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 California’s top mid-winter experience
Trinity River Steelhead
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TRINITY STEELHEAD FISHING is unique in the angling world. The runs are reliable and the Trinity River is consistently clear in all but the worst of weather. It’s right over the hill (only 45 minutes) from Redding and part of a completely different micro climate. Too, it’s a swell option if local weather (and for the rare times when the lower Sacramento River angling) turns sour.
Court action by Native Americans, the Trinity River Guides Association and other concerned stakeholders have partially restored water flows in recent years.The end result is this amazing river is rapidly improving, in stark contrast to the negative direction many other west- ern steelhead rivers have headed.
Trinity steelhead average 4 to 8 pounds, and begin showing in good numbers by mid-October. Like all steel- head, annual migratory runs are predictably unpredictable, and are weather and water dependent, but recent Trinity River seasons have been superb.The run remains strong and the escapement continues to build through February. TherearebothnativeandhatcherystockfishintheTrinity multiple hookups are common.
Fly rodders on the Trinity use relatively light tackle (mostly 7 weight rods) compared to other winter steel- head rivers in the Pacific Northwest and both single and double-handed rods are common.There are times when Trinity steelhead will smack a dry fly and our guide team has been among the first to go to the surface for nearly three decades. Occasionally anglers just have to go down and dirty. Indicators? If there are no objections, our guides will use the fly fishing technique that con- nects screaming steelhead to the end of the fly line and leave any whining and angler elitism to someone else.
The Trinity is a tailwater connected to the sea with few tributaries and like all winter steelhead fisheries, weather often plays an important factor in fishing. Again, the Trinity is unique. It clears quickly after every rain, affording a more reliable target than other Pacific Coast steelhead fisheries. Even in those rare years when torrential rains blow out nearly every river on the West Coast, we’ve had terrific numbers of steel- head in the system.
It isn’t necessary to have a guide on the Trinity. A great deal of the river can be accessed from county roads and Highway 299 runs parallel to the river for miles and many stretches can be easily waded.However, the fish move quickly on the river and consistently productive fly fishing ontheTrinitydemandsmobilityandrequiresadriftboat or raft, experience and is often technical fishing,
The Fly Shop® has had steelhead guides on the Trin- ity River since 1978. God knows how many steelhead we’ve helped land. In the process, we’ve built an in- comparable reputation that keeps most anglers coming back each season.
Our guides will fish in the snow, sleet, rain, and hail, without a complaint, and work just as hard on those nice sunny days.Although nasty winter days sound un- pleasant, if anglers are properly dressed, it isn’t a problem and those are often the best days of the steelhead season, and our clients hook up almost every day of the season.
Our guides’ schedules fill quickly for the peak of the winter. Guarantee a shot at Trinity River steelhead by booking your trip as far in advance as possible.

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