Fly Fishing Yosemite
Yosemite National Park - California
For anglers of every stripe, Yosemite offers great sport fishing - 58 permanent streams with a combined length of 770 miles, a multitude of mountain lakes and excellent rainbow and brown trout keepers. The Yosemite fishing season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15 with the exception of Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, opening June 15. All lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round.
Fishing in Yosemite is usually best at lower elevations Expect to enjoy good fishing all summer and into the winter on the Wild & Scenic Merced River. A particularly successful spot for trout fishing is the stretch of the Tuolumne River above Hetch Hetchy. The Yosemite Village Sport Shop in Yosemite Valley sells all the equipment and gear you'll need for your fishing adventure.
Regulations & Licenses
Be certain to read through and follow the NPS Regulations on wildlife fishing. You can check these regulations by Clicking Here. All persons 16 years of age and older must have a valid California sport fishing license for fishing in Yosemite National Park. For information about licenses and fishing, inquire at the park's visitor centers. Special catch and release regulations apply for native rainbow trout caught in the Merced River from Happy Isles downstream to the Foresta Bridge. You may use only artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. Bait fishing is prohibited.
Licenses can be purchased at:
-Wawona Gift Shop on Highway 41
-Tuolumne Meadows Store on Highway 120 East
-The Sport Shop in Yosemite Village
Fly Fishing Yosemite Waters
The Tuolumne River has it's beginning in Tuolumne Meadow. At an elevation of approximately 8600 ft., it is the largest sub-alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada. The Tuolumne River is hidden within the tall grasses of Tuolumne Meadows. Rainbows, Brookies, and Brown Trout inhabit this section of the river. With the Brown Trout going up to approximately 14 inches. Dry Fly Fishing is the best technique and most fun method in the meadow section. If the fish are not spooked they'll readily except most standard dry flies. (size 16 - 22) Matching the hatch is not necessary here, but at times the fish will become selective when there is a good hatch in progress. In the evenings, starting in June and running through early October, the fish will key on the pale morning dun hatch. Small yellow stoneflies (yellow salley's) also show themselves at this time of year. Several different species of caddis flies also inhabit this section of the river and can generate a lot of activity in the evenings.
The Dana and Lyell Forks converge to form the main Tuolumne river. Dana Fork waters originate from 13,100' Mount Dana. The Dana Fork is very accessible as Highway 120 runs right alongside its entire course from its head waters at Tioga Pass to its confluence with the Lyell Fork. Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout are present throughout the entire course, with the Browns being the most numerous, sometimes reaching a foot in length.
The Lyell Fork originates near 13,115' Mount Lyell, and flows 10 miles downstream through Lyell Canyon and there meets the Dana Fork, to form the Tuolumne River. There is no road access here, except at the lower end, but the river is accessible via the PCT (John Muir Trail) which runs its entire length. Although the trail is highly travelled very few are there to fish. The Lyell Fork has a healthy population of Wild Trout with the Brown's being more numerous in the lower section and more Brook Trout found towards the head waters. The Rainbow's are spread out and usually located in the faster moving sections. The Lyell Fork offers fantastic dry fly action, with a good presentation the fish will rise to most of your attractor patterns (14 - 20) such as humpies, elkhair caddis, adams and royal wulffs. Again, stealth is key here as opposed to matching the hatch.
[img2="left"]http://www.nps.gov/pwr/customcf/apps/CMS_HandF/Pictures/YOSE_YOSE_mercedriver3.jpg[/img2]Merced River - Inside Park
The Merced River is the most well known river in Yosemite, as this is the river that flows through Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley is one of the most picturesque places on earth and has much to offer any Fly Fisherman. The vast majority of my experience has been downstream from Yosemite Valley, where the river changes from long slow moving pools to pocket water and deep runs for a mile or so before heading down the Merced gorge. The gorge is roughly 8 miles long and though Hwy. 140 runs parallel with the river, there are very few turnouts. Where there is access the canyon walls are very steep and rocky. Upon reaching the water the going is anything but easy. Huge boulders and log jams litter the river bottom. I like to wet wade this section starting in late June or early July, after the runoff waters recede. I have fished this area numerous times and have very rarely ever seen another fly fisherman. The catch here will usually run 3 to 1 Rainbows to Browns. Hatches will include small BWO's during warm days in late January and February. And the first Golden Stone Flies will appear in February also. With the days of February growing longer the water will start to warm and we will start getting our first decent action of the year.
South Fork - Merced River
The South Fork of the Merced is the first water encountered upon entering the park from the southern entrance. The South Forks originates in the "Chain Lakes" area and then flows 30 miles East to West, to its confluence with the main Fork. The most accessible area is located in Wawona with Highway 41 following the river downstream for a couple miles and access roads on both sides of the river heading upstream for a few miles. The road on the South side of the river will lead you to the "Swinging Bridge" area. Here there is a trail heading up a mile or so before disappearing into the South Fork canyon. There is a large trout population in the South Fork. However, they only average around 6 inches. In the Wawona area the trout are all Rainbows and Browns, which give way to Brook trout in the higher reaches. The South Fork is not a very fertile stream but there are some early season Stone Flies (size 14 - 16) and different Mayfly hatches after the spring runoff recedes. The fish are not very selective, but will get spooky when the water gets very low in the fall. This is a great place for the beginning fly fisherman in the late spring and early summer.
Yosemite Fly Fishing Guides
Sierra Fly Fishing Tours - Orvis Endorsed
After Fly Fishing this area for over 25 years Jimmie Morales can provide a memorable and rewarding fly fishing experience, from the beginner to the advanced fly fisher. If you're looking for Rainbow, Brook, Brown or the elusive Golden Trout, he’s got a Yosemite Fly Fishing Guide for you! Sierra Fly Fisher Tours offers fly fishing classes and trips for individuals, families, student groups and corporate meetings & events. Ask about their Wild Trout Camps
Yosemite Fly Fishing
- Yosemite Fly Fishing - Fishing Trip Yosemite and New Zealand with Tim Hutchings, trout fishing, visit Yosemite National Park
Tim Hutchins is a full time licensed fishing guide with 25 years of multi-species fly fishing experience and Yosemite's areas most experienced full time fly fishing guide. As a Yosemite National Park area resident for twenty years, Tim has spent thousands of days on the streams and lakes of the Park and the surrounding vicinity. Tim is a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor and published author. Tim and his family resides in El Portal just outside the park overlooks the Merced River. Tim is also active in river restoration projects and Wild Trout Conservation. If you're looking for a great time fly fishing in Yosemite, please contact Tim Hutchins.
Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides
- Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides: Guided Hiking, Backpacking Trips Tours
Maximize your fly fishing time in Yosemite with a guide who teaches, guides, and fly fishes the streams and lakes of this spectacular country year-round. Our guides will show you where the fish are, and how to successfully fish for them; whether your interest is in streams or the high lakes. Guides are available for half and full day wade fishing trips. Stay at our wilderness camp at the 7,000' elevation deep in the Yosemite backcountry. We'll fish a stream one day and an alpine lake the next, hiking up to 3.5 miles each day into backcountry lakes and streams. Groups are small, 2-4 guests per guide, ensuring personalized, private instruction and guiding. These trips are a great opportunity to enter the world of fly fishing or increase your skills.
For more info on Yosemite go to Yosemite National Park Vacation - Yosemite Vacation : Yosemite Park AND Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)