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FLY FISHING THE FALL RIVER IN CALIFORNIA

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Those fly fishers who seek and thrive on exclusive waters where movie stars, ex presidents and those with coveted access toss flies, look no further! Fall River begins its journey bubbling out of natural springs in an area called Thousand Springs. This water is as clear and healthy as any waters in California. If Dianna the goddess of the hunt, moon and all things wild were to choose a place to build her castle, it would be here!

This spring fed jewel is home to an eclectic mix of migrating ducks, deer, various eagle species, heron, osprey, and many animals. It is difficult to describe how intoxicating this place is and how mesmerizing its many vistas. The one aspect that has kept it almost entirely secret is the privacy and quite limited access. This river meanders down 17 miles into the Pit River all the way down it has carved near perfect deep cuts into banks. Brown Trout love these hiding places and have staked out excellent niches where only experienced fly fishers can entice and disturb. This river has attracted those seeking unmolested wildness and waters of utmost purity! Millionaires and savvy sportsmen have bought up every piece of river frontage creating exclusivity and privacy to be reckoned with. A number of lawsuits have made it a little more accessible, especially the work of Caltrout's purchase of land near Island Road. It is the waters in the mid section of the river that provide the best fly fishing opportunities both trolling and dry fly action.

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Duck Migration Pit Stop

Nature lovers, bird watchers, duck hunters and wilderness oriented fly fishers covet this Upper California treasure. Bing Crosby, Clint Eastwood and Walton Powell have navigated and savored this natural spring fed ribbon of glass like waters. It is not easy to get to and not a walk in the park to fish. When hot summer months force fat browns and overfed rainbows deep. Those fly fishers who have mastered deep trolling with various streamers or flashy marabou type deep divers prevail. Early morning and very late afternoon dry fly action can be once in a lifetime. The Big deal in this magic place is the Hexagenia hatch that locals get almost misty eyed over! This insane hatch is unpredictable and famous for wild action on par with any hatch you have experienced.

Hatch Chart

Those who seek the unique will not be disappointed and those who are used to working for their hookups will fair far better. The clear water translates into serious patience if your going to throw deep diving nymphs such as Pheasant Tails #14-16, Pale Morning Dun's #14-16, various streamer types weighted. Dry flies can be never fail Mosquito's, Parachute Adams, #16-22, Quill type Spinners #18-20. In June and July late afternoon Hex explosions get the big fish up and moving and gobbling up hordes of tasty easy meals. This river is conducive to fly fishers using their imaginations in regard to streamer choices. Working deep cut edges and ledges with slow jerky moves can bring heart-stopping results. If you like to tie tiny flies and only throw dries, morning and evening this is the place. You will see many old timers slowly trolling up and down favorite sections. Not much if any shore casting opportunities, unless you own a little piece of this prime frontage.

ACCESS

Fall River is about 70 miles east of Redding California Highway 299 take a left on either McArthur or Glenburn roads. Boats electric or manual only can be used by way of Caltrout access area by taking Hiway 299 all the way through town of Fall River Mills to McArthur, then go left on Glenburn road for almost six miles, go right on island road for almost two miles cross bridge to Caltrout area on right side. Be advised during peak season or for that matter almost anytime during season, get their very early if you want a spot to park! Season runs Last Saturday in April through November 15th. Wise fly fishers always check out special regulations before working this water. The average trout in 13-18 inch zone, a few over twenty can be had and those who know the deep cut edge routine will score monster browns for sure. As mentioned, this water runs for around 17 miles in the shadow of Mt. Lassen. Fly fishers take heed, this place is sacred to locals and those who have tasted these crystal clear waters. You will not be able to get out of your car and throw flies at will. You will be best served to find a guide and get acquainted properly. Locals are not fond of strangers here and unless your handing out bottles of expensive single malt scotch to land owners, don't be surprised if they look at you like space aliens attacking precious homeland waters!

Campgrounds can be found by going west of Fall River Mills about 4 miles to Pit River Powerhouse Road. The hub city for this area is Fall River Mills a small quiet town that truly covets it's special fly fishing and will not tolerate disrespectful sportsmen who come into town dragging fifty foot loud jet boats and leaving a wake of empty beer bottles! Walk carefully and smile while in Fall River Mills. U.S. Presidents from Herbert Hoover to Eisenhower have fished here, Hollywood elite and blessed fly fishers have sampled this church of aquatic excellence, be prepared to be humbled.