The Upper Sacramento River is a classic freestone stream, open year round to catch and release fishing. It originates below Lake Siskiyou in Mt. Shasta, winding its way south for nearly 35 miles before it empties into Lake Shasta. Anglers travel from all over the globe to wade the banks of this famed river and cast their flies in the shadow of Mt. Shasta. Located just thirty miles north of Redding, the Upper Sac is known for its breathtaking scenery and acrobatic, wild rainbow trout. This is an incredibly healthy river with strong hatches during the spring and summer months.



Our guides find that spring fishing on the Upper Sacramento River can be fantastic during the late winter and early spring months. During spring, we can expect some larger lake run fish moving up the river from Lake Shasta. Many of these fish can be upwards of 20” and hot. The warmer the weather, the more bugs you can expect to see out and about. If there are a lot of bugs, the fish will be chowing down after a winter with less food available.

We see some larger fish in February, March and April, and as long as the river isn’t too dirty from recent rains, you should expect great fishing opportunities during these months.



Early summer fishing is best known for the hatches of big bugs, when we start to see salmon flies and golden stones crawling out from the river bottom and hatching into winged adults. When these big bugs begin to deposit eggs, you can find fish eager to swipe a fluttering adult from the surface.

July through August is our favorite time of year to get out and wet-wade this freestone stream. While the hatches may be sparse in July and August, the fish are still willing to eat, typically midges. If you take the time to flip over a few rocks, you will be sure to find gobs and gobs of midges. Our favorite time to get out is early and late in the day, though evening fishing can be great, especially during those hot summer days.



As the days start to get shorter and nights start to cool off, the famous October caddis become active and move about. When these gigantic caddis get moving, you can find fish aggressively taking the larva and pupae. We get the best window of dry fly fishing with these big caddis late in the day. As our trips run deeper into the fall, they start to see fantastic hatches of blue winged olives that these wild rainbows really have a sweet tooth for. If you find yourself out there during a cloudy, drizzly fall day, you should be prepared for some epic dry fly fishing.



The Upper Sac is impacted by precipitation more than most of our other area rivers, so always be sure to check weather forecasts and flows before planning a winter trout fishing trip here. That aside, if you have consistent flows in the winter, you can be sure to find some of the bigger fish in the system. As the larger fish in the river need to eat more to sustain their size, they become a little more accessible to us anglers during the months where there is generally less food around. Let our Upper Sac fly fishing guides show you the path to success.