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Hat Creek

Spring Creek Fishing
  • The Powerhouse Riffle on Hat Creek
    Productive Riffles The easiest areas to catch fish on Hat Creek are the riffles at the upstream and downstream end of the Wild Trout section. You can get close to the fish and the fish don't have much time to scrutinize your offering.
  • Hat Creek rainbow trout
    Wild Rainbow Trout Hat Creek is famous for its colorful and educated wild rainbow trout. Hat Creek 'bows are heavily spotted and have a rosy red stripe.
  • Predictable Hatches
    Predictable Hatches Like other famous spring creeks, Hat Creek has prolific and predictable hatches. Some of the best include the giant stoneflies, golden stones, green drakes, PMDs, little yellow stones, and tricos.
  • The Flatwater of Hat Creek
    The Flatwater The flatwater in the Wild Trout section is very challenging. The fish are highly selective and can leisurely inspect your fly. 6X and 7X tippet are the norm with dry flies.
  • Fishing the flatwater on Hat Creek
    Long Casts Long, accurate casts are a necessity in the flatwater. Your fly must go right over the fish's head to have a chance.
  • Hat Creek brown trout
    Wild Brown Trout Hat Creek is home to a large population of wild browns. They're not the prettiest brown trout, but they are typically larger than the rainbows.
Quick Links:
Flies

Hat Creek is one of the most famous spring creeks in the West. The 3.5 miles between Powerhouse #2 and Lake Britton include classic spring creek flatwater and long riffles. The riffles at Powerhouse #2 and the lower end of the creek provide an excellent on-stream classroom for beginner fly fishers. Conversely, the flatwater in between the riffles is some of the most challenging water to fish anywhere in North America. The depth of the water makes wading difficult in many areas, calling for long casts. Fish are spooky and feed very selectively. Getting a fish to rise to your fly here is a great accomplishment.

Overcast days bring good hatches throughout the season. Salmonflies and golden stones attract large fish in late May and early June. Mayfly and microcaddis frequently hatch in large numbers on spring and summer evenings. Little yellow stones hatch heavily on early summer evenings in the Powerhouse riffle. Summer mornings feature a very consistent and thick Trico spinner fall, bringing up many good rainbows and browns. Fall fishing is good with a variety of mayfly species hatching.

Hat Creek Guide Availability
For more Hat Creek dates, please visit our Online Booking page!
Gear Recommendations for Hat Creek
Rods, Reels & Lines: Four and five-weight nine-foot rods are ideal on Hat Creek. We primarily use floating lines. Spring Creek or Double Taper Lines are best for delicate presentations. We occasionally use sink-tip lines and clear intermediate sinking lines to fish streamers.
Leaders, Tippet & Indicators: We frequently use 6X and 7X tippet on Hat Creek. Come prepared with 9' 6X leaders for dry fly fishing and 7.5' 5X leaders for nymphing. We prefer "Corkie" indicators in the 1/2inch and 5/8inch size for Hat Creek. We use split shot in sizes 6, 4, 1, and BB.
Waders & Boots: We use chest-high breathable waders on Hat Creek. Spiked wading boots are not necessary. There are a few areas that can be fished from the bank without wearing waders. In the middle of the summer we frequently wet-wade.
Hatches & Seasons
Hat Creek is open from the last Saturday in April through November 15. Some of the most popular hatches include the golden and giant stoneflies, green drakes, trico spinners, and little yellow stones.

Hat Creek Hatch Chart
Flies:
Nymphs:
• Mercer's Micro Mayfly, all colors, size 16-18
• HBI, 16-18
• Pheasant Tail, curved shank, 16-20
• Brassie, 18-20
• WD-40, olive, 18
Dries:
• Trico Spinner, 18-22
• Parachute Adams, 14-20
• PMD parachute, 16-20
• Quigley Cripple, olive, 16-18
• Comparadun, olive, 16-18
• Rogue Foam Salmonfly, 6 (May & June)
• Rogue Foam Golden Stone, 8 (May & June)
Leeches:
• Bouface, brown, 10
• Monroe leech, olive, 10
Sample Itinerary
Meeting Time & Place: We typically meet our clients at their lodge or hotel at 8:30am. At certain times of year we may arrange to meet earlier, especially during the summer when the trico spinners are falling in the morning hours. On some trips we may arrange to meet at Hat Creek Park, where Highway 299 crosses Hat Creek.
Vehicle Considerations: We typically have our clients ride with us in our vehicles. However, be prepared to follow us in your own vehicle.
Wading difficulty: While some fishing can be done from the bank without wearing waders or boots, most fishing on Hat Creek is wade fishing. The wading is not difficult in most areas.
Multiple Fisheries in one Day: Hat Creek is very close to several other fisheries, including Fall River, Burney Creek, Baum Lake, Cassel Forebay, and the Pit River. It is very common for us to fish two or even three different fisheries in a full day.
Length of the Day: Most full days conclude around 5:30pm. Half days end around 12:30pm. On many full days we take a break around 2pm and reconvene around 7pm to fish the evening hatch.
Lodging & Travel Info
Please visit our Fall River Mills and Redding pages for local hotel and restaurant recommendations.
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