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Trinity River

Guide Dax Messett with a huge Trinity River steelhead
Guided Float Trips
$575 for 1-2 Anglers
  • Year-round
  • Drift Boat Trips

The Trinity River is one of the most popular steelhead destinations in California. One reason for this status is that the Trinity rarely "blows out" due to high water. High flows from winter storms are absorbed by Trinity Lake, so even during large storms it's common for the uppermost floats to remain fishable. For the majority of the steelhead season, flows remain stable and conducive to wading and drift boat fishing. The Trinity River is also popular with anglers due to its proximity to highways and easy access. Highway 299 runs right along much of the river and side roads provide access to other areas. The river has excellent public access for wade fishing and plenty of put-ins for fishing from rafts and drift boats. The biggest reason that the Trinity River is held in high esteem by fly anglers is the numbers of fish. Every year thousands of steelhead return to the Trinity River. It is not at all uncommon for a single angler to hook multiple adult steelhead in a day of fishing on the Trinity. Most steelhead on the Trinity River are 4-10 pounds.

Fishing for adult steelhead can be very good as early as mid-September and as late as mid-April. The early fall is known for hot acrobatic fish. The fish typically aren't spread out in every hole, but when you find one it's common to find several more in the same spot. Prime-time on the Trinity River is November, December and January. November is the favorite month for anglers that want a great shot at good numbers of fish AND nicer weather. December and January are more likely to be cold and rainy (or even snowy!), but there are typically more fish in the river at this point. February, March and April are interesting months on the Trinity. We sometimes see greater numbers of fresh "winter-run" fish at this time. It's also common to hook some "down-streamers" that have already spawned and are headed back to the ocean. The river also sees hatches of march browns and green drakes that can get brown trout and the occasional adult steelhead to come to the surface.

Trinity River Guide Team

Our Trinity River guide team includes Andrew Harris, Gino Bernero, Brian Kohlman, Kevin Kay, Peter Santley, Luke Geraty, Mike Wright, Andreas Fuhrmann and Drew Griffith. Gino Bernero, Andreas Fuhrmann, and Drew Griffith exclusively fish Spey Techniques on the Trinity.

Recent Trinity River Fishing Reports

Trinity River Fishing Image
February 23, 2022
Trinity River Report by Peter Santley

Trinity steelhead fishing remains good to great depending on day. We are getting fresh winter fish on the right floats .These winter fish are moving fast and you locate them one day and they have moved the next. I have been getting clients into is both nymphing and swinging with clear water tactics. A shot of rain could give us another push of fish. River has been less crowded lately and shoul have fishing through March and into April. This is agood time of year to do combo trips on multiple day bookings fishing both Trinity and Lower Sac. I am also doing znymph and swing combos on both Trinity and Lower Sac. We nymphing between the good swing runs. I have all rods etc for clients to use. Come and get a little piece of what's left of the best season in years on the Trinity Early March is a good time and dates are available. Let us show you a good time.A photo of client Nancy hooked up with her first steelhead.Get on the books and let's go!Good fishing,Peter Santley

Trinity River Fishing Image
February 17, 2022
Trinity River Report by Luke Geraty

Chuck and Mark are long time Confluence guests and I've had the pleasure of guiding them before on the Sac... so we figured why not try the Trinity. If you've been following things related to steelhead world, you know that all we talk about is how badly we need rain, blah blah blah. It's obviously our default setting these days. But the day was booked and when you are chasing a fish of a thousand casts, you just have to go and pay your dues. Well by 11am we had hooked four adults... note that I said HOOKED, not landed. Two of them decided to "peace out" before we could put them in the net, but that's steelheading. It's what both drives you crazy and keeps you coming back. But what REALLY keeps you coming back are when you hook and land 30 inch steelhead on size 18 flies! And Mark did just that. The stars aligned and after a really long fight, we put that fish in the net. Chuck crushed it too because not only did he land a nice wild steelhead, he managed to get a beautiful brown trout on "Last Chance Riffle." It was a great day... hard to top considering what one should reasonably expect given the water clarity, lack of rain, and difficulty related to steelheading. Tomorrow we're gonna go check out the Sac, so hopefully our luck continues!

Trinity River Fishing Image
January 30, 2022
Trinity River Report by Luke Geraty

Why not go steelheading when the temperature is in the mid-twenties? Oh... yeah... because your rod guides freeze and casting is more challenging! Well Mike and Allen joined me for a couple of days on the Trinity and our first day was cold, cold, cold! "Hey Luke... my reel isn't working. Do you think it's broke?", Mike asked me. "No," I replied, "It's frozen." Thankfully the sun poked it's way out and we survived the first day! Allen threw bombs with his spey rod but sadly wasn't able to connect with a #metalface. He did, however, catch a really nice wild hen on a golden stone fly. She fought REALLY well and was definitely a hot fresh fish, taking line, going deep, etc. She proved her grit by managing to jump out of Allen's hands just when we were going to grab a picture! But the thing that matters took place -- he hooked it, fought it, and got to shake her hand. Day two was a big warmer and through we didn't land an adult STEELHEAD, we did get a brownie! Not seeing as many of those these days, but when you do, it's like catching a unicorn of unicorns. It absolutely CRUSHED the pheasant tail Allen was using. Mike didn't hook a steelhead but he definitely fished hard, made lots of casts, and set on all of the bumps that we were hoping were steelhead. Did I mention that we could REALLY use some rain?

Trinity River Hatch Chart

Mayflies
Green Drakes
March Browns
Callibaetis
PMD
Baetis
Isonychia
Caddisflies
Glossosoma
Rhyacophila
Hydropsyche
October Caddis
Stoneflies
Golden Stones
Giant Stoneflies
Little Yellow Stones
Terrestrials
Grasshoppers
Other
Salmon Eggs
Steelhead Eggs
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
 
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
 
                                               
                                               
                                               
 
                                               
 
                                               
                                               

Lodging Recommendations

Weaverville and Lewiston are the closest options for anglers fishing the Trinity River. Please visit our Weaverville/Lewiston Info Page for ideas on lodging, logistics, and other activities in the area. Many of our guests also base their Trinity River trip out of Redding.

Trinity River Photo Gallery

A happy angler with a nice wild Trinity River steelhead
A large Trinity River steelhead
A colorful Trinity River steelhead
Wade fishing the Trinity River
A large steelhead from the Trinity River
Fishing some slower water on the Trinity River
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