Battle Creek Canyon Ranch
Battle Creek is an intimate, wild, terraced freestone stream that is best suited to the physically fit fly fisherman.
These six (6) miles of fish-rich Battle Creek opened for the first time in 1999. Battle Creek averages twenty feet across, and tumbles down an often narrow canyon that has one pool and riffle after another full of native rainbows, and sometimes steelhead at certain points in the season. It’s a rugged wilderness atmosphere, and little has changed in years in what was once home to Ishi and his California Indian ancestors.
Planting trout is prohibited in these lower reaches of Battle Creek, as it is the primary spawning tributary for salmon and steelhead from the Lower Sacramento River. Battle Creek’s resident rainbows, therefore, are completely wild, native fish that have grown big and tough, full of fight, and usually die of old age without ever being fooled by a dry fly or nymph.
Like all healthy streams, Battle Creek has a large population of all sizes of trout. Fish average ten to fourteen inches, while a trophy on this boulder-strewn stream is two or three pounds. These big Battle Creek rainbows are not uncommon, though the big fish don’t rise as aggressively to dry flies and usually fall more easily to one of many effective nymph (or streamer) patterns.
The Fly Shop® purchased the lease to Battle Creek Ranch nearly a decade ago, and we’ve spent every season since exploring the property. We divided more than six miles of water into six different fishing beats. Any one of the beats is more fishing than any two anglers could cover completely in a day, and still there are parts of the creek that haven’t been fished. Because of the physical nature of hiking down into the canyon, very few adventurous anglers make the effort to fish these fabulous freestone waters, making Battle Creek quite possibly the least-fished section of stream in California. These fish are wild, and un-touched.
Sections of the stream are periodically rested to ensure as little impaction as possible, and help guarantee a quality fly fishing experience. Battle Creek Ranch is about forty-five minutes from either Redding or Red Bluff, and can be easily combined with other nearby private fishing at Bailey Creek, Rock Creek Lake, or Lake Christine. There is an overnighting possibility very close to this stream. Please call for more information (800-669-3474).