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Message started by Forum Admin on Aug 7th, 2005, 12:48pm

Title: Kern River
Post by Forum Admin on Aug 7th, 2005, 12:48pm

On a recent trip to the Kern River, I thought how it is often overlooked as a destination for fly fishing but is well worth remembering.

The upper and lower Kern offer two different types of fishery. I fished the upper and caught rainbow. I fished the lower and caught rainbow and smallmouth. On lake Isabella I had a blast sight fishing for carp Only managed to hook one on a small midge. The 5lb fish gave me a run for my money until I had to clamp down when he headed towards some submerged trees. That ended the fight with an automatic release from a straightened hook. The lake also has large Florida strain largemouth and big crappie.

In addition to the pocket water, riffles, tailwater and lake fishing the area has easy access to the high country streams and golden trout. I drove up to one of the upper creeks and caught many small goldens on dry flies. All this within a short walk from where I parked my car.

The river flows are starting to come down from the runoff. This year with all deep snow pack it's later than in recent years. The flows are now down to wadable and great fishing conditions. When the flows are low, drifting in kickboats is a fun and productive way to fish. The local guide service offers drift fishing from a two man pontoon.

Now is the time to head to the Kern. The fishing should be getting better every day and continue through the fall. The Kern is a year round fishery and can be quite good , even in the winter months.

It's a lot closer than the Eastern Sierra and it's, sort of, on the way. While it's not exactly a short fast route, you can take a scenic drive out of Kernville and head up over Sherman Pass to 395. The nice thing is, you can stop and fish for golden, Kern rainbow and, in some areas, huge browns on the way.

Rods: 00 to 3 wt for upper creeks, 3 to 5 wt for river, 6 to 8 wt for larger fish in lake.

Patterns: stonefly, Kern emerger, wooly buggers, crayfish, soft hackle, adams, parachute adams royal wulff, mosquito

Guide Service: Kern River Fly Fishing (

Fly shop: Kern River Troutfitters ( in Kernville

Food: There are many coffee shops and diners in Kernville and other towns on the lake that serve breakfast and lunch. There are also dinner restaurants. In Kernville, the Golden Trout Bakery has good breakfast and lunch specials. Ewings is a nice dinner house overlooking the Kern. Farther up the Kern, right next to Fairview campground, you'll find a very popular steak house named McNalleys. They specialize in BIG steaks and have a nice outdoor deck where you can have a cocktail while waiting for dinner.

Camping: many campgrounds on the upper and lower river with several on the lake.

Lodging: many motels and B&B in the area ranging from bargain priced to extra fancy. Check this Links ( page for more information on lodging and other items.

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