Middle Fork of the American River

For booking and trip description visit: www.riseuprivertrips.com

We offer 2 and 3 day fishing trips on the upper section of the Middle Fork of the American river. We are mainly streamer fishing with double and triple articulated flys on 200-300 grain sinking lines on 7-8 wt. rods. The best time of year for this trip is July-Sept. You will sleep good after striping streamers as fast as you can all day.

We Put-in at the foot of the oxbow powerhouse and take out just above Chunder Rapid/Greenwood Bridge access.

Above, you see a glassy Oxbow Reservoir on the way to put-in.

Rafting/fishing this section of river poses several major challanges which is what makes this adventure so unique and memorable. One of the first challanges is the flow of the river. During the rafting season, there are basically 2 flows that we see. The first is what the industry refers to as "Fish Flow". This low flow is usually 200 cubic feet/second (cfs). Scheduled releases of over 1000 cfs send a bubble of flow down the river of which we float and fish on.

Middle Fork American River Put-in below Oxbow DamOn the morning of day 1, we stay with the flow until we pass Kanaka Falls (IV). From here, all the downstream rapids on the rest of the trip are navigable without full flow, allowing us to slow down and fish as much as we want.

At the end of day 2, we take-out at the end of the class II section above Chunder (IV). This allows us to fish well into the afternoon on the last day, even after the water has dropped. Rise Up river trips is a fully permitted whitewater rafting company which allows us special access (i.e. locked gate) to take out in the Chunder pond.

Another challenge is navigating the class IV rapids in the first 4 miles. P.F.D's and helmets are required. We'll have the rods rigged at put-in and fish some nice pocket water down to the Tunnel Chute where we run this class IV+ cascade. With our early put-ins, we usually portage this rapid, allowing anglers to stay dry and keep the rods rigged.

We break out the rods and you get to see why the Middle Fork's reputation holds strong.

Brown Trout in the Net 

A bonus is you get to fish right through the private land on the first 5 miles of river.

We re-rig below the Tunnel Chute and fish hard to lunch which we do just below Kanaka Falls.

Wet Wading on The Middle Fork American River

Once we get past Kanaka, we don't have any flow restraints so we slow down and pound the pools till camp. Weather you want to rip big streamers all day, drift nymphs, or rig a hopper-dropper, the Middle Fork has something for you.

 Fishing during Fire Season on The Middle Fork can get smokey at times

Eat dinner and reflect on the days adventures.

In the morning after breakfast we re-rig the boats and mount up for some of the best fishing in California.

Day 2/3 we're on the river between 9 and 10am just before the bubble of flow hits us. We usually try to take-out around 5 or 6pm. Usually depends on the fishing!


Rise Up River Trips is the only outfitter with licensed fishing guides that also have the whitewater rafting experience to effectively guide this river Trip.

Booking and Trip Description

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