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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 08-05-2015, 07:35 PM
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Default Trip to California in January

Hey guys, my name is Martin Frias and im from Chile, im opening this post because i will be traveling to the Namm show(a music industry show, im a guitar builder) in Anaheim in January, and i will have free days from 25 to 30 of January and would love to spend those days fishing, so i would love to know where would be a good place
I was thinking in going to a steelhead river upstate to see if i can catch a winter run, or go trout fishing in one of those beautiful redwood forests you have there.
Well thats pretty much it, and any tips, info, guidance its greatly aprecciated

Best Regards!
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Martin: Welcome to the forum!
I can't help with information on fishing in CA, but hopefully one of the CA members will chime in and offer advice.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Martin,

Welcome aboard.

Best bets in my opinion at that time of year are:

Rent a car in Anaheim and drive out to Mammoth Lakes region get a guide to fish Hot Creek / Owens river. About a 5.5 hour drive. This is a wade and fish area. Be aware that these waters are catch and release, barbless hooks, lure or fly only during the winter. Weather conditions can vary from bright, sunny days to blizzard conditions.

For drift boat water take a flight from Anaheim to Sacramento CA (About 1 hour).

Rent a car and drive to Redding CA (about 2.5 hours) and get a guide for the Lower Sacramento River. Less rural but a world class Rainbow Trout fishery.

or Rent a car and get a guide to fish Trinity River out of Lewiston about 3.5 hours drive from Sacramento. Very rural. Lots of woods.

or rent a car and get a guide to fish Klamath River about a 4 hour drive from Sacramento. Rural with woods and farms.

If you go to Redding you could probably fish two out of the three and if you drive further towards the ocean on the Trinity and Klamath rivers there are places to wade fish. You might be able to fish all three rivers but then again if we have heavy winter rains you might not be able to fish any of them. You would be fishing out of a drift boat for the most part on on the Lower Sacramento, Trinity or Klamath rivers.

You could wade fish the Upper Sacramento river which is about 30 minutes north of Redding if we continue to be in a drought. But, if the snows show up all of these areas may be harder to get in to.

California's a big state with other opportunities so some people may have other ideas.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Before even considering fly fishing in CA this coming winter, keep an eye on the stream flows in our state. If the expected El Nino does not materialize, we are going to be in a major state of hurt on waters all across the state...

NOAA El Niņo: Research, Forecasts and Observations

Dreamflows Daily Report

USGS Current Conditions for California_ Streamflow

...if it does materialize and with the intensity that is being predicted, there is the possibility that many rivers, especially the coastal rivers in Northern CA, will be blown out and too high, muddy and dangerous to fish...

I just returned from a seven day trip to the Eastern Sierras and have never seen (in 63 years) the water levels as low as they are right now.


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Old 08-06-2015, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Steelhead and redwoods, yes we have that. You'll have to fly to San Francisco and you'll need a guide.
I'd begin with searching for a guide specializing in north coast steelhead, contact him, and ask for how to proceed regarding all the details.
Typically unless there's a major winter storm going on there's likely one river or another that's fishable. You'll have to be flexible and rely on his knowledge.
I personally don't know any steelhead guides as I'm not into that specialty, sorry, but you should have little problem getting some solid recommendations.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

One other option and consider is flying into Medford, Oregon and fishing the upper river.** When you land, look down ... your flying right over some of the best bits of the river. It will take you longer to collect your bag(s) than the drive to the river.

Tou Velle park ($5.00/day parking fee but good at any of the developed access points) is about 5 minutes drive from the air port.

** From Grants Pass down stream you've got about 25 miles of river, much of which is foot access (some of the very best places are right in Grants Pass!) From Tou Velle park its a bit of a drive (up to Shady Cove) but from that point on the road is (pretty much) right on the river.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Thanks for the info and welcome guys!
If you have the contact of a guide please send it to me so i can contact him and plan the free days ill have
Thanks again!
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Quote:
Originally Posted by martinfrias View Post
Thanks for the info and welcome guys!
If you have the contact of a guide please send it to me so i can contact him and plan the free days ill have
Thanks again!
Guides we can recommend but need to know where you want to fish first. If that's still up in the air Google fly shops in the area and it would be unusual if they didn't have some pretty good recommendations. But the 'best' are usually booked pretty well in advance so 'sooner the better.'

Fred
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

I dont care really, ill take what you guys reccomend, hopefully in the woods with beautiful sights, wouldnt like to fish beside the highway hhaha
Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Trip to California in January

Martin,

January will be an interesting time of year, with or without El Niņo making its appearance.

For freshwater, there are very limited choices of where you can fish. Southern California doesn't have much in the way of moving water, but there are local creeks within an hour's drive where you can soak a line and hope remnants of a trout population still exists and is willing to eat your fly.

I would recommend stillwater fishing (there are plenty of lakes, etc) but in January, you'll normally find fish deeper than normal, and I don't think you may be successful via the fly.

What I do recommend is taking a drive to either the Kern River, which is about 4 hours north of Los Angeles, and spending a weekend visiting the amazing Sequoia National Forest. The upper Kern fishes pretty well, and you can always contact the guys at the Kern River Fly Shop for specific information, and for guide services.

Another doable trip for a few days is to the Eastern Sierra Nevada, which will be approximately a 5 hour drive. In January, the season will have technically closed for tributaries and lakes, but Hot Creek, the Owens River and Pleasant Valley Reservoir are all year-around fisheries, and you can't beat the views up there. There are guides available out of Bishop and Mammoth if you want to go that route as well.
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