Upper Sacramento River. As you travel 1-5 miles from Box Canyon Dam at the base of Siskiyou Lake all the way down to Lakehead at the upper end of Lake Shasta, you will be paralleling one of California’s premier stretches of trophy trout water.
There are lots of 10 to 14 inch fish, some wild trout, rainbows, browns, an occasional brookie and some trophy-sized fish too. Along Interstate 5 there are numerous roadside accesses at wilderness hamlets such as Delta, La Moine, Gibson, Sims, Flume Creek, Costell and Dunsmuir.
The season usually beings the last Saturday in April and lasts through to November 15.
There are many deep pools along the Upper Sacramento and bait offerings will work for spin fishermen. Crickets, ‘hoppers, ‘crawlers and salmon eggs will take their share of fish.
Lures such as the black and gold Panther Martin and brown Rooster Tail spinners should be tried in the deeper pools, pockets and tailout areas. Similarly, spoons like the Kastmaster and Li’l Cleo should work.
The major interest in this water however is for its outstanding fly fishing. There has traditionally been a great hatch from late July to early October. Start by fishing “wet” in the early mornings.
Popular local patterns include the following: Cro Fly, Browns or Black Spent Wing, Yellow Jacket, Peacock and other black or brown nymphs. Dry fly activity is best in the late evenings on the Upper Sacramento. Fish the Humpy, Adams, Red Quill, Burlap Wrap, Mosquito, Gray Hackle or Yellow or Light Cahill patterns.
Definitely consider doing a little “dapping” in these deeper pockets along this run of the Sacramento.