Trinity River Flows

Trinity River flows throttling up, topping 10,000 cfs early May.

CAUTION! The Trinity River will be flowing very high (flows topping 10,000 cfs. early May) and unfishable through much of July. Surprising many, the Bureau of Reclamation classified the Trinity as a “Wet” (above normal) water year allocating 701,000 acre ft. to be released down the TR. For current up to date TR flow releases contact Trinity River Restoration Program (530) 623-1800 or e-mail

Lewiston Dam

High flows released through Lewiston Lake should rapidly purge turbid waters.

No bones about it, 2016 West Side (Trinity) Trout opener will be, let’s just say far from gangbusters and we’ve seen better conditions. Just when water clarity and fishing was improving, high flows through Lewiston Lake activated sediment loads, creating very turbid waters and poor fishing conditions. For how long is anyone’s guess. Water clarity, favorable conditions and fishing will be determined by flow releases; which will top 10,000cfs. in May. While it may sound disappointing there is some good news. The past has revealed flow releases of this volume and duration generally help to purge sediment loads rapidly.

Not to sound like a broken disk, here is a quick update on current local options that deserve attention and available for those willing to accept something out of the ordinary. However like most everything else this spring, they don’t come easy.

Trinity Lake Small Mouth Bass

Trinity Lake small mouth, GB big smiles.

A – TRINITY LAKE – Bass and trout fishing. Streams (upper Trinity R-East Fork TR-Coffee- Swift Creeks and Stuarts Fork) re-open (Sat.) April 30. All streams will be flowing high due to solid snow pack in the Alps and spring runoff. Flow heights and fishing conditions are determined by weather patterns and how they affect runoff. However, fishing river mouths, the mix and confluence into Trinity Lake, should fish well for boaters, pontoons and float tubers. Some limited wading is available, choose wade waters wisely; some of those shallow bars and shelf’s abruptly drop off into those glassy inviting waters. The glitch, HWY 3 is closed and currently under construction. Contact Cal Trans (530) 225-3426 or Google website (District 2) for updated detour information. Fairview Boat Launch (Trinity Dam) is open, accessible and is the go to boating access.

B – TRINITY ALPS WILDERNESS LAKES – Keep in mind, access and fishing the past few years has been good and unusually early, due to the drought. This year the Alps recorded over a 110% snow pack and access above 6,000 ft, especially north facing lakes, is questionable. Contact US Forest Service (Weaverville) (530) 623-2121 for updated trail information, conditions and wilderness permits.

C – GRASS VALLEY LAKE – Yep, same name but 3 hours away from Sacramento- Grass Valley. EXCELLENT and firing off NOW, resident rainbows and landlocked steelhead. Accessed off HWY 299 atop Buckhorn Summit and requires a 45 minute hike and float tube to effectively approach waters; much more than an option and favorite for many local fly fishers. Grass Valley is full and based on the 2016 runoff should fish well through June.

A wet winter, above average snow pack and high flows are elements we haven’t witnessed in a few years; it’s all good not to mention they are the main ingredient and life blood to all watersheds. So hang in there and keep in mind, about the time summer doldrums plague most fisheries, local Trinity waters should blossom with spring-summer salmon, steelhead and trout options that will throttle throughout the fall-winter seasons.

For current up to date fishing conditions, please feel free to drop a comment or contact your Local Source at: trinflyguy(at) | (530) 623-6757 |

Land Lock Trout

Grass Valley land locks reflect their distant cousins and are very spirited.