5 of the Best Trout Streams in California

By
onWater Team
July 3, 2024
7 min read
Fishing
Tips

5 of the Best Trout Streams in California

By
onWater Team
July 3, 2024
7 min read
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California is home to an abundance of waters for fly fishing for trout. From the high mountain streams of the Sierra Nevada to coastal waters with sea run cutthroats to a lot of rivers and creeks in between, the places to fish in California are as varied as the state itself. The streams on this list are highly regarded by anglers for their beauty, accessibility, and the quality of trout fishing they offer. Each stream provides a unique fishing experience for a wide variety of skills and desires.

The Owens River flows from the Eastern Sierra down near Bishop. The Lower Owens River is well-known for its winter fishing opportunities, while the Upper Owens offers excellent fishing for large rainbow and brown trout. The river's diverse habitat makes it a favorite for fly fishers.

The world famous Hat Creek is in northern California and has a dedicated loyal following of anglers. This crystal clear spring creek-like fishery is known for its spring-fed waters and consistent trout populations. Hat Creek offers both wild and stocked trout, making it suitable for anglers of all skill levels. The creek is also part of a catch-and-release area with special regulations to preserve its trout population.

The McCloud River near Mount Shasta in northern California is known for its stunning scenery and diverse trout population, including rainbow and brown trout. The river is divided into upper, middle, and lower sections, each offering unique fishing experiences.

The Truckee River runs from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake in Nevada. It offers year-round fishing with a healthy population of rainbow and brown trout. The Truckee is known for its challenging fishing conditions, making it a favorite among experienced anglers.

The Kern River starts high it the Sierra Nevada mountains.  This beautiful stream is famous for its wild trout population and scenic beauty. The upper Kern, especially within the Golden Trout Wilderness, is particularly prized for its golden trout.

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