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Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
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A family at Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark in Redding, CA.

A Fly Fishing Guide to Redding, CA

By Redding CVB | 01/08/2020 | Family Friendly , Fishing, Gear, Great Outdoors, Guides, Lakes, Rivers, Things to See and Do, Waters

Fly fishing in Redding, CA

When considering the American West for fly-fishing opportunities, much of the country overlooks Northern California. Though the state boasts a large number of anglers, few realize the national gem that exists in and around the town of Redding. Situated along the Sacramento River and surrounded by mountains on three sides, Redding has fishing opportunities for multiple species in nearly every direction, and it has a fly-fishing and outdoor culture that makes the end of the day that much better.

The Sacramento River, which runs right through town, offers fishing for an impressive range of species, spanning everything from rainbow trout to striped bass to one of the southernmost salmon runs in the United States. In the Sacramento and its tributaries, mighty Chinook and coho salmon run in the fall. Following the salmon, both wild and hatchery-raised steelhead move into the smaller tributaries of the Sacramento River in their spawning ritual. These fish can average 20- to 27-inches long, and they’re some of the hardest fighting freshwater fish in North America.

Besides the anadromous fish, resident rainbow and brown trout inhabit many of the rivers, creeks, and reservoirs around Redding, and they can be targeted nearly year-round. The nearby Trinity River, which is also a popular steelheading river, is one of the most scenic places in the country to catch trout. The Klamath River is another favorite north of town close to the Oregon border, and it is prized as an excellent trout and steelhead fishery that flows in and around unbelievable scenery.

Guide Services

Photo courtesy of The Fly Shop on Instagram @the_fly_shop

With so much area to fish and best ways to do it depending on where you go, it can be advantageous to hire one of the local guide services to help you figure out where to go based on your interests and what’s biting. All are excellent options for expert instruction on fishing Redding’s local waters. Plus, The Fly Shop, the No. 1 Fly Outfitter in the country, is based in Redding.

Another option is HarvestWild, a guide service that specializes in connecting people with wild food that they harvest themselves from the wild places of Northern California. While their philosophy seems to run counter to the old catch and release mantra, they articulate the need for balance in wildlife and fisheries management, as well as education on how people should use and care for public resources that provide wild food.


Photo by Dan Shepler

Aside from the independent guides listed above, your first stop for guiding, supplies, and fishing info is The Fly Shop. In business for 40 years, the Fly Shop has stood the test of time, and its walls contain everything you need along with a combined century’s worth of fly-fishing experience in the area. This establishment is a destination itself, as it’s the largest locally owned retail fly shop in the country, with extensive inventory and impressive selection of flies, equipment, and fine fly tying materials. The staff at The Fly Shop can equip you with all that you need to pursue the area’s fish—or book a trip with one of its guides. They can also help you put together a beginner spey setup and show you the ropes (or at least get you started to practice) the unique casting style.


Same red IPA this time on nitro. Don't mind the dirty glass... I am a huge nitro IPA fan. #collaboration #thisisredding #reddingbeerweek #nitro #istillloveyouwoodys @beardedbrewdude on Instragram

After the day’s exploits, experience Redding’s considerable food scene with a small-town feel. Jack’s Grill is a must-visit. Established in the late 1930s, this dimly lit, classy atmosphere is the perfect ending to a day practicing a classic sport. They serve steaks and seafood, and have an extensive wine list.

For a more modern culinary experience, look no further than View 202. With an outdoor lounge that nearly extends over the Sacramento River, View 202 serves a fresh, elevated take on American cuisine. It’s hard to beat the view of the river after fishing one of its tributaries.

For a more relaxed setting, cap off the day at Kobe Seafood & Steakhouse or Lighthouse Fish & Chips. The first is a hibachi restaurant that’s great for a family or larger groups, and the Lighthouse serves up some incredible fried fish and classic chips to the hungry, hard-working angler.

It could be argued that fishing goes hand-in-hand with good beer, so sample the local fare at Final Draft Brewing and Woody’s Brewing Company. Final Draft is a casual, friendly atmosphere with local brews, bar food, trivia on Mondays, and everything else you want in a local hangout. Woody’s has some interesting brews and some creative dishes, but it’s still an easy-going place to unwind after a day of patterning or casting your flies to rising fish.

Wherever you choose to wet your line or finish the day, Redding is most definitely a bucket-list destination for every American angler who wants to experience West Coast fly fishing at its finest.

Written by Charlie Morgan for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

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