The Upper Sacramento River runs through Dunsmuir, and is easily accessed in the Dunsmuir City Park. There at the river’s edge you’ll find a rock-mounted plaque commemorating legendary fly fisherman Ted Fay, a local angler who passed away in the early 1980’s. Ted was known for his amazing mastery of the use of two flies at the same time with short casts of about 20 feet. Although he didn’t invent the method, he took it to the next level, allegedly able to take a day’s limit of 10 fish with 5 casts.
The Upper Sacramento flows swiftly, generating Class III whitewater, with Class IV and V rapids just a few miles downriver from Dunsmuir. The native fish in the area is the rainbow trout. Fly fishing clubs from Sacramento, Chico and the Central Valley, and even from other countries, come here to fish.
During the month of June Dunsmuir holds its “Big Fish Program,” in which the city supplements the river with farm-raised rainbow trout. These fish range from 12 inches to 18 inches, and are specifically planted to give the beginner and intermediate angler a shot at trophy-sized trout. Prizes are awarded for the biggest catch of the week. The city stocks the river from the first week in June to the end of September. It’s fun for the whole family!