Upper Sacramento Fly Fishing Guides - Redding, California


The Upper Sacramento River bubbles straight up from the subterranean aquifers near Mt. Shasta before tumbling down and ultimately emptying into Lake Shasta. Along the way it is fed by cold springs providing oxygenated and nutrient rich water which create the ideal habitat for a myriad of insects and the trout that call this river home.

The Upper Sacramento offers year round access and fishing in this idyllic canyon within minutes of Interstate - 5 North of Redding. Inhabited by scores of wild rainbows it is nestled in a beautiful canyon with some of the most scenic and rugged country in the West. Anglers travel from all over the world to fish in Redding due in part to the Upper and Lower Sacramento Rivers or Upper and Lower Sac as it is affectionately called by locals.

It is stream with extensive riffles and pocket water in it's upper reaches and longer runs and deep pools down lower just above where it joins Lake Shasta in the town of Lake Head. It is ideal for anglers looking for a walk and wade fishery with opportunities for wild trout on nymphs and dries.

The Upper Sac offers great year round access of I-5 within an hour of down town Redding.The Upper Sac offers great year round access of I-5 within an hour of down town Redding.

We provide customized guided fly fishing trips on the Upper and Lower Sacramento, McCloud , Pit River, Hat Creek, Fall River , Klamath, Trinity, and other local fisheries. We can create a truly memorable trip here in the North State for individuals or groups.

If you would like to learn more, then keep reading or Call (530)242-4122 or (707)287-2939 for current fishing reports, current river conditions and information on experiencing enjoyable and memorable fly fishing for yourself. Dates fill up quickly for many of our offerings so don't delay. You may also email us at Info@offthehookflyfishing.com, or fill out our Online Trip Request Form.

Upper Sacramento River History

Although the area has long been revered for its salmon and trout habitat by local native peoples, it was in the 19th century that this region and the town of Dunsmuir that flanks the river became known to health enthusiasts seeking relief in fresh mountain air and the many mineral springs that dot this country side.

In the 1990's the Upper Sac experienced a tragic disaster. The Southern Pacific railroad track runs along virtually i'ts whole length and in 1991 a tank car carrying 19,000 gallons of herbicide dumped into the river. The resulting die off was difficult to watch. Fortunately given the immense resilience of nature the Upper Sacramento River has made a complete recovery. Aquatic insect hatches and plant life have returned to pre-spill conditions. Anglers fishing the river today will find fishing for the river's wild rainbow trout to be as good as ever.

We at Off the Hook pride ourselves in being able to be choosy when it comes to who we book. We will work hard to make sure that you're placed with the right guide for your specific needs. We've been putting together guided fishing trips for 20 years, and have the experience to coordinate a memorable day on the water for just about any size group. Over the years, we've developed a few guidelines to help ensure that your trip is as successful as possible.

We can work with you to select a guide that's matched to your skills, interests, their specialty or, perhaps, the equipment involved. Some of our guides are more instruction-oriented than others and are better suited for the novice wanting to combine a day of guided fishing with a learning experience, while others just plain know how to catch fish.

If you have a specific request or favorite guide we can help reserve them based on their specific availability. If you don't have a preference we're happy to hook you up with one of several of our guides who specialize in our wonderful Northern California fisheries.

Fishing for wild Upper Sac rainbows is as good as ever!Fishing for wild Upper Sac rainbows is as good as ever!

Package Cost:

The cost of the full-day Upper Sacramento River guided package consists of:
$550 per day (1-2 anglers per guide)


Included in your guided angling package on the Upper Sacramento River is 8-10 hours of guided fishing with lunch provided.


Not included in your guided angling package on the Upper Sacramento River are fishing license, waders, rods/reels, and terminal tackle (flies, tippet, etc.) or gratuities for your guide.

Package Deals:

If you are just getting started in the sport, or will be traveling and don't want to hassle with dragging along all of your gear, you may want to consider our guide trip "Package Deal." This inclusive option is $25 per person per day, and with it the guides will provide the necessary rods, reels, flies, tackle and equipment to ensure that you have the right gear and flies for the day. If you happen to be an experienced angler and/or fly tier, call ahead and we'll let you know exactly what flies are producing best so you can be sure to tie them beforehand or bring them along.

Third Angler:

We do not recommend, but we can occasionally accommodate 3 anglers. We don't normally recommend fishing 3 anglers to a guide on wade trips, as there is simply no way that the guide can give 3 anglers the attention that we like to give guests. If everyone in the group is an experienced angler and are mainly looking for help finding river accesses, suggested flies and set up, it may work. However, it is never a good idea for 3 novice anglers to fish with one guide. If you simply must fish with three there is an additional $100 fee for a 3rd angler.

UPPER SACRAMENTO TRIBUTARY STREAMS, where virtually all the spawning occurs, continue to follow the General Trout Season (open to fishing only during the last Saturday in April through November 15th). While runoff and weather conditions can impact the river's fishability at times, generally the Upper Sacramento can provide some great walk and wade, classic freestone fly fishing options virtually year round.


February, March and April:

Fly fishing in Winter and early Spring on the Upper Sacramento can be fantastic, weather permitting. There are hatches of March Brown mayflies and smaller caddis flies that may start as early as February and run throughout March and April. In addition PMDs begin to hatch in mid-April, however the biggest draw in early-season fishing here is the huge salmon fly (pteronarcys californica) that begins to hatch as the weather warms beginning in April.

It is important to note that fishing during these early months is entirely dependent upon weather conditions and runoff. During wet winters, the Upper Sacramento can be high and off-color for much of the late winter and spring, making fishing very difficult. On drier years, however, the river often remains low and fishable through Winter months. The river may rise and become off-color after a big storm, however will typically clear in a matter of a few days of sunny weather. The warm, sunny days that mark the start of spring in the Northern California are some of the best fishing of the year. Warming weather gets the bugs moving, and subsequently good fishing is right behind.

May and June:

Runoff can still be a factor on the Upper Sacramento most years from the end of April through the beginning of June. The river generally remains fishable even in the high-water, with the fish concentrated in the slower moving pockets and pools. This can truly be a great time of year on the Upper Sac. Although wading can be difficult, anglers generally find some of the most prolific hatches and pods of of fish congregating in certain pools.

Salmonflies, Golden Stoneflies, Little Yellow Stoneflies, Green Drakes, PMDs, and caddisflies make up the major hatches during the early summer months. There are epic days on occasion when one can cast dry flies to rising trout from dawn till dark. Nymphing remains productive even when there is no hatch mid day. Generally this time of year evening hatches are quite predictable.

July and August:

The "dog days" of summer are the best time of year to wet-wade the Upper Sac, and highsticking the pocket water and oxygenated pools of the river will produce nice trout throughout the morning and middle of the day, with hatches of Golden Stoneflies and caddis bringing nearly every fish in the river to the surface in the hour or so just before dark.

By late July or early August the many submerged boulders on the river begin to turn black with midge larva, providing a new delicacy for the trout from late summer through the fall. Angling traffic on the river is light during the summer months, but it is literally one of our favorite times of year on the river. You will rarely see another angler, and it can be a great time of year to join the 20/20 club (20 inch fish on #20 fly).

September and October:

Autumn is our favorite time to be fishing virtually anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. The Upper Sac is no exceptions. Fall brings on the giant October Caddis, as well as the nicest weather of the season. The first of the monstrous October Caddis larvae begin to appear on the rocks and boulders near the edge of the river as early as late August, but by mid September there are literally millions of the inch-long cases decorating the river bottom as they prepare to emerge with the cooler nights of fall. The adult insects hatch at dusk throughout October and November, proving brief flurries of dry fly activity every evening and enticing trout to rise to big attractor patterns sometimes even in the middle of the day. Moreover, they'll eat the larvae and pupae of the caddis like trout candy every hour of the day.

On overcast days, there can be some phenomenal blue-winged olive hatches. These tiny mayflies respond to changes in barometric pressure, and hatch whenever a storm front moves through the area, stimulating some great midday dry fly action on all of our regional streams, including the Upper Sacramento, throughout both the fall and winter seasons.

November, December and January:

The Winter Months on the Upper Sac provides some great late-season opportunities for die-hard trout anglers. The mornings and evenings are often cold in the narrow river canyon, but midday sunshine can warm the river up and provide some good action on nymphs and streamers for some of the river's bigger fish holding in the deeper pools. And anglers fishing the Upper Sac in the winter months should always be prepared with a few blue-winged olive dry flies, as overcast afternoons can have some memorable Baetis mayfly hatches.

Lodging for the Upper Sacramento River

We would be happy to make suggestions for accommodations. From unimproved camping, to "glamping", and motels to B & B's there are options for just about every taste and budget. It you would like information please pick up the phone and call us any time (530)472-1014.

Booking a Guide for Upper Sacramento River

To make a reservation, please give us a call at (530)472-1014 during normal business hours or 707)287-2939 any time anytime or email us at info@offthehookflyfishing.com. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.

Click on the graph above for current Upper Sac flow information.

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11427 Angler Ave. Whitmore Ca California 96096 | 1.707.287.2939 - Cell 1.530.242.4122 - Office | info@offthehookflyfishing.com