Huntington Lake - Kaiser Wilderness

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Huntington Lake

Suggested Flies for Kaiser Wilderness area:
Western Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Stillwater Flies:
Woolly Bugger #8-10
Mohair Leech #8-10
Matuku #8-10

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

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

Directions: From Fresno, 68 miles northeast on Highway 168.

Huntington Lake (1,435 acres) is at an elevation of 7,000 feet. The lake was constructed in 1946 by the placement of two concrete dams. The lake is 4 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. There are 5 campground and 5 resorts by the lake. It is a popular summer destination for recreationists and has plenty of seasonal cabins. The lake is well stocked with about 50,000 Rainbows and some Kokanee Salmon each year, as well as it's large resident Browns, and receives heavy fishing pressure. Generally, the rainbows caught are between 11 and 14 inches. The area is full of mosquitos and a dry fly, California Mosquito, works well during the evening hours. Try the areas around Billy Creek and Rancheria Campgrounds. The fishing season is year-round but access is difficult during the Winter with Snow and Ice.
Additional flyfishing opportunities are within the local waters that receive much less fishing pressure. The Kaiser Wilderness has a loop trail that is quite convenient from either the Billy Creek or Lakeshore Trailhead. The loop trail near Kaiser Peak has about a dozen small high elevation lakes with Rainbows and Brookies.
7 miles past Huntington Lake on Kaiser Pass Road is a small 4 acre lake ,Portal Forebay, which is actually a holding pond for the Ward Tunnel water coming from Florence to Huntington Lake. The lake contains both Rainbows and Browns. It is best fished from a float tube.

Billie Creek Trailhead will take you around the western portion of the Kaiser Wilderness
Nellie Lake: Elevation is 8,900 feet. About 3.9 miles from the trailhead with a 1,645 feet gain. Consists of Rainbows.
Bill, Bobby, Bonnie, and Line Creek Lakes: These small lakes are near Kaiser Peak about 6.2 miles from the trailhead. Their elevation is from 9200 to 9800 feet. They consist of Brookies and Rainbows.

Lakeshore Trailhead will take you into the Kaiser WildernessKaiser Wilderness
Twin Lakes: Two lakes, both at 8,550 feet elevation. About 4.2 miles from the trailhead. There is another trailhead off Forest Road 5 which is only 2.7 miles to the lakes with a 540 foot gain. You need to drive about 2 miles off Kaiser Pass Road to get to the trailhead. Lower Twin is about 7 acres with a depth of about 17 feet. The east and southern shores are your best bet with a rock shelf about 10 yards from shore. Upper Twin is about 21 acres with a depth of 55 feet. Best fishing is near the inlet. Both lakes contain Rainbows in the 9-12 inch class but Upper Twin also has Brookies.
Long Lake: Elevation is 9000 feet. About 6.3 miles from the trailhead. The trail closest to Long Lake is Upper Twin and you have to go crosscountry from there. Consists of Brookies.
Kaiser Creek: The creek starts just below Lower Twin Lake and the trail follows the creek for over 3 miles to Sample Meadow just outside the wilderness boundary. Consists of Rainbows, Brookies, and Browns.
Jewel, College, Campfire, and George Lakes: These small lakes are near Kaiser Peak about 4.0 miles from the trailhead. Their elevation is from 9200 to 9800 feet. George Lake is probably the best of three. It is clear and shallow with many granite boulders around the shoreline. There is about .5 miles of shoreline around the lake. The lakes consist of Brookies and Rainbows in the 6-9 inch class.

Badger Flat Trailhead will take you to:
Rancheria Creek: You can cover about 2.5 miles of creek from this trailhead. The creek then falls through a narrow canyon just above Kokanee Campground before entering Huntington Lake. Ward Tunnel discharges into Rancheria Creek and the creek becomes a fast flowing river for about 200 yards. This flume can have some large browns in it from Huntington Lake that are feeding on the discharged food from the tunnel but it is difficult to flyfish. Consists of Rainbows, Brookies, and Browns.
Mirror Lake: Elevation of 8,840 feet. About 5.5 miles from the trailhead. Consists of Brookies.
Strawberry Lake : Elevation of 8,850 feet. About 7.25 miles from the trailhead. Another route to take is the 4WD road off Highway 168 about 8.6 miles. Consists of Brookies.
Red Lake : Elevation of 9,000 feet. About 8.4 miles from trailhead. Consists of Rainbows.
Coyote Lake: Elevation of 9,000 feet. About 8.4 miles from trailhead. Consists of Rainbows and Brookies.
Upper Big Creek: About 2 miles from the trailhead. Follow it about 3 miles to Huntington Lake. Heavily planted with rainbows, it is popular during the late Spring through July period. After July, the water flow is not sufficient for fishing. Consists of Rainbows and Browns.

© 2013 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.