Feather River Fishing Report

First federally designated “wild and scenic” river – that is the distinction held by the Feather River.  Starting near Beckwourth, California, the river flows through to Lake Oroville. At the upper end the river is gentle and welcoming. By the time you approach the lower reaches, the waters are cascading through step canyons, complete with white water rapids. Surrounded by large boulders, waterfalls and rigid cliffs, this section is wild and beautiful but can intimidating to the novice hiker or boat’s man. 
 

Fishermen in search of a truly authentic river experience will enjoy sightings of Bald Eagles, mule deer and beaver. In addition to fishing, the calmer sections of the river play host to kayakers and swimmers.
 
blog sign up
 
 
 
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
If you have ever driven over the Lower Sacramento River or even fished it, you know that due to its shear size and abundance of water, this makes it extremely intimidating. That's ... morewhy having a knowledgable Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Guide is so important. A great guide will not only put you on the fish, but will also show you the fishy spots accessable by land, the put ins and pull outs for boats, as well as the bug life, the flies to use and when you go on your own, how to put all that t ogether to be successful. The Lower Sacramento River is a big tailwater fishery and California's biggest trout river, and its rainbows are just as big and powerful as the river they live in. If you want big fish and year-round fishing, this is the river for you. With more food than your local all you can eat buffets (2,500 insects per square foot of river), the average fish grows to a healthy and hard-fighting 16-18", and pigs pushing two feet are not out of the question, so bring some big guns. The fishing season is year-round, and water temperatures remain fairly constant too, as the river comes out of the bottom of Shasta Lake.

This river consists of long, indescribable, spring creek like stretches that are broken up by islands, deep pools, long riffles, gravel bars and undulating shelf’s, many of which are more pronounced during lower flows.

If having one of the best trout fisheries in the state isn’t enough, the Lower Sac also hosts some great runs of Steelhead and Chinook salmon too. It also hosts a variety of other fish, such as, shad, squawfish, stripers, largemouth and smallmouth bass, these populations of fish become higher the farther you get away from Shasta Lake. The highest flows are during the summer months, when snow melt is at its greatest, so a drift boat is highly recommended.

You can walk and wade during the higher flows if you so desire, but staying near the bank will be your safest bet. The best time to walk and wade the Lower Sac is going to be during fall, winter and early spring, there is very little snow melt, and the rain that falls goes to filling up the lake, so the river is low and great for walk and wading. This is the time to get out there and really learn the river's bottom and fish those slots that only come out in lower flows, either way “PLEASE WADE WITH CAUTION”. But due to the river’s size and the amount of private property along its banks, those that prefer to wade have two options. One is to fish from public parks and access points along the 16 miles or river between Redding and Anderson, or, from your boat, getting out at the riffles and fishy slots to make some casts.

Public access is fairly easy though on the Lower Sac, there are 6 boat launches, and many public parks and access points along the river that flows almost parallel with interstate 5.

-Brian
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
 (1)
Destination:
Our guides pride themselves in their vast knowledge of the Feather River, and having a great Feather River Fly Fishing Guide will not only make for a fantastic outting, but it will ... morealso increase your tight lines.

The Feather River is one of California's best kept secrets, and is misunderstood by many anglers. The Feather River is an awesome steelhead fishery, and has one of the largest steelhead runs in the valley. This tailwater fishery begins in the town of Oroville below Oroville Dam and continues flowing south until it meets up with the mighty Sacramento River at Verona.

The Feather River holds plentiful amounts of both hatchery and wild fish year round, and one that produces four runs of steelhead, three big runs being Spring, Fall and Winter, with a small run of half pounders in the summer. For those that has fished for these mighty steelhead, you definitely get a sense of their power and greatly appreciates the fight of these Feather River fish. The Springers, March-May, this run is full of hot wild fish that will give your drag a worthy work out, and to me act more like large trout eating normal nymphs and drys. The Summer run is just that, and are a smaller version of the spring run fish. The Fall run, Sept-Nov follow the salmon up the river, and gorge themselves on eggs, eggs and more eggs, this is the infamous "EGG BITE". These fish are extremely healthy, and will make you sweat for every inch. The winter fish, Dec-Feb, are big, brutes that will have you screaming for more, and with most fishing the other valley rivers, you can usually have the river to yourself. Whats nice about the Feather River is no matter the time of year, you can find steelhead scattered throughout the river.

No wonder why we love this river so much, its a year round steelhead fishery. The New Year opens up the low flow section above the hwy 70 bridge, getting a boat in there is pretty tough, but this is where a knowledgeable guide comes into play, whether a drift trip or walk and wade, he can put you in key locations throughout this area and get you into fish. No matter what you are fishing for, the Feather River has it all, from salmon to steelhead, to stripers and shad, it is an all around, year round fishery. Come join me on one of the largest steelhead runs in the Sac Valley, and be ready for a fish that will make you earn your photo finish.

-Brian 
Additional Information
Tributaries:
The Feather River is the principal tributary of the Sacramento River
Source:
North Fork Feather River, Middle Fork Feather River
Mouth:
Sacramento River
Length:
70.8 miles
Latest Guide Fishing Reports
Guide Reports
Boy has this river been a saving grace for me this year. With most of the Nor Cal rivers blown out from January to May, it was tough to get out on the water to work, but when June ... morecame around that was a different story. The flows and clarity on the Feather became good enough to get out and fish it and boy were we surprised. Lots and lots of fish to be had and not a single angler in site. For almost a month we had this river to ourself, and it was fishing consistently everyday. Lots of half pounders from 14-18" and a handful of fish from 18-22" everyday and the occasional 22-26" fish was hooked as well. The fishing continued will into July as the flows decreased, and now that the flows are at a steady 1500cfs in the low flow, we are still hitting a good number of halfies with an adult mixed in every so often. We are starting to see the salmon in the low flow, finally, and in a few weeks they should be stacked. If you havent been on the feather yet this season, I would recommend checking it out, it has completely changed, a lot like the Yuba, a completely new river. With the showing of the salmon that means only one thing, the "EGG BITE" is soon to follow. Oct Nov is prime time for the egg bite on the Feather and if you are looking to book, booking in advance is highly recommended.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Friday, 11 Aug, 2017
Fish Caught:
9-12 fish
Steelhead, striper and shad oh my, we have been having a few trifectas over the past 2 weeks, and its only getting better. Steelhead are thoughout the river system, but the further ... moreup you go the better it gets. Typically we are the only boat/anglers on the water, and the lack of fishing pressure truly shows, hitting a dozen steelhead ranging 14-20" is pretty easy right now, so hooking more is definitely likely. There are some bigger fish in the system as well, some pushing 8lbs, good luck landing these toads. On top of the steelhead fishing, we are even sticking a few stripers when targeted and a good number of shad too, it is the place to be right now. The river has definitely changed with the high water, and with it being 2300cfs in low flow, wade carefully. Fall is going to be sweet on this river and very busy, so as I always say, if you are looking to book a trip on the Feather, I highly recommend booking well in advance. "EGG BITE" will be here sooner than you think.

Nymphing has been the main game for steelhead, but getting them on the swing has been fun as well.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Tuesday, 20 Jun, 2017
Fish Caught:
13-19 fish
As some of you know, I did spend a bunch of time on the Feather this year, but when it became to crowded, I decided to head up to the Trinity. There were some epic early season egg ... morebite days, but once the egg bite become full swing you would see 6-8 boats, and a bank angler in every fishable spot. This made for tough fishing for everyone. Despite all that, the fishing was pretty good up until early Nov, then came the fishing pressure, and the fishing definitely suffered. Now that the pressure all but disappeared, the fishing as picked up slightly, and will be looking good come the New Year,. This is also when the upper river opens. Currently the river is experiencing a bit of color, which I would call a brownish green, it is fishable at this point,, but give it a week or 2 and it will be that steelhead green that we all seek. Once this happens, this place will fish extremely well, and Ill be guiding it on a regularly daily basis. PLEASE, dont forget the salmon are done spawning now, so please try not to walk through the tailouts where are their eggs are. The winter run started to show their scales prior to storm and will continute to trickle in throughout the next few months. Want to try swinging, the Feather is definitely the place, and in about a month or so, the salmon eggs will hatch, and swinging an alevin pattern will give you that tug that we all search for. Prime time for this is the end of Jan to mid March. If you are looking to get out and learn how to fish the Feather in the winter/early spring book your trip now while prime dates are still available. If spring is your thing, book well in advance as this is my busiest time of year.

Nymphs: Princes, Caddis, Eggs, Worms, Copper Johns, Mays
Swinging: sculpins, olive streamers, flesh flies, alevins, white or olive wooly buggers

Guides Tip: Dont stay in one spot, the fish are spread throughout the entire system. Fish a spot for a while with the usual bugs, if nothing happens time to move.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Monday, 19 Dec, 2016
Even though its not as good as it was a few weeks ago, we are still hooking 8 to 12 hook fishing a day with fish ranging from 16 to 26", not bad for steelhead fishing in my book. Nymphing ... moreof course is the main producer here, with princes, caddis and mays as the main flys, and trying worms, sucker spawns and even eggs for tougher days. Fly selection has been a bit more important the last few weeks. Swinging this time of year can be awesome, especially with the nice caddis hatches we are seeing. With flows just ramping up in the High Flow to 2k cfs, this will bring up not only the spring run salmon, but also more hot spring run steelhead that we all seek. Fishing should continue to be good, sometimes even great for the next month, maybe 6 weeks, and slowly taper off after that. Looking to hook into some sweet steelhead, this is the only place in town, and there are still some nice fish to be had. Remember, I don't have to many days remaining in May, book now before they are gone. Also, don't forget about the fall fishing on the Feather, dates are being booked now for the egg bite, dont wait to book.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Thursday, 5 May, 2016
Fishing Trips
 (1)
  • Expert guide
  • Streamside lunch for full day trips
  • Snacks and beverages
  • All essential equipment needed for the day
Our guides pride themselves in their vast knowledge of the Feather River, and having a great Feather River Fly Fishing Guide will not only make for a fantastic outting, but it will ... morealso increase your tight lines.

The Feather River is one of California's best kept secrets, and is misunderstood by many anglers. The Feather River is an awesome steelhead fishery, and has one of the largest steelhead runs in the valley. This tailwater fishery begins in the town of Oroville below Oroville Dam and continues flowing south until it meets up with the mighty Sacramento River at Verona.

The Feather River holds plentiful amounts of both hatchery and wild fish year round, and one that produces four runs of steelhead, three big runs being Spring, Fall and Winter, with a small run of half pounders in the summer. For those that has fished for these mighty steelhead, you definitely get a sense of their power and greatly appreciates the fight of these Feather River fish. The Springers, March-May, this run is full of hot wild fish that will give your drag a worthy work out, and to me act more like large trout eating normal nymphs and drys. The Summer run is just that, and are a smaller version of the spring run fish. The Fall run, Sept-Nov follow the salmon up the river, and gorge themselves on eggs, eggs and more eggs, this is the infamous "EGG BITE". These fish are extremely healthy, and will make you sweat for every inch. The winter fish, Dec-Feb, are big, brutes that will have you screaming for more, and with most fishing the other valley rivers, you can usually have the river to yourself. Whats nice about the Feather River is no matter the time of year, you can find steelhead scattered throughout the river.

No wonder why we love this river so much, its a year round steelhead fishery. The New Year opens up the low flow section above the hwy 70 bridge, getting a boat in there is pretty tough, but this is where a knowledgeable guide comes into play, whether a drift trip or walk and wade, he can put you in key locations throughout this area and get you into fish. No matter what you are fishing for, the Feather River has it all, from salmon to steelhead, to stripers and shad, it is an all around, year round fishery. Come join me on one of the largest steelhead runs in the Sac Valley, and be ready for a fish that will make you earn your photo finish.

-Brian 
Destination:
Current Forecast
Water Flow
0 reviews   0 comments
Fishing Quality
Scenery
Access
Water quality

Discover Your Own Fishing and Hunting Adventures

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.