Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: coastal nor cal and all drainages in Bristol Bay
If you swing north and a little west out of Davis (Hwy 20) and drive up Hwy 101 you will access the south fork of the Eel River, Van Duzen, Mad and finally the Smith River at which point (Hwy199) you can head back toward Grants Pass and Medford. Take a couple days. It's a much nicer ride than up 5 and all the rivers I mentioned have steelhead in them. Not a lot, but steelhead, none the less. It seems this year is turning out to be the worst in recorded history. Even this late in the season there will be a few freshies in the systems.
Your only option for steel going up 5 in norcal will be the Trinity, about 40 min west of Redding on Hwy299. Those fish have been inriver quite a while. Pretty tired. Incidentally, Ca steelhead closes at the end of the day March 31st, except for the main stem of the Smith below the confluence of the main and south forks.
If interested I can give you more details on the coastal route.