AMERICA'S TROUT (Town #1)
TOWNS - (Part I)
Over my many years of trout fishing I have discovered many unique cities and towns all within just a short distance of some very acclaimed fishing waters. These towns generally provide all the necessary amenities required by fly fisherman to make your fishing experience a truly memorable occasion. Over the next few months I would like to share with you some of my favorite cities and towns I discovered on my fishing adventures.
Redding, California is a major metropolis located in northern California. It falls in the shadow of Mount Shasta and is just a two hour drive from the Oregon border. I was on an extended fishing trip and decided not to do the daily 'motel hopping' so Redding was chosen for its location. Within 90 minutes of Redding there is access to over nine of California's premier rivers. For the trout fisherman there is the McCloud, Sacramento, Pit, Fall and Hat Rivers. If you're a salmon and steelhead fisherman you have the Kalamath, Trinity, Mad and Eel Rivers.
There is an extreme diversity in river situations: shallow to deep waters, rapid to slow currents, rocky to sandy bottoms. If you're a wader there are plenty of opportunities to explore local access sites. Float trips on the larger rivers are recommended. As always I strongly recommend that you check the local regulations. If tying or bringing flies into California please note that the state is 'barbless.' Several guides mentioned that the 'barbless' rule is passionately enforced by the local fish and game officers. Non-resident license fees are reasonable.
I pre-plan my trips down to the finest detail. To that end, I research a lot of guide books. Most guide books I have found wanting: inaccurate maps; poor information on access sites and inaccuracies with highway and distance information. If however you're planning a trip to northern California I am pleased to inform you that "Northern California River Maps & Fishing Guide," by Frank Amato Publications, is actually one of the best guide books I've seen.
Clear Creek – Just south of Redding
As an added plus to visiting Redding, it is home to "The Fly Shop," one of America's most premier fishing tackle suppliers. If you are into fly tying, chances are that you have ordered material from this company. The shop is located on the south side of town and is a sight to behold! The staff is entirely professional. They are extremely knowledgeable of the local rivers and will provide you with river and hatch information, maps, fly selections and access points.
My wife accompanied me on this trip so I elected to stay downtown. We stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge which is within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. It was a great choice! The owners of the motel were quite friendly and were very helpful with information on local places to eat and events in the town. Just a few steps from the motel was a 24 hour coffee and pastry shop where I planned out my daily travels while enjoying excellent coffee and a 'hot from the fryer' morning pastry. For burger connoisseurs I recommend you try a 'Damburger,' established in 1938. They have a loyal following of several generations of customers. If you're seeking a more expensive fare then try 'Jack's Grill,' the best steak house in all of Redding! Arrive early, the lines are long.
See you on the water…..
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