Where Are the Biggest Trout in California?

California is home to some of the finest trout fishing in the world. With so many rivers, streams, and lakes to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start your fishing adventure. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to catch big trout in California.

1. Fall River

Fall River is located in Shasta County and is known for its crystal clear water and abundant insect life.

The river is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. However, the rainbow trout are the most sought after by anglers.

Tips for Fishing Fall River:

  • Use flies that match the hatch
  • Fish early in the morning or late in the evening when the insects are most active
  • Look for deep pools and undercut banks where fish may be hiding

2. Upper Sacramento River

The Upper Sacramento River is one of California’s most famous fly fishing destinations. The river runs through Siskiyou County and is home to rainbow trout and brown trout.

Tips for Fishing Upper Sacramento River:

  • Focus on fishing riffles and pocket water where fish are likely to feed
  • Use dry flies during hatches or nymphs when there isn’t much surface activity
  • Try using larger streamers during low light conditions or when water levels are high

3. McCloud River

The McCloud River is another iconic fly fishing destination located in northern California. The river’s clear waters are home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and native McCloud River redband trout.

Tips for Fishing McCloud River:

  • Use small dry flies during hatches
  • Try using nymphs in the deeper pools and runs
  • Be prepared to hike to get away from crowds and find less pressured fish

4. Hat Creek

Hat Creek is located in Shasta County and is known for its large rainbow and brown trout. The creek is also home to a variety of aquatic insects, making it an excellent dry fly fishery.

Tips for Fishing Hat Creek:

  • Use small dry flies during hatches or nymphs when there isn’t much surface activity
  • Focus on fishing the edges of currents where fish are likely to feed
  • Be prepared to fish in crowded conditions, especially during peak season

5. Owens River

The Owens River is located in eastern California and is a popular destination for anglers looking to catch large wild trout. The river is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and native Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Tips for Fishing Owens River:

  • Fish early in the morning or late in the evening when water temperatures are cooler
  • Fish deep pools and runs using nymphs or streamers
  • Be prepared for windy conditions, especially during the summer months

In conclusion, California offers some of the best trout fishing opportunities in the United States. Whether you prefer fishing rivers or lakes, there are plenty of options to choose from. By following these tips and Targeting these specific locations, you will increase your chances of catching big trout on your next fishing trip.

Photo of author

Michael Allen