We're Closer than you Think!
Eagle Canyon is just 2.5 hours from Sacramento and 3-4 hours from the Bay Area. Most of our guests stay in Red Bluff. The lakes are a quick 30 minute drive from hotels in Red Bluff.
Use this map to learn the best wading and shore fishing areas in our two lakes.
The smaller (lower) pond is reserved for wading and shore fishing only.
Float tubing is allowed (but by no means necessary) on the upper pond.
On-site facilities include picnic tables, a shed, and a bathroom with running water and flush toilet. We have two picnic tables, one of which is covered with a roof. Our main shed has a portable heater, chairs, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and drinking water. The shed and covered picnic table make an excellent refuge from the elements. Many of our guests bring their own propane grills and cook their own lunch on our covered picnic table.
We have three float tubes available for rent for just $20/day. These are top-of-the-line Fish-Cat float tubes. They come complete with fins and a stripping basket. You can reserve them in advance or on the day of your trip. Feel free to bring your own float tube or pontoon boat. Float tubing is allowed in the upper lake only.
Rods: Five- to seven-weight rods are recommended
Lines: Floating and intermediate (slow-sinking) lines work best. Clear intermediate lines (called "sly lines" or "slime lines") work great!
Float tubes: It's not necessary to use a float tube, but it is a lot of fun!
Clothing: Bring clothing suitable for both warm and wet, cool weather.
Woolly Bugger, #6-10
Marabou Leech, #6-10
Seal Bugger, #6-10
Clouser Minnow, #6
Olive Damselfly Nymph, #8-10
Callibaetis Nymph, #14-18
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, #14-18
Pheasant Tail, #14-18
Midge Patterns, #14-18
Callibaetis Cripple, #14-16
Traditional Adams, #14-16
Parachute Adams, #12-20
March Brown Dun, #12-14
How to Fish Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes
by Brad Jackson
Because trout move freely from deep areas near the levee dams onto shallow shelves in the upper portions of both ponds, there is no simple solution to always being "in the fish". Instead, maximizing success is a function of both tubing and wading. My best advice is that you make no assumptions and ignore no areas or methods, especially when you hit a lull in the action.
As a general rule, fish move onto shallow flats for early morning and late evening feeding, so low-light hours are best for stalking the banks and wading the flats with a floating line. However, a concentration of tubers in the deep areas near each levee dam will push some fish to the upstream end of the ponds, so don't ignore these areas just because they have not produced for a few hours.
When you float tube, remember that your floating device is intended to be fished backward - that is, you are always paddling while facing away from the direction you are headed. This approach accomplishes two things: You are able to move freely about the ponds (i.e., try paddling forward and you'll find that it just does not work) Your slowly moving tube will always keep your line tight. Since you will mostly be fishing wet with sinking or sink-tip lines, the tight line will signal more strikes and always impart movement to your fly. ATTENTION TUBERS: Whenever you fish a retrieved fly (nymph, leech, or streamer), shove your rod tip a few inches under the water. This gives you a relatively straight line to your fly with almost no slack. If you persist with waving your tip around in the air, I guarantee that you will miss an alarming number of soft takes.
Woolly buggers, leeches, bunnies, and streamers (matukas, Clouser Minnows, Zonkers, etc) #6-14 are standard fare. The full range of colors produces, although black, purple, and olive are most popular. Vary your retrieve. Slow retrieves seem to work best, but a fast retrieve can be deadly when the bite is really on. Almost all sinking lines work, but Type I, II, intermediate or sink-tip lines outproduce others. Hi-d or Hi-speed full lines generally sink too fast for the relatively shallow average depth of the ponds.
Because nice populations of Callibaetis, Damsels, and midges are developing, there is an opportunity to sight fish with nymphs and floating lines, or to match bottom-dwelling aquatics with sinking lines. And as the season progresses, these trophy trout become more selective. Consequently, fishing with floating lines, strike indicators, smaller nymphs, and progressively lighter tippets becomes more important as the season progresses. Dry fly fishing is sporadic. At times the fish eat Callibaetis, midges, hoppers, and ants with abandon, but much of the time surface action is practically non-existent.
Overview: Experiment, explore each pond in its entirety. Keep your rod tip in the water when you fish retrieved nymphs or leeches on sinking lines, and don't forget that the bite can start at any time.
About Our Fish
Our trophy trout are raised in the clean, cold spring-fed waters of Mt. Lassen.
Plenty of five-pound-plus 'bows per day typify the kind of success that distinguishes our fishery; 10-pound-plus 'bows are hooked regularly.
If you seek a terrific getaway that has huge rainbows averaging six to eight pounds and many world-class fish in the double-digit category, we are your exclusive choice in California.
Care and Handling of The Trophy Trout
Due to the extreme value of these fish as a natural resource and due to their large size, we ask that you observe the following conditions:
Prior to Fishing:
Due to the pristine conditions of our spring fed water source and trout, and in an effort to prevent cross contamination of specific fish diseases present in rivers of the West, you will be asked to immerse your float tubes, fins and waders in a non-harmful antiseptic dip prior to fishing. Your host will assist you with this procedure and will only take a few minutes per angler.
Barbless hooks only. We recommend size 6 and smaller.
No rods lighter than a five-weight.
Releasing Your Fish:
In general, avoid handling the fish any more than is absolutely necessary. Touching the fish can remove the protective mucous which is the fishes defensive mechanism against naturally occurring pathogens.
No "landing" of fish. In other words, no fish on the banks.
No fingers in gills.
Measuring of fish: Please use a buddy and handle the fish as little as possible.
Hero shots: We encourage this but ask that the fish not be out of the water any longer than ten seconds at a time. Please allow the fish to revive for one minute before pulling it out again.
Release of fish: Use standard method of release. However, should a fish show excessive signs of stress and does not respond to standard techniques, follow these instructions. Cradle the fish in one arm, cup your other hand and "pump" water across the gills by pulling water from the cupped hand directly to the fishes mouth. This cycle should be repeated every two seconds until the fish responds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big are the lakes?
The big lake is about 3.5 acres and the small lake is 1.5 acres.
Both lakes are small enough to fish from shore or by wading.
Float tubing is allowed in the big lake.
Click here to view a map of the lakes.
How do I get to Eagle Canyon?
Scroll up to view a map showing the general location of Eagle Canyon.
Detailed driving directions will be forward to you upon booking.
The lakes are about 25 minutes from Red Bluff, California.
Will my group have exclusive access to the lakes?
That depends on the size of your group.
Any group with 3 or more anglers will enjoy exclusive access to our facilities.
If you have less than 3 in your party, you may be joined by anglers from a different party.
When we mix groups, we allow no more than four anglers total.
Click here to view rates for different group sizes.
Do I need a fishing license?
No. A fishing license is not required to fish at Eagle Canyon.
What days of the week are the lakes open?
The lakes are open every day of the week.
We schedule a rest day before each booking to ensure the best possible fishing.
The lakes are not fished more than 2 days in a row, except when a single party wants to book consecutive days.
Can I fish Eagle Canyon two days in a row?
Yes. However, please be aware that the fishing is usually about half as good the 2nd day as the first day.
We have numerous groups that fish two days in a row each year, and many have done so for years.
If you have a large group from out of the area and are looking to extend your trip, we recommend fishing Eagle Canyon on day 1, fishing the Lower Sac or Trinity with our guides on day 2, and coming back to Eagle Canyon again on day 3 of your trip.
How big are the fish?
Our average fish is 6 pounds.
The smallest fish are about 3 pounds and the largest are over 15 pounds.
Can I keep any fish?
No. The lakes are open to catch and release fly fishing only.
Do I need to use a float tube?
No. About two-thirds of our guests fish from shore or wade.
You can catch plenty of fish from shore.
Can you provide float tubes to rent?
Yes! We have three "Fish Cat" float tubes available to rent, complete with stripping baskets and flippers.
We charge $20 per day to rent a tube.