April 10—Off Season Options (Springtime Trinity Stoke!)

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Trinity tributary smallmouth
Trinity Lake Spring time smallies.

Hey! Just because the “General Trout (stream) Opener” isn’t until the end of the month, April 30th. Sat., doesn’t mean you have to lay down your rod. Sure, early spring may not be the most popular time to target our neck of the woods. However anglers willing to step out of the box and accept a change of pace will be surprised there is some great fun to be had. There are several Trinity waters, currently in prime shape, that await early spring anglers and offer quality sport. Those eager to stretch a line and keep in tune with their gear or may have developed cabin fever should check out the variety of these line ups that are much more than off season options.

Tributary trout
Trinity lake tributary trout
(land locked steelhead.)

Trinity Lake – Big, 145 miles of shoreline, fourth largest in the state and open year round. Supports the state record smallmouth bass (9 lbs. 3 oz.). Springtime bass fishing goes together like bread- butter and Ma and fresh apple pie. NOW is prime time for smallmouth. Early season warming trends inspire the largest to move into the shallows for spawning. Target most any south facing rocky structures that receive full on sun exposure. (Upper tailings very popular) Shallow tapering flats supporting woody structures also hold strong promise. Conventional anglers generally favor crankbaits/plastics early. Fly fishers should be well equipped with multi-tip series lines to cover various water columns. Large leeches, rubber-legs, and scrounger patterns are local favorites. While many tend to fish the early morning itch, I’ve always had my best success during peak air temperatures and late afternoons. Boats, prams and float tubes give you the obvious edge and strongly advised. Like steelhead fishing, early spring Trinity lake smallmouth fishing is seldom easy, number crunchers need not apply. Those looking for a trophy smallmouth as big as a beach ball, look no further, target and hang-on!

Overshadowed by bass fishing and the thought alone of another state record smallmouth, Trinity Lake tributaries also offers some challenging early season trout prospects. While the streams themselves do not open until April 30th., anglers targeting the rivermouths (Bocas) can experience some very rewarding fishing for rainbow-land-locked steelhead and brown trout. Early season anglers are permitted to fish, “the level of the lake, therefore a boat, pram, tube and wade gear are a must. These waters are sensitive and no gemmy yet can turn it on.

Lewiston Lake trout
The rich and fertile
tailwaters of Lewiston are
much more than a option.

Lewiston Lake – a seven mile rich and fertile tailwater that has maintained a mean reputation for being very fickle yet produces trophy sized bows and browns. A river runs through it best describes Lewiston’s composition. From spring through early fall meandering current flows through Lewiston, creating a fishery similar to a spring creek rather than a stillwater fishery. Constant cold flows, and prime water qualities produce diverse, rich and abundant aquatic insect life. Mayflies, caddis, midge, damsels, aquatic wasp, lampreys, minnows, snails—you name it and more than likely Lewiston supports it. This smorgasbord nurtures strong healthy populations of rainbows, land locked steelhead, brown trout and kokanee. The lake record brown is 23 lbs. 7ozs. caught in 1976. Since then, the lake has leveled off and currently produces solid, hard fighting native and hatchery stocks that often exceed 3-5 lbs.. Lewiston fishes throughout the entire year with prime springtime Callibaetis mayfly and aquatic wasp hatches inspiring challenging and exciting surface feeding opportunities. Lewie-Lewie anyone?

Spill over trout
Trinity river is open year
round. Right time & right place.
Eddie Hipol.

Trinity River – “Fly Only” waters currently open (April 1) and yielding the occasional late winter steelhead (both fresh run and down runners), resident rainbow and brown trout. Recent hatchery plants of juvenile salmon-steelhead has toned down activity for larger quarry, they’re burping heads and tails. However the river is fishing and beginning fly fishers are having a field day with the hatchery plants. Increased flows are forecasted for April 22.

Grass Valley Lake – Where in the hell is Grass Valley Lake? Stayed tuned and Dial In!

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