Pleasant Valley Fly Fishing Preserve was established in 1982 to provide discriminating and novice angler’s the opportunity to catch quality fish in pristine waters of the Eastern Sierra. This catch and release fishery is one of the finest in California. The pristine environment and sheer beauty of the valley are worth the price of admission. Throw in the fact that you can have multiple opportunities at sight fishing to large fish in a small stream and you have one of the most spectacular experiences in the Eastern Sierras! In fact if you want to witness fish behavior there’s no place in the Eastern Sierra that’s better!
The preserve is located on a working cattle ranch 35 miles from South Lake Tahoe and occupies over 900 acres of spectacular California Alps Mountain Range. The approximately 3 1/2 miles of stream offer you everything from meandering meadow easy walking fishing to more challenging pocket water action in the lower stretches.
Reservations are required to fish the preserve and it may be reserved for guided or un-guided outings. Rod spaces are kept to a minimum to insure that your day at the preserve does not turn into a competition for fishing space. Pleasant Valley is open from the last Saturday in April until November 15 (weather permitting).
Call early to reserve your time on the water!
The East Carson River is an exceptional looking river with stretches of river running through both canyons and meadows. It has large deep holes as well as shallower pockets of water containing many opportunities at catching both wild and hatchery fish.
The State of California has designated a section of the East fork of the Carson River extending down stream from Hangman’s Bridge, just South of Markleeville, CA to the Nevada State line as a catch and release wild trout fishery.
The benefits of being designated as a catch and release water are obvious. Since the fish are released there are more of them and they have the opportunity to get bigger!
This section of the river has become quite popular and may require that you put in that extra effort of getting further away from the road, but the reward can be quite beautiful and exciting! This stretch of river is open year round, but the best fishing is usually from May until November.
Above Hangman’s Bridge to the highway 4 bridge has come to be known as “The Public Section”. It’s not really clear how it got that name as the whole river is open to the public and is located on US Forest Service land. Nevertheless, this section of the river is regularly stocked by the California Department of Fish & Game and those stockings are then augmented by Alpine County. This stretch of river is easily accessible from the road which leads to some great opportunities for the less mobile fly fisherman.
All of the stockings can result in some spectacular fishing if you hit it right and know the holes to fish. Alpine County has been known to stock the rivers with exceptional fish that can run you downstream into your backing in the blink of an eye.
The river has also received designation by the state of California as a Wild & Scenic River and is a free flowing unimpeded river. Even during fall low flows you may find yourself hooked into a pig making a lightning down stream run that leaves you speechless. This stretch is open from the last Saturday in April until November 15.
Flowing through Hope Valley and along highway 88 the West Fork of the Carson River can offer exciting fishing opportunities especially for the beginning fly fisher. Starting in one of the most beautiful valleys of California this river is both a meandering stream through a meadow and awesome pocket water through a canyon. Stocked with Rainbow Trout the river also supports a nice wild trout population if you’re willing to brave the less accessible portions of the river to find them. This river also offers some of the best dry fly fishing in the Tahoe area. The West Carson is open from the last Saturday in April until November 15.
The Truckee River is the only river that flows out of Lake Tahoe, and of all the rivers around the Lake Tahoe area it’s also the biggest. Its still plenty wadable, but can be a little more difficult to get around on. The Truckee River is a classic looking trout stream with lots of deep pools and great runs holding some of the areas biggest fish. This river can be a little tougher to fish than either of the Carson rivers, but the more experienced angler can have some excellent days. That’s not to say that the beginner angler can’t catch fish on the Truckee, because they often do, but due to its size it requires longer casting and clean drifts. Sections of the Truckee are open year round providing excellent angling opportunities all year.
The East Walker River flows out of Bridgeport Reservoir and meanders its way through a nice meadow then drops down into a pocket water section on its way into Nevada. The first mile is often referred to as the “Miracle Mile” holding some of the biggest browns in the state! The flows are controlled out of the reservoir and can often change leading to the river having a few different faces. During the winter months the river is small and the fish tend to hole up in the bigger buckets, but in the spring months the flows will increase and the fish spread out. The flies used are often very small, but its what the fish eat. The East Walker River is open year round and provides excellent winter fishing.