California’s premier trout fishery. The Nature Conservancy water offers the best bet. Most of us have caught McCloud trout, only we don’t know it. This river, which along with the Sacramento, Squaw, and Pit, feeds Lake Shasta, was the source of those initial rainbow eggs that were gathered in 1874 and shipped to the East and Midwest.
Raised in hatcheries, the resulting fish provided the breeding stock that introduced rainbow trout to anglers who knew only feisty native brookies. In return the McCloud received immigrant browns before the turn of the last century, and it’s this combination of big browns and rainbows, along with spectacularly wooded canyon water, that makes the McCloud so special. Species: Rainbow, brown. Angling methods: spin, bait, and fly-fishing.
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