Guide To Trout Fishing Locations In California
All about fishing for rainbow, steelhead, cutthroat, brook, brown, golden and lake trout in area lakes and streams.
Trout Lakes In Northern CA
Northern California has clear cold water lakes which the trout adore. You can find trout in Boca Reservoir, Bucks Lake, Copco Lake, Donner Lake, Eagle Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Almanor, Lake Alpine, Lake Berryessa, Lake Combie, Lake Lewiston, Lake Natoma, Lake Oroville, Lake Pillsbury, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, Shasta Lake, Stampede Reservoir, Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Lake. Northern CA lakes with populations of steelhead include Lake Mendocino, Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Stampede Reservoir. Ice fishing for trout is popular in winter at numerous lakes in the state. Feeder streams and waters coming out of the spillways may also provide some exciting trout fishing.
Trout Lakes In Central CA
Consider trying your luck for trout at Bass Lake, Beardsley Lake, Cherry Lake, Crowley Lake, Lake Don Pedro, Donnells Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, H. V. Eastman Lake, Hensley Lake, Huntington Lake, Ice House Reservoir, Jenkensin Lake, June Lake, Lake Cachuma, Lake Camanche, Lake Del Valle,
Lake Kaweah, Lake McClure, Lake Sonoma, Lake Tulloch, Lake Nacimiento, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, New Melones Lake, Pine Flat Lake, Pinecrest Lake, San Luis Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shaver Lake, Silver Lake, Success Lake, The California Delta, Topaz Lake and Union Valley Reservoir. It's always a good idea to stop by the marina or local bait store and pick up some gossip about where the best stringers of trout are coming from.
Trout Lakes In Southern CA
With generally warmer waters in Southern California, trout fishing opportunities are limited to some larger, deeper impoundments like Big Bear Lake, Canyon Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, El Capitan Reservoir, Laguna Niguel Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Hemet, Castaic Lake, Lake Elsinore, Lake Perris, Lake Piru, Littlerock Reservoir, Pyramid Lake, San Vicente Reservoir, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir. Lake Sutherland offers steelhead fishing.
Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.
Visit the California Department of Fish & Game website for information regarding trout stocking in California.
The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.
Trout Species In The State
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 27 lbs 0 oz
World record: 41 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 31 lbs 8 oz
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 9 lbs 12 oz
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 26 lbs 8 oz
World record: 72 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 37 lbs 6 oz
World record: 11 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 9 lbs 8 oz
World record: 42 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 27 lbs 4 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Select the best trout lures and baits
Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.
California Record Trout Locations
Brook trout - Silver Lake
Brown trout - Twin Lakes
Bull trout - McCloud Lake
Cutthroat trout - Lake Tahoe
Golden trout - Virginia Lake
Lake trout - Lake Tahoe
Rainbow trout - Lake Natoma
Steelhead - Smith River
Additional trout information
Trout locations and info, by state.
Learn the habits of trout
Trout are considered some of the most difficult fish to fool. Once you locate California waters with a population of trout, the challenge becomes identifying trout flies and lures that will trigger strikes. Visit the trout fishing page to learn more about the habitat each of the trouts prefer.