California's Wild Trout

Wild Trout California's Top 10 Streams The East Fork Carson River below Hangman's Bridge is featured in the new ebook, Wild Trout.

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New Article - Sierra Wild Trout

American Angler MagazineLook for my feature article - Secrets of the Sierras 4 Classic Walk-In Trips appearingin the current May/June issue of American Angler.

You'll learn more about the wild trout fisheries of the East Fork of the Carson River.



From Sacramento Drive east on U.S. 50 to the junction with Highway 89. Turn south on Highway 89 and drive over Luther Pass to the junction with Highway 88. Turn left and drive to Woodfords and Highway 89. Turn right onto Highway 89 and drive throught the town of Markleeville. Proceed six miles and the river will come into view below the road and to the left. Access from the highway and just pass the first bridge that crosses the river (called Hangman's Bridge).

From Stockton Take Highway 4 east over Ebbetts Pass (Warning: this stretch is long, narrow, and curvy) to the juntion with Highway 89. Turn left. The river will be in view to the left. Plently of direct access is available along Highway 89.


East Fork Carson River - Fishing Trip 2011

Everything is late this year. That comment - heard often - would be the theme for fishing the Sierras in 2011. From late and longer run-off to late hatches. And without exception, the hopper bite came late to the East Fork of the Carson.

Angler fishes a deep pool on the East Fork of the Carson River

It's taken a couple of late summer trips to the East Carson's wild trout section to realize this: these fish just love hoppers. The above photo shows how much. That foam hopper is fairly jumbo at a size 8.

Angler fishes a deep pool on the East Fork of the Carson River

The trout below Hangman's Bridge can be pretty picky about what bugs they'll eat. I have changed out flies on this river more times than I care to remember trying to get a solid take. In fact, that's kind of how my morning went in mid September.

Wild and Scenic section on the East Fork of the Carson River

As I walked upstream, I was surprised by the number of grass-hoppers still present along the banks. Again, everything ran about a month late. So, OK imagine it being mid to late August. What would I fish then? Tied up a big foam hopper and I never looked back.

Wild and Scenic section on the East Fork of the Carson River

When trout get hungry for these big insects, there's nothing better in my opinion then fishing a hopper. It's a big pattern, and it doesn't need to be handled with much grace. You can cover all types of water from pockets along banks to tail-outs. And a if a bow sees it, they will move from the bottom of a deep pool to snatch it.

Wild Trout Section - the East Fork

The East Fork of the Carson below Hangman's bridge is designated as wild-trout waters and special regulations apply. Please refer to California DFG's Regulations for further details. As with other high elevation streams, it's important to know the current and prior flows when fishing the East Fork of the Carson River.