FISHING IN TRINITY COUNTY

click for: Trinity County Guides Fishing Report
Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce Fishing Report
Area Fishing Guides
Area Packers

Trinity County has a variety of waters, from mountain streams to one of California's largest lakes, all offering a quality fishing experience for trout, bass, steelhead, salmon, catfish, bluegill and crappie.

Lewiston Lake
  • rainbows
  • browns
  • brook trout
Ruth Lake
  • trout
  • bass
  • blue gill
Trinity Lake
  • trout
  • bass
  • catfish
Trinity River
  • steelhead
  • salmon
  • browns

 

Lewiston Lake

Lewiston Lake has become one of the premier fly-fishing destinations in the west. The lake has one of those rare combinations of water-temperature, plant and river bed that generates an abundance of aquatic insects that trout love to feed and thrive on.

The trout populations have been there since Lewiston Dam backed up the waters of Lewiston Lake in the early 1960s. The techniques for catching those fish, however, took time to develop, and today, few waters in Northern California are as exciting. Fly rodders use boats, canoes, prams and float tubes to position themselves in the upper lake where rainbows, browns and brook trout to 20 inches and more cruise the flats, feeding on emerging callibaetis and midge fly nymphs. The most popular technique is to suspend a callibaetis or midge emerger pattern fly under an indicator and wait for a cruising trout to sip it in. At times, watching 20-plus inch fish turning away from the fly at the last instant can be frustrating. We never said fishing here was easy, but the reward of hooking into one of these beautiful fish makes the rest of the trip worthwhile.

Not only fly rodders love Lewiston Lake. Trollers and bait anglers also find the lake a rich and rewarding experience. top...

Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake in southern Trinity County was formed by an impoundment on the Mad River. It's a beautiful lake, about five miles long, with campgrounds, a marine and lodging on or near the edge of the lake.

Rainbow trout is probably the most popular fish in the lake, and provides year-round recreation for locals and visitors alike. The best fishing generally occurs in the late winter or early spring when the waters of the lake turn over, bringing an abundance of food to the surface. During this period, fishing can be incredible for trollers and bait anglers fishing the surface and near the surface of the lake.

The lake also has a population of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Bass anglers use bait or conventional artificial lures such as plastaic worms, spinner baits and topwater lures for spring, summer and fall action.

Although not as numerous, the lake also supports crappie, bluegill and catfish. top...

Trinity Lake

Trinity Lake is well-known for bass and trout fishing, and is best known for the California record smallmouth bass, which was caught by Weaverville resident Tim Brady in 1976.

The lake has good populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The dredger piles at the head of the lake, as well as other structures found in the coves and points throughout the lake provide excellent bass fishing for most of the year. Spring always provides the hottest action, however, as both species move into the shoreline to spawn. March through June are the favorite months for experienced bass anglers.

Rainbow trout are found throughout the lake all-year-long. During the spring, they can be found most anywhere as they cruise the lake surface to feed on aquatic insects. As the lake waters are warmed by the summer sun, these fish school up at the mouths of the major tributaries, such as the Stuarts Fork, Swift Creek, and at the Main Stem and East Fork of the Trinity River. Boat and shoreline anglers seldom go without action using the usual baits, and even fly anglers report good fishing on occasion.

The lake also has a population of catfish and kokanee salmon. top...

Trinity River

The Trinity River is world-famous for its fine steelhead and salmon fishing, as well as for trophy brown trout.

Chinook salmon are the most sought-after gamefish in the Trinity River system. Spring-run salmon begin to enter the river in May and provide trophy fishing through November throughout the river.

Steelhead, a sea-going rainbow trout, enters the river in September. Most of these hard-fighting beauties fish range from 3 to 9 pounds, and are famous for their thrilling aerial acrobatics while on the line. In addition to conventional lure and bait fishing, steelhead are mostly sought-after by fly fishermen. Steelhead provide great action through the winter until the river closes to fishing in mid-March.

Although brown trout are not native to the Trinity River, or to North America for that matter, they were heavily stocked until the late 1970s. Today, a wild population continues to the upper river, providing fly and bait fishing for mostly 10- to 14-inch fish, although an occasional trophy to 10 pounds is sometimes landed.

The upper two miles of the river, from Lewiston Dam down to the Old Lewiston Bridge, is open only to fly fishing. This area provides wild action on juvenile steelhead when the river reopens to fishing in late April. This stretch is also where most of the brown trout, which feed on salmon and steelhead smolt, are taken.

For recorded information on releases from Lewiston Dam call (530) 246-7594. top...


U.S. Forest Service Fishing Information
U.S. Forest Service General Information