The Lower Sacramento River is a big tailwater fishery, famous in Nor Cal for its monster Rainbow Trout population. The “Lower Sac” is fed by cold water that is released from the base of Keswick Dam where it begins the journey south towards the Delta. Because the water emanates from the bottom of Keswick reservoir, the temperature of the river stays in the lower 50’s fairly consistently. These massive flows average between 5,000 and 15,000 cfs, making it California's largest trout streams. The highest flows are during the months of June-July and fishing from a boat is highly recommended. Walk-in bank fishing is still an option during the higher flows but you will certainly be limited to specific areas. Although the trout fishing is the main attractor for fly anglers, the Lower Sac also boasts a growing run of Steelhead and Salmon.
The river is predominantly big, slow water with a combination of intermittent characteristics like long riffles, gravel bars and the occasional island. Fishing from a boat on the Lower Sac is definitely going to be more productive but, as stated earlier, wading is definitely an option. Walk-in access can be found through one of the many public parks and boat launches. Watch for the flows to drop down around 5,000 cfs or less if you plan on wading. Float trips are easily broken up between boat launches making it easy to pick and choose the most productive sections. There are several options with some of the floats as long as 12 miles.