California McCloud River  Rainbow Trout  Day #20  State #23 July 2, 2009 06/13/09 Pennsylvania
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McCloud Fly Fishing Adventures
Guide: Rick Cox
P.O. Box 388
McCloud, ,CA 96057
Phone: 530-964-2533
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Why did we choose to come to the McCloud River?  Two reasons – pure scenic beauty and history.

In the 1880’s America’s trout hatchery program was born, on the McCloud River in northern California.  It was the Rainbow trout in this river that experts believed were the hardiest and would do well in other American rivers.  The trout stocking success of the McCloud strain of Rainbow trout over the next 130 years was a huge success not only because the roots of many rainbow trout rivers today can be traced here but because other famous fisheries in places like Argentina and New Zealand can also trace their roots to this stream and these fish.

As historic as the McCloud River Rainbows are, it is the beauty of this river that will win you over every time.  Crystal clear waters cascade over brilliant green moss covered boulders in a staircase of water falls below Mount Shasta.  It is the setting for an Ansel Adams photograph.  It is also the setting for a potential Nestle water bottling plant that could well destroy this river.  That’s why we came – it just might not be here next time we find our way here again.

Our guide, Rick Cox, met us at the Chevron station in the tiny town of McCloud at 8:30AM.  Getting on the McCloud River is not easy.  Nearly an hour of harsh off-road driving into the Nature Conservancy managed section of the river is required.  A black bear was sighted just 30 seconds in front of us by the truck we were following, but he was down the mountain side and out of sight before we could get a glimpse of him.

At 9:45AM we finally touched water, donned a few nymphs and took to fly fishing this beautiful river for an elusive rainbow.

Unfortunately, the bite was not on today.  We missed our fair share of hits and only landed one small rainbow trout each.  But, we each did catch one to prove that they are still here.  Our videos today might not prove we were fishing much, but hopefully you can enjoy the beauty nonetheless.  We were hoping for a few more encounters so we would have a little more fish smell to rinse off when we got back in the RV but…..that’s fishing.

We were back in our RV at 2PM on the road to Oregon where tomorrow we will fish for that prehistoric fish of northwest lore – the giant sturgeon.  Today, fish were measured in inches – but tomorrow they will be measured in feet!!

P.S. We are keeping a sharp eye out today for a Sasquatch sighting – you never know :)


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"Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight,
     an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue."  ~ John Eldredge [Wild at Heart]

Fish    Last Updated July 2, 2009  - Copyright 2009