The cover of California Trout reads, “The Complete Guide to Trout Fishing in California”. This statement is more than a little generous but this is still a decent book if you are interested in the northern and eastern regions of California. Let me explain…
The book starts with a discussion of the various types of waterways in the state, then covers the types of baitfish that trout commonly feed on. There are some nice illustrations of the various forage fish and there’s also a nice set of drawings later in the book showing the more commonly found insects in California. The author definitely seems to prefer fly and lure fishing and there is no substantive discussion of bait fishing.
The following chapters discuss fishing methods and areas that are generally productive for trout within any river or lake. The tackle discussed is mostly 1970’s era (the author recommends a Mitchell 300 reel for most fishing and shows pictures of a Lowrance Fish Locator for example) but you can get the general idea, and most of the fly fishing information is still pertinent to today’s fishing. The discussion of where to fish generally in any body of water is excellent and clearly the author knows a lot about trout fishing, especially in river systems.
Where the book gets more interesting is the chapters describing specific fishing areas. The author clearly has extensive knowledge of the Truckee, McCloud, and Upper Sacramento regions and there are full chapters with detailed maps dedicated to these areas. If you fish in these river systems, this could be a great book to pick up information on the productive areas. There’s also some excellent information and maps for Davis and Eagle Lakes and some more passing discussion of other northeastern region lakes such as Almanor and Stampede.
What the book lacks is any information on the central and southern part of the state. Despite the title, this is a regional book, and if you fish in areas that I didn’t mention above, you won’t find any information on your lakes and streams. If you do frequent the northeastern part of California this could be one to check out.