The 5 Best Fly Fishing Spots in California!

California’s oceans often seem to steal the fishing scene, but the diverse geography of the Golden State means that many lakes and rivers are also available for fly fishing. Although most of the best fly fishing is in Northern California, including one of the best fly fishing spots in the country, you can still try your luck at a few under-the-radar spots in Central and Southern California as well. Be sure to check with local fly fishing outfits to secure licenses and ensure your trip goes through required processes. Then head to the spots where fly fishing enthusiasts go in California.

1. Sacramento River, Redding, CA

Wild rainbow trout and steelhead abound in the lower Sacramento River, which is why Redding has become a destination for fly fishing enthusiasts and pros from around the world. You can find rentals for equipment as well as professional guides or take lessons if it’s your first-time fly fishing. For all levels of fly fishing, Redding is a must-visit destination.

2. Mt. Shasta, Siskiyou County, CA

Rivers, streams, and lakes in the beautiful mountains make Mt. Shasta a prime spot for fly fishing. The Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery regularly plants trout in surrounding water so that fly fishing is available both winter and summer. Be sure to check for local weather information and fishing license requirements, which may differ from lake to lake and stream to stream. Ice fishing is possible in the winter at certain lakes and the Sacramento River and other rivers also flow through the region, making it a prime spot for fly fishing.

3. San Diego Salt Water Fly Fishing Charter, San Diego, CA

For a different kind of fly fishing experience, book a charter with San Diego Saltwater Fly Fishing and try your luck catching a Mako shark. Practicing catch & release of Mako sharks and other fish, saltwater fly fishing can be an exhilarating experience for people that have never fly fished the open sea before. Capt. Mark Martin is dedicated to promoting the species of fish that live in the San Diego area and preserving them for future generations.

4. Kern River, Kernville, CA

The Kern River and supporting rivers are home to three of California’s “Heritage Native Trout,” The Kern River Rainbow, the Golden Trout and the Little Kern Golden Trout. Located within the Sequoia National Forest, check in with a local fishing outfit that works with the National Parks to ensure that your trip is licensed and legal. Around the Kern River are many streams where you can fly fish as well and hiring an expert can help you access the streams and know the guidelines and regulations currently in place to maintain the fish populations.

5. Yosemite, Yosemite National Park, CA

Merced River and Merced Lake are amongst the most bucolic spots for fly fishing on the West Coast. Different bodies of water have different fishing seasons, so check before you go as some are seasonal while others are open year-round. Yosemite Fly Fishing Guides is available for fly fishing of all levels, whether you are just learning or looking to hone your skills. Through them, you can find the best fishing spots in the National Park and enjoy the best fly fishing the National Park has to offer. 

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