We’ve had a phenomenal fall season here in Northern California, and the winter is shaping up to be just as good or better.

The steelhead fishing has been great on the Trinity River. Although the river was extremely crowded through October and November, the cold winter weather has started to dissipate the crowds while the steelhead are still present in huge numbers, with fresh wild winter fish just now starting to enter the system.

The Klamath has been fishing very well for half-pounder steelhead, with a smattering of good adults showing as well, and the fishing should continue to improve for adults through January and February.

The Lower Sacramento River in Redding has been fishing great for big rainbows, with an average size in December of around 18 inches and hardly another soul fishing the river. There has been so much emphasis on the steelhead on the Trinity this winter that everyone seems to have forgotten about the big, healthy rainbows on the “Lower Sac”.

Many of the area’s lakes have begun to fish well, too, especially Baum Lake and Iron Canyon Reservoir, both beautiful mountain lakes full of both wild and stocked trout that love to eat midges and streamers all winter long.