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Trinity Fishing Guide

Lower Trinity River (below Trinity and Lewiston Dams)

From Eagle Creek Ranch, it is a little over an hour's drive to any of several worthy steelhead and salmon spots on the Lower Trinity.

Bob does drift boat and wade-in instruction and fishing on the Lower Trinity.

Best times of the year to fish the Lower Trinity River
The Trinity River has regained its stature as arguably the best steelhead stream in the state. It is the only stream in the state to hold steelhead every month of the year.

The river is influenced and changed in nature, by it's three major sources, Trinity and Lewiston Lakes via Lewiston Dam, The North Fork of the Trinity, and The South Fork of the Trinity. The watershed of this river is richly supplied with lots of rain, lots of timber, a large array of other plant species, the right mix of nutrients, and lots of clean highly oxygenated cold water. For these reasons, the river is loaded with lots of buggy insects.

Consequently, the fish seem to be naturally oriented to buggy, rather than to fishy looking food. During the fall months the river has a large return of Chinook salmon, causing the fish to key in at times on egg patterns.

The Trinity River Hatchery, at the head of the lower river, in Lewiston, CA, provides hatchery fish. In addition, there is a large return of wild fish, hatching primarily in the waters of the North and South Forks.

The river steelhead population contains a much lower ratio of half-pounder strain to large adult fish. Typical size range for these fish is 4 to 10 lbs., with a few larger double digit fish thrown in to the mix.

To fish the lower Trinity, I recommend a 5 to 6 wt. rod with floating line for skating smaller dry flies, as well as for dead drifting smaller nymphs. If you plan to swing larger streamers and articulated or tube flies in deeper water, a 7 wt. fast action rod with sink tip or sinking line is ideal. A 7 wt. overlined with a weight forward short taper floating line is ideal for skating large dry flies.

June through March
This is Steelhead season on the Trinity. Steelhead fishing is generally some of the best in the region, with fish being taken on dead drifted nymphs as well as by swinging streamers in the current.from the opening of the season until the season closes. Some fall-run king salmon may also be targeted from August through November.

Mid-June through Mid-August
The chinook (king) salmon season generally begins in mid-June, with the best fishing occurring from mid-July, into August. Kings are very difficult to target using flies, and are normally caught only when the fish are freshly returned to the river back trolling plugs, back bouncing roe, or swinging large brightly colored weighted streamers. Sometimes a Chinook will take a small dead drifted nymph, giving the unsuspecting angler quite a surprise.

Anglers interested in fishing the Trinity or other Northstate rivers should consult California Department of Fish and Game for closure dates and size and bag limits for all species, on the section of the river they're interested in fishing. We encourage release of all steelhead and salmon.

Highlight Species:
Steelhead to low double digit sizes
In recent years, steelhead fishing on the lower Trinity below Lewiston Dam and the hatchery has been very good. Fishing is normally done by wading or from a drift boat. These fish are normally targeted using dead drifted nymphs and egg patterns, or by swinging streamers.
 
Large King (Chinook) Salmon to 30 lbs
Kings can sometimes be taken from spring into fall on streamers fished in the deep seams. They will occasionally surprise you by picking up a small dead drifted nymph, or by becoming foul hooked in your line. When salmon may not be taken, they should be immediately broken off to encourage survival in order to complete their spawn.
   
Robert Cunningham, dba Trinity Fishing Guide , is a permittee of the Shasta Trinity National Forests and is an equal opportunity service provider.
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