Thursday, September 18, 2008

Upper Sac Family Weeked

I spent the weekend of September 13th and 14th on the lower portion of the Upper Sacramento River at the House on the River. The House on the River is a vacation rental in the small community of Delta that used to operate as a fly fishing lodge. The house was great, well equipped with hot tub, an HD projection system with all the channels, a serious AC system and good access to the river and with plenty of room for the three families that went. The three husbands would go fishing each morning and evening and spend the day and night with the family. The House is also set up great for cooking with a full kitchen, coal grills, gas grills, smokers...If there is a way for meat to be cooked it can be accomplished there. Just, please, leave the fish in the river!

The House on the River:

Happy families at the beach.

My new daughter enjoyed herself.

Family friend and kids. Also happy.

Suffice to say, the family vacation aspect of the trip was fantastic. So how about the fishing?

As most know access to the Upper Sacramento is pretty good and where there is not vehicle access one can always follow the railroad tracks, although be careful as these tracks are highly used with trains going up and down day and night. The old feel for vibrations on the track trick is not very reliable and sometimes when the trains are at speed you have very little warning. There is always room to get out of the way but being so close to a huge locomotive shakes the soul and is tough on the ears. Nevertheless, following the tracks is key to getting to the lesser fished honey holes.

I learned something new this trip that I had not realized on prior trips to the Upper Sac: There are big wild fish there, although they are few and not easily caught!

We started off fishing near the most obvious access from the house which is also a heavily used beach and swimming hole. Don't let the good looks of the hole fool you, if there are any fish there they get hammered. This is the hole at the beach.

Although with some walking and aggressive wading the fishing picks up considerably. My trusted source of great fly fishing information, Leo at Fish First, convinced me that the Upper Sac was indeed a tail water masked as a freestone as Tom Chandler on the Trout Underground once reported. Taking that to heart, I primarily fished size 20 and smaller midge patterns. They produced well.

This guy had a bit of a belly on him.

This is not a great picture, being blurred by the water, but I think my hand gives some perspective to the size of the fish.

Fish on the rocks (from where I was standing it was either this or get swept away).

One cool thing that Craig the proprietor of House on the River does is let people who catch fish over 20 inches sign the wall. The wall gives a great sense of the history of the place, both who had been there, what they caught and on what flies. Most people got their big fish on big streamers and crawfish patterns (I swam a goblin through a dark, deep hole and it just got hammered, unfortunately I did not hook up).

The wall of fame.

This is the wall a bit closer in.

For those of you that are also fisherman, fathers and husbands, the House on the River might be great way to succeed at all three.

1 comment:

  1. Nice place. I live in Colorado and there are alot of litle options like that. It's just a matter of time for me to make a trip like that with the wife and kid. But, shit, she fishes I guess I need a nanny. I love reading your posts and have always been interested in catching fish in off-the-wall places. I mountain biked near a stream for four years and then decided to fish it one day and had a blast catching browns and 'bows in a rehabbed fire area. I thought the place would be dead.