January on the Lower Sac has been pretty excellent, and I only imagine it will get better in the coming months. The flies of choice have ranged from the good old rubber legs to bird’s nests to micro may’s. The folks I’ve been taking out have been hooking fish and, when I get casts in, I’ve got some nice ‘bows too!
The crowds have been fairly low too, which has been nice. Generally seeing about six to eight boats total, which is a lot better than when you see forty, ha!
So in the past month the Lower Sacramento River in Redding, CA has gone from 10,000 cfs to 30,000 cfs to 6,000 cfs to 5,000 cfs to 13,000 cfs! Up, down, and up again! The water levels have been up and down so much that the levels have literally changed in the matter of feet. Makes for some very interesting fishing. One day you are fishing leaders that mine as well be 15 feet long and then the next day you are fishing more normal lengths.
I would like to state, as a matter of fact, that fishing the Lower Sacramento River when it’s flowing at 30,000 cfs is crazy. And not just crazy… it is not as fulfilling as most fly fishing generally is. If it wasn’t for the fact that we just had a couple months go by where fishing was almost impossible, one might just have hung out at home waiting for better conditions
That being said, the fishing has been pretty excellent… so I guess that makes up for the crazy water!
Fly fishing in Northern California is a seductive past time because you can have days of supernatural experience and then days of outright frustration. Of course, even on the most frustratingly unproductive days, fishing is better than not fishing. And the past 8 days didn’t disappoint!
My wife and I were fortunate to have both sets of our parents (and some siblings) join us and our five kids over Thanksgiving week. We rented a house just south of Dunsmuir, CA and by sheer coincidence the house was located on the Upper Sac River. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a coincidence. I’m a #troutbum, after all.
My brother-in-law and I woke up early Tuesday morning and hiked down to the river with the hopes of catching some trout. Anyone who is familiar with the Upper Sac knows that the early morning (i.e., sunup) is basically time for casting practice. Those trout don’t seem to be super active until we’ve got a couple hours of light in and things warm up.