McGee Canyon-Eastern Sierra

McGee Canyon

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McGee Canyon

Suggested Flies for McGee Canyon area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

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

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
Yellow Humpy #14
Griffith's Gnat #16-18
Black Gnat #18
Henrys Fork Hopper #14
Chernobyl Ant #16
Mosquito #18

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18
Copper John #16-18

Directions:

McGee Canyon Directions

From Highway 395, north of the Crowley lake turnoff, turn west onto the McGee Canyon road. Proceed up this road past the pack station, to the end of the road. There is a parking area and trailhead at the road end.

Notes:

This is a beautiful canyon to explore with the red, white, and gray walls of metamorphic slate exposed from the slopes of Mt. Baldwin, Mt Agee, and Red and White Mountain. This is also a wildflower paradise in May and June where the sagebrush covered slopes offer beautiful displays of paintbrush, mule’s ears, lupines, penstemons, and more. A longer walk will take you through changing habitats to subalpine and alpine settings, with corresponding changes in the Big McGee Lakewildflower species you will find. Mountain pride, red heather, gentians, and columbine. Beavers were introduced into the area in the 1940's. There was a species of Beaver native to the area but they were hunted to extinction. The beavers drastically reduce the aspen and cottonwood trees and dam the creek. At first glance, you might not like their activity but those small ponds they create help to hold back moisture and restore the meadows. Studies have shown that beaver activity also helps with an increase in the number of riparian plants along the banks of the creek as well as improving the clarity of the water downstream. For us fly fishermen, they also provide a great site for using dry flies with the plenty Brookies and Browns that reside within these ponds. You'll notice that the first four miles of the trail is fairly wide. This is due to the trail once being a road to the Scheelore Mine which extracted Tungsten from 1942 to 1944. The last work there was in 1954.

From the trailhead you can reach:
Grass Lake: (3 acres) at an elevation of 9,829 feet. Consists of Brookies. Take McGee Pass Trail 3.5 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395. Take side trail for .5 miles from McGee Creek.
Steelhead Lake: (30 acres) at an elevation of 10,380 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Take McGee Pass Trail 3.5 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395. Take side trail for 1 mile from McGee Creek.
Golden Lake: (7 acres) at an elevation of 10,377 feet. Consists of Goldens and Golden/Rainbow Hybrids. Take McGee Pass Trail 6 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395. Must go off-trail for .5 miles from McGee Creek.
Crocker Lake: (7 acres) at an elevation of 10,880 feet. Consists of Brookies. Take McGee Pass Trail 6 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395 to Golden Lake. Must go off-trail for about 1 miles from McGee Creek by way of Golden Lake.
Big McGee Lake: (40 acres) at an elevation of 10,550 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Take McGee Pass Trail 7 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395.
Little McGee Lake: (8 acres) at an elevation of 11,050 feet. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows. Take McGee Pass Trail 8 miles from McGee Creek Road of Highway 395



Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

McGee Creek upstream from Hwy 395:

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.

Lakes in the McGee Canyon:

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

Lakes in the Pioneer Basin:

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.

 

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