The Meandering Angler: Water, water everywhere

So where can you fly-fish for trout now?|

The Upper Sacramento River, my favorite relatively “local” trout stream, fed by the snows of Mt. Shasta and surrounding peaks, looks great right now if you are a crazy whitewater rafter, but it probably won’t be safely fishable for another month. At least that is what Bob Grace, owner of the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, said this week.

The snow that most Californians were happy to see falling last winter, kept falling through most of March. Now its melting and rivers that are normally a little bit high this time of year, are really high.

The same is true for the McCloud River and the Pit River. Further south the Truckee River is also running very high, although some guys are managing to find safe eddies in which to try fishing.

So where can you fly-fish for trout now?

The Fly Shop in Redding reports indicate Fall River is fishable, as is Hat Creek. In fact there are salmon flies hatching there.

The lower Sacramento River, where its flows are regulated by the dam, is providing great fly-fishing now, but you’ll probably need a boat and a guide. The Fly Shop offers both. Call 530-222-3555 to reserve a guided trip. For more information go to their website at

You can also fly-fish close to Sonoma by booking a day or half-day with Capt. Patrick MacKenzie, our resident fly-fishing guide who specializes in the Napa River and San Pablo Bay where his clients pursue striped bass. He also guides on Lake Sonoma and Berryessa. Patrick knows these waters like his own back yard. A day’s fishing with him is a great experience. Call him at 707-721-6700 and check out his website at

Fishing in San Francisco Bay should be great this Memorial Day weekend because it is already great. Halibut and striped bass are biting like crazy all over the bay, including along the Marin Shoreline around China Camp. If you have a boat, there are lots of bay locations where you can catch stripers and halibut on the same trip, and if you are really resourceful, you can complete a S.F. Bay “hat trick” by landing a sturgeon, because sturgeon fishing has been good this week too.

Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael is the man to call for the latest information, directions for good fishing spots and the best live bait to use. Call Keith at 415-456-0321.

Fishing off the Sonoma Coast has been stymied by heavy winds that have kept most party boats and other anglers tied to the dock. Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing had an outstanding opening day last week, with his clients bringing home full limits of rock fish as well as full or near full limits of ling cod. Rick says the winds are going to calm toward the end of this week and over Saturday and Sunday Call him at 707-875-3344 for information and reservations.

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