Archive for the 'Fishing Reports' Category

Upper Sacramento fishable now 01/02/2015

Here is a new set of photos to compare to the last post.


Same area – much lower flows.
1040 CFS at the gauge.

I tried to bring to prior photo’s forward and put them up side by side in this post.

Could not get it to go the way I wanted.

I am gonna publish this the way it is now but still see if I can get the pics to display the way I want.  I may edit the post later to fix it.

Here in town it is maybe 3-4 inches higher than normal summer flows.
Got my new 2015 license today so I had to go break it in.
Hit a spot here in town just for a couple of hours today.  Hooked 4 and landed two.

Bottom Picture is my first fish of the new year.

Upper-Sac_01_02_2015 012Upper-Sac_01_02_2015 016Upper-Sac_01_02_2015 014Upper-Sac_01_02_2015 004


Bassin on the Upper Sac


As mentioned in the earlier post,  This time of the year I hit the lower end of the river often.

In addition to the Lake Run rainbows,   the Bass fishing is very good.

Mostly I use a sink tip and cast wooly buggers into bassy looking water

The Lake Runs are in.

Lake runs are a local name for a strain of rainbows that come up out of Lake Shasta into the Upper Sacramento river every year around mid-summer.

16″-18″ rainbow trout are the standard size for lake runs. Some are smaller and a few are bigger. Fish to 22″ are not out of the question.

Lower end of the Upper Sacramento river. For our purposes that is the water south of the Gibson exit off I-5.
Approx 36 miles north of Redding, California, or about 18 miles south of Dunsmuir, California.

NOW.  The lake runs usually start entering the river by the end of June. By mid July they are well spread through-out the lower river.
The  weather can get quite hot in the mid to late summer.  Temperatures match Redding and can hit 100 by early afternoon.
Also the river water temperature climbs to levels that are not conducive to trout fishing (70+)
This is recommend as  a morning trip.  Best water temps are generally about 8-9 AM.

As usual the most consistent way to catch the lake runs is indicator nymphing.

However at times swinging woolly buggers or soft-hackles is a very effective technique.
Occasionally dry fly opportunities occur.   Dry and Dropper is also effective in the right water.

Wading into position

Wading into place

Point out the holding water

Hit that spot right there

The Cast

The Cast

The Drift

The Drift

The Swing

The Swing

Fish On

Fish On

Keep the tip up

Keep the tip up

The Fish

The Fish

The happy angler

The happy angler

Winter Fishing on the Upper Sac

Despite the cold and the snow, the Upper Sac is in good shape in the town of Dunsmuir.

And there is at least one big fish in there.

Another Day at the Lake

Ran into a old friend today, Mark used to be a guide up here but in recent years has been putting his General Contractors license to use down south. Now he just comes up for a fishing trip now and then. “Let’s hit the lake” he says, and I, being really hard to talk into going fishing, says OK.

So after he finished his power nap on Mt Shasta (6,800 FT is a good elevation for a power nap I guess) we met at the Lake for a little Bass fishing.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, throwing poppers for Smallmouth on a fly rod is a kick.

It was a bit windy at the start of the afternoon fishing, but Siskiyou has plenty of coves where you can get out of the wind. Of course the wind has a propensity to change direction as the evening progresses, so you have to switch coves occasionally to stay out of it.

Fishing was very good. The smallmouth were plenty willing to grab our Poppers. I was fishing the venerable Yellow Styrofoam Popper, which can be picked up at the local Walmart or sporting goods store for around a buck a dozen, while Mark was fishing a soft foam chartreuse popper. Did not seem to matter much. We were fairly well splitting the fish between us despite the fact that he was in the front of the boat and thus was getting first shot at the water. I overcame his advantage in position with a better understanding of the proper popper movement to trigger the hits. Not that we were competing or anything like that. Ahem, but I did take the evening big bass award, only to have Mark take the daily big fish award with a very nice 16-17″ Rainbow that decided to take his chartreuse popper. Silly fish, poppers are for Bass.

But that is not unusual for Lake Siskiyou. Right at dark, the trout will start feeding on the surface, and there is always the odd one that forgets he is feeding on midges, caddis, or mayflys and takes a popper. I have hooked some really nice Browns on Siskiyou that way.

The big bass of the evening was 12 1/2 inches. While Siskiyou is a great bass fishery, it does not produce many large smallmouth, I have caught smallies in the lake up to around 18″ but 9-11 inchers are much more common. Last year was a very good year size wise and we were getting good numbers of fish in the 14-16 inch range.

Since I have only done two trips to the lake so far this year it is too soon to tell if that will repeat.

Siskiyou is one of the rare lakes (at least in Northern California) that has a slot limit. You are not suppose to keep any smallie between 12 and 15 inches. Unfortunately there is very little public awareness of the slot limit and I suspect it is regularly ignored.

Some of the old timers around here tell me that the size of the bass runs in cycles. You will have several years of small fish that will eventually grow, and then you have a few years of good fish, then it will got back to a bunch of small fish. Anyone else hear of this kind of thing? I don’t know if that is indicative of a lake that is a bit over-populated or it just means that the majority of the fish are all the same age so they all die off of old age around the same time. It does not sound like that should happen in a natural population, but the smallies in Siskiyou are a imported non-native fish so they are not a natural population.