Sugar Creek Ranch

Rediscover Sugar Creek Ranch and Its Legendary Northern California Fly Fishing!

Those who have experienced Sugar Creek Ranch at its best over the last 20 years will recall the property’s unique 114 acre landscape with its tailing piles of river rock dug up from the adjacent Scott River during the gold mining days. When the gold miners broke through the water table, these eight picturesque ponds – mostly hidden from view as small jewels in a rocky desert – started bubbling up from newly exposed cold-water springs. This cold, gin-clear water provides ideal habitat for the large rainbow trout that call these lakes home. Sugar Creek itself winds through the property and each lake, further infusing cool, oxygen rich water into the ponds, as well as spawning habitat for the resident rainbows. Set at 3,000 feet, the ranch remains relatively cool in the summer, the lakes remain ice-free and fishable all winter, and the climate and fishing is simply majestic during the spring and fall season.

At just over 3,000 feet elevation, Sugar Creek Ranch is a great option nearly 365 days a year. Transitional seasons (spring and fall) are filled with changing colors and crisp air, and are the favorite times of most anglers. Even the warmest summertime afternoons give way to crisp cool evenings, mornings and fantastic fishing. Die hard still water enthusiasts can get a line wet and scratch the ‘big fish itch’ at Sugar Creek Ranch all winter long.

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Reservations and Rates

Package Prices:
• Daily Fishing Rates - $175 per angler, per day

• Sugar Creek Lodge - 1 or 2 guests - $200/night (Plus 10% County Tax)
• $75 for each additional guest, per night
• Up to 6 guests can stay at the lodge
• 2 night minimum stay for the lodge
• $125 Cleaning Fee

Included in your package at Sugar Creek Ranch is access to all ranch amenities. Day fishing access includes day fishing rights from sunup to sundown.

Lodge use does not include food or meals. Not included in your package at Sugar Creek Ranch are waders, rods/reels, and terminal tackle (flies, tippet, etc.) These items are not available at the ranch, so you'll want to bring your tackle and equipment with you.

The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard (AIG) and Global Rescue (IMG) coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.

Travel Insurance Information

Non-fishing companions have the run of the entire ranch should feel at home to explore the property or set up under a shade tree and enjoy a book. There is also some great sightseeing to do in the local towns of Callahan, Etna and Fort Jones.

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Seasons at Sugar Creek Ranch

The fishing season runs year 'round at Sugar Creek Ranch. 8 different ponds and lakes dot the map at Sugar Creek Ranch, each offering unique, individual fishing experiences.

March and April:
Fishing really starts to pick up as air temps begin to rise in the early spring. Crisp cool mornings and evenings give way to warm mid-day sunshine and spectacular fishing. There are a variety of insects hatching in the spring that include mayflies, midges and stoneflies. An angler's box should consist of a good selection of mayfly dries, various nymphs, streamers and midges this time of year. Stripping big streamers down deep is still a great way to find big fish. As the water temps warm, increasing the speed of your retrieve can make a big difference. Suspending small mayfly nymphs and midges under small indicators is still extremely productive.

Early season fish are less pressured and should not be nearly as line shy as they will become later in the season, so 7.5 - 9ft leaders tapering to 3x for the larger flies and 4x - 5x for the small stuff will work perfectly.

May and June:
Largely considered "prime time," fishing is pretty much wide open during May and June. Fish actively feed all day long on an endless variety of insects. Leeches, damsel nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, mayflies, caddis and midges are all on the menu. Expect to see trout rising throughout the day with the best dry fly fishing coming in the mornings and evenings. With so much variety on the menu, be ready to fish many different techniques and flies, bring your entire quiver of fly rods accompanied by floating, intermediate and sinking lines.

Spring season scenery in the Scott River Valley is also spectacular. An extensive list of wild and plant life call the valley home, and anglers can expect to encounter beautiful imagery every time they shift their attention away from the fishing action.

July and August:
The Scott River Valley measures in at a little over 3,000 feet in elevation meaning that even the warmest afternoons give way to crisp cool mornings and evenings. Fishing early mornings and late evenings during the heat of the summer is key. Early risers will find plenty of surface activity first thing in the morning with fish taking small mayfly and midge imitations on top. As the sun begins to creep into the valley, stripping streamers and boatman imitations on floating lines is the way to go. Grass hoppers, ants and beetles are present now and many large fish will cruise the shade lines near the bank looking for an easy meal.

Weed growth peaks during the summer so there is no need for fast sinking lines, and the majority of your streamer patterns should be lightly weighted.

Fishing mouse patterns on full moon nights during the summer months is also quite fun. Seeing the silhouette of your mouse exploding in a ferocious top water attack is sure to send a shot of adrenaline through the most seasoned veins. Just make sure to watch your back cast and bring plenty of coffee for the mornings, they come fast!

September through November:
Fall is in the air. The days begin to shorten, the nights cool and the valley leaves begin to turn yellow and orange. Smoke pours from the small houses that dot the valley and, collectively, creates a light layer of delicious smelling mountain haze. Later in the fall, fishing will improve after the sun gets on the water and temps begin to rise. Sleep in, have a nice breakfast and loosen up the casting arm... Gentleman's hours, if you will. If you can pull yourself away from your cup of coffee and cozy fireplace, the fishing on the ranch is well worth the effort.

The fall season is a great time of year to target trout feeding on the various bait fish found in the lakes. Dace and trout fry are often targets of the large feeding rainbows and casting to trout actively busting bait is a highlight of the entire fishing season. Weed growth also slows so it is a good idea to bring the sinking lines along for the trip.

Don't be surprised to find a mid-day mayfly hatch during late September and November. Various sizes and colors of may fly dries and emerges should do the trick. The trusty stand by, the Parachute Adams, should always be on hand.

December through February:
The lakes at Sugar Creek rarely, if ever, ice over, meaning anglers can usually cast to gigantic rainbows all winter long. In fact, winter fishing has long been popular here, as it is a great combination with winter steelheading on the Klamath, and a reliable backup option when storms blow out other rivers in the region.

Midge hatches begin in late Jan - Feb as air and water temperatures start to rise. Classic still water midge fishing techniques will work well this time of year. One very productive approach is to drop a series of midges under small indicator rigs. The flies will typically space out between 3 - 15 feet below the indicator depending on bug and fish activity. The key to success with this approach is changing both fly pattern and drop depths until you figure out the correct fly and depth.

A great way to target large trout in the colder months is to offer up a large meal. Big crayfish and streamer patterns fished deep on a sinking line can coax the biggest fish in the lake into attacking. When water temps are cool big fish might opt for a big meal that will last a long time versus chasing down a bunch of tiny bugs.

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Lodging at Sugar Creek Ranch

The Fly Shop offers lodging at the Sugar Creek Ranch Lodge and is a perfect place to relax for small and large groups alike after a day of chasing the rainbows on the ranch. The 2-story lodge is clean and comfortable with ample accommodations for six.

The main floor is comprised of a nice kitchen, half bath, living room and sunken reading room. The top floor has two standard rooms with two single beds each and individual heating units. These two rooms share a bathroom located between them. There is also a deluxe bedroom on the top floor with two full size beds, full bath, and private balcony.

Etna, California is a short 10 minute drive from the gates of Sugar Creek Ranch. With a population of roughly 750 people, this historic mining town is now home to a handful of valley ranchers, most of which have ties to the early homesteaders of the 1800's. Driving down Main Street in Etna, passing old Victorian style homes and brick buildings, one can't help but feel like they have somehow traveled back in time to the early days of rural California living. Etna is not without modern accommodations, however, and surprisingly delicious food. The Etna Motel is a great choice for small and large groups and Bob's restaurant serves up delicious down home country cookin'. The Etna Brewery's burgers are a perfect complement to their ales and stouts. The Denny Bar Co. Distillery has a full menu and is surprisingly good food. Bob's is also a very popular spot for those hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to stop in and grab a quick bite. Chatting it up with these hikers and hearing the stories from the trail can be very entertaining!

A few points to remember:
There is some poison oak on the ranch, and one should always keep an eye out for rattle snakes. This is a fire-prone region, so please be extra careful with any ashes from cigarettes on the ranch property.

History of the fishery:
Learn more about this historic fishery by visiting their website at

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Getting to Sugar Creek Ranch

Sugar Creek Ranch is located at the confluence of Sugar Creek and the Scott River in the Scott Valley of northern California's Siskiyou County.

The Scott River Valley sits at the base of the Marble Mountain Wilderness, and in fact, the Pacific Crest Trail passes directly through Etna, only a few minutes from the ranch. Traveling north, it takes a little more than two

hours to drive to Sugar Creek Ranch from Redding and roughly an hour and forty five minutes from Medford if traveling south from Oregon.

From Redding (2 Hours):
• Drive North on I-5 for 72 miles
• Take exit 751
• Turn left and drive under the freeway on Edgewood Rd.
• Turn right onto Old Hwy 99; continue straight for 7 miles
• Turn left onto Gazelle Callahan Road; continue for 30 miles
• You will merge with CA-3 and pass through Callahan; the ranch is 3 miles north of Callahan on the right hand / East side of the road
• Google Map:

From Reno (4 Hours 40 Minutes):
• Take US-395 north from Reno; continue 81 miles to CA-36 West
• Continue straight onto CA-36 West for 10 miles
• Turn right onto CA-44 West; continue 46 miles
• Turn right onto CA-89 North; continue 77.5 miles to I-5
• Merge onto I-5 North; continue for 14 miles to exit 751
• Turn left and drive under the freeway on Edgewood Rd.
• Turn right onto Old Hwy 99; continue straight for 7 miles
• Turn left onto Gazelle Callahan Road; continue for 30 miles
• You will merge with CA-3 and pass through Callahan; the ranch is 3 miles north of Callahan on the right hand / East side of the road
• Google Map -

From Medford (1 Hour 37 Minutes):
• Drive South on I-5 for 50 miles
• Take exit 773 toward CA-3 / Fort Jones / Etna
• At the off ramp, turn right onto Moonlit Oaks Ave
• Turn left onto CA-3 South to Fort Jones Rd / Etna; continue 26 miles
• In Etna, Turn left to stay on CA-3; continue 9.6 miles
• The Ranch is on your left / East past the Moore's Gravel sign
• Google Map -

Additional Information

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Making Reservations to Sugar Creek Ranch

To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or email us at or 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.