There is H20 on the Westside (Enough For Good Fun)

Cast to school

Straight from the East side of the pond, angler/author Ben Taylor delivers a delicate shot into a school of milling Tarpon, (aka big, bad-ass cousin to the shad family). Photo By Patt Wardlaw

Cottonwoods in bloom, warm central valley heat punctuated with flaming sunsets, crop dusters engaged in acrobatic aerial labors over farmed checks, pheasants and mallards nesting atop flooded field levees, pelicans, terns, egrets and black ibis flights over valley waterways and swollen rivers receding from winter’s flush, striper spawning runs winding down yet coinciding with new surges of fresh chrome oftentimes eager to eat your socks off, cold beer, laughter camaraderie, and smell of savory BBQ’s drifting from isolated river camps, fly boxes filled with refreshed inventories of psychedelic colors of orange, pink, bowline- red, chartreuse, silver- gold attractor flies and the shouts “Fish-On” echoing down lineups and interrupting social chatter from an odd lot preferring to endure the valley heat wading waist deep, sporting straw- vented hats, shades and mopped with sunblock, while repeatedly casting and delivering presentations that often yield thrilling rewards of multiple fish sessions; feeding frenzies totally capable of doing you in–A-H-H-H Shad Season!

River release

Steelhead in the fall-winter, shad in the spring-summer, Downtown Mark Brown religiously succumbs to both.

May-June-early July is shad time and just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t at least mention the slivery slabs this blog; always in the blood and as I have preached if you don’t like shad, you don’t like fishing. The drought has not been very favorable to most valley rivers and shad runs, therefore, after 31 years of serving you and setting up our private shad camps, we painfully decided to go shadless this year and cancel all 2015 shad camps. A big thanks to the loyal sports, attempting to twist our arms, insisting shad were not necessary and still desiring our camps. Naturally we’ll miss the camps, river time, overall shading experience, yet most of all, will miss your company. Certainly this is not Ca’s first drought and remarkably, the past has revealed, shad always seem to find a way. Keep the faith, possibly a wet one this winter will throttle the juice and refresh rivers and runs.

So no shad camps, what will we be up to this summer? Easy, something we generally don’t often get to do this time of year, enjoy the opportunity and challenges targeting our local waters that are much more than alternatives. Despite the drought there is sufficient water on the Westside and anglers are fortunate there are some solid options currently available that should last through most of the summer months. Check out our backyard, plan accordingly and go play!

Trinity River

Desiring a slab & willing to forfeit numbers—bulbous TR Hunk!

Trinity River – Generally not recognized as a trout fishery, the TR continues to overshadow most all other local options by serving up quality summer opportunities for spring-summer chinook, steelhead, and resident trout. Although not a numbers game few other rivers can deliver the beef. Currently activity is happening on both ends of the river system. Fresh run spring chinook and steelhead are filtering through the lower river (Weitchpec) and should arrive in the upper reach as soon as flows recede and water temperatures heat up; possibly by mid-June. Flows in the upper river (Lewiston) are still a bit high 1200cfs., slowly dropping to 900cfs. (June 8) and then leveling off to 450cfs. (June 30th). Although flows are high the upper river is currently fishing; use caution and target slow edges. This year the TR received a “DRY” year allocation (453,000 acre ft.) and flows are favorable therefore the upper tailwaters (FLY ONLY WATERS) should fish all summer. Desiring a slab and willing to forfeit numbers for quality?
Commit, simply a matter of how bad do you want it.

Lewiston Lake Eagle Trout

Sara Mcninch, Lewiston Lk. and Sweet smiles of success—life is Great!

Lewiston Lake – Slowly coming back into shape with reduced flows. Fishing and water clarity is still off, yet improving, especially throughout the lower lake. Sparse hatches of Callibaetis, Midge and micro Caddis are burping in the lower flats and providing mid-day hatch matching opportunities in and around springs, tapering flats and shallow points below Pine Cove. Blind faith, deep water leeching with Clear Camo’s and sink-tip lines is also producing in the same waters. Lewiston generally maintains cold water temperatures throughout the heat of the summer and has always been a saving grace during the drought years; a favorite summertime go-to fishery that should really blossom in the next few weeks as flows are reduced and clarity improves.


Innocent, colorful & reflecting their environments—beauty & rewards of fishing small streams.

Trinity Lake Bass – Don’t knock-t until you’ve tried it. Currently wide open and smallies on a post spawn grab while largemouth are still in pre-spawn mode.

Slump-busters, eels/leeches and gangly rubberlegs are the ticket fished with intermediate-full sink lines and targeting rocky points, shelves and tailings early and late. However, top water action should be firing off with the next round of stable warming weather. With great facilities nearby TL is also a sure cure for those seeking a user friendly, fishing, camping, boating, swimming, and boarding, all- in- one outdoor experience.

Trinity Freestone Streams – Big fish advocates and lunker seekers need not apply. The upper Trinity River, E. Fork Trinity, Coffee Cr., Stuarts Fork and Swift Creek are personal favorite small stream gems offering unique opportunities for unsurpassed beauty, solitude and small colorful natives that reflect the beauty of their environments; perfect waters for that 2-3 wt. rod and high riding dry fly fishing and simply great getaways. Access is limited and terrains are rugged, so best to establish a game plan. A couple options that work for us, depending upon preferred approach (fishing up or down stream); arrange to be dropped off and picked up or stash a mountain bike at a takeout a few miles below your starting point, and or, select an access, paralleling a forest service or logging road, and hike the road back to point A; allowing more time fishing without the hassles/labors of traversing back. All streams are currently in prime shape and fishing NOW (watch out for snakes)!


Innocent, colorful & reflecting their environments—beauty & rewards of fishing small streams.

Learn how to fly fish

Learning how to fly fish stimulates a natural progression that teaches, passion appreciation, respect and love of Nature’s beauty.

Learn How to Fly Fish – Many relate to fly fishing as “the experience of a lifetime.” We offer a comprehensive single day “crash” course that is very popular with family, youth and friends at all skill levels. No better to learn than to string up, suite up and wade in .Full day course includes all equipment provided, float trip, tasty streamside meal while instruction focuses on tackle/equipment review, hands-on fly casting, wading, on-water demonstrations, fishing methods and strategy, knot/leader formulas, fly coordination with appropriate waters, and fish behavior. We will lead you to becoming an accomplished fly fisher. So let us help you get started and fine tune your abilities. Call for availability and reservations.

In question or simply need to chat about current Conditions/Planning a Trip/Guide Services-Reservations/Fly tackle or just to say Hey,
Call (530)623-6757 or E-mail
“You’re local Source for a Quality Trinity Experience.”