Nearly every fly fisherman is familiar, at least by name, with the famed Fall River and it’s legendary status in the world of trout fishing. However, while the gem of this area, it makes up just a part of an expansive, interconnected spring system hosting a wealth of recreational opportunities. Big Lake, Horr Pond, and Eastman Lake are also all spring fed and connect to the Fall River via the Little Tule and Tule rivers. Trout, sometimes big trout, can be found in all these waters at the right time. These, along with Fall River and several other incoming springs, make up one of the largest spring systems in the country. You won’t see many big hatches in most of these waters but be prepared with some damsels, midges and Callibaetis. Fishing sculpin and crayfish imitations can be productive in the rocky areas, but otherwise stripping leeches seems to be most productive. And of course there is the Fall River with its heavy, classic spring creek hatches and the famous Hex hatch. During non-hatch periods stripping/swinging small leech patterns and damselfly nymphs is productive.
A boat is necessary to explore this area and access, other than for Fall River, is most commonly gained by launching at the “Rat Farm” on Big Lake (named after muskrat farming done in the early 1900s). If fishing Fall River you can use the CalTrout access point, but only electric motors can be used here. Kayaking is a popular option from the Rat Farm, with one of the more popular trips being to Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park- a gorgeous 6000 acre park accessible only by boat and offering a few small campgrounds and hiking trails.
Being an important breeding and staging area for waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway, the area also offers some great duck hunting. Additional wildlife viewing opportunities abound from turtles and deer to bird watching (watch for the comical mating dance of Clark’s Grebes in the Spring).
Off the water, the Fall River Valley has many other ways to stay entertained. Every year in July is the Fall River Century bike ride with options of various lengths, offering views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen and the area. Every August is the Fall River Wild Rice Festival hosting wild rice demonstrations, cook-offs and live music. Come Labor Day weekend is the big Inter-mountain Fair, with carnival rides, food, a junior rodeo, live music and more.
Nearby is the very popular and beautiful Fall River Valley Golf and Country Club. This 18 hole course was rated 4 stars by Golf Digest and features a fully stocked Pro Shop and Country Club Grill.
Fall River Mills is also home of the Fort Crook Museum, which collects and displays items of historical value associated with the settlement of the Inter-mountain area.
The Fall River Valley is easily accessed being only seventy miles from Redding and has an airport with a five thousand foot runway.
Fly fishing, duck hunting, bird watching, hiking, biking, golf and more, all in the same place. Plus all the amenities of a small, friendly community including restaurants and a hospital. The Fall River Valley has it all!