North Fork Willow Creek

North Fork Willow Creek

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North Fork Willow
Suggested Flies for North Fork Willow Creek Region:
Western Sierra Hatch Selection

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #14-18
Elk Hair Caddis #12-14
St. Vrain Caddis #16-18
AK's Quilled Spinner #16-18
Griffith's Gnat #16-20
PMD Emerger #16-18
Stimulator, Black and Tan #10-14

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #12-14
Prince Nymph #12-14
Bird's Nest #8-10
Black Stonefly #12

Directions:

SF Merced River Directions

From Oakhurst, it is a 4 mile drive on Hwy 41 to Yosemite Forks. Continue another 10 miles on Hwy 41 to Fish Camp. NF Willow Creek can be reached from Beasore Road from Bass Lake going 5 miles to Road 6S40. Take Road 6S40 3.5 miles to Grey Mtn campground.

Notes:SF Merced River
The North Fork of Willow Creek is a granite based stream with deep pools and cascading falls within the lower reaches just above Bass Lake. This area gets a lot of bathers. The upper reaches of the North Fork near Soquel campground provides decent fly fishing for small Browns and Rainbows with a mild gradient and some deep pools. The best time to fish these waters is late Spring through mid-Summer. CDFW stocks about 6000 rainbows near the campgrounds during the early summer.
Nelder Creek: CDFW stocks about 1500 rainbows near Nelder Grove and is also rarely visited so you should have some good fishing without the crowds. The best fishing is at Gooseberry Flat and Redwood Camp which is just below it. The creek also has a healthy population of wild browns and rainbows in the 4-6" class. The grove of Giant Sequoias was named after John Nelder, a 49'ner gold prospector who built a cabin near the grove and lived there for 14 years. John Muir met him in 1875 and wrote about him in his book, "Our National Parks".
Lewis Fork is heavily planted with rainbows along a 6 miles stretch downstream of Sugar Pine Village. CDFW puts about 5,000 trout in this creek during the early summer months.
Upper Big Creek has browns and rainbows. It flows from the headwaters near Little Sandy and Big Sandy campgrounds to the community of Fish Camp and continues north to Summerdale campground. The stream has a rocky substrate with numerous pools and riffles. All of these area have decent fly fishing opportunites. From late April to Early July, CDFW stocks about 6000 rainbows, half near Big Sandy and Little Sandy campground and the other half near Fish Camp and Summerdale campground. Big Sandy and Little Sandy are located in large meadows providing an opportunity for dry flies.

Iron Lakes: Two lakes at 8,200' elevation. Each contains Brookies, 12-14 inches. Two nearby lakes are Junction Lake and Bare Island Lake, these contain Brookies as well. To reach these lakes, take the Sky Ranch Road past Fresno Dome and turn left at FS Road 5S92. Proceed 2.4 miles to the junctions of the 4WD road to the Iron Lakes. Probably best to hike it than drive.



Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

North Fork Willow Creek:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five 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, five 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 within this area:

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.
South Fork Merced Big Creek at Summerdale CG Iron Lakes Big Creek Big Creek at Little Sandy CG Kelty Meadow Camp Sugar Pine Lewis Fork Chilkoot Lake NF Willow Creek at Grey's Mtn To Balloon Dome NF Willow at Chilkoot CG Gaggs Cg