Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Lower Sacramento River

The Lower Sacramento River is a tailwater and that means its flows are strictly
dependent on the discharges from the Keswick Dam. Be certain to check on this
flow levels and predicted discharges before fishing the river.

Since the water from the river is used for agriculture purposes, high flows can be
expected throughout the Summer when demands are the highest. Low flows are
normal during the Winter. Both high and low flow levels can be fished but they will
vary the methods and strategies you should use. High water usually requires
floating the river. The currents can easily be too strong for safe wading.

The best rainbow trout fishing in the river is generally between the Sun Dial
Bridge downstream to Anderson River Park. There are other areas of the river
that will produce well but this is usually the best area to select from.

Most of the time, floating the river using a drift boat is the best method to fish it.
As just mentioned, It's the only way in most places when the water is high. There
are a few areas the river can be waded during low water conditions. One area is
the Cypress Road Bridge in Redding. Another place is Knighton Road. Wading
can be dangerous and you need to make sure you keep a tight wading belt and
watch for rising water levels at all times.

The Fall season maybe the very best time to fish the Lower Sac. Its fall runs of
spawning salmon provide a huge food supply for the rainbow trout. Not only do
the rainbows feed on their eggs, they also are keenly aware of the aquatic
insects nymphs and larvae that are dislodged when the salmon build their redds.
They will feed downstream on the spawning process of the large Chinook Salmon
throughout the entire process.

Fall is also the time the steelhead show up. The lower part of the river from
Anderson down to Los Molinos is prime territory for steelhead fishing. You can
continue to fish for them on into the Winter provided you can withstand the cold

Springtime provides the most hatches of caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies and
therefore it's the best time to catch the large rainbows on dry flies. Summertime
can also be good at times. Since the water released from the depths of the lake
is cold, even during the hot Summer. This keeps the fish active especially early
and late in the days when it's most comfortable to fish.
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