Upper Trinity River July 3-4

I didn't end up fishing Coffee Creek as I had originally planned, rather sticking to the Upper Trinity River as our campground was right on it. It was a lot of fun, really nice small pocket water type of stream, although they said it was a low water year. The water was pretty warm as well and made me wonder how the rainbows managed to live through the scorching summer heat in that stream. If I was going to go back, I think I would target late May or early June.

The river ranged from 20-45 feet wide and had a pretty good variety of water on it. There was a really long, wide riffle that went past most of the campground, but the deepest spot was probably 9-10 inches. I didn't fish that area at all. At the bottom end of that, the river narrowed and the gradient increased producing a very nice 150 yard series of drop pool pocket water with depths up to 3 feet. Past that was a nice run against a cut bank where the river turned, followed by a 1.5 foot deep stretch of riffle water which dumped into a long slow pool of 10 feet deep.

I fished the entire length of that over 2 days, maybe 7-8 total hours of fishing. i didn't fish hard as I wanted to hang out with the GF and our puppy too, but did have some success. Despite trying at all times of day, I never did raise a fish to a dry fly. I saw no adult aquatic insects in 2 days and despite turning over a bunch of rocks only managed to see a few large cased caddis and nothing else. I fished hoppers and flying ant patterns on top. I tried streamers at first and last light in the deep areas to no success although I did get one 8" fish on a size 14 sparkle bugger against the cut bank. High stick nymphing the drop pool water was most successful. I fished a prince nymph followed by a soft hackle most of the time. A size 14 amber and partridge soft hackle was the most productive fly. I caught 17 fish in the 2 days, ranging from 4"-14" with the average somewhere around 8". All great fun on my 3 weight CT.

I did hook one fish that I wish I could have landed. It happened to be my third cast of the trip, nymphing a 2.5 foot deep pool directly behind a smart car sized boulder. I hooked it and it took of downstream, going airborne near the end of that pool. Then it turned and headed back upstream and leapt over that front boulder and landed in the next pool upstream, where it tossed my hook. It was incredible, I guess the was in the 16-17" range and shocked the hell out of me. I had to sit there for the next 5 minutes trying to figure out what just happened!

All fish were native rainbows and very pretty. I didn't take any pictures as the water was warm and didn't want to stress them anymore than I already had. The rocks in the area are lighter in color than here in Washington and as such, these fish were almost platinum in color without a ton of spots and green-gray on their backs. Much lighter in color than rainbows I'm familiar with. I did hear report of a 21.5" fish getting hauled out of that deep pool the first weekend in June, but I don't know if I buy it. There are large fish in that system though. I didn't see another angler on the roughly half mile of stream I fished in 2 days and the campground only had 1 other site occupied on the Fourth of July so I don't think it gets much pressure. I would like to spend a week there in June camping and fishing, I hear that the alpine lake in the area fish really well too, 7 days of camping and fishing split between alpine lakes and gorgeous productive small streams, what's not to love!



Active Member
Love the fish jumping from pool to pool description. When I lived in Jersey, I hooked into a fish that shot down a river into another pool under a log that spanned the river. I had to feed my brand new rod under the log to fight the fish. It was a miracle that I kept him on long enough to land and get a photo.
Now you need to get there in the spring, Lake run 'bows and yes, the fact it's a low water year and July didn't help much either. Nice country, see any Sasquatch?
Get down here in November-March & we'll show you some fishing...........
Now you need to get there in the spring, Lake run 'bows and yes, the fact it's a low water year and July didn't help much either. Nice country, see any Sasquatch?
Get down here in November-March & we'll show you some fishing...........
Sweet man! I'm glad it was a good trip, I wish I could have met you up there. I ended up only having July 4th off, which was super lame.
I took my NEW DRIFT BOAT on the Trinity in Lewiston a few weeks ago, no fish to show for, although I did pick up some nice 'bows on Lewiston Lake. If I ever get a day off work in the next month I'm going to take it back out and catch some salmon!

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Great report Gary and thank you for the photos to show the water. Fun trip and I wonder, did Jenna get to land a trout on her new rod?

I will keep this location in mind for a future trips to visit my brother who lives in Napa Valley. I have not fished this area at all but there is a lot of interesting water , with coastal rivers, stripers, Trinity, Lassen Nat. Park and many other spots I have yet to learn about.
She did manage a 5" rainbow in about 45 minutes of fishing for her first fish on that rod. She was very excited. I'd like to go back and fish more water in the area sometime.

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