Guided Fly Fishing Trips in
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Feather River Steelhead

Steelheading in the Valley
  • We use drift boats on the Feather
    Drift Boat Trips All of our Feather River trips are drift boat trips. The Feather has many riffles that are great to wade. We typically spend time fishing from the boat and wade fishing.
  • A box of salmon egg imitations
    Eggs Eggs Eggs The Feather River steelhead fishery revolves around the king salmon spawn. Steelhead follow the salmon up the river and feed heavily on their eggs. We do most of our fishing on the Feather with indicators and egg and nymph patterns.
  • The Feather produces some very large steelhead
    Big Steelhead While typical Feather steelies are 3-5 pounds, there are a lot of larger fish in the river too. Every year we hook numerous 10 lb plus steelhead.
  • A king salmon carcass on the Feather River
    Salmon are the key The Feather can be a stinky place to fish in late October and November. The King Salmon start dying off and their carcasses litter the shallows. Salmon eggs are the primary food source for the steelhead on the Feather River.
  • A spring-run steelhead from the Feather River
    Spring Steelies The Feather River is unique among the valley fisheries in that it gets a spring run of steelhead. These fish come into the river in March and stay through mid-June. They are mostly 12-18" in length, but we catch a lot of fish in the 3-5 pound range too.
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Season
Flies

The Feather River between Oroville and Gridley has one of the best steelhead runs in California. Prime time is October-December, when steelhead are feeding heavily on salmon eggs. There is another run in the spring, peaking between March and May. We fish the Feather from drift boats.

Gear Recommendations for the Feather River
Rods, Reels & Lines: Six and seven-weight rods in 9, 9.5 and 10 foot lengths are perfect for the Feather River. We primarily use floating lines. We occasionally use sink-tip lines and clear intermediate sinking lines to fish salmon fry imitations.
Leaders, Tippet & Indicators: We typically use 1X-3X tippet on the Feather. Come prepared with 9' 2X leaders. Yarn or thingamabobber indicators are best. We use split shot in sizes BB, B, 3/0.
Waders & Boots: We use chest-high breathable waders on the Feather. In the winter neoprene waders are good, too. Spiked wading boots are not recommended.
Season
The Feather River below the Highway 70 bridge is open year-round. Prime times for steelheading are late September through mid-December and mid-March through mid-May.
Flies:
Nymphs:
• Olive Birds Nest, 10-14
• Mercer's Micro Mayfly, Olive, 14-18
• Copper John, Red, 10-14
• BH Prince, 10-14
Eggs:
• Pettis's Unreal Egg, Steelhead Orange, 12
• Glo Bugs, all colors, size 8-10
Sample Itinerary
Meeting Time & Place: We typically meet our clients at their hotel or at a designated spot on the river at 7:00am.
Vehicle Considerations: There is no shuttle service on the Feather River, so be prepared to use your vehicle to assist with our shuttle.
Wading difficulty: On a typical day we spend half of our time wading and the rest fishing from the boat. The wading is fairly easy as the bottom consists of large cobbles. It's possible to do a trip where wading is not required.
Multiple Fisheries in one Day: We devote the entire day to fishing the Feather River.
Length of the Day: Most full days conclude around 5:30pm. Half days end around 12:30pm.
Lodging & Travel Info
The communities of Oroville and Gridley are close to the Lower Feather River. Both offer motels and restaurants.
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