.
05/11/17 The stream levels are down a lot from the past week. The river is still too high to wade
in almost all sections but there is some opportunity if done with caution. There is more rain
coming, everyday for the next week but with much cooler temperatures. Fish above Dunsmur
for the best opportunity at this time.
05/18/17 The stream levels are down and the river in good shape with clear water. There are
lots of hatches starting to take place. Now is the time to be fishing the Upper Sac. Conditions
are great for this time of the season. Salmonflies, Golden stoneflies, Spotted and Green sedges
or caddisflies, Pale Morning duns and Western Green drakes are starting to hatch.
05/25/17 The bad news is the discharges and stream levels are back up from last week, and
wading isn't safe right now in any section. The good news is there isn't any rain in the forecast
for the next week and there are a lot of hatches taking place. You can probably catch trout
fishing from the banks. Check back soon. Conditions are going to improve for sure.
06/01/17 The stream levels are down a lot from last week, but still a little too high to wade
safely. Hopefully, the levels will continue to drop to good wading levels. There are a lot of
hatches taking place and fishing will be excellent when the level does go down. Some guys are
fishing in the few spots you can fish from the banks.
06/15/17 The stream levels are still in decent shape with lots of aquatic insects hatching. The
weather is turning colder this coming week and may slow things down some. Golden stoneflies
are hatching. Fish the Golden stonefly nymph under an indicator along the banks in the
afternoons. Hopefully, the stream levels will continue to improve.
06/22/17 The stream levels are down a lot from the past week and should continue to fall. The
water is mostly clear and in good shape. The weather is going to be much warmer this coming
week with no chance of rain. There are lots of insects hatching. We received two reports within
the last three days. Conditions are getting very good.
06/29/17 The river is in very good shape with good stream levels and clear water in all sections.
Our customers are catching good numbers of trout in all sections. There are multiple hatches
going on. Now is the time to be fishing the river. The weather is going to be a little cooler this
coming week with no chance of rain.
07/06/17 We received two very good reports from customers this past week. The stream level
are in good shape and there are lots of insects hatching. We have added terrestrials to the fly
list because they can become important at times. Fish as late in the day as you can. Much of
the best action is coming near dark.
07/13/17 The uppermost sections off the river are in good shape, with good stream levels and
plenty of hatches still taking place. There are lots of Pale Morning duns, plenty of Spotted and
Green sedges and some Little Yellow stoneflies. Some guys are getting some action on
terrestrials but we don't recommend using them as long as anything is hatching.
07/20/17 The river is in good shape, with good flows that allow easy, safe wading in most
places. Fish the upper part of the river. The lower section is getting a little warm. There are lots
of hatches still taking place. The water is very clear and it is easy to spook the trout. Stay as
hidden from the trout as possible.
07/27/17 The river is still in good shape, with good stream levels and flows. Wading is easy and
safe most sections. I'm sure you are aware it is going to be very hot. Fish early and late in the
day. Fish the uppermost sections of the river. There are plenty of hatches taking place,
especially Pale Morning duns and terrestrial imitations are working as well.
08/03/17 Other than the high air temperatures, the upper Sac is in good shape. The water is
cool and the flows are low enough to wade most places. Fish early and late in the day for the
best fishing action and to help deal with the hot weather. There are plenty of hatches taking
place. The upper river is the ideal section to fish right now.
08/10/17 Conditions are very good right now, with low discharges and good stream levels.
There are still a lot of hatches taking place. Some are using hoppers, ants and beetles and
there is nothing wrong with that except don't do it when something is hatching. You will reduce
your odds of success. This coming week should be a good one.
08/17/17 The very hot weather is back again. Fish the upper section of the river. The higher
up, the better. There are still some good PMD hatches taking place and lots of little Yellow
stoneflies as well as caddis. Yes, Carpenter ants, Japanese Beetles and hopper are also
working. Just don't fish them when there is a hatch taking place.
08/25/17 As I'm sure you know, this coming week will be a hot one. The middle and upper
sections of the river are still in good shape with water temperatures that are just fine. We
recommend avoiding the lower parts of the river. There are still some good hatches taking
place and terrestrials are also working. Fish as late as dark for the best results.
09/07/17 The stream levels are a little above normal, but safe to wade most anywhere with
caution. The water temperature is down a little and that helps. We received two good reports
from customers fishing this past week. There are still some hatches taking place and imitations
of terrestrials are also working.
09/14/17 The good news is the weather is turning much cooler. The bad news is, excuse me,
there is no bad news. The discharges and stream levels are steady and normal levels. The
weather is going to drop the water temperature down slowly and greatly improve the fishing
conditions. We received one good report from the past week.
09/21/17 The stream levels are still in good shape and the water clear and cooler. The cooler
weather has the water in much better condition. There are still plenty of hatching taking place
and imitations of Carpenter ants and Japanese beetles are also working good. We had two
good reports from customers fishing this past week.
09/28/17 The weather continues to be clear and cool. There is some chance of rain the first of
next week. We received on good report from a customer fishing this past week. He reported few
anglers are fishing. Conditions are very good. The stream levels are good and wading safe and
easy most places. There are still some good hatches and terrestrials are still working.
10/05/17 The river is still in very good condition in all respects. The weather is going to be clear
and free of rain this coming week, and the stream levels are at a good level for wading. We had
two good reports from customers fishing this past week. They managed to catch several trout
including some nice ones.
10/12/17 The stream levels are in good shape running at a normal level. That makes it easy
and safe to wade most sections. We received two more good reports from the past week.
Mahogany duns and October caddis are starting to hatch. Blue-winged olives are hatching
10/19/17 The river is flowing at a high level with heavy discharges. It is too high to wade safely
anywhere. The recent badly needed rain, created the need for heavier discharges. They
shouldn't last a long time. All you can do is check on the levels and fish when it drops back
down. Our customers were catching lots of trout prior to the high water.
10/26/17 The stream levels are back down to normal levels and have been for the past five
days. We received two good reports from customers fishing this past week. The weather is clear
and will be cooler this coming week. Conditions are as good as they get at this time of the year.
There are good hatches of Blue-winged olives taking place.
11/03/17 The weather is turning colder with rain and snow in the forecast most days this coming
week. The stream is running a little to high to wade today but should be down soon. It is
dropping down fast. The October caddis are hatching good along with Blue-winged olives an
Cream and red midges. This coming week should be a good one.
11/10/17 We received one good report from the past week. The water level is up just a little but
still okay to wade in a few places provided caution is used. There are good hatches of Blue-
winged olives, October caddis and Cream and Red midges taking place. Fish the midges with
the larva and pupa rigged in tandem for the best results.
11/17/17 The stream levels are up a little high but wading possible in some areas provided you
use caution. The water temperature is dropping a little and hatches mostly Cream and Red or
blood midges as well as Blue-winged olives. This weekend will be clear then rain and snow for
the next five day.
11/241/7 The river is down to near normal stream levels with wading safe and easy most places
provided some caution is used. The is heavy rain in the forecast. Creams and Red or blood
Midges and Blue-winged olives are hatching. Sculpin streamers continue to catch the larger
trout. Fish the upper part of the river above Dunsmuir.
12/02/09 The stream levels are back down to near normal levels and the weather should be
getting warmer in a couple of days. Sculpin streamers have been catching the larger trout.
Midges are becoming the main insects you should be imitating. Creams and Red (blood)
midges are hatching good.
12/09/17 We received one good report from a customer this past week Stream levels are low
but wading safer and easier. Midges are the most important insects to imitate but there could be
some Blue-winged olives mostly on cloudy, overcast days.
12/16/17 The river remain in good condition. Stream levels ra low but that makes it safe and
easy to wade. You do need to use caution to stay as hidden from the trout as you can. Midges,
creams and blood midges or red ones are hatching along with Blue-winged olives.
12/23/17 Conditions are good on the upper river. Discharges and stream levels are low making
wading safer and easier. Winter stoneflies and Midges are hatching. Fish the larva and pupa
rigged in tandem.
01/02/18 Good conditions continue. The weather remain nice and warm with lots of cloudy sky
days. The discharges and stream levels are low and wading easy and safe provided you use
some caution. Midges and Winter stoneflies are hatching.
01/09/18 Rain and higher discharges have brought the stream levels back up to normal labels.
Most sections can be waded safely provided caution is used. Midges, Creams and Reds or
blood midges and Winter stoneflies are hatching.
01/17/18 Stream levels are back down to normal levels for this time of the season but there is
more rain and snow coming this next week. Winter stoneflies are hatching good. Fish the WS
nymphs near the banks.
01/24/18 Midges, creams and blood midges (red) are hatching good. Fish the larva and pupa
rigged in tandem for the best results. You can do that under a strike indicator. Fish Winter
stonefly nymphs near the banks as they crawl out of the water to hatch.
01/31/18 Discharges and stream levels are low, and the stream easy to wade most places.
Good hatches of Cream and Red or blood midges. Winter stoneflies are hatching. The coming
week should be a good one. Fish the upper river.
02/07/18 The river is in good shape with good stream levels that can be waded safely with
caution. Winter stoneflies are hatching, even though the weather is relatively warm. Midges,
creams, reds or blood midges, and light green midges are hatching.
02/14/18 On cloudy, or overcast days, little Blue-winged olives are hatching good. Midges are
still very important. LIght Greens, reds and Creams are hatching. Rig the larva and pupa
imitations in tandem for the best results. Sculpin streamers are catching the larger trout.
02/21/18 The weather and water will be getting a little colder this coming week. Blue-winged
olive hatches should continue thanks to cloud cover. Midges will be the main insects hatching.
02/28/18 Conditions remain about the same as last week from a stream level standpoint, which
is low, but good for wading. Midges are still the main hatches taking place but there are Blue-
winged olive hatches. By the way, they do hatch at time when it is snowing.
03/07/18 Discharges and stream levels remain low making wading safer and easier. Midges,
creams, reds (blood) and Light Greens are hatching. Sculpin streamers, Aquatic Worms and
Skwala stoneflies are other foods you should imitate.
03/14/18 The river is running very high at this time, too high to wade. There is snow in the
forecast everyday through this weekend. The water and weather is a little colder and hatches
are slow. Midges and Skwala and Winter stoneflies are the most important isnsects to imitate.
03/21/18 The stream levels are okay at this time but rising fast. There is more rain and snow in
the forecast for the coming week. Be sure to check the levels before traveling far to fish.
Sculpin streamers, Midges, creams and light greens, and Skwala stoneflies are the most
important foods to imitate.
03/28/18 The stream is in good conditions but running a little low again. There is no rain or
snow in the forecast this coming week. Conditions should remain good all week. Midges and
Skwala stoneflies are still the main insects to imitate.Sculpin streamers work good early and late
in the day.
04/04/18 Discharges and stream levels remain low. Stay low and make good presentations.
Midges, Blue-winged olives, Skwala stoneflies and March Browns are hatching. The water is
getting a little warmer and more hatches will be starting up soon.
04/11/18 The discharges and stream levels have been high most of the past week, but are
back down to a normal level now and the water is clear. There are good hatches of little Blue-
winged olives and March Browns. Spotted sedge caddis will be starting any time now.
04/22/18 The weather and water is getting warmer fast. The stream levels are low, so be careful
not to spook the trout. March Browns, Blue-winged olives and a few Spotted Sedge caddis are
hatching. We expect several new hatching to begin within a short time, probably less than a
04/29/18 The stream levels continue to be very low but otherwise, the river is in good shape.
The water is getting warm fast and several new aquatic insects should begin to hatch anytime
now. This coming week should be a good one to fish the upper river. Just stay hidden from the
05/06/18 The river is still running low. You have to take some caution to not spook the trout and
stay as hidden as possible. There are lots of insects hatching, but it depends a lot on the
particular section of water you are fishing. This coming week should be another good one.
05/13/18 The river is getting a little low. You will have to be careful, stay low and make good
presentations not to spook the trout. Pale Morning Duns have started hatching. These will
provide lots of good hatches and action over the next few months. Remember, there are two
species called Pale Morning duns - dorothea infrequens and excrucians. Both are almost
identical and provide a long hatch period.
05/20/18 Conditions remain good, but the stream levels are still low. You have to be careful not
ot spook the trout. Stay as low and hidden as possible. There are still a lot of insects hatching.
There is a chance of rain everyday for this coming week and the cloud cover will be a big help.
05/27/18 Stream levels are still a little low but that makes wading safer and easier. You do have
to be careful to not spook the trout. Stay as low and hidden as possible. There are lots of
insects hatching and lots of trout being caught. The weather forecast for the coming week looks
good. It doesn't get much better than this.
06/03/18 The stream levels are getting a little low. You do have to stay as hidden as possible.
You have to make good presentations as well. Stay as low as possible and behind anything if
possible. There are several good hatches going on and the fish will eat. You just can't let the
see you or your fly line.
06/10/18 Conditions remain good. The stream levels are low and you have to stay hidden from
the trout and make good presentations. There are lots of insects hatching but they vary some
depending on the exact location you are fishing. All sections are in good shape and trout are
being caught in all sections of the river.
06/17/18 The river is running a little low, but otherwise in good shape. We are getting some
good reports. There are lots of insects hatching and terrestrial imitations of Carpenter ants,
Japanese beetles and hoppers are also working. This coming week should be another good
06/24/18 Conditions are still good. Stream levels are low and you have to stay hidden from the
trout. Stay low or behind something where possible. There are lots of hatches but they vary
some depending on exactly where you are fishing.
07/01/18 The stream levels are about the same as last week, and a little low. Don't let the low
water levels freak you out. The trout still feed as much as ever. You just have to stay hidden
from them. There are lots of hatches taking place and we are getting some good reports.
07/08/18 The river is still in good shape but parts of the lower sections are getting a little warm.
Fish the uppermost sections. Of course, fishing early and late helps you, the angler, but makes
little difference to the fish. There are still plenty of good hatches going on.
07/15/18 The river is in good shape in the upper sections. Some lower sections are getting a
little too warm to fish good. There are still plenty of hatches taking place and trout are still being
caught in good numbers.
07/22/18 The weather is getting very hot as I'm sure everyone is aware of. The uppermost
sections of the river can still be productive. The lower sections are getting too warm. There are
still some good hatches taking place.
07/29/18 The river is up a little from the past week but still low and a little warm but still fine in
the upper sections. There are trout being caught by the few anglers fishing. There is smoke
currently in the area.
08/05/18 The stream levels are still low and there's no chance of rain this coming week. The
areas has haze and smoke. Fish the upper section of the river. The lower section is a little too
warm. There are still plenty of hatching insects.
08/25/18 The heat wave continues. There isn't a chance of rain for the next week and there is a
lot of smoke in the area. If it clears, fish the uppermost section of the river. There are still some
good hatches taking place.
09/09/18 The weather is cooling down a lot and so is the water. This will greatly improve the
fishing opportunity. There's no rain in the forecast. The fall season will soon be here. Insects
are still hatching and the trout are still eating in spite of the low water levels.
10/03/18 The water is still low but otherwise, conditions are good. Fish the uppermost sections.
There are still some good hatches taking place and streamers (sculpin), and terrestrial
imitations are also working. The stream is low and you have to stay hidden from the trout.
10/20/18 the river is still low but otherwise, in good shape. BWOs, Mahogany duns, October
Caddis and Spotted sedge caddis are hatching. The water is a little cooler and that helps deal
with the lower flows. Notice the flows are near normal but normal at this time of the year is low.
10/27/18 The river continues to be in good shape with okay stream levels and good weather.
There are still some good hatches taking place. We continue to get some good reports. Now, is
a good time to be fishing the river.
11/13/18 The stream levels are still low but trout are being caught in good numbers in all
sections of the river. Midges, Blue-winged olives and Mahogany duns are hatching along with a
few Spotted sedge caddis.
12/06/18 Conditions are still good. The water is getting a little colder but good numbers of trout
are still being caught. We are starting to get a few good reports again. The recent rain has
really helped the conditions. Please note that the river is open above Pollard Flats. BWOs and
12/13/18 The river is in good shape except running low. You have to stay low and hidden to
catch them but plenty are being caught by those that do so. There is rain in the forecast
everyday this coming week. Sculpin Streamers are working good.
12/20/18 The discharges and stream levels are up in good shape and conditions currently very
good. MIdges, creams and blood midges, or red ones, are hatching good. Blue-winged olives
hatch at times as well. Sculpin streamers and our new articulated streamer patterns re catching
some large trout.
12/27/18 We have added winter stoneflies to the fly list as they should start hatching soon.
Stream levels are down but in good shape. There's no rain in the forecast this coming week.
Midge imitations should be rigged with the larva and pupa in tandem.
01/05/19 The river is still in good shape. The levels are a little low but there is snow and rain in
the forecast everyday this coming week. Be sure to check the stream levels. Midges, winter
stoneflies and sculpin streamers are the flies you need to be using.