Copyright 2010 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Hat Creek California
When trout can see you as well or better than you can
see them, catching them is always a big challenge. That's
the case most of the time you challenge the trout of Hat
Creek, one of California's finest spring creeks. Fly fishing
Hat Creek successfully requires both good strategies and
execution. This stream is a very large spring creek that
stays clear and cold year-round. Most of its trout are
rainbows but about a forth of the trout are brown trout.
The upper part of Hat Creek is over thirty miles long. It
flows from its headwaters in Lassen State Park. This flows
mostly through private property and is stocked. The Wild
trout section starts at Powerhouse #2 and ends at a fish
barrier that just above Lake Britton. It's this section that
has only wild trout.
The fast water section just below Power House #2 is
called the Power House riffles. It's extremely popular
because it's easier to catch fish there than it is in the
typical smooth flowing spring creek water. Just below the
Power House riffles, the Hat Creek slows down and gets
much wider. This section is glass slick with smooth flowing
typical spring creek water with a very weedy bottom and
tons of aquatic insects. This area is called the Carbon
Flats. The stream runs slick and smooth until it gets to the
Highway #299 bridge where there are riffles, runs and
pools more typical of a freestone trout stream than a
spring creek. The broken surface of the water makes it
much easier to fool the fish than it is on the glass smooth
water of the Carbon Flats.
This is a "match the hatch" paradise but it's often difficult
to determine which hatch to match. Multiple hatches are
common. There's a huge variety of aquatic insects even
including the large Salmonflies that hatch in the fast water
sections of Hat Creek. There are huge hatches of Little
Yellow Stoneflies. The Salmonflies start hatching in May.
Green Drake mayflies come off in June.
The hot summer means fewer anglers will be fishing but
the fishing continues to be very good. Caddisfly activity is
huge and the trout feed every morning and evening. The
later you fish in the day, the better the fishing. Trico
mayflies hatch throughout the late part of the summer
months and the little White Wing Curses bring on an
Fall returns the good fishing throughout the days but also
the pressure from anglers. Once the word gets out the
Fall Caddis are hatching, that is all it takes. Tricos
continue to hatch along with more species of caddisflies.
Fishing season is open from the first Sat. in May to
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing Hat Creek.
Summertime brings less anglers but the fishing is still
good throughout the Summer.
Fall is many angler's first choice for fly fishing Hat Creek.
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