The Clearwater Lodge on the Pit sits right in the middle of what is arguably California’s most historical (from a fly fishing perspective) region, in the northeastern corner of the state.
Legendary waters such as Hat Creek, Pit River (which flows right next to the lodge) and Fall River are within less than a half hour’s drive of the lodge. Many of the most famous fly patterns tied by such legends as Polly Rosborough, Andy Burk, Bob Quigley and Mike Mercer were developed on those waters.
The Clearwater Lodge is one of Wild On The Fly’s go to destinations for fishermen that want to experience the quintessential California fly fishing adventure.
The craftsman style lodge was built in 1921 to house PG&E workers who were constructing the series of dams and powerhouses on the Pit River.
Using lava rock and clear fir from the surrounding forests, skilled craftsmen created a masterwork of lodge architecture unique in California. Paneled walls and tall beamed ceilings rise above the clear fir floors.
The original copper and stained glass chandeliers illuminate the Great Room, and the original 1923 billiard table has been restored and serves as a gathering place for evening entertainment.
The lodge has evolved into a renowned fly fishing destination that has hosted anglers exploring the wonderful variety of trout waters of northeastern California for over 80 years.
Target Fish: Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout
Location: Burney, CA
Seasons: April 29-October 31
Lodge Capacity: 20
Nearest Airport: Fall River Mills, CA – non commercial county airport
The lodge is located right between three of California’s most famous waters; Hat Creek, Fall River, Pit River. Each is legendary in its own right. Also close by, is Baum Lake, Burney Creek and the Cassel area. Whether you hoof it on your own or secure the services of one of our excellent guides, you will find a whole variety of water to explore.
Many a fly fishermen have cut their “spring creek” teeth on Hat Creek. One of California’s first waters to be designated as a wild trout water, Hat Creek for many fly fishermen, a holy water.
Due to stream restoration efforts over the last few years, the fish populations have responded and the fish are numerous, fat and hungry. Today Brown Trout predominate though there are still plenty of Rainbows to be hooked.
Hat Creek originates on the slopes of Mt Lassen and flows for several miles to near the lodge where it is rerouted by PG&E diversions to emerge from a powerhouse to form its most famous section known as the Powerhouse Riffle.
The first hundred yards of the Power House section is freestone water that eventually slows down into a broad flat. Fish are to be found in the freestone section, but the flat beckons the spring creek enthusiasts who cast small emerger and adult patterns to sipping fish.
The Morning Trico hatch and evening spinner falls are legendary. Hat Creek is famous for its multiple hatches, and will provide the ultimate challenge for those wanting a match the hatch experience. For those who are new to spring creek fishing, the accompaniment of one of the lodge’s guides will shorten the learning curve.
The Fall River is one of California’s most legendary tail waters. The popular fishing sections delineated by several dams,are what are known as Pit #3 and Pit #5. The Pit has always been known to be home to large populations of Rainbows and Browns, some in the trophy range.
As a result of the relicensing (FERC) process that was completed a few years ago, what was a great fishery got even better due to mandated increased flows. The Pit is the ultimate freestone fishery requiring heavy weighted nymph rigs, though there is some memorable dry fly fishing to be had in the slower runs later in the day.
Maybe the most classic spring creek in California, the Fall River flows out of lava tubes and meanders through Fall River Valley to just north of the lodge where it is diverted into the Pit River.
The subterranean source of its water keeps the river relatively warm in the winter and cool in the summer making it the perfect habitat for trout. The Fall River is a slow and deep and full of weeds, with a smorgasbord of aquatic bugs, and thousands of fat Rainbows.
As you motor up the river in the morning you can see Rainbows scattering in different directions in the crystal clear water. Bug selection is much more simple than on Hat Creek but perfect presentation is paramount if you want to be successful. Trophy sized fish are commonly taken by striping a Leach pattern with a full sink line.
April 29-October 31
Open April 26 - November 4, 2018
Clearwater Lodge offers the finest accommodations in the intermountain area.The main lodge building has private rooms, and a European style 6 bedroom Annex. 3 cottages are available for families or guests with dogs. All accommodations include use of our grounds, common area and library, billiard room, horseshoes, ladder ball and other lawn games.
On Site Amenities and Activities Include
All rates include gourmet meals and house beverages.
*Please advise us when making your reservation if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions so that our chef can be prepared.
The Lodge offers seven comfortable private rooms in the historic main building, each featuring a king or queen bed and attached bathroom.
Connected to the Lodge by a portico, the Annex provides European-style lodging accommodations meant for groups of anglers. This building is comprised of six single bedrooms and two large shared baths. The Annex's spacious sitting room, featuring a natural rock fireplace, poker table and television, is the perfect retreat for gathering with friends to share the day's fishing stories. Or, step outside and enjoy the privacy of your own front porch facing the horseshoe pit.
For families, groups, or guests traveling with a dog, our cottages come in 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, or 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom configurations, each with living rooms and kitchenettes. These are all an easy walk to the main lodge.
From Sacramento/Bay Area: Take I-5 north to Redding, then Hwy 299 northeast to Burney (1 hr) and then another fifteen minutes to the lodge.
From Reno, NV: Take Hwy 395 north to Susanville, CA. (1 ½ hr) Then Hwy 44 northwest to Hwy 299. (1 ½ hr) Turn north on Hwy 299 for about five minutes to lodge.
By Air: Fall River Mills Airport, Fall River Mills CA - about fifteen minutes from the lodge.
Lodge Rates range from $275 to $375 per person per day single occupancy, $625 per day double occupancy. Rates include all meals, beverages and happy hour each afternoon before dinner.
Guided Fishing Rates:
1 or 2 anglers $500
3 anglers $600*
*Note: Fisheries that we access via boats can only accommodate 2 anglers at a time
CANCELLATION POLICY: A deposit of 50% is required within 2 days of booking your reservation. Because of our small size, cancellations affect us significantly.
A last minute cancellation gives us little chance of filling the space. For this reason, we uphold a strict cancellation policy.
Your deposit, less a $150 cancellation fee, will be happily refunded if cancellation is made at least 30 days prior to your arrival date. After that, we regret that no refund is possible for non-arrival or early departure.
The balance is due 30 days before your arrival at Clearwater Lodge. We also require that each guest sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in a Clearwater outing.