Escape the crowds and the huge travel expense at other more popular Northern California destinations and make a beeline for Redding on your next fishing trip. This city is just as naturally beautiful as Lake Tahoe and as interesting as the Bay Area, but not as well-trodden. Redding is used to being overlooked, though — the area on which it now sits was once given the nickname Poverty Flats during the Gold Era, just because it wasn’t as rich in gold as the areas that surround it.
There’s no logical reason to overlook the city. It has one of the best climates on the West Coast, making it a great year-round travel destination. It is the second sunniest city in all of the United States, after all, with a Mediterranean-like climate and almost 300 sunny days a year. Combine that with its pristine natural wonders, the mountains, and farmland that surround it, plus the healthy waters of the Sacramento River that runs right through it, and you’ve got an off-the-beaten Northern California destination like no other.
And when you come here, be prepared with your fly fishing gear. Redding is considered one of the best trout fishing destinations in the US, after all.
With its amazing climate, clean and clear waterways, and porous landscape, Redding has long been a favorite among Californian anglers, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be your favorite, too.
Catch plenty of rainbow trout in the Lower Sacramento River, where you can also find shad, steelhead, and chinook salmon who all love the stable water temperature in this part of the river. Striped bass, both resident and migratory, can be caught in the lower river as well. The Upper Sacramento River is for fly fishers who want to challenge themselves with its wilder terrain. The water here has several runs, pocket water, and small holes that attract a healthy number of rainbow trout. The McCloud River is yet another fishing spot you should check out for its trout.
But if you’re looking for some legendary salmon or steelhead runs, the Trinity River should be high up on your list. Come here during the fall and winter for the steelhead, or late spring until mid-fall for the chinook and coho salmon. The river has a fly fishing-only section that is open from April 1 to September 15.
Wild rainbow trout and brown trout in trophy sizes love Hat Creek, and you will, too. It is one of the longest spring creeks in the state and is a tributary of the great Pit River. Upstream from Lake Britton, you will find 3.5 miles of the creek that’s a designated part of the Wild Trout Waters program of the state’s fishing and wildlife department.
Know just how obsessed this city is with kayaking and paddling by doing as the locals do. Armed with your personal flotation device, sunscreen, and snacks, head to one of the city’s lakes and rent yourself a kayak or canoe, and fall in love with the city from a different point of view.
Spot historic architecture just by walking down Market Street. Make sure to spot the art deco Cascade Theater and the red brick structure of the Old City Hall Arts Center. Can’t get enough of old structures? Then head on over to the Shasta State Historic Park, where you can see remnants of Gold Rush-era Redding.