What a season: American River Steelhead, 2013!

We here in Sacramento, CA were treated to the best winter steelhead season the American River has produced since the mid 1980’s. Considering I’ve fished this river since the 1970’s, it was a delight to see her healthy and vibrant again. For several years, the American had become the “Ameri-Can’t” and catching an adult steelhead was a difficult proposition.

There has been a strong effort to improve the river’s fisheries in recent years — spawning gravel has been placed in the American’s upper reaches and water temps are cooler in the summers. Hopefully, 2013 was just the beginning of this great urban river’s revival!


  1. says

    Why dont you like braided line for plug fishing steelhead is it because theres no give and which do you prefer your clients hold the hold or placed into the rod holder

    • says

      Thanks. Nearly 100 percent were hatchery. I only remember 1-2 unclipped adults. However, every single 1/2 pounder (12-15 inches) this year had an adipose fin…

  2. jerry k says

    I have drifted this river from top to bottom, glad to see it coming back for the new fishermen of today, enjoy the wild life along the way.
    Hope the shad come back aswell.
    Young striper’s are plentiful in the lower part of the river down to the sac. use light tackle for some fun.

  3. larry bailey says

    I too grew up on the American during the 60s and 70s and was fortunate enough to learn the art of steelheading at a very young age. How great it was to toss a nightcrawler into a seam and know that you would surely hook up. I miss those youthfull days. Lets hope the river continues to improve for the young fishermen of the future.

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