Report updated Sept. 9, 2014
The water is still warm down low, but salmon fishing is on the upswing in the Sacramento River. The best action is near Red Bluff, where most of the fish have slowed down because of the cooler water. Downriver, places like Hamilton City, Ord Bend, Colusa and Knights Landing have all had their good and bad days…with more slow that hot ones. The same holds true for Verona, the Sac Metro area, Walnut Grove and Vierra’s…if you hit it on a day the fish are pushing through, you may get a couple of chromers.
The good news is the lower river should only get better as the month progresses and the weather (hopefully) cools. Guide JD Richey says he’s expecting good trolling in the lower Sac beginning early October.
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Current River Conditions
Sacramento River map
View Sacramento River — Redding in a larger map
About the Sacramento River:
Redding to Red Bluff
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!
Sacramento to Rio Vista
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…
Species of the Sacramento River
Resident Rainbow Trout