Saturday, May 8, 2010

American River Today

Took a run down to Sacramento this morning to wet a line in the American River. Shad were starting to show and thought I'd try out some new flies. As it turned out, when I got down there, the wind was blowing right in my face at about 20 mph. I chose to go to Harrington Access instead of Gristmill across the river. Had I been at Gristmill, I would have been able to use the fly rod, but once I was at Harrington, I didn't want to drive all the way back around to get to that access.

I used my spinning rod with the 1/32 oz pink jig head and pink metalic grub that worked so well last year. I fished 4 or 5 different areas trying to find anything that looked like a shad. While I was fishing (and not catching) something hatched. Maybe one of the Entomology types out there can tell what it is. Best picture I could provide.
There were so many of these bugs and with the wind blowing, I had bugs in my eyes, ears, and up my nose. Probably more than you wanted to know. Had I been breathing by mouth, I would have had them in there too. On top of that, just when they seemed to be dwindling, the wind would reverse and right back they came. After an hour or so, I'd had enough to eat, so I packed up and moved on.
I figured, if the shad are coming from the Sacramento River, the American runs into it at Discovery Park (no, I don't know why they call it Discovery Park), the closer I get, the better chances of catching one. So I moved to the Howe Avenue access. No fish there, but one guy I ran into said they are catching them at Discovery Park. Go figure. Guess I just didn't get far enough down stream.
Still a little early, so I'll wait another couple of weeks and drop down again. See what happens then. Maybe I can catch a day when it's not so windy and try those 3 shad flies I picked up a while back.
That's all the excitement for today. Till next time.
Mark (Shoreman)


  1. Hi Mark, while I don't consider myself an Entomologist by a long way, my guess would be a Mayfly of some type. Hope someone better than me can answer this for you.

  2. Haven't let my fishing madness get me into the bug ID scene yet, so sorry I couldn't help. They sound like quite the nuisance though. The wind must have been a theme all the way across the country today - we were getting 30 mph gusts today. Better luck the next time you head out.

  3. Mark,

    It sure is tough when you know the fish are feeding and you can't get them interested in your own presentation. Not to mention when you have a hard time enjoying the moment because you've got a nose full of bugs...
    In any case, those flies look rather small and I wouldn't expect they were such a good meal that the fish were so satisfied with them that their bellies were full. My guess is that they (the fish) might be waiting for a different hatch that may be due to occur in this area very soon. You might find that fishing the same water next week or anytime just before the hatch they are waiting for could produce grate results. The trick is figuring out what is due to hatch. Mayflies? I don't know, but perhaps a fly shop in the area could help you with a few possibilities. Then you can be sure you have a few different types of flies resembling these possibilities to try out.
    Good luck and keep us posted!! Cheers, JB