Susan River and its Tributaries

The Susan River is 67 mile long river that runs from Caribou Lake in the Lassen National Forest to McCoy Flat Reservoir and then down to Honey Lake. The Susan River divides the Sierra Nevada to the south from the Cascade Range to the north.

The historic range of the Lahontan cutthroat trout includes the Susan River. They are no longer present in the drainage.

There are four fishable sections:

The river typically runs dry in the summer months from Clover Valley to McCoy Flat.

The trout sections generally support rainbow and brown trout. The upper trout section also holds brook trout. While wilds of all three trout species may be found in the river, stockings are generally limited to rainbow trout. The middle and lower trout sections are stocked near campgrounds and trailheads for the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail (map).

Fall colors of the Susan River (BLM Photo)


The upper section can be accessed using Silver Lake Road off of Mooney Road (A21) off of CA-36 from the south or CA 44 from the east.

The top of the middle trout section immediately downstream of McCoy Flat Reervoir can be accessed using Conrad Road off of CA 44. The bottom of the middle trout section above the confluence of Willard Creek can be accessed off of Korver Road off of CA 36.

The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail (map) parallels the Susan River for 16 miles from Susanville up to McCoy Flat Reservoir. The trail can be used to access various portions of the river in the middle and lower sections. Additional access to the middle section can be found off of River Bend Road off of CA 36 near its junction with CA 44.

Fishable Tributaries

Willard Creek and its tributaries

Willard Creek and its tribubaries run down from the northeastern portion of the Sierra Nevada range to the Susan River near Devil's Corral trailhead for the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.

CA 36 and various side roads provide access to Willard Creek and its tributaries. Camping is available at Roxie Peconom Campground.

Willow Creek

Willow creek runs down from eastern slopes of Black Mountain north of Susanville to the creek's confluence with the Susan River near Standish, CA. The creek runs through the Willow Creek Wildlife Area.

Nearby Fishable Waters

When in the Susan River area, you might check out these nearby fisheries as well.

This article was authored by Kurt Zeilenga. If you have suggestions on how to improve this article, you may contact Kurt at

Additional Reading: