Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

South Fork Eel River - Leggett - 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 Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Pheasant Tail Nymph
February Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 Parachute Adams, Beadhead Baetis
March Blue Winged Olives, March Browns Afternoon 12-16 March Brown Dun, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
April March Browns, Caddis Afternoon 12-16 Elk Hair Caddis, March Brown Dun
May Mayflies, Caddis, Stoneflies Morning/Afternoon 8-14 Yellow Sally Nymph, Stimulator
June Stoneflies, Mayflies Afternoon 8-12 Golden Stone Nymph, Yellow Humpy
July Terrestrials, Caddis Morning/Evening 10-16 Ausable Wulff, Chernobyl Ant
August Terrestrials, Caddis Morning/Evening 10-16 Dave's Hopper, Elk Hair Caddis
September Caddis, Terrestrials Morning/Evening 10-16 Stimulator, Dave's Hopper
October Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Morning/Afternoon 14-20 Parachute Adams, Beadhead Baetis
November Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 14-20 Zebra Midge, Parachute Adams
December Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 18-22 WD-40, Griffith's Gnat

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 South Fork Eel River in Leggett offers several spots for unparalleled fly fishing experiences which are mentioned below:

  • Bell Springs Road Bridge: A favorite among local anglers, this location offers a large fishing area with plenty of places to cast.
  • Underwood Park: This park provides a peaceful setting for fly fishing. The stretch beneath the park has a good reputation for being a great fly fishing spot.
  • Miranda’s Redwood Drive In Camp: Offering incredible views, it is a great fishing spot, especially in fall and spring. It’s a popular spot among those who enjoy fishing and camping in the same trip.
  • The Confluence Point of Bull Creek: This area sees higher fish concentrations due to its unique location. It’s a well-known spot for steelhead fishing.

While all these spots are fantastic, it’s essential to check the fishing regulations carefully and respect the natural environment as you enjoy your fly fishing adventure.

Best Access Points

The South Fork Eel River in Leggett provides a multitude of accessible points for fly fishing that will delight any angler.
  • Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area: This accessible location has a range of deep pools for fly-fishing.
  • Benbow State Recreation Area: Located south of Garberville, the Benbow area offers great access to the river and a variety of fish species.
  • Richardson Grove State Park: Further south, this park offers superb access along the river banks.
Additionally, there are several key points along Highway 101, offering easy access:
  1. Leggett: North of Leggett, Hwy 101 crosses the Eel River, providing great access for fishing.
  2. Piercy: South of Piercy, there are numerous pullouts along the highway where you can access the river.
Remember to make sure you have a valid fishing license and adhere to all fishing regulations.

Local Fish

  • Steelhead Trout: A favorite among fly fishers in the South Fork Eel River, these fish can reach up to 55 pounds and offer a thrilling catch.
  • Chinook Salmon: These large fish, known also as King Salmon, are loved for their fighting spirit and large size.
  • Coho Salmon: Also known as Silver Salmon, these are plentiful in the South Fork Eel River and are prized for their acrobatics when hooked.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Known for the distinctive red-orange streak on the underside of their jaw, Cutthroat Trout are a fun catch on a fly.
  • Rainbow Trout: Perhaps the most popular fly fishing target, Rainbow Trout are known for their beautiful coloring and spirited fight.
  • Brook Trout: Although smaller compared to others on this list, the Brook Trout is a favorite catch among fly fishers for its beautiful markings.
  • Brown Trout: These fish are notoriously difficult to catch, making them a popular challenge for fly fishers in the South Fork Eel River.
  • Largemouth Bass: While not a traditional fly fishing target, the Largemouth Bass in this area are able to be caught this way, providing a unique thrill.

About The River

Venturing through the lush landscapes of Northern California, you’ll discover the serenity of the South Fork Eel River in Leggett. Originating in the magnificent Mendocino County, this enchanting river has carved out a rich history since its formation millennia ago.

What’s fascinating about the South Fork Eel River is its place in Indigenous history. Sustaining the Yuki and Wailaki tribes, it offered bountiful salmon catches and was a crucial freshwater source.

Today, the river is celebrated for its stunning natural beauty, the bull kelps and coho salmons provide a visual treat, while vineyards on the fringes add charm.

  • Biodiversity: It’s a haven for diverse species, notably the steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.
  • Wildlife: The corridor is home to a variety of wildlife, including black-tailed deer, peregrine falcons, and river otters.
  • Recreation: The South Fork Eel River offers delightful opportunities for swimming, fishing, and river-front camping.

Embrace history, serenity, and nature at the South Fork Eel River – a true treasure of California.


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