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photo by Greg Vinci

own special ways.  Downstream, from the bridge to the California/Nevada state line is one of the best wild trout/catch & release fisheries in the Eastern Sierra and the section upstream from the bridge is one of the most heavily planted put & take waterways in the state.   The wild trout/catch & release section below the bridge is open all year with a zero limit.  Upstream from the bridge the season runs from the last Saturday in April to November 15 with a five fish limit.

As fly fishermen, we’ve always been drawn to the “wild trout section” downstream from the bridge.  Here the river snakes through sagebrush and rabbit brush covered hills of the high desert. It’s one of those places where all of one’s senses get overloaded with the fragrances of pine and sage, the sound of water riffling over lava stone, crystal pure air and the dramatic beauty of the eastern Sierra Nevada.  Riparian vegetation is relatively scarce along the river making it a perfect place for the fly caster.   The East Carson drains a section of the Sierra that receives some of the highest snowfall in the West, so sometimes it does not get into fishing shape until well into July but once it does, it’s Rainbow’s and Browns are ready to rock & roll so to speak.  

  The geology of the East Carson is very typical of most Eastern Sierra waters, in that the nature of the river bottom is volcanic and consists of porous rocks that provide a great habitat for aquatic insects.  Hatches are just like all of the other eastside streams, and Blue Wing Olives and March Browns start out the Spring, followed by Caddis (Black Caddis in some years), Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones and various mayflies during the warmer months.  August and September are “hopper time” with Blue Wing Olives becoming more important in October.  It should be mentioned that midges are always present and are always being eaten by the trout.