West Walker River
West Walker River
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the West Walker River in California
One of the best things about this river, is that it's a very beautiful stream to fish. There
are some brown trout and some cutthroat trout, and even some brook trout in certain
areas, but most of the fish are stocked rainbow trout. There are a few wild trout, but
they are not plentiful by any means. There are a good many holdover trout and
therefore, some very good size fish in the West Walker River.

This is a non-navigable river, meaning the river adjacent to private property is owed by
the private property owner. This eliminates fishing the river from any type of rubber drift
pontoon or raft. It's strictly wade fishing. We should note that the river is under the
general fishing regulations and fish can be caught within the limits on bait, flies and

You will have to use a combination of fishing presentations depending on the flow of the
water. Most of the time you should fish in an upstream direction, making a lot of short
accurate cast so that you can keep a good drag free drift. This is important irrespective
of whether you are fishing dry flies or nymphs. Keeping all the fly line you can out of the
water also helps. The river has a lot of conflicting current and this style of fishing helps
manage it.

In the late spring and early summer, when the water is high and stained, you would
probably want to use larger nymphs and streamers. Normally, it is near late summer
before the stream drops down where wading is easy and fish can be caught on dry flies.
The late summer and early fall provides the best opportunities to catch trout.

The recently stocked trout are not very picky. They can be caught on any of the
attractor type flies. Beadhead nymphs, small streamers and generic dry flies like the
Parachuter Adams work well for the stockers. The larger, holdover fish can be very
picky. You need to try to imitate the easiest to acquire and most available food for the
trout in the river at the time you are fishing for them.  This will increase your odds
considerably if it is the big trout you are after.
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Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
West Walker River