Southern California Edison, needing a source of power to run LAís extensive street car system (itís hard to believe that LA was at one time pioneer in public transportation) began the ďBig CreekĒ hydroelectric construction project that included creating a reservoir right on the south fork of the San Joaquin River, which was at the time the largest project of its type in the country. Over the years several additional reservoirs were created and were linked by an elaborate tunnel system that transferred water to their respective powerhouses. The dam that was built on the San Joaquin created lake Florence Lake. Though the lake inundated a beautiful canyon, the relatively stable flows of the tailwater created a wonderful aquatic habitat that is beneficial to both bugs and fish. When many Sierra waters warm up late in the summer, the waters of the San Joaquin below Florence Lake remain nice and cool.
Some of the local creeks are very accessible by car and some you have to hike or 4-wheel in to. Mono Creek which flows out of Lake Thomas A. Edison and Bear Creek have good fishing too. Mono Creek is easily accessible by car. The San Joaquin is very accessible by road, though to get to the quality water you have to walk a bit.
One of the nice things about the waters at elevation of this drainage is that due to the glacier scoured aspect if the areaís geology, there is relatively little riparian vegetation to interfere with your casts making it a very user friendly place for fly fishermen. Often times you can equate the lack of shore-side vegetation with less aquatic and terrestrial bug life, which negatively impacts the population and size of the fish, but for some reason it hasnít happened here. These waters were just filled with fish, both Brookies and Rainbows. There is some stocking of rainbows in a few places, but generally speaking the great majority of the fish are all wild.
This is a great place to fish your three and four weight rods. Fly selection is easy as these fish are very opportunistic and will try to grab anything that resembles a food source. Attractor patterns such as Royal Wulffs, Adams (both Catskill ties and Parachutes), Renegades etc. will do the trick on top. In the unusual circumstance that the fish get picky, any terrestrial pattern such as an ant or beetle will work. For nymphing, Pheasant Tails, Caddis pupa's and midge patterns work well.
The west slope of the Sierra east of Fresno, CA has lots of fishing opportunities that are under utilized. Where waters of the northern and eastern Sierra can get crowded, here you can find all of the solitude you want and still catch lots of fish. If you live in the southern California area and always find yourself heading up the east slope to fish, for a change, give the west slope a try. For all others, it is good to keep in mind that the southern half of the Sierras offer the same quality of fishing but with fewer fishermen.
Last Saturday in April to November 15th.
Log on to http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/
Getting to the Huntington Lake area is easy. If coming from Southern California, travel north on Hwy 5 to its split with Hwy 99 and take Hwy 99 towards Fresno. Just south of Fresno, exit on to Hwy 41 towards Yosemite and take it to Hwy 180. Go east on 180 for a short while to Hwy 168. Take 168 north-east for about 70 miles to Huntington Lake. If traveling from the north, take Hwy 99 to Madera and exit at Hwy 145. Take 145 east for about twenty five miles to Hwy 168. Take 168 north east for about 80 miles to Huntington Lake. To access the area covered in this article that lies east of Huntington Lake, take Kaiser Pass Rd.. I very much recommend that you consult a quality map of the area before you go. Kaiser Pass Rd. is some times not cleared of snow until late June so it is very advisable to call ahead before planning a trip.
Lakeshore, Huntington Lake, CA
Cedar Crest Resort
61011 Cedar Crest Lane, Sierra, CA
Shaver Lake Pizza
41820 Tollhouse Rd, Shaver Lake, CA
Trappers On the Point
44185 California 168, Shaver Lake, CA
42008 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake, CA
Musick Creek Inn & Chalet's
41325 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake, CA (559) 841-3323
Tollhouse Rd, Sierra, CA 93667
Mono Hot Springs Resort
Visit web site for directions and information-http://www.monohotsprings.com/
Vermilion Valley Resort (@ Edison Lake)
Visit web site for directions and information- http://www.edisonlake.com/
Where to Stay:
61953 Huntington Lake Road, CA (559) 893-3193
Tamarack Motor Lodge
55380 Flintridge road, Lakeshore, CA (559) 893-3244
Cedar Crest Resort
61011 Cedar Crest Lane, Sierra, CA (559) 893-3233
Sierra Summit Mountain Resort
59265 California 168, CA (559) 233-2500
Huntington Lake Resort Marina
58910 Huntington Lake Road, CA (559) 893-6750