Skip to content

Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing

Lower Sacramento River Trips – Drift Boat Only
Full Day: $550 (1-2 Anglers) / Half Day: $450 (1-2 Anglers)

The Lower Sacramento River is a year-round tailwater fishery that flows from Keswick Dam to the San Joaquin Delta. A temperature control device gives the Lower Sacramento River cold constant flows year-round. This provides an amazing ecosystem for an abundance of insects to thrive, and wild rainbow trout and steelhead to grow big and healthy. It is not uncommon, to have 20+ fish days here. The average size fish here run 16” to 18”, with a mixture of 20” to 25” fish being caught consistently. We have roughly 20 miles of river between Redding and Cottonwood that we do several different drifts on. While there are salmon and striper in the Lower Sacramento River we do not target those species in these areas.

We use 9’6” or 10’ #6wt rods to target these fish. We generally fish a long leader indicator system on the Lower Sacramento River. There are opportunities to fish dry flies and steamers from the boat as well. Things here can change at the drop of a dime. We could be fishing nymphs under an indicator all morning, then end up in the middle of an epic caddis hatch in the afternoon, and start throwing dry flies to rising trout. Streamer tactics work well during the summer months, as water temperatures in the valley start to rise. No matter what tactics we utilize, these fish take long runs (sometimes to your backing) and fight hard, they do not give up easily.

Spring (mid-March through late May) is usually the best time to fish dries. Springtime caddis, A.K.A. Mother’s Day Caddis, begin hatching mid to late March. March browns, PMD’s, Yellow Sally’s, and sucker spawn start showing in late-March through May. The Salmonflies and golden stoneflies starting to hatch in May through early June. During the heat of summertime (June through August), we fish Hydropsyche Caddis, streamers, and some terrestrials mixed in. During the summertime, we can start later in the day, and have the opportunity to wet wade or even swim to stay cool, while chasing the evening hatch. 

The fall (September through November) is my favorite time of year, salmon start to show and drop their eggs. This is known as the famous “egg drop” on the Lower Sacramento River.  The trout go crazy feeding heavily on salmon eggs mixed in with Caddis, Baetis, Stoneflies, and other aquatic insects kicked up by the salmon digging their redds. In the wintertime during December, we continue to fish eggs and BWO. Once January and February roll in we switch over to BWO, PMD, and Alevins. The best time of year to catch a truly huge trout is fall and spring.