Many of us would chase salmon and steelhead year ’round with our two handed rods if it were possible.  A popular and aesthetic alternative has recently emerged with lighter two handed rods, Trout Spey. These smaller rods can be quite effective under the right circumstances to target trout and are pleasurable to cast.

Costa Kick Plastic IconThe Lower Sacramento River is not widely known for its streamer chasing fish, but there are definitely opportunities to target sculpin-eating rainbows in riffles and runs.  When the hydropsyche Caddis are boiling off in the late spring and summer evenings your four weight Spey rod is the perfect delivery vehicle, with a Scandi line and light Polyleader, to bomb Bird’s Nests and LaFontaine Emergers into every nook and cranny you will find fish blowing up in the riffles and runs.  Coming tight to a Lower Sac Bow while swinging is exhilarating, and on a light Trout Spey outfit, these fish will test your skills to bring them to the net.

Smaller rivers are also perfect for your Trout Spey setup and The Upper Sacramento River is a perfect example.  The larger fish coming up out of Shasta Lake have been feasting on shad their entire lives and readily chase streamers in The Upper.

Our guides love to cast two handed rods and are excellent instructors.  Our expert Trout Spey guides can provide instruction in casting, rigging, fly selection and presentation techniques.

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Reservations & Rates

Rates (1-2 anglers):
• Full Day - $625/day (Package deal, including flies, tackle & equipment)
• Half Day - $485/day (Package deal, including flies, tackle, & equipment)

Included in your guided Trout Spey package is 8-10 hours of guided fishing with lunch provided. Your guide will also be providing all the necessary terminal tackle (flies, rods, reels, lines, leaders, tippet, indicators, and split shot).

Not included in your guided Trout Spey package are fishing license (regular license and steelhead report card), waders, boots, and items of a personal nature.

All guided trips through The Fly Shop® will be Package Deals. Package Deals include the guide providing all the necessary terminal tackle for your trip (flies, rods, reels, lines, leaders, tippet, indicators, and split shot). You will still be responsible for any additional items needed for the trip such as waders, boots, wading staff, protective eyewear and proper clothing.

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Seasons for Trout Spey Guided Trips

The Lower Sacramento River has some unique features that guarantee something is happening year 'round, and for the most part that is the case with swinging flies. Beginning in the early spring, the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch can draw rainbows up into shallow riffles as the hound the little insects coming off in big numbers. These fish are readily accessible with a Scandi head and intermediate poly leader and will take swung Caddis pupa imitations.

Later in the spring, in June through September, the larger Hydropsyche Caddis emergence will begin in earnest. The peak of the hatch is near dark, but the rainbows will begin hammering on the pupas later in the

afternoon and this is when a swung imitation will begin to get grabs. Trips at this time of year may require covering more water on The Lower Sacramento due to the increased flows, the summertime flows are the greatest in order to meet the agricultural needs in the valley and delta.

In September we see the first hatchery steelhead showing up in the Red Bluff area and these are some of the grabbiest fish you will encounter ever. With higher flows, a Skagit head and sink tips may be necessary, but definitely worth your while when one of these rockets grabs your fly. During October and through November the peak of the steelhead escapement is realized and the Keswick releases are brought down toward the lowest levels of the year. This opens up a lot of water with broad, long riffles and runs as large as the lower Klamath. Skagits and sink tips can work, but a well fished Scandi head can be quite effective too.

September is a great time to fish sculpins and other streamers on the Upper Sacramento above Lake Shasta. Fish coming up out of the lake can be quite hot and are a worthy adversary of light Spey gear. Sculpin patterns and even lighter shad offerings can be quite effective and fun.

As the fall turns to winter, the Sacramento will be at its lowest flow with many gravel bars exposed from Redding to Los Molinos, there literally is weeks of water to fish with endless riffles, runs and tailouts. Sometime in December the rainbows will begin chomping sculpins, the year round riffle residents. This requires the right set up and a very specific technique, but when you have it mastered it is as fun as it ever gets. The sculpin bite will last through about the month of March when the small black Mother’s Day Caddis hatch begins.

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Trout Spey Fishing Guided Trips

The Lower Sacramento river is best tackled from a raft or drift boat via the many public access put ins. Most of these are within a short drive of The Fly Shop®. Once you have met your guide the morning of your trip, they will discuss the best options based upon recent reports and water conditions.

Fishing these rivers from a drift boat or raft offers the advantage of covering as much water as possible in a day and our guides excel in putting you in the best water to fish with the two handed rod. Once you have decided upon your fishing location and game plan, you will follow them to where they will put their boat or raft in, and you will mostly likely

shuttle their vehicle to the take out. Although The Fly Shop® does not provide a shuttle service, we can assist you with setting up a shuttle if one is available.

Trout Spey setups in 3 to 5 weights, 10 ½’ to 12’ are perfect. A six weight two handed rod can be used as well. A Skagit head with a variety of 10’ T-6 and T-10 tips and tippet will work for fishing streamers. A Scandi or Rage Compact head can be used for the smaller Caddis pupa offerings, a 10’ intermediate sinking poly leader is recommended. Flies will vary depending upon the season and can be purchased the morning of the trip based upon your guide’s recommendation. For those who don’t want to bring their gear or who are looking to sample the Trout Spey world can get the Package Deal, everything needed to fish is provided by the guide.

Due to the cold temperatures of the Lower Sacramento River, waders are recommended year 'round. Wading boots with felt and studs and a wading staff are likewise highly encouraged. Some of the cobble in the river is larger and can be difficult to navigate without.

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Lodging for Trout Spey Guided Trips

Most of the drifts that our guides cover on the Lower Sacramento River are minutes from The Fly Shop® in Redding. They are also close to several wonderful lodging options.

Gaia Hotel & Spa
4125 Riverside Place
Anderson, CA 96007
Phone: 530-365-7077
• The Gaia Hotel and Spa is located just 3 miles south of Redding and The Fly Shop directly off of Interstate 5. We are a contemporary hotel with 120 guestrooms and suites and are located on the Sacramento River. We have an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, Fitness Center, Living Waters Spa and a Full service Woodsidegrille and Lounge open 7 days a week. We offer discounted guest room rates for Guests of the Fly Shop.

Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn
2300 Hilltop Dr
Redding, CA 96002
Phone: 530-221-6100
• Come stay in the jewel of Northern California, at a hotel with it all. Our inviting rooms with contemporary style have all the little details you need to make life on the road easier: free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, large HDTVs, and pet-friendly options. Come down to C.R. Gibbs' for their full, hot buffet breakfast. From 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM every day, enjoy a selection of eggs, bacon, or french toast, just to name a few. For travelers on the go, they have a selection of cereals, pastries, and fruits for a quick option before a busy day.

Oxford Suites
1967 Hilltop Dr
Redding, CA 96002
Phone: 530-221-0100
• Oxford Suites offers discounted rates for guests of The Fly Shop, has big, clean, comfortable rooms for a good price, along with complimentary buffet breakfast, central location, and a short walk to some great Redding restaurants.

Red Lion Hotel Redding
1830 Hilltop Dr
Redding, CA 96002
Phone: 530-221-8700
• From picturesque views of the Sundial Bridge at night to trout fishing on the Sacramento River, Red Lion Hotel Redding is conveniently located in the center of the best that California has to offer.

Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge
820 Sundial Bridge Drive
Redding, CA 96003
Phone: 530-364-2800
• Discover Northern California's newest hidden gem, Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge - and experience contemporary elegance, resort-style comfort, and unmatched natural beauty. Nestled within the grounds of the 300-acre Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA.

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Getting to Trout Spey Guided Trips

Most Trout Spey guided trips will start by meeting your guide at The Fly Shop®.

To get to The Fly Shop®:
From Interstate 5, take the Churn Creek Road Exit (Exit #675). Turn east on S. Bonnyview Rd, then turn left (north) onto Churn Creek Rd. Proceed north for ½ mile and you’ll find The Fly Shop® on the left, next to the freeway.

Booking A Guide For Trout Spey Guided Trips

To book a guide, 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.