EAST CARSON RIVER
North Yuba River
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Tours of Local Waters
Updated - 1/23/23
Scroll down to links for information about Lodging,
Maps and up to the minute Stream Flows.
Current River Conditions: 187 CFS. River Remains open all winter until the last Saturday in April, but is "catch & release only/artifical lures and barbless hooks." (scroll down for a link that will take you to an up to the minute flow report).
Fishing - Poor: Todd at Creekside Lodge in Markleeville reports that the county has funding in place to resume planting this coming season. Keep in mind that with the snow pack in the Sierra at around 200% of normal, it will take longer for the river to get in shape this spring but once it does, it should be an epic year. In any case, the flows are perfect but the meadow has several feet of snow so to get to the water make take some effort. He also mentioned that access is very difficult due to a large amount of snow.
General Pattern Recommendations
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All of the usual attractor patterns will work. Heavy patterns like Vinci's Depth Charge Bird's Nests in, black, natural and olive Also, Bead Head PTs, Epoxy Stones, Black Rubber Legs and Prince Nymphs, to name a few, are best in this high water. Dragging streamers along the edges can be productive too. Flies with a red hot spot do better on these planters. For Dry Flies, Adam's Parachutes, Elk Hair Caddis and Ant Patterns will usually get grabs.
Click here https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants/ to see the CDFW fish planting schedule
Henan Lake (11/1/22):
The lake opened on September 1st and will stay open through November 30.
Kirman Lake (11/1/22) CLOSED
Indian Creek Reservor
Very few fishing the lake though what reports we have received have been on the negative side.
Super low flows have definitely slowed down the fishing. Rain and snow is predicted for this coming week, afterwhich fishing may improve.
No recent report but probably very low and warm.
Blue Lakes (upper and lower)
No recent report (check CALTRANS for road condition information https://roads.dot.ca.gov/roadscell.php)
Generally Recommended Patterns
Click here to go to our Fly Catalog
Pheasant Tail #12, #14 & #16, San Juan Worm/passionate pink, Liz's Tequila Twist, Golden Stone Nymph #8,, #10, & #12, Copper John/red or copper #14, #16, Prince Nymph (various sizes), Wooly Bugger/rusty, black, Glow Bug/red. Vinci's Depth Charge Bird's Nest. If you see a pod of planters, try dragging a rusty Wooly Bugger with a size #18, Copper John/red tied on as a dropper through the school.
About the East Carson River
The East Carson River is one of California’s most popular rivers for both conventional and fly fishermen. The fact that in a normal precipitation year runoff can last into July means that you miss some early hatches of Stoneflies and Green Drakes, but the other side of the coin is that when many other waters are beginning to suffer from the effects of warm temperatures in August, the East Carson is at its prime.
The most popular section flows alongside Hwy 89 for several miles so access is easy. Hwy 89 passes through Markleeville and after about a mile passes over the river at Hangman’s Bridge. The bridge separates the East Carson’s two very diverse fishing environments; the wild trout special regs. section downstream from the bridge to the CA/NV state line, or upstream which is one of the most heavily planted sections of water in the state of California.
Those who opt for the more challenging catch & release water downstream from the bridge can, if the timing is right, enjoy a quality experience catching both wild and hold over trout that have washed down from the planted section above the bridge. Access is very easy as you can park at the bridge and then walk a dirt road that parallels the river. Many fishermen walk the 1.75 miles to a gauging station on the river and then fish back to their vehicles parked at the bridge. If you go further you will encounter some deeper pools that hold some large wild Brown Trout. When you fish back to the bridge, the fish will be almost all Rainbows. The characteristic of the water is generally at low gradient, compared to above the bridge. There are some long flats, punctuated by boulders. There also some riffles and deep slots that are productive. The lack of freestone water, makes the section good dry fly water early and late in the day.
Upstream from the bridge (like the special regs. section downstream from the bridge) timing has some importance. First of all, in a normal precipitation year, the river does not get into shape until mid July. That being said, lots of fish are planted from just before opening day which falls on the last Saturday in April through October. Experienced fly fishermen know that some of the best fishing can occur during high water periods as the fish tend to concentrate along the slower edges of the river making locating them somewhat easier. Stripping a streamer along the edges can be deadly and sometimes hook the largest fish. The highway parallels the river south of the bridge for several miles and there are many turnouts where you can park your vehicle. Some turnouts will actually allow you to drive up to the edge of the water.
The East Carson is one of the most dependable waters in the Sierra’s and a day with one of our guides will provide you with the opportunity to learn all of its nooks and crannies, that would otherwise take you years to learn. Give us a call and book a day on the East Carson.