Does California Have Good Fly Fishing?

The Golden State of California is well known for its incredible fishing opportunities, especially when it comes to fly fishing. With its expansive coastlines and numerous rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, California offers an abundance of trout, steelhead, salmon, and other fish species that can be found in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Fly fishing in California can be done in both public and private waters and offers anglers the chance to experience some of the best angling opportunities in the world.

From the coastal streams of Northern California to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Central Valley region, there are plenty of spots where you can “throw a line” and catch your own trophy fish. Popular fly fishing destinations in California include but are not limited to Clear Lake, Delta Reservoirs, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco Bay Area Streams, American River East Fork & West Fork (Sacramento), Owens River Gorge (Mammoth Lakes), and many more. All these areas offer excellent opportunities for fly anglers regardless of skill level.

Although there is a wide variety of fish species available for anglers to Target in California, trout are by far among the most popular. One type of trout that is especially prized by anglers is the golden trout which is native to only a few mountain streams located near Bishop Creek. Other popular species include rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

For those unfamiliar with fly fishing techniques or gear selection there are several organizations such as The Federation of Fly Fishers that offer courses on casting techniques as well as tips on how to select rods/reels/lines/flies that match specific water conditions. Also available are guided trips from experienced guides who can help you find fishable water as well as teach you more advanced techniques such as nymphing or streamer tactics.


In conclusion, it’s safe to say that California has some great fly fishing opportunities available for all types of anglers. Whether you’re an experienced pro or just getting started with this great sport there are plenty of places where you can experience some excellent catches while enjoying the beauty that this state offers.

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Lindsay Collins