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American River

Guide Ben Thompson and guest with a shad on the American River
Guided Float Trips
$575 for 1-2 Anglers
  • Year-round
  • Drift Boat Trips

The American River below Nimbus Dam is a highly-regarded multi-species fishery. Just minutes from downtown Sacramento, you can have excellent fishing almost any time of year. The prime gamefish on the American include steelhead, shad, and striped bass.

Prime time for steelhead is January through March. American River steelhead are mostly 4-8 pounds and we land fish over ten pounds each season. We primarily target these fish using nymph/indicator techniques from drift boats.

Shad season runs from April through June. The American River gets a huge run of shad. American River shad are mostly 2-3 pounds and put up an amazing fight! Our most popular trip is a morning half-day. It's not uncommon for two anglers to hook dozens of shad on a half-day outing.

Stripers are in the river year-round and are most commonly targeted Spring through Fall. The water is very clear on the American and these fish are easily spooked. Long casts are required. This is a low-numbers game but can yield fish over ten pounds.

Most of our American River trips start early in the morning with a pickup at your hotel. Guide Ben Thompson is our American River expert. Book him online today for your next American River guide trip!

Lodging Recommendations

The American River is located within minutes of downtown Sacramento. Please visit our Sacramento Info Page for ideas on lodging, logistics, and other activities in the area.

American River Photo Gallery

Guide Ben Thompson and guest with a nice American River steelhead
A big American River shad
Striped Bass from the American River
A steelhead from the American River in Sacramento
A Steelhead from the American River
American River steelhead
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