Fish Report 2/6/19
Trinity River
Lower Sac

By Dave Neal

Trinity River Steelhead-
We've had some turbulent storms this past week in Northern California.
The results of these storms have us slightly ahead (2”) of "normal" for
rainfall and looking good for water content in the snowpack. Woot Woot.
This is great news for salmon, steelhead and wild trout fisheries all over
California and especially here in the North state. Perhaps we are finally
looking into the rearview mirror at the drought that has plagued us for
many years?
Steelhead fishing on the  Trinity River was pretty solid last week before the
biggest storms blew out the river for a couple days. Every day was different
but we saw decent numbers of adult steelhead hooked each day… all of
which were wild fish.
Flows in DC are steadily dropping around the 700cfs mark (below Weaver
Creek) and 450cfs above Weaver Creek... viability was about 2’ yesterday.
Flows in JC are still on the big and pushy side of 1200cfs so it may take until
the weekend for the lower drifts to be best but really the clarity is the main
issue more than the flows… green and 2-3’ of viz is perfect, even if above
The upper Trinity River is well known to drop quickly and clear up fast once
it stops raining – this river is one of the fastest clearing rivers in CA next to
the Smith River.
I will continue guiding the Trinity through Feb and even into March as
conditions are suitable and there are fishable numbers of steelhead.

Lower Sacramento Trout-

We have begun to fish a bit more on the Lower Sac recently. As we move
further into February I get increasingly excited about the Sac. A lot of my
clients (still) have steelhead on the brain - but the Sac offers a fantastic Plan
B option right now.
Before this latest cold weather snap we experienced fantastic caddis action
during midday last week. Once the weather turns warm again and we have
those sunny afternoons - I’d expect to see the caddis migrations return,
along with bwo and other mayflies.
I’m getting excited about spring season and I look forward to some of the
best fishing of the year on the Lower Sac beginning in late February and
continuing through March, April and May. We see some of the most
diverse and intense insect hatches of the year during spring and early
summer on this river… BWO, PMD, drakes, Yellow Sally stones, Giant
Salmonfly, goldens, as well as spring caddis and plenty of midges, etc.
If you have never experienced this river or it’s been a few years, consider
booking a trip this spring and see what the fuss is all about.
Wild trout in this river average 17” with lots of 19”-23” fish caught daily…
20-50 hookups are not uncommon. It is without question one of California’s
most prolific wild rainbow trout fisheries.
What makes these fish so special is the fact that their pedigree is
descended from the native steelhead of this region. Once prolific in the
greater Sacramento system, steelhead have been hampered from the
construction of dams at both Keswick and Shasta Lake. While these
impoundments have prevented native steelhead from reaching their
ancestral headwaters in the McCloud River, Upper Sacramento, Pit River
(and other streams) the unintended consequence has been creating a
world class wild trout fishery; a river with a super species of wild rainbow
trout. These wild trout have flourished in the creation of the tailwater
fishery we now call the Lower Sacramento River.
Water beneath the Dams runs consistent and clean at a very cold 53
degrees… all year long! Even during the hot summer months that Redding is
famous for. The water is nutrient rich with abundant insect diversity with all

major hatches represented from mayflies to caddis and stoneflies along
with midges and other aquatic life such as small fry and baitfish.
The Lower Sac is a big river and is perfect for fly fishing from drift boats.
Floating the river with a competent guide is one of the most effective ways
to cover the water and reach the fast and deep holding areas that these fish
prefer. The indicator nymphing technique primarily used on the river has
evolved over decades of fishing and is popularly utilized.
Modern times have presented new techniques and options for fishing here.
Wade fishing in prime spots, at certain flows and particular times of the
year can also be effective. Often, during the hot summer months I like to
get clients out of the boat to wade fish a few times during the day. The boat
offers great access to many runs not reachable by foot. This offers a fun
perspective and a great opportunity to cool off or just fish particular
situations like dry flies or short line nymphing techniques more effectively.
I will write more about the Lower Sacramento River in upcoming posts… for
now feel free to explore my website for information or contact me directly
for questions.

*Dates available in February...19-21, 27, 28
March... 7-16, 18-22, 25, 26, 28, 29

David Neal
Reel Adventures Guide Service
PO Box 990496, Redding, CA 96099
(760) 914-0465
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