Sacramento River steelhead fishing report

This past week was once again, a wet one.  I fished several days on the Sacramento River in Redding chasing steelhead.  The egg bite continues to be slow, but there are still some fish to be had using a side drifted 8mm-10mm egg bead.  Side drifting from our Willie Boat is easy and can be very productive, especially when fishing shallow sections of the river where these steelhead are holding.  As long as there are spawning salmon in the system, egg pattern beads will remain effective.

Sacramento River steelhead caught by Brian Hales of Santa Cruz, Ca.

The river has cleared up a bit after recent rains and the floating grass also seems to have diminished a bit, although it is still a problem for the plug fishing.  It has been my experience this past week that pulling size 3.0 Yakima Bait Co. Mag Lip plugs in dark or brass finishes have been very effective.  The bites come a bit slower because the presentation time and the water coverage slows way down when pulling these plugs.  Grass is still fouling the plugs and they must be checked and cleared often in order to keep your baits fishing.  Adding scents to the plugs has also proven to be effective of late so be sure not to over look that step when fishing your plugs. 

Clay Galassi of Santa Cruz, Ca. with a Sac River steelhead he caught on a 3.5 Mag Lip plug.

As the season continues, I will likely continue to concentrate my efforts on the steelhead plug bite while fishing in the Redding area.  I would expect the good fishing to continue until the flows from Keswick Dam are ramped back down, leaving very little room to navigate my 24' jet boat.  Until then, I'll be running steelhead and some King salmon trips well into the month of December.