: Northern California, Yosemite advice
07-13-2005, 02:32 PM
Any Northern California flyfishers here? I ‘m taking my family on vacation to Yosemite for a few days and my son is asking me about flyfishing. I would love to be just flyfishing but we’ll be dividing our time between that and all the other vacation type things. But, I would like to try and get my son out to go fishing and take pictures, maybe away from the crowds etc. Does anyone have any suggestions on small streams to fish or maybe you could offer some ideas about where I can get more information? Thanks.
07-13-2005, 05:37 PM
I am actually in the middle of doing some research on the same. I have lived within 3 hours of Yosemite for most of my life and never been there. I took my wife there a few weeks ago for a day trip and was amazed at the beauty! What an awesome place! We are going back the end of September (23rd anniversary) for 4 days at the Lodge at Yosemite Falls and I hope to sneak out early in the mornings to cast a fly into the Merced. I plan to do this early because the 1 thing that was terribly obvious was the number of people and absence of fishermen. From what I have gathered so far, the better fishing is away from the crowds (the no brainer obvious answer, but where the hell is that in a national park with 10,000 people in it) but then you've got to be able to get to it without any sort of expedition, so I may fish the obvious spots nearby at first light and just see how that pans out. I plan to contact some local shops and I'll post what I find out, you do the same. Best of luck to you!
07-13-2005, 11:40 PM
Good to have you as a member, look forward to your input. Yosemite is one of my favorites. For a first visit I would stay in the valley, there is so much to see and do. I think the fishing is just fine there, and early morning go outs can yeild fish, time to your self and kids, as well as the valleys bountys (deer, cyotes etc) You can get your licenses (over 16 years) right there at the store. Inside the valley is C+R for Rainbow Trout, and a 5 bag limit on Browns, so you could bring one back to have with your eggs if you choose, but I would do C+R on all, because of the pressure on such a small space, good time to teach the kids about the bennifits of C+R.
Artifical flies / Barbless hooks are the rule, so remember to pinch! Don't forget to set aside some time for a meal, or just a cup of coffee and danish at the Ahwahnee Hotel, a visit to the Le Conte Memorial, and a hike (sunrise is best) up to Yosemite Falls!
I envy you my friend, it's been a couple of years since I've been back, time to put it on the trip list. There are other Flyfishing destinations in the area, if you get time to yourself......But a man could spend a month in the Valley, and loose track of everything else!
07-14-2005, 01:11 AM
I am a N Cali resident, but have never been to Yosemite myself, but I spoke to someone who is buying a drifboat I am selling, he is from Bishop and tells me that the E. Walker is doing really well right now despite the high flows. Not sure how far it is from where you are. I can check with a buddy of mine who lives in Ahwahnee about closer bets for you. I know he fishes the Merced alot.
07-14-2005, 09:51 AM
Thanks to everyone for the great posts about Yosemite. I am looking forward to this trip as its been several years since we've had any kind of a vacation. My son is 13 and has gotten totally serious about flyfishing and tying, so, I want to try and take advantage of this opportunity as much as I can. I look forward to fishing, but I really want him to have a good time and catch some fish.
I will look over some of the maps and locate myself in the park and will try and pick out some rivers that we will have access to. Any thoughts on really good fly patterns? I'll be tying this weekend and maybe I can get some tied up in advance.
Thanks again, if anyone has some advice on restaurants etc, let me know.
07-14-2005, 10:34 AM
Lived in Norcal for 12 years (Bay Area) with lots of camping trips to Yosemite, and fishing trips there and to other Sierra streams and rivers. In my experience, the easily accessible rivers in the park do not offer the best fishing.
Within the park, I think the lower portion of the Merced river (the pocket water and down through the gorge at the west end), the rivers in the Tuolomne meadows area, and the rivers off of the glacier point road, including the upper portion of the Merced river, offer the best fishing.
Outside the park, my personal favorite is the Stanislaus river, but the Tuolomne out of Hetch Hetchy is good as well. The Eastern slope is less well known to me.
I would recommend the Mother Lode fly shop in Sonora, as good with advice should you be traveling up from the Bay area...you should drive right past it as you are heading eastwards out of Sonora.
One of the most spectacular parks in the country....enjoy...there is also a book on fishing yosemite...I think from Amato publications...and a 5 page booklet that's available at all of the visitor's centers.
07-15-2005, 10:31 AM
Hey guys, you are the best! I appreciate all the great advice. Any thoughts as to best flies for this area? Thanks. Pictures to follow.
07-15-2005, 11:21 AM
Been a couple years since I fished up there..here's my recall.
West slope of Sierra through mid-summer is predominantly caddis...variable colors. Most bugs coming off in the afternoon, but no real dramatic hatches.
favorite dry for me was a goddard caddis, but elk-hair would work, too, as would henryville special etc etc. I preferred the goddard, as I was fishing mostly freestone streams and the floatability helped...
Variable mayfly hatches, in a variety of colors...some yellows, light tans, grays and periodically white bluewing olives more at the extremes of the season.. Any mayfly pattern in a reasonable color would be OK..an Adams would cover most bases.
For size...mostly smaller bugs...sizes 14 and 16 were the most common dry sizes for me out there.
nymphs can be VERY productive...on the bottom...turn over some rocks to see what you are looking to mimic....should find scads of caddis pupa and nymphs, especially the little guys with the stick or stone cases..in many areas, it's hard to wade without stepping on them.
Common dropper rig for me would be a dual setup of a GRHE and a prince...typically one in a 12, the other a 16 or 18...would commonly split between the flies fairly evenly.