You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Loading...

View All Fishing Reports

McCloud River: , by Dax Messett: Back on the Mac: 3 stars

Leslie and I had a great weekend with some good friends on the historic Bollibokka beat of the famed Lower McCloud.  After fishing and guiding on the Mac for 18 years, this was my first opportunity to fish this private and remote property.  What an amazing stretch of river, with every water type you could ask for in a trout stream.  The upper beat is limited to the six anglers who stay at the Pumphouse cabin, which is an monumental amount of water to explore.  Like every stretch of the McCloud, the catching of fish is totally dependent on if the fish are eating.  If they are, you get em, when they aren't, you don't.  If you are lucky enough to stay overnight on the Mac, take a break in the day to enjoy things other than fishing.  Perhaps a mid day siesta, hiking the trails to find new water, or relaxing under a tree with a book between 1-5 is a good program.  On hot sunny summer days, focus on fishing first light to lunchtime, and the last 3 hours of the day.  That still gives you 9 hours or so to fish!  It also gives you an opportunity to take a moment and experience the magnificent wilderness that you are in.

All freestone techniques work very well on the McCloud, especially dry flys in the evenings or cloudy afternoons.  Classic dry fly patterns bought at brick and mortar fly shops actually work the best.  McCloud fish never eat flies bought online, or from big box stores like lame Cabellas and Sportsmen's Warehouse.  When the sun is on the water, fishing a dry/dropper is very efective if you can wade aggressively and cover the rugged pocket water short line fishing.  You can break out your trout Spey rod in the appropriate water type and productively swing streamers, which like dry fly fishing is most productive when the sun is off the water.  You can high stick nymph or Euro nymph all day long and find fish if that is your thing...use lots of lead to get your flys deep.  Bring lots of rubber legs and bird's nests, you will go through them.  

The McCloud is the perfect western trout stream, with the most famous and historical strain of rainbow trout on the planet.  It has a wonderful wilderness aspect to it that reminds me a lot of New Zealand, except for the daily encounters with rattlesnakes and poison oak absolutely everywhere....but its worth it.

Leslie in a classic McCloud pool
Leslie in a classic McCloud pool
Old school Sage gear
Old school Sage gear
Fishing Report Image
Evening New Zealand style upstream dry fly fishing
Evening New Zealand style upstream dry fly fishing
Sightfishing is possible on the Mac
Sightfishing is possible on the Mac
Bring a wading staff...
Bring a wading staff...
High stick dry fly
High stick dry fly
Fishing Report Image
The remote beauty of a perfect trout stream
The remote beauty of a perfect trout stream
Next 10 open days for Dax Messett: Nov 15
Book our Guides Online!