1. Intermountain/Burney Area (Trout)
    Within 15 minutes of each other you have 4+ blue ribbon fisheries and more within an hour. Fall River (upper and lower), Pit River reaches 1 and 3 (which fish like two different rivers), Hat Creek, Baum Lake and smaller other options like Burney Creek. The McCloud, Manzanita Lake, and the Sacramento are all within an hour or so. If you plan on fishing here, go stay at Clearwater Lodge on the Pit River. Excellent fully hosted accommodations with great guides and the food is awesome.
  2. Sacramento Delta (Largemouth and Stripers)
    A massive reach of water with epic year round largemouth fishing and huge Stripers.
  3. The North Coast (Winter Steelhead)
    Steelhead are my passion both from an angling standpoint and a conservation standpoint. Wild Steelhead fishing is all catch and release. There are so many great rivers up here, but the best few to catch a wild winter Chromer are probably the Smith and the Eel. Winter steelheading is better the further north you go, Oregon and Washington have it better. Also consider the Mad, Van Duzen, Redwood Creek, Garcia, Gualala.
  4. Trinity and Klamath (Salmon, Summer Steelhead and small Winter Steelhead)
    While steelheading is better the further north you go as a rule of thumb, probably the easiest place to catch one on the whole coast is the Trinity. These fish are largely summer fish that average around 4 lbs, and they get pretty trouty spending so much time in freshwater, but they're a blast to fish for and they'll eat in ways most steelhead won't. The lower Klamath (Trinity flows into Klamath) has a massive run of salmon and all the steelhead pushing inland in July and August.
  5. Fly Shops
    Fly shops in California are not as good as those further north, I buy a lot of my stuff from Caddis in Eugene, OR, Deschutes Angler in Maupin, OR and Waters West in Port Angeles, WA. But, the best in CA are Fisherman's Spot in the valley in LA, California Fly Shop in Burlingame south of SF, Fly Fishing Specialties outside Sacto, The Fly Shop in Redding (The Fly Shop in Redding is pretty great but they're kinda douchey sometimes), and So Cal Fly Fishing (SD)