View Full Version : Father/Son Trip To Dunsmuir CA & The Upper Sac

07-31-2010, 10:08 PM
Unfortunately, I only got 3 pictures and I chose only one to share here on the forum. This was purely a fishing trip so I was busy fishing.

I hired Wayne Eng as our guide on the Upper Sacramento River. Wayne also has Cabin and both his guide services and the Cabin just may be the greatest bargain in the Dunsmuir area.
Wayne is a superb guide and host. As I desired he dedicated most of his time to working my son.

I was personally very encouraged in my own abilities as Wayne quite often pointed to me as an example for my son in how to obtain a proper drift or how to play a fish.

Having never had any personal instruction and learning the little I know about fly fishing completely from books and videos for a long time I was very unconfident regarding whether I was doing various things properly.

Especially things that came up that I had not read about or seen someone else do.

Shortly after arriving this Monday Ken (my son) and I decided to fish the portion of the river in front of Wayne’s home.

Ken quickly became discouraged as he tried to apply the casting lessons in actual moving water. To the point that he was convinced, he could not do it. I assured him Wayne would have him doing things correctly in no time the following day.

Wayne was very patient and explained things to all morning Ken in such a way that within minutes he was competently doing everything he struggled so hard with the day before.

That morning Ken caught the first fish of the day, which he reminded me of often. Until 1:00 p.m. when we quit for lunch and to pick it up again in the evening, Ken and I each only had 1 fish.

That evening Wayne left me to fish and took Ken up river a ways so Ken would not feel any pressure.

I focused on fishing a pool attempting to get some nice sized Rainbows attention with a size 8 read stimulator and a “Eng Thing” dropper. The “Eng Thing” is a fly that Wayne developed and it is only sold through the Ted Fay fly shop in the Town of Dunsmuir. The Fay Shop is the oldest fly shop in California and the oldest west of the Rockies.

During our morning session Wayne handed me another fly rod that after my first cast I was in love with. I liked that rod a Temple Fork Outfitters Finesse 8’9” 4wt so much more than my Sage 486 Light Line that when we were done for the afternoon I went straight to the Ted Fay Fly Shop and purchased one.

I fished that rod exclusively during our evening session with Wayne that same day and the next two days and evenings as my son and I fished together without a guide.

That evening within minutes of hitting the water I heard my 20-year-old son excitedly hoot’n and holler’n, as he was fighting a 14” Rainbow in pocket water within a rock garden next to heavy riffles as he was being taught how to high stick.

That fish eventually shook off under a rock, but Wayne as excited for my son as my son was called me to explain in detail how the fish had ran into swift water up and down stream doing aerial acrobatics and peeling line off the Allen & Co. Fly Trout Fly Reel that is attached to my Redington CT 9’ 6wt.

I eventually worked my way to the head of the pool without a single bite.
Soon as I fished the swifter water at the head of the pool I caught 4 fish one after another on my dry dropper rig.

After hooking a playing, at least for a bit, that 14” rainbow Ken’s confidence skyrocketed. That evening he caught and landed 8 more fish all “cookie cutters” under 12”.

At this time, I moved into the rock garden and began high sticking. I continued catching and landed over 15 more fish as I moved from pocket to riffle all Rainbows between 8 and 12 inches, until about 9:00 p.m. when we called it quits for the night, because it was too dark to stay any longer.

The next day Ken wanted so bad to fish the water we fished the evening before, so we went back.

He started at the head of the pool where I caught my first four fish. I watched from a distance.
He was achieving perfect drift from his first cast. On his second cast he caught the following fish.


Thankfully I was not too busy fishing and I got my camera out and took the above picture. This turned out to be his biggest fish to the net of the 3 full days we fished, before having leave for home.

We each caught for four fish that evening and the following day and evening we each caught several fish in other areas of the Upper Sacramento River within minutes of the Town of Dunsmuir, CA.

Ken was having such a wonderful time on this his first fly fishing adventure that he asked if we could stay an extra day, unfortunately when I asked Wayne it was not possible, because the day we were scheduled to leave others were scheduled to move in for the weekend.

07-31-2010, 10:29 PM
Hi Tom,
That was a good read. If you ever need a place to stay, the Cedar Lodge in North Dunsmuir has reasonable rates. I usually stay there if I can't get the couch at my buddy's place in Mt. Shasta City.

The next time you see Wayne, ask him of some spots just south of town. Just sayin'.


08-01-2010, 09:41 AM
Tom: Great trip report, looks like you and your son had a great fishing trip together. I always enjoy the time I have with my son when we get to fish together.


08-01-2010, 12:26 PM
I have to say that as my son commented after taking his casting and fishing class I wish I had done this years ago. This wad definately of everything we've spent time doing together the best when it came to sharing something we both enjoy immensley. We have done everything from hunting to paintball, but this is the first outdoor activity my son has strongly bought into and desires to continue invest in in order to improve his skill and knowledge. I on the other hand have greatly enjoyed and bought into many outdoor activities, however fly fishing since I was my son's age has been my greatest passion and now I'm going to place all my focus on it when it comes to my outdoor recreational activity. Matter of fact if today wasn't my son's last day, before he flies back home to Yucca Valley, CA., and then moves in September to Louisiana somewhere outside of New Orleans I'd be fishing in the American River this evening for Half Pounders... I will likely go tomorrow evening after I take him to the Airport.

08-01-2010, 12:36 PM
Try the back channels at Arden Ponds Park with a #12 caddis green soft hackle just under the surface film. The best grabs will be in the last hour of daylight.

Prepare to hold on. There are a few early summer run Steelhead in the system.