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McCLOUD RIVER
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FISHING REPORT
Updated
6/8/24

Scroll down for information about lodging, up to the minute
stream flows, and interactive map
 

Current River Conditions: 230 CFS and clear.

Fishing-Good:  Bob at the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir CA www.tedfay.com says that he's getting positive reports on the river from Ash Camp through the Conservancy.  The Fly Shop in Redding www.theflyshop.com reports: "Best flies remain Olive Hotspots, Sweet Peas, and Frenchies. The Salmonfly hatch is about done for good, but continue looking for Golden Stones in this section of the river and brown Chubby Chernobyls in #8 are great for hopper/dropper rigs and you can even possibly get takes on the Chubby. Towards dark fish the glassy sides of the river with your big dries. Keep your eyes open for Green Drakes, the Jigged Green Drake, Hunchback GD, and Mercer's Poxyback GD will work great for fish eating in runs below the fast water."

     

​​See Hatch Chart Below

Anchor 1
About the McCloud River

 

The McCloud River is arguably the holy water of California Fly Fishing.  If anything it is the mother of Rainbow Trout fishing around the world, as it was the eggs from its fish that were transported to many places in the world that had been previously barren of trout. Today the ancestors of McCloud Rainbow Trout can be found from Europe to Australia, New Zealand to Argentina and Chili and of course, throughout the United States. 

 

The McCloud’s watershed is located in the Southern Cascades about 50 miles south of the

California/Oregon border.  The McCloud flows west and roughly parallel, to Hwy 89. Before the highway reaches the town of McCloud the river turns south and flows about 30 mi to where it meets the Sacramento and Pit Rivers at Lake Shasta. 

 

For fly fishermen, the river can be split into two sections.  The upper section above McCloud Lake, can be accessed from several roads that peel off from Hwy 89 that roughly parallel’s the river for several miles. There are several sections of great pocket water and a good population of wild Rainbows that are supplemented by hatchery fish during the summer.

 

The Holy Water section of the river begins at its outflow from Lake McCloud and continues to Lake

Shasta. Because this section is a tailwater, flows stay relatively consistent most of the summer. 170 to 200cfs flows make the river wadeable from spring to summer.  The fact that the McCloud flows through a deep canyon means that the water stays cool even during the hottest days.  The most popular section is from Ash Camp to Ah-Di-Na Campground and from the campground to the McCloud River Preserve which is owned by the Nature Conservancy. 

 

The McCloud has strong hatches of Caddis, Mayfly, Stonefly and Midges.  Probably the most looked forward to, is the October Caddis hatch each fall.  The first major hatches in the spring (river opens the last Saturday in April) are March Browns and Golden Stoneflies Flies that hatch from May through June.  There are some giant Salmon Flies too. 

 

As temperatures warm up in May the Pale Morning Dun’s and Caddis begin to hatch.  Caddis can be quite active at dusk.  It should also be mentioned that early in the spring, the Blue Wing Olives are still hatching and can be quite prolific on cloudy days.  They can continue hatching into July.

 

If you are a California fly fisherman the McCloud is one of those rivers that needs to be on your bucket list.  It’s contribution to the history of our sport makes it not only a special place but an opportunity for a very quality fishing experience.

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