Kern River Trout
Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Kern River In
California
The North Fork of the Kern River, sometimes called the
Main Branch, starts from several small lakes in the high
Sierra Nevada Mountains. It begins in the Sequoia
National Park and flows through the Ino and Sequoia
National Forests and the Golden Trout Wilderness. The
Little Kern River joins the North Fork at what's called the
Forks of the Kern River. The North Fork flows into Lake
Isabella. Fly fishing the Kern River is usually a very
enjoyable and successful adventure.

The South Fork of the Kern River also drains from the
high Sierra Nevada Mountains and flows through the Ino
National Forest. It also flows into Lake Isabella. Fly
fishing the upper headwaters of the South Fork of the
Kern River is an unforgettable experience.

The tailwater section of the Kern River below Lake
Isabella and Isabella Dam, flows through a very rugged
canyon just south of the Greenhorn Mountains. This
section of the river is about eighty miles long. It's strictly
controlled by its releases and therefore the water
temperature and quality of the fishing is subject to
fluctuations depending on the releases of water from the
dam. It has some very large brown trout. Smallmouth
bass exist in its lower part.

Above Lake Isabella, the North Fork of the Kern is
followed by Highway #155 for over 25 miles. It runs from
Kernville up to the Johnsondale Bridge. The North Fork
is heavily stocked with rainbow trout and also has a good
population of holdover trout.

Much of the South Fork is remote and requires traveling
in on horse back or by taking a long hike to fish much of
its waters. It stays very cold even during the Summer
and has big browns and rainbows. The South Fork of the
Kern is a designated wild trout stream above the
southern boundary of the South Sierra Wilderness.
Golden trout are present above Monache Meadows.

The Upper Kern River above the Johnsondale Bridge
has a special regulations area where wild Kern River
Rainbows are very plentiful.  This four mile section can
be fished year round and with barbless hooks only. It
has a population of both rainbows and brown trout. This
section offers pocket-water, fly fishing at its best. The
Upper Kern river has a lot of tributary streams that also
hold trout. Nobe Young, Dry Meadow Creek, Freeman
Creek, Peppermint Creek, Durwood Creek, Trout Creek,
and Brush Creek are some of them.

Most of the locals fish generic and attractor type flies.
That often leads to less than satisfactory results. The
Kern River has plenty of aquatic insects, crustaceans,
sculpin and baitfish. The diversity is huge and varies
depending on the section of the river your fishing. Pale
Morning Duns, Yellow Quills, Blue-winged olives and
other mayflies; several species of stoneflies, including
Goldens and Little Yellows, several species of caddisflies
and terrestrial insects make up the majority of food for
the trout.

Seasons:
The general season is from the last Saturday in April
through November 15. Sections of the river is open to
fishing year-round.
Spring:
Springtime is great in the tailwater if the discharges are
reasonable. In the North and South Forks, the water is
cold and it's mostly nymph and streamer fishing.
Summer:
Summertime is the best time to fish the high Sierras.
Fall:
Fly fishing the Kern River during the early Fall can also
be very productive.
Type of Stream
Freestone and Tailwater Sections

Species
Rainbow Trout {Wild and Stocked)
Golden Trout (Native)
Brown Trout (Wild and Stocked)

Size
Large

Location
Westslope of the Southern Sierras

Nearest Towns
Bakersville
Kernville

Season
Last Sat. of April through Nov. 15
(regular season)
Special Regulations:
Golden Trout Wilderness open from
last Saturday of April through
November 15th. Barbless artificial
only.
Two other sections, a twenty-mile
and a four mile section, have special
regulations and seasons

Access:
Easy to Difficult Depending on the
Area

Non-Resident License
State of California

Weather
National Weather Service Link

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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
Kern River
California
Kern River Fishing Report:
11/13/15 Good customer reporting he will be
closing out the fishing season on the Kern. He
ordered flies for a nearby tailwater in California
but reported he will spend the next two days on
the Kern regardless of the weather. Go Joe, get
er done.
03/23/14 Season Closed until the last Saturday
of April, 2014. Check back with us before then
as we will be posting regular reports.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
04/15/14 Two more weeks and we will begin our
reports.
Fishing Report Updated
November
10, 2017
(See Archive at bottom of page)
05/06/14 Two good reports from anglers
fishing the Kern. Both caught several
trout using
BWO nymphs and White Belly
Sculpin Streamers. Both ordered more
flies this pas week.
05/22/14 The Upper Kern River has been
producing some trout this past week. The
water is warming up and more aquatic
insects are beginning to hatch. Two
customers ordering flies for trips they have
scheduled this coming week.
05/29/14 Another good report came in
this past week from a new customer.
There are some March Browns and Little
Black Caddis hatching along with plenty
of small BWOs.
06/05/14 More good reports from
customers. The water is warming up
nicely and more hatches taking place.
06/12/14 Stoneflies are hatching now along
with some mayflies and caddis. Anglers doing
very well and ordering more flies.
06/19/14 Three excellent reports from a local
contact and two customers ordering more
flies. Several hatches are underway and
plenty of trout being caught in spite o the low
water.
06/26/14 More good fishing reports. The
Kern is hot. Two customers order flies
reported catching up to twenty-five trout
per day.
07/03/14 The fishing is as hot as it ever
gets on the Kern River and we mean
that from the catching and weather
standpoints. Two more customers
reporting excellent fishing this past week.
07/17/14 Three excellent reports from
customers this past week. Low water
levels but otherwise great conditions.
Many aquatic insect hatches taking place.
07/24/14 Two more good reports from
anglers this past week. Now is the time to
fish the Kern.
08/01/14 The Kern continues to be one
of the better stream in the state to fish.
The water is low, but staying hidden will
greatly improve your odds of success.
08/14/14 Low water conditions still exist
but it remains cool in the higher elevations
with plenty of trout being caught. The
numbers of campers, hikers, and anglers
are down and fishing should get better.
08/23/14 Fewer reports but from what we
did receive anglers are still catching
some trout, mostly in the upper river.
There are less visitors this past week.
08/28/14 Low water conditions is still
making it a little tough but we had one
good report from the past week. Western
Ginger Quills are hatching.
09/11/14 We haven't received any reports
from anglers fishing the Kern this past week.
09/25/14 Anglers catching lots of trout.
Terrestrials are working good along with
little BWOs, and Ginger Quills.
10/09/14 Excellent fishing reports are
coming from the Kern River. Lots of
trout are being caught. Water
temperture is down to 55 degrees.
10/16/14 More good reports from our
customers for the past week. Good weather
and okay stream conditions should continue.
10/23/14 No reports came in this past week
but conditions remain fair. Lower flows
aren't helping.
10/30/14 One good report came in from the
lower river from a loyal customer. He was
using
BWO nymphs and duns.
12/11/14 More very good fly fishing reports
from customers the past two weeks. Our
Brown Sculpin streamer and BWOs have
been the hot flies.
12/18/14 There is more rain forecast and
that is helping. Temperatures are nice with
highs in the low fifties. Should be able to
catch plenty of trout.
01/01/15 The two Upper Kern sections open
to catch and release are much colder but a
few wild trout are still being caught. Midges
and size 20 BWO nymphs working best.
01/08/15 Customer reporting catching
several on a combination
Cream Midge
pupa and larva in tandem.
01/15/15 No reports from the past week
but conditions remain very good.
01/22/15 Two more good reports. Nice
winter weather is forecast for this week.
01/29/15 We didn't receive any reports
from anyone fishing this past week but the
conditions remain very good.
02/05/15 Lots of trout were stocked this
past week and more coming next week.
Most of our customers focus on the wild..
02/12/15 Two more good reports from the
past week. They are using a variety of
nymphs and our
Brown Sculpin streamer.
02/19/15 Conditions remain good but we
didn't receive any reports from anyone
fishing this past week.
02/26/15 Still no reports from anyone
fishing other than the put n take sections.
The weather will be little cooler this coming
week, otherwise conditions remain good.
03/05/15 Great conditions for this coming
week. Good stream levels and great
weather. What for
March Browns.
03/19/15 Lots of March Browns and Little
Black Caddis hatching, some BWOs and
plenty of trout being caught by those who
use the right strategy, others are
complaining..
03/26/15 Two good reports came in the past
week from the upper sections of the river.
04/16/15 Sorry for the lack of reports this
past two weeks. We have had some health
problems but back in good shape. Several
fairly good reports have come in from the
different sections of the river. The upper
Kern is fishing very well. Several hatches
have started taking place.
04/23/15 More good reports. Cooler
weather this week with a chance of rain.
04/30/15 Both the four and twenty mile
sections of the Upper Kern are fishing good.
Below Isabella, is probably decent.
05/07/15 Low flows are still a problem but
there's some chance of rain the first of the
week. Stocked water is fishing good as usual.
Upper sections didn't do so well last week.
05/14/15 Anglers are catching stockers in
the upper sections. No reports from anyone
catching wild trout this past week.
05/21/15 No reports from the past week.
Let us hear from you.
05/28/15 The upper section above the
lakes is in runoff mode.
06/07/15 The upper section is still in a
runoff condition but this shouldn't last long.
Some of the tailwwaters can be fished but it
depends on the discharges.
06/11/15 Still in runoff in the upper
headwaters. High discharges in the
tailwaters. Not much opportunity.
06/18/15 The upper Kern is getting into
good shape with much lower flows and
warmer water temperatures.
06/25/15 The upper river is fishing very
good with Golden stones, Little Yellow
stones, PMDs, Spotted Sedges and other
caddis species.
07/02/15 The upper Kern is in great shape
with lots of insects hatching and lots of trout
being caught by our customers. The middle
section is also fishing pretty good.
07/09/15 Two good reports from customers
fishing the upper Kern came recently. The
cooler weather should help the lower sections.
07/16/15 Another good report from the
upper Kern. Lots of PMDs, Little Yellow
stones and Spotted sedges.
07/23/15 The upper river continues to fish
good. Two reports from customers from the
wild trout section.
07/30/15 There is a good chance of rain
through Saturday. Fish the upper wild trout
section. Lots of PMDs, and Spotted Sedges.
08/06/15 The upper Kern River and its many
tributaries continue to fish good. Pale
Evening duns, Pale Morning Duns, Little
Yellow stones and terrestrials are key flies.
08/13/15 The headwaters and many
tributaries are your best bet now with the hot
weather. They are in good shape right now.
08/20/15 There's some smoke in some areas.
Low stream levels require some added
stealth and longer, lighter leaders.
08/27/15 A good report from the upper Kern
Special Reg area. Hiking into the South Fork
is a great option at this time.
09/03/15 The lower stream levels are making
it tougher than normal, but using stealth and
longer, lighter leaders and tippets, you can
catch trout in most all the upper sections.
The cooler weather this coming week will help.
09/10/15 The Kern is in better shape than
about anything else in CA. We got to good
reports last week, one from the TW and the
other upper Kern. It is going to be hot again,
so we recommend going as high as you can.
09/17/15 The warm weather has continued to
keep all the water but that the high
elevations on the warm side. The good news
is, the forecast is calling for cooler weather
this coming week.
Map of Kern River
09/24/15 A good report from the upper Kern
came in yesterday. Notice we have added a
Google map of the river on your left.
10/01/15 Giant Orange or October Caddis
have started hatching along with lots of
blue-winged Olive. Good conditions continue.
10/07/15 Stream levels are on the way back
down low but still okay in most areas. The
weather has warmed back up some and that
didn't help. We did get one good report.
10/15/15 Not much change from last week so
far, but there will be. There is a lot of rain in
the forecast and that will help big time.
10/22/15 The upper Kern is very low but still
producing some trout. October Caddis are at
their peak and egg layers bringing trout to
the surface.  
10/29/15 Some are upset over the lack of
stocking. The hatcheries suffered during the
hot weather and this is the result of it. There
are plenty of wild trout in the Kern and our
only advice is to learn how to fish so you can
catch the non- dough bellies.
11/05/15 No reports from anyone fishing.
Only a slight chance of snow the first of
next week. We need a storm
11/12/15 Countdown for the end of the
regular season. There are three more days
to go. The season remains open on the
North Fork from Lake Isabella to the
Johnsondale bridge. Catch and release with
barbless hooks is open above the
Johnsondale Bridge.
11/19/15 Keep in mind barbless hooks
doesn't necessarily mean hooks with no
barbs. The barbs can be mashed down
even with the shank and still be legal.
11/26/15 The weather is staying reasonably
mild with highs in the low forties and lows
thirties. Midges and small BWOs are the only
insects you should be matching.
12/03/15 There is a good weather forecast for
the next week with highs in the sixties and lows
mid thirties. Our
Brown Sculpin produced this
past week for one of our regular customers.
12/10/15 Lot of snow expected the next two
days and rain from Saturday through next
Tuesday. You can catch trout if you go. They
like the wet weather. Just don't get stranded.
12/17/15 More snow and few anglers fishing.
We didn't receive any reports this past week.
The snowpack in the mountains is getting in
better shape.
12/24/15 There is a winter weather advisory
with lots of heavy snow and rain through
tomorrow Christmas Day and then clearing up
for a few days. Anglers have had more
problems getting to the water than catching
trout and few are trying. I guess snow spooks
guys out in this part of the state. It has brought
a very good snow pack.
12/31/15 There has been a Rock slides that
closed the road up the canyon. Anglers have
been doing pretty good on the upper river near
the Johnsondale Bridge. There is a slight
chance of rain the first of next week but clear
until then. Highs will be in the forties and lows in
the mid twenties, not bad for this time of the
year.
01/14/16 Happy New Year!  There is a good
chance of rain Saturday and again next
Wednesday. It is needed. It will stain the water
pretty good and that's not a bad thing.
Streamers like our White Belly sculpin should
produce well. Midges and winter stonefly
nymphs are the flies you need otherwise.
01/14/16 The Upper Kern is open year round!
The 20 mile section has a water temperature of
about 35 degrees. The Upper Kern Wild Trout
Section is in decent shape. are doing very
good and there's lots of them. Remember it is
barbless hooks. The water temperature there
is about 34 degrees.
01/21/16 You can probably catch some trout in
the upper Kern, both the 20 miles stocked
section and the wild trout section. The water is
very cold, averaging from 35 to 37 degrees.
Fish midges and the Winter stonefly nymphs in
the slack current, not the fast water. Trout won't
hold in much current in water this cold.
01/28/16 Few fish were caught in the stocked
section of the upper river mainly because few
are fishing. The water is cold but they can be
caught using the right flies and tactics. A few
trout were reported caught in the Wild trout
section of the upper river.
The river is still in good shape with
good numbers of trout being caught
in all sections. There are good
hatches of Blue-winged olives and
Midges. Sculpin streamers continue
to get the larger trout.
02/04/16There were a few trout caught recently
in the wild trout section of the upper Kern.
There is a lot of melting snow and the water is
stained in some areas. You should have a 4
wheel drive vehicle to access most areas. The
weather is warmer and there's no rain or snow
in the forecast for the coming week.
02/11/16 The Upper Kern stocked section is
doing good with lots of trout being caught. The
water temp is 41 and you have to fish the holes
in the bottom out of the main current. The four
mile wild trout section is about the same water
temp and doing very well. Winter stonefly
nymphs and midges are the flies you need to
be using. We recommend red (blood) and
cream midge larva and pupa.
02/18/16 Conditions remain good in the upper
wild and stocked trout sections. The stream
levels are fine and the water cold but if you
fish the slack current, in holes and pockets out
of the main current, you should be able to
catch plenty of trout. Midges, winter stoneflies,
and little BWO nymphs are the main insects to
imitate.
02/25/16 The weather is going to be very warm
with no chance of rain or snow this coming
week. Stream levels are good and trout are
being caught in both the wild trout section and
stocked sections. Little Blue-winged olives are
hatching, size 18-20.
03/03/16 The Kern is in good shape right now,
but there is some heavy rain and a winter
storm warning for this coming weekend. Access
will be a problem for some sections. Anglers
have been catching wild trout and stockers in
both sections of the river open for fishing right
now.
03/10/16 The upper Kern four mile, wild trout
section, and the twenty mile section, are both
in good shape and trout are being caught.
Blue-winged olives and midges are hatching.
There is a big chance of rain tomorrow and
again on Sunday through Tuesday.
03/17/16 The weather should be mostly clear
with little to no rain or snow for the coming
week. The snow pack is low and more snow is
needed to get the river through the summer
without problems. It has been high but falling
out fast. We didn't receive any reports from
anyone fishing the past week.
03/24/16 The wild trout section and the stocked
section of the upper river are in decent shape,
and the few anglers fishing are catching trout.
There are cream Midge, little BWO's and a few
March Browns hatching. Skwala stoneflies
should start hatching soon. Plan your trip on a
warm day and you should do well.The weather
will be clear until next Tuesday.
03/31/16 The weather is going to be clear of
rain and snow this coming week. The wild trout
and stocked sections are both producing trout
for the few anglers fishing. There are cream
Midge, little BWO's and a few March Browns
hatching. Skwala stoneflies should start
hatching soon. Plan your trip on a warm day
and you should do well. The weather will be
clear until next Tuesday.
04/07/16 Very good conditions exist in the
upper wild trout section and the stocked
section of the upper river. Our customers are
catching trout on Blue-winged olives, size 20,
nymphs in the morning, and duns in the
warmest part of the day. The water is about 53
degrees. March Browns are sporadic but
hatching some. There is a chance of rain from
Friday through next Tuesday.
04/14/16 The upper 20 mile section and wild
trout section are both in decent shape with
hatches of March Browns, little Black Caddis
and Blue-winged olives. There is no rain or
snow in the forecast for this next week with
warm weather.
04/21/16 This week should be a good one to
fish the kern. Both the wild trout section and
the twenty-mile stocked sections have been
good to anglers lately. There is a chance of
rain Friday night and other than that, clear for
the next week with highs in the seventies and
lows in the high thirties to low forties. March
Brown are still hatching as well as BWOs.
04/28/16 The regular trout season starts in
two more days. That isn't going to change
much regarding the fishing, because it is
great right now in the two open sections. Our
customers reported some great catches the
past two days in the wild and stocked section
of the upper river.
05/05/15 The river is in great shape from top
to bottom. The upper 20 mile section has
good flows and water about 48 degrees. The
wild trout section is also in good shape with
good flows and about 46 degree water. The
forks are even in good shape.
05/12/16 There is no rain in the forecast with
highs for the day ranging from 69 to 84
degrees. Pale Morning duns should start
hatching in the lower part. Spotted Sedges
and green Sedges are hatching. Golden
stoneflies are starting to hatch. High levels
exist, but they are falling.
05/19/16 The river is in the full runoff mode
with very high levels and muddy water. It will
be a few days before this clears up.
05/26/16 The cooler weather has the flows
down much lower. Right now the headwaters
and tributaries are in good shape, the gorge
excellent shape and the lower river also
producing some trout.
06/02/16 I'm sure most of you know there is a
fire in the upper river area at Owens Peak
and Chimney Peak Wilderness Area, near
Kennedy Meadows.
06/09/16 The flows were up high this past
week due to the runoff. The area above the
Johnsondale Bridge was producing good.
Make sure you check the stream levels before
going.  
06/16/16 We received only one report from
the past week and it was from the wild trout
section. Stream levels are still high and
strong. You have to pick and choose the
spots to wade and they are few and far
between. We think this will be in much better
shape within another week or two.
06/23/16 The four mile wild trout section is
producing some good trout. The flows are
down and getting in better shape. The twenty
mile section is producing a lot of stockers. The
flows are at about 1000 cfs, which is better,
but still needs to drop some more.
06/30/16 The Erskine fire is about 75%
contained. We didn't receive any fishing
reports this past week, we assume due to the
fire. The levels are down and hopefully more
stable and we are expecting some good
results this coming week. As everyone
knows, it will be hot.
07/07/16 We received some decent reports
from customers. The weather has been a little
cooler. The uppermost sections of the river
are in good shape. The stocked section water
temperature is marginal. There's still a lot of
hatches taking place. Send us an email for a
list.
07/14/16 The sections 4 and 6 of the stocked
water has been producing a few fish for the
many anglers that have been fishing it. The
upper wild trout section flows are down to
where more water can be waded, with plenty
of hatches taking place. We had one good
report from a customer this past week fishing
it.
07/21/16 The upper river wild trout water is in
very good shape and we are getting some
good reports from customers. You have Yellow
Quills, Pale morning duns, little Yellow
stoneflies, Spotted sedges and other insects
hatching. Good stream levels exist.
07/28/16 The upper Kern, or four mile long
wild trout section is fishing very good. The
levels are okay and the water still cool. The
lower twenty-mile section reaches very
marginal temperatures during the day. The
trout become a little lethargic and we
recommend avoiding it right now.
08/04/16 We still think the stocked 20 mile
section is getting to warm to fish. The fish
become a little lethargic and are not as easy
to catch in the warm water and it is reaching
70 in the early afternoon. Fish the wild trout
section or the uppermost headwaters.
08/11/16 There is no chance of rain and the
weather is going to be hot with highs in the 90s.
Fish the wild trout section (4 mile section) for
the best results. The lower 20 mile section is
getting too warm during the afternoons. You
can catch plenty of trout by hiking into the
headwaters, but not from easy road access.
08/18/16 The weather is still very hot with
highs in the nineties each day and no chance
of rain this coming week. We recommend
avoiding the twenty mile long stocked section
above the bridge. It is getting too warm. If you
fish there, fish early mornings only. The wild
trout section is producing some good fish
with much cooler water.
08/25/16 Those going to the trouble to hike
back into the North Fork are catching a lot
of trout. The upper four mile section is also
in great shape. The lower stocked section is
still marginal and we recommend fishing it
only in the early mornings.
09/01/16 The cooler weather is really helping
those fishing the lower stocked twenty-mile
section. The water temperature is down and
the crowds will be gone after this weekend.
The entire upper river including the
four-miles section is in great shape with wild
trout being caught by those making the effort.
09/08/16 We received some good reports
from a customer fishing the upper
headwaters. All sections of the river is in good
shape. The levels are okay and the water
temperature is down in good shape. Several
hatches are taking place but they vary greatly
with the elevation. Caddisflies are in all
sections.
09/15/16 The stocked section is getting
some less than good reports. The wild trout
section and upper rivers and tributaries are
in good shape and we continue to get good
reports from those fishing it. By the way, yes,
you can squeeze the barbs using forcepts to
comply with the barbless hook regulations.
09/22/16 The twenty-mile section isn't doing
so well and won't be until the state begins to
stock it again. The wild trout sections, which
in most serious anglers mind are the only
sections worth fishing, are in great shape in
all sections. If you go to a little trouble and do
a little hiking you can catch plenty of wild Kern
River trout.
09/29/16 The weather is much cooler and the
water temperatures is dropping throughout the
system. The twenty mile section can be waded
but needs stocked. The four mile section is in
great shape with plenty BWO hatches, The
entire upper sections and tributaries is in good
shape with miles of water to fish. Now, is a
great time to be fishing the upper Kern.
10/06/16 The 20 mile section is in better
shape and anglers catching trout. Except for
the dough belly fish, the best section to fish is
the 4 mile wild trout section, or any of the
uppermost sections of the headwaters.
Blue-winged olives (
baetis) are hatching good
along with Mahogany duns and October
caddis.
10/13/16 There is only a slight chance of rain
forecast for today and Monday. The river is in
fairly good shape now, and anglers are
catching trout in about all sections. We are still
recommending the wild trout sections but the
twenty-mile stocked section is turning out plenty
of trout. Blue-winged olives are hatching.
10/27/16 It is raining now as I write this and
will continue through the weekend. The
twenty-mile section has been producing a lot
of trout for our customers as well as the upper
wild trout section. You will need to keep a
close look at the stream levels the next few
days. Blue-winged olive, Western Ginger
Quills, Spotted sedges and Cream Midges.
11/03/16 The stream levels have been falling
for most of the past week and are in good
shape in all sections. Few anglers are fishing
we assume due to hunting season or maybe
the World series or football. It is a very time
to do so, if you get the opportunity.
11/10/16 The twenty-mile section has been
the most popular section lately. Remember,
the regular trout season ends on the 15th.
The twenty mile section is open year-round.
Hatches are down to mostly Blue-winged
olives and Cream Midges.
11/17/16 We are still getting some good
reports from the 20 mile section. Anglers are
catching good numbers of trout. The stream
levels are okay now. There is rain forecast this
weekend. No reports from the past week on
the wild trout section.
11/24/16 We are still getting some good  
reports from the 20 mile section. Anglers are
catching good numbers of trout. The stream
levels are okay now. There is rain forecast this
weekend. No reports from the past week on
the wild trout section.
12/01/16 Conditions remain about the same.
The stocked 20 mile section is still turning out
stockers in good numbers. The wild trout
section is producing good for the few that are
fishing it. Winter stoneflies are starting to
hatch.
12/08/16 The twenty mile section continued to
turn out good numbers of stockers. It is best
just below the Johnsondale Bridge. The four
mile wild trout section is also producing some
good numbers for the few angers fishing it.
Remember, it is barbless hooks and C and R.
Upper Kern River Stream levels:
At Kernville
12/15/16 There is heavy rain and then snow
through tomorrow. The stream levels may be
on the way up, so make sure  you check
them. The twenty-mile section would be the
best bet provided the levels are okay.
12/22/16 The discharges and stream levels
are down near normal, making wading
possible in the twenty-mile and wild trout
sections. High sticking will get you the most
trout. Use size 20 BWO nymphs, or Cream
midge pupa and lava in tandem.
12/29/16 We didn't receive any reports this
past week, we assume due to the holidays.
The stream levels were a little high but back
down in good shape now. Fish the
twenty-mile or four-mile sections. Midges,
creams and reds, are hatching.
01/12/17 Stream levels are all still too high
to fish. There is another wave of rain coming
the first of next week. You will just have to
wait and watch the levels. We will keep you
posted each week.
01/19/17 The upper Kern River is in good
shape with flows about 900 cfs. Midges,
creams and reds, with the larva and pupa
fished in tandem will work. Size 20 BWO
nymphs is a good choice. You could see a
BWO hatch.
01/27/17 The river is getting into good shape
with lower levels and the weather much
warmer and clear. Both the stocked lower
twenty mile and wild trout four mile section
should be in good shape. We didn't receive
any reports the past week.
02/02/17 The upper Kern flows continue to
fluctuate up and down. The tailwater
discharges are currently at 500 cfs, or strong
and high. There is a chance of rain everyday
the next week but Saturday. We didn't receive
any reports from the past week.
02/09/17 The river has been high but much
better condition than it was. It is still too high
to provide my fly fishing opportunity. We
didn't receive any reports from the past week.
02/16/17 The levels are still too high to
safely wade. There is more heavy rain on the
way, including a flood watch. You will just
have to keep checking the levels.
02/23/17 The snowpack is several times the
normal amount. The huge snowpack will be
putting water down the river until late July or
August. We will be posting reports each
week, so check back as to the status.
02/29/17 The flows are finally down to where
anglers can fish with a decent opportunity to
catch trout. The upper Kern flows are half of
what they were a week ago.
03/09/17 The headwaters of the river are
falling out. Anglers are fishing the wild and
stocked sections of  the river again. We
didn't receive any reports from anyone
fishing this past week.
03/16/17 The upper river is flowing at about
2900 cfs. There have been anglers fishing
the stocked and wild trout sections when it
was lower and a few trout are being caught.
03/23/17 The stocked and wild trout sections
are fishable but we didn't receive any reports
from anyone fishing this past week.
03/30/17 The upper Kern is running very
high and most likely will continue to do this
for some time. The snow pack is huge and
the rainfall amounts recently have been
heavy. We didn't receive any reports from
anyone fishing this past week. The lower
river is completely out of the question.
04/06/17 The stream levels are still very high
and the water stained. We didn't receive any
reports from anyone fishing this past week.
Fishing should be great as soon as the
levels permit some wading opportunity.
04/13/17 The stream levels are down some,
averaging about 2700 cfs. It is still going to
be a while before the river is down low
enough to wade safely and fish. All you can
do is to keep checking back with us. We will
keep you informed.
04/20/17 The stream levels are still around
3300 cfs, far too high to wade safely. With
the abnormal amount of rainfall and snow
pack received lately, it may be another month
before the stream gets into good shape. All
you can do is check back with us. We will
keep you informed.
04/27/17 It is amazing how conditions have
changed from previous years. It has gone
from worrying about low water levels to very
high levels that can't be fished. The levels
are currently still very high, to high to fish
anywhere except from the bank in  few
places.
05/04/17 We dislike having to continue to
report the same high water situation each
week, but that is what it is. You can fish from
the banks but that is it. All sections of the
river are high and stained.
05/12/17 If you want to fish from the banks,
in fast, high turbid water then you can fish
the Kern in the stocked or wild trout
sections, but for all practical purpose, it isn't
worth it. Keep in touch and we will keep you
informed as to the conditions.
05/18/25 The river is still very high and
stained. All you can do is to stay in touch. We
will keep you informed as to the conditions.
You can send us an email and let us help you
plan that next fly fishing trip.
05/25/17 The river is very high and badly
stained to muddy. Runoff is going strong. All
you can do is wait until the stream levels
drop and quite frankly, that isn't going to be
anytime very soon. Keep checking back with
us.
06/01/17 The same story and (lost count) of
the verse.How high is the water Mama? Still
high but not really rising. Some of the small
tributary streams may be low enough to fish
but we don't have any reports confirming
that.
06/08/17 The stream is very high, completely
blown out. Keep in touch.
06/15/17 The stream is extremely high, or
blown out from runoff. All you can do is check
back with us.
06/22/17 The upper Kern is still blown out and
likely to remain that way for a few more days
or more. Keep in touch and we will keep you
informed. You can send us an email and let us
help you plan that next trip.
06/29/17 The Upper Kern is down a lot from
last week, but still too high to wade. There are
some small tributary streams in the headwaters
you can probably fish, but the main river is still
in the runoff mode, high and dingy.
07/06/17 The river is about the same as last
week - high and still not in shape to fish. We
recommended trying some of the little
tributaries in the upper part but didn't receive
any reports from anyone trying this past week.
07/13/17 The levels are down some from last
week, and that is a good sign, or at least I
hope it is. The water is still too high but keep
your fingers crossed. Good conditions may
come sooner than we think.
7/20/17 The stream levels are down a lot this
past week, but still to high to provide decent
fly fishing opportunities. We have high hopes
the flows will be down sooner than many are
expecting and will keep you informed.
07/27/17 It is time. The river isn't down low
enough to be fished without caution, but it is
dropping daily and trout are being caught by
our customers in the twenty mile section.
PMD nymphs and Sculpin streamers are
working for the big bows. Be very careful
wading.
08/03/17 The stream levels are back up
some making it more difficult to fish the
twenty mile section. There are few places it
is safe to wade and some fishing can be
done successfully form the bank but it
needs to drop on down.
08/10/17 We received two good reports from
the 20 mile section. The stream is getting
lower each day but still higher than
desirable. We haven't received any reports
from the wild trout section. There are lots of
insects hatching. Pale Morning duns hatch
late morning and spinners fall late afternoon.
08/17/17 The river continues to drop and get
better and better. The twenty mile section is
turning out some nice trout. There are some
good hatches taking place. The four mile
section is also in decent shape. We received
one good report from it this past week. Now
is the time to be fishing the Kern.
08/25/17 We are now getting some good
reports from the wild trout section as well as
the twenty-mile section. There are still some
good hatches taking place. Terrestrials such
as Japanese beetles and Carpenter ants are
also working good.
08/31/17 We received more good reports
from customers fishing both sections of the
river. We have two groups fishing the upper
headwaters and hopefully, we will have some
good reports from the very soon.
09/07/17 We received two good reports from
customers fishing the upper headwater. One
report from the Wild trout section. The
twenty-mile lower section is also in good shape
with good number of trout being caught.
09/14/17 The flows are good and lots of trout
are being caught in the twenty-mile stocked
section and the wild trout section. We received
three good reports from customers this past
week. The cooler weather ahead is going to be
a big help.
09/21/17 The river continues to be in good
shape with lots of trout being caught in both
the twenty-mile and wild trout sections of the
river. There are some good hatches taking
place including some Western Ginger Quills,
Pale Morning duns, Spotted sedge caddis
and others..
09/28/17 The river is in good shape in all
sections. Both the 20 mile and the wild trout
section are turning out good numbers of
trout. We had three good reports from
customers this past week.
10/05/17 Stream levels are still in good shape
and wading safe and easy most places. Both
the twenty-mile stocked section and the wild
trout section are turning out good numbers
and sizes of trout. Conditions are very good in
all sections of the river including the
headwaters.
10/12/17 The four mile wild trout section is
turning out some good trout for our
customers. The twenty-mile stocked section is
as well, but they are stocked. Stream levels
are in decent shape in both cases. The upper
river sections and tributaries are also in good
shape.
10/19/17 The river is still in good shape in all
sections. Good reports are coming in from
the twenty mile stocked section and the four
mile wild trout section. There are lots of
Blue-winged olives, Cream and Red midges,
Mahogany duns and some October caddis.
10/27/17 The river is still in very good shape
in all sections. There are a lot of trout being
caught in the lower stocked section. We
received one good report from a customer
fishing the wild trout section.
11/03/17 Conditions remain good with lots of
trout being caught. The colder weather will
limit the hatches to BWOs and Cream and
Red midges. There may be some October
caddis left. All sections of the river are
turning out good catches.