Balloon Dome is within the western canyonland of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, just above Mammoth Pool Reservoir and towers over the San Joaquin river. The dome stands about 3000 feet above the river. Mammoth Pool Reservoir and all it's tributaries are closed to the public from May 1st to June15th to protect deer migration.Mammoth Pool Reservoir (1,107 acres) at an elevation of 3,330'. Mammoth Pool Reservoir was created by Southern California Edison by damming the San Joaquin River within a steep 3000 feet canyon.The reservoir is a popular recreationist destination with campgrounds, store, and boat ramps. The road to
Mammoth Pool is often blocked by snow until early April and the lake is stocked with about 24,000 10-12 inch rainbows and brookies each
season. The lake and it's tributaries are closed from May 1st to June 15th for deer migration. It is a popular trolling area during the
Spring and early Summer. During late Summer, the lake is drawn down considerably for
hydroelectric power. By November, the lake can be at only 1/4 it's capacity. This drawdown greatly affects the fishing. The lake is known for it's large Browns up to 15 lbs. The flyfishing opportunities of the lake a quite limited due
to the depth and expanse of the lake. Some of these big Browns do get into the San Joaquin River below the dam and the flyfishing
opportunites are quite good there as well as other neighboring streams. Snow is usually keeps the road closed until late April, so the fishing window is only from June 15th to early July. Since the shorelines are steep, your best fishing opportunities are within the creek inlets of Chiquito Creek and Jackass Creek. Chiquito Creek has both Browns and Rainbows.The creek is planted with hatchery rainbows, particularly around the campgrounds. However, large Browns move up into the creek from Mammoth Pool Reservoir in May and October and gather within the deeper pools. Chiquito Creek is open to fishing from the last Saturday of April to Nov. 15th. Granite Creek holds wild Brookies, Rainbows, and Browns.
Taking the Cassidy Trail off Minarets Road, you can reach the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin at the Cassidy Bridge which spans the river at Cassidy Crossing. The river
consists of Rainbows and Browns. From there you can work your way downstream. Hell's Half Acre is a region of about 3 miles that covers the San Joaquin from Mammoth Pool Reservoir to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, which is 5 miles downstream of the Cassidy Bridge. Within Hell's Half Acre, Browns up to 20" move into these waters from Mammoth Pool Reservoir during October for spawning.
Other areas to try are:
Kaiser Creek: Numerous access points along Stump Springs Road. Consists of Rainbows and Brookies.
Mammoth Pool (Fresno and Madera cos.):
Jun. 16 through Apr. 30. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession.
Other Rivers and Streams:
Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession.
Lakes within this area:
Open all year. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession.