Department of Fish & Game and by Mono County under the premise that
if you plant plenty of fish the fishermen will come and enrich the
coffers of local businesses. They
even plant some of the legendary huge Alpers Trout which are raised at a
private hatchery near Mammoth Lakes.
Hold over hatchery fish take on the characteristics of wild trout
and can be very challenging, but the large numbers of hatchery fish that
are planted each year mean that you rarely go home empty handed.
Being that you are targeting mostly hatchery fish, attractor patterns
are all it takes here. Adams,
ants, elk hair caddis, and Royal Wulff’s do for dries, and Pheasant
Tails, Bird’s Nests and Hare’s Ear nymphs work for those going deep.
Peter Bauer, a long time local fly fisherman and former owner of
the Angler’s Edge Fly Shop just up the road in Gardnerville, NV, says
that if worst comes to worst, try a yellow tail olive bead head Woolly
Bugger swung through the seams. I personally witnessed Peter catch and land a 22” wild
Rainbow on this fly.
Should you want to stay overnight, A couple of campgrounds are located along thestretch that
parallels Hwy 395, and food and lodging can be found in the town of
Walker.During the summer months make sure to stop in at the Walker
Burger, for one of the bestburgers on Hwy 395.
The West Walker drains one of the snowiest sections of the
Sierra,so it sometimes stays in run-off until the middle of July.
If traveling south, fishing information and supplies can be found
at the Angler’s Edge in Gardnerville (775)782-4734.
If traveling north, stop at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport,
CA (760)932-7707. You pass
right by them both on Hwy 305.
For me personally, the West Walker is my secret
(desperation) spot that I make a point to fish on my way home in
northern California from the more challenging Mammoth area. On those trips when Hot Creek totally kicks my but, I know
that if I stop for an hour or so on the West Walker I will at last have
the chance to feel a trout tugging at the end of my line.