Since the first time I drifted a wet fly in the swollen flow of the Upper Sacramento, and netted the biggest brown trout of my life (at the time), I’ve always been drawn to its shores.
So while I would never say I’d rather be on the Upper than back home in Alaska, walking the train tracks and catching fish between Delta and Dunsmuir is nearly unbeatable.
My buddy Kurt and I arrived at Sims Flat campground Friday night, fished a bit, then hit the river hard on Saturday. Local fires put a haze in the air, but had almost no effect on the trip.
We worked above Sims Flat, up about a mile from an exit I don’t feel like revealing. I will say that the Rubberlegs (Jimmy Legs) was the hot fly for the day.
The thing about the Upper Sacramento is that the water type can change three times in 300 yards. You can go from wide, consistent depth rolling current to pinched current with deep channels and falls. Then the long arching stretches that sometimes produce cut-banks, sometimes not. Other stretches there’s great boulders and pocket water. It makes it a great river, but can be frustrating. You rig up with a No. 16 birds nest dropped off a rubberlegs with four pieces of split shot all under an indicator, then walk around a bend and off come the split shot and indicator. At least that’s what I did.
There are plenty of bright rainbows, and also some deep colored beauties.
The last time I was on the Upper Sac, I landed two squawfish. I didn’t even know they existed in the Upper. Saturday the surprise of the day was bass. I caught five of them, all on the rubberlegs after previously never catching one in the past three years of fishing the Upper. Oh well.
And of course, no fishing trip is complete without hitting some fast-food on the way home, if for no other reason than to help stay awake.