While temps are okay in the upper end of the river near Red Bluff and Ball’s Ferry, conditions are pretty brutal in the lower reaches — water is up to 75 degrees in the Delta!!
Anglers fishing since the opener from Ord Bend up through the Canyon have seen very few fresh kings and a smattering of dark ones. So far, the action can be best described as depressing! However, it’s still early and there are some jumbo kings showing in the ocean so we should have some good fishing when and if the weather ever cools the water down.
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The Sac, as it flows through Redding, may just be one of the West’s greatest trout streams. Thanks to a year-round supply of cold water from Shasta Dam, the river is full of vividly-colored rainbows that can range from 12 inches to 7+ pounds (most are a solid 15-17 inches).
What’s really cool is this is a year-round tailwater fishery and there aren’t too many days that it’s not fishable. Fly fishing here can be outstanding…no really…like 50+ fish days are not out of the question when conditions are right. There’s some nice summer dry fly activity but the majority of fish are taken by drift boat anglers “side-drifting” nymphs and egg patterns under indicators.
The gear guys aren’t left out either — pulling small plugs or drifting Glo Bugs on light spinning gear can be a blast.
Anderson and Hamilton City
If you’ve only seen the Sac down below the Capitol City, you wouldn’t recognize her up here. Unlike the lower river, the water in this neck of the woods is clear and the river allowed to roam free without being constricted by levees. It’s truly a beautiful stretch of river — but not just a pretty face, either.
This is the epicenter of the Sac’s salmon fishery and though runs have been down lately, we’re looking for better times ahead. In addition, you can catch steelies, trout (in the upper reaches), sturgeon, American shad and striped bass here.
Colusa to Sacramento
While you can catch just about anything that swims in the Sacramento in this stretch, it’s best known for being the top producer of striperd bass the Valley has to offer in the spring and early summer months…especially in the Colusa to Verona reach. Drifting live minnows below Ward’s Landing, soaking bait on the color line at Verona or spooning at the mouth of the American, this area is a striper mecca! But don’t forget those salmon (when legal to fish for them), shad and sturgeon too!
Well, the ugly rumors are ture…the stretch of river from Freeport down to Rio Vista is pretty much a big ditch. Bracketed by tall levees on both sides, the river down here isn’t exactly the most scenic piece of water you’ve ever seen.
That being said, it is one big fish superhighway. King salmon, steelhead striped bass, sturgeon and American shad all pour through here en route to upstream spawning areas and if you can get in front of a school…