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We had the opportunity to float the Lower Sacramento river around Redding last week with Scott Freeman of Walker River Outfitters and Scott Freeman Fly Fishing in his boat and our almost new Clackacraft drift boat that Alpine Fly Fishing has purchased. This mission was two fold. First and foremost it was to do some scouting and find more zones to guide for our clients. Second we wanted to catch up with our friend and fellow guide Scott. It was more than successful on both levels!

If you have never fished the lower Sac before you are missing out! Wow, talk about strong Rainbows!!! These fish are on steroids!!! Don’t even bother with a rod less then a 6 wt, you’ll have no chance landing these powerful fish. With flows ranging from 3500cfs at “low flows” to over 15,000 cfs in spring and summer, these fish fight tons of current on a daily basis. Throw in the fact that there is cold, clean water from the bottom of lake Shasta year round with massive amounts of food at their disposal and you have one amazing fishery!!!


It was the “slow” time of year for the Lower Sac… If you call 20+ fish to the net and multiple fish over 20 inches slow, I’ll take that any day of the year!!! Scott Freeman consistently put us on fish after fish all day long. He along with Jason Lozano have graciously showed us the ropes on the Lower Sac time and time again. I can’t thank them enough for the insight and knowledge they have shared with us!


Soon the Salmon and Steelhead will be arriving in force and the egg bite gets ridiculous. You owe it to yourself to spend at least a few days floating and exploring this amazing fishery. I will put these fish up against any of the famous tail waters throughout the west. Every time I leave this place Jarrod and I are always amazed by the size, strength and beauty of these wild fish.We have fished all over Montana, Wyoming and Idaho together and those places are amazing in their own right, but the Lower Sac is right in our back yard with equally strong big wild fish.


Alpine Fly Fishing will be guiding the Lower Sac along starting Oct 1st this season as well as working with Scott Freeman, Jason Lozano and Peter Santley for group trips and overflow. Contact us today and book with us for the Fall. You will not be disappointed!

Brendan Burnside