American River Fishing Report

Report Updated Aug. 29, 2014


With flows down on the Sac (and warm too), the American has been sucking up some kings out of the main system. Flows here are okay and temps are still below 70 degrees, making the American the “Glacial Tributary” right now. There are some nice kings, but you pretty much have to get into the Basin to get them. Try throwing Blue Fox spinners right at daylight and then switch to drifting roe once the sun pops up.

Don’t forget the upper end of the American, above the power lines at Ancil Hoffman, is all barbless hooks only!


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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