” When the cottonwood falls, the shad are in…” It’s May 12 and the shad run on the American River has just begun. Nimbus Dam is currently kicking out about 7200 – cfs the water is clear and burrrrrrrr! Cold!!!. A few fish are being caught between Howe Ave. and the lower River Bend access ( use to be called Goethe Park ). Because of the high flows, there could be shad further up; who knows, maybe as high as Sunrise.
Wading access is minimized by the current high flows of the American River. Opportunities are narrowed down to a few safely wadeable spots at each of the park access points starting at the top of the river ware it flows out of Nimbus Dam all the way down to “Last Chance” riffle just below Paradise Beech ( so called because of the nudity practiced on the sand and many unmentioned activities years ago). Sailor Bar access is at the top of the park on the north side across from the fish hatchery. Then you flow down to Sunrise, El Manto, and Rosmore on the south bank, and then to Ancil Hofman, Sarah Court, Arden Park, and Harrigton on the north bank. Gristmil is across the river from Harrington. Next you come to Watt, Howe, and lastly, Paradise Beech at the end of Carlson Dr. on the south side. Because of the annual shifting of the river’s bottom, the secret access points are there to be rediscovered for the adventurous angler who want to explore between the 12 commonly used access destinations.