California Fly Fishing

Imagine a state that offers stunning beaches, snow-capped mountains, and a multitude of lakes, streams, and rivers. That's exactly what you'll find in California. This is a state that you can truly build an entire vacation around. Not only that, but you will enjoy each and every moment of it. California presents year-round fishing so that no matter when you visit, you’ll find some fabulous opportunities.

Due to the diversity of the terrain it’s also appealing to all skill levels. You’ll find areas that keep the experts challenged, then those gentler streams and creeks that are perfect for learning new skills. To keep things simple, anglers tend to break the state up into the northern and the southern regions. Each of these regions is unique, and will offer its own types of conditions. California fish species include various types of trout, salmon, and the famed steelhead.

So let’s get started and examine what this incredible state has to offer in terms of fly fishing.

California Fly Fishing Map

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CA - American River: 38.573132, -121.354980
CA - East Walker River: 38.256989, -119.223587
CA - Fall River: 41.004608, -121.438316
CA - Hat Creek: 40.961494, -121.548698
CA - Hot Creek: 37.651344, -118.839844
CA - Klamath River: 41.864258, -122.728615
CA - Lower Sacramento River: 40.221355, -122.194748
CA - McCloud River: 41.127338, -122.067978
CA - Owens River: 37.710493, -118.780017
CA - Pit River: 40.762371, -122.318893
CA - Trinity River: 41.167698, -122.664467
CA - Upper Sacramento River: 38.559441, -121.565781
CA - Yuba River: 39.166108, -121.540740
CARUTHERS CREEK NR IVANPAH CA: 35.244989, -115.298876
COLORADO RIVER BELOW PARKER DAM, AZ-CA: 34.295570, -114.140225
COLORADO RIVER BELOW PALO VERDE DAM, AZ-CA: 33.719466, -114.498011
PVID D23 SPILL NEAR BLYTHE, CA: 33.491694, -114.603567
COLORADO RIVER BELOW IMPERIAL DAM, AZ-CA: 32.883098, -114.466615
COLORADO RIVER BELOW LAGUNA DAM, AZ-CA: 32.812267, -114.514949
COLORADO RIVER BLW YUMA MAIN CANAL WW AT YUMA, AZ: 32.731714, -114.632731
COACHELLA CANAL NEAR NILAND, CA: 33.090596, -115.450263
COACHELLA CANAL NEAR DESERT BEACH, CA: 33.538081, -115.918608
RESERVATION MAIN DRAIN NO. 4 NEAR YUMA, AZ: 32.737269, -114.621897
DRAIN 8-B NEAR WINTERHAVEN, CA: 32.746158, -114.694399
BOREHOLE SPG CHANNEL NR TECOPA HOT SPGS, CA: 35.885694, -116.234250
AMARGOSA RIVER AT TECOPA, CA: 35.848577, -116.230024
AMARGOSA RIVER ABV CHINA RANCH WASH NR TECOPA, CA: 35.790218, -116.206189
WILLOW CREEK AT CHINA RANCH, CA: 35.800944, -116.194417
SALT CREEK NR MECCA: 33.446974, -115.843329
ALAMO RIVER NR NILAND CA: 33.198928, -115.596934
NEW RIVER AT INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AT CALEXICO CA: 32.665893, -115.503050
NEW RIVER NR WESTMORLAND CA: 33.104766, -115.664438
BORREGO PALM CREEK NR BORREGO SPRINGS CA: 33.279167, -116.430556
EF WHITEWATER RIVER DIV NR BANNING CA: 34.062833, -116.808361
SF WHITEWATER RIVER A UPPER DIV NR BANNING CA: 34.062333, -116.819111
SF WHITEWATER RIVER LOWER DIV NR BANNING CA: 34.061944, -116.818861
BLACK WHEEL CREEK DIV NR BANNING CA: 34.060783, -116.819017
SNOW CREEK NR WHITE WATER CA: 33.870572, -116.681127
FALLS CREEK NR WHITE WATER CA: 33.869461, -116.671682
WHITEWATER RIVER A WINDY POINT MAIN CHANNEL CA: 33.898905, -116.621126
WHITEWATER RIVER A WINDY POINT OVERFLOW CHANNEL CA: 33.898905, -116.621126
MISSION CREEK NR DESERT HOT SPRINGS CA: 34.011123, -116.628069
CHINO CYN CREEK BL TRAMWAY NR PALM SPRINGS CA: 33.844184, -116.605293
TAHQUITZ CREEK NR PALM SPRINGS CA: 33.805019, -116.559182
PALM CYN CREEK NR PALM SPRINGS CA: 33.745022, -116.535571
ANDREAS CREEK NR PALM SPRINGS CA: 33.760021, -116.550016
PALM CYN WASH NR CATHEDRAL CITY CA: 33.797242, -116.481958
WHITEWATER RIVER A RANCHO MIRAGE CA: 33.749466, -116.422790
DEEP CREEK NR PALM DESERT CA: 33.631136, -116.392234
WHITEWATER RIVER A INDIO CA: 33.737243, -116.236118
WHITEWATER RIVER NR MECCA: 33.524749, -116.077502
DEEP CREEK NR HESPERIA CA: 34.343059, -117.226432
WF MOJAVE RIVER AB MOJAVE RIVER FORKS RES NR HESPERIA CA: 34.338892, -117.257821
MOJAVE RIVER A LO NARROWS NR VICTORVILLE CA: 34.573049, -117.320602
MOJAVE RIVER A BARSTOW CA: 34.906927, -117.022818
MOJAVE RIVER A AFTON CA: 35.037206, -116.384189
BIG ROCK CREEK NR VALYERMO CA: 34.420831, -117.839507
HOT CREEK A FLUME NR MAMMOTH LAKES CA: 37.668822, -118.817631
E WALKER RIVER NR BRIDGEPORT, CA: 38.327696, -119.214876
W WALKER RIVER BLW L WALKER RIVER NR COLEVILLE, CA: 38.379637, -119.450165
W WALKER RIVER NR COLEVILLE, CA: 38.513245, -119.449887
E FK CARSON RIVER BLW MARKLEEVILLE CREEK NR MARKLEEVILLE: 38.714627, -119.764899
LEVIATHAN CREEK AB MINE NR MARKLEEVILLE CA: 38.701295, -119.656561
LEVIATHAN CREEK AB ASPEN CREEK NR MARKLEEVILLE CA: 38.716851, -119.660173
BRYANT CREEK BL MOUNTAINEER CREEK NR MARKLEEVILLE CA: 38.735739, -119.645450
W FK CARSON RIVER AT WOODFORDS, CA: 38.769628, -119.833789
UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER AT HWY 50 ABV MEYERS, CA: 38.848519, -120.027128
UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER AT SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA: 38.922408, -119.991571
GENERAL CREEK NR MEEKS BAY CA: 39.051852, -120.118521
BLACKWOOD CREEK NR TAHOE CITY CA: 39.107407, -120.162135
WARD CREEK BL CONFLUENCE NR TAHOE CITY CA: 39.140740, -120.212138
WARD CREEK AT HWY 89 NR TAHOE PINES CA: 39.132129, -120.157691
THIRD CREEK NR CRYSTAL BAY, NV: 39.240463, -119.946577
INCLINE CREEK NR CRYSTAL BAY, NV: 39.240186, -119.944911
TROUT CREEK NR TAHOE VALLEY, CA: 38.919908, -119.972404
TRUCKEE RIVER A TAHOE CITY CA: 39.166296, -120.144359
TRUCKEE RIVER NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.296295, -120.205475
DONNER CREEK A DONNER LK NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.323517, -120.234365
DONNER CREEK AT HWY 89 NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.321017, -120.207976
PROSSER CREEK BL PROSSER CREEK DAM NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.373240, -120.131587
LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER BL DIV DAM NR SIERRAVILLE CA: 39.491572, -120.292704
INDEPENDENCE CREEK NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.456572, -120.287148
SAGEHEN CREEK NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.431572, -120.237979
LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER AB BOCA RES NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.435741, -120.084366
LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER BL BOCA DAM NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.386852, -120.095476
TRUCKEE RIVER A BOCA BRIDGE NR TRUCKEE CA: 39.385185, -120.087698
TRUCKEE RIVER A FARAD CA: 39.427964, -120.034087
CAMPO CREEK NR CAMPO CA: 32.591172, -116.525572
JAMUL CREEK NR JAMUL CA: 32.637557, -116.884189
SWEETWATER RIVER NR DESCANSO CA: 32.834774, -116.623075
SWEETWATER RIVER A DEHESA CA: 32.774167, -116.850278
LOS COCHES CREEK NR LAKESIDE CA: 32.836162, -116.900304
SAN DIEGO RIVER A MAST RD NR SANTEE CA: 32.840327, -117.025863
SAN DIEGO RIVER A FASHION VALLEY AT SAN DIEGO CA: 32.765050, -117.168645
LOS PENASQUITOS CREEK NR POWAY CA: 32.943101, -117.121700
SANTA YSABEL CREEK NR RAMONA CA: 33.106987, -116.866137
GUEJITO CREEK NR SAN PASQUAL CA: 33.115874, -116.953084
SANTA MARIA CREEK NR RAMONA CA: 33.052266, -116.945584
SAN LUIS REY RIVER A OCEANSIDE CA: 33.218091, -117.360316
TEMECULA CREEK NR AGUANGA CA: 33.459198, -116.923636
PECHANGA CREEK NR TEMECULA CA: 33.464167, -117.123889
MURRIETA CREEK NR MURRIETA CA: 33.555581, -117.231424
WARM SPRINGS CREEK NR MURRIETA CA: 33.532249, -117.176977
SANTA GERTRUDIS CREEK NR TEMECULA CA: 33.524471, -117.164754
MURRIETA CREEK A TEMECULA CA: 33.479751, -117.143920
SANTA MARGARITA RIVER NR TEMECULA CA: 33.473918, -117.142254
RAINBOW CREEK NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.407530, -117.200867
SANTA MARGARITA RIVER A FPUD SUMP NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.413641, -117.241146
SANDIA CREEK NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.424473, -117.249202
DE LUZ CREEK NR DE LUZ CA: 33.419751, -117.321704
FALLBROOK CREEK NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.346976, -117.317815
ONEILL LAKE OUTLET CH NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.325032, -117.325593
ONEILL LK SPILL CH NR FALLBROOK CA: 33.328921, -117.327260
SANTA MARGARITA RIVER A YSIDORA CA: 33.311144, -117.347260
LAS FLORES CREEK NR OCEANSIDE CA: 33.292255, -117.456708
SAN MATEO CREEK NR SAN CLEMENTE CA: 33.470860, -117.473099
CRISTIANITOS CREEK AB SAN MATEO CREEK NR SAN CLEMENTE CA: 33.426417, -117.570324
SAN JUAN CREEK AT LA NOVIA ST BR AT SAN JUAN CAPIS CA: 33.502526, -117.648106
ARROYO TRABUCO A SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CA: 33.498360, -117.665884
AGUA CHINON WASH NR IRVINE CA: 33.678910, -117.714219
BONITA CREEK A IRVINE CA: 33.645021, -117.861167
SANTA ANA RIVER NR MENTONE (RIVER ONLY) CA: 34.108345, -117.100591
SAR SUPP GAGE NR MENTONE CA: 34.108345, -117.100591
PLUNGE CREEK NR EAST HIGHLANDS CA: 34.118345, -117.141704
CITY CREEK NR HIGHLAND CA: 34.143899, -117.188651
SAN TIMOTEO CREEK NR LOMA LINDA CA: 34.061402, -117.267542
SAND CANYON CREEK NR HIGHLAND CA: 34.154722, -117.226667
E TWIN CREEK NR ARROWHEAD SPRINGS CA: 34.179176, -117.265598
WATERMAN CANYON CREEK NR ARROWHEAD SPRINGS CA: 34.185833, -117.272222
SANTA ANA RIVER A E ST NR SAN BERNARDINO CA: 34.065013, -117.300321
WARM CREEK NR SAN BERNARDINO CA: 34.078346, -117.300321
LYTLE CREEK NR FONTANA CA: 34.212230, -117.458105
FONTANA WATER CO SURFACE DIV WEIR 2 NR FONTANA CA: 34.202786, -117.449494
FONTANA WATER CO SURFACE DIV NR FONTANA CA: 34.203063, -117.449494
FONTANA PH FOREBAY SPILLWAY NR FONTANA CA: 34.202786, -117.449216
FONTANA PH TAILRACE WEIR NR FONTANA CA: 34.155009, -117.396158
FONTANA WATER CO SPILL CH FROM AFTERBAY NR FONTANA: 34.155565, -117.395603
FONTANA WATER CO DIV NR FONTANA CA: 34.154732, -117.396714
CAJON CREEK BL LONE PINE CREEK NR KEENBROOK CA: 34.263339, -117.466994
DEVIL CYN CREEK NR SAN BERNARDINO CA: 34.208341, -117.331434
LYTLE CREEK A COLTON CA: 34.078901, -117.305599
SANTA ANA RIVER A MWD CROSSING CA: 33.968626, -117.448381
SAN JACINTO RIVER NR SAN JACINTO: 33.738076, -116.833910
SAN JACINTO RIVER AB STATE STREET NR SAN JACINTO CA: 33.821408, -116.973358
SAN JACINTO RIVER A RAMONA EXPRESSWAY NR LAKEVIEW CA: 33.839741, -117.135866
PERRIS VALLEY STORM DR A NUEVO RD NR PERRIS CA: 33.801130, -117.206147
SAN JACINTO RIVER NR SUN CITY CA: 33.746131, -117.231703
SALT CREEK A MURRIETA RD NR SUN CITY CA: 33.694188, -117.205590
SAN JACINTO RIVER NR ELSINORE CA: 33.664189, -117.293927
TEMESCAL CREEK A CORONA LK NR CORONA CA: 33.750278, -117.445833
TEMESCAL CREEK AB MAIN ST A CORONA CA: 33.889182, -117.562827
SAN ANTONIO CREEK A RIVERSIDE DRIVE NR CHINO CA: 34.018623, -117.730612
CHINO CREEK A SCHAEFER AVENUE NR CHINO CA: 34.003901, -117.727001
CUCAMONGA CREEK NR MIRA LOMA CA: 33.982791, -117.599497
SANTA ANA RIVER BL PRADO DAM CA: 33.883349, -117.645330
CARBON CREEK BL CARBON CYN DAM CA: 33.913347, -117.842558
SANTIAGO CREEK A MODJESKA CA: 33.708908, -117.635605
SANTIAGO CREEK A SANTA ANA CA: 33.770295, -117.884501
SANTA ANA RIVER A SANTA ANA CA: 33.751128, -117.908391
SAN GABRIEL RIVER BL SANTA FE DAM NR BALDWIN PK CA: 34.112230, -117.969509
SAN GABRIEL RIVER AB WHITTIER NARROWS DAM CA: 34.034178, -118.038123
BREA CREEK BL BREA DAM NR FULLERTON CA: 33.887792, -117.926450
FULLERTON CREEK BL FULLERTON DAM NR BREA CA: 33.895848, -117.886171
LOS ANGELES RIVER A SEPULVEDA DAM CA: 34.161672, -118.466749
BIG TUJUNGA CREEK BL HANSEN DAM CA: 34.253614, -118.388970
ARROYO SECO NR PASADENA CA: 34.222226, -118.177573
RIO HONDO AB WHITTIER NARROWS DAM CA: 34.058344, -118.071735
RIO HONDO BL WHITTIER NARROWS DAM CA: 34.016679, -118.088402
CALLEGUAS CREEK NR CAMARILLO CA: 34.179450, -119.039824
SANTA CLARA RIVER NR PIRU CA: 34.403608, -118.739258
PIRU CREEK AB FRENCHMANS FLAT CA: 34.630820, -118.748424
PIRU CREEK ABOVE LAKE PIRU CA: 34.523047, -118.757036
PIRU CREEK BELOW SANTA FELICIA DAM CA: 34.460272, -118.752036
SESPE CREEK NEAR WHEELER SPRINGS CA: 34.577766, -119.257335
SESPE CREEK NR FILLMORE: 34.441662, -118.927321
SANTA PAULA CREEK NR SANTA PAULA: 34.413330, -119.082327
MATILIJA CREEK NR RES NR MATILIJA HOT SPRINGS CA: 34.502769, -119.357339
VENTURA RIVER NR VENTURA: 34.352220, -119.308447
CARPINTERIA CREEK NR CARPINTERIA CA: 34.401384, -119.486510
MISSION CREEK A ROCKY NOOK PARK A SANTA BARBARA CA: 34.440553, -119.711803
MISSION CREEK NR MISSION ST NR SANTA BARBARA CA: 34.427500, -119.725278
MARIA YGNACIO CREEK A UNIVERSITY DRIVE NR GOLETA CA: 34.444997, -119.803750
ATASCADERO CREEK NR GOLETA CA: 34.424719, -119.811805
SAN JOSE CREEK NR GOLETA CA: 34.459163, -119.809028
GIBRALTAR DAM DIV WEIR A GIBRALTAR DAM CA: 34.524161, -119.687080
GIBRALTAR DAM RELEASE WEIR A GIBRALTAR DAM CA: 34.524161, -119.687358
SANTA YNEZ RIVER BL GIBRALTAR DAM NR SANTA BARBARA CA: 34.524439, -119.687358
SANTA YNEZ RIVER BL LOS LAURLS CYN NR SNTA YNEZ CA: 34.543604, -119.864863
SANTA CRUZ CREEK NR SANTA YNEZ CA: 34.596656, -119.908752
HILTON CYN CREEK NR SANTA YNEZ CA: 34.582211, -119.982642
SANTA YNEZ RIVER NR SANTA YNEZ CA: 34.589155, -119.988753
ALAMO PINTADO CREEK NR SOLVANG CA: 34.618320, -120.120703
SANTA YNEZ RIVER A SOLVANG CA: 34.584987, -120.144593
ZACA CREEK NR BUELLTON CA: 34.648596, -120.184317
SALSIPUEDES CREEK NR LOMPOC CA: 34.588596, -120.408494
SANTA YNEZ RIVER A NARROWS NR LOMPOC CA: 34.636095, -120.424606
SANTA YNEZ RIVER A H ST NR LOMPOC CA: 34.668316, -120.457941
SAN ANTONIO CREEK A LOS ALAMOS CA: 34.743315, -120.270989
SANTA BARBARA CYN CREEK NR VENTUCOPA CA: 34.816647, -119.562071
CUYAMA RIVER BL BUCKHORN CYN NR SANTA MARIA CA: 35.021921, -120.228487
HUASNA RIVER NR ARROYO GRANDE CA: 35.077754, -120.371827
SISQUOC RIVER NR SISQUOC CA: 34.839703, -120.168206
SISQUOC RIVER NR GAREY: 34.893868, -120.306546
SANTA MARIA RIVER A SUEY CROSSING NR SANTA MARIA CA: 34.968311, -120.404051
ORCUTT CREEK NR ORCUTT CA: 34.883590, -120.494888
LOPEZ CREEK NR ARROYO GRANDE CA: 35.235530, -120.472386
BIG SUR RIVER NR BIG SUR CA: 36.245796, -121.773287
CARMEL RIVER A ROBLES DEL RIO CA: 36.474406, -121.728836
CARMEL RIVER NR CARMEL CA: 36.539128, -121.880508
SALINAS RIVER A PASO ROBLES CA: 35.628581, -120.684337
ESTRELLA RIVER NR ESTRELLA CA: 35.717191, -120.640168
NACIMIENTO RIVER BL SAPAQUE CREEK NR BRYSON CA: 35.788579, -121.093805
NACIMIENTO RIVER BL NACIMIENTO DAM NR BRADLEY CA: 35.761357, -120.855458
SAN ANTONIO RIVER NR LOCKWOOD CA: 35.896634, -121.088249
SALINAS RIVER NR BRADLEY CA: 35.930243, -120.868792
SAN LORENZO CREEK BL BITTERWATER CREEK NR KING CITY CA: 36.268021, -121.066303
SALINAS RIVER A SOLEDAD CA: 36.411076, -121.319374
ARROYO SECO NR GREENFIELD CA: 36.237462, -121.481603
ARROYO SECO NR SOLEDAD CA: 36.280521, -121.322706
ARROYO SECO BL RELIZ CREEK NR SOLEDAD CA: 36.399687, -121.324096
SALINAS RIVER NR CHUALAR CA: 36.553573, -121.549386
SALINAS RIVER NR SPRECKELS CA: 36.631071, -121.672446
PACHECO CREEK NR DUNNEVILLE CA: 36.980000, -121.380278
LLAGAS CREEK NR GILROY: 36.987449, -121.527162
CLEAR CREEK NR IDRIA CA: 36.360794, -120.760732
SAN BENITO RIVER NR WILLOW CREEK SCHOOL CA: 36.609406, -121.202980
TRES PINOS CREEK NR TRES PINOS CA: 36.765792, -121.299653
SAN BENITO RIVER A HWY 156 NR HOLLISTER CA: 36.851899, -121.429937
PAJARO RIVER A CHITTENDEN CA: 36.900231, -121.597722
CORRALITOS CREEK A FREEDOM CA: 36.939397, -121.770507
SOQUEL CREEK A SOQUEL CA: 36.991339, -121.955793
SAN LORENZO RIVER A BIG TREES CA: 37.044393, -122.072464
SAN LORENZO RIVER A SANTA CRUZ CA: 36.990783, -122.031908
PESCADERO CREEK NR PESCADERO CA: 37.260777, -122.328860
SAN GREGORIO CREEK A SAN GREGORIO CA: 37.325776, -122.386640
PILARCITOS CREEK BL STONE DAM NR HILLSBOROUGH CA: 37.524661, -122.399418
PILARCITOS CREEK A HALF MOON BAY CA: 37.466607, -122.434142
SAN MATEO CREEK BL LO CRYSTAL SP RES NR SAN MATEO CA: 37.529444, -122.358333
SAN FRANCISQUITO CREEK A STANFORD UNIVERSITY CA: 37.423273, -122.189410
MATADERO CREEK A PALO ALTO CA: 37.421606, -122.135519
GUADALUPE RIVER ABV HWY 101 A SAN JOSE CA: 37.373830, -121.933013
SARATOGA CREEK A SARATOGA CA: 37.254388, -122.039404
COYOTE CREEK NR GILROY CA: 37.077723, -121.494383
COYOTE CREEK AB HWY 237 A MILPITAS CA: 37.422162, -121.927458
ALAMEDA CREEK AB DIV DAM NR SUNOL CA: 37.497436, -121.773564
ALAMEDA CREEK BL DIV DAM NR SUNOL CA: 37.498611, -121.779444
ARROYO HONDO NR SAN JOSE CA: 37.461603, -121.769397
CALAVERAS CREEK NR SUNOL CA: 37.501944, -121.818333
ALAMEDA CREEK BL CALAVERAS CREEK NR SUNOL CA: 37.503547, -121.824677
ALAMEDA CREEK BL WELCH CREEK NR SUNOL CA: 37.540491, -121.856345

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Best Places to Fish in California

​California isn’t just exciting because of its wealth of movie stars, it’s also perfect for fly fishing. Both the north and south of the state offer their own unique waters, filled with a variety of species. Here’s a look at some of the top spots to fly fish in California.

Sacramento River

McCloud River

Fall River

Hat Creek

Yellow Creek

Pit River

Eagle Lake

Trinity River

Russian River

Klamath River

Yuba River

American River

Mokelumme River

Stanislaus River

San Joaquin River

Merced River

Kings River

Putah Creek

Feather River

Lake Davis

Lake Almanor

Cosummes River

Tuolumne River

Truckee River

Little Truckee River

Carson River

Walker River

Rush Creek

Red Lake Creek

Hot Creek

McGee Creek

Crowley Lake

Owens River

Bishop Creek

​Northern California

Carson River, East Fork

The East Fork of the Carson River is a perfect example of a mountain river that is serene, beautiful, and ideal for fly fishing. This one is located near Markleeville and fishing is open all year-round. If you want to fish during the "prime" times, be sure to visit from May through October. Here you will be able to catch mountain whitefish, cutthroat, rainbow, brook, and brown trout. In the upper areas the river flows very fast and is quite narrow. You'll find pools, runs that are deep, plenty of riffles, and even some rapids to give you that extra variety. You can fish this one by shore, wading, or by boat.

McCloud River

This is actually a nature conservancy, as it is a trout fishery. McCloud River can be found near the city of Algoma and is known for its brook, brown, and rainbow trout. The skill level is rated at moderate for this river, and the fishing season runs from April until about midway through November. It’s incredible just how many other waters are stocked thanks to the McCloud River. The river is located in a canyon that is completely surrounded by thick, lush forests. It offers that serene peace and quiet that anglers tend to love.

Hat Creek

Hat Creek is classed as trophy water for wild trout. There are sections of this creek that are incredibly challenging, while others are slower paced and more relaxed. The fish species here are brown and rainbow trout. Both these fish love the brush that lines the banks of the river, as it acts as the perfect hiding places for them. The season runs from April until about mid-November. The closet nearby city is Burney.

Southern California

Owens River

Owens River is located by Mammoth Lakes and is classed as a moderate skill level. It can be divided into a lower and upper portion, with each providing its own experience. You will be fishing for rainbow and brown trout in this river. The season runs from April until mid-November.

Hot Creek

Hot Creek itself is a decent sized creek, but much of it is private. Don't let that stop you from visiting the public areas, as the trout are usually quite large. The well-known Hot Creek Ranch is located on a portion of this creek, which is one of the private areas. There is a lot of diversity along this creek as the water changes along with the scenery. Hot Creek is open year-round.

Piru Creek and Deep Creek

Piru Creek and Deep Creek are unique in that they are located just outside a major city. With that said they are both quiet and beautiful. Both can be found just one hour outside of Los Angeles, not far from the city of Castaic. They make for a great half or full-day fishing trip. The creeks are open year-round and you'll be fishing for trout. Here's one of the best parts, Piru Creek is an urban wild trout fishery. This means you are in for some fabulous fishing. The fishery was put in place by the California Department of Fish and Game, Cal Trout, and the Sierra Pacific Flyfishers. Obviously, your accommodation options are vast since you are so close to a major urban city.

When to Go?

​This is a state that welcomes anglers all year-round in the northern and southern regions. There are fabulous opportunities to be found every month. If you’re the type that likes to “match the hatch”, as so many anglers do, you’re also in luck. There are hatches happening all year here.

As far as the temperature/climate goes, it varies quite a bit depending where you are in the state. You will find everything form a subarctic to desert climate all in one state. The majority of the state has a Mediterranean climate. This means that winter is fairly mild but wet, while summer is hot and dry. Fog can often be found along the coast. The further inland you go in California, the warmer and dryer it gets in the summer. Winters aren't quite as cold inland, but they are wet. Obviously once you start heading into the mountain regions, the temperatures start to cool down. These regions experience all four seasons instead.

Because California is such a large and diverse state, it’s best to break it up into two regions when discussing the hatches. The north and south of California experience different hatch seasons, so you will want to be aware of this before heading out. Here’s a look at the average hatch schedule.

Northern California

Caddis Flies: These are found between the months of March through to the end of August. They are at their peak in April and May.

Mayfly: You'll find this one hatches throughout the year except for maybe May. The summer months are a bit more intense for these hatches.

Terrestrials: Typically, these will be hatching between June and October, with August being the peak month.

Green Rock Worm: These can be found between April and August.

Stoneflies: These can be found from January through May, but they are at their peak in March.

Southern California

Stoneflies: These start up in February but are heaviest in March.

Nymphs: There are varieties of nymphs and at any point of the year one or more may be hatching. Months that see higher hatch numbers are May, June, October, and November.

Little Yellow May: These occur in June in full force and then taper off in July.

March Brown: You'll find these from February until early May. The month of March is when they are the heaviest.

​What You Will Need When You Get There?

If you are heading to one of the larger rivers, lakes, or streams in California, you can make use of nine and nine-and-a-half-foot fly rods. If the smaller fishing holes are more your style, be sure to opt for a shorter fly rod. If you do this, you’ll also need to adjust your weight so it stays in balance.

Within the state are places to fish from shore, wading, by float, and boat. You can take all of these into consideration as you plan out the gear you pack.

Of course, when it comes to the flies, matching the hatch is usually a good starting point. Besides that, you need to examine where you plan to fish, what time of year, and the type of species you will be catching. As is the case in any state, visiting a local fly shop can ensure you stock your tackle box with the best flies.

The state of California requires that all people who are 16 years of age and older have a valid fishing license. There are resident and non-resident sport fishing licenses available. You can purchase a one-year, 10-day, two-day, or one-day license. Some areas also require a permit. You can purchase the license and learn about the most current regulations through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Exploring the many fly fishing options in the state of California involves breaking it into the northern and southern regions. Neither should be missed, and both offer fishing year-round depending on where you go. The fact that you can visit an urban city like Los Angeles and still find fly fishing just one hour out of the city speaks volumes about this state. Choose between freshwater and saltwater, small out of the way creeks, or large lakes, there is no end to the beauty and fishing.