By: Mike Bogue
The drought hasn’t hurt our trout fishing on the Sacramento River. Sure, for this time of year the river is low, but it’s still moving at 7,000 per second, which is perfect for fishing. In fact, the low water has lent a hand to good fishing. I think what’s made it so good is they haven’t been fluctuating the water a lot. Normally, this time of year the river yo-yos from 14,000 to 7,000 and then back up. Fortunately, we haven’t seen that this year because they are holding water back. The stabilization has made for great trout fishing.
Don’t get me wrong, trout fishing is always this good, but this year we’ve seen consistency. So, it’s not necessarily better this summer than last, but the bite has been good everyday since we’ve had stable flows. We aren’t expecting this to change. They are saying that they are trying to hold back water for the salmon later in the year.
I think this pattern is going to continue for the rest of the year. They are telling us that they aren’t going to ramp it up. They are going to leave it at 7,000 clear into salmon season and until irrigation season ends in October. At that point they’ll ramp it down. I’m happy with it. This 7,000 is a great flow and makes for excellent trout fishing.
An average day has yielded 18-25 trout a day, but I don’t have a clicker. Some days we do better, but I don’t remember a day when it’s been anything less. Keep in mind, right now we can only fish from the Highway 44 Bridge down to Anderson, roughly a 10-mile stretch. This is where I’ve been fishing. On the other hand, trout fishing should be good all the way down to nearly Red Bluff, which is another 15-20 miles.
I’ve been using bait and plugs and it hasn’t been difficult to find where the trout are. If I’m drifting Glo Bugs with eggs I’m fishing those on the riffles. If I’m back-trolling I’m fishing the slower water and the tailouts. Where I fish depends on the water I’m fishing. The only places you want to avoid are the slow deep holes. Expect to find the most fish in the riffles and the tailouts.
When back trolling I’m using 3.0 Maglips. I’ve been using silver and silver and chartreuse exclusively, and running them on 20-pound P-Line Spectrex with a P Line fluorocarbon leader. When not running plugs we’re using a lot of Glo Bugs and natural salmon eggs. I’ll run Pautzke Yellow Jackets and Orange Deluxe with the Glo Bug for two reasons: it gives the Glo Bug scent and looks like there’s two eggs, so if you lose one you’re still fishing. These fish certainly recognize eggs as there’s been spawning salmon around. I’m also using an old Sacramento River standby and dipping Red Nectar on the Glo Bug.
While focus will change to salmon in a month the trout bite will go into September. And, keep in mind, no matter how hit it gets these trout still bite, even when it’s 110 degrees outside. The heat doesn’t affect the fish, but it affects the fisherman. We’ll start at 5am and be done by noon.
Editor’s Note: Veteran guide Mike Bogue operates Mike Bogue Guide Service. For more info on his Sacramento River rainbow and salmon trips please visit www.mikebogue.com.