‘Sometimes you just want to be alone.’  This has been our concept for nearly a half century rooting out and vetting private ranches with angling opportunities here in the North State and we have some good options this summer for you to consider if you would like to get away from the crowds. Some are managed fisheries, others are completely wild. Some have on-site lodging accommodations and others are open only to day angling. All within just an hour and a half drive from The Fly Shop’s doorstep.

Holding a rainbow trout at Antelope Creek Ranch

Antelope Creek Ranch
Sometimes you just want to catch a ton of Rainbows. Some may say there are too many here, but Mike Michalak’s private ranch on the northeast slope of Mount Shasta will provide solid angling and comfort for small and large groups. With accommodations ranging from small suites suitable for a lone angler or couple complete with a kitchen, to a two-story ranch house that sleeps up to seven with private baths, a sunken bar, and an expansive view of the meadow, we can set up a trip that will form lasting memories for your party.  Two lakes and a couple miles of trout-infested creek will keep you occupied from dawn to dusk. And the weather in the summer can’t be beat, at 5,000’ the evenings are cool and crisp even on the hottest days.

JT fishing Battle Creek

Trout Streams
For the wild trout aficionado Battle Creek Canyon Ranch can’t be beat.  Privately owned on both sides of the creek, nestled in a deep canyon, this gem receives nearly no angling pressure year ‘round.  A tributary to the Sacramento River, each fall the wild Rainbow Trout follow spawning Chinooks into the creek, and these can be large ‘Bows.  With multiple pools, runs, riffles and pocket water, each mile long beat has enough character and variety to keep you interested all day.

Bryan Balog & Russ Kegler holding a rainbow trout on Clear Creek

Clear Creek Ranch is the longest privately owned creek in California, and although it is a managed fishery, has ample opportunities for novice fly fishers to expand their repertoire in the pools, runs and pocket water. And the fish on Clear Creek can often be fooled with dry flies all summer long. Two creekside cabins on this ranch nestled above the town of French Gulch are available for small fishing parties.

View of Circle 7 Ranch on Fall River

The Fall River is the largest and most well-renowned spring creek in California and the best stretch of water is privately owned and has no convenient public access. Circle 7 Ranch is one of the few places left with lodging and access. Quite possibly the most picturesque stream in northern California, this spring creek harbors one of the fastest growing populations of one hundred percent wild Rainbow Trout. With five houses on the river right next to the most productive water, and boats available for rent, Circle 7 is great for small and larger groups to fish, relax, and catch up. We can even help with a guide during your fishing hours if that is something you’d be interested in.

Angler in a float tube at Sugar Creek Ranch

If stillwater trout are your game then we have a few options that could be your new favorite.  Sugar Creek Ranch being one of them, with several ponds created in the tailing fields of an old gold mine in the Scott River Valley, naturally reproducing and stocked trout cruise the weed beds chowing on midges, Damsel and Dragonfly nymphs, Water Boatmen, and your fly.  Summertime ushers in the beetles and ants and fishing these terrestrial imitations near shoreline vegetation can be heart stopping.  At 3,200 ft, the ranch remains cool in the mornings and evenings. A three bedroom lodge is available on the property for small or large groups.

Angler fishing on Rock Creek Lake with the cabin in the background

The foothills of the western slopes of Mt Lassen were home to several mills a century ago.  Rock Creek Lake was formed when the Null brothers set up their mill, dammed the creek, and trapped the native Rainbow Trout who have been successfully reproducing since that time. Spring fed, Rock Creek empties into the lake creating a steady flow of cold water all summer and the fish will cruise the shorelines in the mornings and evenings looking for beetles and Dragonfly nymphs. With a lakeside cabin accommodating up to six and a deck overlooking the lake, there is no mystery why this is one of our most popular venues. Just downstream is Lake Christine, and while it is small, there are enough Browns to keep your streamer game going.

Angler fishing for bass from a boat at Luk Lake

Summertime screams warm lakes and hungry bass and Luk Lake is a prime topwater bass location just a couple of hours north of the Bay Area. Each year we are seeing the average size of the bass increase and this is probably due to the burgeoning bluegill population. The evenings are usually best, but don’t let that stop you from plopping your favorite bug into the holes of the lily pads.  An evening on Luk Lake can be productive all summer.

Booking Private Waters
Whether you are looking for a quick getaway for a day or would like to arrange a larger get together for your extended family and friends, we probably have a spot that would hit every item on your list. Just about every single one of our Private Waters are great venues for club fish outs as well. If you are interested in learning more about these fisheries or would like to check availability, call or send an email to Bryan Quick or Chris King in the Outfitters Department (800) 669-3474.