Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Clark Fork Of The
Stanislaus River California
The Stanislaus River is a large tributary of the San
Joaquin River that's approximately 95 miles long. In
addition to the Clark Fork, it has north, middle and south
forks that drain an area of the western Sierra Nevada and
the northern part of the San Joaquin Valley of California.
The North Fork Stanislaus River is covered under a
different section of this website. The South and Middle
Forks are covered under this section of the website. The
main stem of the river,or Lower Stanislaus River below
Goodwin Dam is covered under this section of the Perfect
Fly website. This section is about the Clark Fork section
of the Stanislaus River, which is a small tributary of the
Middle Fork of the Stanislaus.
The headwaters of the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River
are in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. I'm sure many are
wondering why this small section of the Stanislaus
watershed is worthy of its own stream section. The reason
is, not only does it provide some great fly fishing
opportunities for trout, its small size makes it possible for
anglers to catch trout when the larger streams are
experiencing high water. The Clark Fork can also run
high, but it is often fishable when the others aren't.
Part of the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River is easily
accessed and park of it require hiking into to fish. The
Clark Fork Road runs along much of the stream,
providing very easy access. This stretch is very popular
and heavily fished. The section of the Clark Fork that's
inside the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness isn't so easy to
access. Fly fishing the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River
is best in the wilderness section.
The wilderness section is accessed from the trailhead at
Iceberg Meadow which is near the end of the Clark Fork
Road. Getting from the trail down to the stream isn't
always easy. Much of it is surrounded by thick bushes
and Willow trees. The stream consist mostly of pocket
water with some beautiful pools, runs and riffles. Large
boulders are common. The fish in this section are mostly
wild brook trout. There are also some wild rainbows along
with the brook trout.
The section along the Clark Fork Road is stocked with
rainbows. There are some holdover, larger size rainbows
and a few wild ones in this section, but it is heavily fished.
Two large campgrounds are in the general area and
there is never a lack of people. Since it is basically a
put-n-take area, the campers take full advantage of it.
Fly fishing the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River puts you
in some beautiful, very scenic country well worth the trip.
Be certain to check the current seasons and regulations
that are subject to change from year to year.
Spring is a good time to catch the Stanislaus River's wild
trout due to the aquatic insect hatches.
Fly fishing the Stanislaus River for trout continues to be
good during the Summer.
Early fall is an excellent time to fly fishing the Clark Fork
of the Stanislaus River.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 (email@example.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.
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