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Truckee River
Little Truckee River
West Carson River
East Carson River
West Walker River
East Walker River
Upper Owens River
Lower Owens River
Hot Creek
Crowley Lake
Pyramid Lake



Upper Sacramento River
McCloud River
Hat Creek
Fall River
Pit River
Almanor Lake
North Yuba River
Baum Lake


California Delta

Foothill Lakes


Napa River



Lower Sacramento River
Feather River
Lower Yuba River
Lower American River
Lower Mokelumne River
Putah Creek



Trinity River
Klamath River
Russian River

Rogue River-Grants Pass
Deschutes River
Updated - 1/23/23

Scroll down to links for information about Lodging,
and up to the minute Stream Flows.

Current River Conditions: Flows 130 CFS and clear.  Scroll down to link that will show up to the minute flows.

Fishing is 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.  If you go, this might be a god time to ad a brown worm pattern to your nymph rig.  For you dry fly guys/ladies there might be some good hatches in the valley of Midges and occasionally BWOs (Baetis).

Generally Recommended Patterns

Click here to go to our Fly Catalog

Dry Flies:

Parachute Adams #14 & #16, Split Wing Adams #14 & #16, Yellow Humpy #16, Elk Hair Caddis #14, Royal Wulff #16, Parachute Ant #14, Dave's Hopper #10, Fat Albert #10. Irrisistable #14. 


Pheasant Tail #12, #14 & #16, Hot Bead San Juan Worm/pink, Kiene's Golden Brown Stone Nymph #10, & #12, Copper John/red or copper #14, #16, Prince Nymph (various sizes), Wooly Bugger/rusty, black, Glow Bug/red, Squirmy Wormy/red, pink and brown, Liz's Tequila Twist.

See Hatch Chart at bottom of the page

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              LODGING                 Markleeville, CA
Get what you need
before you go at
Kiene's Fly Shop
About the West Carson River


Of the two Carson’s, the West Carson has the most diverse water.  It begins as spring water collecting in the high mountain meadows just east of the Pacific Crest and works its way down slope varying between freestone and meadow stream until it reaches the Carson Valley in Nevada.  In its upper reaches it is no more than a creek, and after it is joined by a few tributary creeks, it becomes, for all practical purposes, a larger creek.   Because it runs right along Blue Lakes Rd, and Hwy 88 it get regular plants.

From the headwater meadows it becomes freestone pocket water for about five miles until it reaches Hope Valley, where it becomes a serpentine meadow stream again.  Downstream from Hope Valley the river descends into a canyon and tumbles over boulders into deep pools.  This section is heavily planted at the bridges.  Most of Hope Valley is conservancy land which means that there is lots of public access. 

Two creeks are tributaries to the river in the Hope Valley section.  One is Red’s Lake Creek which flows of, you guessed it, Red’s Lake, which is located at the western end of the valley.  The other is Willow Creek which flows out the north side of the valley and Parallels Hwy 89 for a few miles.  Red’s Lake Creek flows for several miles through Hope Valley and though it gets lots of pressure near where it crosses under Hwy 88, there is a long section in the meadow that sees few fishermen.  Be prepared for a good walk to get to productive water, but if like fishing meadow streams it’s worth it.

In most normal precipitation years the West Carson is usually in good fishing shape by the end of June and fishes well through the beginning of August when the water temps rise.  About the middle of September the fishing improves though the water can get pretty skinny.

The West Carson is one of the prettiest meadow streams that can be accessed by vehicle for most of its length.  One day on the river with one of our guides, will teach you everything you need to know so that every return trip will be successful.


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