Straight Up From the Lineups (What’s happening-what’s not)

Fish in net
Late evening-late season
steelie in the net.

Thanks to late season, March-April rains and snow, the Trinity basin dodged a “critically dry” water year and was allocated a “normal” water year. April 30th, water agencies began increasing TR flows, from 300 cfs. to 2500 cfs. to mimic annual spring runoff. Flows are scheduled to increase, reaching a peak flow of 6000 cfs. May 10 and slowly ramp down, to a high water fishable flow, of 2000cfs. June 20th. Flows will ultimately drop to 700cfs. July 21, prime fly fishing conditions. Check out our homepage for current river conditions for the complete 2012 TR flow schedule.

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO WAIT: Prior to the April 30th flow increase, TR anglers experienced one of the best late season steelhead runs in many years. Just when you thought it was over late season rains and freshets inspired surges of both hatchery and native steelhead into the upper river, bright aggressive and eager. Why so late? The best to my knowledge, fish don’t look at the calendar; they respond to conditions. With 2011-2012 being one of the driest winters on record many winter steelhead simply held and staged in lower river canyons awaiting desirable conditions. Ironically, when most everyone cleared out ideal conditions formulated and the grab was on. Anglers such as MJ, C-, Glen Stanley, Eddie Hipol, Chad Sayre, Landon Fredrickson, Scott Stratton, Tim Regan, Ed Pollock, Matt Guelfi, Norm Christenson, Don-Scott Frogner, Freddie Ferber, Tim & Abby Styczynski, Skinny Otis and many others scored late season success and solitude.

Trinity Tailwater
Eddie Hipol & tailwater success

FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE: Even though high flows have put a temporary kibosh to TR fishing anglers willing to step out of the box and itching to stretch a line have the following exciting Trinity fisheries they can target. Under the radar best describes these fisheries that are currently firing off and locally regarded as much more than simple options. Burned out on favorite waters and looking for something out of the ordinary? Check ‘em out and get with it!

Trinity LakeSmallmouth bass – Late season rains/cold weather has suppressed -activity and pre-spawn happening NOW! Lake levels have dropped and conditions are ripening. Trinity Center (Chicken Flats-Ballpark) and North Tailings all great boat/tube/pontoon prospects. Conventional fishing-cranks/ grubs—Fly fishing-deep water leeching/streamers/crayfish patterns. How many of you have recorded a 5 lb. smallmouth on the fly? The lake record, 9lbs., is haunting!

Trinity lakeTrout – Healthy spring flows/runoff has formulated excellent rivermouth prospects. Even though all streams re-opened April 28 (Sat.) they are currently too high for fishing; possibly lower elevation streams (East Fork) in a week. Currently the “mix” of intercepting tributaries is the sweet spot. Deep water (Multi-tips/Slime Lines) leeching/streamers are always effective. However early season hatches of March Browns, Yellow Sallies/stones, and Aquatic wasp are key early season aquatics can pop and activate exciting surface activity. Limited wading restricts lineups so most definitely float tube/pontoon/boats give you the edge. Keep the odds in your favor. This time of year never leave home without’em.

Lewiston Lake
A river runs through it–Lewiston Lake

Lewiston Lake – Trout-Been nothing short of excellent and just hasn’t stopped fishing since last summer. Increased flows have activated full currents throughout the lake and fishing has even gotten better, if you can imagine. Mid-level and deep water leeching/streamers/nymphing rule. However overcast, moist balmy conditions activate prolonged midge/Callibeatis hatch durations; creating excellent dry fly, head hunting prospects. Aquatic wasp hatches have already flirted with warming spring temps. Look for this critter to bust loose with the next significant heat wave. Check your fly stocks-be prepared.

Ruth Lake-Bass – A southern Trinity gem that offers excellent camping, boating and fishing. Legible waters offering great structure fishing for large-small-mouth bass and spiny rays. Enjoy top water popper fishing or need the numbers, look no further! Great for families and large group outings.

Rainbow Trout
Tributary perfection

Grass Valley Lake – Trout – Take a walk on the wild side. Only 15 minutes from TFS and requires a 45 min. hike. Consistent quality fishing, semi wilderness setting and minimal pressure translate good fun. A float tube a must. Deep water leeching/nymphing always productive. Callibaetis/Aquatic wasp and Damsels are primary early season aquatics. Modest sized resident/land-locked steelhead generally keeps number crunchers pacified. Sweet rewards, well worth the effort.

Baffled where to go, what to do and or have fly fishing questions? Need help and sound advice? Or do you and your friends simply need effective fly selections and want to get pointed in the most promising direction with the latest scoop. No need to look elsewhere. The Trinity Fly Shop has been your trusted “local” source for thirty years. You’re Source for a Quality Trinity Experience!