The upper Sacramento River, above Lake Shasta,
is a magnificent freestone "walk-in & wade"
river that flows south from Lake Siskiyou below
the town of Mt. Shasta, CA, down to the Lake.
This river empties both the western slope
of Mt. Shasta and the eastern slope of the Trinity
Divide drainages. The Sacramento is a little
more than an hour's drive east of the ranch
via unimproved dirt as well as paved secondary
Despite the rugged and beautiful nature of
the canyon, the river has wonderful accessibility
along most of its length, thanks to a parallel
railroad right-of-way on the western bank of
the river, as well as many road access and parking
areas and crossings.
This is a wonderful trout fishery, with one
of the highest river-mile fish densities (4,000
to 5,000 trout per mile) in the area. The river
is noted for dynamite daytime pocket water nymphing
and wonderful evening dry fly fishing.
Bob instructs and guides full day walk in trips
on this venue. It is one of his favorites, and
an excellent place to learn classic Freestone
nymphing and dry fly techniques, as well as
a fine place to hook very large trout on streamers
in the deep pools.
Best times of the
year to fish the Upper Sacramento River
The "Upper Sac" is now open to fishing all year
long. While winter fishing may not be nearly
as "hot" as the rest of the year, this venue
provides for a great day on the water, flows
permitting, at a time of year when most other
trout streams are closed.
The geologic complexity and biodiversity, combined
with lots of rain and snow melt, as well as
highly oxygenated clean water, combine to produce
a large number of insect species, including
a large diversity of different mayflies.
From mid-June through mid-July the river fishes
extremely well using large stonefly nymphs.
Throughout the season there are lots of caddis
and mayflies available to provide fast daytime
nymphing as well as great evening dry fly fishing.
There are mayfly hatches of one sort or another
every evening, producing a fair number of 20"
trout, as well as lots of smaller fish.
The river enjoys a prolific green drake (Ephemerella)
hatch that makes for wonderful fall fishing.