Rainbow Trout East Fork Carson River
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing East Fork of the Carson
River California
The East Fork of the Carson River begins from a spring
in the Carson/Iceberg Wilderness. It flows all the way
from the high mountains to the high desert rattlesnake
country. The river is generally divided into its upper,
middle and lower sections consisting of forty miles of
beautiful scenic country. It ends at the lower area wild
trout zone between Hangman's Bridge and the Nevada
State line.

The rivers flows change with the varying annual snow
pack. This means that fly fishing the East Fork of the
Carson River changes some from year to year. Access
to the uppermost sections can be difficult when there's a
heavy snowpack. Fly fishing the East Fork of the Carson
River greatly depends on the water levels that vary from
the melting snow.

Lahontan Cutthroat still exist in limited numbers. A rare
species called Paiute Cutthroats, an endangered
species, still exist. Carson Falls prevents the Paiute
strain separate from other species. The stream above
Carson Falls is closed to fishing. The section below
Carson Falls and the area upstream from Wolf Creek is
difficult to access. It's probably the least fished water
available. Some areas can be easily access from your
vehicle, others by walking distances varying from a short
ways to a long distance and by backpacking and
horseback trips. As a general rule, the easier the
access, the more challenging the fishing. Much of the
East Fork of the Carson River requires good
presentations using long, light leaders and tippets.

The headwaters can be reached via the "Dumont
Meadows" trial. The lower section of its headwaters can
be accessed from the "Silver King" trail. You should
obtain a good topo map of the area prior to fishing the
headwaters. The middle section from Silver Creek to
Wolf Creek is not as difficult to access. It's also the most
fished section.  Access to the lower section wild trout
area from Hangman's Bridge to the Nevada State line is
easy from highway #89 near Markleeville. Fly fishing the
East Fork of the Carson River depends highly on
keeping up with the changing water and weather

The aquatic insect population varies a lot from the
headwaters to the lower sections of the river due to a pH
difference. There are lots of insects in some parts and
few in others. Caddisflies, stoneflies and a few mayflies
exist in all sections. Call or email us for information on
the dates you plan to fish and we can help you with your
fly selection depending on the time of the year and
which section your fishing.

The river has several tributaries that hold trout. Among
the best are Silver King Creek, Wolf Creek, Silver Creek,
Pleasant Valley Creek and Noble Creek.

Excellent fishing is provided throughout the season
Spring is good prior to runoff
Summertime is the best and most popular time starting
just after the runoff ends
Fall is a good time, especially on the lower river
Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout (Wild)
Brown Trout (Wild)
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Native)

Medium, 40 miles long

Northern California

Nearest Towns
Carson City



Special Regulations
Yes, you should keep a constant
check on them

Non-Resident License
State of California

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Guide to the East
Fork Carson River

USGS Stream Flow:
East Fork  
Carson River
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Photo Courtesy of Steven Lamb
East Fork Carson River Fishing Report:
12/21/14 Rain still badly needed. Stream levels are still very low.
next week. Customers using our Brown Sculpin streamers and BWO
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 $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.