Guided Fly Fishing Trips on Hat Creek in Northern California.

Hat Creek is one of the largest and most storied spring creeks in California.

Hat Creek bubbles from cold glacier fed aquifers on the North side of Mt Lassen here in Northern California. It flows clean and clear and it’s shallow riffles and weedy bottom are ideal habitat for a myriad of insects including Stoneflies, caddis and several mayfly species. However it the rainbows and browns that call it home which bring anglers from around the country. Hat Creek provides challenging and rewarding fly fishing opportunities for those up to the task on virtually any given day of the season.

If you would like to learn more, then keep reading or Call (530)242-4122 or (707)287-2939 for current fishing reports, current river conditions and information on experiencing enjoyable and memorable fly fishing for yourself. Dates fill up quickly for many of our offerings so don't delay. You may also email us at, or fill out our Online Trip Request Form.

Hat Creek is comprised of two distinct sections that offer something for just about every type of trout angler. The upper section begins in Lassen National Park and flows North towards Cassel Campground and Baum Lake. This portion is mostly private water however there are a number of access points and campgrounds along the way with stocked trout for families looking to camp and fish.

The lower portion between Hat #2 power house and Lake Britton is the most intriguing section for fly fishing. Just below the famous Power House Riffle Hat creek meanders through a beautiful meadow down past highway 299 to the lake. This area has glassy slick water flowing over weed beds and is ideally suited to dry fly fishing.


Hat Creek opens to fishing on the last Saturday in April and remains open through November 15. Due to it being a spring creek, it is virtually unaffected by spring runoff and flows clear and cold virtually every day of the season.

Early Season

May and June: are generally considered "prime time" on Hat Creek. Beginning as early as Opening Day (the last Saturday in April), a myriad of insects begin to hatch on this spring creek,providing consistent opportunities throughout each day to catch fish on both nymphs and dry flies. There can be so many different hatches coming off at the same time on Hat Creek during this time of year, it can be difficult to determine which bugs the fish are eating. The most important hatches are generally the larger insects, such as the salmon flies in May and Green Drakes in June, however the Hat Creek trout will fill also feed on little yellow stoneflies, Pale Morning Duns, and caddis when larger insects are unavailable to them. Hat Creek offers excellent dry fly fishing opportunities however when the fish aren't readily taking dries, they can generally be taken dead-drifting nymphs under indicators in the faster moving riffled water. Due to the prolific insect hatches in the spring and early summer, and Hat Creek’s storied history, many of the commonly known accesses points on Hat Creek – such as the famous Powerhouse #2 riffle – can be quite crowded at times. Fortunately, there are plenty of fish to be caught however for those wanting to get away from the crowds we have access to other less popular yet productive areas as well.


July and August: are sometimes considered to be the “dog days of summer” on Hat Creek, but there is still some great fly fishing to be had this time of year. Tiny Trico mayflies hatch consistently nearly every morning, and caddisflies emerge like clockwork in the riffles at dusk. Anglers targeting Hat Creek in the midsummer months generally fish early and late in the day. Admittedly, midday fishing can be slow, making midday siestas a nice relaxing change of pace, although die-hard anglers will often head to the nearby Pit River to high-stick its oxygenated pocket waters before heading back to Hat Creek for the evening rise. Combining Hat Creek dry fly fishing with Pit River nymphing can make for a great day of summer fishing, and likely without seeing another soul on either stream.


September, October, & November: The Fall Season on Hat Creek is a favorite time of year on the creek for locals. Other North State Rivers get most of the attention and angling traffic, so it's not uncommon to have Hat Creek entirely to yourself to enjoy the morning Trico Hatches. Caddisflies are common during the evening rise, as are a few of the giant October Caddis to get the bigger fish in the creek excited. Dry fly opportunities abound, while dead-drifting nymphs – or even suspending dropper nymphs below big attractor dry flies – can also be quite productive. On overcast days, there can be some phenomenal blue-winged olive hatches. These tiny mayflies respond to changes in barometric pressure, and hatch whenever a storm front moves through the area, stimulating some great midday dry fly action on all of our regional streams, including Hat Creek. For a real challenge, try to trick the finicky trout that live in Hat Creek's most demanding section of technical water: the clear, smooth micro-currents of Carbon Flats.


Hat Creek closes for fishing on the 15th of November and opens again the following April.


Hat Creek opens to fishing on the last Saturday in April and remains open through November 15. The section on Hat Creek from Powerhouse #2 down to Lake Britton provides an array of quintessential fly fishing water; it is where the serious fly fishermen spend their time. This section of river is 3.2 miles long, all of which is designated as Wild Trout water with Trophy Trout restrictions.

Booking a Guide for Hat Creek

To make a reservation, please give us a call at (530)242-4122 during normal business hours or 707)287-2939 any time or email us at We're here to answer any questions you may have, check availability and reserve a great guide. Great memories on Hat Creek or any of our other fantastic fisheries are within your grasp. Call now!

Reservations and Rates
Cost of a full day Hat Creek guided trip is:
$500 per day (1 to 2 anglers per guide
$550 per day package (all inclusive package with flies tackle and gear provided)

Included in your Hat Creek guided trip are 8 to 10 hours of guided fishing and instruction with lunch provided)

Package Deal
If you are new to fly fishing or just prefer to not hassle with luging out all your own gear then you may want to consider our “Package Deal. For a mere $50 per day our guides will provide all the necessary rods, reels, flies and terminal tackle needed for a successful and rewarding day.
If you happen to be an experienced angler and fly tier call ahead and we will let you know exactly what flies are producing best so you can tie them up before your trip and bring them along.

Fishing Hat Creek

The Wild Trout section of Hat Creek is home to both wild rainbows and a few wily browns. This stretch begins at Powerhouse #2, where the creek cascades down a long riffle before tapering off into the deep weedy water below. This riffle is probably one of the most popular – and productive – portions of water in the entire state. Almost every day of the season there are likely to be several anglers working the riffle. Despite this constant pressure, the riffle fishes well throughout the seasons, with dry fly hatches occurring almost every day and great nymph fishing when the fish aren't rising. Below the Powerhouse #2 riffle, Hat Creek spreads out and slows down, turning into typical spring creek conditions. The river bottom in this Carbon Flats area is composed of a silty, weed-lined bottom that is perfect for aquatic insects, especially several species of mayflies including Tricos, Baetis, and PMD's. This is technical, spring creek fishing at its very finest. Hat Creek changes its nature one more time around the point where it flows under Highway 299. Here it becomes more freestone in nature, consisting of a long series of riffles, pockets, and a few deep pools formed by ledges. Fish frequently hold in the pockets and around the ledges. There is considerably less fishing pressure in this part of the river, and the fishing generally not as technical as in the Carbon Flats area. In addition, the freestone nature of this piece of water, combined with the constant cool flows, makes it ideal conditions for Stoneflies and Caddis. There are some great Salmonfly hatches here in the spring, as well as Little Yellow Stones, several varieties of Caddis, and many Mayflies as well. The fish in this section of Hat Creek are well-educated – many are said to have PhD's in deciphering artificial flies – and see a fair amount of pressure throughout the year. Their extreme wariness is what makes them so desirable to anglers wishing to test their spring creek tactics. It takes long leaders, delicate presentations, and matching the hatch precisely to fool these wary rainbow and brown trout. Several of our guides specialize in fly fishing on Hat Creek; their local knowledge and teaching ability make a day on the river an invaluable learning experience.


Most Hat Creek wade trips will start by meeting your guide either at The Fly Shop in Redding, or at the Hat Creek Park (off Highway 299E just before you cross over Hat Creek).

To get to Hat Creek from Redding, take the Hwy 299 East exit off of Interstate 5 at the north end of Redding and travel to Burney. Travel time is approximately 1 hour. Continue through Burney and go 5 miles to the intersection of Highway 299E and Highway 89. There is a blinking light at this intersection. Continue straight through the intersection on Highway 299 East, then turn left at the Hat Creek Park. There is access along a trail on the east Side of the River.

Lodging for Hat Creek

We would be happy to make suggestions for accommodations. From unimproved camping, to "glamping", and motels to B & B's there are options for just about every taste and budget. It you would like information please pick up the phone and call us any time(530)242-4122.

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