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Sac River above SR 44 re-opened 8/1!

By Jeff Goodwin
08/02/16 -- Monday, August 1st was a big day for north state anglers who fish the Sacramento river near Redding, Ca. The Sacramento River above Red Bluff opened for salmon fishing and the 5.5 mile section below Keswick Dam has also re-opened for catch and release rainbow trout fishing.

I had re-scheduled my salmon party of 4 anglers on the 1st. because of a poor outlook for salmon fishing in the Barge Hole section of the Sac. I had been on the river and had also received reports from fellow guides who agreed that there just weren't very many salmon to be had for the opener. I went out and put in a few hours in a fellow guide's boat for good measure, but went home disappointed. Im not sure of official numbers, but guides on the water in the Barge Hole opined that there were about 15 salmon caught by about 50 boats. It's not too alarming at this point because it seems many rivers on the west coast are off to a slow start. There seems to be a lot of bait fish in the ocean this year and the salmon are taking full advantage of it prior to entering their home rivers.

The rainbow trout fishing on the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam was altogether a different story!

Father and son with fish, by Jeff Goodwin, Sacramento River and Redding Sundial Bridge in the brackground
Happy father and son clients from Sacramento, Ca. pictured on their day of fishing the Sacramento River with Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.

Expectations were high, and boy did the rainbows deliver! Although I was on the river salmon fishing, I received reports that the trout fishing opened with a vengeance and the fishing was absolutely fantastic. Drift and power boats filled the Posse Grounds boat launch at daybreak, and it was said to be the most boats on that section of the river since April when that section of the Sac was closed to all fishing. As the guides and sport anglers hit the water, it was quickly determined that it was going to be a great day to be a trout fisherman on the Sacramento River. My sources explained that the fishing was very good and the bite was red hot all morning. Heavy boat traffic made it tough to find an empty drift, but it didn't seem to slow down the bite.

Man with rainbow trout, photo courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
Jumbo Sacramento River rainbow trout caught by Brent Honnoll with a Dick Nite Spoon while fishing with Jeff Goodwin

Knowing just how good the trout fishing was last year after after the August 1st opener, I booked several days of trips this season to provide my clients with a guaranteed amazing trout fishing experience. My first trip was today, and it turned out to be epic to say the least. Today's clients landed over 50 beautiful wild rainbows while drift fishing Dick Nite spoons. Over a dozen rainbows were in the 3-4 pound class and more than 20 of them were 1-2 pounds. All of the rainbows were in pristine condition and fought hard to the net displaying ariel jumps and line peeling runs. Some of the usual spots that I know hold big fish were worked over with Yakima Bait Co. Mag Lip 3.0 plugs. It was awesome to watch my clients do battle with these big bows after the jumbo rainbows crushed the Mag Lip's I put in front of them. It was surely a day my clients won't forget, and the smiles they finished the day with are priceless.

Brent Honnol with jumbo trout with guide Jeff Goodwin
Another great rainbow trout caught by a happy Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service client from the Sacramento area.

I will be offering Sacramento River rainbow trout trips through September, so if anyone is interested in this amazing fishery, now is the time to get your trip scheduled. I am also fishing King salmon beginning in mid August, so trout trip dates after that are limited. This is an amazing opportunity that anyone and everyone who loves to fish should experience at least once. Contact me now for more information about booking a trip or even for some advice on how to be more successful going after these jumbo wild rainbow trout on your own. Tight lines!!

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide. He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also guides the Sacramento River as far down as Colusa during certain seasons. Jeff can also be found on the Klamath River chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead in August each year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff has to offer, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service at You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram,and Twitter, or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.

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