Fall & Winter Steelhead

Each fall in Northern California, we look forward to the rains. Some years we have waited well into the winter before we have had even a single drop. The rains in the North State are super important for two reasons:

  1. It brings an end to the ever-lengthening fire season that has plagued our state for the past several late summer and fall months

Chris King with steelhead

It is always a great steelhead season when we start to see the rains early in the year, and this year is shaping up to be one of those cycles. We are getting some much-needed wet stuff this week with more storms predicted to hit us in the next coming weeks.

Trinity River:

Trinity SteelheadThis year we have seen a much better early run of fish on the Trinity River than we did last year at this time, and this weather will encourage them to continue their migration up river to us. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to target the Trinity with a two-hander for those of you who like to swing. Of course, the fish will also be willing to take a nymph or egg pattern under a float, but these are usually the last couple of weeks on the Trinity to “go for the grab.”

The Trinity will fish well from Lewiston to Del Loma through December, and the recent rains will move more and more fish out of the canyon at Burnt Ranch and up to the riffles and runs where our guides concentrate their efforts. With many guides using either a drift boat or a raft, there is plenty of room to spread out on the over 60 miles of navigable water. The Trinity boasts one of the strongest runs of steelhead in California and supports the largest fish in the Klamath River system.

Whether you choose to swing flies or to nymph under an indicator, our guides have a line on the fish and work closely together to track the pods of migrating steelhead as they make their way upstream. Give us a call today and let us hook you up with one of the pro guides we work with here at The Fly Shop®.

Klamath River:

Kara Tripp with steelheadThe Klamath is seeing a healthy return of steelhead this year. We have been on ‘em since our 3-Day Spey School in August at Gold River Lodge! The middle Klamath has fished well throughout the fall, and as we turn the corner toward winter, the recent rains will help push the fish up to the upper stretches. The majority of the guiding on the Klamath we do is near the town of Hornbrook, Calif., starting at Iron Gate Dam. These top miles of the river stack up with steelhead in November and December. The weather can be cold at times, but our guides fish exclusively from the boat this time of year so you stay dry, warm and comfortable.  There are plenty of fish in this area this time of year, and your day is made up of a combination of juvenile fish, half pounders and adults. The adult steelhead of the Klamath river system average in the 4- to 5-pound range, while the half-pounders average 16 – 20 inches and scream line off the reel like a trout on steroids. Most anglers stay in the Yreka area during their visit, and the stories around the bar at Casa Ramos can be just as entertaining as the day of fishing. If you have never caught a steelhead before, this is a great place to “get your feet wet.” For the seasoned chrome chaser, the upper Klamath River is the place to stack up numbers! Give us a call here at The Fly Shop® and let us set up a trip to the fabled Klamath River for you this season.

Making Reservations for Northern California Steelhead Fishing

To book a guide, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or email us at bryan@theflyshop.com or chris@theflyshop.com anytime. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.

Matt Dahl steelhead