North Platte, Wyoming

Biggest Rainbows and Browns in the lower 48

Wyoming’s North Platte River is one of the best trout rivers in the United States, with an average of 5,000-plus fish per fishable mile of water. These waters provide a fly-fishing experience that is unique. It fishes well in April and November when most of the lodges in the Rockies are closed. The lodge we use, the North Platte Lodge, lies just above the banks of, and has access to, a 14-mile stretch of river that is almost entirely privately held. Trout from the North Platte are famous for being tremendous, acrobatic fighters. Many of the rainbows and browns are in the 5 to 6 pound class, testing not only your skill but your courage, as well. The fishing is both surface and subsurface. If the weather cooperates, there is superb top water action. The owners and guides for this trip are terrific. They’ll take care of you and put you onto plenty of fish. This is a great value – price includes five nights’ lodging, fishing license, flies, leaders, tippets, guided days on the North Platte and two private creeks, and transportation from Casper airport to the lodge. If you’ve ever dreamed about catching big fish, this is a spot to consider, especially if you have an itch to throw a line in the early or late season.

North Platte Rods and Reels:
All-Purpose Rod:  Diesel 590-4 All-Purpose Trout
Streamer Rod:  Diesel 690-4 Streamer Rod
Trout Spey:  Diesel 5110-4 Trout Spey/Switch
Single Hand Fly Reel:  Diesel 5/6 Fly Reel
Trout Spey Fly Reel:  Diesel 7/8 Fly Reel
Leaders/Tippet:  0-5x

Flies: 
Nymphs:
– San Juans
– Scuds
– BH Pheasant Tails
– Midges
– BH Hare’s Ears

Streamers:
-Buggers
– Leeches
– Zonkers
– Small Intruder style flies

Dry Flies:
– Elk Hair Caddis
– Parachute Adams
– Stimulators

Smith River, Montana

Fluttering caddis & nervous riffles

The Smith River trip is a retreat into the interior of Montana, amidst hidden canyons, quiet waters and enchanted moments where angler and trout are joined in the stillness of river music. Lewis and Clark Expeditions will escort you through 60 miles of this Montana wilderness in the company of graceful raptors, arching rainbows and the stealth movement of elk and deer. Stoneflies and caddis flutter atop nervous riffles leading trout into temptation Mayflies float languidly down the canyon walls as large brown trout rise deliberately to sip them. The Smith unfolds her mysterious moods with each new bend in the river. On sturdy Avon rafts, we drift along and float past ancient pictographs from Native American Shaman, reminding us of our links to the past. You’ll be mesmerized by the effortless glide of the Bald Eagle. The trip through the Smith River Canyon is an opportunity to trace your footsteps in both the best of yesterday and today. By any measure, this trip is among the most profoundly exhilarating experiences to be had in the American West. You will float along the banks of this historic river for five days, camp among the stars and bond with your past.

Smith River Rods and Reels:
All-Purpose Rod:  Diesel 590-4 All-Purpose Trout
Streamer Rod:  Diesel 690-4 Streamer Rod
Trout Spey:  Diesel 5110-4 Trout Spey/Switch
Single Hand Fly Reel:  Diesel 5/6 Fly Reel
Trout Spey Fly Reel:  Diesel 7/8 Fly Reel
Leaders/Tippet:  0-5x

Flies:  

Nymphs:
– San Juans
– Prince Nymphs
– BH Pheasant Tails
– BH Hare’s Ears

Streamers:
– Buggers
– Leeches

The Rogue River

While typically thought of as a “half pounder” fishery (these being hard fighting sexually immature steelhead that enter the lower river by the tens of thousands) our home river the Rogue is also a prolific producer of adult summer and winter steelhead as well as fall Chinook.

Ashland and the Upper Rogue:
Located a mere 45 minutes from the prime summer steelhead waters of the upper Rogue, Ashland provides a charming, civilized hub for fishing the Rogue. Prime summer steelhead fishing extends from August through November and can be incredibly productive for anglers of all skill levels. With many fine restaurants, elegant accommodations, theater and shopping, this has become a popular fall destination for couples. Truly one of the only places in the world where you can put in a full
day on the river, enjoy a gourmet meal on the town and then catch a play all in one day. Rate: Day floats average $400 per day

Wild and Scenic Rouge Floats:
This is the classic 50-mile float trip through Oregon’s most famous section of “wild and scenic” river. This is the heart of the state’s best “half pounder” fishing where anglers of all skill levels can enjoy excellent fishing from September through mid-November. Rife with whitewater, stunning scenery wildlife, and great fishing, this is one of the west’s truly classic trips. Accommodations are at three distinct lodges along the way. Rate: $1,485 per person for a 3 night/4 day float trip

Winter Steelhead and Fall Chinook:
For anglers keen to fish for winter steelhead we recommend March and April for the upper river and February and March for the Rogue’s prime tributary the Applegate. If you are after the ultimate tug of fresh Chinook salmon on the lower river think about August and September. For all of the above we can get you set up with the region’s best guides and help you select accommodations that meet your criteria and budget. No one knows our backyard like we do so be sure to call us when planning your next trip to Southern Oregon.

Rogue River Rods and Reels: 

All-Purpose Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 7136-4
Summer Steelhead Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 6126-4
Double Hand Fly Reel:  Diesel Chrome Fly Reel
Double Hand Fly Line:  Scandi Fly Lines
Single Hand Rod:  Diesel 7100-4
Single Hand Reel:  Diesel 7/8 Fly Reel

Flies: 
Classic Steelhead flies are a must! 
– Green Butt Skunks
– Silver Hiltons
– Blue Charms
– Purple Perils
– Polar Shrimp
– Buggers
– Intruder style flies
– Hoh Bo Spey

Nymphing Flies:
– Glo Bugs
– Prince Nymphs
– Rubber Legs
– Steelhead Lightning Bugs
– Stoneflies
– BH Hare’s Ears

The North Umpqua River

A wonderfully infectious river: glossy green tailouts, lichen covered cliffs, towering Douglas firs and a super-race of summer steelhead that rise to skated dries. Many consider the North Umpqua the graduate school of steelhead streams. More like a temptress, really, with beauty and mystique apparent to all, yet secrets understood by only a dedicated few. Appreciation for this river slips into your soul, and seduces you into becoming a better angler.

The North Umpqua’s 32 miles of “fly only” water are among the most radically regulated waters in the West and prohibit the use of weight throughout the prime summer months. For those who seek the challenge and rewards of catching a steelhead on a dry fly, this is the ultimate playing field. We have enlisted the river’s finest guides including Tony Wratney, Scott Howell, Mike Peters and Rich Zellman. Their knowledge and dedication to the North Umpqua are unsurpassed and days spent with them are intense, physical, and more often than not rewarding.

North Umpqua River Accommodations:
With accommodations at the historic and refined Steamboat Inn, this is a classic steelheading experience unlike any other. Due to the comfort and amenities provided by the Steamboat Inn, the many hiking trails, nearby wineries and proximity to Crater Lake National Park, this is also a great getaway for non-angling, nature-loving companions.

Additional accommodation options are available including the Steamboat rental houses, Illahee Inn, and the Dogwood Motel. Please call for details.

North Umpqua Season: June – October

North Umpqua Fish Species: Summer steelhead

North Umpqua Rods and Reels:
All-Purpose Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 7136-4
Summer Steelhead Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 6126-4
Double Hand Fly Reel:  Diesel Chrome Fly Reel
Double Hand Fly Line:  Scandi Fly Lines
Single Hand Rod:  Diesel 7100-4
Single Hand Reel:  Diesel 7/8 Fly Reel

Flies: 
– Green Butt Skunks
– Silver Hiltons
– Blue Charms
– Purple Perils
– Polar Shrimp
– Buggers
– Intruder style flies
– Hoh Bo Spey

 

The Deschutes River

The Deschutes has the distinction of being one of the West’s best rainbow trout fisheries, as well as being a world-class steelhead river. Fishing for the famed “redsides” which range from 12-20 inches, can be good throughout the year. The steelhead fishing gets going as early as July on the lower river and peaks on the upper river from mid September through October. Typical flows range from 3,000 – 5,500 cfs. Drift boats are used for transportation but no fishing is allowed from the boat. Wading is tough so be well prepared with cleated boots, wading belt and a good staff.

Deschutes River Accommodation:
We work closely with several outfitters for this river.  Please contact us and we’ll happily give you are recommendations.

Deschutes River Clothing:
Warm socks, polar fleece pullovers or sweaters, warm hat, warm fishing gloves, sun-gloves, sun hat, wet wading gear with neoprene socks for mid summer, waterproof wading jacket, synthetic long underwear and fleece pants, quick dry clothing including shorts. Bring comfortable clothes for camp and rugged shoes, and sandals for mid summer.

Deschutes River Climate:
Due to the dessert setting, climate varies widely from day to day, hour to hour and season to season. Come prepared for everything. Mornings are often very cold and mid day can be very hot. Wind is also a big factor due the variable weather conditions. Inexperienced anglers may benefit from overloading their rods by one line weight in windy conditions. Always bring rain gear regardless of season.

Deschutes River Rods and Reels: 
All-Purpose Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 7136-4
Summer Steelhead Double Hand Rod:  Diesel 6126-4
Double Hand Fly Reel:  Diesel Chrome Fly Reel
Double Hand Fly Line:  Scandi Fly Lines
Single Hand Rod:  Diesel 7100-4
Single Hand Reel:  Diesel 7/8 Fly Reel

Flies: 
Classic Steelhead flies are a must! 
– Green Butt Skunks
– Silver Hiltons
– Blue Charms
– Purple Perils
– Polar Shrimp
– Undertaker
– Buggers

Nymphing Flies:
– Glo Bugs
– Prince Nymphs
– Rubber Legs
– Steelhead Lightning Bugs
– Stoneflies

Fly Fishing The North Fork of the Yuba River – Beginner

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Fly Fishing the North Fork of the Yuba River – Beginner Family Friendly

The North Fork of the Yuba River is a beginner’s paradise but a seasoned angler will have a wonderful time as well. The North Fork of the Yuba River fishes best in the summer months after the snow melt has occurred. Snow melt depending on the year is generally finished up by June. The North Fork of the Yuba River is over 60 miles long, most of which is paralleled by highway 49. The hot summer days allow anglers to fish without waders which is a huge plus for beginning fly fishers who may not have waders. We prefer to wet wade as the water is clean and clear. It also makes a quick swim to cool of that much easier. What could be better than sticking a few fish then swimming in the same hole.

The best stretch of the North Fork of the Yuba River is the stretch between Downieville and Sierra City. There are literally hundreds of pull outs for anglers to park and walk down to the North Fork of the Yuba River. In my experience your best bet is to fish the pocket water and make only a few casts in each spot before moving to the next rock. This is where you can hone your wading skills by casting while walking to cover wader quickly. If you’re unsure, please exercise caution and stop fishing to move to the next spot. The creeks entering the river offer smaller water but tighter casting quarters. We love these creeks in the mid summer as they offer shade and maybe even a brook trout!

Difficulty Rating for the North Fork of Yuba River – Beginner

The North Fork of the Yuba River is where I take all of my friends and students to learn how to fly fish. The hundreds of eager fish in every stretch of river are quick but very catchable. The North Fork of the Yuba River is the perfect size for beginning anglers to learn how to wade and fish a river. While it is the perfect size it is not the easiest river to wade. So, being in good shape is a prerequisite to fishing the North fork of the Yuba River.

Fishing the pocket water on the North Fork of the Yuba River:

Pocket water is a section of water with many boulders protruding from it. These boulders create a buffer for the fish to hold behind, in front of, and along side. I like to fish my way upstream casting my flies all around the rocks. Start by fishing the water closest to you and then work you way out. The beginning angler should cast a hopper dropper rig. If you have cast your flies all around the rock and don’t get a grab move to the next boulder. There are hundreds of eager Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout in every stretch of the river. Be persistent and you will catch fish.

Tips for fishing the North Fork of the Yuba River:

  • Fish the pocket water in the bouldery sections of the North Fork of the Yuba River.
  • Fish a hopper dropper rig.
  • When fishing the runs and deeper pools of the North Fork of the Yuba use and Indicator rig.
  • Wade carefully and be stealthy as the water is clear on the North Fork of the Yuba River.
  • More tips on fly fishing for trout.

Lodging and camping on the North Fork of the Yuba River:
There are many campgrounds on the North Fork of the Yuba. I like the Loganville campground a few miles short of Sierra City. You can reserve a campsite here by calling 1-877-444-6777.

There are equally as many cabins to rent on the North Fork of the Yuba River. I prefer The Sierra Streamside Cabins with guiding services from Jim the owner.

Gear for the North Fork of the Yuba River:
Our favorite outfit for fishing the North Fork of the Yuba River is the Red Truck Fiberglass Fly Rod paired with the Diesel 3/4 Reel.

 

Fly Fishing The Lower Sacramento Redding – Beginner

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Fly Fishing The Lower Sacramento River

The Lower Sacramento is rated one of the best tailwater fisheries in the US. It flows through downtown Redding, meandering through residential subdivisions, office buildings, and recreational areas. This river is a lifeline for most of California, providing water for central valley agriculture. It just so happens that Rainbows that inhabit the river are football shaped and weigh up to 15 lbs. The predominate fishing method for the Lower Sacramento River is by drift boat. Although, drifting can be the most sucessful method; it is not the only method.

Difficulty rating of the Lower Sacramento River – Beginner

This rating comes with a caveat. The Lower Sacramento River is a very large river and can be baffling to even expert anglers. However, if you get a good guide a complete greenhorn has a great shot at catching a nice fish. Indicator rigs are the best for fishing the Lower Sacramento.

Species in the Lower Sacramento River:

– Rainbow Trout: Year Round
– King Salmon: Summer/Fall
– Steelhead: Fall/winter
– Stipers: Summer/Fall
– Shad: Late Spring/ Summer

Fishable flows on the Lower Sacramento:

– Wading: 3,000-8,000 cfs
– Drift boat: 3,000-20,000 cfs

Most productive time of year to fish the Lower Sacramento River:

– Spring through Fall

Hatches on the Lower Sacramento River:

– Egg Hatch: October through March
– Caddis (Brachycentrus): March through May
– Caddis (Hydropsychid): May through October
– Blue Wing Olive: November through February

Recommended reading for the Lower Sacramento River:

1. Fly Fishers Guide to Northern California: Seth Norman
2. California’s Best Fishing Waters:

Licenses to fish the Lower Sacramento River:

To fish the Lower Sacramento you need a California Fishing License.

Access on the Lower Sacramento River:

Wading The Lower Sacramento:
Codwell Park
The Sundail Bridge
Knighton Island
Girvan Rd.
Anderson River Park
Deschutes Bridge

Boat Access on the Lower Sacramento River:
Posse Grounds
Bonnyview Boat Ramp
Riverside RV Park
Anderson River Park
Roosters Landing

Lodging on Lower Sacramento River:

Hotels:
Gaia Shasta Hotel
4125 Riverside Place
Anderson Ca 96007
Phone 877.778.3977

Camping:
Sacramento River RV Park
6596 Riverland Dr
Redding, CA 96002
Phone: 530-365-6402

Recommended Guide on the Lower Sacramento River:
Aaron GrabielThe Northern California Guide

Phone- 530-356-2189

Fly fishing gear for The Lower Sacramento River-

Casting large indicators, heavy split shot, up to 3 flies, and not to mention the enormity of the fish make the Lower Sacramento River a six weight fly rod river.

 

Fly Fishing The American River – Intermediate

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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.

Lodging:
Hotel:
Ramada Limited Hotel
350 Bercut Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Recommended Guide:
Brian Clemens – Norcal Fly Guides

 

Fly Fishing The Upper Sacramento River – Intermediate

uppersac385Fly Fishing The Upper Sacramento River- Intermediate

North of Redding, The Upper Sacramento River consists of 35 ish miles of trout filled river that is open all year long. With plenty of public access created by the train tracks that parallel the Upper Sacramento make it a fly fisher’s delight. Diverse in features the Upper Sacramento River boast breath taking waterfalls, trout filled pocket water, and crystal creek pools. Below Lake Siskiyou, the Upper Sacramento is much smaller gaining in size from springs and creeks. The upper river has carved out the steep Box Canyon which creates a much more treacherous wading environment than the lower reaches.

The Upper Sacramento River fills Lake Shasta with help from The McCloud River, The Pit River, and various other creeks. Lake Shasta supplies the water for the Lower Sacramento River and most of the power in the Northern Ca.

The Difficulty Rating of the Upper Sacramento River – Intermediate

The Upper Sacramento River can be so kind yet so cruel sometimes. During the heat of the incredibly hot summer days the Upper Sacramento can be quite cruel. While the cool mornings and evenings can be very productive. The wading and access is pretty easy. Fishing in the town of Dunsmuir is perhaps the best place for beginner anglers as it is stocked often.

Tips for Fly Fishing the Upper Sacramento River:

Fish the soft edges of the river during high water and spring runoff months. (spring)

Look out for rattlesnakes on the bank of The Upper Sacramento River. Here is a link on avoiding a rattler bite.

Fishing is best during the mornings and evenings of the hot months (July and August)

Fish terrestrials like grasshoppers during the heat of the day. How to tie a hopper dropper rig.

When nymphing, If you are not snagging bottom you are fishing a long enough leader or enough weight. How to tie an indicator rig.

Fish smaller flies and light tippet to catch more fish.

Make short cast and high stick the pocket water without an indicator

Camping and Lodging near/on the Upper Sacramento River:

Sims Flat Campground – On the Upper Sacramento River 530-926-4511

Castle Crags Campground – on Castle Creek a fishable feeder creek of the Upper Sacramento River (530) 235-2684

Lake Siskiyou Cabins and Camping– On Lake Siskiyou great stop for families and fishing the upper reaches of the Upper Sacramento River. 530-926-2610

Cave Springs Vacation Rentals– I have rented the Rivendell House which has some good fishing right behind it. The Tree house is pretty cool too! 530-235-2721

Access on the Upper Sacramento River- Too many to list

Ney Springs- You can wade about 2 miles upstream. This very unique section of the river is enclosed by canyon walls. Wading is tough but the scenery and fishing can be pretty amazing.

Cantera– This is one of my favorite access points to the river. You hike up toward Ney springs of walk the train tracks down river. While the water is small I have hooked some nice fish here.

Mosbrea Falls– While I have never experienced too great of fishing here the 1ish mile hike on the train tracks to falls is well worth the trip.

Sims Road– This will take you to Sims falt campground and access to some great fishing. I prefer to hike a mile or so up stream on the tracks.

Delta– is a great spot during the hot summer months. Large trout and even bass will come up from Lake Shasta.

Hatches on the Upper Sacramento River-

Blue Winged Olive- Spring-Fall
Midge- Year round
Golden Stones- May- June
Salmonfly- May and June
PMD- May- June & September-November
Little Yellow Stone- June and July
Caddis- Spring-Fall
October Caddis- Sept- October

Recommended reading on The Upper Sacramento:

Fisher’s Guide to Northern California By Seth Norman

California’s Best Fly Fishing by Chip O’brien

Best Guide on The Upper Sacramento:

Shasta Trout Phone number is 530-926-5763

Fly Fishing gear for the Upper Sacramento River:

The best trout fly rod for the Upper Sacramento is a 9ft 5 weight. Our Red Truck Diesel 590-4 is balanced perfectly for the Upper Sacramento River.

If you have any questions on the Upper Sacramento River please email us at info@flyfishingoutfitters.com or call 415.781.3474.

Fly Fishing the Lower Yuba River – Advanced

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The Lower Yuba River

The Lower Yuba is a 21 mile long tailwater fishery flowing out of Englebright Lake characterized by long runs, crater-like pools, and wide riffles. However, it’s more known for the feisty native rainbows that call this river home. This makes a great river to float in a raft or drift boat but fishing from the bank can be rewarding.

Fishing tips for the Lower Yuba River:

Stalk the shallow soft water with a well presented dry fly before pounding it with your indicator or nymph set up.
Add more weight to you nymph or indicator rig.
Swing a gold bead Fox’s Poopah if casting an indicator and split shot is not your game.
Brown woolly buggers swung down and across with a soft hackle trailer. Use 3x tippet. The grabs can be jolting!

Species in the Lower Yuba River:

Shad (late spring)
Chinook/King Salmon (Fall and Winter)
Steelhead (Fall and Winter)
Wild Rainbow Trout (10-22 inches) Those 12 inchers feel like 16’s…

Fishable flows on the Lower Yuba River:

Below 3000 CFS

Most productive time of year on the Lower Yuba River:

Fall & Winter
Summer evenings

Hatches on the Lower Yuba River:

Skwala Stone (January and February)
Blue Winged Olives (October and February)
Western March Browns (March and April)
Caddis (April through August)
Little Yellow Stones (April through July)
Golden Stones (May and June)

Recommended reading for the Lower Yuba:

Fly Fishers Guide to Northern California, Seth Norman
California’s Best Fishing Waters

Licenses for the Lower Yuba River:

To fish the Lower Yuba River, you need a California Fishing License and a Steelhead Punch Card.

Access on the Lower Yuba:

Highway 20 Bridge or Park’s Bar Bridge 18.5 miles east of Marysville on Highway 20. This is the only way to access the eight miles of river below the dam.

You can pay $5 to park at Sycamore Ranch Resort which is four miles before Park’s Bar Bridge. This is the best access for below the bridge.

Turn right off highway 20 to Hallwood Boulevard where there are a few access points as well.

Guides on the Lower Yuba River:

Brian Clemens – NorCal Fly Guides
Hogan Brown – Website

Shuttle Services – Christopher Streetman (530) 639-2521 – facebook: Yubarivercabins

Lodging on the Lower Yuba River:

Camping: Sycamore Ranch Resort
5390 State Highway 20
Browns Valley CA, 95918
(530) 741- 1190

Hotels: Baymont Inn and Suites Marysville
1111 N. Beale Rd
Hwy 70 @ N Beale Rd
Marysville, CA 95901
(530) 742 2700

If you have any questions on the Lower Yuba River please email me casey@flyfishingoutfitters.com or call 415.781.3474.

Fly Fishing The McCloud River – Advanced

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Fly Fishing The McCloud River- Advanced

The Church, The cathedral, Holy Water, and the Jewel of the West Coast are names given to the spring fed McCloud River over the years. These affectionate names generally will indicate 1 of 2 things: it’s hard to get to or private… Amazing fishing and scenery are givens of course. In the case of the McCloud River it’s both. Many of the rivers in Northern California have been ravaged over gold, timber, and the obvious water. The McCloud River’s rugged surroundings and lack of gold kept both people and industries at bay. The McCloud Dam, forming Lake McCloud, separates the Upper McCloud River from the lower McCloud.

 
The Lower McCloud River fills Lake Shasta with help from the Upper Sacramento River, The Pit River, and various other creeks. Lake Shasta supplies the water for the Lower Sacramento River and most of the power in the Northern Ca. While the Upper McCloud River, home to the Native McCloud River Red Bands is more of a creek than a river.

So many words have been written on the blue green wasters and lush yet treacherous surroundings of Lower McCloud River. Most of these words were written by much better writers than me.

The Difficulty Rating of the Lower McCloud River – Advanced.

Now I am not saying you won’t have a good time if you go as it is an incredibly beautiful place to spend your time. The McCloud River is not the wading nightmare of the Pit River but involves quite a bit of hiking and moderately tough wading. The public water is minimal and gets fished often. Great fly choice and presentation is important. As long as you’re in good physical shape the fishing gaps can be bridged with a good guide.

Tips for Fly Fishing the Lower McCloud River:

Fish the soft edges of the river
Look out for rattlesnakes on the bank of McCloud. Here is a link on avoiding a rattler bite.
Fish dries any time of day in the spring and fall.
When nymphing, If you are not snagging bottom you are fishing a long enough leader or enough weight.
Fish smaller flies to catch more fish
Cast large streamer quartered up stream near the bank and stripped quickly using the current to form a belly in your line. This is what the big Brown Trout like.
Look out for poison oak it is everywhere. If you think you got it on you (you did) rinse all of your exposed skin with cold water river water this will close your pores and rinse the poison off. Heat and sweat open you pours and spread the poison.

Access and Camping on the Lower McCloud River:

Ash Camp On the McCloud River- Click the link to see Gps in Google Maps- In the town of McCloud make a left on Squaw Valley road. You take this for about 10 miles over the dam when the rod comes to a T go to the Right. Drive slow and look on your right for Ash Camp. It can be hard to see especially at night. Ash Camp provides great access to the river.

AH-Di-Nah Campground On the McCloud River – Click the link to see Gps in Google Maps- In the town of McCloud make a left on Squaw Valley road. You take this for about 10 miles until just before the dam there is a sharp left that takes you to Ah-DI-NAH campground. The 11 mile road is rough… take a sturdy vehicle. This is my favorite place to camp on The McCloud River. There is a trail on the Westside (campground side of the river.) There are a few Primitive campsites in between the conservancy and AH-Di-Nah Campground and the Nature Conservancy Property.

The Nature Conservancy– Click the link to view their website and book – The preserve allows 10 anglers to fish using catch and release techniques at any one time. Five of these fishing places may be reserved a least a few weeks in advance through the Conservancy’s San Francisco office: phone (415) 777-0487. The remaining five fishing spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are held until 10 a.m. of the date reserved.

Hatches on the Lower McCloud River-

Blue Winged Olive- Spring and Fall
Midge- Year round
Golden Stones- May- June
Salmonfly- May and June
PMD- July- September
Little Yellow Stone- June and July
Caddis- Spring-Fall
October Caddis- Sept- October

Recommended reading on The McCloud River:

Fisher’s Guide to Northern California By Seth Norman
California’s Best Fly Fishing by Chip O’brien

Best Guide on The McCloud River:

Shasta Trout Phone number is 530-926-5763

Fly Fishing gear for the McCloud River:

The best trout fly rod for the McCloud is a 9ft 5 weight. Our Red Truck Diesel 590-4 is balanced perfectly for the McCloud River. If you want to streamer fish for the big Brown Trout I recommend our 9ft Six weight Red Truck Streamer rod.

Fly Fishing Hot Creek – Intermediate

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Fly Fishing Hot Creek – Intermediate

Boasting more trout per mile than any other stream in California, Hot Creek is a fly fisher’s paradise. Hot Creek winds its way through the high desert setting of the eastern sierra. Looking at Hot Creek’s moon like landscape one could hardly believe that there are about 11,000 trout per mile. Hot Creek’s bug life is not only diverse but thriving.

Hot Creek is quite small in size and requires very little wading. This is good news because the river has been infested with NZ Mud Snails which hitchhiked on angler’s boots from other streams. Make sure to take the proper steps in cleaning your gear or consider a hot creek specific pair of boots if you find yourself fishing Hot Creek often. Hot Creek is spring fed and is largely private with exception of a small stretch below the Hatchery and another below Hot Creek Ranch. Hot Creek flows through Hot Creek Gorge and eventually into Lake Crowley.

The Difficulty Rating of Hot Creek:

Hot Creek is a very easy river to wade and fish. There are well worn trails up and down most of Hot Creek. With all of the eager fish and few back cast hazards I would have rated hot creek a beginner river with exception of the water clarity. It does take a bit of stealth to catch fish.

Tips for fly fishing Hot Creek:

Fishing is best in the morning and evenings during the hot summer months.

Fish hopper dropper rigs to catch a lot of fish and keep your flies out of the weeds.

Cast Streamers quartered up stream near the cut banks and strip fast to catch the large brown trout.

Use short indicator rigs and more exact flies as the water moves slowly and the fish have plenty of time to inspect your fly.

Access on Hot Creek:

Upper Public water: If you are on 395 headed south from 203, Turn onto Hot Creek hatchery road. Just before you get to the hatchery there is a parking area. You can fish upstream and downstream from this parking area.

Below Hot Creek Ranch: if you are on 395 headed south from 203, Turn onto Hot Creek hatchery road. Pass the hatchery and past Hot creek ranch. You will notice a few pull outs with similar bulletin boards. I usually look for the one with the least amount of cars.

 

 

 

Hatches on Hot Creek:

Caddis: April – September
Midges: April – September
Scuds: May – September
Blue Winged Olives: April and May and September

Camping and Lodging on Hot Creek:

Pleasant valley Campground: While not actually on Hot Creek it is on the Owens River. It is a behemoth with over 200 campsites and the closet legit campground to Hot Creek.
Hot Creek Ranch – If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing fly fishing experience, you’ve come to the right place. At Hot Creek Ranch we offer clean, comfortable cabins right on the stream. 760-924-5637

Recommended reading for Hot Creek:

Fly Fishers Guide to Northern California

California’s Best Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing The Eastern Sierra

Best Guide on Hot Creek:

Mammoth Fly Fishing – Brad McFall 209.484.1114

Fly fishing gear for Hot Creek:

The epic dry fly fishing on Hot Creek makes the Red Truck 486-4 balanced dry fly outfit the perfect set up for Hot Creek.