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There are many wonderful trout streams in Northern California. But almost all of them are so far away from the Bay Area that a multiday trip is required to dish them. Not so with Putah Creek. It’s located just below Lake Berryessa a few miles out of the town of Winters. This is a comfortable drive for Bay Area and Sacramento area anglers.

In the late 1950’s, Monticello Dam was constructed in a narrow canyon stretch of Putah Creek, forming Lake Berryessa. Prior to this, Putah was one of the finer smallmouth bass fisheries in the state.

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But the cold outflow from Berryessa changed all that. Planted rainbow trout flourished, and the trout fishing is still good today. One more attraction – Putah Creek can be fished in winter when most Sierra streams are closed.

Putah is a wide, flat stream that is ideal for fly fishing as well as for bait and lure angling. Access is very good via Hwy. 128 and camping is available. Regulations and limits vary by season, so be informed. The good trout fishing section extends for about five miles below Lake Berryessa.

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