Strawberry Creek: A Unique Urban Oasis for Trout and More in Los Angeles

Strawberry Creek, winding through the heart of Los Angeles, might seem like an unlikely haven for fishing. But don’t be fooled by its urban setting. This creek, nestled between the UCLA campus and the Santa Monica Mountains, offers a surprising blend of nature and challenge, making it a unique destination for anglers of all levels.

Fish You Can Expect to Catch:

  • Rainbow Trout:
    • These feisty fighters are the stars of the show, stocked regularly throughout the year. Early mornings and evenings near riffles and deeper pools are prime times. Spoons, spinners, and flies that mimic insects will get them hooked. Be prepared for acrobatic battles!
  • Brook Trout:
    • A special bonus! These beautiful fish are occasionally stocked in the upper reaches, adding an element of excitement for experienced anglers.
  • Largemouth Bass:
    • Lurking in ambush points like submerged logs and undercut banks, these year-round residents love jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics. Mornings and evenings during warmer months are best for their energetic strikes.
  • Sunfish and Crappie:
    • These panfish find haven in shallows and around structures like bridges and fallen trees. Worms and small jigs are their irresistible temptations. Kids will have a blast reeling in these feisty friends.
  • Bonus Beauties:
    • Keep an eye out for the occasional carp, native arroyo chub, or even the rare sculpin. They add an unexpected twist to your catch.

Locals’ Insights:

  • Early Mornings or Late Evenings:
    • The golden hours are magic, especially for trout and bass. Match the hatch for fly fishing, and use live bait for sunfish and crappie.
  • Focus on Finesse:
    • This is a small creek, so light tackle and stealthy approaches are key. Casting accuracy and lure presentation are crucial for success.
  • Respect the Urban Environment:
    • Remember, you’re fishing in a populated area. Be mindful of noise, litter, and private property.
  • Seasonal Shifts:
    • Spring and fall offer the best trout fishing, while summer heats up with bass action. Winter can be slower, but you might find hidden gems like lurking carp or the occasional brook trout surprise.

Unique to Strawberry Creek:

  • Urban Oasis:
    • Amidst the city’s bustle, the creek offers a serene escape with towering trees, diverse wildlife, and the sound of rushing water. Cast your line and listen to the symphony of nature.
  • Historical Significance:
    • This creek has witnessed centuries of human activity, from Tongva settlements to modern development. Imagine the stories whispered by the water as you cast your line.
  • Accessibility and Challenge:
    • Strawberry Creek is easily reached by public transportation, making it perfect for a quick fishing escape. But don’t underestimate its difficulty. The tight quarters and wary fish demand patience and skill.

Top Fishing Spots:

  • Upper Reaches (near the Reservoir):
    • Perfect for fly fishing for trout near riffles and pools. Look for hatches of insects and cast accordingly. This area might also hold the rare brook trout.
  • Middle Sections (UCLA campus):
    • Ideal for bass fishing with lures and jigs around rocky areas and submerged logs. Be mindful of pedestrian traffic and bridge etiquette.
  • Lower Reaches (near the Ocean):
    • Enjoy the slower pace and target sunfish and crappie near shallows and vegetation. Keep an eye out for the occasional saltwater fish like halibut venturing upstream.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

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Bonus Tip:

  • Be mindful of local regulations, especially regarding catch-and-release for specific fish (check signage). Obtain a fishing license, dispose of trash properly, and be aware of potential water quality issues, especially during dry spells.

Strawberry Creek might not be your typical fishing destination, but it’s an urban gem waiting to be explored. So grab your tackle, embrace the unique blend of nature and city, and cast your line into an experience that will surprise you with its beauty, challenge, and the thrill of the catch.