Big trout on the Lower Sac


There’s a context that comes with big trout. What’s big for one river, is decent for another. The Upper Sacramento has some really nice bruiser browns and rainbows, but to compare it with the Lower Sacramento’s average size and availability of rainbows isn’t fair. So while I am a lover of seclusion, there are times when you just have to fork over some money, and get a guide with a drift boat.
In March I went out with The Fly Shop on my first ever float and it didn’t disappoint. Two buddies and I split two boats and we netted a bunch of good fish, a couple nearing 25 inches.
The water is almost three times as high as it was in March, but there are obviously tons of fish around so we went out again.
We recruited a fourth friend to cut the cost of hotel, food, and boats. Nate and I have our own stuff, but since my 6-weight is still at Sage being repaired after a mishap on a canoe float in Alaska we signed up for the package deal, which means the shop supplies everything down to the flies for a gentle fee.
We drove up the day of our float, so we weren’t exactly quick on the strikes as you might image after a three hour drive to arrive at the shop at 8:30am. The fishing wasn’t wide open for all us, but there were some big fish though none broke 20 inches. We happened to pick a weekend where there was a lot of water fluctuation, which can make the fish a little fussy. But there were plenty of trout looking for a snack.
To say our guide knew the river would be an understatement. He was on it.
“We’re going left side in 15 seconds.”
He could have been lying, but a big part of fishing is confidence and trust. If you get the feeling your guide is going through the motions, it can be a little deflating. Shane wasn’t a cheerleader, he didn’t get too excited but was personable and professional – all you can ask for in a guy who’s supposed to get you into big trout. We fished pretty hard, though there were a few times Nate’s indicator vanished beneath the surface while he was bird watching.
The same thing happened to me.
“That had to be at least a 25 incher.”
Shane’s subtle humor…I think.

Plenty of these boys too.
Plenty of these boys too.

If you’re in the mood for some big trout, then The Fly Shop (530 222-3555) has both half and full days on the Lower Sacramento and surrounding rivers.
Package deals offer peace of mind, or you can bring your own gear and flies.

This article was posted September 20 on
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