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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious if anyone could give some advice on the Upper Sac. I will be driving down to San Fran August 7-11 and would like to try some Cali rivers? Or any other good river/stream fishing off or in the close proxemity of I-5?

Thanks for the help!

I am planning on the old method of "park and wade"
 

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You're literally going to the mother of all trout streams. The strain of rainbows that were originally planted all over the rockies came from the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers.

Fish the Sac in the area around Dunsmuir. There used to be a flyshop in Dunsmuir owned and operated by the legendary Ted Fay. I think Ted's left us, but the shop may still be there. If not, I seem to remember a hardware store in town that sold licences and flies. They should be able to offer advice and directions if you want to check out other great rivers in the area, including the McCloud, the Pit, Hat Creek, or the Fall River (the Fall offers very little access without a boat).

If you can't find any advice in Dunsmuir, fish the Sac in town and downstream, or try to find your way to the Nature Conservancy water on the McCloud. At The Fly Shop in Redding, you can get info on the Pit or Hat Creek. Hat is a classic spring creek, flat water, prolific bugs, and lots of big, fussy fish. It's where the big boys play, and so hard to resist.

The upper Sac is where I caught my first trout on a fly. It holds a special place in my heart, so please treat it well. It will repay the favor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info...I have emailed 'Shane' at The Flyshop (responsible for guide services) and he helped as well. I have seen article after article on the Sac and cannot resist wetting a line if I am driving right over it! It sounds as if my wife will have to have a winch to pull me off the river!

I am actually from Chicago, has anyone drove this route before? How long of a drive is it to San Fran from Bellingham? I am figuring 14 hours give or take a stop or two.

So far I have been told good fishing early morning as well as at dusk...is it just not worth it during the afternoon?
 

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hardly any fishing is good during th eafternoon this time of year, and it can be quite hot in that section of CA, even at the dunsmuir elevation.

14 hours seems pretty optimistic to me. I've done it in 15 hours from Seattle, but I nearly killed myself doing it (one of those 80-mph avoid-all-unecessary-stops trips; my wife threatened to strangle me). I'd say allow more like 18-20 hours of road time. You're already going to test her patience when you get on the water; why make her mad before you even get there? Remember that you've got anther five hours to SF in front of you after you leave Dunsmuir.
 

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I am from the Bay Area and I have driven that route a few times. Unfortunately I was never smart enough to stop and fish that river. I have always wanted to, but I was always on a mission to get home.

For me the quickest that I ever did the drive was when I rented a Mustang and drove it in 11 hours 45 minutes with one 20 minute stop. That was about a 75 MPH average over the entire route. You should be able to do it in 14 with a few small stops, but not a decent stop to fish. Tack on a couple more for that.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually things are looking in my favor...my father is joining us as well...the man is a machine when it comes to road trips!
That also puts the majority in my favor...sweeeeet! I'll just plan on somewhere between 14-20 hours...with some good fishing time!

Thanks again!
 

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Dog creek exit from I-5. drive down to the railroad tracks. Cross bridge and hike upstream a few hundred yards and fish down to bridge. Good place to fish midday as there is alot of shade to work with on the western side fishing from eastern side. Also go below bridge and fish as far as you want to hike. Awesome streamer water and wet fly on a sinktip water, and some years there will be smallies and spots to keep things interesting. That's actually enough water for one day. If you are fishing more than that, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is it Dog Creek the actual exit name off I-5 or is it the name of the stream which to fish? If the later what is the exit or town close to it! Sounds like exactly what I am looking for!

Thanks!
 

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I live in Davis CA and have fished the Upper Sac several times. This is your best bet for roadside fishing. Definately stop in Dunsmuir and go to the Ted Fay flyshop. It is a little north of downtown. Joe Kimsey is the man with about 60 years of experience, listen to him. Best fishing will be early and late. Mid day will be tough, many just fish the the evening. The caddis and mayfly hatches can cause a frenzy just before dark so don't stop fishing too soon. There are 30 miles of river to fish, but I would start near Dunsmuir. The river below Redding is considered the Lower Sac and you need a boat and a guide, wading access is tough and probably not worth it at that time. The McCloud is a similar stream to the Upper Sac, but it is quite a ways further and you have to hike. Forget Hat Creek at that time. Fall River require a boat/pram and is very technical.
 

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If I were you, I would time the drive down to arrive at a reasonable time for early dinner (since the rest. I'm recommending closes at 9 pm) and mid-evening fishing since August is usually in the "dog days" of summer where it can be tough on hot days. Be sure to have dinner with the wife and father at Dunsmuir's only Italian restaurant (Cafe Maddalena, whose chef is an Italian who lives in Dunsmuir only in the summer before returning to Northern Italy during the off season, which results in the food being very good and authentic). That would score points with the wife and might even get you a couple of hours the following morning to fish the Upper Sac--which would be productive at that time of the year only until about 11:30 am or so.
 

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Dog creek is the actual exit off of I-5. It close to Lake shasta. You won't miss it. Big ol' green highway signs. You don't fish the creek, but the Upper Sac itself. It's a lower section of the upper river, so it's wider and really lends itself to long casts and swinging flies, and you may find some risers of course. If you want pocketwater, try Soda Creek, which is much closer to Dunsmuir. Tons of good water, and a nice trail on the east side, and railroad tracks on the west. Soda Creek used to be my favorite for like 10 years until floods changed it, but there is still awesome pocketwater there.

Either way fish through the day, but fish smart. riffled water, Deep water, shade, undercuts, etc...
 
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