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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
October 21, 2021
Trinity River Report by Luke Geraty

Legs and eggs, baby! Legs and eggs! Tom and Mike joined me on the Trinity River to chase some steelhead and this amazing river did not disappoint! We hooked adults and half-pounders and even managed to land some too! Anyone who has joined the ranks of steelheading knows that these fish can be hard to find, hard to hook, and hard to land! We were successful at finding fish, so we were a third of the way there! Mike held down the back of the raft and Tom had the front and despite the weather supposed to be rainy all day, we ended up dry!! Though we hooked a lot of fish, we definitely experienced the challenge of landing fish, though we got a few (five adults!). We used a few small nymphs, but the mighty rubber legs and salmon eggs were what was on the menu. In addition to having steady action, we saw red-headed woodpeckers, watched two deer swim across the river (and freak out when they saw us), and an osprey attack a bald eagle! It was a wild day! I'm back on the Trinity tomorrow, so hopeffully we'll have a repeat while we chase rainbows. 

Trinity River Fishing Image
October 6, 2021
Trinity River Report by Peter Santley

Well fall is here and that means steelhead fishing on the Trinity River. I am on my first week of the fall season and results have been good. Lots of salmon in the river and steelhead are there also. I have been running swing and nymph combos and have hooked steelhead both ways. Most of are action has been on stoneflies and egg patterns. This is typical for early season. Eggs and legs time. After five days on the water I am very pleased with the action we had. Lots of shots at hot fresh fish. It's time to get on the books and let's go! October is one of my favorite times on the Trinity.We have available dates come out and play!The steelhead are here!Peter Santley

Trinity River Fishing Image
August 31, 2021
Trinity River Report by Luke Geraty

It's a bit early for the Trinity to be on everyone's radar, but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing a little exploring! Kevin Kay and his daughter, Ashely, joined me for a trip below Lewiston to see how the water looked and to see if we might get lucky and catch a fish or two. The bad news is that the smoke is still around due to the Monument Fire; the good news is that we found some fish. In fact, we managed to both hook AND land two nice adult wild steelhead. After getting them to the net, popping off the barbless flies, and lifting them up for a quick photo, both shot off so fast we couldn't even say good-bye! They had a lot of energy (even after being caught!). It's good to see such healthy fish in the river. Ashley's fish was caught earlier in the float and as soon as she hooked it, we watched it jump out of the water a couple of times and we knew it wasn't a half-pounder. "Hey, that's a real fish," I said. Ashley was a pro and even though we were floating through a bunch of rocks and fast water, she managed to keep it on and put it in the net quick. After Kevin jumped on the sticks, I caught mine a bit later after he back rowed the meat of a run so I could have a second pass through it. Second time was the charm!  After I threw a cast and a quick mend, game on! My fish took a bunch of line and I immediately knew it was a decent fish. I'm happy to report that mine was larger than Ashely's (ha ha, sorry Ashley!). Throughout the day Kevin caught a decent amount of half-pounders and all in all the day was a lot of fun and successful. We were just doing some recon and the fish were all bonus! The Trinity River is something EVERY fly angler should get excited about because it's majestic, and the season is really right around the corner. I'd suggest it's something that you start thinking about. Water wise, the flow was just a tad over 450cfs and CRYSTAL CLEAR! As everyone knows, we need rain and I'm hoping we get some soon so that these fires can meet their match and we can get on with our fishing season. We'll keep you posted about how the fishing continues to go over on the Trinity. So far I've been pretty happy about the few trips I've taken so far because we've landed adults each time and anyone who knows anything about managing steelheading expectations knows that results like that are something to celebrate! I'm on the Lower Sac for the next two days and then head up to Alaska for a week. I hope you get on the water soon too!

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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