Fishing the Trinity River: What You Need to Know

Studying Time: 12 minutes

Once you consider freshwater fishing, likelihood is what you’re picturing is fairly near California’s Trinity River. This fishery begins in Northwest California’s distant Trinity Alps, earlier than winding via miles of gorgeous wilderness – in addition to some quaint mountain cities, after all.

It’s additionally maybe probably the most correct definition of the phrase “picturesque” you can probably get. The Nationwide Wild and Scenic Rivers System even formally titled it as being “wild and scenic.”

And on high of this unbelievable surroundings, the Trinity River’s fishing alternatives are nothing to smell at, both. It’s one of the crucial vital tributaries of the much-lauded Klamath River, and undoubtedly gives sufficient angling motion to again this assertion up.

You most likely already know that the Klamath River is world-famous for its Steelhead and Salmon runs. The identical goes for the Trinity River, with one very noticeable distinction: It’s underrated. So in the event you’re after a slice of tranquility along with your angling motion, that is the place to search out it!

A Trinity River fishing journey can be the right approach to get again to the fundamentals of fishing. That is one thing that we utterly help. In our fast-paced trendy lives, we’re more and more discovering it tougher and tougher to only wind down and chill out. And anyway, isn’t it true that much less actually is extra?

What may very well be extra easy – and ultimate – than casting your line in a physique of water that’s each picture-perfect and peaceable? It’s house to among the world’s most fascinating freshwater fish, too.

If you happen to’re questioning what these species are, precisely, you then’re in luck. We’ve outlined the Trinity River’s high catches under, in addition to the place you may go to catch them, and how one can reel ‘em in.

Firstly, forged your eye over the following pointers and tips. Then put the telephone away, seize your rods and reels, and put together to get good and misplaced in some gorgeous nature for some time. Belief us – you’ll thank us later!

Prime Catches within the Trinity River

Orange = good, pink = pink sizzling!

What makes sure our bodies of water stand the take a look at of time as fishing hotspots? Effectively, for some, it’s due to the abundance of species that inhabit them. Others whizz straight to the highest of anglers’ bucket lists as a result of they’re house to uncommon fish that don’t exist wherever else.

The Trinity River? Effectively, it’s truthful to say that there’s one fish alone that has made its title as the principle attraction…


The “Silver Bullet,” “The Fish of 1,000 Casts,” and Washington State’s mascot…yep, it’s that mighty freshwater favourite, the Steelhead!

They’re recognized for his or her scrumptious meat, however chasing Steelhead on the Trinity is about way more than hooking a tasty meal. For a lot of anglers, it’s all concerning the thrill that comes with following this lightning-quick fella down the river.

In addition to their fast-paced and feisty spirits, there’s one thing else that brings “Steelheaders” flocking to the Trinity River. It’s the sheer dimension and variety of fish right here! A fast historical past lesson: when the Trinity and Lewiston dams had been accomplished again within the ’60s, the river’s Steelhead inhabitants was virtually utterly destroyed.

Nevertheless, you may’t maintain a superb canine (or fish?!) down. This mighty species has made a triumphant return to those waters. They now seem right here of their hundreds, and lots of attain sizes of over 10 kilos. We all know a powerful comeback after we see one!

Does the thought of a hefty, hard-fighting fish appear opposite to the picturesque picture of the Trinity River we conjured up earlier? Effectively, possibly the way in which that almost all native fishermen select to forged their line for this species will persuade you in any other case! 

One of the well-liked methods to actually take a look at your mettle towards this species? By totally shopping for into the standard freshwater fishing expertise and grabbing your self some fly fishing gear! Standard spinning gear is used alongside the river, too, however you’ll be in good firm in the event you select to fly fish. 

The truth is, there’s even a delegated “Fly Fishing Solely” part of the river. This spans the few miles instantly beneath the Lewiston dam. You’ll have the ability to forged your line on this space from April 1 to September 15.

By no means fly fished earlier than? You’ll discover many native anglers prepared to lend a serving to hand. With the realm’s fishermen often reporting a number of Steelhead catches a day, nobody’s going to be preventing over the fish!

Possibly you favor extra standard methods, or wish to mix fly fishing with utilizing common rods and reels. You might have the remainder of the river at your disposal, from the Lewiston dam all the way in which to Weitchpec. The clear, burbling waters working all the way in which from Lewiston to the river’s North Fork are particularly fish-filled. They’re thought of an unmissable Steelhead hotspot.

Even higher? With its lovely evergreen forests and mountainous terrain, this part of the river sums up precisely what we meant after we used the phrase “picturesque.”


Steelhead will be the Trinity River’s declare to fame, however they’re not the one species you’ll discover in these waters. The Trinity River additionally attracts a lot of Salmon fanatics!

Why? Effectively, come summertime, these waters are chock-full with jumbo-sized spring-run Chinook Salmon. It’s no surprise they’re nicknamed the “King”! They continue to be trophy-sized throughout to November. Later, the autumn run brings much more of this species. Searching for a Salmon bonanza? You’ll discover it right here.

These fish make for some critical rod-bending motion on the finish of a line. Select to battle them on the fly or with mild deal with, and also you’ll actually take a look at your abilities. Equally to Steelhead, Chinook may be discovered all through the stretch of the river. The most well-liked strategies are financial institution fishing and disposing of from a drift boat – however extra on that later!

In addition to the mighty Chinook, the Trinity River can be house to Coho Salmon. It might be one of many smallest species on this river relating to stature, nevertheless it greater than makes up for it with preventing spirit!

The Coho is understood and beloved in fishing communities for its acrobatic leaps out of the water. It’s the right species to focus on on the fly – and fortunately, the Trinity River has a stretch of water devoted to doing simply this.

Equally to Chinook, Coho Salmon may be discovered all through the river. A well-liked technique for focusing on these species is principally to be versatile. Don’t commit your self to a selected a part of the river and be ready to discover completely different stretches of it.

The Trinity River is the right dimension to discover, both on foot or in a drift boat. Because of this following the fish – whether or not you’re after big Chinook or feisty Coho – has by no means been simpler! 

The way to Fish the Trinity River

By Boat

We talked about above that the Trinity River is most frequently explored on a drift boat or by foot. Newer angler, or by no means forged a line earlier than in your life? Your head could be spinning barely!

To not fear. You don’t need to exit and buy your personal drift boat or try to traverse the riverbanks on foot!

The best approach to uncover these waters as a beginner is by hiring a constitution service. Identified on this space as “guides,” you’ll often be accompanied by an area fisherman with loads of expertise and top-notch gear. 

Maybe the largest advantage of fishing with a information is that you simply don’t have to fret about finding the river’s hotspots by your self. Let your information know what you wish to catch, they usually’ll do their greatest that can assist you hook ‘em.

Though it’s potential, we usually wouldn’t advocate taking your personal vessel out onto the river. In addition to fishing, the Trinity River can be well-known for its whitewater rafting alternatives.

Though which means that thrill-seekers will discover loads to whet their appetites, it additionally signifies that these waters can unexpectedly change into fairly harmful and unpredictable! Persist with an area information, and also you gained’t have to fret about getting caught within the rapids.

On Foot

It’s true that the Trinity River spans a comparatively massive chunk of northwest California. Nevertheless, its dimension is way much less imposing than many different freshwater rivers.

To us, this can be a optimistic. It signifies that there are way more financial institution fishing alternatives than in different places! The truth is, it’s even been known as a “financial institution angler’s heaven.” Many financial institution fishermen and ladies even go the additional mile and wade in these waters.

There’s a good selection of public entry financial institution fishing spots all alongside the Trinity River. The stretch between Junction Metropolis and Del Loma is very productive.

Nevertheless, as we talked about above, the principle factor that can result in productive financial institution fishing alongside the Trinity is your mindset. If you happen to’re casting your line in a sure space however the fishing begins to dry up, don’t despair. Simply be ready to maneuver alongside and take a look at one other spot. 

Financial institution fishing is a superb possibility for anglers who know this space or have been river fishing earlier than and wish to embark on a wallet-friendly journey.

Wish to deal with your youngsters to a day trip the place catching a number of fish isn’t the principle goal? Head to one of many space’s native nature parks or campsites with financial institution entry. You’ll usually have entry to facilities like a rest room and someplace to get food and drinks. You may strive casting your line, too.

The place to Go

So by now, you realize that the Trinity River travels all the way in which from the highest of the Trinity Alps to the northwestern California city of Weitchpec. However the place are you able to truly forged your line?

Though you may technically fish the whole river, most anglers focus their consideration round and under the Lewiston dam. It is because the dam blocks the overwhelming majority of Steelhead and Salmon from reaching waters additional upstream. 

The river’s waters stay critically plentiful and fish-filled as they journey downstream in the direction of Weitchpec itself, which is the place the Trinity flows into the Klamath. Listed here are a few of our high location picks…


Due to its proximity to the Trinity River, in addition to the close by Trinity and Lewiston Lakes, Lewiston is usually described as Trinity County’s final “fishing resort city.”

It’s situated on the a part of the river that many anglers contemplate to be the “true” starting. It gives entry to the fish-filled waters immediately under the Lewiston dam. The river additionally runs proper via the middle of Lewiston, which suggests you gained’t need to journey far to achieve some hotspots!

Even higher, the Trinity River narrows significantly right here and resembles a freshwater fishing stream proper out of {a magazine}. If you happen to’re in search of an genuine small-town fishing expertise, that is the place to go to.

Lewiston’s status signifies that, though it’s small, anglers seeking to forged their line alongside an skilled information right here can be spoiled for alternative. You’ll discover charters focused in any respect talent ranges dotted across the city, in addition to loads of financial institution entry.

If you happen to’re seeking to fly fish, Lewiston has almost-immediate entry to the river’s “Fly Fishing Solely” stretch, too. And what are you able to catch right here? Effectively, the great thing about fishing from Lewiston is that you simply’ll discover ample quantities of Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead, relying on if you go to!

Junction Metropolis

Situated round 25 miles to the west of Lewiston, Junction Metropolis is one other small-but-mighty fishing hotspot. It’s situated on the confluence of the Trinity River and Canyon Creek, also called the “decrease hall” of the river. 

The world surrounding this a part of the Trinity River is house to some unbelievable surroundings and wildlife. There’s additionally a critically spectacular Chinook and Steelhead inhabitants. If you happen to’re seeking to fish with no information or wish to mix your angling motion with loads of rest, that is the right spot. 

You’ll have entry to Junction Metropolis Campground, the place you’ll have the ability to camp proper on the banks of the river. These chilly, clear waters are particularly productive for fly fishing. If you happen to’re new to angling and wish to take a look at out standard strategies first, there’s ample alternative for this, too.


Is there any higher approach to end up our checklist of Trinity River hotspots than by focusing in town situated proper at its finish?

The small group of Weitchpec is situated proper on the spot the place the Trinity River feeds into the Klamath River. Though it’d mark the top of the river, you’ll be happy to know that the angling motion doesn’t cease!

If you happen to’re in search of an actual escape from the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life, Weitchpec affords this in abundance. It’s typically stated that this small city isn’t discovered accidentally – it must be sought out. But it surely’s nicely definitely worth the hunt! You’ll be greeted with an abundance of wildlife, dense forests, and loads of wildlife.

In addition to the gorgeous surroundings, you’ll even have the possibility to pattern some unbelievable fishing right here.

Anglers who wish to forged off on the fly will relish the chance to discover these serene waters, particularly as some spots are solely accessible by foot. The possibility that you simply’ll have these waters to your self is fairly excessive! Much less skilled anglers will discover a entire host of native guides prepared to assist them forged a line.

When to Go

As you will have already guessed, the Trinity River has a powerful year-round fishery. Every season brings its personal delights. If you happen to’re seeking to hook a selected fish, or wish to go to throughout a sure time of the yr, right here’s what it’s essential to know!


In spring, the principle attraction of fishing right here is the opening of the “Fly Fishing Solely” part of the river! As well as, winter Steelhead can often be hooked right here till late March, and the river is way quieter. The winter Steelhead season usually opens in mid-February.

Summer season

That is an particularly well-liked time of yr for waders and financial institution fishermen, because of climate situations. Anglers head to the stretch of river near the Lewiston dam, the place the primary summer season Chinook and Steelhead are making an look.

Spring-run Chinook are a typical catch this time of yr. There’s nonetheless a handful of Steelhead within the “Fly Fishing Solely” part of the river, too. 


That is when the majority of the summer-run Steelhead enter the Trinity River. September is an particularly well-liked month!

If you happen to’re in search of some critical peace and quiet, nevertheless, bear in mind that October and November are usually the river’s busiest months. The climate is gorgeous, the fish are biting onerous, and the water situations completely lend themselves to a lazy day of drifting or wading.


The winter run of Steelhead present up as early as November. If you happen to’re seeking to reel in an enormous fish, that is the time to go to: Steelhead may be present in massive sizes because the temperature drops across the river.

Nevertheless, casting a line within the Trinity throughout winter isn’t for the faint-hearted! The temperature can simply attain under freezing right here, so we’d advocate that solely anglers with some expertise goal winter Steelhead within the depths of this month. Hey, in the event you’re a hardened angler who’s used to excessive climate, that is the most effective time to go to – you’ll get the waters just about to your self!

Guidelines and Rules

So now you’ve selected if you’ll be visiting the Trinity River, the place you’ll be departing from, and what you wish to goal. To this point, so good! Nevertheless, there’s one last item to think about: What are the native guidelines and laws?

Effectively, any angler age 16 and above who needs to forged a line in these waters should ensure they first buy a sound California Fishing License. This goes for guests who’re going to be disposing of alongside an area information, too.

Relying on the species you’ll be focusing on, you’ll additionally have to buy a Salmon Report Card or a Steelhead Report Card (we advocate buying each).

Now, we talked about above how the Trinity River’s fish inhabitants has been via some robust occasions. This has had an impression on the foundations and laws surrounding the species that stay right here – particularly, what number of of them you may maintain.

If you happen to’re focused on fishing for meals, or wish to take house a few of your catch, pay a go to to the California Division of Fish and Wildlife’s web site and try the sportfishing laws. The precise dates change on a yearly foundation, so it will ensure you’re updated and within the know.

The Trinity River: Picturesque, Peaceable, and Plentiful!

We talked about in the beginning of this submit that the Trinity River is the right place to get again to nature, in addition to experiencing some actually traditional-style fishing: no know-how, no hustle-and-bustle, and no stress!

The fantastic thing about this river is that you simply get to expertise your very personal concept of what tranquility is. For some, that could be wandering alongside an remoted part of the riverbank, fly rod in hand, and loads of nature surrounding you. For others, it could be drifting lazily down the river, casting your line alongside some good mates and an area angler.

Irrespective of the way you outline it, the Trinity River’s adaptability signifies that a day of pure escapism is feasible for each visitor that chooses to enterprise right here. So put down these telephones, seize your fishing gear, and head over – these fish-filled waters are ready for you!

Have you ever ever been fishing on the Trinity River? What did you catch? Have any native suggestions and tips for us? Share your ideas within the remark under!

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