Fly Fishing the Sierra

Domeland

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Domeland

Suggested Flies for South Fork Kern:
Southern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16
Elk Hair Caddis #14-16
Stimulator #12
Madam X #10-12
Royal Wulff #12

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-18
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #14-18
Prince Nymph #14-18
Bird's Nest #14-18
Bird's Stonefly Nymph #8-10
Copper John, Black #16-18

Streamer Flies:
Muddler Minnow #8-10
Woolly Bugger, Black or Olive #8-10

Directions:

Domeland Directions

Domeland Wilderness is located northeast of Lake Isabella about 70 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Trailheads on the east side are near Rockhouse Meadow and at the Long Valley Campground (BLM). Access is via Nine Mile Canyon Road from US Highway 395 or Chimney Peak Road via State Highway 178. West side trailheads are at Big Meadow and Taylor Meadow. Two trails from Big Meadow can be reached from Kernville via Mountain Road 99, Sherman Pass, and Cherry Hill Roads. Leading to Manter Meadow, the upper Big Meadow Trail is a rugged hike while the lower Big Meadow Trail follows more gentle terrain. The trail from Taylor Meadow (southeast of Big Meadow) also leads to Manter Meadow as well as Taylor and Church Domes. Northside access is available from the Blackrock/Sherman Pass Road via the Dark Canyon and Woodpecker Trails.

Notes: South Fork Kern River
The Domeland Wilderness is known for its many granite domes and unique geologic formations. This semi-arid to arid country has elevations ranging from 3,000 to 9,730 feet. Vegetation is mostly pinyon pine and sagebrush. Much of this area was burned in the Manter Fire of 2000. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also manages part of this wilderness. Streamflow gets quite thin during the late Summer with some creeks completely drying up during drought periods.

From Kennedy Meadows you can access the South Fork Kern in a southerly direction by taking a dirt road to the southern portion of Kennedy Meadows near the landing strip. The Pacific Crest Trail is nearby and provides access to the South Fork for 3 miles downstream until it diverts to the east at the upper portion of Rockhouse Basin. Another trail picks up from PCT and follows the river south until it diverts towards the headwaters of Manter Creek. Tributaries worth checking out include:

Trout Creek: The same trail heads up into the upper portions of Trout Creek below Sherman Pass Road. The creek consists of RainbowsBrowns, and Golden-Hybrids within the higher reaches near Sherman Pass. 

Rockhouse Basin can also be reached by Long Valley Loop Road. The northern portion of Long Valley Loop Road is closed so you need to use the southern portion that junctions with Canebreak Road. It is about 15 miles to the end of the road with a gated dirt road that you can hike for 5 miles down to the river. The PCT trail is about one mile above this gate. Rockhouse Basin contains Browns and Rainbows mostly in the 8-13 inch size class as well as Sacramento Pike MInnow, Black Crappie and Carp. The river flows slowly through the basin with some riffles and runs. Banks have considerable willow covering. Some ponds have been formed from beaver dams. Watch out for Rattlesnakes! 

From the Long Valley Trailhead, you can also get access to areas south of Rockhouse Basin.
Manter Creek: Take the trail west from the SF Kern about 3.5 miles to Little Manter Meadow. This is a grueling hike with a 1800 foot gain over the ridge before dropping into Little Manter Meadow. Consists of Rainbows, Brookies, and Browns.

From Cherry Hill Road off the Sherman Pass Road, you can reach Big Meadow with access to Manter creek and Taylor creek from the west. A popular loop trail will take you to Rockhouse Basin throiugh Manter Meadow.

Taylor Creek: Taylor Creek starts within Taylor Meadows and winds for about 3 miles through the meadows before entering a canyon. These meadow waters will have Golden Hybrids and Browns. The creek is small and so are the fish. Within the canyon section, you must go off-trail. The creek eventually drops into the south fork of the Kern River in a 2.5 miles distance.This canyon water has rainbows, brookies, and browns.



Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

South Fork Kern River:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 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.

Other Rivers and Streams:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 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 other Lakes:

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

 

Fishing Maps Available


South Fork Kern 1 & 2, Lake Isabella to Rockhouse Basin

Covers the water between Lake Isabella and Rockhouse basin. Shows camping areas, trails, and creeks. Special Features are the Hatch Chart, Fishing Season and Regulations, and Stream Etiquette guidelines.

$12.95 ea



 


South Fork Kern 3 & 4, Rockhouse Basin to Clover Meadow

Covers the water between Rockhouse Basin to Clover Meadow. Shows camping areas, trails, and creeks. Special Features are the Hatch Chart, Fishing Season and Regulations, and Stream Etiquette guidelines.

$12.95 ea



© 2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

Trout Creek To Kennedy Meadows SF Kern above Rockhouse Rockhouse Basin Upper Kern below Johnsondale Lower South Fork Kern Big Meadow Manter Meadow Manter Meadow Manter Creek Church Dome