Blackcap Basin

Blackcap Basin

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Blackcap Basin

Suggested Flies for Blackcap Basin area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection
Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
Yellow Humpy #14
Griffith's Gnat #16-18

Nymph Flies:
Hare's Ear #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18


Directions:

Blackcap Basin Directions

From Clovis, take Hwy 168 42 miles northeast to Shaver Lake. Turn right and go east on Dinkey Creek Road and follow it 26 miles to the Y at Courtright and Wishon Reservoir. Take the right fork to Wishon 4 more miles south. Woodchuck Trailhead is just across the dam. Take the Woodchuck Trail for 10 miles to Crown Pass at 10,188' elevation. Dropping down from Crown Pass, Woodchuck Trail meets the Blackcap Trail in 4.5 miles. Taking the Blackcap trail another 3.25 miles, you reach the first of the basin lake, Portal Lake.

Notes: Goddard Creek
Blackcap Basin and neighboring Crown Basin are just west of Kings Canyon National Park. The North Fork of the Kings River originates from the Blackcap Basin at 10,700' and flows westerly to Wishon Reservoir at 6500'. This area had extensive glaciation that exposed the granite and created numerous basin lakes above 10,000' elevation. This area originally was fishless but Rainbows and Brookies were introduced into the area in the late 1890's. Only a few of the lakes were able to sustain populations and these basin lakes were subjected to periodic aerial drops of trout from 1950 to 2000. After the year 2000, CDFW put a moratoriam on aerial fish stocking in consideration of amphibian restoration concerns and later determined that stocking would be only for those streams and lakes that are a "put and take" fishery, easily reachable by the public. Many of these high elevation basin lakes are either fishless or have a large number of stunted trout due to the lack of food and nutrients. Many of the lakes with the Blackcap Basin have good spawning streams that keep the numbers of fish up but, for the lack of food, rather small in size. The streams below the basins also have plenty of spawning gravels to reproduce and nutrient availability is limited as well. The lakes that do have larger fish tend to have poor spawning streams to limit population sizes and allow these fish to have a larger share of the limited food source.

 
Cathedral Lake: (30 acres) at 10,760' elevation. This is the deepest lake within the basin at 85'. Has a low productive spawning area to keep numbers low. Rainbows 11-14"

Midway Lake: (13 acres) at 10,600 feet. Maximum depth is 18 feet. Fair food and spawning gravels. Rainbows 8-9 inches.

Portal Lake: (4 acres) at 10,300' elevation. Maximum depth is 20'. Brookies, 9-10 inches.

Pearl Lake: (49 acres) at 10,600' elevation. Pearl has lots of ephemeral inlets with good spawning gravels that keep numbers high. Maximum depth is 31'. Rainbows 10-14" 

Chapel Lake: (3 acres) at 10,700' elevation. Maximum depth is 20'. Prior to 1959, this lake was barren and considered "unsuitable" for Rainbows. At some point prior to 1989 Golden-Hybrids were introduced, 12-15" were caught in the 90's. Unconfirmed whether Golden/Hybrids still remain.

Division Lake: (16 acres) at 10,704' elevation. Maximum depth is 50'. Good food source and limited spawning. Rainbows 10-14"

Regiment Lake: (5.5 acres) at 10,900'. Maximum depth is 20 feet. Poor food source and no spawning. Rainbows 7-10" were caught in the 90's. Unconfirmed whether rainbows remain.

Ram Lake: (2.5 acres) at 11,100' elevation. Very shallow. Golden-Hybrids were introduced in the 80's, 11-12". Unconfirmed whether any Golden-Hybrids remain.

Ewe Lake: (1.5 acres) at 11,100' elevation. Very shallow. Fishless.

Rainbow Lake: (13 acres) at 10,860' elevation. Maximum depth is 30'. Good food source. Self-sustaining for Brookies, 7-10"

Ambition Lake: (38 acres) at 10,805' elevation. Maximum depth is 50'. Has both poor spawning grounds and poor food supply. Contains Rainbows and Brookies, 9-10 inches.

Bighorn Lake: (11 acres) at 10,720' elevation. Maximum depth is 50'. Poor food source and poor spawning gravels. Rainbows, 8-10"

Valor Lake: (10 acres) at 11,230' elevation. Maximum depth is 50'. Low food source and poor spawning gravels. Contains Rainbows, 8-9 inches.

Maxson Lake: (2.2 acres) at 9,950' elevation. Maxium depth is 11'. Good food source and fair spawning gravels. Brookies 7-9"

North Fork Kings River (above Bench Valley Trail) : Great fishing stream with Rainbows and Brookies.

Crown Basin:

Hummingbird Lake: (4.2 acres) at 10,320' elevation. Maximum depth 13 feet. Brookies 7-9".

Bench Valley Lakes:

Horsehead Lake: (15 acres) at 10,395' elevation. Contains Brookies, 7-9"

McGuire Lakes: (10 acres) at 10,050' elevation. Contains Brookies, 7-9"

Guest Lake: (16 acres) at 10,200' elevation. Contains Brookies, 7-9"

Blue Canyon

Blue Canyon Lakes: Rainbows, 10-12"

Lake 10401: Rainbows




Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Lakes within Blackcap Basin:

Open all year. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession

North Fork Kings River:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

All creeks and tributaries:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

© 2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.
McGuire lakes Division Lake Pearl Lake NF Kings River Portal Lake Chapel Lake Cathedral Lake Finger Peak Lakes Blue Canyon Lake Crown Valley Crown Valley Woodchuck Country Goddard Creek Goddard Divide Red Mtn Basin