This article provides a good starting point to discovering nearly three dozen of the better places to fish around Redding and across Shasta County.
Shasta County sits in the center of the rugged part of Northern California, dotted with snow-capped volcanic peaks, deep blue lakes, and crystal-clear streams in the southern Cascade Mountain Range.
The county has about 180,000 residents at last check, with many of them living in and around Redding, which makes a great hub to fish the area. Other communities here include Shasta Lake, Anderson, Cottonwood, Burney, and Bella Vista.
Shasta Lake is one of the biggest lakes (and best fishing holes) around and is a massive reason the area has been described as the “houseboat capital of the world.” Nearby Whiskeytown Lake is also a great destination for lake lovers, while several streams are world-class.
Some non-fishing attractions include Lassen Peak, Burney Falls, Sundial Bridge, Shasta Dam, and Lake Shasta Caverns.
You’ll find links to full articles about several of the best fisheries in the descriptions below.
Finally, after you’ve read through the descriptions of the many fishing spots (big and little) there are to explore in Shasta County, hold up just another minute and read the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” section at the bottom of this article.
That section will point you to even more great angling nearby so you won’t miss out on the wealth of opportunities in Northern California.
Anderson River Park Pond
This 440-acre park pond in the town of Anderson has periodically been stocked with catchable trout, typically in the spring.
Fishing will be best right after a planting, so watch the state’s fishing resources to time your outing.
The park also offers other recreational activities and amenities aside from fishing, including a variety of sports, boating, disc golf, bocce ball, picnic areas, wildlife viewing, hiking and equestrian trails.
For more detailed information, visit the park website.
Bailey Creek, Upper
Upper Bailey Creek runs through mountain forests about 5 miles west of Lassen Peak as the eagle flies.
It’s been listed on trout stocking schedules some years but may not consistently be planted.
This 89-acre lake located east of Four Corners and west of Cinder Flats State Wildlife Area provides some very good opportunities for catching trout.
The lake is frequently stocked with rainbow trout starting in the winter and running at least through spring. It has often been planted with both rainbow and brown trout, and it’s been known to put out some huge browns of over 20 pounds.
It’s located next to Crystal Lake and the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery, a little over an hour’s drive northeast from Redding, passing through Burney as you get close.
The lake is a good destination for a variety of interests, with picnic tables, a short hiking trail, birdwatching, and kayaking or canoeing in the calm lake.
Baum Lake allows non-motorized boats and has a dirt launch.
The lake may be big, but so are the trout.
However, the lunkers in this crystal-clear, large lake are no fools, and catching them can be one of the hardest fishing feats in this part of California.
The lake does not appear on CDFW’s stocking schedule. This is a challenging trophy trout lake, not a fill-your-stringer-with-stockers lake.
It’s located in the far-off northeastern corner of the county, amid the lava and fed by the namesake springs of Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park.
Trout fishing reportedly can be good here, as it’s fed by the famous trout stream Hat Creek. There also are catfish in the lake.
The reservoir does not appear on CDFW’s stocking schedule.
Lake Britton is crossed by Highway 89 near the midpoint and is home to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, which is a popular camping destination. Burney Falls and the adjacent Pacific Crest Trail are additional features.
All that and being just a little over an hour outside of Redding makes this an attractive spot.
Burney Creek has historically been regularly stocked with catchable trout many years in and around the town of Burney and McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park.
The creek is listed in three sections in state stocking reports and forested in many spots and ranging in elevation from 4,000 feet in the upper stretches down to 3,000 feet in the lower part.
Each of the sections is typically stocked several times each season.
There are camping areas including RV spots in the vicinity.
Clark Creek, Lower
This creek near Britton Lake and Burney Falls State Park has sometimes been stocked just above the lake.
Read the directions carefully because there are some angling closures.
This small stream above Whiskeytown Lake provides fishing opportunities for anglers.
Clear Creek is stocked with catchable rainbow trout several times starting in mid-spring and continuing into the summer.
It’s only about 20 minutes northwest of Redding along Highway 299.
Clover Creek Pond
This small pond and creek located east of the Oak Run community is typically stocked with hatchery rainbow trout in the winter or early spring time frame (February at last check).
Watch out for poison oak and rattlesnakes.
Both the North and South forks and Old Cow Creek, east of Redding, have at times been stocked with hatchery trout.
This spring creek offers mostly wild trout, with true trophy rainbow trout in the mix.
Due to poor bank access as this river passes through farmland and other private property, this is primarily a boat-based fishery.
It also tends to favor the best fly anglers around, as these fish are no dummies.
Check regulations carefully before fishing Fall River and Spring Creek.
Fall River Lake
This lake on the Fall River just off Highway 299 is typically stocked with trout in spring to kick off the best fishing season.
It’s located about an hour and 20 minutes northeast of Redding, near the community of Fall River Mills.
This small lake east of Shingletown has a reputation for providing pretty reliable fishing, as long as the stocking truck shows up.
Grace Lake has been stocked some years with catchable rainbow trout, typically around April. Fishing will be best in cooler weather soon after stocking, if it is. Wild trout may also be present, so check out regulations before fishing.
The lake also offers a picnic area in a hilly area of grass, brush and mixed forest. Watch out for poison oak and rattlesnakes here.
Grey Rock Lake
This small lake located west of I-5 at Castella has, at times, been stocked with hatchery trout.
This creek is famed among trout anglers, especially for the 3.5-mile section above Lake Britton (to the powerhouse) that is managed for wild trout, which include a majority of native rainbow trout as well as some wild non-native brown trout.
The wild trout are fished strictly for catch and release, with some real trophies possible.
Other sections of Hat Creek higher up in the system are regularly stocked with hatchery rainbow trout and also sometimes brook trout that may be harvested. Best fishing for stocked trout is after planting begins in spring into early summer.
The higher section is near the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (89) and features rocky pools and riffles in steep, forested terrain, with lots of trout and room to fish near plenty of camping spots.
The smaller middle section near Cassel is more meadow-like with rocky shorelines.
The creek headwaters high up in Lassen National Volcanic Park and flows down to Lake Britton.
This stream near Highway 299 on the way to Burney has at times been stocked with catchable rainbow trout.
Iron Canyon Reservoir
This 510-acre power-generation reservoir in Shasta-Trinity National Forest is somewhat hard to reach but may be worth your while because trout fishing can be good.
The reservoir is typically stocked a couple of times during spring, maybe early and again toward about May. Fishing will be best around the times it’s stocked and before hotter weather arrives.
Lake levels can vary widely based on power generation needs.
Iron Canyon Reservoir offers two developed campgrounds, many undeveloped camping spots, and a boat ramp for small boats.
A launch ramp can be accessed at Hawkins Landing Campground.
The reservoir is about an hour and a half northeast of Redding. The road there is winding.
For more detailed information, visit the Shasta-Trinity website.
This small pond in the Metz Road area between Redding and Anderson, along the Sacramento River, has at times been stocked with hatchery trout, usually early in the season.
This 1-mile PG&E canal near Nora Lake is often stocked with trout during the spring to offer a bit of recreation.
The canal is in the Shingletown area about 40 minutes east of Redding.
The smaller reservoir located along the Sacramento River isn’t just below massive Shasta Lake isn’t all that well-known outside of the local trophy trout hunting crowd.
But the latter folks fish it for some surprisingly large trout, with rainbows and browns sometimes topping two feet in length. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
This is primarily a boat fishery due to poor shore access, although even some guides take clients here at times instead of Klamath Lake.
This small reservoir near the Whitmore community has been stocked during some years with catchable rainbow trout but may be closed to public access due to damage.
Lassen Pines Pond
This small pond near Lassen Pines Camp along California State Route 44 has at times been stocked with hatchery raised trout, including some trophy-size rainbows.
This is a pretty catch-and-release fishing lake (flies and lures with barbless hooks) is a worthwhile stop during a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The strict rules result in some hefty trout, which often are targeted by sport-minded fly anglers.
No motorized boats are allowed.
The big Manzanita Lake Campground is a great home base for fishing this lake and exploring the national park.
McCloud Reservoir (also called Lake McCloud) is a 520-acre lake known for its striking turquoise color created by suspended sand, volcanic ash and other particulate matter that results from glacial melt washing down into the reservoir.
The lake is stocked with catchable rainbow trout a handful of times most years, especially during the spring. Catches will be highest then.
McCloud Reservoir also offers German brown trout to catch alongside the hatchery trout.
The lake also offers camping and boating, as well as picnicking, hiking and nature watching.
Camping and Parking in the red slashed area is not allowed, and no recreational activities from or on boat docks other than the purpose of launching or retrieving boats.
For more detailed information, visit the Shasta-Trinity National Forest website.
This river, both above and below McCloud Reservoir, provides a variety of trout fishing options.
The river above the reservoir has at times been stocked with trout, which, if planted, provides good catch rates.
The river below the reservoir is designated as a Wild Trout Stream and has special regulations to help protect the natural fish.
The variety and quality of the fishery has earned the McCloud an honorable mention among the Best Fly Fishing Rivers in California.
You also might catch brown but probably not the imperiled and possibly locally extinct bull trout, often known as Dolly Varden. The latter must always be released unharmed.
For more detailed information, visit the Shasta-Trinity website.
This small reservoir off state Highway 44 east of Shingletown is often stocked with catchable rainbow trout, most often a handful of times during April and May.
McCumber Reservoir also offers a forest campground and a ramp for non-motorized boats allowed at the reservoir.
This creek is located near Highway 299 near a community of the same name, about 40 minutes northeast of Redding.
The creek has sometimes been stocked with catchable rainbow trout during the peak season of late spring and early summer.
This small lake southeast of Shingletown offers anglers with a variety of fishing opportunities featuring a hilly area of grass with slightly cooler temperatures.
During the warmer months, the lake is stocked with catchable rainbow trout, typically from early spring into July or so.
Anglers can also occasionally catch brook trout along with hatchery trout in the lake.
North Battle Creek Reservoir
This high-elevation (5,900 feet), 80-acre reservoir offers a cool retreat with the opportunity to catch trout.
The reservoir is typically stocked a couple of times in the spring, often with smallish brown trout that have the potential to grow into sizable fish.
It’s located north of Highway 44 via the 300 Road in the Latour State Forest.
The reservoir allows year-round fishing, although wintertime access is likely to be poor to non-existent.
There is a dirt boat launch.
This stream northeast of Redding, at times, can fish very well for trout.
The section below Lake Britton’s dam is popular but may be somewhat over-fished.
Much of the river is challenging to even get to, in addition to fishing it.
This stream has been stocked with trout in some years, in the section below Lake Britton.
This 400-mile waterway is the largest river in California and runs through 19 California counties, providing a great variety of options for fishing.
The Shasta County section of the river has a ton of fishing options.
Both stocked and wild trout are available below and above Shasta Lake, offering excellent fisheries.
The river above Shasta Lake increasingly becomes a mountain trout stream and includes one of the best fly fishing river stretches in California, including in Shasta County as well as upstream into Siskiyou County.
Smallmouth bass, shad, striped bass, brown trout and other game fish also are available, depending on which part of the river you are fishing.
There are a variety of bank access points as well as boat launches, along with fuel, tackle and other supplies in the region.
With about 29,500 acres, Shasta Lake is the largest artificial reservoir in California and also one of its best fishing spots.
Shasta lake is famous for cold-water fishing including landlocked Chinook salmon and kokanee salmon and rainbow and brown trout, many to trophy sizes. It’s heavily planted with several cold-water species to keep these fisheries humming along.
The lake also manages to be a great warm water fishery, with several species of bass, panfish and catfish often caught.
Shasta Lake also offers tons of camping and other overnight accommodations, lots of boat launches and marinas, and all of the other amenities you’d expect for such a massive and massively popular lake.
More: Shasta Lake Fishing
This 3,250-acre reservoir is renowned as among the best kokanee fishing lakes in California and also provides opportunities for bass and other game fish.
Whiskeytown also manages to be quite a good warm-water fishing lake for a variety of species, including earning a place among the best spotted bass lakes in California.
Visit the park website for more detailed information, including special regulations.
More: Whiskeytown Lake Fishing
Fishing in Neighboring Counties
Siskiyou County: To the north, this giant Northern California county sitting on the Oregon border is home to plenty of good fishing, including some of the best trout spots on the upper Klamath River and also the fantastic McCloud River, in addition to lots of fishing lakes.
Modoc County: To the northeast, this remote and lightly populated area in the far northeastern corner of the state is where you go when you want to get away from the fishing crowds and explore some of California’s lesser-known but potentially great lakes and streams.
Lassen County: To the east, in and around the volcanic landscape in the greater Susanville area are lots of lakes and streams teeming with fish. Eagle Lake is one of California’s crown jewels for its unique, big rainbow trout.
Tehama County: To the south, the area around Red Bluff includes a very productive section of the Sacramento River and a handful of smaller fishing holes.
Trinity County: To the west, this lightly populated county a little over a stone’s throw from Redding has marquee fisheries in Trinity Lake and Trinity River, plus a few more you ought to explore.