Fly Fishing the Sierra



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Tackle Box


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Welcome to Fly Fishing the Sierra

This site is dedicated to the fly fishermen that fish the Sierra Nevada Region of California. This site will assist in providing the necessary information to locate sites to fish, what flies to choose, and how to tie them. I've included maps of the region along with links to those fly shops and the guides who serve the area. There is a Fly Fishing Club link page with fly fishing clubs throughout California. Many of these clubs are members of the Fly Fishers International (FFI).

I started this web site in 2002 with the intent to retain information about fly fishing the Sierra for my personal use. The internet allows you to easily share this information and, over time, it has morphed into something that I am proud to share. To help cover costs, I included an online store for Fly Tying Materials and Tools. In 2012, I enlarged the store to include tackle items such as Fly Lines, Leaders, Tippets, and Indicators. And, in 2017, the online store includes fishing gear, rods, and reels from Snowbee USA. Starting in 2013, I introduced a new line of fishing maps using Google Terrain imagery in conjunction with National Geographic Topo maps. Streambed features and structures are identified from Satellite images. Identifications of the stream locations come from the local guides who serve that area. This site is not sponsored in any way. I have no commercial advertising. The graphics are simple and the content allows for quick viewing. The site was originally written in html using Notepad but after over 2000 pages were created, the site became cumbersome, I converted the site to php and changed domain providers, hoping to redirect to the new domain. The previous domain provider decided to just delete me so you may have lost me for a year in 2019. Well, we are back up and hope to continue a comprehensive look into Fly Fishing the Sierra.

I hope you enjoy this site. Please feel free to contact me with any comments.

Regards, Steve Schalla (aka Stevenojai)

If you care to donate, your support is greatly appreciated.

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new Fly Fishing Maps new

"Sierra Nevada Region Maps"

West Side Sierra Region

Took me 10 years, but I finally got it done!!

  • 18 Regional maps available covering all of the Sierra Nevada
  • Hatch Chart with Insect Identification
  • Suggested Flies
  • Fishing Season and Regulations
  • Stream Etiquette
  • GPS Longitude and Latitude
  • Trailheads and Trails
  • MYLF Restoration Sites
  • Mile Markers
  • Fish Identification
  • Topographic Relief
  • Printed on Heavy Presentation Bond and Hand Folded
  • Only $12.95 per map.

Also Detailed Maps Available: "The Owens River Series" , "Kern River Series", "Kings River Series", "Carson River Series"


Online Store

We are honored to provide a wide range of Fly Fishing Equipment as a dealer for Snowbee USA. Snowbee originated in the United Kingdom in 1984 and became reknown for the origination of breathable Lightweight Waders. They have expanded their line to include: fly rods, reels, fly lines, waders, nets, clothing, and other fly fishing gear. Check out their web site at: Snowbee-USA.

Check out the "New" Denny Rickards Stillwater Signature Rod from Snowbee!!!

Denny Rickards signature rod

Fly Fishing the Sierra is an online dealer for Snowbee USA and we can provide all of their products to our customers with direct shipping from the Snowbee distribution center in California.

The online store also provides the fly tying materials listed within the fly patterns. For every pattern shown within the flybox, the online store has the necessary material to complete that pattern. Just click the item shown within the material list.

Over 1700 fly tying materials on sale at competitive pricing. Get Top Quality materials from J. Fair, Whiting, Hareline, Nature's Spirit, Umpqua, Trout Hunter, Cascade Tools, Mad River and more. Expect 3-5 day delivery. Purchase securely through PayPal. US Domestic sales only.


Free Native Trout Guide

PDF created by in partnership with  Provides illustrations and descriptions of 24 of the most sought after species of trout in the lower-48 United States. Click Streamside Guide for your free download.

Native Trout Guide



new Mini Sculpin new

A number of Sculpin patterns are tied using Bunny strips and require larger hooks to get proper proportions. Using Pine Squirrel strips you can tie sculpin patterns down to a size 10. Most being only 1.5 inches long! Great for our Sierran streams and a lot easier to cast.
Mini Sculpin

Some Interesting Facts about the Sierra:

  • There are 20 major Rivers, 14 on the West Side and 6 on the East Side. These are within over 24 watershed areas.
  • Historically, there were no trout in the Sierra above 6000 feet. Except for Goldens in the Upper Kern and Lahontan Cutthroats within the Carson, Walker, and Truckee River Drainage.
  • Starting in the mid 1800's, trout have been stocked into 85% of all the lakes in the Sierra over 2 acres in size.
  • There are 649 lakes in Inyo, Sierra, and Toiyabe National Forests of at least 25 acres between 10660' and 11,480' elevation. 85% of these lakes contain trout: (Christenson 1977)
    • 60% Brooks
    • 36% Rainbows
    • 32% Goldens
    • 5% Browns
  • There are 1,404 lakes above 7,900' elevation within the Sierras. Of these lakes, trout are in 63%, the rest fishless: (Jenkins 1994)
    • Goldens are in 36% of all lakes
    • Rainbows are in 33% of all lakes
    • Brookies are in 16% of all lakes
    • Browns are in 8% of all lakes
    • Lahontan Cutthroats are in 1/2% of all lakes
  • Fish Planting ended within most of the Sierran National Parks beginning in 1970. Today, National Forests within the Sierra Nevada have 85% of their lakes with fish and the National Parks have 40%.

Favorite Links:

California Freshwater Fishing Regulations
California Fishing Regulations Map
California DWF Fishing Guide Map
Charlie's Fly Box
Dave's Sierra Fishing
Danish Fly Design-Tommy Olinsson
Fly Fishing Addicts Forum
Fly Anglers Online
Global Fly Fisher
Hans Weilenmann's Fly Tier's Page
High Sierra Topix
Kern River Fish Reports
Kiene's Fly Shop Forum
North. Calif. Fly Fishing Forum
Southwest Council Fed of Flyfishers
The Itinerant Angler
Washington Fly Fishing


Source Material: Library


California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking recreational anglers to voluntarily change how, when and where they fish to minimize stress and mortality among fish populations suffering due to drought conditions.

CDFW is advising anglers to fish before noon on certain inland waters home to trout and other coldwater fish species. This self-imposed action is known as a "Hoot Owl Restriction," referring to limiting fishing to hours when the hoot of owls can be heard.

CDFW's new "Water Watchlist," which lists specific waters anglers should avoid fishing past noon, will be updated as conditions change. Sustained afternoon water temperatures on a waterway exceeding 67 degrees Fahrenheit for trout fisheries could trigger addition to the list.

Anglers can help decrease fish stress by using fish'friendly techniques such as handling fish as little as possible, avoid fighting fish from cool deeps where they cross temperature gradients of 10 degrees or more and using coated nylon nets to protect a fish's slime layers and fins. More angling tips can be found on CDFW's Hoot Owl webpage.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is requesting that anglers voluntarily avoid fishing after 12 p.m. on select waters throughout California. This approach directs anglers to focus their angling during the cooler “hoot owl” periods of the day when water temperatures are lowest. These voluntary angling recommendations will be triggered by ongoing monitoring of select fisheries across California. When these select fisheries begin to achieve sustained afternoon water temperatures exceeding 67° Fahrenheit, CDFW will add the water(s) to a “Hoot Owl” watchlist below and will work with local stakeholders and CDFW staff to help with outreach to inform anglers. Although these are not legal angling closures, CDFW strongly recommends adhering to the recommendations for the specific waters listed until removed when conditions for those waters improve. Note: this list is not static and will be updated as conditions change with waters being added and removed.

Current list of waters:

  • The Lower Owens River (Pleasant Valley Dam downstream to Five Bridges)
  • Hot Creek
  • Mill Creek (Walker Basin)
  • Lower Rush Creek (From Grant Lake to Mono Lake)
  • Bridgeport Reservoir
  • Deep Creek
  • Crowley Lake
  • Truckee River (From Lake Tahoe to Nevada Stateline)
  • East Walker River (From Bridgeport Reservoir to Nevada Stateline)
  • Upper Truckee River (From Lake Tahoe to headwaters, including tributaries)

What else can anglers do to help our fisheries during a drought year?

Many fish species will often search out cold water refuges during elevated temperatures, which could include deeper water, spring seeps or cold-water tributaries. Anglers should avoid fishing these refuge areas if fishing results in moving fish across a temperature gradient greater than 10° Fahrenheit, as this can result in increased angling-based mortality. Although this may not be an issue for anglers interested in harvesting fish, the resulting mortality may affect non-targeted species or fish outside of the legal size limits.

Tips for angling to decrease fish stress

  • Minimize the time you spend "fighting" the fish and any hands-on handling.
  • Use rubber or coated nylon nets to protect a fish's slime layer and fins.
  • Quickly remove the hook with forceps or needle-nosed pliers.
  • Minimize the amount of time the fish is exposed to air, especially when the weather is warm. Keep your hands wet when handling the fish.
  • If the fish is deeply hooked, do not pull on the line. Instead, cut the line as close as possible to where it is hooked and leave the hook.
  • Allow the fish to recover in the net before you release it.
  • If the fish does not stay upright when you release it, gently move it back and forth.
  • Avoid fighting fish from deeper, cooler waters and bringing them into warmer waters at the surface.
  • Target fisheries that have stable water levels or species that are more resilient to elevated temperatures.


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