Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Upper American River in California -
Gear, Tackle and Flies
The Upper American River has three main branches as well as the Rubicon River tributary.
Your gear should vary with the area your fishing - easy access along roads, or hiking into
the back country.

Fly Lines:
If you want to enjoy the headwaters and tributary streams small trout, you may want to use a
light fly line to catch them. Certainly you will be using small and most likely, dry flies.. We
would say the ideal fly line size would be a 4 weight, floating fly line.

A 5 weight fly line would deliver the flies that are ideal for most of the fly fishing in the Upper
American River. If you fish streamers and nymphs, then we would suggest you go to a 6
weight fly line. You may want to consider using a sinking tip line for streamers.

Fly Rod:
We recommend a rod for the 4, 5 or 6 weight line that is nine feet in length in a medium fast
to fast action.

Fly Reel:
The reel for the four, five or six weight rod should have a decent drag. It should be smooth.
A disc drag that adjust in fine increments would be best.

You should use leaders from 71/2 foot to 12 foot in length on the American River. I suggest
having them in sizes ranging from 0X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies and midges,
in the various lengths.

You should have extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.

Waders are necessary for the American River. We prefer the breathable type. You may want
neoprene waders during cold weather.

Wading Boots:
Much of the bottom in either gravel, sand or rock. You would not want cleats. Felt soles are
the best.

American River Trout Flies:
We recommend our "Perfect Fly" Trout Flies. We have specific imitations of every important
insect that hatches on the Upper American River. The trout can become selective during
several of the aquatic insect hatches. If you haven't already done so, we invite you to try our
"Perfect Flies". We have many satisfied anglers that have used them on the Upper American
River. We are confident you'll be glad you did. They are the most realistic and effective
imitations of aquatic and terrestrial insects you can purchase.
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Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.