Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Upper Sacramento River
This stream provides a very diverse population of aquatic insects. Blue-winged Olives
are about the most consistent of all the mayflies and other hatches for that matter.
They start hatching in April and continue off and on, depending on the species, into
November. The larger baetis, size 18s, hatch mostly in April and May and then again in
September and October. There are several species of smaller, or Little Blue-winged
Olives mixed in throughout the year.
Green Drakes hatch in part of the river beginning around the first of May and lasting
through June. This is not a very heavy hatch but there are some present. The next
most consistent mayfly is the Pale Morning Dun, or PMD. They start hatching about the
first of May and can last into October. There are two species present, but it is almost
impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye so that is irrelevant.
The Spotted Sedge is the most plentiful caddisfly. There are more than one species of
them but it makes no difference as they all behave and look alike. They start hatching
around the first of May and last all the way into the first of September. The next most
plentiful caddisfly is the Green Sedge. It hatches from about the first of May to the
middle of July. The larva of this caddisfly is the most important stage of life. Most
anglers call it the Green Rock Worm. The big caddisfly hatch, as far as anglers are
concerned, is the October Caddis. These larger caddisflies are hatching when nothing
else of importance is hatching other than some BWOs. True to their name, most of the
hatch takes place during October although it can continue on into November.
The Upper Sacramento River provides a good habitat for stoneflies. There are some
Salmonflies in the river that hatch during the month of May each year. A larger hatch of
the Golden Stoneflies occurs from about the first of May through June. The most
plentiful species of stoneflies are the Little Yellow Stoneflies. Most anglers call these
Yellow Sallies. They hatch from the first of June through the month of August.
Terrestrial insects can be very important during the Summer on the Upper Sac. It is
possible to run into a flying ant fall anytime during May and June. Don't bet the ranch
on it though. From June through September, ants can be found along the banks of the
river. Grasshopper are also plentiful from July through September. Beetles can be
found from June through September and imitations of them are also effective at times.
Don't overlook the mighty Midge. They can hatch anytime of the year, but become
more important when the water is cold and nothing else is hatching.
Streamers that imitate baitfish, minnows and sculpin are very important flies to have
anytime you are fishing the Upper Sacramento river. They work best during low light
conditions such as early and late in the day.
Several of our Perfect Flies have been tested and proven successful on the
Sacramento River. If you haven't already tried them, we certainly hope you will. We are
confident you will be pleased with the results. We have specific imitations of everything
that hatches on the river.
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