Trinity River Steelhead
THE UPPER 40 MILES of the Trinity River, from Lewiston Dam near the town of Lewiston downstream to it's confluence with the North Fork Trinity River, is the bread and butter of steelhead fly fishing on the Trinity. This is a beautiful section of river, winding through dense evergreen forests and canyons decorated by massive boulders and technical rapids. Over the years, the Trinity River has carved its way through the rugged terrain of the Trinity Alps to create deep pools and ledgerock shelves ideal for steelhead holding water and perfectly suited for fly fishing.
There are a few minor tributary streams entering the Trinity throughout these upper 40 miles, yet the river remains largely controlled by releases from Lewiston Dam. This means that the river remains low and fishable throughout the winter steelhead season.
Our guides prefer to utilize specialized drift boats and rafts to float the technical rapids of the Trinity. By drifting the many different
sections of river available, guides are able to cover a lot of water and find the fish that are constantly moving through the system. Having the ability to cover 10 or more river miles during a day's fishing enables our guides to put our clients in front of more fish, and ultimately to have more opportunities at catching steelhead.
There are two main techniques used to fly fish for steelhead on the Trinity River: Swinging flies and nymphing. Swinging flies is the most traditional method to target steelhead, and can be effective in the early season (October-November) when water temperatures are warmer and the steelhead are more active and aggressive. Day in and day out, however, our guides prefer to drift nymphs under indicators, as they have found over the decades that we've been guiding this river that it is far and above the most productive way to catch fish. The Trinity River's deep pools and channels are ideal for dead-drifting nymphs.