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Old 03-06-2014, 06:22 PM
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Default Fishing near Willits, Ca

I recently was offered a summer internship in Willits and was hoping for a little more information on the fishing opportunities in the nearby area. From the little research I have done I found that the closest big name river is the South Fork of the Eel with a lot more opportunities available a few hours north near eureka.

I'm not sure what bodies of water are open along the Eel as well as other productive streams/rivers nearby. I will be in this area from mid July to the beginning of October and look to spend more than a few weekends on the water. If anyone is familiar with the surrounding waters and and the fishing during this time I would greatly appreciate a pm or response on here.

Thanks Hayden
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Fishing near Willits, Ca

Lake pills bury and lake Mendocino are a couple of reservoirs you could explore... The coastal rivers aren't going to offer you much during the summer unless you want to stress out some steelhead smolts, be sure to check out the regulations. Ruth lake in trinity county is a solid bass fishery. You may want to look south of Ukiah for the best summer options... Anything north you are looking at a long drive to mountain lakes in the trinity alps or the humboldt lagoons.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Fishing near Willits, Ca

Hi, I’ll take a shot, not because I know that much about the area, but because I was there two weeks ago. A best friend in grade and high school and I finally took a trip that we had been talking about for years. A couple hundred miles apart makes it hard to hang out as much as we would like.

The first two days were on the Trinity River; the first wading in the Lewiston area. Call or stop by the Trinity Fly Shop for places to fish. It’s a great little knowledgeable shop and deserves any business you can give them. The second day on the Trinity was with a guide and we fished way below the Junction City campground area. This is pretty much a raft only float area because of some rock and fast water areas. I have a great guide recommendation if interested. I like to discover areas on my own, as much as anyone, but as far as finding fish, a guide who spends hundreds of days on local rivers can’t be beat! We did great with steelhead.

The third day we drove from Lewiston to Fortuna with my buddies drift boat and drifted a section of the Eel. We did well with the steelhead there also, but in this case we did what most seem to on that section of the river; side drifting and bouncing slinky weights along the bottom with roe and yarn. We did pass a few folks spey casting but didn’t have a chance to actually talk to any of them. On the south bound drive home from Fortuna, 101 follows the South Fork of the Eel for many miles, and it looks like there are plenty of places to access the river for wade fishing and my friend was pointing along the way places he had fished including somewhere close to the Benbow inn. You can see plenty of nice runs and deep pools from the highway, so hopefully it only gets better with a closer look!

Poor lake Pillsbury, been going with my grandparents and parents since “before I was born” quite sad, but Google “lake Pillsbury water level” with images selected before going there for a while unless you are going metal detecting.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Fishing near Willits, Ca

I just moved to Nortern California, north of Fort Bragg. I am about an hour and a half from willits. I am in the same you boat are. New to the area and wanting to fish. Being right on the coast I feel like my freshwater opportunities are limited unless I want to drive 4 hours. You have to understand back home in vt I could walk to the nearest brook and catch trout until my arm was sore so this is a big shock if you will.

I am still settling in but in the next couple of weeks I am going to start exploring. The regulations seem a little tricky. Seems like every river has its own regulation. Again, back in VT the season was the same for every river with a few exceptions. Its just all new to me.

I will be around until August and will let you know if I find of any good spots.
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