West Carson River (Hope Valley)-Sierra Tahoe

Hope Valley

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West Carson River- Hope Valley

Suggested Flies for Hope Valley:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:
Zug Bug, #12-16
Copper Johns, #12-16
Caddis Emerger, #14-16
Prince Nymph #10-14
Dark Lord #12-16
Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-18

Elk Hair Caddis, #16-18
Bivisible Dun, #18-20
Grey Wulff, #14-18
Clark's Little Yellow Stonefly, #12-16
Cutter's Perfect Ant, #12-16
Griffith's Gnat, #16-18
Parachute Adams, #14-16


Hope Valley Directions

You can reach Hope Valley by way of Hwy 88 west from Hwy 395, 20 miles out of Gardnerville. You will pass by the village of Woodford and proceed another 9 miles west along the WF Carson River within the Carson Canyon. The canyon ends at Sorenson's Resort and the valley extends another 10 miles. You can also reach Hope Valley by Hwy 89 south from South Lake Tahoe. This route is also about 20 miles.


Hope Valley
The West Fork of the Carson River starts as a small tributary at Lost Lakes, near Upper Blue Lake, and drops about 1000 feet elevation over a 7 mile distance. Once the river reaches Hope Valley, the Hope Valley Campground is directly to the west along Blue Lakes Road. The river flows northward through the Hope Valley for 10 miles with only a 500 foot drop in elevation. The river within Hope Valley is very accessible by car from either Blue Lakes Road or Highway 88. At Picketts Junction there is disabled access parking and restroom facility as well as two fishing platforms from which to cast from a wheel chair. The County plants trout within this area of the stream. The fishing season is the last Saturday of April through Nov. 15th. Five fish can be kept with a 10 in possession rule. However, I hope that you will continue to practice catch & release while fishing with barbless hooks as we would like to improve this trout habitat for the resident fish. The river is managed as a "put & take" fishery with regular plants of rainbows, some quite large in the 5-7 lb range. Alpine County has their own Fish and Wildlife commission that plants about 15,000 lbs of trout within the county's streams and lakes. The CDWF also plants about 100,000 lbs within these waters. The planting schedule starts in the late Spring and continue through the Summer until the flows are too low or the water temps are too high. The resident fish are wild Browns and Rainbows, mostly in the 8-12 inch size. There are some larger Browns within the undercuts. Lahontan Cutthroats have also been introduced within these waters. The river meanders through Hope Valley allowing for excellent dry fly presentations, particularly during the early evening hours. Nymphs can be used within the deeper pools. Since the WF Carson is a thin small stream within the Hope Valley, rising temperatures during the Summer will usually reduce the fishing activity after 10:00 am. and you might want to fish the shaded canyon section of the West Fork Carson below Sorenson's in the late morning and early afternoon. A Fly Shop resides within Sorenson's Resort called Horse Feathers. This shop is owned and operated by Judy Warren-Wickwire. Judy provides fly fishing lessons as well as casting clinics within the local Beaver ponds. Judy has also authored two guidebooks about the local fishing. Sorenson's provides cabins and a cafe. There is a campground next to Sorenson's called Hope Valley Resort. Sorenson's also provides numerous events with an Emigrant Trail tour and seminars on Outdoor Photography, Medicinal Plants, Geology, Alpine Wildflowers, and a Fall Color hike which showcases the local Aspen tree groves. The area has a rich history with the Pony Express Trail and the Mormon-Emigrant Trail nearby. A Wildlife Reserve area of about 2,900 acres resides within the Valley home to Mule Deer, Black Bear, Bobcat, Blue Grouse, Northern Goshawk, and Clark's nutcracker.

Upper Truckeee: The Upper Truckee is a freestone stream with small pools and runs. Most of the fish within the Upper Truckee are rainbows in the 7-10 inch class, Brookies are slightly larger up to 12", and Lahonton Cutthroats have been reintroduced to the headwaters portion of the river, also in a 7-10 inch class. It holds a wide arrangement of insect hatches such as Little Yellow Stoneflies, Caddis, and Mayflies. The Upper Truckee is open from July 1st to September 30th.

Showers Lake: Showers Lake will have some nice Lahontan Cutthroats within it, up to 16 inches.

Dardanelles Lake and Round Lake: Provide good fishing opportunites at the headwaters of the Upper Truckee with plenty of brook trout.

Meiss Lake at 8300' elevation is a shallow lake that became available to fish in 2021. Contains Lahontan Cutthroats. You can also fish the meadow section below the lake. A small, shallow creek flows through this meadow to the Upper Truckee River and also containing Lahontan Cutthroats, mostly 6-10 inches.

Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Upper Truckee River and tributaries (Alpine and El Dorado cos.) upstream from confluence with Showers Creek.:

Saturday preceding Memorial Day through September 30th. Artificial lures with barbless hooks. 0 trout.

Meiss Lake (Alpine Co.).:

Saturday preceding Memorial Day through September 30th. Artificial lures with barbless hooks. 0 trout.

All other Lakes and Reservoirs:

Open all year, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession.

All other creeks and tributaries:

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.


Fishing Map Available

Covers the West Fork Carson River from Nevada Border through Hope Valley. Topographic relief showing features surrounding the river. Shows camping areas, GPS Long./Lat., road access, trails, and property boundaries. Special Features are the Hatch Chart, Fishing Season and Regulations, Fish Identification, Historical Flow Chart, Nymphing Rigs, and Stream Etiquette guidelines. Printed on Rite-in-the-Rain Paper that will allow you to write those special notes. Waterproof and Durable.

West Fork Carson

West Fork Carson River

$12.95 pkg

© 2018 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.


Hope Valley Hope Valley Big Meadow Creek Grass Lake West Carson River West Carson River Sorensons Scotts Lake Dardanelles Lake West Carson River Round Lake Crater Lake West Carson River