LOWER AMERICAN RIVER
Lower American River
Updated - 11/13/19 @ 9:36 am
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Current River Conditions: 2700 CFS and clear.
(scroll down for real time flows)
Fishing Conditions-good: Reports remain the same. We continue to get reports of smolts and a few Half-Pounders getting caught in the Watt Ave, Rossmore and other access points on the river. Skitering a Elk Hair Caddis fly among rising fish in the evening can get grabs and don't forget to try an egg pattern down below. BWO hatches are increasing and the smaller fish are on to them. Search the flats above the riffles for noses poking up into the surface film. Lastly, we fished a side channel (secret) the other afternoon and did well swinging small leach patterns. This is one of the best times of the year to fish the lower American so take advantage of the good weather we are having as it only takes one major rain storm to blow things out.
We specialize on Striper, Steelhead and Shad fishing and have guides on the water every day so if you would like to book one call us at (916)483-1222 or click here to let us know of your preferences online.
Generally Recommended Flies
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On Top-Half Pounders/Smolts: Cut Wing PMD #18, Hackle Stacker Baetis #18 or #20, Hackle Stacker PMD #18. Trico Spinner #20, Drowned Trico Spinner #20
Stripers: Clouser Minnows #1 white & turquoise/olive & turquoise/gray & turquoise
About the Lower American River
The lower American River begins near the town of Folsom, CA (yeah, the same Folsom Johnny Cash sang about) where it flows out of Lake Natoma (Nimbus Dam) and travels 24 miles to its confluence with the Sacramento River in downtown Sacramento.
The riparian flood plane, on both sides of the river, is designated as the American River Parkway, which is one of the largest urban parks in the state. It’s a refuge from the stress of the adjacent two million person urban area. With only a short hop over a levee you find yourself in a pristine wilderness that has changed little in 150 years.
The American River hosts several runs of anadromous fish; half pounder Steelhead, winter Steelhead, (smaller and sexually immature fish), Striped Bass, and American Shad. Half pounder Steelhead appear in September and are generally spread out in the river. This is not a large run, but provide some fun fishing for these 18 to 20 inch fish.
The winter Steelhead begin to arrive in December (while the upper half of the river is closed to protect spawning Salmon) and build in numbers until February when they begin to spawn. Though a good population spawn naturally in the river’s gravel, most fish returning to the river are hatchery fish.
In April the Stripers begin to show in anticipation to their spawning in May. They feed on Steelhead. Shad and Salmon smolts that are abundant in the river at that time.
In late April the American Shad begin to arrive and build in numbers into May. Shad provide great sport for most fishermen through June though some of them actually hang around through the summer. Some Shad diehards fish dry flies for them in July.