There are several hundred miles of rivers, creeks, lakes and streams within easy striking distance of The Fly Shop® in Redding.
It's not surprising that quite a bit of water is set aside as fly fishing only, catch-and-release, with special closures and regulations designed to help ensure that the fishing around here will stay good for generations. The Fly Shop staff will custom-tailor the day and guide to your ability and interests, putting you on the best local water.
Trout and steelhead fishing here isn't a season; it's a way of life at The Fly Shop®, and we've got fine fishing nearly 365 days of the year. Whether it's a beautiful spring or fall day, blistering hot mid-summer afternoon, or snow-covered winter morning, we've got the staff and the guides that can handle it. We'll also help with flies and equipment, lodging, and transportation if you need it.
The Fall River is the largest of California's spring creeks, fed by several icy aquifers coming from the snows and glaciers of Mount Shasta.
Current River Conditions:
The Hex Hatch is happening nightly. A widely known secret are the opportunities to catch the fish chasing Hexagenias on caddis emergers prior to the main show. Otherwise, the Fall is fishing steadily with PMDs and Tricos coming off daily. Dragonfly and damsel nymphs are also on the menu along with leeches. Best chances for dry action in the upper river will be in the early to mid morning.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Successful dry fly fishing on Fall River is about where and when. So, pay attention as you cruise the river for rise forms. Best chances occur when spotting a single fish rising next to the edge of the river. Try fishing a small beetle pattern! A popular and proven technique on Fall River is retrieving black or olive colored leeches on a sinking line. Swinging #16-18 Pheasant Tail nymphs trailing #18-20 black Zebra midges or WD-40s is a basic fly rig and a perfect combo to start with any day on Fall River. A #18 red copper John or black zebra midge suspended under a small 3/4" indicator in white is a proven standard method of fishing this river. A few of the dry flies that have been working include Harrop's Last Chance PMD and Baetis,Mercer's Missing Link #16-18 - Dark,Tilt Wing Dun PMD.
The "Fall River Twitch" has been a popular and effective technique on Fall River for decades. How to: Anchor your pram upstream of rising fish. Cast downstream and across, then feed line out to extend your drift a long ways downstream. The "Fall River Twitch" results in a presentation that lets the fish see your fly first, while you are positions upstream and out of the fished field of view. The Fall River Twitch is equally effective whether fishing dries, swinging nymphs or indicator nymphing. If you're casting to a pod of rising trout, work from the outside in and you can often pick them off one by one. 5-6wt rods are what we recommend for Fall River,
with some anglers using 6wt. rods for casting heavier sinking lines. The Fly Shop® recommended fly lines; RIO Gold floating line and an extra spool loaded with RIO CamoLux.
River Fact: Eurasian Watermillfoil is a threat on this river. Click here to read more about what Eurasian Watermillfoil is, what is being done and why Fall River has a bright future.
Hat Creek represents the quintessential chess game of spring creek fly fishing for wary trout.
Current River Conditions:
Hat Creek is still pumping out some solid opportunities for great fishing. With all of the pressure the top sections receive, a walk downstream into the confluence with Lake Britton can pay off handsomely. There the fish are grabbing swung caddis patterns in the riffles. Towards dark you will get a chance to catch them on skated dries such as a Goddard or Missing Link. Up in the spring creek sections the Drake bite has slowed, but the Tricos and PMDs are still going. Look for those pods of fish hanging in the weeds and feed your offering down to them for best results.
Swinging leeches and streamers is a proven technique anytime on Hat Creek.
The flat waters below the Power House Riffle can offer a chance to cast dry flies to rising fish. As a matter of fact, just throw dries to see what happens!
Get on this river early and then again late if you want to find the biggest fish. The fish here are haters of the sun. Haters gonna hate. Go have fun!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Look for October Caddis hatches near sunset and fish a brushy dry fly like an Orange Stimulator. Best hatches occur in the morning and then again near sunset. Get on the water early, before 10:00 AM! Be on the look-out for rainbows and brown trout rising near the edges of the river for best chance at a dry-fly hook-up. Cutter's E/C Caddis in Olive produced a few fish during a recent afternoon session.
A great option that often produces some of the very best Hat Creek "fish stories" is to fish #6-8 leeches, like Zack's Swimming Leech and buggers like Fox's Peacock Buggers near sunset.
Look for rising fish along the flats below the Power House #2 riffle in the early AM and very last light. For the best presentation, drift your D&D Cripple down and across to rising fish. For a fun challenge, try catching Hat Creek trout on as many tactics as you can: small indicators with nymphs, swinging wet flies and/or streamers, and, of course, with a well-presented dry fly. The Powerhouse #2 Riffle is one of the best spots on the creek, but also one of the most popular. Anglers seeking a real challenge should sight-cast to trout in the fabled "carbon flats" section, and those looking for solace can hike into the freestone section just above Lake Britton. 5wt rods are perfect. Have an extra spool loaded with a Wet Tip Clear Fly Line.
River Fact: It is true, the fact is Hat Creek acquired it's name because a surveyor lost his expensive hat there back in 1852. Folk lore supports the rumor that his friends laughed it up after listening to him cuss up a storm. In an impromptu witty ceremony, the creek was aptly named.
When The Fly Shop® opened its doors in 1978 the Klamath River was one of the primary guided angling destinations that we offered.
Current River Conditions:
Iron Gate releases have fallen below 2,000 CFS for the first time since February. We heard from some who fished up above Copco getting grabs on rubberlegs, but the Salmonfly hatch is probably done for the season. You may be able to entice a grab up top, but you'll probably be better off fishing one of our other streams for dry action. Hat Creek and the McCloud are on right now, the Upper Sac is dropping in as I type this.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Fishing egg patterns in orange, pink or champagne get's fly rods bent. Suspend your egg patterns under rubber legs, 3-D nymphs should get you into fish.
Fly rods from 6wt to 7wt are perfect in lengths of 9' to 9'.5. Switch rods are popular and make casting very easy. Spey rods fit in well on the Klamath river.
No restrictions at this time, but winter storms will change that. Call 1-800.427.7623 for up to date Northern California Road Conditions. Here's a link to Cal-Trans Road Conditions: Click Here.
River Fact: The Klamath river is 263 miles long, originating in a broad valley at the eastern slope of the southern High Cascades, the water source is Upper Klamath Lake. Sometimes called "the upside down river", the upper Klamath in Oregon is largely developed, but the lower Klamath is still wild, forested and ruggedly beautiful. Next to the Klamath, the only river that originates in a desert and flows into the coastal forests of the pacific west is the Pit River.
The Sacramento River below Shasta Dam - known as the Lower Sacramento, or "Lower Sac" - has to be rated as among the best tailwater fisheries in the country.
Current River Conditions:
The Lower Sac continues to fish well. Releases are pinned to 10,500 CFS and should remain there through the summer. It's mainly about the Spotted Sedge, or Hydropsyche, caddis, so fish your favorite pupae or caddis nymph patterns. In addition to the caddis, in some sections you will see Baetis, PMDS, midges and assorted stoneflies. Besides the long, deep runs normally associated with the Sac, you can find fish in alternative areas, drop-offs, right along the banks, shallow riffles and un-travelled side channels. Fish all of it! We're also looking forward to the 1st when the top opens up again and we can fish above the Hwy 44 bridge. Good times!
The long-awaited commission vote on the permanent closure has taken place, it has been approved. The small section of river above the Hwy 44 bridge will close sometime in the next week to ten days until August 1st when it opens again. Don't let this deter you! There are another 38 beautiful miles of rainbow-stacked river to fish below!
The Fly Shop's® Tips:
In order to provide additional protection for the endangered Winter Run Chinook Salmon, the California Department of Fish and Game will go before the Fish and Game Commission in February to recommend several options for the closure area above the Highway 44 to Keswick Dam. These recommendations include 1) doing nothing, 2) adopting a yearly closure from April 1st through July 31st, 3) allow fishing with artificial flies only, and 4) monitoring and recommending Emergency Closures on a case by case basis. We are so fortunate to have a truly unique species of fish in our home waters, we are happy to help out where we can in order to allow this historic fish to reestablish itself in these dire times. These past two years' closures on the very upper reaches of fishable water have been beneficial for the rainbow trout population in this stretch of river by giving them a break during a time when they are spawning in this section of river. This closure does not affect the 30 some odd river miles available to fish below. We hope to see a time when these closures are not necessary, but in the meantime we support the Department of Fish & Wildlife biologists and will do our part to help the Winter Run Salmon recover. If you have a thought or preference on the 4 options above, we suggest you send a letter to the Fish and Game Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail at California Fish and Game Commission / P.O. Box 944209 / Sacramento, CA 94244-2090.
Spring is nearly gone and we can't wait for this summer! Releases from Keswick should remain stable throughout the season lending stability to the bite. A good rig will almost always have a caddis pattern of some sort such as a Cinnamon Poopah, Bird's Nest or Bubble Back. The early caddis will be larger, so a #12-14 will be your target; later, drop down to a #14-16 as the hatching insects become smaller. To round out your summertime insect lineup, we'll typically see about a month of good Pale Morning Dun hatches after them begin along with a good Little Yellow Sally hatch through June. Blue Wing Olives will also be prevalent year round. With the river up higher, you'll need to drop your bugs deeper, a 9' drop down to an SSG can get you down to the fish in the deep runs. Look for the best hatches to take place at sunset.
• Duane Milleman at 530-515-2272
River Fact: How did the Sacramento River get it's name? In 1808, Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga, on a journey to find suitable sites for the construction of missions, became the first foreigner to see the river clearly. Judging its huge breadth and power he named it Rio de los Sacramentos, or "River of the Blessed Sacrament". The Sacramento drains an area of about 27,500 square miles or 71,000 km2 that is comprised of the northern half of California.
Be careful driving in Redding, CA.
You may want to call Shasta Premier Transportation and avoid the hassle of driving in Redding, after all the changes recently, even if you have been in Redding before, many of the streets have changed in number of lanes or now have center dividers. Call Jodi at (530) 440-6621
The McCloud River rainbows (Salmo Shasta) may be the most famous strain of trout on the planet Earth.
Current River Conditions:
This river continues to amaze with its beauty and good fishing. The releases from Lake McCloud have stabilized around 245 CFS with plenty of great water to fish from the dam through the Conservancy section. We've seen the end of the Golden Stone hatch, but keep a Chubby Chernobyl on for your dry-dropper rig – it could get grabbed! Otherwise, up top the fish are eating midges, aquatic worms and some small mayfly patterns. The further you travel downstream towards the conservancy you can get fish to eat Rubberlegs, Eng Things, Poxyback Baetis and Dark Lords. We haven't seen a lot of caddis hatching in the evenings, but have noticed a ton of October Caddis nymphs on the rocks. This should be a great October-November.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Fish a Stimulator suspending a Micro Mayfly or black Zebra Midge. Beetle patterns work especially when fished in the shallow waters. Suspending nymphs under indicators in the deeper slots, pockets and pools can keep a fly rod bent. Have split shot in sizes AB, AAA and SSG. Look for shady water mid day. The McCloud Rainbow does not like the sun.
Wading boots with studs and a wading staff are a must on the McCloud, which is full of irregularly shaped rocks that can be very slick. The best results are produced by anglers who move from run to run. The more water you can cover, the more fish have a chance to see your fly, ultimately improving upon your existing good fortune of being out on the river, fishing! Be on the look-out for rattle snakes. Use a technique called High-stick-nymphing in the pocket water and deeper chutes. Re-fish all your way back to camp or the car throwing streamers into pocket water, next to downed trees/logs.
River Fact: The McCloud River rainbows (Salmo Shasta) may be the most famous strain of trout on the planet Earth. At the turn of the 19th century, these were the fish used to first stock most of New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and other potential trout fisheries all across the western hemisphere. So, that means we could trace Madison river (a river in Montana) rainbows back to the McCloud River!
The Pit River consists of a series of dams and reservoirs that stretch for some 30 miles from Lake Britton to Shasta Lake.
Current River Conditions:
The Pit releases out of Lake Britton have stabilized at 330 CFS, so Pit 3 is in great shape and fishing well. Way up to you will see PMDs, Baetis and Caddis coming off, fish each nook and cranny in this great stretch. Access is good along the banks once you get past the initial berry barriers. Make sure you head downstream to get away from angler pressure up top. Below the Pit Three powerhouse flows can vary considerably, so use caution and have an escape plan. From Pit Four powerhouse on down it's big, so we can really suggest fishing below. The road is still blocked above the Pit Four powerhouse and the crews are continuing work on the Pit Five road, so access may be limited to weekends.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Use a lot of split shot, get the nymphs down fast. Fish the pockets, shoots, creases. High-stick and short-line technique is the best approach. A good fly selection consists of #6-8 brown or black rubber legs, #14-16 Pheasant Tail Nymphs, #18 Zebra Midges or any dark midge for that matter. When fishing indicators suspending #14-16 nymphs, don't put the flies so deep that your hitting bottom every drift. Put the flies up where the fish can see them. Show the rainbows a fly enough times and they will come to it. A #14-16 Pheasant Tail Nymph is a very consistent fly on the Pit. Under a medium sized indicator, fish a #6-8 Pat's rubber Legs and a #14 pheasant tail nymph or #14-16 prince nymph. Mercer's #16 black Micro-Mayfly is another great fly. High-stick and short line angling techniques are very, very effective on this stream.
Be ready for supremely tough wading conditions when fishing the Pit. Flat ground DOES NOT exist here! A wading staff really makes a difference for every angler who fishes here. Pack some dry clothes, snake kit and don't forget to dry out your fly-box at the end of the day! The Pit River rainbows will eat all day most of the time. These feisty fish can be found holding in fast bubbly water and in slower, smooth flowing water as well. High-stick and short line nymphing techniques are the key to finding the biggest rainbows on this river. Have plenty of BB, AAA and SSG split shot in your vest pocket. Feed lots of line and go for long drag free drifts, using an indicator and suspending flies 3 - 6 feet deep, in the long smooth glides between boulders and broken riffles. An there is no shortage of boulders, riffles, runs and pockets.
Road conditions are variable. Expect chain controls on HWY 299 during snow storms. Call 1-800.427.7623 for up to date Northern California Road Conditions. Here's a link to Cal-Trans Road Conditions: Click Here.
River Fact: The Pit, the Klamath and the Columbia are the only three rivers in the U.S. that cross the Cascade Range.
The Trinity River is the major tributary to the Klamath River, and stretches 110 river miles from Lewiston Dam downstream to its confluence with the Klamath at Weitchpec.
Current River Conditions:
Flows are subsiding as the releases will be throttled down out of Lewiston Dam from today's flow of 1,200 CFS over the next few weeks to their target of 450 CFS on August 10th. We have heard of reports of a few steelhead being caught here and there, but nothing substantial yet. As the flows drop into fishable levels we expect to see the numbers increase. The water this year is cold due to the substantial snowpack which we hope will prevent a thermal barrier from developing blocking fish from coming on up the main stem. Check this space!
You should check out our new spey rods. They are 13' of pure joy and happiness.
• Bill & Caryl Dickens (Gold Coast Shuttle) at 530-623-1905 or through their website at goldcoastshuttles.com
No major restrictions at this time, but winter storms will change that. Call 1-800.427.7623 for up to date Northern California Road Conditions. Here's a link to Cal-Trans Road Conditions for HWY 299: Click Here.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Focus on fishing the lip or top end of riffles and the tail-outs. These areas of the river seem to hold the most aggressive fish. If there's a lot of boat traffic, then the steelhead will most likely be found in the deeper sections and along the edges of the riffles and runs. The steelhead have been eating Black Rubber Legs, #12-14 Red and/or Black Copper Johns, various October Caddis Nymphs and egg patterns like Boles Bazookas, Micro Spawn Eggs.
River Fact: Sad to say, but Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia's father drowned in the Trinity River. While on vacation with his family near Arcata in Northern California in 1947, his father went fly-fishing in the Trinity River. Upon entering he slipped on a rock, plummeting into the deep rapids of the river. By the time he was pulled from the water, he had already drowned.
The Upper Sacramento River has been a popular destination for recreation in California since the 1800s, and is still one of our favorite local fisheries.
Current River Conditions:
Flows entering Lake Shasta are fluctuating between 340 & 380 CFS daily and the Upper is gin clear. This means great wading and sight fishing throughout the system. However, the river is warming down toward Delta, so to get on the best water for fishing you should look higher up, above Sims Rd. Fish are still occasionally taking Golden Stone dries such as a Chubby Chernobyl or Stimulator, but the best dry bite has subsided. It's still a great way to fish a dry dropper setup. To prevent spooking your quarry in these conditions, present from upstream feeding your offerings down to the fish. Long presentations will keep the fish holding and eating. Eng Things, Olive S&M's, Zebra Midges and Rubberlegs will get it done.
A good fly box will have various sizes of Parachute Adams from #14 - 18, Dark Stonefly Nymphs in #6-8, Black Midge Nymph Patterns and #12 Bird's Nest, #18 Gordon Prince Nymphs. See suggested fly patterns in the accompanying sidebar for reference.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Fish a Stimulator dropping a #16-18 Gordon Prince! Use one or three SSG split shot when fishing the bigger faster water of the lower river. Throw #10-12 CB Bird's Nests. Pat's rubber legs is another good fly to have in your fly box. The rainbows of the Upper Sacramento river eat nymphs that are served up deep, in the rocks. Sometimes the indicator gets in the way of detecting strikes. These fish are really good at sampling a pattern, then spitting it out. Try fishing using the "high-stick" and "short line" technique. Use one, two, even three SSG sized split shot to get the flies down fast. Buy lots of flies! You will loose many to the rocks!
When nymphing on the Upper Sacramento River, always use double the amount of shot in order to get the flies down to the fish in the faster, bubbly water. If a run calls for one SSG, put on two. If you're not ticking the bottom from time to time (yes, this means losing a few flies), you're probably not getting down to where the fish are feeding. Use stronger tippet like 2X-3X for bigger flies in the #6-10 range, 4X for smaller #16-18. Keep your first fly within 6-8 inches of your split shot. Stronger tippet means fewer flies will be left on the bottom of the river. Sink tip lines with streamers attached are a good plan when there is room to cast.
River Fact: On the evening of July 14, 1991, a derailment on a horseshoe curve known as the "Cantara Loop" on the railroad north of Dunsmuir resulted in the release of approximately 19,000 gallons of metham sodium spilled into the Sacramento River. The biocide killed every living thing in the river for a distance of some 38 miles, devastating a popular fly fishing area - one of the most severe toxic spills in U.S. history. The Upper Sacramento River is now largely recovered from the spill.
Located near Hat Creek outside of the town of Burney, Baum Lake is a “spring creek lake,” meandering through weedy channels in a beautiful, open valley.
Current Lake Conditions:
We've heard from a few anglers that Baum Lake is still fishing well. Caddis, PMD's, Baetis, midges and Tricos should all be coming off daily. Look for noses poking up and post up well above your pod of fish for your best chances of hooking up. Don't forget to swing leeches or Buggers. They regularly release some giant brood fish, so don't be surprised when you are reeling in backing after one of these toads takes you for a ride.
This east side venue is a worthwhile spot to cast your next fly. Bring your pontoon boat, pram, driftboat or float tube. Get on the water early for best dry fly chances throwing #18 Adams or BWO patterns. Fish midge nymphs mid day.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Fish midges all day! Look for occasional hatches of BWOs and PMDs that produce surface feeding and dry fly opportunities before the sun...get's high. In the sky! Seriously! Stripping and retrieving Leeches on intermediate sinking lines is a great tactic as is suspending #22 black Zebra Midges or Mercer's Gidget under a small indicator. Try a black A.P. on a slow retrieve. There are a lot of scuds in Baum Lake, making various scud patterns an obvious choice. Suggested leader selection consists of 9' 5x and a spool of 6X tippet for dry flies and the smallest nymphs.
Baum Lake is an ideal fishing destination for pontoon boats, float tubes and small prams. Fishing an Intermediate sinking line with a small PT nymph can produce a bent fly rod. The key is SLOW strips! Nothing in Baum Lake is moving fast. Use lighter, longer leaders. Delicate dry-fly presentations will produce more strikes.
Lake Fact: Baum Lake is named after world renowned hydro electric pioneer Frank Baum. 1870-1932. Click here to read more.
Iron Canyon Reservoir is another fishery that receives very little pressure, and features both stillwater options and areas with current, more akin to stream fishing.
Current Lake Conditions:
This lake is fishing okay. It is possible to launch boats now, although it isn't the most improved ramp you'll use. Fish can be hard to find, but when you do stay on ‘em! Aquatic worms under an indicator is the most effective method here. Another great location if you are looking for solitude.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: When you go, bring Clouser Minnows, Crystal Buggers in an assortment of colors and a sinking line. Suspending San Juan Worms works great! Don't forget to bring a float tube and enjoy some solitary fly fishing. The nearby Pit River, offers excellent fishing for rainbows!!
The rainbows and browns of Iron Canyon will clobber nymphs stripped on floating lines or suspended under indicators. Bring a motorized boat if you have one, and fish near the inflow at the NE end of the lake. Try stripping buggers on a Type 7 full sinking line. Retrieving or stripping buggers and leech patterns seems to be the best, most productive method of fly fishing Iron Canyon. Look for rainbows and browns along the edges of the lake.
You can fish this lake either one of two ways, indicator and nymphs or sinking lines and streamers. The midge hatches are usually strong in the AM hours, fishing a Blood Midge with a Black Midge Pupa dropper is deadly. For those who want to cast and retrieve flies, Leeches and Bugger style flies work great. Clouser Minnows are a fantastic fly on Iron Canyon, fished on a RIO Deep 7 sinking line, plan on finding the aggressive fish that hang in the depths! Use an intermediate sinking line along the shallower edges of the lake when fishing streamers.
Fishing a #16 BH PT Nymph on the end of a tapered leader attached to a floating line is an all time best way to find fish here or any still water. Once flies are cast, use a very slow retrieve, just move the line enough to stay tight to the fly and feel the thuds of the take!
Reservoir Fact: The nearby town of Big Bend has many geothermal hot springs nearby. Some of the hot wells are used to heat the local School, public swimming pool and a green house. Hmmm. Don't hesitate to stop by the local grocery store, gas station called the Pit Stop.
Keswick Reservoir is essentially the Lower Sacramento River... before it becomes the Lower Sacramento River.
Current Reservoir Conditions:
With all of the great fishing opportunities on all of the smaller rivers and creeks over the past couple of months, we haven't heard any reports from this great trout factory. With the Shasta Dam releases varying between 1,500 and 16,000 CFS daily, you could be in for a rollercoaster ride, so be mindful if you do go.
Stripping leeches and buggers on a type VII full sink line works great here. Fish going over 20" happen! Releases out of Shasta Dam have been stable. Good place to hire a guide though. Finding these fish requires some special knowledge and a boat.
Indicator suspended Birds Nests, Midges, PT Nymphs should work along the edges of the fast water near the Dam. Suspend your flies about 2-3 feet below the indicator. These fish like to come up to the fly. Fish the shallow edges. Stay low!! You will need a motorized boat to get to where the good fishing exists.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Suspending Bird's Nests, midge patterns and Pseudo Mays under indicators will work well. Suspended your nymphs under an indicator. Use BB shot to sink your nymphs when fishing the edges of the swirly water found in the upper reservoir. Look for the fish in the slower swirls along the edges above Crystal Creek. The key is moving up into the moving water section of Keswick. Fishing the eddies next to the banks, between boulders, where it's shallow can be productive. Stay low Fishing a Deep-7 on a 7-weight fly rod, stripping buggers has been productive..
A motorized boat is a must for gaining access to the part of this reservoir that holds concentrated numbers of rainbow trout. Motor up towards Shasta Dam, look for slow water and big eddies near boulders. Swing, suspend, strip nymphs, leeches. Dry fly fishing happens late in the summer, near sunset. There are big brown trout here....waiting.
Reservoir Fact: Iron Mountain Mine is located just to the west of Keswick Reservoir. The site was mined for copper, zinc, iron, silver, gold, pyrite from the 1860s to 1963. Today, the mine is a source of extremely acidic drainage that runs into several creeks, all leading to Spring Creek Reservoir, which drains into Keswick Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for Redding, CA. The drainage water from Iron Mountain Mine is the most acidic water naturally found on planet earth. Iron Mountain has been listed as a Federal Super-fund site since 1983. Thankfully, a water treatment plant is in place, and any releases from Spring Creek Reservoir are easily diluted. We think.
Lake McCumber is one of our favorite dry fly Stillwater fly fisheries in the late winter and early spring.
Current Lake Conditions:
We have heard of a few fish coming from McCumber recently. This lake is on the mend and with another good water year look for the fishing to continue to improve this season!
The fish are not really big. Comprised of planted rainbows, some brown trout.
Lake McCumber is surrounded with tall conifers, enveloped in clean crisp air and watched over by soaring eagles with sharp talons. A medium sized impoundment, the lake is considered "just right" for tubers, prams and Goldilocks.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Stripping a #14 Pheasant Tail Nymph on a floating line connected to a 9' 5X tapered leader in the mornings has been working great! You can strip or retrieve Leeches, Buggers this way too. Damsel Fly nymphs are fished on the retrieve starting mid May through June.
Using a float tube or a pontoon boat, paddle out into the lake and look along the edges for cruising rainbows and browns. Airflo STREAMER MAX Sink Tip Line is a perfect line for retrieving and stripping leeches, damsel nymphs and streamers. Use a floating line and leader tapered to 4x with a bead head PT with a very, very, very slow retrieve. Fish will find your nymph and take it, but don't set the hook! Just lift and let line out until you can bend the rod without first breaking the fish off.
Lake Fact: When PG&E placed a dam across the N. Fork of Battle Creek, they created a lake that offers great fly fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout. Nestled amongst Ponderosa and Jeffery Pines, bald eagles and osprey can be observed cruising the lakes surface, vigilantly hunting for fish.
Although no gas-engines are allowed on the lake, boats with trolling motors are. Anglers can easily fish from float-tubes and pontoon boats as well. McCumber is a quiet and personal location. A classic mountain lake.
Lewiston Lake is created by Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River. It is used for trans basin diversion to the Sacramento River and flood control, as well as for hydroelectric generation.
Current Lake Conditions:
Trinity Dam releases are anywhere from 2,300 to 4,000 CFS over the past week and a half. The fishing can be good on this little gem. The Callibaetis grab can be good, look for rising fish and fish a #14-16 Parachute Adams over the roaming fish for a top water grab. Otherwise, fishing Brown Rubberlegs, Woolley Buggers or Balanced Leeches under an indicator can be very effective due to the abundance of dragon flies on this impoundment. Drop a Callibaetis nymph such as a Poxyback, Flatulator or plain old Pheasant Tail under that and you should be in fish all day.
Fishing is best through the AM hours, tapering after 3:30 PM. This lake really fishes consistently well. The Trinity River is nearby and gets practically all the attention during the winter months, but there's good fishing at Lewiston Lake and only a few anglers take advantage of it. What should you expect? Leech patterns retrieved on Type III sink tips or full sink Type I lines can produce aggressive grabs. Suspending midge patterns under small indicators is a reliable technique. Bring your float tube or pram. Enjoy!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: A productive technique is suspending #22 red zebra midges or Gidgets under a treated piece of poly yarn. A single BB shot will get the flies down deep. About 7-8 feet. When using indicators, the takes can be difficult to see and detect. Successful indicator anglers keep the flies in the water, sometimes letting the drift extend all the way to the backing, then low and slow retrieve. Sink tip fly lines allow anglers to retrieve leeches, buggers and small nymphs fast or slow. This lake is best fished from a motorized boat, pram or pontoon boat.
Float tubes are fine if you are okay with walking back up to the parking lot after the slow current of Lewiston pushes you south of the boat ramp.
Manzanita Lake is popular with fly fishermen, maintains a catch-and-release policy, and non-motorized boating is permitted.
Current Lake Conditions:
The lake is fishing well, they aren't too picky right now with the recent ice-out. The Callibaetis will be coming off soon and fish are definitely grabbing leeches and Woolley Buggers.
Pay attention to the special regulations here, especially where you can and can't fish. Barbless hooks, artificial lures, catch and release. Make sure you inquire at the park entrance.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Try a #18 non-beaded Pheasant Tail Nymph slowly retrieved on a floating line, or Airflo STREAMER MAX Sink Tip Line. Small #20 Midge patterns suspended under a small indicator should also work. Hunt the edges of the weeds and along shadows. Retrieving buggers and or leeches is a well known solution to tricking the more aggressive fish that hold in the weeds and deeper sections.
Taper your leaders to 5x or 6x. Using a float tube or a pontoon boat, paddle out into the lake and look along the edges for cruising rainbows and browns. Airflo STREAMER MAX Sink Tip Line is a perfect line for retrieving and stripping Pheasant tail nymphs. Bring a float-tube so you can get out and cast towards the bank. It's tough to position your presentation from the shore. Too many obstacles to throw that back cast into. and Callibeeotis. Use a floating line and leader tapered to 6x with a bead head PT with a very, very, very slow retrieve. Fish will find your nymph and take it, but don't set the hook! Just lift and let line out until you can bend the rod without first breaking the fish off. Use a thermometer to find that 55-65°.
Lake Fact: Lassen Nat'l park is a living museum of vulcanism. But you won't find Spock hanging here giving out nerve pinches. The Volcano, known as Lassen Peak, is the centerpiece of the park, standing at 10,456'. Last erupted in a series of events dated from 1914-1917. The most powerful occurred May 22nd, 1915 raining volcanic ash up to 200 miles away. May you live well and prosper.
McCloud Reservoir's waters are incredibly colored with a touch of blue and a broad stroke of green. Rainbow trout cruise these waters. The fly fishing can be unbelievable.
Current Lake Conditions:
Fish on! This sleeper location has been productive lately. Good techniques have been suspending Balanced Leeches below an indicator. Try heading up to the river inflow and look for those current seams and you should get your fair share of hook ups.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: The best way to fish McCloud Reservoir is out of a motorized boat. The banks lining the reservoir are steep and access to the best water is limited. Stripping buggers and leeches on sinking lines is a very productive method.
Lake Fact: Mud Creek flows from it’s source, the Konwakiton Glacier on Mt. Shasta, enters the Upper McCloud River as it courses south into McCloud Reservoir, also known as Lake McCloud. Mud Creek is loaded with a very fine silt that ends up suspended in the waters of McCloud Reservoir. It’s the light refracting qualities of this fine silt that produces the brilliant turquoise colored waters of McCloud Reservoir and the famed McCloud River that flows out of the earthen dam that creates McCloud Reservoir.
This scenic ranch, surrounded by more than 65,000 acres of National Forest, is the jewel in the necklace of The Fly Shop's® Private Waters and welcomes a limited number of guests from mid-May through October.
The water boatman bite is on! Fish a black beetle, or two in tandem, towards shore and wait for some explosive grabs. A major advantage to this strategy is you won't have to change patterns when the afternoon breezes have the fish prowling the bushy areas looking for beetles blown into the lake. If top water takes aren't your thing, dangle a Zebra Midge or San Juan Worm below an indicator or Chubby Chernobyl near the creek inlet and you will have to opportunity to check your reel's drag function. Evenings will see some caddis coming off of the creek and lake. There are a ton of Golden Stoneflies and March Browns in the creek, make sure you highstick the foamy drop-offs with a Poxyback Golden Stone and a #14 Pheasant tail.
Over on the creek, angers fishing hoppers and droppers are getting into aggressive brown trout and a few rainbows. Fishing has been fun!
Figure out how to get here, and you will have no shortage of great fishing!
At 5,000 ft. elevation, the waters here normally stay cold year 'round! The stream sits 20 ft.. from the lodge, and almost every bend has rainbow or brown trout lurking in the undercut banks! And the two scenic lakes on the ranch are full of trophy rainbow and brown trout. Two lakes and around a mile of stream provide anglers with wade fishing, bank fishing or float tubing. Opportunities for small trout and large trout, rainbows or browns on dries, nymphs, or streamers!! What more could you want? How about a comfortable lodge with a wet bar, huge fireplace, Direct TV, and gourmet food? No problem, it's all here!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: The rainbows in the lakes are answering to leeches and woolly bugger patterns fished on intermediate sinking lines. When you get tired of casting that sinking line, switch to your floating line spool and cast a midge pattern suspended under a small indicator. Pinch on a BB split shot just above the double-surgeon knot that extends your tippet to your fly. Be prepared with water boatman patterns and a few Parachute Adams. In summer, think Ants, Hoppers, Beetles.
Bailey Creek bubbles out of two beautiful spring heads and tumbles down through a canyon for only a few miles and then across Twin Creeks Ranch.
There are some Big bows on the lake and they are taking stripped dragon fly and damsel fly nymphs. Water boatmen are also on the menu, so bring some black beetles and keep ‘em moving. If you are a dry fly purist, the best fly is a tan Deer Hari Damsel. The creek is chock-full of small, wild rainbows that grab swung TFS Poopahs and Bird's Nests.
Expect to find rainbows chasing your leeches, buggers, Clouser minnows.
Upper Lake Bass:
Bass fishing in the upper lake is fair. Conditions are good with cool temperatures. Search the edges of the lake for bass holding near weeds and structure.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Basic Elk Hair Caddis and Parachute Adams fly patterns can trick these fish into feeding off the surface on the creek. At times, the most productive technique on the creek is suspending a small Zebra Midge or a Hogan's S&M under a brushy dry like a Stimulator. Make sure you cover the water and move from spot to to spot.
For the lake; Bring a pontoon boat or float tube. Stripping stillwater nymphs using a slow retrieve works great as does suspending PT nymphs under an indicator. The upper lake Bass have a soft-spot for frog patterns and crystal buggers. Check out out your list of hot flies below.
Battle Creek is a rough-and-tumble freestone stream cascading through a remote wilderness canyon with some of the best, untouched wild rainbow trout in the North State.
Current River Conditions:
Flows have dropped considerably and 350 CFS the creek is in great shape for wading. Hoppers are everywhere, so bring your favorite pattern and get ready for some action up top! Drop a red Copper John, Dark Lord or Rubberlegs and you will be set. It's going to be hot, so leave your waders at home.
This is a beautifully rugged stream! Expect to find patches of brush, blackberry bushes and steep inclines to scramble down or up between you and the river. A tight squeeze here and there should be expected, but a fair trade for the chance to cast a fly to wild rainbows that are known to clobber stone fly nymphs and big dry flies. Watch out for rattle snakes!!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: The pocket-water nymphing on this stream can be fantastic. It's definitely the most productive method here. Sometimes we'll carry a sink-tip line and swing streamers in the deeper slots and hook into some large meat-eating fish. Stone fly hatches in the spring can be mind-blowing! The "Coleman Ditch", more like a spring creek, on the property is absolutely loaded with 14-18" rainbows. It's open to all Battle Creek guests who are fishing on the ranch.
The Bollibokka Club was established as a private fishing club on the McCloud River early in 1904. The Club surrounds more than 3,000 acres, and slightly more than seven miles of some of the best wild trout fishing in the American West.
Current reports are of some great fishing on this iconic river. Not a lot of hatches happening, but the water clarity has the Goldilocks seal of approval: not too clear, not too murky, just right! Current flies proven to work are #14-16 Amber Prince & Eng Thing, #6-8 brown Rubberlegs, & #14-16 Dark Lord. Don't forget to swing some sculpin patterns for the big boys, you can hook some big browns using this technique.
The good news is that the river is clear and fishable, and the forecast (finally) is for warm weather and clear skies for the foreseeable future.
For now, the river should be high but fishable. Expect challenging access, and fish to be concentrated in the slower-moving sections. We did see high flows like this a few years ago (prior to the drought), and the fishing was quite good as the fish are concentrated in these slower moving pockets. There's less places to fish, but those places you can get to are often loaded with fish. And with nice weather in the forecast, there should be some dry fly action in the flats and pools as well. Good luck!
If you're interested in learning more about this historic fishing club and getting on the Wait List for future memberships, give us a call.
The Bollibokka Fishing Club, established in 1904, sits on seven private miles of the majestic McCloud River and is available to Club Members. If you would like to learn how to become a member of Bollibokka click here. With limited private access and very little angling pressure the fishing is great!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Best tactic is going deep with small dark #16-18 nymphs. Up top, try an Orange Stimulator while suspending Zack's TB Pseudo May underneath. With the river water being colored to 1-2 ft of visibility, getting dry flies over fish holding near the edge of the river is easier vs. clear conditions when your presence is easily detected by the McCloud's weariest fish.
Besides a floating line, bring your sink tip fly line, either a type 4 or 6 DC line for stripping and swinging buggers, sculpins and leeches for the big browns that swim here. Indicator nymphing will be the most productive method through this summer. Drop your leader from your indicator about 5 ft. or more to the split shot. Use an SSG sized shot. Suspend two flies below the shot, the bigger of the two flies above the smaller. Use a "high-stick" or "short-line presentation".
River Fact: Green's Creek Fish Hatchery, a federally run trout hatchery was once located only a few miles downstream of the existing Bollibokka Club House. Around 1872, this hatchery shipped the eggs of McCloud rainbows all over the United States and to many foreign countries including New Zealand and Argentina where McCloud rainbows (Salmo Shasta) roam the streams of those far away waters to this day.
Clear Creek is a narrow, mountain stream that begins in the snow-capped Trinity Divide and runs more than fifteen miles through a rugged canyon before it ever hits a paved road.
Current River Conditions:
Clear Creek is looking great this year! We will have clear, cool water through the summer for some great fishing. The abundant precipitation this past winter and spring have the ranch looking beautiful. Early season on Clear Creek means some Drakes and PMDs with caddis just starting to get going. We may be a little late for stoneflies, but it never hurts to try. Once we have some people in fishing it we'll update the report with the low down.
In the center of the ranch, less than an hour from The Fly Shop®, there are 3 cabins for guest use. They're isolated from one another and when you rent one of the cabins it comes with the exclusive use of two miles of the stream. Read more here..
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Fishing a big stimulator suspending a midge or red copper john has always been a good option albeit a proven one on Clear Creek. Bring a fly box containing beetles and ants in the late spring through summer months. Crystal Buggers are always a solid choice! Fish along the ferns and Indian rhubarb (those elephant ears looking plants). Fish a stimulator suspending a Zack's Pseudo May in #16 or #18. Suspending small #18-20 nymphs like WD-40s should work great!
The Hat Creek Ranch is one of the latest additions to our private fisheries, and it is quickly becoming one of our most popular ranch destinations.
Hat Creek Ranch is looking very nice right now. The creek is flowing higher than normal, but the ponds are in prime condition. We are seeing some BWO's and Callibaetis hatching, the trout are eating leeches as well. Strip your favorite Woolly Bugger for some vicious grabs. A well-presented dry such as a Parachute Adams will get slurped. It is hard to beat this little ranch for some solid trout action.
The lake typically offers chances at big rainbows and brown trout. The rainbows and browns are into eating midge patterns in #18-20. A solid fly selection includes but is not limited to beaded light-brite buggers, Zack's Zuggers, Chan's Frostbite, Chromies and any of Harrop's Last Chance Callibaetis Cripples.
Current Creek Conditions:
The creek is in great shape, not too high, not too low with just a tinge of color with the recent snow-melting heat. Perfect!
With two idyllic cabins right on the banks of upper Hat Creek, private access to your own stretch of the creek as well as three trout-filled ponds, all within minutes of Burney and all of the great public accesses nearby, you're bound to fall in love with the Hat Creek Ranch!
The Fly Shop's® Tips: On the creek; The bigger fish in the creek are holding under the structure, riffles, and undercut banks. Look in the shadows along the edges of the creek. Drifting and swinging dark buggers will bring them out. Sometimes ants or beetles will work too. Use stealth when approaching these fish. Sometimes it's best to spot them and come back later, at sundown or early AM to get the job done.
Look for daily hatches of PMDs, PEDs and caddis, damsel flies. Simulators in #12-14 are a good fly for suspending #20 midges on 6x.
The Young Ranch is home to Lake Christine, located in a park-like setting nestled in a forest of evergreens and hardwoods and watched over by the ever-vigilant bald eagle family that nests in a towering pine just off the shore.
Current Lake Conditions:
We have some solid reports from the lake recently. Browns and ‘bows are cruising the shallows looking for the early season mayflies and dragonfly nymphs. Good numbers of wild rainbows are grabbing leech patters and mayfly nymphs.
The lake offers 6 acres of solitude, large, photographic rainbow trout and some brown trout, all nestled in the mountains near Lassen National Park. Perfect for small groups. We offer Lake Christine as a stay-and-play-for-the-day destination. If you decide to stay overnight, a cabin can be rented, located only minutes away.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Some of the best producing patterns include #14 prince nymphs, #14 black A. P.s and leeches. A great Callibaetis dry pattern is a #16-14 Parachute Adams. Suspending your nymphs under an indicator has been working best. Leeches are typically stripped, but who's in charge? It is especially important to have a float tube or pram to access the lake. You might like to know this lake is known for it's wondrous dry fly fishing!. Casting to cruising, rising rainbow trout happens everyday. When fishing midges suspended under an indicator, the depth should be no more than 4 feet to the split shot. Use a BB split shot about 16-20" from the fly.
We are excited to be able to offer access to Luk Lake,formerly known as Coffee Cup Lake, a great wintertime and springtime rainbow trout destination and year 'round bass fishery.
Current Lake Conditions:
Bass are on the top water early in the morning and towards sunset. Otherwise, look a little deeper with streamers for some good grabs. An effective method this time of year is to fish a Woolley Bugger or Balanced Leech deep and slow. Streamers will get attention, use the most erratic retrieve you can muster for best results.
Luk Lake is a 65+ acre lake conveniently located just minutes off Interstate 5 in Corning. Its location in the Central Valley makes it an outstanding winter stillwater destination, full of trophy rainbow trout. It makes for a great destination, complete with a cozy cabin that can accommodate up to 12 guests. It's easy access also makes for a great place to pop in a fish for a partial day when heading up to the Lower Sac, Trinity, or Klamath (or a way to catch a few fish after a tough steelhead trip!).
The Fly Shop's® Tips: All methods work here! Try a #12 Parachute Adams or suspend a #16 Zebra Midge and a San Juan Worm under an indicator. Trophy rainbows and bass will attack chartreuse or black woolly buggers! Look for cruising fish in the shallows for best dry fly fishing!
This terrific fishing property lies at 3,200 ft in the foothills below the western slope of Mt. Lassen National Park.
Current Lake Conditions:
The lake is still cool enough for some trout action. We'll keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't warm up too much near the surface. For now, we're letting the fish have their peace during the warmest months so they are in great shape when it cools off after the summer.
Rock Creek is still fishing solid with the trout cruising for midges. This heat spike will drive some fish deeper, so the old creek channel is a good place to strip a Bugger or Balanced Leech deep. Some water boatmen have been propagating the lake so bring some of those. Terrestrials are beginning to become a factor with fish cruising the far, brush-lined shore looking for beetles. We expect the lake to remain cold enough to fish over the summer so if you've got that still water trout fishing itch, we can get you in for some day fishing.
In the same neighborhood as Lake Christine and Bailey Creek, Rock Creek Lake will deliver excellent fishing on par if not better than the neighbors. So far this season, rock Creek has not disappointed anyone. The fishing rocks at Rock Creek!
This is our most popular private water destination, with limited availability through out the season. There is a cabin here where anglers can put your feet up and dry the waders off after a fun day of tubing the lake or fishing from a pram or pontoon boat. The setting is classic mountain fly fishing! Perfect for a fly fishing family get-a-way.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Either suspend a midge pattern under a small indicator or retrieve a leech of bugger. Sinking lines as well as floating lines useful here, as the fish will suspend at varying levels depending on water temperatures and available food sources. Fish your buggers and leeches toward the middle of the lake, retrieving from an edge position.
There are some really huge trout here! A few recent sightings by clients and staff have confirmed the existence of rainbows over 12 pounds! Suspending midges under small 1/2" indicators works really well! Bring a few Callibaetis nymphs and cripples and tie them to a 9' leader tapered to no more than 5x. Finding the fish should be easy. Just look for rise forms.
Nestled in the Scott River Valley surrounded by the Salmon, Scott and Cascade Ranges, a still water fanatic’s dream come true…
Current Lake Conditions:
The fish are on the midge bite. Black Beetles and other terrestrials are definitely being eaten in the afternoon when the mountain breezes pick up. Some recent guests had some great luck stripping water boatmen on the larger north ponds. Look for the caddis to start coming off soon near evening.
Always popular with still water enthusiasts, we are proud to offer this little slice of heaven along with our other properties. Adjacent to the historic Scott River, these ponds were created amongst the gold mining tailings when the miners broke through the water table. The picturesque ponds are fed year round with gin-clear water from cold water springs. Wild rainbow trout and dace spawn in the gravel beds where the springs enter the ponds. Some say these fish descended from steelhead caught in the ponds during a high water years. It would be hard to refute this once you have hooked one of these hard fighting beauties!
The Fly Shop's® Tips:
Either suspend a midge pattern under a small indicator or retrieve a leech or bugger. Sinking lines as well as floating lines are useful here, as the fish will suspend at varying levels depending on water temperatures and available food sources. Fish your buggers and leeches toward the middle of the lake, retrieving from an edge position.
Spring through late summer you will find your best chances to fool these fish up top. A variety of mayflies are present and periodic hatches throughout the day will provide opportunities to cast to a rising fish. A nine foot, 5x tapered leader with a 24” section of 5x – 6x tippet works best. Cast your cripple patterns that match the size of the hatching insects well ahead of cruising trout and hang on!
Swarts Ponds is an amazing bass fishery! Over 25 acres of pure bass bliss only minutes from The Fly Shop.
Current Lake Conditions:
Swarts is fishing good up top in the mornings and evenings. The water remains at a nice, higher level than it has in the past two years so all of those great places in the back part of the lake are still accessible. When the top bite winds down, try a sub-surface presentation like the Ultimate Worm in olive. The bluegill and crappie are on the menu as well to any good baitfish pattern can get a good grab.
Stay at our comfortable cabin located next door at Steiner Lake. The Steiner Lake cabin is perfectly situated allowing guests to fish Swarts and Steiner. At the Steiner Cabin, you are in driving distance to the Lower Sacramento or the McCloud, Upper Sacramento and even the Pit River. It's perfect for you, friends and family. Additional costs apply.
The Fly Shop's® Tips: Best fished from a pram, pontoon boat, float tube or even a drift boat. In the spring months, focus on the edges of the weeds, along the bank. In the summer, the bass can be found along the edges of the ponds in the morning and then again near sunset. Fishing leeches, buggers on a sinking line over deeper waters should be your strategy mid day when the sun is hot and the days long. A 6 or 7wt rod, 7.5 2X-3X tapered leader and tippet is the basic top water set up. A Type-3 sink tip fly line will get your flies down fast, so you can start stripping as soon as that bugger hits the water!
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or e-mail us at email@example.com anytime. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.
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