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Fisheries

This page provides information about many of the significant public fisheries of the drainages of Carson, Truckee, and Walker rivers... and a few extra. The pages covers waters from Pyramid Lake south to Virginia Lakes, and from Pacific Crest Trail east to Lahontan Reservoir. Of course, there's many more fisheries in this area which we could of mentioned but didn't for one reason or another.

For additional information about these fisheries as well as others in the greater Sierras, check out Stevenojai's FlyFishingtheSierra.com.

Please feel free to contribute text to fill in any gaps. Contributions can should be sent to Kurt at kurt@boolean.net.

Steams

  • Carson River and its tributaries
    • West Fork - Great nearby fishing! One can always find Rainbows in the canyon section from Woodfords to Hope Valley. Hope Valley itself tends to get over fished, especially in areas by the highway. Areas accessible off of Blue Lakes road can be fun.
    • Lower East Fork (NV Section) - Broken dam area is well stocked.. great place to get your quick fishing fix. Upstream waters can be fun... requires hiking in or 4x4 to access.
    • Upper East Fork (CA Section) - The sections below Hangman's Bridge to the Nevada state line and above the confluence of Wolf Creek to Carson Falls are wild trout waters. The lower section can hold some large Rainbows and Browns and can be accessed from Hangman's bridge area, from Markleeville airport area, and the Barney Riley and Bryant Creek 4x4 roads. The upper section Rainbows, Browns, and Brookies and can be access from Wolf Road off of CA 4. Between the the wild trout section, general Sierra regulations apply. Here you'll find Rainbows and the occasional Brown. The middle section can be access off CA 89, CA 4, and Wolf Creek Road. The sections paralleling CA 89 and CA 4 are frequently stocked. The East Carson and its tributaries above Carson Falls are closed to fishing year round.
    • East Fork Tributaries (CA) - Lots of great small streams including Markleeville, Silver, and Wolf creeks. Lower reaches will generally have rainbows and browns and upper reaches will have brookies. The Silver King is another tributary worthy of mention here. Paiute Cutthroat Trout are native to a section of Silver King and tributaries below LLewellyn Falls but were hybridized by non-native fish stocked in the section and overran by others. Fortunately many years ago, Basque sheepherders had transplanted pure strain Paiutes to the section above the falls. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation of various other organizations, has a major restoration project under way to move or kill non-native fish in the Paiute's historical range and then restock it pure strain Paiutes. Anyways, cross it off your list of streams to fish for now.
  • Truckee River and its tributaries
    • NV Sections includes West (CA state line to Steamboat Creek) and East (Steamboat Creek to Derby Dam). (Access map)
    • CA Sections include Upper (1,000ft below Tahoe outlet to Trout Creek), Wild Trout (Trout Creek to Gray Creek) and Lower (Gray Creek Creek to NV stateline).
    • Little Truckee and its tributaries - The Little Truckee River section between Stampede and Boca reservoirs includes a wild trout water. The upper section (west of CA 89) is well stocked with Rainbows. Browns can also be found here.  Can be accessed off Henness Pass Road of of CA 89. The Perazzo and Independence creeks, two tributaries of the Little Truckee in upper area, also offer good fishing. Also check out Sagehen Creek, which drains into Stampede Reservoir and Prosser creek and Alder creeks which both drain into Prosser Creek Reservoir.
    • Upper Truckee - A California Heritage Trout Water. The upper section of the Upper Truckee offers the best fly fishing opportunities. Rainbows, Brookies, and Lahontan Cutthroat can be found here. This can be access from of South Upper Truckee Road of CA 89. During the spring, large rainbows come up from Lake Tahoe to spawn.
  • Walker River and its tributaries
    • West Fork (CA Section) - Canyon section now open for fishing year round (with special regulations in winter months). Trophy section rainbows can be found in the canyon section! Browns can also found in this section. This section parallels US 395 and has high fishing pressure during the open season.
    • West Fork (NV Section) - Stocked with Rainbows in Hoye and Wilson Canyon. Wild browns are also prevolent in Hoye and Wilson Canyons.
    • Little Walker - Brookies! Accessed off of Little Walker Road.
    • Desert Creek - A small creek in the Sweetwater range with Rainbows, Browns, Brookies and Tigers. Lower section will be more stocked fish, while upper sections will have more wild fish. Desert Creek Road off of NV 338 provides access to the lower sections and Risue Road, also off NV 338, provides access to the top section.
    • East Fork (CA Section) -- Below Bridgeport, the East fork flows through the East Walker River Wildlife Area for 7 miles, the top most mile is known as "the miracle mile", as it can offer some great year-round fly fishing. Unfortunately, the drought and fishing pressure on this section taken a toll on this section. But there's still some nice Trophy fish in this mile... and the other six. Fish mid-week to avoid the pressure, check for decent stable flows. You'll mostly find Rainbows, Browns, and Mountain Whitefish here.
    • East Fork (CA) Tributaries -- Swauger, Buckeye, Robinson, Summers, Green, Virginia creeks.  So many choices. Generally, these creeks offers brookies in their upper sections and rainbows and browns in lower sections. Swauger Creek parallels US 395 north of Bridgeport before draining into Bridgeport Reservoir. Buckeye Creek, accessible from Buckeye Road from either US 395 or Twin Lakes Road, has Rainbows in the canyon section, from Buckeye Road to Buckeye Campground, and has brookies in the section above the Buckeye campground.  Robinson Creek offers hatchery rainbows and wild browns in the public sections from Buckeye Creek Road to Lower Twin Lake. Above Upper Twin is mostly brookies... except for spawning Browns and Kokanee in the Fall. Virginia Creek comes down from Virginia Lakes to the east side of the valley and then it parallels US 395 south to Bridgeport. Green Creek comes down from the Green Lake area and eventually into the East Walker. It can be accessed from Green Creek Road and camping is available at the Green Creek Campground. The various tributaries of Summers Creek comes down Sierras, merging along the way, and eventually as main Summers Creek find their way down to the East Carson. They are accessed from Summers Meadow Road.
    • East Fork (NV Section) -- There are two key sections worth calling out: Rosaschi Ranch and The Elbow. Rosaschi Ranch is first public land section below the CA stateline. Large Rainbows and Browns can be found here, as well as Mountain Whitefish. Like the Miracle Mile, fishing pressure and the drought have taken its toll. The Elbow is an open regulations section just downstream of Rosaschi Ranch. It's gets regular stockings during the season. It can offer some great fishing. Both of these sections are accessed from Sweetwater Road (NF-028) off of NV 338.

Still Waters

  • Blue Lakes - A set of lakes in the Carson range. Regularly stocked with Rainbows and Lahontan Cutthroat. Accessible from Hope Valley by Blue Lakes Road. Camping available.
  • Burnside Lake - A small lake above Markleevillle. Lake is stocked with rainbows but also has plenty of small rough fish in it. Accessible by maintained dirt road from Hope Valley. Rough camping is allowed.
  • Caples Lake - A 600-acre lake just over Carson Pass. Holds Rainbows and Lake Trout.
  • Crater Lake - A small lake, less than 10-acres, perched above Hope Valley. Full of small brookies. Access by 4x4 road. Rough camping allowed.
  • Davis Creek Pond - This is a 2.5 acre pond created by enhancing what was a natural, shallow bottom pond on Davis Creek. The pond is regularly stocked with Rainbows.  It is situated in a wooded area of the Davis Creek Regional Park. The park offers picnic areas and restrooms. Day use is free.
  • Heenan Lake - A 1,700-acre lake on the west side of Mono Pass. This is a wild trout water which provides broad stock for the Lahontan Cutthroats. Best fished a float. Camping is available in nearby campgrounds.
  • Hobart Reservoir - A 10-acre lake above Carson City in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, accessible by rough dirt road and a short hike or, alternatively by mountain bike. Anglers can readily catch wild Brookies here, as well as stocked Rainbows and Tigers. Bowcutts may also be found. 100 fish days have been reported here! Can be fished from shore (waders recommended) or float tube. Camping is available.
  • Indian Creek Reservoir - A 160-acre sized lake near the Markleeville airport. Stocked mostly with Rainbows, but there's a few Browns in the lake. Generally best fished a float. Camping is available.
  • Kinney Lakes - Kinney Lakes are located just north of Ebbetts Pass.  Kinney Reservoir has Rainbows and Brookies and is regularly stocked. Due to CA 4 running by the lake, it gets a fair amount of fishing pressure.  For this reason, it's recommended you walk the mile into Lower or Upper Kinney Lakes. Here you'll find some nice sized Bowcutts in the lower lake. These lakes are best fished from a float.
  • Marlette Lake - A 380-acre lake in the Tahoe range. Only accessible by hike or bike. Contains Brookies, Rainbows, and Lahontan cutthroats. Camping is available at nearby Marklette Peak campground.
  • Mason Valley Ponds - Various ponds in the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, stocked with various fish. Trout fishing is late winter and early spring and bass fishing in the later spring and fall. Ponds may be fished from shore or a float. The nearby Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds offer good bank fishing (no wading or wader crafts allowed). Camping available. Lodging and services available in nearby Yerrington.
  • Pyramid Lake - The place to go for trophy sized Lahontan Cutthroats! Cui-ui are also plentiful in the lake. Can be fished from shore, on a ladder, or a float. Camping and lodging available. Requires permit (state license not required).
  • Spooner Lake - A 75-acre lake up above Carson City in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Stocked with Rainbows, Tigers, and Bowcutts, but you also find plenty of Lahontan tui chub. Can be fished from shore or a float. A state park fee payment is required.
  • Topaz Lake - A 2,400-arce lake. The lake holds Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, and Carp.
  • Twin Lakes - A pair of lakes above Bridgeport, CA. Stocked with Rainbows but also home of the CA state record Brown trout. Kokanee and Browns can be spotted in Robison creek each fall during the spawn. Best fished a float. Camping and lodging is available.
  • Virginia Lakes - A nice group of small lakes above Bridgeport and Lee Vining, CA. The lower lakes are well stocked with rainbows, brookies and browns can be found in back country lakes. Float tube recommended where accessibility permits. Launching fee required at lower Virginia Lake, as are waders.