The Upper Sacramento is in great shape.

The Fly Shop

Report Date:

Current River Conditions:
Fishing can be tough. It's been the more experienced angler that has been generating the best reports (funny how that is). How many fish are being caught? Some are getting into more than 8, others are reporting working hard for one. Fish the lower sections, near Shasta Lake in the mornings through mid day. Check out the upper river near Dunsmuir in the late afternoon. This river is rarely in great shape at this time of year. Go give it a try so you can say you fished it in late December!

Insect hatches include BWOs and baetis. Basically small olive and/or brown flies in #16-20. Midge patterns in black, red, green will produce at this time of year. Stoneflies molt at this time of year, often floating downstream as they shed a layer off their exoskeleton. The best flies to throw are Zack's Thurmanator Dark Stone and Skwalla Stone, Pat's Brown Rubber Legs in #6-8. Bring a few #16-18 pheasant tails, a selection of midges and a couple olive micro-mayflies.

Click here for up to date Upper Sacramento River flows

The Fly Shop's  Tips:
When nymphing on the Upper Sacramento River, always use double the amount of shot in order to get the flies down to the fish in the faster, bubbly water. If a run calls for one SSG, put on two. If you're not ticking the bottom from time to time (yes, this means losing a few flies), you're probably not getting down to where the fish are feeding. Fish with lighter split shot, like a BB, and not so deep in the early mornings and later afternoon to early evening when rainbow trout are off the bottom of the river seeking food. Use stronger tippet like 2X-3X for bigger flies in the #6-10 range, 4X for smaller #16-18. Keep your first fly within 6-8 inches of your split shot. Stronger tippet means fewer flies will be left on the bottom of the river. Sink tip lines with streamers attached are a good plan when there is room to cast.

River Fact:
On the evening of July 14, 1991, a derailment on a horseshoe curve known as the "Cantara Loop" on the railroad north of Dunsmuir resulted in the release of approximately 19,000 gallons of metham sodium spilled into the Sacramento River. The biocide killed every living thing in the river for a distance of some 38 miles, devastating a popular fly fishing area--one of the most severe toxic spills in U.S. history. The Upper Sacramento River is now largely recovered from the spill.



• Parachute Adams #14-16
• Parachute Profile Spinner BWO
• Royal Wulf #10-14
• Elk Hair Caddis #16-18
• Adams #16-18

Nymphs/Wet Flies:
• Dark Lord's #14-16
• Posse Bugger #10-14
• Bottom Roller Psycho-Rycho
• Red Copper John #14-18
• Zebra Copper John #14-18
• Zebra Midge #16-20 Black
• GB Birds Nest #12-14
• Gordon's Amber Wing Prince
• Pat's Rubber Legs Brown #6-8
• Zack's Thumanator Stone
• Micro Poopah Black
• Poxyback Golden Stone #8-14
• Micro Mayfly #14-18

• Wooley Buggers
• Muddler Minnow #10

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