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Enjoy Magazine

Fly Fishing in the North State

03/01/2007 10:41AM ● By Brandi Barnett

On the Fly

March 2007
By Teresa Wilson

Thousands of fly fisherman are lured to Shasta County each year by our more than 130 miles of rivers and streams. From beginners to advanced anglers, fishing in our region is optimal just about any time of year.

“Northern California has the best fishing in the country,” saidMichael Caranci, an FFF Certified Master Instructor and Director of Outfitters for The Fly Shop in Redding.

Carnanci and the other professional guides at The Fly Shop spend an average of 200 days a year out on the water and share tips and techniques among each other to better serve their clientele. In 2005, more than 4,400 people took advantage of the experienced guide services offered by The Fly Shop and the number increases each year.

Redding is becoming well known for its ample fishing opportunities and fishermen come from all over the nation to fish in our waterways. Whether anglers choose to walk and wade or glide along the Sacramento River in a McKenzie drift boat, there are many fishing opportunities within two hours of Redding. Some of the best year-round fishing is on the lower Sacramento, which runs right through Redding and is a good choice for beginners.

Fishing for steelhead is done predominantly in the mid-winter months with great locations along the Klamath and Trinity rivers. Trout season officially opens the last Saturday in April and runs through November 15.

Fly fishing is not just a men’s activity anymore. “It is the fastest growing sport among women,” said Caranci. “Women have the finesse it takes to bend a rod, while men tend to be more cumbersome in their approach.”

Beginners can spend as little as $50 to several hundred to secure the necessary gear, although $200 is average for the first-timer to be adequately equipped. In any sport, there is some type of paraphernalia to purchase and one could spend significantly more depending on the type of gear chosen.

Caranci said you can catch just about any type of fish on a fly rod using a different presentation and lure, although snaring the elusive sturgeon or catfish is unlikely.

When asked what type of lure was best, Caranci suggested using natural materials like chicken feathers or deer hair wrapped around a hook. “They imitate life. It’s very impressionistic in that sense,” he said. There are synthetic materials used as well, but the natural materials tend to be more successful.

Caranci offers a few pointers for beginners who wish to drop their first line.
• Get advice from experienced professionals at a local shop.
• Take casting lessons.Most local shops offer lessons for about $20 to $50 per hour and employ a trained professional staff to assist the first-timer or advanced angler.
• Try before you buy. Many shops offer hand help on-site so customers can get a feel for the rod they plan to purchase. It’s all about personal preference.

The Fly Shop stocks merchandise its employees use and recommend through personal experience. Tim Fox, retail manager of the Fly Shop, said they mail out about 300,000
catalogs all over the country and receive a significant amount of business nationwide through their website at They offers guided fishing excursions locally and arranges trips to worldwide destinations.With a talented staff of certified instructors and fishing enthusiasts, the beginning or advanced fishermen can learn from the experience of these professionals whether shopping online at or visiting the store at 4140 Churn Creek Road.