Lower Sacramento Fly Fishing Report: 03/29/2016

Water conditions can’t get better. Big rainbows are the norm. If you don’t get into a fish over 18″… you are not fishing the Lower Sacramento right now. Get more detailed reports including hot flies, best floats, and optimal fishing times by subscribing to my news letter here.

Nymphs; #6-8 Pat’s Rubber Legs, #14-16 Dark Lords, Yellow Oregon Cheese Micro Spawn

Dries; No Dries right now. Sucks. I know.

“Want to catch rainbow trout on a fly rod? Ask me about guided fly fishing on the Lower Sacramento. Proven experience. Most anglers want an enjoyable, informative and productive day on the river. It’s what I do: Call 800-669-3474 or send e-mail”

The flies listed above can be purchased here: The Fly Shop


Winter time on the Lower Sacramento usually coincides with reports of big rainbows, sporadic BWO hatches and possibly dry fly fishing. Daytime temperatures can be a warm 65 degrees. Rainy weather conceals your presence, offering an advantage for some anglers. This year, King Salmon continue to populate spawning redds, producing eggs that the rainbows of the Lower Sacramento love! Pick a day or two this spring and lets cast flies to rainbows, and maybe steelhead! Contact me:   Click here!

The Lower Sacramento River in Redding, CA. or “The Sac” is a year round wild rainbow trout fishery and a very good steelhead river. Huge, unknown numbers of  rainbow trout populate over 50 miles of river and the average size is a stout 16″.  If there is a best time to fish this river, I’m not aware of it. To quote Dennis “Popeye” Franco “the best time to fish the Sac is when you can get here”. I think he’s right. The best way to fish this river is out of a drift boat with an experienced guide. Wading this river is safest when flows are below 5,000 cfs.

The most productive method of fishing the Lower Sacramento with a fly rod is suspending nymphs under an indicator. The Lower Sacramento is not known as a dry fly river, but that is changing. Dry fly fishing is best in March through May and mid July through most of August. If you are after steelhead, these fish can be found as early as September and well into February. The best time is October through November for Lower Sacramento steelhead. If the crowds of the Trinity have turned you away from that river, I strongly recommend a Lower Sac steelhead experience. Anglers will catch rainbow trout, and possibly more than one steelhead going 22″ or more.


October is a busy month. Along with every fishing guide in Northern California, I take guests fishing practically every day in October. The fishing is good!  Many of my guests have been coming to the Lower Sac in October for over 10 years.  But few anglers come in August when I see what is usually the best fishing of the year stacked up daily for more than a couple weeks.  November, December, January and February produce excellent fishing, excellent experiences right in Redding or down river in the remote sections between Anderson and Red Bluff.  March offers incredible caddis hatches so thick that rafts of spent caddis can be seen floating downstream.  I don’t know what I would do without the amazing fishing March produces. We are so lucky to have this outstanding trout filled river right here in California.  Lucky in the understanding that many rivers like the Lower Sacramento can be found across the USA, but the “Sac” has wonderment like the Missouri, Mississippi, Columbia. The Sacramento has the hardest fighting rainbows, only the upper Sacramento rainbows can rival a lower sac rainbow. More than a “trout stream”, beautiful, olive, red striped, spotted rainbow trout, the most beautiful you have ever seen, are found in my landing net. Your rainbow trout will look great in a photo because two hands are regularly required to pose your full bodied, fat fish for a picture.  From the Sacramento Delta all the way up to the foot of Shasta Dam,  the fly fishing experiences this river offers are only limited to what, where, how and what time of year it is.  I have spent an immense amount of fishing time on the Sac over 8 years.  Not one angler has ever gone home without enjoying the bounty of this river. Every single one of my guests has connected with at least one wild rainbow.  I remember the day I almost had someone go home empty handed, but he caught a fish just upstream of the boat ramp.  Now that I have jinxed myself, it’s been an incredible 8 years!

Anglers that fish with me on the Lower Sacramento can expect a full day of fishing out of my drift boat. We can fish right in Redding or go lower in the system for a more rural, solitary fly fishing experience. The Sac is a great choice any day of the year!

Equipment: 6 wt rods are ideal. Bring a floating line. RIO’s steelhead/atlantic salmon line is the best! We will meet at The Fly Shop on the morning of our date. I can help you pick out flies then or contact me if you wish to tie some of your own.

The Fly Shop offers a turn key booking experience. They handle all the booking logistics so I can focus on just the fishing. Call them at 800-669-3474 to book a day with me on one amazing river!!

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