The Lower Sac is a destination where anglers can expect to hook into 18+" fish on a regular basis

Sacramento River - CA

by Andrew Harris

The Lower Sacramento River between Redding and Red Bluff is possibly California ´s premier wild trout fishery. It is one of the few destinations where anglers can expect to hook into 18+" fish on a regular basis. Clear, cold, consistent flows coming out of Lake Shasta provide excellent conditions for the aquatic insects that trout eat. The Lower Sac is open to fishing year round, and can be excellent at any time of year as long as the river isn ´t blown out due to winter storms.

The river is known for it's excellent fishing in October-December when salmon are spawning in the river. Trout (and the occasional steelhead) are easily caught on egg imitations this time of year. Nymphing remains good throughout the winter months, and hatches of BWO mayflies occasionally provide for dry fly action. Fishing peaks again in the spring with caddis dries, pupae, and trout spawn patterns. Fishing is productive during the high flows of summer. Indicator nymphing is the rule during the day, but evening caddis hatches can be fantastic!

There are many different floats on the Lower Sac. If you've floated through Redding and think you ´ve seen the Lower Sac, think again. There are 40 more miles of productive water downstream!

Special Trips on the Lower Sac
Interested in a bobber-free day of fishing the Lower Sac? How about swinging a lightweight spey rod for trout or an afternoon of dry fly fishing only? We do that! Visit our Special Trips page for more information!

Gear Recommendations for the Lower Sac
Rods, Reels & Lines:
A six-weight 9.5ft rod is perfect for nymphing on the Lower Sac. It's good to bring a nine-foot five-weight for dry fly fishing also. We primarily use floating lines. Nymph, Steelhead, or Double Taper Lines are best for versatility. We occasionally use fast-sinking sink-tip or full-sink lines to fish streamers.

Leaders, Tippet & Indicators:
We usually use 2X-5X tippet on the Lower Sac. We don't use tapered leaders for nymphing. A 9' 5X leader is great for dry fly fishing on the Lower Sac. For indicators, we prefer Thingamabobbers in the 3/4 and 1" sizes. We use split shot in sizes BB and larger on the Lower Sac.

Waders & Boots:
Waders aren't necessary to fish the Lower Sac. At any time of year we can spend the whole day fishing from the boat. In the fall, winter, and spring, when the water is low, there are plenty of great wading opportunities. We use chest-high breathable waders on the Lower Sac. Spiked wading boots are not necessary. Make sure to bring your own wading belt.


• Fox's Poopah, tan, 14
• Mercer's Micro Mayfly, all colors, size 14-18
• Hogan's Spring Fling Caddis Pupa, 16
• Morrish's Hotwire Caddis, Olive & Chartreuse, 16
• Amber Prince, 12-18
• Copper John, Black, 12-18
• Mercer's BH Epoxy Golden Stone, 10-14
• Hogan's S&M Nymph, Olive, 16

• Pettis's Unreal Egg, Steelhead Orange, 12
• Glo Bugs, all colors, size 8-10

• Parachute Adams, 14-18
• Spundun, PMD, 16
• March Brown, 14-16 (February-April)
• Cutter's E/C Caddis, Olive 16-18

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