West Fork Walker River



From Bridgeport, California Drive north on U.S. 395 for approximately 17 miles to Highway 108 at Sonora Junction. Turn left on Highway 108 and go approximately six miles. The Leavitt Meadow Trailhead parking lot is just west (just past) the entrance to the Leavitt Meadow Campground.


West Fork of the Walker River - Leavitt Meadow

West Walker River erodes a section of the bank along the soft meadow

I parked at the Leavitt Meadow Trailhead. Bright sun, no wind, and a young couple adjusting the straps of their backpacks before hiking into one of the lakes. In late summer, I imagined walk-wading the West Fork and avoiding the trail traffic. Good decision as the trail runs significantly away and along a ridge - too far to see fish rising.

West Walker River produces a large number of brook trout

The West Fork cuts and meanders through the length of Leavitt Meadow. A walk-wade of the snake-like river easily adds another mile to it's 2 mile course measured with a long ruler. The clear snow-melt runs slow over the clean cobble of rock. The flat meadow allows this river to change course and various braids exist. Meadows are great for hiking, but lack much of the structure trout love for protection. Long stretches of slow, open water are ocassionally interrupted by a fallen tree, or a confluence with a feeder trib.

West Fork Walker River meanders through Leavitt Meadow

Trout Species

The structure and deep-cuts house small (size 6 to 13 inch) brookies and the ocassion rainbow. Fishing a rust-brown, Elk Hair caddis I managed to hook thirteen fish over the 2 hours of fishing. I'll remember the larger 14 inch brook I hooked but didn't net. The afternoon brough out the hoppers in the sage and dry grass. Their legs clicking in flight. As I walked back to the trailhead, a group of Harley's geared down the steep decline of Highway 108. Their engines almost drowning out the hoppers in my mind.

West Walker River produces a number of rainbow trout