Fly Fishing The Trinity River In California


From the Field
by Darren

Jordan and I did some more fishing up in Nor Cal. My nephew hooked us up with a friend of his (Nick) who turned out to be a great fisherman and great guy, really enjoyed fishing with him. He took us out for a half day of fishing on the Sacramento River, there in Redding . The river is a pretty wide river, but not real deep. We waded out across some shallows, where you could see big redds dug up by the salmon. There were not any salmon left on them at this time. The biggest salmon run starts around August and goes to October/November. There is a winter run but not as large as the first one. We started fishing where the trout hold and within five minutes Nick had one on, it was a real fighter, I caught it on video and then netted it for him. It was 19 inches and had a big girth. After taking some pictures we released it and got back to fishing. That ended up being the only trout that was caught, but I did hook into a huge salmon that I fought for about 20 minutes before it broke loose and swam off. It was just too much for my little 5wt. and 5x tip it. We did get some video of the fight. There was one point where the fish jumped out of the water that was quite a sight. That was pretty cool seeing this thirty pound fish come completely out of the water and then make a big splash going back in. I caught him on a pink San Juan worm. After that Nick took us down river to a place called The Little Alaska, he said that when the Salmon are in there you also get a lot of trout, so figuring that there was some salmon running we decided to give it a try. We fished it for a while with no luck; nick had to leave for work so we discussed making a trip up to Trinity River the next day. We made plans to meet at 6 a.m. and head up there; it’s about an hour drive West from Redding .

We arrived up in Douglas City and got ready in the parking lot of a little store in town. We then road with Nick to a dirt road and then went on down to the river. He showed us where he had caught fish before and we all began to fish. Nick hooked into a fish not too long after being there. I heard him yell fish on, I looked up just in time to see the fish come flying out of the water, man what a sight. I turned on the camera and began filming, what a great fighting fish it took us quite a ways down and across the river before Nick was able to beach this native 26” Steelhead. It’s amazing how strong and long lasting these fish are. Nick decided to take a break while Jordan and I went back up to get our rods then we went on down to another hole. Nick hooked into another fish, this one wasn’t as big and when he got it up by the shore it came off. I probably could have net it for him had I not been filming.

We headed down to another hole that had two seams coming together. I stood out in the middle of the river and got a good drift, the indicator went down so I set the hook, then I saw this huge beautiful Steelhead come up to the surface then my rod went slack, I was so bummed. Well rather then let it get me down, I turned to the left and set up a drift down the other seam, my indicator went down again, I set the hook but this time it felt different, it had popped out and I had lost another one. Now I was really bummed. I made a few more drifts to no avail so I reeled in and took a look at my fly. I had just switched out to a pattern similar to what Nick was using. I had a stone fly up top and a pheasant tail as the dropper. After looking at the dropper fly I noticed the hook was straightened out. I had a lot of different feelings, frustration, I was mad at myself, wondering did I set the hook too hard. Since I started using quality hooks I never had one straighten out like that. I started thinking that the flies I had bought at the Fly Shop in Redding were tied on cheap hooks, like so many shops are selling now days. I later went back to The Fly Shop and asked them what their flies are tied on, he told me they are all tied on Tiemco hooks and my response was well I must have gotten a bad one. He offered to replace it, which was nice.

Getting back to the fishing, before I even got back out into the water Nick had another one on. That ended up being the last fish caught for the day, Nick had to go to work so we went back to the car and parted ways. Jordan and I had some lunch and went down to some other areas but Jordan kept telling me he was really getting cold. I decided to call it an early day and go back to spend more time with my family. After Jordan took off his waders we found out why he was so cold, his waders had sprung a leak his pant leg was soaking wet.

I got some good footage thanks to Nick and I will add that to the site soon. I wished it had gone better with the fish I hooked, but oh well I still had a great time in some beautiful country. It definitely left me wanting more, I couldn’t spend all my time fishing because I wanted to spend time with my family, especially since I only see them once a year. We had a great trip and if you ever get a chance to go out there and fish, I’m sure you would have a great time, especially if you hook up with Nick. He sure did a great job guiding us so if you ever head out that way let me know, I’d be happy to give you Nick’s number, he will save you a lot of time and energy and he really knows some good spots to fish.

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~ by troutdoctor101 on January 9, 2010.

One Response to “Fly Fishing The Trinity River In California”

  1. Hey nick nice fish ,are you ready for tomorrow i think the big winter fish should be there soon ….

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