TRINITY RAW (Nibbles & Bits)


From Grab to Backing-Bob Jones on the receiving end.

I realize it has been way too long updating our blog. No excuses and don’t want to bore you with how busy we’ve been because, it seems like these days, most everyone I know is chasing their tail laboring overtime workloads; unfortunately many putting fun on the back burner. I will mention I have been busy stroking the oars, 34 yrs. guiding this October, restocking Trinity Fly Shop with bad to the bone flies and inventories to better serve you and your friends this Steelhead season and attempting to fulfill household chores in preparation for the upcoming fall-winter seasons. Whew! Can we all get a break? Let’s go Steelhead fishing!!!

Helena Fire

Trinity Canyon Lodge

Sad but true- End of an Era.

As of October 4 update the Helena Fire is 85% contained and still active. The devastating fire burned roughly 21,450 acres, 72 homes and over 60 structures. Continued suppression, repair activities, monitoring and mop up fire areas will continue. For updates check out: Cal Fire: Friends and locals described the Helena fire as a blow torch with little time to escape. Remarkably there were zero fatalities. The aftermath is a gut-wrench and will take years to recover. Trinity County is heart strong and Helena-Junction City residents will overcome. THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!!!

On the Run


Nothing like fresh arrivals in your home river-Scotty Frogner reaping the rewards.

Great news, the smoke has cleared, the colorful fall season is upon us and a mixed bag of fresh arrivals is moving through the system. Better than F&W 2017 predictions, a surprising strong number of fall chinooks continue to filter throughout the entire Trinity system. Even though they are off limits good to see strength in numbers. Most encouraging are the excessive numbers of jacks appearing; possibly shedding light for future stocks. Coho are just beginning to enter the lower river and as far up as Willow Creek; unlike last yr. Coho were all but non-existent. Along with salmon runs, increasing numbers of late summer-fall steelhead have also been moving through the system and providing quality sport for those willing to dig in. The upper river, Junction City-Douglas City, currently supports just enough fish to keep one guessing and fishing clean tippits while the bulk seems to have stalled, staging in the mid-lower system (North Fork – Willow creek). To date, steelhead numbers seem to be down although it is still early in the season with many months to go. A major glimmer is the strong number of returning adult native steelhead. It will be interesting to see what develops with the next significant rains. Prep and be ready to jump!

Glenn Burton
Bob Jones finds a chrome fix. GB with an overnight express
Scott Watson
Scott Watson-They do take skaters!

HWY299 West Snags

Major snags for anyone heading west on HWY 299 (Junction City to Del Loma) has been the traffic closures, restrictions and delays; Helena fire and major slides from the aftermath of last winter’s rage. All understandably so yet a real bugger for anglers travelling (east – west). HWY299West Junction City, restrictions, delays and closures are largely depended upon current construction/cleanup. Nobody is exempt; the Del Loma slide has also been very active, creating delays up to 45 min., depending upon activity and construction work. So heads up, check out Cal Trans: and be in tune with road restrictions/closures or be prepared for lengthy, often hours, delays.

Trinity River Flows

As of this post current TR flows are 450 cfs. and scheduled to drop to 300 cfs. October 15 (Sunday). Unlike the drought years, and after this summer’s scorch, surprisingly most all secondary rivers (North-South Trinities-New River) and tributaries are sustaining quality flows and temperatures creating ideal main stem conditions and setting the stage for all anadromous fish stocks; especially native stocks. Trinity Lake is currently supporting a healthy 72% capacity; last yr. the lake was 39%. These yrs. late season high water capacities have some local residents concerned. Keep in mind, Trinity was the first earthen dam constructed in California and, unlike Oroville, was built without an auxiliary release option. Will be interesting to witness the water juggling act, especially if we are slammed with an above average rainfall and snowpack. Break out the big sticks, lead core, and tungsten- eyed chicken feathers.

Fall-Winter Trinity Trout

Richard Burton

Don’t have to look far for fall-winter fun in Trinity County-RB knows where to look and how to score.

While the greater majority of anglers visiting Trinity County throughout the fall-winter seasons are searching for a steelhead grab, others favor stepping out of the box, targeting fall-winter trout in less popular environments. Trinity Lake and the tailwaters of Lewiston are uniquely different yet both offer quality, often steelhead size, trout opportunities for those willing to dial in. Trinity Lake offers excellent river mouth fishing after the general trout closure (Nov. 15). Although the upper Trinity River is open all year with special restrictions. Haunting to fish waters intercepting a lake supporting 145 miles of shoreline, over 400 feet deep, and populates rainbow- brown trout and land- locked steelhead. Lewiston’s rich and fertile tailwaters challenge even the most accomplished with intense aquatic activity and selective trout. Fall is the time of year larger fish stocks migrate from the lower lake and into the upper narrows for feeding and spawning; a rare opportunity anglers experience 60% of the trout populations in 40% of the lake. Numbers are irrelevant. In other words Lewiston trout are not easy by any means however there are those magical days you could do no wrong and best kept to yourself. Both Trinity and Lewiston lakes are much more than a simple option and great go-to fisheries when the TR blows during even the harshest weather patterns. Feeling the need for an out of ordinary option or if dicey weather conditions exist, throw in that pram pontoon or tow up your skiff, more than likely you’ll be glad you did. Those down and without a floating device: Pine Cove Marina (Louise) (530) 778- 3878 rents boats all fall-winter. Don’t have to look far for quality fun in Trinity County.

Been crunching too much OT and need time out? Take control and straighten out your priorities. Break out your gear and we’ll look forward to seeing you and your friends this fall-winter. Need further information regarding rod- wader rentals, fly selections, questions about equipment needs or simply inquiring about current river conditions and fishing—you know the Trinity Fly Shop (530) 623-6757 is and always will be your trusted local source!!!

Full Stretch

Regardless, graphite, glass, cane, spey or single-hand, Steelheading is all about fun and feel’n it—GB deep into the core.