Up, Down, & Up Again: The Lower Sac

Posted By Luke Geraty on May 10, 2017 in On the River

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! 

Friday, April 14. 

My friend Scott and I floated the Lower Sac while it was raging just above 30,000 cfs. The weather was gorgeous as it was sunny and warm… perfect for t-shirt weather. But the fishing was bleh. I caught a few fish but there were a billion people on the river and finding water that didn’t have seventy different boats trying to work the run was next to impossible. 

Monday, April 17

My buddy Mike and I were back at a secret location to catch some fish. The water on this spot was a bit high (1,000 cfs) but I was able to catch a disgusting sucker while drift a yellow stonefly (yuck!!!) and watched a 22inch+ steelhead(?) rise to my size 20 dry fly… and bend the hook


But the flowers were pretty. And I got to organize one of my fly boxes a bit. 

Sunday, April 23

So right after church, my bud Joc and I were back up to fish the 30,000 cfs raging Lower Sac and did pretty good. Joc caught a pig and I had a good time rowing him around trying to watch him catch a monster. He lost one of those but about two minutes later caught a good size fish. 

Water was a little off color and the river was just… SO FREAKING HUGE!! Argh. 

Monday, April 24

I had the pleasure of taking Larry out and we worked really hard to catch fish and to avoid the crowds… so we floated later in the day and basically just buzzed to a couple spots that have been producing fish. 

Annnnnnndddddd… Larry caught some beautiful trout

It was actually a lot of fun trying to put him on fish and coaching him on where to cast and getting to watch him make great casts and hook gorgeous ‘bows. 

Anyway… the good news is that the Lower Sac was starting to come down.

Next Generation Fly Fisher

My youngest son, Soren, is also getting ready to start hitting the water. Here he is representing with his favorite fishing hat by RepYourWater. He’s just too legit to not include in this update:

Monday, May 1

My customary Monday was spent with Mike trying to do everything I could to help him catch a fish. And boy was it hard work!!! Ha ha! Mike is super new to fly fishing and was due and finally he hooked and landed his first trout! 

It just so happened that it was the smallest trout ever landed on the Lower Sacramento River 😉 

Friday, May 5

My buddies Brandon and Jim and I went out and took turns rowing each other around the Sac and had a pretty good day. The water was about 5,500 cfs and the sun was out like whut! Trout, trout, and more trout… plus some deer!

Saturday, May 6, and Monday, May 8

I had the chance to take Jay and Amy out to catch some trout… although Amy was only with us for one day, she got to see her husband catch the biggest trout of his life (after loosing an even bigger one!). 

Jay did such a great job. He was already a proficient caster and his mending and stack mending only improved as he went on. We caught some good fish and I ended up loosing at least four fish that were each over 24 inches. Hard to land those fish on a freaking microscopic nymph and light tippet. 

Well… onto the next adventures. I’ll try and post more details and more often…




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