Fly Fishing South Warner Wilderness
Comprising the headwaters of the South Fork of the Pit River, the Warner Wildernss provides small stream fishing for wild rainbows.
The South Warner Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area 12 miles southeast of Alturas, California. The wilderness encompasses more than 70,000 acres of the Warner Mountains. It is within the Modoc National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service. The Warner crest divides waters that flow west into the Sacramento/Pit River drainage, and east into the Great Basin Alkali lakes of Surprise Valley.
The rainbows I caught and released displayed an olive-gray to yellow coloring and a brick-red stripe along their lateral line. The traits of native redband which once completely inhibited these headwater streams.
Out of all the caddis casings I've seen in the West, the gauge of the pepples used here were the largest (comparing it to the much smaller size of the overall housing built). The lengths of the case were three quarters to an inch long whereas some of the larger pieces were over a quarter of an inch. Good luck building your house from the inside out using pieces that big.
Likely the bigger trout caught that day... and not too surprising it's a brown.
The rich volcanic soils support dense stands of western juniper, Ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine, and white fir trees. At the highest elevations are lodgepole pine, whitebark pine, fields of sagebrush and bitterbrush. Many species of rare plants are protected in the South Warner Wilderness, a few of which are perennial wildflowers.