American River Fishing Report

Report Updated Oct. 15, 2014

Some Kings Around

The river is low and warm and full of weeds, but there are some fish poking around. The lower end has been tough — the Dredger Holes, etc (and the night bite has been crap as well) but there are fish up around Sunrise and Sailor Bar. Not tons, mind you, but enough to be considered “catchable numbers.” The thing of it is, most are being caught in less than legit ways. However, there are some biters to be had for anglers who prefer to catch, anther than snag, their fish. Drift roe, cast spinners or back troll Flatfish but  you’ll have to get up early to get them. In the low flows, the biters are active mainly at the crack of dawn.

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American River map

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About the American River

The American winds its way 23 miles through the heart of California’s Capitol City from Nimbus dam to its confluence with the Sacramento River. Though it bisects a major metropolitan area, you’d never know it when you’re on the water. There’s a ton of wildlife in the scenic green belt along the river and surprisingly good fishing to be had as well.

The American’s once epic salmon runs have recently fallen on hard times but anglers still see some nice winter steelhead action from November through March on mostly hatchery fish that can sometimes reach 16 or even 18 pounds. In May, a huge run of shad hits the river and they are followed by striped bass that can occasionally top the 50-pound mark. Both species are present until mid summer and then things settle down here from mid July until the fall.

Photos from the American by JD
Spring steelhead on the American River

Species of the American River

Fall Chinook

Striped Bass

American Shad


Photos from the American:

Riffle below Ancil Hoffman Park

Riffle below Ancil Hoffman Park

The Lower American, just up from Watt Ave.

The Lower American, just up from Watt Ave.

Deer crossing near Goethe (River Bend) Park

Deer crossing near Goethe (River Bend) Park