Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coffee Creek's Rainbows & Rattlesnakes

July 25, 2009

My dad and I fished some new water over the weekend: Coffee Creek, CA. This stream feeds the upper Trinity River north of Trinity Lake (formerly known as Clair Engle Lake) in Trinity County. It's about an hour drive north of Lewiston, which is approximately 30 miles west of Redding in California's northern Central Valley.

From California's Highway 3 we drove 6 miles west (upsrtream) along Coffee Creek Road. This classic, icy cold freestone stream has beautiful plunge pools and runs. It is filled with stunning natural Rainbow Trout.

Fishing a dry/dropper combination (#10 Stimulator with #16/18 Copper John, Dark Lord or Prince Nymph Droppers) we got strikes on nearly every cast. While the fish were small, topping out at 11 inches, they were active all day and fought hard.

Together we brought more than 40 fish to hand. The wading was a little tough and it was very hot (at least 90). Dad was nearly struck by a 5 foot rattlesnake. I heard the snake rattle from across the stream. It made me realize how loud a rattler rattles. I couldn't hear my dad yell from across the roaring stream but I heard that rattle loud and clear! Of course, we had to get a closer look.

If you like catching fish all day long in a pretty mountain setting (with an occasional rattlesnake), then give Coffee Creek a try if you ever find yourself in the area. I wouldn't come all the way to California just to fish Coffee Creek, but if you find yourself fishing Steelhead or Salmon in the Trinity River and need a small stream diversion, Coffee Creek's a perfect destination.

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