Santa Ana River

Location and Directions:

40700 Seven Oaks Road
Angelus Oaks, CA 92305
use MapQuest

     The Santa Ana River is located is located in the beautiful San Bernadino mountains, near the city of Redlands. From I-10 at Redlands exit on Orange St. and go North to Lugonia St. Turn Right on Lugonia, it turns into Montone and then turns into Hwy 38 into the mountains towards Big Bear. Travel approx. 25 miles until you pass Jenks Lake Rd.-W. Turn left on the next road which is Glass Rd. Turns into Seven Oaks Rd.

General Info:

    This creek is part of the San Bernardino National Forest. You will need to purchase a National Forest Adventure Pass ($5) from the ranger station at Barton Flats if you want to park your vehicle. There are numerous campgrounds and hiking trails throughout the area.

Other lakes in the area:
Green Valley Lake
Big Bear Lake
Arrowbear Lake
Jenks Lake
Mill Creek

Fishing Info:

    Rainbow trout are stocked here from Spring through late Fall by the DFG. The stockings usually take place from Seven Oaks bridge upstream about 7 miles to the South Fork Bridge on Highway 38. There are also wild rainbow and brown and brook trout here year-round. Be sure to visit the CDFW web site for complete regulations before heading out.

Comments and Tips:

     Hi, everyone . Just thought I'd add my two cents worth about fishing around the Seven Oaks area. I caught my first trout in 1951 when I was a mere 4 years old behind cabin #9 at Seven Oaks House Keeping Cabins off Glass rd. In a little pool near a big rock. What thrill I'll never forget. For the next 12 years my family and I stayed at Seven Oaks. Always 3 weeks at time ,always in August. Nearly always catching our limit witch was "12" as I recall at the time. Always with salmon eggs. Red ones some times,carried in egg lugs on our belts. How could lose ? After all my Dad and I would follow and help the truck off load the trout by carrying 5 gallon buckets of prime rainbow trout to our favorite pools all along the Santa Ana River. What a blast! We weren't suppose to leave the truck and go fishing . That wasn't right . Yea right . My Dad said "to hell with that". Let's go fishing! We had to hide our polls behind the front seat of our "1958" Ford . Unfortunately the trout seem to be doped up or groggy from the long ride up the mountain. We couldn't catch a thing till the the next day. But what a day it was!! After all "we" knew where they were.!!

    I've fished the Santa Ana south fork before and caught mostly small browns about 4" - 6". Very colorful Gold with the red and black spots. 9I know their too small, however their hard to catch. This is the stretch above the south fork bridge. These fish are really spooky. One time I ran out of live bait. It was apparently mating season for lady bugs as I saw lady bugs everwhere. This one small stick on the ground had like a couple hundred or more lady bugs on it. I was looking for natural bait and here I had a few hundred staring at me. I thought I'd give it a try. I wasn't sure if these small fish would like the crunchy shell, however that notion was quickly elimanted. I had thes red colored hooks that I had in my tackle box and never used them. I thought this would be a good time. I covered the hook with lady bugs ( like a shishkabob). Man the trout really loved them. I actually caught one brown at the base of a rock that was actually 10" -11" almost like stocker rainbow size. I used the dip technique. At the base of the rock was a small water pocket covered with a whole lot of bubbles. There is almost always a fish at the base of a good small pocket with lots of bubbly water. I usually will hide behind the rock and I just place the rod tip over the hole and slowly hand feed the line down / or if the water is real turbulent I quicky drop the line down. Adjust the weight you put on depending how turbulent the water is. You need to keep the bait at the base of the rock or stump. I did this with the shishkabobbed lady bug red red hook and a few seconds later it was hit. I was surprised how hard I was hit and I knew this wasn't one of the tiny 4"- 5" browns I had been catching all day. This would translate to a lunker for the tiny stream I was fishing. This apparent haunt was his holding area and he got big there. I did catch and release with this one. I never try to get out the hook. I either clip the line or bite it. I heard there are brooks up hear, however I would be surprised to ever catch one. Strange though because in the Sierra's tiny Brooks overpopulate alot of high country creeks, streams and lakes. I hope to try the gorge area where I here the Browns can get quite big. Good fishing. MVG from La Habra

    Hello, my name is Dustin and i have been fishing the many wonderfull streams that are in the San Bernadino Moutains such as Bear Creek, and slide lake.I have found that panther martin spinners (any color) is the best fish producer for that area.Some good fly fishing deeper into the canyon on black flies.lots of native fish rainbows,browns,brooks,and some strange crossbreeds. Have a good time pick up your trash, no fires, watch for snakes and bears!!!

Hello, My name is Steven I've been fishing the Santa Ana since my family moved to California in 1968. I've fly fished there,used spinner, different bait and have always enjoyed it. I have fish from end to end of the Santa Ana and always loved it. I first fiched there with my father and still do ,when ever I get a chance. Taught my sons to fish there and even my wife, and now it times to for my grandson. I've caught many of trout there from small stock fish to nice browns. I think it become part of are family

Hello!! I have been fishing the Santa Ana River drainage (Santa Ana River, Bear Creek, Coon Creek, Fish Creek, and Moutain Home Creek) for the past 21 years since I was 2 years old. I have caught both native and stocked rainbows, native browns, the rare San Gorgonio strain rainbows, and the occasional mix of rainbow brown crossbreads. I have never been stumped fishing here, in snow or extreem heat. I have fished the river from the exit of the moutain range all the way up to the north/south fork confulence and then some. Great access area for younger people near the road, and those willing to trek off can have great results with any presentation. Good luck, watch for snakes!!!!!!

Chris Lorenzi

     I have lived in the Coachella Valley for the past 33 years and all that time I have fished a lot of the lakes and streams surrounding me. Most of the streams are seasonal depending on the snow melt.

I have found a stream located in the San Bernardino Mountains that I have fished for 12 years which I know you have herd of, the beginning of the Santa Anna River, west of Barton Flats. I fished the west part of the stream west of the bridge at the end of Glass Rd. My body and I walked down steam about a 1 ˝ towards Bear Creek to catch some Browns. We caught several 7” to 10” trout in a short time. Then in one small hole I caught a trout I haven’t encountered in this steam before, a Brook Trout. I was not aware of Brookes being this far south. I have caught them in the Sierras before and was excited then. I let the fish go unharmed and then questioned if it was really a Brooky. When I got home I grabbed my trout ID book with color photos and sure enough it matched the photo all the way to the white edges on the fins and the red dots inside the larger brownish circles. The belly was bright reddish/orange. I know it was a male due to the milk it released during unhooking. All the fish I caught that day where in spawning mode.

Now that I gave you a little overview, my question for you is their a population that is on record of Brook Trout in this area that you know of, and if not do you know of some place I can do some research on this subject. I would like to find out if these trout are coming from the upper steams such as Bear Creek or isolated to the Santa Ana. If you can help I would be grateful.



     If you know something about this area or have some photos that you'd like to share, please E-mail and I'll post it here!

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