Fly Fishing The American River – Intermediate


Fly Fishing the American River

The American River is a 23 mile stretch of water flowing out of nimbus damn eventually meeting the Lower Sacramento River. This relatively urban river is known for its diverse runs of fish and easy access. The American River’s relatively moderate slope and cobble/gravel bottom makes this river a waders paradise.

Species in the American River:

– Rainbow Trout (All Year)
– Shad (Spring)
– Steelhead Adults (Fall and Winter)
– Steelhead “Half-Pounders” (Fall through Spring)
– King Salmon (Summer and Fall)
– Stripers (All Year)

Characteristics of the American River:

The first eight miles below Nimbus Dam are characterized by runs and riffles. This is the hot area for winter Steelhead after Jan 1.

Below Howe Ave the river opens up into a deeper more lethargic American River. This area is The place to be for the larger Stipers.

Fishable Flows on The America River: Below 4,000 CFS

Most Productive Time of Year: Fall

Popular Floats on the American River:

– Sailor Bar to Rossmoor
– Upper Sunrise to Grist Mill
– Rossmoor to Watt Avenue

Recommended Reading:

– California’s Best Fishing Waters
– Fly Fisher’s Guide to Northern Ca

Licenses to fish The American River:

To fish the Lower American you need a current California fishing license, and a Salmon and Steelhead punch cards.

Access on the American River:

The American River has an abundant amount of access. The American River Parkway travels alongside the American river for miles. Although this pathway is more commonly used for biking and jogging it makes for great fishing access running the length of the river.

Watt Ave is another well known access point. Turn off of Watt and park under the bridge where it crosses the American.

Sailor Bar is located at the end of Illinois ave. although this is a popular launch spot for drift boats it also offers great wade access.

Upper Sunrise Dr. provides some great access as well.

Ramada Limited Hotel
350 Bercut Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Recommended Guide:
Brian Clemens – Norcal Fly Guides