American River

Bill Carnazzo on the American RiverThe American River is in our back yard. It provides nearly endless fly fishing opportunities throughout the area it drains, which is vast. Above Folsom Lake the river provides excellent back country fishing along all three of its forks, especially on the many tributaries that add flow as the river heads west. Below Folsom Lake there is the Lower American River Parkway, famous for its nearly year-round runs of steelhead, and its prolific salmon, shad, and striped bass migrations.

I have written articles on the back country fishing afforded by the American for California Fly Fisher magazine and for the Leader, which is the newsletter published by the Granite Bay Flycasters. Many of the Leader articles are archived and can be found on the club’s website. Virtually all of my upper American experience has been on the North and Middle Forks; I have only limited experience on the South Fork, having fished in the Slab Creek and Rock Creek area a number of times.

Valuable, up to date information on the Lower American River, as well as the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta,  can be obtained from all of our local fly shops. Especially helpful is Bill Kiene’s website. The site features a message board that is open to posting by anglers who often provide daily fishing reports on the American, Yuba, and other rivers, lakes, and bodies of water. I do not guide on the Lower American River; however, I know a number of very good guides who do specialize in this fishery, and will on request provide recommendations.