Driftless Trout Anglers

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Merced River (Yosemite) Options
William Schlafer
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 11, 2015 9:42:20 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,726
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
Anyone ever fished the Merced River in Yosemite Park California? Or, any of the Trout streams around the Mammoth Lakes area? Any recommendations?

I'm scheming to visit the area next summer/fall and thought I might as well wet a line while I'm there.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
TreArrow
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 12, 2015 5:07:25 PM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 4/15/2013
Posts: 177
Location: Blackduck, MN
I lived and worked in the Sierra's for 3 summers, I didn't fish a lot when I was there, but may be able to offer some advice. The Merced is kind of a zoo. Very popular especially in the park. I've also seen some really big trout come from some of the lakes around Mammoth. To me it seems like most of the best fishing is in the high country or the East side of the range. Late August might be an ideal time to go as the bugs are pretty much gone by then and the high country is relatively warm. If I was going back to the Sierra's solely for fishing I would base out of either Mammoth or Bridgeport. There are tons of great trout lakes around there, some that you can drive to and many more that are a good hike in. There are also tons of great small trout streams draining the East side. If you're one for hiking, I'd highly recommend backpacking in the Emigrant, Carson Iceberg, Hoover or Ansel Adams Wilderness Areas, with the exception of the Ansel adams, the crowds will be less and you'll have more water and lakes to yourself. If you do decide to do some backpacking you may want to consult a book or the Dept of Fish and Game to make sure there are fish where you are headed. Most sierra lakes are naturally devoid of fish and some are completely dependent on stocking, others have be rotenon-ed because the introduced rainbows like to chow down on the endangered yellow legged frogs. There are only a few lakes where fish have been killed to save the frogs, but it would really suck hiking in 10 miles only to find your destination lake fishless.

Not a secret by any means, but Pinecrest lake on Hwy 108 was pretty awesome when I was there. I lived in the USFS housing near the lake and would go down after work and routinely limit out in an hour just throwing a mepps around the boat launch. The fish can be hard to catch in the summer, but can be stupid easy in the fall. The CDFG also stocks something like 3000 fish a week all summer so even with all the pressure there are always fish to catch and some real whoppers too. Other places where I have caught a lot of fish include Fremont Lake in the Hoover and the middle fork of the Stanislaus. But really there are SO many options around there you likely can't go wrong if you start some where around Bridgeport or Mono or Mammoth.

Check out this site for some good recommendations as well http://www.davessierrafishing.com/index.html
William Schlafer
#3 Posted : Saturday, November 14, 2015 6:22:38 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,726
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
TreArrow,

Thanks for the suggestions and the link. Lots of good info.

Not sure where my trip might take me next summer. I've also been looking at some streams in the northern part of the state up by Redding. Although everyone I've talked to in California says go to the Mammoth area. It's a surprisingly long drive to there from San Francisco - over 5 hours. So I might just fly into Reno instead and save some drive time. Or maybe Las Vegas, and make a big adventure of it by driving through Death Valley and up through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The variety and dramatic changes in climate and topography make this part of the world such a interesting place to visit. California girls aren't too bad too look at either.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
ChasingRainbows
#4 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 6:23:28 PM
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/10/2016
Posts: 4
Bill,
Not sure if you are still planning this trip for the summer, but if so send me a PM, I'd be happy to share some of my thoughts with you. I grew up in Madison but have lived in Northern California for over 10 years now and know Yosemite and Mammoth like the back of my hand. I am also quite familiar with the Redding area. There are lots of options depending on what you are specifically interested in. I would recommend chasing some golden trout if you haven't ever seen one in person, they are quite the sight. I recently started following this forum more closely, as I am thinking about moving back to WI or MN in a year or two and appreciate reading the reports. I have attached a few photos which I took while in Mammoth last summer.

Take care,
Ryan








DanE
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7:27:53 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 9/18/2014
Posts: 1,232
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI
Wow, those are great pix Ryan. Makes me want to take a trip out that way.
kschaefer3
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 8:19:06 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 1,537
Location: St. Paul, MN
DanE wrote:
Wow, those are great pix Ryan. Makes me want to take a trip out that way.

X2!!! This may be my trip for summer 2017.
William Schlafer
#7 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:59:02 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,726
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
Thanks Ryan. Great photos! The scenery there is spectacular.

It doesn't look like the fishing trip will happen this year, but maybe in 2017.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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