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Lower Sac: , by Luke Geraty: Get out and fish the Sac! : 3 stars

Fly fishing in northern California during the winter can be mysterious because sometimes you just don't know what you are going to get! Will it be rainy? Sunny? Cold or warm? Will you be wearing waders or shorts and a t-shirt? One simply won't know until you get to the water! At any rate, I spent six days on the Lower Sac in the past two weeks and I'm finally getting a chance to give somewhat of a "river report" for anyone curious how the river is fishing. 

First, I had two brother-in-laws, Matt and Mark. Matt is from MI and has done a bit of fly fishing and Mark is a resident of northern California and fast becoming a solid angler. We did two days in a row and both days it was pouring rain on us... but that didn't impact the fishing whatsoever. Matt and Mark both caught some great fish and despite the rain, we were able to hook fish on a number of different nymphs, primarily rubber legs and small may fly imitations. I did a quick YouTube river report if you want to see some of the footage (https://youtu.be/6xE-Put_5Kc). Overall the fishing was pretty good (a guide's conservative way of saying "great"). The water was around 7,000cfs. 

The next couple of floats were about average. This time of year is less about quantity of fish and more about the quality of fish and on each of these floats, the Sac did not disappoint! A couple of the days were about as warm as you can expect and my guests were shedding layers as the day progressed and as the bugs started coming off the river (i.e., baetis!!!). One day in particular stands out, Dec. 26, because I was able to get out with a friend and we took my 5 year old son, Soren. Soren is totally committed to fly fishing and despite missing about five fish in a row and his guide-dad yelling at him to "Set it!", he finally hooked up with a nice little 'bow. 

And that's a point I'd like to make for anyone looking to hire a guide. One of the things we really value at Confluence is taking the time to instruct our guests well. Spending a day with a guide is not just about catching fish... I hope that every one of my guests walk away from the trip with a greater appreciation for the fishery, more knowledge about the water and bug life, and more skill as an angler. And it's super fun to take kids out on the water, so if you want to get your daughter or son, or one of your grand children out, hit Confluence up! 

Anyway, on Saturday I had two guest from Bakersfield and let me tell you, they could cast! They could mend! They were really great anglers and very experienced. In fact, one of the guys, Wayne, has literally fished everywhere! I would think of a place to fish and yep, you guessed it, he'd been there! Unfortunately, despite their skill, the fish weren't as cooperative and we would have hoped. Yet they still managed to get a handful of fish to the net but nothing in the 20+ range, which was a bummer. That being said, at the end of the float, Dave hooked what we thought was an absolute HOG of a fish and after we fought it going downstream for awhile, we finally saw that it was a California golden bone fish (i.e., a sucker). The disappointment was heavy but I guess there are worse ways to end a float. 

Yesterday I did a half day float with Mike from Red Bluff, and the water has dropped down to 5,320cfs. When we got onto the river, it was a little cloudy with a slight mist but after about thirty minutes, the day's weather became spectacular (t-shirt time!!). The fishing started off slow but once the sun poked out, I immediately saw some caddis coming off and so I tied on a perfectly-matched-hand-tied tan bird's nest and it was game on! Mike landed some quality 'bows on caddis and rubber legs. And by the way... the thing about the Sacramento River is that it is a really, really big river. Even when the water flows are lower, there is a lot of water to fish and you can find trout in lots of different locations. Case in point, we dropped around a corner and found two boats and a few walk-in-waders fishing a run that's traditionally really good so I ended up scooting over to the other side of the river that I rarely fish and wouldn't you know that we caught fish! Don't hesitate to fish shallow water!! And don't assume the trout are only in one type of water! Fish are like people and seem pretty unique and diverse ;) 

Get out and fish more in 2020! I've got openings and would love to take you out... plus, the "other" egg bite is just around the corner! 

Tight lines... 

Soren is a 5 year old pro and will, Lord willing, be rowing me in a couple of years!
Soren is a 5 year old pro and will, Lord willing, be rowing me in a couple of years!
Brendon with a nice bright 'bow for the day after Christmas!
Brendon with a nice bright 'bow for the day after Christmas!
Dave's big 'ole sucker.
Dave's big 'ole sucker.
Mike caught this in a top secret location that took me years to discover.
Mike caught this in a top secret location that took me years to discover.
Matt's MI trout aren't quite as fat or long as this one!
Matt's MI trout aren't quite as fat or long as this one!
Lower Sacramento River size rainbow.
Lower Sacramento River size rainbow.
Mark, from the back of the boat, yanked this one.
Mark, from the back of the boat, yanked this one.
Next 10 open days for Luke Geraty: Sep 28, 30, Oct 2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, Nov 1, 2
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