The Lower Sacramento River out of Redding California has been fishing great. Water conditions are good and flows are topped off at 9,700 cubic feet per second.

Starting next month, the upper section of the Lower Sac in Redding opens. On August 1st, the waters above HWY 44 open for Rainbow Trout Fishing. It’s an exciting time harkening back to the old days when all of Californias trout streams opened on the last Saturday in April. It’s still a date to flag on the angling calendar, but as many rivers are now open year round, the celebratory atmosphere of that infamous Saturday has attenuated. But, show up at the Posse Grounds on August 1st in the morning and I promise you will see an angling spectacle.

What are the HOT flies on the Lower Sacramento River? The trout are almost always keying on Mayfly’s. Hatches of caddis have been noticeable this year. Summer time caddis can be fickle, but not this season.

  • PMD Mayfly Nymphs in #16 ~ #18
  • UV Jigged Birds Nest
  • Bubble Back Caddis
  • Peaches & Cream
  • Alt Rockers

My fly rod set up is pretty typical of the Lower Sacramento. 9’6″ leader length from indicator to split shot. I run a little more than one SSG. Some run two. Ya gotta get that leader straight in the turbulent water or due to the long leader length, the flies never make it down to the fish.

Sometimes, having a rod ready with a shorter, lighter drop for the riffles can be a help. I know some anglers who run dry/dropper set ups through the shallow riffles. But this switching of rods can be a major pain in the you know what. There’s a lot of river to fish. Pick a set up and drift the river. Equal opportunity all around.

With all the investment, flies, rod and boat, there’s one thing missing.


I’m on the Lower Sacramento weekly. I know where to be and at what time. Some water fishes better in the afternoon. The Lower Sac doesn’t really start fishing until after 10:30 AM almost year round. In August, think 11:30AM on.