Kern River Fly Fishing Report 7-22-16
The Kern River is approximately 170 miles long and has a variety of cold and warm water species to catch on a fly. From the native Kern River Rainbows, Little Kern Golden Trout , our California state freshwater fish the Golden Trout, Large and Small Mouth Bass, Carp, Crappie, Sacramento Pike Minnow, Sacramento Sucker, Chinook and Kokanee Salmon and a variety of Catfish all of which can be caught on a fly. The fly fishing report below gives reports on different species and sections of areas to fish in the Southern Sierra including the famous Kern River.
20 Mile Section of the Kern
The 20 mile section of the Kern from Kernville up to the Johnsondale bridge is the most heavily fished section of the Kern because of the roadside access and heavily planted areas of Triploid trout ( trout that cannot reproduce). This section is also home to wild (not native) rainbow and brown trout. This section is fishing very well with big rainbows being caught throughout the whole section. River flows in this section are around 150 cfs which are perfect for wading. Best flies to use are attractor flies like the Bead Head Kern Emerger and the Bead Head Royal Flush. There are hatches coming off like Caddis and Hoppers. If you can, get on the water at first light to catch the PMD hatch. Are the fish looking up and eating on the surface? Yes, also in the evening around 7pm till dark Caddis hatch. Water temperatures are starting to rise in this section and are reaching 65 degrees around 2pm. Good techniques to use are nymphing under an indicator, dry dropper or stripping streamers. If you want to have good fishing on the 20 mile section of the Kern, now is the time! Check out the recent catches below.
4 mile Wild Trout Section ( Above Johnsondale Bridge)
This section of the Kern is very popular with folks who want to have a wild trout experience. There are special regulations here and bait or barbed hooks are prohibited. Only artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks are allowed. Many tickets are issued here to anglers who disregard the fishing regulations. The DFW does not stock the North Fork of the Kern River north of the bridge for 50 miles and those 50 miles are managed as a wild trout fishery. The fly fishing is excellent here because of these regulations. Check your regulations before fishing here!
Water temperatures are usually 5 to 10 degrees cooler here and the fish are very wary to your presence. A stealthy approach is needed to catch these fish. Fishing is excellent as of today. Dry dropper techniques and nymphing are getting the grabs. The biggest Stoneflies in the world reside here and fishing the flies that imitate them can get you some great fights. Click here to check them out.
Forks of the Kern
Can you catch a Kern River Rainbow here? Yes you can, and it will count towards your “Wild Heritage Trout Program”.
Lower Kern ( Below lake Isabella)
A bass fly anglers paradise! The lower Kern winds its way down the Kern River canyon from the Lake Isabella Dam to Oildale, approximately 80 river miles. This section has trout, bass, crappie and other species to catch on a fly. This section is fishing excellent for bass right now.Use big flies like White Jawbreakers or poppers to get into these fish. Guy Jeans’ guided fly fishing for bass trips have become very popular and he does them weekly. Great fly rod to use on the lower Kern for bass is a 9 foot 6wt or 7wt Redington Vapen Black, Redington Behemoth 7/8 Reel and a Rio Small Mouth Bass Fly Line
South Fork of the Kern
The South Fork of the Kern River is a special fishery and is home to our states freshwater fish, the Golden Trout. It is also home to the predatory non native Brown trout who considers the small golden trout a tasty treat. Consider using flies that replicate small golden trout next time you fish the South fork of the Kern or use a mouse fly in the late evening.
Can you catch a Golden Trout here? Yes you can, and it will count towards your “Wild Heritage Trout Program”.
Tributaries of the Southern Sierra
Can you catch a Little Kern Golden Trout here? Yes you can, and it will count towards your “Wild Heritage Trout Program”.
The small creeks are great for Tenkara fly fishing. Click on the link to find out more information. Tenkara information and gear!
Lake Isabella is fishing well for Crappie, Bass and Carp on the fly! Carp have moved into the shallows as the lake fills up.