Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Trinity River California
The Trinity River is one of, if not the best steelhead rivers
in California. It's a one-hundred and ten mile long
tributary of the Klamath River. The tailwater flows from the
Lewiston Dam through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest
and the Six Rivers National Forest. Although this river and
migrating fish have had its problems with dams at one
time, the reclamation efforts have resulted in large
numbers of steelhead returning to their waters. It's now a
top notch steelhead fishery.
The steelhead average about six pounds. They are hard
fighting fish that will give anyone with a fly rod a thrill as
well as a challenge. The steelhead start coming into the
river as early as August but the early season runs are
nothing to compare to the October runs. October and
November are the two most popular months for steelhead
fishing on the Trinity River. The fish can be caught
through the winter and on into the first of March. The
water levels are controlled by the dam discharges and to
some extent, by the tributaries that flow into the upper
The best steelhead fishing takes place in the upper part
of the Trinity River from the dam downstream about forty
miles to the North Fork of the Trinity River. There are
canyon sections, deep runs and pools and some rapids in
what can only be described as a very beautiful wild river.
Chinook salmon come into the river during the Spring.
These are large fish averaging about fifteen pounds. The
salmon can be caught on the fly in deeper water during
The sea-run brown trout start to show up in August.
These fish average about six pounds. They will take flies
similarly to the steelhead.
The section just below the dam is a fly fishing only
section. There are sections of the river that wading
anglers can fish but the best and most popular way to fish
the Trinity River is from a drift boat.
The season is open year-round but it is highly species
Although steelhead can be caught well into March, the
Spring season is very slow. The flows are high on into the
month of July.
Summer is the best time to fish for the Spring run of
Fly fishing the Trinity River is great during Fall because of
the steelhead runs.
The winter months are prime months for steelhead fishing.
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