pesticide metam sodium into the river.
Consequently about forty miles of the river downstream from the
spill was sterilized of all aquatic life forms.
On a one to ten scale of ecological disasters, this was close to a
ten. The doomsayers
proclaimed that the river was ruined for good, and it was closed to
fishing for the next several years in the hope that it would recover.
When fishing was again allowed, it was as good as it ever had been
as it was apparently found that enough of the fish escaped the pollution
in the main stem by finding safety in th tributaries.
The upper Sacís recovery was a true testament to the resiliency
of mother nature. The one
good thing that came out of this was that regulations were changed to turn
the upper Sac into a special regs. fishery mandating catch & release.
Since then the regulations have changed with some possession of
fish now being allowed. Regulations
can vary in different sections of the river so itís best to check
before you go. Fishing is
allowed year round.
One of the best things about the upper Sac is the easy access.
Interstate 5 parallels the river for most of its length and there
are many off-ramps that will take you to the river.
The 2000 foot elevation change between the section above Dunsmuir
down to Lake Shasta, can affect the fishing during different times of the
year. Early in the spring,
the lower elevation sections near Delta and Mc Cardle Flats have better
fishing due to the warmer water at that lower elevation.
As the summer progresses water temperatures are more fish friendly
the further upstream you go. Once
you get into July, the water temperatures throughout the river can warm up
to the point to affect fishing. That
doesnít deter local fly fishermen as they know that the fish move into
the well oxygenated riffles and pocket water and become very opportunistic
feeders. Early morning and
late evening brings awesome spinner falls and hatches of Caddis and
The upper Sac is one of those rivers where generic
attractor patterns work fine, though be prepared with some more bug
specific flies as the fish can increase their IQ s as the summer
progresses. For dries, high
floating flies like Royal Wullfs, Yellow Humpies and Irresistibles are
good in the riffles and pocket water.
Parachute patterns and cripples are good in the slicks.
Make sure you have some spinners, both black and rust colored, to
be ready for the occasional spinner fall.
In the spring size eight Stimulators, Madam Xs or Soan Persuaders
work great for what usually is a significant Stonefly hatch.
In the fall the river if famous for its October Caddis hatch which
the above patterns will work also but make sure there is some orange
visible on the fly. Speaking
of October Caddis, their
large larva are very apparent on the rocks throughout the year so size #8
& #10 cased Caddis patterns or tan (uncased) larva patterns are good
calls as anchor flies in a two fly dropper rig.