River Info

The East Fork of the Walker from Bridgeport Dam to Nevada State Line is a year round fishery. Use only barbless hooks and the fishing season from November 16 through the last Friday in April is Zero-Limit.


Fly Fishing the East Fork Walker River

Big tail of East Walker River brown trout.

I take the dirt road just below Bridgeport Reservoir Dam and find my usual place to park. It's 8:30 AM on a Friday and I spot four or five cars already emptied. Good sign?

Big clouds hover over anglers on the East Walker.

I run into a guy named Ken from Las Vegas Nevada. He and his brother been "fishing" and not so much "catching" he tells me. Bad sign! After a quick exchange, I wade a run just below the guage station. Looking both ways I spy guys fishing. OK, I'll work this run. The water level is down - lowest I've seen for mid May on this tailwater. Normally I would go straight to an indicator with small nymphs. But, the run is super skinny - maybe a foot or two at the deepest.

Doral fin of a wild brown trout.

I want to stay short and get clean drifts - thinking dry / dropper rig. The dry serves as my indicator but with a hook in case anybody gets curious, but the dropper is critical since I'm certain they are eating small larve in the drift. For the East Walker, size 20 mayfly nymphs like a micro mayfly or a small, green caddis puppa are reliable picks. I drifted a slot on the far bank and about 20 minutes connected with a brown. First impression, he wasn't much. Because he grabbed by softly closing on it and not ready moving. Once I started to lead him across the current did his wide body get my full attention.

Looking downstream from the public access area along the Miracle Mile of the East Fork Walker River.

After putting a fold into him I was able to get him secured in the net. Clearing the leader, I got the dry fly out of harms way but not the dropper. Somewhere along the way the nymph broke off. Good sign or bad sign?

About 25 yards below, got a similar take by a similar, well-fed, East Walker fatty. This fish, however, was my first memorable rainbow trout on this section of the water. Scott Freeman, a well-known guide here, was scouting the water just below me. You see many bows in this stretch? I asked Scott. He said, "Sure they can be in here, and sometimes those guys will be the only thing you catch."

Huge head of rainbow trout caught on the East fork of the Walker River.

Along with Scott Freeman, I say another guide breaking in a couple of guys to the finer points of fishing the East Walker. The afternoon wind came early - as usual. The swallows didn't seem to mind too much. Darting and floating freely in the wide open space between the river and sky.