Fly Fishing the Sierra

East and South Fork of Kaweah River

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East Fork Kaweah River
Suggested Flies for East and South Fork Kaweah River:
Southern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #12
Elk Hair Caddis #14-16
St. Vrain Caddis

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #12-14
Prince Nymph #12-14
Bird's Nest #12-14
Zug Bug #12-14

Directions:

East Fork Kaweah Directions

Access to the Kaweah River is by Hwy 198 from Visalia. South Fork Drive (Road 348) turns along the South Fork just below Three Rivers and follows the South Fork to South Fork Campground for 11 miles. The road gets progressively worse as you go. The East Fork of the Kaweah can be reached by taking Mineral King Road prior to reaching the Ash Mountain Park Entrance. The North Fork is accessed just north of the town of Three Rivers.

Notes: Kaweah RiverThe Kaweah River system contains both Browns and Rainbows. Generally these fish average 10-12" but the size is often dependent upon water flow, particularly during drought years. The Kaweah and it's tributaries are open year-round to angling with a 5 fish daily limit, 10 in possession. However, within the park and the wilderness, the park has special regulations for fishing below 9000' elevation. Within the Park, Rainbows and Kern River Rainbows are considered native below 9000' elevation and must be released. Generally the water is clear which requires stealth and good presentation. Best period to fish this stream is when flows decrease after Spring run-off and prior to water temps getting too warm in Summer. You may have to seek higher elevation water to find proper water temps.

The Main Kaweah river between the confluence of the South Fork and beyond the East Fork has good fishable waters during the early Summer months after Spring runoff and prior to the Summertime heat that brings the water temps over 70 degrees. These waters contain both Rainbows and Browns in the 9-12" range. Fall is another good time to visit these waters once the waters temps have cooled down to 58 degrees.

South Fork Drive gives you access to the South Fork of the Kaweah from the confluence just above Lake Kaweah up to the South Fork Campground, a distance of about 11 miles. This road will take you from 800 feet elevation to about 3500 feet. Beyond that point, you are in the Sequoia National Park and the John Krebs Wilderness with trails taking you into the headwater areas. From the confluence to the park boundary, the South Fork access is through private property. Some of these areas have trails from the road. The waters are mostly fishable after the Spring runoff and prior to the hot temperatures of July, August, and September. During these months, this section is popular with local bathers. It is a freestone stream with pools and boulders. Some of the section have canyon slots with smooth granitic walls, other areas are brushy with plunge pools. This section contains rainbows 7-9 inches. The South Fork Kaweah from the South Fork Campground to Hockett Lakes is a steep canyon pocket water going from 3600 feet to 8200 feet within 6.5 miles. The Ladybug Trail/Whiskey Log Trail will provide access up to the South Fork Grove in which you have to work your way upstream from there. This section of water contains Rainbows, up to 12 inches. Access can be difficult due to brush and steep terrain. The South Fork Kaweah trail (aka Garfield/Hockett Trail) goes to the southeast from South Fork Campground and provides access to the headwaters of the South Fork at Hockett Lakes. From Hockett Lakes, you can fish the canyon water downstream or you can fish the meadow sections of the river that are just southeast of the lakes. The meadow sections contain Brookies, mostly 7-9 inches.

Tuohy Creek: This is a small spring-fed tributary stream to the SF Kaweah. Taking the South Fork Kaweah trail, it is about 9 miles from the trailhead. The Tuohy trail spurs off the South Fork Kaweah trail and follows the creek up to it's headwaters and beyond. This stream is only about 1.5 miles long and flows through a meadow section prior to entering the Kaweah. Contains Brookies, 7-9 inches.

Hockett Lakes: (8,590' elev.) Taking the South Fork Kaweah trail out of the South Fork TH, it is about 10 miles to Hockett Lakes. The lakes are a series of three small, fairly shallow lakes with a few ponds nearby. Contain Brookies, 7-9 inches

Evelyn Lake: (8,715' elev) Taking the South Fork Kaweah trail out of the South Fork TH, the lake is14.5 miles from the trailhead. The Hockett Lakes Ranger Station is on this trail about 11.5 miles from the trailhead. Contains Brookies, 8-9 inches.

The East Fork of the Kaweah is accessed by Mineral King Road off Hwy 198 near Hammond. The convergence of the East Fork with the Main Kaweah is at 1300 feet elevation. The road crosses the river at Oak Grove which is 4.5 miles upstream from Hammond at 2600 feet. The next access is a trail from Lookout Point Ranger Station about 3.25 miles futher upstream at 3500 feet. A trail from Atwell Mill Campground provides access to the river about 7 miles further upstream from Lookout Point at 6000 feet. The road ends at Mineral King and Cold Spring Campground at 7500 feet, close to 3 miles upstream from Atwill Mill Campground. Expect Rainbows and Brookies.

Horse Creek: Located about 2.25 miles upstream of the East Fork Kaweah at Lookout Point Ranger Station. An access trail is at the station to the EF Kaweah. Contains rainbows.



Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

East Fork and South Fork Kaweah 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.

Other Lakes:

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

 

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

 

Pumpkin Hollow Bridge NF Kaweah EF Kaweah Bridge EF Kaweah at Atwell Horse Creek Kaweah River at Sequoia CG Kaweah at Dinely Bridge South Fork Kaweah Evelyn Lake South Fork at Whiskey Log Garfield Grove Lower Hockett Lake South Fork Kaweah Meadow Tuohy Creek NF Tule River Mineral King Marble Fork Kaweah Riverhouse on the Kaweah