Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Smith River - Crescent City - California

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Winter Stoneflies Morning/Afternoon 8 - 14 Black Stonefly Nymph
February Blue Wing Olive Warmer parts of the day 18 - 20 Sparkle Dun BWO
March Midges Morning to Midafternoon 20 - 22 Zebra Midge
April Green Drakes Afternoon until Dusk 8 - 10 Comparadun Green Drake
May Caddis Morning until Dusk 16 - 18 Elk Hair Caddis
June Little Yellow Stonefly Morning until Dusk 14 - 16 Yellow Sally
July Golden Stoneflies Morning until Dusk 8 - 10 Golden Stone Nymph
August Hoppers, Ants, Beetles Morning until Dusk 8 - 14 Dave's Hopper, Foam Beetle, Chernobyl Ant
September Mayflies Mid-Morning until Midafternoon 14 - 18 Adams
October Blue Wing Olive Warmer parts of the day 16 - 20 BWO Sparkle Dun
November Midges Morning to Midafternoon 20 - 22 Griffith's Gnat
December Winter Stoneflies Morning/Afternoon 8 - 14 Black Stonefly Nymph

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Smith River near Crescent City offers a plethora of excellent spots for fly fishing, attracting anglers from all over the world. Here are the top spots:

  • Hiouchi Bridge: This location is popular for its deep pools which are rich in Steelhead.
  • Middle Fork Smith River: A perfect spot for fly fishing, especially known for its various trout species.
  • South Fork Smith River: This remote area is best for catching Salmon.
  • Gasquet: Located upstream of Middle Fork and North Fork, this area offers peaceful fishing experience.
  • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park: This park, beside its mesmerizing beauty, also houses several fishing hotspots along the river.

Remember, the Smith River is one of the few undammed rivers in the state, thereby offering an unmatched natural fishing experience.

Best Access Points

The Smith River in Crescent City is renowned for the quality of its fly fishing experiences. Here are some of the top access points for fly fishing:

  • South Fork Smith River: Rich in aquatic life, this lower section of the river offers good chances of catching cutthroat and rainbow trout.
  • Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park: The park provides access to several river sections for fly fishing. Expect to see steelheads and salmon here.
  • Hiouchi Hamlet RV Resort: This resort gives access to a calm stretch of the river, ideal for fly fishing novices, and often yields salmon and steelhead catches.
  • Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park: Access the river through this park and encounter multiple species including salmon, steelhead, and trout.
  • Smith River National Recreation Area: A pristine and diverse location that offers fantastic fly fishing opportunities, especially for steelhead and salmon.

Local Fish

  • Coho Salmon: This species is most commonly fished during late August to November, when they’re returning from the ocean to spawn.
  • Chinook Salmon: Also known as King Salmon, these fish become prime targets for fly fishing when they start running up the river from March to early June.
  • Steelhead Trout: Unlike the salmons that die after spawning, these fish can survive spawn which makes them a popular target year-round, although winter is the most prime catching season.
  • Seatrout: There’s a year-round open season for seatrout on the Smith River, but they’re best caught during later summer and early autumn.
  • Rainbow Trout: The Smith River is known for its beautiful Rainbow Trouts, which are mainly fished from May to September.
  • Green Sturgeon: These ancient fish can be found in the Smith River, especially during spring and autumn.
  • Halibut: While they’re more common on the Pacific coastline, you can also catch Halibut in the Smith River during summer.
  • Redtail Surfperch: These smaller-sized fishes are a great target for beginners, with a year-round open season on the Smith River.

About The River

Unwind in the tranquil beauty of the Smith River, famously known for being California’s largest free-flowing river. Its origins can be traced back to the time when Native American tribes relied on its diverse fish population for sustenance. Over time, the river has maintained its pristine conditions, making it a paradise for salmon and steelhead fishermen.

  • The Smith River is a significant source of water for resorts and communities, including the vibrant Crescent City.
  • This city, nestled along the spectacular coastline, was incorporated back in 1854. Despite the tsunami in 1964, it continues to be considered a gem of the Pacific Northwest.
Whether you’re a history buff or outdoor enthusiast, you can immerse yourself in a canoeing adventure, hike the verdant trails or explore remnants of the past. Enjoy the unique blend of natural beauty and rich history the Smith River and Crescent City have to offer.


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