Trinity River – Fly Fishing Guide – Trout and Steelhead – Northern California

Trinity River


One of my favorite rivers in our region to guide and to fish – I spend a lot of days on the diverse Trinity River in pursuit of the amazing steelhead that return home each season. The river has a solid return of both hatchery and wild steelhead that average 4-8 pounds, with 10-12 pounders landed on the fly every year.

The Trinity River offers something for every angler; depending on the time of year, water conditions, and type of water you choose to fish – the river invites virtually all fishing techniques!

Anglers committed to swinging traditional steelhead flies (including dry flies) with Spey and switch rods, or single-handers, will find ample opportunities and water variety that suit these classic methods. During certain times of the year, these fish will even rise to eat dead drifted dry flies!

Indicator nymphing techniques are very effective on this river especially during the colder winter months of November-February. Drift boat fishing is a very popular option for many people who want to fish from the comfort and stability of a boat.

The Trinity is an incredibly productive steelhead fishery hosting one of the most consistent and dependable runs of fish along the entire west coast. The river is open to fishing all year around and is more often than not, “in shape” throughout much of the steelheading season. It takes a lot of rain to blowout the upper river and conversely, even when the river is considered “low and clear”, there’s usually a few steelhead lurking around. Average catch rates among anglers on the Trinity are higher than most steelhead rivers in California.

The Trinity rivershed runs approx 120-mile in length and it’s the largest tributary to the Klamath River. It joins the Klamath system in Weitchepec, which enters the Pacific Ocean about 16 miles south of Crescent City, CA.

The Trinity arm contains several secondary steelhead rivers with hundreds of vital spawning tributaries for native & wild steelhead. The main stem Trinity River hosts several different runs of wild steelhead throughout the year, along with respectable Coho (silver salmon) and Chinook (king salmon) populations returning each summer and fall.

Other interesting inhabitants are very large brown trout, found primarily in the upper reaches of the river. When we are not chasing steelhead we often turn our attention to the brown trout and target them with dry flies and streamers during certain times of the year, primarily from the town of Lewiston through Douglas City.

For more information on fishing the Trinity River please email me or call and visit my Planning A Trip Page for more info. I recommend visitors stay in the town of Weaverville in order to be on the water early or out late. There are many motels, B&B’s, and restaurants in town.

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Dave Neal
PO Box 990496
Redding CA 96099

(760) 914-0465

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