I believe it is common knowledge that the majority of our rivers are flowing so much water, that fishing trips are being postponed into the fall, October and beyond, and the flows may or may not take into account the pending snow melt. Bill Ferrero, who offered SCFF discounted guide trips, to be used this year (2017) on the Mokelumne River, has extended the use of his certificates into 2018. I imagine others will follow.
We, the SCFF, had planned a new overnight shad fish camp for shad on the Yuba in June 6 and 7, out of Marysville, for fishing below the dam, which has now been cancelled entirely since the Shad will be long gone by August-September when the Yuba may be accessible.
Mark Traugott has postponed his trip on the Upper Yuba into the fall because of the incredible amount of water flowing.
Which brings me to one of the only rivers, that I am aware of which remains fishable, the Lower Sacramento. So here is some brief and interesting info about the Lower Sac. First, there is more information in great detail on the website for Shasta Dam.
Briefly, it spans the Sacramento River above Redding and along with Keswick Dam, which creates a forebay, manages the flow of the mighty Sacramento, originally to provide flood control and hydraulic electric power for 15 Western States. The construction of Shasta Dam, begun in 1938, the time of the great Depression, and was completed in 1945, as the second largest concrete dam in the County at that time, Hoover Dam being larger.
The numbers are very impressive, tons and tons of concrete were continuously poured from 1938 until its completion in 1945. Damming the Sacramento River created Shasta Lake as is well know, some 35 miles long.
Here are some facts I truly find fascinating; in 1997; Temperature Control Devices were installed in Shasta Dam to provide cold water downstream from a range of depths in Shasta Lake. I couldn't find the temperature range info, but am sure it exists and I believe it is 45 degrees. The Fly Shop in Redding, has long touted the temperature is being controlled to benefit first the migrating Salmon and Steelhead and then the wild trout, which populate the river well below Chico.
Lots of fishermen rate the Lower Sac as one of the best tailwaters in the west and some have said it is one the best in the country. It is a float trip with a guide and the vast majority of fishing is under the surface, very little dry fly action. It is a treat to see activity along the river and to appreciate the size of it and see the adjoining land.
So if you would like to cure your river trout itch, the Lower Sac is the place to go. I personally try to fish it two to three times a year along with my friends, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
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