The Carr fire here in northern California has certainly turned a very promising 2018 summer fishing season into what could be described as an unexpected disappointment to say the least. Now while fishing has remained very good for the most part, we lost access to three areas we normally fish this time of the year. Numerous days had to be, or were cancelled by clients who decided to stay home in lieu of vacationing in an area of the state that was on fire or had the potential to be at any time. I can't say that I blame anyone for not wanting to bring their families into the Redding area with the Carr fire still actively burning around the areas we fish.
Many of my cancelled trips were back filled by anglers anxious to get in on the great action we were providing clients on Shasta Lake. In Late July and early August, Shasta Lake was seemingly untouched by the Carr fire disaster and the fishing and air quality were quite good. It wasn't until the Hirz fire up on the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake broke out and created an enormous amount of smoke on the main body of Shasta Lake that things began to rapidly deteriorate. With news of a spreading Carr fire towards Lakehead and a raging fire near Hirz Bay, many people were warned or advised not to come up to the Shasta Lake area for their planned vacations or fishing adventures. I was upfront with conditions on the lake and many of my booked trips cancelled. For the people who didn't cancel and braved the smokey conditions on Shasta Lake, their trips really paid off on the water.
We did the best we could to push through the uncomfortable conditions on the lake and the fast action and big fish were truly a great distraction. We have had some really great days of fishing and continue do do so now, even in the hot smokey conditions. The pattern has been heavy smoke in the mornings, but some significant clearing in the afternoons when the winds shifted and pushed the smoke to the east of the main body of Shasta. This continues to provide some relief by days end and helps us forget about the heavy smoke in the morning, especially when we open the Yeti cooler to fillet the great Shasta Lake trout!
I won't break any records for the numbers of days I fish this summer and certainly won't be getting rich with my boat sitting on the trailer, but overall its already been a good year and for that I'm grateful. I really appreciate all of the support my clients have shown by re scheduling instead of cancelling, and for braving the conditions and came out to fish with me anyways. With the Carr fire now contained at 90%, it won't be long before its business as usual on all the lakes here in the Redding area. Next weeks weather forecast is showing dropping air temperatures which will undoubtedly help make our days on the water a lot more comfortable and will surely help our firefighters get these fires under control.
I still have several days of fishing on Shasta Lake this month and will be fishing both Shasta Lake for trout and the Sacramento River for King salmon in September. October will be the grand finale on the Sacramento River for King salmon before we start our trophy brown trout trips in November. If weather and water conditions hold up into fall, we should see some of our biggest fish of the year in the next few months. We're committed to bringing our clients the very best guided fishing trips, both now, and the year ahead. If you want to get in on any of the world class fishing trips we offer, please give us a call. We would love to see you holding the next big trophy fish on our Willie Boat!