I walked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and photographed some new rainbow trout in the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit. The aquarium trout don’t fit into the angling category but there are a few freshwater opportunities here – you’d just have to work at it.
In Monterey, there might be a few hatchery trout left in Lake El Estero, located near the bay off Del Monte Avenue and managed by Monterey City Parks and Recreation Department. The California Department of Fish and Game used to mention fish plants there but the last mention of planting in their publication, Fishing California’s Central Coast Region (PDF), was in 2004. I used to see people fishing Lake El Estero but it’s been a while. A couple of years ago, when I inquired at the recreation center at the lake about fishing, a woman asked me, “Why would anyone want to fish here?”
[Dec. 27, 2008: I found that the California DFG has plans to stock Lake El Estero sometime between 11/24/2008 through 1/1/2010]
When I first moved here, I found a nice, friendly fly fishing store in Carmel – Central Coast Fly Fishing. They seemed to be the most informed about trout fishing in Monterey county. They describe some local opportunities, but you don’t just drive to the stream and get out of your car.
According to the California DFG, “Most Monterey County streams have their headwaters in the Los Padres National Forest. These headwater streams provide good trout angling for hikers.”