Where Can I Find Trout in California?

Trout fishing in California is a popular pastime for many anglers. With its diverse landscape and abundance of waterways, the golden state offers a variety of opportunities to catch different species of trout.

If you are wondering where to find trout in California, here are some top destinations to explore:

1. High Sierra Waters

The High Sierra region of California is known for its pristine alpine lakes and streams, which provide excellent habitat for trout. Some popular spots include Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, and the John Muir Wilderness. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow, brown, and brook trout in these areas.

2. Eastern Sierra Streams

The Eastern Sierra region is another great place to find trout in California. The Owens River, Upper Owens River, and Hot Creek are just a few examples of the numerous streams that flow through this area. Brown and rainbow trout are commonly caught in these waters.

3. Northern California Rivers

Northern California is home to several rivers that offer prime trout fishing opportunities. The McCloud River, Hat Creek, and Fall River are popular spots for fly fishermen looking to catch trophy-sized rainbow and brown trout.

4. Central Valley Lakes

The Central Valley region may not be as well-known for its trout fishing as other areas of California, but there are still some great options available. Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa are two lakes that offer good populations of rainbow and brown trout.

5. Southern California Streams

Southern California may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about trout fishing, but there are a few streams worth checking out. The Santa Ana River and San Gabriel River both have populations of wild rainbow trout.

In addition to these locations, there are many other rivers, lakes, and streams throughout California where anglers can find trout. Be sure to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before heading out on your next fishing adventure.

Tip: When fishing for trout, it’s important to use the right equipment and techniques. Fly fishing is a popular method for catching trout in California, but spin casting with lures or bait can also be effective. Make sure to use light tackle and focus on presenting your bait or lure in a natural way.


California offers a diverse range of habitats where anglers can find different species of trout. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spin casting, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and catch fish in this beautiful state. So grab your gear and hit the water – you never know what kind of trophy-sized trout you might reel in!

Photo of author

Emma Gibson