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Sacramento River fall salmon run peaks

Jeff Goodwin Author photo,

By Jeff Goodwin
10/09/15 -- With the first week of October behind us, it would be safe to say that we are nearing the last few weeks of the 2015 fall salmon run before we start to see some "late fall salmon" action here on the Sacramento River. There are still fresh fall salmon entering the system, but I think the bulk of the run has already entered the Sac and will be finning their way up river to the hatcheries and spawning grounds. Thats not to say there isn't still good fishing below us to be had by any means. There have been reports of fresh salmon entering the Feather River this week, and the Sac River near Chico has seen a nice push of really bright salmon this week as well. Your best bet for getting into the most fish, numbers wise, remains here in the upper system near Anderson, and thats where you will see most of the salmon fishermen focusing their efforts now. There are still some pretty fresh salmon being caught up here in the "Barge Hole", but as the month closes out, we will certainly see a decline in the numbers of those fresh salmon for sure. If you want to get a shot at catching a salmon worthy of the BBQ, I'd go sooner than later for sure.

Bright, fresh Sacramento River king salmon on the cleaning board. Photos courtesy of Chris Schertz of C&A Guide Service
Bright, fresh Sacramento River king salmon on the cleaning board. Photos courtesy of Chris Schertz of C&A Guide Service

The Rooster Tails Fishing Club out of Auburn, Ca. held a club fishing event this week which included 26 of its members. Seven local guides fished the 26 anglers below Balls Ferry and had a very successful day on the water. At the end of the day, 7 boats came in with 40 salmon all ranging from 10-25+ pounds! Other guides on the river have also been coming in with half to full limits nearly every day now, and that should remain the norm as the month comes to a close in the next few weeks. Right now, fishing with Yakima Bait Flatfish lures wrapped with sardine fillets has been a top producer, and back bouncing or boondoggling roe through the holes is a top pick as well.

Chris Schertz of C&A Guide Service out of Anderson, Ca. with Rooster Tails Fishing Club clients and full limits. Photo courtesy of Chris Schertz of C&A Guide Service
Chris Schertz of C&A Guide Service out of Anderson, Ca. with Rooster Tails Fishing Club clients and full limits.

There are some really good guides out there that still have some seats available for this great fishery and fishing with any one of them will certainly give you an idea of how to deploy the techniques required to catch these amazing salmon here on local waters and beyond. There are currently some really big salmon up here now that are hitting the decks at 40+ lbs already. I expect to hear of some that will certainly hit the half century mark before the Sac closes on December 16th. So its definitely time to pick up that phone and give us a call now. We'll surely be able to get you into a boat with one of the finest local salmon guides available. Who knows, it might just be you that ties into that 50+ lb king salmon this year! Tight lines everyone, and have a great time catching Sacramento River king salmon!

Jeff Goodwin specializes in guiding and fishing for salmon, trout and steelhead in Northern California and Southern Oregon rivers. He also has many associates who work with him and/or guide on other waters in this region. To learn more please visit or contact him at or at (707) 616-1905.

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


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