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The McCloud River Fishing Report

The McCloud River gave us a show last week. We ended up with some great fish and some good dry fly fishing. Overall the hatches are weak this year. However for 20-30 minutes, the PMD hatch was damn fine and there are enough Yellow Sallies flying around to keep the trout looking up throughout the day. Unless you see rising fish, its best to cover the water and fish as many spots you can. The fish that are on the hunt don’t need a second cast. The glacial melt allows us to creep up a little closer then normal and perfect the drag free drift. Nymphers should also consider the glacial tint in choosing their fly size and color. When visibility is an issue consider fishing the pocket water or swinging soft hackles through the tail-outs. Despite the good fishing and beautiful sunny days, there were not a lot of anglers out. The McCloud was left for only a few of us. It was a pleasure to pull up to the Nature Conservancy and not see a single rig. We’ve been in every stretch of the river this month and from to to bottom she is fishing well, come fish it with us.

 

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Summer Fish Good

Mother McCloud Daze

Mother McCloud Daze

Dog Daze officially here. Best fishing has been mornings and evenings. If you must get out there during the peak of the day when the sun is directly overhead seek out the heavy, oxygenated, frothy water. The fish on both the McCloud and Upper Sac love this type of water during midday. Little Black Shit has been working the best … remember get those flies down, the fish are hugging the bottom. River conditions on both excellent. The visibility issues on the McCloud have improved as you can see and the Upper Sac flows remain very good, exceeding the normal summer averages and running colder. We’ve been sticking some nice fish this summer, the happy face abides with our sports. Give us a shout.

Rick Cox

Vishal just broke off a toad, that's why he's empty handed and I am retying                                                                Photo by Elliott Wright TNC 

Vishal just broke off a toad, that’s why he’s empty handed and I am retying                                                                Photo by Elliott Wright TNC 

Tristan's first go at fly fishing ... landed 3 fish

Tristan’s first go at fly fishing … landed 3 fish

John stuck 2 nice fish right here

John stuck 2 nice fish right here

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Happy 4th Of July

 Fine Tuning Fred's Technique In Preparation For Later
Fine Tuning Fred’s Technique In Preparation For Later

Both the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers are in excellent shape now. Clarity of the water is great so a bit of stealth is required. The McCloud has been crowded and will be through the 4th of July extended weekend. For both rivers mornings and evenings are the best time to be on the water and look for those shady spots midday. Some big fish were hooked this last week on an assortment of nymphs and dry/dropper. It’s July now, we have plenty of water unlike the previous drought years so this summer should offer excellent opportunities for you.

Fred Just Graduated

Fred Just Graduated

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                    Photo by Rick Cox

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Photo by Rick Cox

Photo by Andy Marx

Photo by Andy Marx

Give us a shout here at Wild Waters Fly Fishing for a fun day on the river.
Cheers
Rick Cox

                                             

Grand Start To Summer

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The heat wave has hit and the snow melt is finally pooping out. The McCloud and Upper Sac are now in excellent shape and beckoning all of you. Morning and evenings are the ticket for best results but if you must fish during the day get your junk in the thick of all of that heavy oxygenated water with lots of lead. Both rivers are running gin clear so more stealth than usual is recommended. Hatches have been better in the evenings with Golden Stones, PMD’s, Gray Drakes, Little Yellow Sallies, Caddis and BWo’s showing on both rivers. Hat Creek has also been worth a visit where a nice PMD hatch happens regularly this time of year. Fortunately temps are due to drop next week so the brain baking will not be as severe. Heads up on the McCloud, we have been seeing more rattlers than usual, someone got bit in the Preserve recently so be careful!

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Rick Cox

Game On!

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It is all about the McCloud right now. Flows are a bit high but as you can see very user friendly. The visibility is about the clearest you will see until Mud Creek kicks in its glacial tint which is just around the corner. The snow melt on Mt. Shasta has cranked up and it’s showing in McCloud Reservoir … soon to be in the river. The Golden Stones have arrived and numerous hatches are appearing. June is a great time to be here and the fishing should be excellent. No excuses, pack your bags, tell the wife and dog you have an appointment with a dear friend in need and get up/down here. Dry/dropper has been working along with your favorite Mayfly and Caddis patterns. Evenings are producing a dry fly clinic.

The Upper Sac continues its slow creep down in flow, currently reading 1150 cfs at Delta. More and more spots are opening up and just like the McCloud hatches of Golden Stones, mayflies and caddis are appearing. This river is an alternative as always and the fish have not been harassed by anyone for a looooong time.

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Slowly Improving Conditions

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Memorial Day weekend rapidly approaching and some of you are angsting about the river conditions. The McCloud dropped into very fishy shape this week but the hot weather returned and the high elevation melt kicked in. I of course took advantage of the window with satisfying results. The river is presently at 325cfs, a bit high from normal summer flows of 240cfs. As you can see it is approachable and worth a go. Visiblity is in the 4-5 ft. range and not much for hatches yet. Warm weather is forecasted this weekend so the river could spike up … or maybe not. You just gotta keep checking those online flows.

The Upper Sac has climbed back up to the 2000cfs range or as I call it The Pucker Line. Yes there are a few high water spots available but for the most part if you do not know them then you are probably wasting your precious time. These flows are excellent for the whitewater guys and they will probably be whooping it up here this weekend. When she drops below the Pucker Line then it’s time to get with it, these fish haven’t been harassed since last Fall.

Rick Cox

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Snow Melt Is On

The mighty McCloud

The mighty McCloud

The Snow melt has kicked in after 80 degree weather the last few days. The Upper Sac is now at 4500 cfs, way BIG, and the McCloud is running at 900cfs at Ah Di Na. PG&E has stated that the McCloud Dam release will hold steady at the 900 cfs mark for the rest of May unless there is an extreme weather event. The river at 900 cfs is approachable but be careful….edges, edges is the key for finding fish. The shots below were taken last Saturday on my visit to Ah Di Na Campground and beyond. As you can see there are fallen trees at the campground but people/diehards camping. The water was not on and alot of cleanup had to be done. Also I was able to drive to the Preserve parking lot but there are trees blocking access into some of the rough camp sites. Of note the river has received a major scouring so be prepared to witness a different looking river when you visit …. just as beautiful as usual though.

Ah Di Na tree damage

Ah Di Na tree damage

Note the scouring

Note the scouring

Note how high the river got

Note how high the river got

A kayaker actually shot these falls recently on the Upper McCloud and survived with a black eye.

A kayaker actually shot these falls recently on the Upper McCloud and survived with a black eye.

 

 

 

 

Updated McCloud River Access

Here’s a statement released yesterday from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest regarding the road situation into Ah Di Na……

Today, additional work is being completed to clear some rocks off of the roadway and the large tree has been cleared as well. The road will be open to the USFS Campground by this evening (April 27).  

NEXT WEEK:  We will have a temporary road closure on MAY 4 (next Thursday); to complete the permanent fix at Battle Creek.  The road will be closed to vehicles entering and anyone exiting should be prepared to wait until after mid-afternoon before the road will be passable again.

FOLLOWING WEEK:  We will have a partial road closure on May 8 (following Monday) to repair the culvert and small hole in the road approximately ¼ mile further up the road from Battle Creek.  There is room to go around this spot, but we will need to hold vehicles when the equipment is on the road doing the repair.

Ash Camp: The Hawkins Creek road below McCloud Dam is passable but down to ONE LANE.  Please be cautious when driving around the corner; it is narrow with limited sight distance.

Current flows this morning at Ah Di Na are down to 900 cfs, still very high but at least dropping. Lots of snow to melt though, hot days forecast next week.

Rick Cox

April 20th 2017 Fishing Report.

Our local waters are still under the influence of a wet wet wet winter and early spring. Our definition of fishability has changed a bit. We can’t wait any longer, its time to go fishing. Our best bets in and around Mount Shasta are the Lower Sacramento, McCloud Reservoir, and Lake Siskiyou.

Also,

With the most celebrated holiday of the year “Opening Weekend” of the McCloud River just over a week away, its time to get ready for that annual pilgrimage.

The Lower Sacramento in Redding is  running at 30,000 cfs, with some greenish brown water. It looks pretty rough out there… but its Spring and Springtime on the Lower Sac is as good as it gets. Regardless of the flows and color change, its fishing as good as can be expected. Chuck has been out there most days this week and reports plenty of fish being caught.

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The McCloud Reservoir is seldom showcased on our fishing reports but is always a surprising underdog. This place is a virtual fish factory and a wonderful place to not only catch a bunch of fish, take kids fishing, but even a great place to harvest a couple trout for dinner. We had some grand fun with these kids and were able to bring our bounty to The Wild Waters Lounge in Mt Shasta and have Damion cook them up for us. We taught these kids the virtues of Catch and Release on full bellies while picking our teeth with the bones.

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Lake Siskiyou in Mt Shasta is a ridiculously serene lake to spend the day fishing. Many fly anglers fish the Upper Sac that flows out of Lake Siskiyou but few have targeted Lake Siskiyou as a destination. This place does have a dedicated local following, and they all hate the fact that I’m writing about it. Casting streamers and swimming nymphs to the outcroppings and stump fields with an intermediate clear line and long leader will certainly be rewarded. For me there is no better place to cast a 5 weight again after a winter with the big sticks. Tuning up for the trout season.

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OPENING WEEKEND on the McCLOUD RIVER.

On April 29th the McCloud opens to us trout fishermen. An annual pilgrimage that rivals any spiritual journey. However this year we have a few issues to deal with. Winter storms commonly blew out the McCloud and the high water changed the river substantially. The banks have been ripped of their vegetation and replaced with down trees, gravel beds too displaced, even huge boulders seem to have turned in the heavy flows. This may sound devastating but its not an unusual event, you can never dip your toe into the same river twice. Nature also has played a card in limiting access. Currently and most likely till mid May the road to Ah Di Na and the Conservancy is closed. Not far from the turn off the gravel road washed away and is in need of serious repair. From what I know, the Forest Service and private timber land owners are debating on who’s responsibility it is.

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It seems the river will be left to the dedicated anglers willing to hike in from Ash Camp. Before you get your waders all wadded up in a bunch, know that there is a group of lady power hikers who are known to often hike from the dam to the rope on the conservancy… and back. From the PCT bridge to Ah Di Na is only an hour hike. Many anglers take pride in their vehicles that can drive them down the Nature Conservancy’s bumpy road in comfort, both the AC and AC/DC cranking, but this spring we hike.

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We also expect some pretty high flows this spring and early summer. Quick safety talk…. she’s way stronger then you, be careful! Knowing where to fish and how to fish at high flows takes years of experience and many days of trial and error. We’ve seen these flows many times in the past. My humble opinion is that the river is fishable at anything below 2000k which allows about 10% of accessibility.

At 1200 cfs about 25% of our spots are fishable.

800 cfs = 50%

600 = 75%

400 cfs = 90%

and at 250 cfs 100% of our spots are fishable. As far as flies to use…Go big when its big.

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Klamath River Fishing Report

On Super Bowl Sunday the Iron Gate section of the Klamath River saw one guide boat. The clarity of the water was greenish brown and the wind gusted up to 30mph in the afternoon, conditions were tough but we had it all to ourselves. Many of my favorite spots were forever changed as half the trees along the banks were broken and dangling in the river. Despite it all fish were caught, fish were fought, and fish were lost. At the end of the day it was considered good steelhead fishing. After finding some nice ones I was happy to have some trips lined up this week. The following day they bumped the flows to 4k and the last bastion of California steelhead fishing became unfishable. Emoji sad face dude. There is a place however, were you can still go, pull up a stool at the bar and cast your line. Chuck caught one there last night.

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