HAT CREEK FLY FISHING
Hat Creek is located about an hour from Redding California near a town called Burney. This is the stream that anyone within a days drive comes to test their skills. These fish have seen every fly ever imagined and they are quite wary. Do not be surprised if you get skunked on any given day.
The water is extremely clear and it will take your best efforts to catch the trout in this creek that average 12” in length. The beauty of this stream is that it is very consistent throughout the year. The flow and water temperature rarely change and either does the river clarity or fishing pressure.
There are wild trout located in a 3 mile stretch between Powerhouse #2 to just above where the Pit River joins the Hat. The middle stretch of this Creek begins at Cassel and continues to Baum Lake. At Cassel the Rising River joins this stream and turns the river into a classic creek. With the abundance of insects the trout can grow into big 5 pounders.
The lower stretch of the Creek is for the more experienced fly-fisherman, especially the flat water. This area gets fished heavily but can be very productive with the right skills and fly selection. The riffles in this area should be fished with stonefly nymphs, and the flat water should be fished with Mayflies and Midges. The hatches in the morning and evening are pretty consistent. Most of this lower section can be fished by wading.
It is going to take some effort to get to the "Hat" since it is not right in town. The creek is about a 5-hour drive from San Francisco but the fishing can be incredible. This is a nice remote area of California but there is no solitude since the fishing can be so great. This is also a great area for camping.
There is good access about a mile east of the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery at Baum lake, near where highway 299 and 89 meet. You can also go another couple miles south to the Powerhouse #2 parking area. The land around here is owned by PG&E.
The Hat map.
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