Where Can I Catch Big Trout in California?

Are you looking to catch some big trout in California? Look no further!

California is home to some of the best trout fishing spots in the country. With its diverse landscape, ranging from lakes to rivers and streams, there are plenty of opportunities for anglers to catch trophy-sized trout. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to catch big trout in California.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a world-famous destination for fishing enthusiasts. Located on the border of California and Nevada, this freshwater lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant fish populations.

The lake is home to several species of trout, including rainbow, brown, and Mackinaw (lake) trout. The best time to fish at Lake Tahoe is during the spring and fall months when the water temperature is cooler. You can fish from shore or rent a boat to get out on the water.

The Upper Sacramento River

The Upper Sacramento River is a popular spot for fly fishing enthusiasts looking to catch wild rainbow trout. The river runs through Shasta-Trinity National Forest and offers anglers plenty of opportunities to catch trophy-sized fish. The best time to fish on the Upper Sacramento River is during the summer months when the water levels are lower.

The McCloud River

The McCloud River is another popular fly-fishing destination located in Northern California. The river is known for its large population of wild rainbow and brown trout, with some fish reaching up to 20 inches in length! The river can be fished year-round but is best during the summer months.

The Truckee River

The Truckee River flows eastward from Lake Tahoe through Reno and into Nevada. It’s a popular spot for both fly fishing and spin fishing, with rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout being caught regularly. Early morning or late evening tend to be the best times to fish on the Truckee River.

The Owens River

The Owens River is a great spot for anglers looking to catch wild brown and rainbow trout. The river flows through the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, offering stunning views while you cast your line. The best time to fish on the Owens River is during the spring and fall months.


California offers some of the best trout fishing spots in the country, with diverse landscapes offering plenty of opportunities for anglers to catch trophy-sized fish. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spin fishing, there’s a spot for everyone. So grab your rod and reel and head out to one of these amazing destinations for your chance at catching a big trout!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet