The Smith River waterway is the northernmost of California’s major rivers. Its mouth is about 5 miles south of the Oregon border and 10 miles north of Crescent City. It is the largest free-flowing river in the state, producing the largest steelhead and Chinook salmon. The untamed nature of this river, without a single dam along its entire length, makes it especially prized among conservationists; it is considered one of the crown jewels of the National Wild and Scenic River program. The river flows through some of the most beautiful scenery in California, from Six Rivers National Forest through Jedediah State Park and out to the Pacific Ocean.
About 8.5 miles from the town of Gasquet towards the Oregon border, Patrick Creek Lodge sits in a beautiful spot along the river. You can hike or bike on numerous trails nearby. Fishing begins just outside the lodge doors where cutthroat trout fishing is available throughout summer. Salmon and steelhead fishing is available throughout the fall and winter. Fishing information and economical fish storage are both available at the lodge. Keep following the Smith River, as it cuts its way through the canyon, and you’ll hit the Collier Tunnel and the Oregon border.