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Monday, May 25, 2009

Profile of the Upper Sacramento River, CA

The Upper Sacramento River originates in the shadow of Mt. Shasta. The Upper Sac, as it is often referred to, flows through the town of Dunsmuir, California. The Upper Sac is intertwined with the railroad and Interstate 5. The interstate runs right along the river, and many of the hot spots named by fishermen are named by the off ramp.

In 1991, tragedy struck the Upper Sac when a rail car overturned above Dunsmuir releasing toxic chemicals into the river. For 35 miles, the Upper Sac was, in essence, sterilized. Since then, the recovery of the river, the fish, and it's aquatic life has proven an overwhelming success.

The Upper Sacramento river is a freestone river and has some of the easiest access to trout you can find. There are many access points along the river from Interstate 5. Rainbows can be caught in the 14" to 24" range using dry flies and nymphs.

One place all fly fishers should not pass up is Mossbrae Falls. As seen in the photo above, water spills over the edge of a small cliff in many parts making it look like a bunch of small individual waterfalls. The best way to get to the falls is by hiking along the railroad tracks upriver from Prospect access.


  1. Dunsmuir is dedicated to giving fishermen the info they need to have a great experience. New comers can stop in at the Sacto River center on Dunsmuir Ave. south of downtown, or stop at the hardware store on one of the fly shops scattered all over south Dunsmuir.
    Get into the river easily at either of the wonderful parks - Tauhindauli under the I-5 bridge or the city park off the main drag in North Dunsmuir.
    Chris Raine, noted bamboo rod creator is usually in his shop tucked onto the side of the canyon just before heading under the freeway heading north, and he's always full of the latest info of great fishing holes... and he loves to share

  2. Thanks for the great comments Joanne.