Re: Santa Clara CA trout
I grew up in San Jose, it sucks BAD!!!
Los Gatos creek below lexington reservoir supposedly has some small salmon (I forget if Ca steelhead or not). I did not get to fish it over Christmas, but there are a few nice stretches below the dam.
Pretty sure nobody ever fishes it, you could try fishing Vasona lake too, which is where the trout would be hanging until they run.
Lots of bass and carp ponds around the Bay Area, sounds like you will become a warmwater afficionado. Don't eat the fish though, murcury poisoning in most water bodies around the SF bay and San Jose.
I assume you could find some awesome spawing run creeks along the Big Sur coast, but access is tough, and many of the creek properties seem to be private. Some of the watersheds are so clean and pristine you can drink right from the creek.
Otherwise, everything you want to do is at least 3 hours from the bay. I left 14 years ago, never going back!
Let me know if you find any fish in Los Gatos creek, I have been dying to know.
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