Trip Report NorCal Trouting

This past week I got a little relief from the Shack Nasties and took a drive North from the Bay Area to the Redding area and visited the Pit, Lower Sacramento, and Trinity rivers. All three rivers are pretty reliable this time of year so I went into the trip with high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed.

Day 1: Pit River

The Pit is generally deserted because the Lower Sac soaks up a lot of the local and visiting anglers, and because wading and river access can be challenging. If you don’t have a wading staff you’ll be going for a swim. The river’s high pH so the bugs are plentiful and the boulders are slimy. Luckily the fish hold near the banks and most every lie holds a few nice fish, so you don’t have to move too much to find them. I’d been looking forward to getting back to try out a new euro-nymph rod I just finished building and a bunch of bugs tied for the trip. I’m glad to report the fish were cooperative and the rod was a blast to fish. Here are few shots of the typical healthy and strong Pit fish.
1615315540838.png
1615315557583.png
Day 2: Lower Sacramento River

There’s plenty of information online about the Lower Sac, so I’ll keep this brief. This river has a ton of huge fish. For any of you who aren't familiar, the average fish on the Sac would often be the fish of the day on the Yakima. The outflow from Shasta is designed to keep the river at a temp that's conducive to king salmon spawning and just happens to be right where aquatic insects like it too. They’re pretty much only bottom feeders in the Spring despite the fact that there are abundant and reliable hatches. So there’s a lot of bobber watching and thankfully hook sets. I managed a few really nice ones and the big one got away so I’ll be headed back in a few weeks.
1615315576071.png

Day 3: Trinity River

I rented a raft and floated a section of the Trinity near Lewiston. We received a little rain the night before so I had high hopes. My partner in the boat had never rowed before so I had tempered expectations and thought of the day as more of a mellow float with a friend and not my typical manic frothing steelhead s-show. And that turned out to be a good choice because while a saw a lot of fish I didn’t really get a shot at any of them. I was basically coaching him stroke for stroke to keep us from wrecking. Exciting stuff, but not conducive to a good drift. It was great seeing a lot of healthy fish, a family of otters, a beaver lodge and no other boats, but I’ll probably have a few nightmares about the missed opportunity before I get it out of my system. The Trinity is a great river to pay for a guide. I have in the past and will again the next time I have the opportunity to fish it.

Thanks for reading!
 

Flying99fingers

WFF Supporter
The Trinity isn't great in May but everything else around here should be pretty good. Last memorial day weekend I headhunted big rainbows at Baum Lake in Burney and then fished salmonflies in the evening on Hat Creek. The McCloud and Pit should be awesome too, although the McCloud is a haul from the Bay area.
Thank you so much. I booked a guided day on the Fall River. Baum Lake sounds very interesting- great tip.
 

SignorVince

Active Member
The Upper Sac and the McCloud are available from Redding although they are a drive. I have only fished them in the Fall so check to see if late spring fishes well. Fall River is an easy to do option but is an even longer drive from Redding and return. Again, check whether fishing is normally good on this river in May.
May is usually the start of good summer trout fishing on the Upper Sac. The water level usually have dropped from the spring melts by then and there are some great stretches from Castella to the Cantera Loop that have healthy trout populations and will be a great day on the water.

Thank you so much. I booked a guided day on the Fall River. Baum Lake sounds very interesting- great tip.
You might be there at the start of the hex hatch so be prepared if you do catch the beginning of that.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
Upper sac is not much of a drive. The best fishing (IMO) is near lakehead. fewer fish but bigger on avg. Manzanita would be an excellent choice in May. Lewiston Lake is an overlooked but outstanding trout fishery. The Trinity will be high with spring releases and most of the steelhead gone. They’ll start coming back in July.
 

Flying99fingers

WFF Supporter
Upper sac is not much of a drive. The best fishing (IMO) is near lakehead. fewer fish but bigger on avg. Manzanita would be an excellent choice in May. Lewiston Lake is an overlooked but outstanding trout fishery. The Trinity will be high with spring releases and most of the steelhead gone. They’ll start coming back in July.
Thank you!
 

Flying99fingers

WFF Supporter
Upper sac is not much of a drive. The best fishing (IMO) is near lakehead. fewer fish but bigger on avg. Manzanita would be an excellent choice in May. Lewiston Lake is an overlooked but outstanding trout fishery. The Trinity will be high with spring releases and most of the steelhead gone. They’ll start coming back in July.
Thanks for the info.
 

Travis Bille

Active Member
May is usually the start of good summer trout fishing on the Upper Sac. The water level usually have dropped from the spring melts by then and there are some great stretches from Castella to the Cantera Loop that have healthy trout populations and will be a great day on the water.


You might be there at the start of the hex hatch so be prepared if you do catch the beginning of that.
Amen on the Hex hatch! That's a hoot. I love just waiting as the sun goes down behind Shasta and the Hex chaos is about to unfold
 

Gregobr

WFF Supporter
Sounds great! I left the Bay Area almost 30 years ago. Can you tell me where you rented a raft from? That sounds like a good way to get a float in when I make a trip down to visit my brother.
 

Ryan Janos

Active Member
Sounds great! I left the Bay Area almost 30 years ago. Can you tell me where you rented a raft from? That sounds like a good way to get a float in when I make a trip down to visit my brother.
For the Trinity float I rented rafts from a company in Lewiston I can't recommend at all. I'm not going to flame them on the interwebs, but if you are curious I'd be happy to pm you their info so you can avoid dealing with a real turd.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
For the Trinity float I rented rafts from a company in Lewiston I can't recommend at all. I'm not going to flame them on the interwebs, but if you are curious I'd be happy to pm you their info so you can avoid dealing with a real turd.

I have rented from the same operation, I think...my experience was reasonable, but not outstanding and like you I haven't gone back that route. I mostly just W&W now unless I'm with a guide, especially the lower river W&W is pretty darn effective anyways.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info
Top