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Good fishing in the Redding area

Jeff Goodwin author photo,

Article and photos by Jeff Goodwin
11/14/15 -- The chill of fall has changed the colors of the trees in Shasta county, but it hasn't changed the fishing on local waters at all. Fishing has continued to remain good as the season changes, and it doesn't appear as though we will see anything different anytime soon. Typically late fall will bring a few storm systems with a few good rains which will increase flows in the local streams and rivers. Heavy rains will ultimately dirty up the streams and the lakes they run into making for tough fishing. Not this year so far, and not until December, maybe, according to weather forecasters. The lack of adverse weather will surely keep the fishing around here fairly predictable.

The Sacramento River will see the flows from Keswick Reservoir cut to 4250 cfs by the 16th. This is going to have an Impact on salmon fishing for "late fall" fish. There are reports of salmon entering the lower river, but with no significant rain and a reduction of flows, the salmon will almost certainly take their time migrating up to the hatcheries and spawning grounds here in the Redding area. Time will tell, but we really could use a good shot of rain to pull some fish into the upper stretches of the river. Until then, I wouldn't expect a lot of good salmon fishing reports to be coming in.

Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service 24' Willie jet boat equipped to fish the Sac River and area's lakes. Photo by Jeff Goodwin
Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service 24' Willie jet boat equipped to fish the Sac River and area's lakes

The Sacramento River in Redding is still producing good numbers of wild rainbow trout for guides and recreational anglers alike. As the river flows are dropped, water levels will continue to accommodate the drift boat anglers, but the guys in the power boats are gonna have a hard time at some of the launches. Also, in certain sections of tight water, navigation can also get technical when the flows are down. Its just the way it is during the winter months on the Sac. Fortunately, the trout don't care and fishing for them will remain productive for those of us that can get out after them.

Jason Vallotton of Redding, Ca. with a Shasta Lake 2 1/2 lb spotted bass, photo by Jeff Goodwin
Jason Vallotton of Redding, Ca. with a Shasta Lake 2 1/2 lb spotted bass

Shasta Lake and Keswick Reservoir has always been a good alternative for trout fishing during the low flows of the Sac River. With the lake water temp's dropping, look for the trout to be hanging out in the top 10' of the water column early in the day. As the day progresses, try dropping down another 10'-20', and remember, our clear, sunny days call for shiny nickel finish lures when casting or trolling them. Now spotted bass fishing on Shasta has also been very good with anglers scoring double digit days. The bass are hanging out just off shore on the drop offs in the 35' range. Drop shotting plastics has been a top producer, and dragging plastic worms and Senko's has been effective as well. Greens and browns are always a safe bet when choosing colors for your plastics.

Cooler with limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon, photo by Jeff Goodwin
Cooler with limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon

For the die hard kokanee fishermen, Whiskeytown Lake is still producing daily limits. The koke's are holding in 25'-45' of water, and are taking lures presented in pink and orange. A silver dodger should be included in your offering for sure. The lake water temp is down to 58 deg's now so get out there now while they are still on the bite. I keep saying its gonna slow down, but thankfully the kokanee don't care what I have to say about them slowing their bite and have continued to hit just about everything I've offered them. There are kokanee spawning in the feeder creeks currently so lets hope for some more rain to help them have a successful spawn. With the continued dry spell we are having, there are still a lot of kokanee in the lake that have turned and need to get up into the creeks to do their thing as well. The Whiskeytown Lake kokanee fishery is an amazing one, but is seriously under fished. Anyone looking to improve their success should feel free to contact me anytime. I will be more than happy to share my techniques and what I know about catching these tasty fish!

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

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Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
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german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
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Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
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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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