East / West Fork Carson Rivers

Whether you are fishing the West Carson with drys or nymphing the East Carson, these 2 rivers will always surprise you. The W.Carson is a river of many fishing opportunities, easy access, as well as the feeling of fishing a Montana meadow. The W.Carson is a great dry fly fishery, and is one where a dry dropper combo can really be the key for the bigger fish. But, by far the most productive way to fish the W.Carson is with a hopper dropper combo. Rainbow trout are the mainstay of the fishery from Hope Valley to Carson Canyon where it meets up with the E.Carson. You can also expect to get into several German Browns, ranging in all sizes. DFG started planting Lahontan Cutthroats in 2009 to start producing a resident cutthroat population in Hope Valley. This is a great thing for Hope Valley because before the introduction of the rainbows and browns, the cutthroat was the mainstay of this valley. So not only can you get into some nice rainbows and browns, but there is a possibility of landing a Lahontan as well. The East Carson is where my journey began as a fly fisherman and will always have a special place in my heart till the day I put my fly rod down. It’s a place like no other and can only be described from one that has fished it. It’s a must for any beginner just starting out that wants to really learn techniques needed for the larger rivers in Nor Cal. If you are a novice and want a challenge this is the place for you. Bring a 3wt and 5x and 6x tippet and you are in for a rod bending experience like no other. The E. Carson is a river that can be fished year round, but is best fished from summer to early winter. The winter and spring months are much tougher due to colder temps and snow run off. But, giving the right temps and a few sunny days, not only can the fishing be epic, but the scenery is nothing but spectacular. Once the flows get down to fishable levels, then it’s time to feed those hungry E. Carson fish. The E. Carson can be fished many different ways, from nymphing, drys, hopper droppers and even high sticking. But, a way that is highly over looked, and is very productive for big fish is streamers. Streamers are something that I always carry with me on the E. Carson, the pigs up there love them. The E. Carson consists mostly of large canyon pools separated by long stretches of shallow, sometimes effective, riffles. Each deep area holds a good amount of trout, but most pools have a steep bluff or canyon cliff along one bank. This cliff will be along the west side of the river at one pool and the east side of the river at the next, making frequent crossings of the river necessary to fish each hole effectively and avoid mountain-climbing. A day spent on the E. Carson one can expect to get into some really nice size rainbows and 2 types of brown trout, the notorious German Brown as well as the unknown Loch Leven Scottish Brown. The difference is that the LL Scottish Brown does not have red spots whereas the German does, a good tip to know when you are fishing the E. Carson. The E. Carson is one of those rivers that once you fish it, you will never stop. A trip to the East or West Carson is a trip that is not only worth taking, but a trip that will be hard to forget.


Home Nor Cal Fly Guides
Sacramento, CA

All Rights Reserved

Site Design By
Lupien Internet Services