My wife and I are headed up to the Shasta area around July 17, 2012. We have never been to the area and will be camping in a 23ft rv travel trailer. I am a newbie to fly fishing and did a little fly fishing in the small streams in Rock Mountain Nat Park last year. Does anyone know the fishing conditions around late July in this area around Shasta.
Is there somewhat easy access to the Upper Sac or (little??) rivers in the area like the McCloud. Meaning, if I have 2 hours to kill, can I park off the road and not have to walk more than a half-mile to find catch-and-release trout water?
We are aslo looking for a quiet/scenic campsite that could fit our 23 foot rv.
Thanks to all!
There's great public access to the Upper Sac.. some a little harder to find than others
The Fly Shop in Redding, among others, used to have a nice map that would show all the public access points. It was called "Your Guide to Outdoor Family Recreation on the Upper Sacramento River".. by Cantera Trustee Council.. I think it was created after the spill
For the McCloud.. the best water is in the Nature Conservancy. You used to be able to call for reservations on that stretch.. it's not the best road..
There is drive up access on a forest road that will get you to the Pitt river inlet. The same road (Fender's Ferry I believe) will take you past the Squaw inlet or very close. I've caught nice trout and bass at the Pitt inlet, and seen some huge salmon by the inlet spillway.
I fished the Squaw inlet a few years ago from a dingy with spinning gear. Tons of fish there, the lake gets too warm for the trout when it is low or during hot years. The fish are either deep in the lake or trying to be near a cold inlet. The streams there go from super high flow during spring melt, to almost nothing in late summer/expect low flows and 100 degree temps in July. I think streamers would kill it, or some big nymphs. Tons of bass along the steeper rock walls as you get into the lake. The Squaw upstream from there is a beautiful bedrock canyon that you could access from near a campground pretty sure you could get a 23' RV back there, not sure about reservations though. I know that logging trucks get back there from the I-5 side. Hiking back there will be rough, make sure you know what poison oak looks like in its many forms (don't let your dog near it!).
Never fished the Sac, but I hear there are some monster fish in there. You could fish right in redding.
If you have time or money to rent a boat, you will be able to explore a lot more of the lake. There are countless coves, 5 major river inlets, and tons of smaller feeder creeks. If you take a boat to the Pitt inlet, watch out for submerged trees. Some are just below the surface depending on water depth, and they are not small trees but were once full grown evergreens before the reservoir was completed.
We used to do a houseboat trip every year to Shasta, it will probably be a few years until the next... but one thing is for sure, Shasta has all sorts of fish. Last summer my brother and I drove the back road around the lake. We fished at the Pitt inlet and along the McCloud branch of the lake. Not much luck except a big bass, but it was fun exploring back there.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Lake Shasta Area - McCloud River or Upper Sac
Originally Posted by oarfish
To add to what Dave has said, StreamTime puts out a good map of the upper sac, you can find them online.
A +1 to Rick's comment above. I've used the Streamtime maps for years on several rivers ... and they're DEAD ON even if 'dated.' The best thing about these maps is the driving directions and 'you park here' done down to 1/10th of a mile. I kid you not, 1/10th of a mile.
But one of their maps (some systems are so large it may take two maps, or like the Rogue printed on both sides, but bottom line for less than $10.00 they will take a heck of a lot of the 'guess work' out of the equation.
I fish that area numerous times a year. July will probably be VERY hot, so hopefully your two hours is in the morning or evening.
If you are continuing your trip on HWY 5 I'd say Upper Sac in or around Dunsmuir. You can park your car and walk 30 feet or less and start fishing. Be sure to visit the aforementioned Ted Fay fly shop in Dunsmuir for the very local scoop, maybe buy a few flies they suggest or whatever. They also have an online fishing report for the Sac and McCloud that is always fun to read.
McCloud is awesome, but with only two hours to spare the conservancy especially, is not an option. McCloud the town is what guys? 12 miles from HWY 5 each way? and the dirt road down to Ah Di Nah/conservancy is 30-45 minutes right? McCloud is technically more east than south of Mt. Shasta town.
The city park in Dunsmuir is popular and recommended frequently to tourists. Try the Scarlett Way bridge and fish upstream from there - if you've got more time go along the RR tracks, fish sweet spots along the way and end up at the waterfalls (Mossbrae Falls - had to edit this in, forgot the name, I must be old!) that is one mile from the bridge.
If you want a really good map of the whole country check out postholer, with the mytopo option clicked on -a topographical map of the whole country, some areas better than others. It also has all the major hiking trails mapped out. The topos are really good for that area.
"By the time I was a teenager I fit the standard profile of a lifelong angler. I was lazy, shiftless, unambitious and willing to work hard only at things that were widely considered useless." ~John Gierach
I am a guide based out of Mt. Shasta who works with all the finest guides in the local area. We fish and guide these rivers as many days a season individually as all of our biggest competitor's guides combined.
I was also the author of the most recent edition of the Streamtime Upper Sac mentioned in this post. Drop me a line at your convenience for details regarding the local fishing, camping and dining options. I would be more than pleased to share all I can whether you are seeking guide service or not. Do check in a few days before you arrive and I will also be happy to share where we have been fishing and what has been working best for us.
I look forward to chatting soon, until then wishing you tight lines and singing reels!