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Upper Sacramento River
Updated - 6/9/24
Scroll down for links to information about Lodging,
Maps and up to t
he minute Stream Flows.

Current River Conditions: 781 CFS  and a little off color 

Fishing is Fair: Flows came down below 1000 cfs which has opened up some access. Bob Grace at the Ted Fay Fly Shop says that those fishing the upper section of  the river are doing pretty good with large attractor dries like stimulators, Fat Alberts with a nymph dropper etc. 


The Fly Shop in Redding reports "You can get in and fish above Simms, but the lower you go in the system the higher the water will be. Some anglers have reported some success in and around Dunsmuir. Runoff will surge the flows each day with a lot of color being added as well."


General Fly Recomendations For the Upper Sac

Small mayfly (Blue Wing Olives) and midge patterns are the go to bugs on top.  Caddis Pupa (ie. Foxes Poopah/tan or olive) and size #18 and smaller olive Mayfly pattern or midges are good down below.  Cripple October Caddis may still work on top as will Orange pupa patterns down below.   For streamers, woolybuggers, intruders, and leaches work well.

                                  Current CA Fishing Regulations


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About the Upper Sacramento River


The Upper Sac located north of the City of Redding is one of California’s most legendary trout waters and is one its most accessible too as I-5 parallels the river for about 35 miles of its length.  There are many opportunities to exit the interstate with each having very productive water. 


Being that the most accessible section lies below the 3,500 foot elevation, the climate is warm enough to be hospitable to prolific quantities of aquatic insects and consequently very healthy fish. 


It is also one of the relatively few northern California waters that draws fishermen for specific and predictable insect hatches that they look forward to each year as it is famous for its Salmonfly, Golden Stone, Caddis and October Caddis hatches to name a few. 


Over the years,  the fishing in the Lower Sac has remained quite good due to relatively consistent cool water flows made possible by springs that originate from a volcanic aquifer at the base of glacier covered Mt Shasta. 


Once the spring runoff is over, flows are as such that most of the river is very wadeable.  The fish species are predominantly Rainbows with a few Brown Trout thrown in.

The water type would be characterized as freestone with some slow moving flats and a lot of pocket water mixed in.  As the river gets near its confluence with Shasta Lake, there are sections with very deep holes that hold some very large fish. 


Fortunately, much of the best water can be accessed all along the river at the many off ramps on I-5 between Shasta Lake and Dunsmuir.  Off ramps with good water are Delta, Lamoine, Pollard Flat, Simms Rd, Conant Rd., Sweetbriar Ave., Castle Creek Rd., Soda Creek Rd., and Dunsmuir Ave.  Being that the RR tracks parallel the river, they provide a handy foot path between the freeway accesses.  Of course do so at your own risk as the tracks are used very heavily.


The Upper Sac is open all year and in the winter the primary bugs that hatch are Blue Wing Olive and Chironomidges, but once the water begins to warm up the many bugs that fly fishermen most look forward to such as Caddis, Golden Stones, Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns and Little Yellow Stones begin to hatch.  Caddis will start showing in late May and continue all summer until the October Caddis emerge in late September and October.

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