Choosing the best trout fishing spot in California can be difficult. Without any information, trout fishers struggle to find the best fishing site in the largest State in the West Coast. However, this comprehensive guide should help you pick an excellent area for your sport.
Trout fishing is a popular sport in California. The Golden State has many popular spots that people from all over the country travel to fish. These destinations offer fantastic angling action for fly fishing. Each water is unique. While some waters are known for their high catch rates, others are popular due to their big trout.
Fishers must check whether each spot is ideal and which seasons are characterized with low numbers to avoid disappointments during the fishing excursion.
After thorough research, we advise these seven trout fishing spots in California. If you are looking for awesome angling action and a fantastic catch, here are the seven best trout fishing spots in California.
1. Lake Almanor
Lake Almanor is in Pluma County in Northern California. It tucks away near the stream of Feather River. Lake Almanor stands out as one of the most challenging yet exciting trout fishing spots in California. Anglers can get boat browns measuring between 4 to 9 pounds. They can also catch rainbows weighing between 3 to 6 pounds. However, the frequency of getting these trout is low.
The factors that make the lake an excellent spot for trout fishing also make angling for trout difficult. Lake Almanor has cold water that is rich in forage. The main tributaries of the lake are Hamilton Branch and North Fork. Almanor’s freezing of the angling spot makes the trout scatter for long periods of the year.
Lake Almanor has big trout due to its robust forage, which makes it an excellent food hub for the fish. Additionally, the lake’s shallow water has nutrients that make it the right home for many aquatic insects. These provide food for the trout.
Anglers often have to deal with two hurdles while fishing in the lake. The first one is locating fish in the water as they are scattered. Secondly, you have to entice the trout surrounded by a lot of forage to grab your offering. Once you overcome these challenges, you can be sure that you will be proud of your catch.
People who have gone fly fishing in the lake speak highly of their experiences. Despite the challenges, many are happy with the trout they were able to catch in Almanor. They are willing to relive the experience someday. Lake Almanor can be an excellent place for trout fishing.
2. Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake is a leading trout fishing destination for fishers from around the world. Many of them are taking their exploits to these water catchment area as they pursue their goal of catching a trophy fish. Lahontan cutthroat trout is common in this spot. The fish weighs around 5 pounds. However, some measure up to 30 pounds.
The lake covers approximately 125,000 hectares. This coverage makes it one of the most massive spots in this list. You have many areas to try and catch a trout or two. Its waters often change its colors depending on the sky above the lake. It alternates between an expansive shade of blue or a vast hue of grey.
Pyramid Lake receives many praises from anglers who have been successful in its waters. Additionally, many offer helpful advice for aspiring trout fishing expeditions on the spot. One fisher suggests fishers should drag a U-20 Flatfish on its bottom.
For maximum success, your plug must bang off rocks and dig in the mud. Another trout expert advises fly fishers to be patient while searching for the fish in this expansive area.
3. The McCloud River
Dam releases from McCloud Reservoir make the McCloud River an excellent spot for fly fishing. They provide consistent flow water; hence, always keep McCloud River at high levels. It is 77 miles long and flows through Siskiyou and Shasta counties in northern California. You are likely to meet your target number of trout while catching them here.
The river hosts the native brown, brookies, and bows types of trout. You are likely to catch these trout while on McCloud River. Its Salmo Shasta (rainbow) is one of the most popular types of trout globally. However, the rainbow is only one of the many reasons to visit the McCloud River.
The river has a dense forest of hardwoods and tall evergreens. These trees, together with its clean waters, make it an excellent environment for many animals. McCloud is home to caddies flies, salmon flies, mayflies, golden stoneflies. All these insects are a source of food for the river’s trout.
At certain times of the year, the streamers can be excellent in the McCloud. Anglers often travel long distances to get to the excellent fishing spots along the McCloud. However, the beautiful scenery distracts you on your trip. Trout fishers often wander off and start marveling at the beautiful surroundings.
4. New Melones Reservoir
If you are looking to catch some rainbow trout or browns, New Melones is the place to be. The difficulty of finding these trout barely discourages anglers from all over the country from checking out New Melones. These fish typically weigh 2 pounds. However, at times, people get those that weigh between five and 13 pounds.
It is challenging to catch browns in the reservoir. Anglers spend considerably longer to meet their fishing targets since these are the hardest type of trout to hook up. It would help if you hooked them by trolling close to structure as they are not pelagic like rainbows. The famous places to catch them are Carson, Coyote, Angels, and Mormon creeks.
As for rainbows, both shore anglers and trollers do well at New Melones. A majority of anglers soak PowerBaot and crawlers for the fish. Some pluggers roam the reservoir’s shoreline tossing Kastmasters, and Rapalas. However, the rainbow fishery at the lake varies yearly.
Successful anglers at New Melones use sonar to identify concentration marks. Once they are through with the identification, they focus above them with shad-limiting spoons. They fasten their trolling and slow down if the trout fail to move after a quick presentation.
5. Los Vaqueros Reservoir
When you head west from New Melones, you find this reservoir. It is close to the Bay Area in San Francisco. The pool has been a leading fly fishing spot in the entire Bay Area. However, there has been a robust concentration of trout in Los Vaqueros recently.
The abundance of the trout is due to the availability of food in the reservoir. There are enough plants to support the life of the fish in Los Vaqueros. The repository receives around 12,000 to 25,000 planter rainbows annually. However, the number may exceed or drop below this range occasionally.
The reservoir is cold on most days.
The temperature rarely exceeds 69°C. These temperatures are suitable for the survival of trout in the lake. The fish can thrive in this environment for long periods of the year. This condition allows for fly fishing throughout the year.
The trout concentration is mostly around the South Cove area that is near the marina. The abundance is also present off Oak Point, off the piers, and along the wall. Anglers often lure and catch quality rainbows in the reservoir. They often return with many great catches after their fishing activities.
6. Crowley Lake
Crowley Lake is one of the best areas for fly fishing in the Golden State. Anglers have a good chance of catching perfect size and number of trout. Rainbows, cutthroat trout, and browns are some of the species that thrive in this lake. Fly fishing is often successful and fun in the lake. People usually catch and release many sizeable trophies.
There are many popular tools that people use while fly fishing. The common ones are Rapalas, Tasmanian Devils, Thomas Buoyant, and Needlefish. This equipment is critical for your success while catching trout. The lake has a consistent water level, which is ideal for catching trout.
People go for fly fishing all year, and their catch depends on drought and availability of food. During the right periods, anglers capture many trout while they capture less of them in the wrong periods. The lake is home to a variety of trout. The popular types are brown, cutthroat, and rainbow varieties. Anglers often catch these types.
The lake has a reasonably excellent food supply for the fish. The lake’s trout growth rate is due to its chironomid population. Anglers that learn to imitate and present chironomids in Crowley often have an excellent time while fly fishing. Crowley can be a fun place to fly fish in California.
7. Deer Creek
If you’re looking for an excellent place for fly fishing during winter in the west coast state, Deer Creek is the place to be. The trout here are in plenty in the months starting from April to November. It would be best if you did not confuse Deer Creek with Spring Creek.
California is quite big and such confusions can happen to the anglers that travel from around the world. However, Deer Creek is the great place we are featuring in this list. Deer Creek stretches for 60 miles. Afterward the first diversion dam on its path which is approximately 10 miles from where it joins the Sacramento River.
This stretch offers an excellent area for people to enjoy fly fishing. The food supply in the creek is relatively good. Trout can enjoy many sources to eat from them. Insects and plants are the leading food source. The common trout in Deer Creek are rainbow, cutthroat, and brown varieties.
5 Factors To Consider When Choosing An Area To Fish For Trout
Trout come out as shrewd fish. It would be best if you considered various factors when choosing a fishing ground in California to be able to make a good catch. The factors you believe need to create a balance between your needs and the habitual patterns of the trout.
Here are some of the factors you should take into account next time you are choosing a fishing venue:
1. Freshwater Or Saltwater Trout?
Saltwater trout differ from freshwater trout. You will find the rainbow trout, which is a universal favorite in the freshwaters. Freshwater trout tend to like the deeper pools while the saltwater trout prefer brackish and shallow waters. The type of water will determine the kind of trout you will catch. The sea trout is the most common saltwater trout. You may find the brook trout and then rainbow trout in freshwater.
The weather and seasons affect the habitual patterns of the trout. For example, it is hard to catch trout in the cold April weather of California. However, the trout get more active in June as the summer kicks in.
How accessible is your fishing ground? Factors like ice and boulders can hinder accessibility. At times, you may opt to go out in a boat while others a four-wheeler will serve you better.
Trout prefer cold temperatures. A venue with hot temperatures hardly provides comfort for trout. They will retreat more in-depth into the pools for warmer temperatures.
5. Fishing Method
Are you wading into the water to use spawn sacks or do you want to use a spinner from the comfort of your boat? You will be able to paddle better in-stream or shallow lakes. However, deeper lakes will require boats or rafts.
It would help if you did adequate planning before you embark on this expedition to be able to get the most out of it. California is a great destination for anglers from around the world. The west coast state has many spots that offer great experiences for fly fishing. These sites include rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
The abundance of food in the country means trout can survive for lengthy periods. The most common sources for the fish are edible plants and small insects in the waters. These organisms provide food most times of the year. However, there are a few rough weeks that the number of trout reduces.
A few years ago, trout anglers in California had a huge dark cloud hanging above their heads. The drought in California was threatening one of the best flying fishing States. The lakes were drying up, and streams were running low. Thankfully, the last two years has changed the dangerous course the popular fishing sport was taking in the Golden State.
Despite trout fishing being among the top two popular types of fishing, it is hard for people in California to find information about the sport. Choosing a site to fish the trout is a hectic task. A simple choice is likely to make you miss out on the best the largest state in the West Coast has to offer.
California is a popular destination for trout anglers. The state’s diverse geography and mild climate make it an excellent location for the sport. Fly fishing has exceptional results in California. People catch a variety of trout in California, ranging from high catches to big trout. If you are struggling to choose a spot for your fly fishing, these seven spots are the best. We recommend you try them soon for an excellent fly-fishing experience.
Source: California Trout Fishing