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Trinity River

Guide Dax Messett with a huge Trinity River steelhead
Guided Float Trips
$550 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 24, 2020
Trinity River Report by Luke Geraty

I've been steelheading for most of my life now, cutting my teeth as a child when I was living in Alaska. I remember when I was about ten years old fly fishing for king salmon on the Ninilchik River and hooking a random steelhead. Even though I was using a 10 wt fly rod, that fish gave me a run for my money and I knew that I wanted to catch more. Fast forward thirty years later and my love for these chrome rockets hasn't changed. Well yesterday I was on the Trinity with Brian Kohlman and some of Brian's long time guests. Group trips are really fun because while everyone has a chance to fish there's also a lot of friendly competition. These kind of trips are where relationships are formed or solidified. At least that's what it seems like from a guide's perspective and yesterday was no different. Anyway, you're probably less interested in the social and culture experiences of fishing trips, so I'll get back to my fishing report (Brian can share about his day). The water is running around 300cfs, very clear, and definitely fishy. We hooked two fish in the first proper "steelhead" run that we went through but both fish managed to shake off. I think we ended the day with about seven or eight hook ups, including one double (we only managed to land one of those fish). Most of the fish were half pounders, both the smaller ones to the "in-be-tweeners." In my opinion, every steelhead is special, whether small, medium, or large... but there's something really special about those wild adult fish. When we pulled over for lunch, Tommy told me he wanted to keep fishing a run that his father-in-law and brother-in-law had both just fished because he said he wanted to hook one right in front of them in the water they had already fished. He was kidding... but not really, ha ha! Well wouldn't you know that while we were all eating lunch, Tommy hooked a nice adult and after I put it in the net, we got a quick picture before returning that beautiful wild fish back to the water. It's steelhead time, so hit me up if you want to get out. These fish can change your life.

Trinity River Fishing Image
October 23, 2020
Trinity River Report by Andrew Harris

The Trinity River fished well for us today.  There is very little fishing pressure and there are definitely fish in the river.  We finished up with several adult fish plus numerous half-pounders in the 16-18" range and a few trout.  Our best fish of the day came in our first spot.  It was a wild hen about 6 pounds.  The adult fish are very bright right now and they jump frequently when hooked! 

Trinity River Fishing Image
October 23, 2020
Trinity River Report by Kevin Kay

Larry lives in Virginia but is on a mission to fish as many steelhead rivers as possible. Today was the Trinity’s turn. I had low to moderate expecations as the flows are 300 cfs and the visibility must be close to infity. Imagine our surprise when our first cast yielded a small but spunky adult steelhead! The action remained pretty constant all day with a good number of these smallish early adults coming to hand along with a bunch of smaller fish. Wishing your steelhead were bigger really is a first-world problem! Can’t wait for 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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