Fish your Feet

We bush wacked our way downstream into the flat where we could see heads softly nudging and sipping the PMD spinners under the elephant ear. And of course, the fish consistently rising were on the far bank.  It was easily a 50 foot cast, which was at the extreme end of my clients powerhouse.  The problem would be in achieving the perfect drift in the flat velvety water even if the fly hit it’s target.  Immediately my client wanted to deliver a cast. I told him to wait and lets just see what else we are missing. I knew if we made a cast to the fish on the far bank we would most likely spook the entire flat and particularly the fish that might be in between.  As we sat there, the fish on the far bank continued in synchronicity, gently sipping and following into rhythm while throughly taunting us.  My client was like a quivering labrador retriever and those fish were the tennis ball that was just thrown across the river, he couldn’t focus on anything but the prize on the very far side.  I couldn’t blame him, they were getting to me too.  I could feel his impatient desire to get it done and at the same point also slowly starting to loath his guide.  I wanted those fish on the far side but I wanted to pick several opportunities and turn this flat from a one fish run into a multiple fish run.  Several minutes into the silent recon a subtle head showed in the shallows behind a small rock on our side, a small lie that looked too shallow to provide enough protection to hold fish. Thirty more seconds and another rise on our side but from another fish. The fish on our side had slow rhythm and only broke the surface every 3 to 5 minutes but they were there and they were moving around. If we would of waded out for the fish on the far side we would have never seen them.  We lengthened our leader by putting on some fresh Rio Tippet, pulled out some extra fly line and devised our plan of attack on the fish closest to us.  It would be a one cast shot, high sticked and then the rod dropped followed by an all out feed maximizing our stealthy drift without notifying other fish we hadn’t seen.  His first cast fell short and I hastily blurted, leave it!  He followed through with our plan even though it didn’t reach its destination and bam!  A nice fish slapped his dry fly, fish on. I let out a silent sigh of relief.  We kept the rod tip downstream and towards the bank and angled the fish towards us and away from the others.  We admired the moment and the freckled rainbow with a small dry fly hanging from the upper mandible.  We continued this game and started playing “battleship.”  A-1, A-2, A-3 and so on.  We were able to get 6 different fish to take our fly with a few refusals.  Eventually 30 minutes or more later we were at the fish on the far side.  He made one of the best casts of the day and hit the target. But in attempting to make the mend to the far side in order to get the perfect drift he spooked the wily fish.  It was an almost impossible shot. We let them rest and changed our attack but they never took our fly that day.  Fish your feet, be patient and work slowly into a run.  And most important enjoy the hunt and everything it encompasses.

Fly fisherman high stick fishing in the McCloud River on Bollibokka

Notice the small burble on the surface of water just below the anglers line? This was just enough to hold a few fish before we attacked the small seam under the elephant ear on the far side.


Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides

Trout and Steelhead



Upper Sacramento River: Whitewater and Trout

Set on the southern skirts of Mount Shasta the Sacramento River is California’s largest river.  It has been touted as the Nile of the West.  It flows for about 445 miles from Shasta to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  For this adventure float trip  we are focusing on the Upper Sacramento River above Lake Shasta.  We started our adventure float trip below the town of Dunsmuir and ended near Lakehead.  The Upper Sac is a deceptive river and loaded with tons of class 3 and 4 rapids.  We recommend using one of the outfitters for whitewater trips.  Combine it with some of the best fly fishing and it makes this trip one of our favorites!


How did the Sacramento River get its name?

Gabriel Moraga a Spanish explorer in 1808 was searching for locations to setup missions and was likely the first foreigner to visit the river.  Judging its immense size and power he named it Rio de los Sacramentos, or “River of the Blessed Sacrament.”

How long is the Sacramento River?

445 miles (716 km)

When is the best time for whitewater trips?

Typically April through mid-June but every year is different based weather conditions from the the previous winter.

When can you fish the Upper Sacramento?

The Sacramento River from Shasta Lake to Lake Siskiyou is open 365 days a year.




Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guide Trips on the Upper Sacramento River

Whitewater Adventure Fly Fishing

In life and on the River

There are times where you might find yourself with a definitive goal in mind. Or perhaps, focused on a specific prize or result. Often while in the pursuit we come across something that wasn’t in the scope of our intended target, whether in life or on the river. Some may scoff and others may rejoice. In this particular instance depicted in the photo we had already experienced an epic day chasing trout and the occasional steelhead while enjoying the bounties of Northern California in the springtime. Yes, we target trout and steelhead. But don’t forget about the other species that inhabit our waterways. And remember, when you focus on a specific prize, don’t ignore all the other wonderful discoveries that may go unnoticed. In life, or on the river.

fly angler lands huge carp on Lower Sac river

A sweet specimen tackled by Lowell on the Lower Sacramento River on 6 weight and light tippet.


carp lips and smiling angler

In 1653 Izaak Walton wrote in The Compleat Angler, “The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised.”


Fish Kennedy Brothers

Fly Fishing Guides in Redding , CA

Trout, steelhead, salmon, bass and anything that swims

Lower Sacramento River Cleanup in Redding, CA

Have you ever wanted to help out and work together with others who are interested in keeping our rivers clean and pristine?  Now is your chance.  Can you spare 3 hours this next Sunday?  With the creation of a new Trout Unlimited Chapter in Redding the process has started uniting the people in the community and surrounding areas to help protect and preserve our watersheds here in Northern California.  Whether you love fishing or just enjoy walking the edges of the river, this event is for you.

Bring your boat if you have one or we will have transportation for you.  We will split up into groups that will either walk the river trail or float down the river and pick up trash on the way.  Please bring a water bottle and gloves if you have them.  Trash bags, water, and cleanup gear will be provided.

Please help spread this information to anybody you know who might be interested in helping.  Thank You!


Sacramento River Clean up in Redding CA

What:  Lower Sacramento River Cleanup

Where:  Boat Ramp at the Posse Ground above the Sundial Bridge

When:  This Sunday. April 24th 9am-12pm

If you have any questions please contact  Sam Sedillo: or 408-718-9897

The Wild Steelheader March

Here is the latest newsletter from the Wild Steelheader March 30, 2016

-PLUS 4 things you can do right now to help wild steelhead! Continue reading

Final Day for many Coastal Rivers

Today is the final fishing day for many of our coastal drainages here in Northern California. It was a phenomenally great season and more importantly, although it hindered fishing, we at last received enough water to allow safe passage to our anadromous friends!  They needed it desperately. Take a few minutes and check out the video from Cal Trout on some of the restoration projects going on our coast. If it speaks to you, we encourage you to get involved either locally or maybe on your favorite river.  Thanks for another great season!


Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides

Trout and Steelhead

The Sacramento River is Closed to Fishing?

Don’t believe the headlines, because just like that, shear terror is unleashed and countless dollars in revenue are lost and never recovered as fraudulent stories circulate.  It’s not just fishing guides who miss out on their prime time to make ends meet, but the trickle down economic factor sends shock waves all the way through the communities and tourism based businesses that thrive on this ridiculously rich and renewable resource of catch and release fishing that the City of Redding has become home to.  “Redding has some of the best fishing I’ve seen anywhere in the world, and I use to live in Montana and Alaska,” Robert Bailey remarked, as we strolled down the Sundial Bridge snapping photo’s of the drift boats hooked up on wild rainbow trout under our feet.

Don’t believe the headlines, the media is going to try to shove this one down your news feeds, but don’t buy it.  Is it true there is a fishing closure? Yes, there will be a temporary emergency closure for a very small section of the river and we’ll give you the details below, straight from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).  Is this going to effect my fishing trip on the Sacramento River?  Absolutely not.  In fact, after a prosperous wet season with many of our drainages receiving above average rainfall and snow pack totals, this is going to be one of the years fishing in Northern California that you will not want to miss out on.

winter run chinook salmon i

Plagued by years of abuse from dams, mining, agriculture, drought, commercial fishing, hatcheries, extreme habitat loss and poor ocean conditions the Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon face extinction.  Chinook salmon, also known as “king salmon,” are without question the undisputed royalty of California waters.

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Spring is here, fish you must

It’s no longer getting close, spring is here.  To put it in Yoda terms, “Spring is here, fish you must!”  It’s been a wild and wet winter and for the first time in five years the State of Jefferson has received above average water.  El Niño may not have lived entirely up to it’s ominous reputation, but it has brought life back to the parched landscapes of Northern California.  The temperature outlook has indicated an increased probability of above-normal temperatures across much of the United States in the coming months.  In fact, the chance is highest for the West, exceeding 50 percent.Image of Yoda saying go fishing you must  The weather outlook notes that while the El Niño event is weakening daily, the important question going forward is how quickly its impacts dissipate and what the likelihood is of a transition to a La Niña event.  The weather service says La Niña is characterized by anomalously cool water in the central and eastcentral Pacific (thus the reason the La Niña phenomenon is sometimes referred to as a “Pacific cold episode”).  It’s overall effects also tend to be less predictable than those for El Niño, with seasonal precipitation impacts generally opposite as well.  But women, weather and fish kind of do what they want and right about the time you think you have them figured out…well you know.  Don’t even try.

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Fly Fishing Northern California in the Wettest Winter in 5 Years

Recent downpours of heavy rain for the month of March so far have sent lake levels in the Northstate through the roof and still we are not done yet.  Will Shasta Lake overflow?  There is a good chance if we can keep pace.  Officials said it would take at least three years to fill up California’s largest reservoir but it’s happening at a much quicker rate than expected.

rainbow trout on Sacramento River during rain

We endured monsoon like conditions during the storm events and even found some nice trout and solitude.

Early Monday morning, Shasta Lake was at 79% of capacity and 103% of historical average for this time of year which puts us on a good path towards reaching peak levels and possibly over flowing it’s spillways with future storms and snow melt.

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Nor Cal’s Weather and River Update: March 6th 2016

Nothing haunts me more than the beasts that live in the emerald green waters.  But the hunt is going to have to wait.  At least for now.


The mysterious unicorn.

Much of the West Coast has received copious amount of rainfall in the past 48 hours.  Currently, most rivers are high and not fishable, except for a small handful of tailwaters fisheries up near the dam. Oh and lakes too.  There are a few dandies out there right now if you’re willing to partake in the changing weather conditions.  The Trinity was hardly fishable at the top end of the drainage above Rush Creek and the Lower Sac was fishable today but saw severe winds which made boat accessibility down right dangerous.  Brutal beyond belief.  The Lower Sac had fishable water down to I-5 but saw extremely dirty water from the mouth of Churn Creek down.  More moisture is on the way and it will determine the outlook for this next week.  So far it’s looking like a great week for more rain which we still need.

It might be a good time to find a great book and sit by a warm fire!  Has anybody read these?

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