Rubicon River-Sierra Tahoe

Rubicon River

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Rubicon River

Suggested Flies for Rubicon River:
Sierra Tahoe Hatch Selection

Clark's Little Yellow Stonefly #12-16
Yellow Madame X #12-14
Stimulator #6-12
Royal Trude #12-14
X-Caddis,Olive #14-18
Elk Hair Caddis #14-18

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear #12-14
Birds Nest #12-14
A.P. Nymph #10-16
Caddis Emerger #14-18
Emergent Sparkle Pupa #14-18
Burk's Hunchback Infrequens #14-16

Zug Bug #12
Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-16
Golden Stone Nymph #6-8
Bead Head Twenty Incher #10-12
Kaufmann's Stone #6-8
Black Rubber Legs #6-8


Rubicon River Directions

From Placerville take Highway 193 to Georgetown, 14 miles. Turn right on Main Street which becomes Wentworth Springs Road and follow Wentworth Springs Road for 16 miles to Stumpy Meadows Reservoir. Continue on Wentworth Springs Road, past Stumpy Meadows, for 6 miles and take a left at Eleven Pines road which will take you down into the gorge of the Rubicon to Ellicott Bridge.

Notes: Upper Rubicon River
Rubicon River: Below Hell Hole Reservoir, the Rubicon flows down a long sweeping canyon, often with steep cataracts, before terminating in Oxbow Reservoir, 3.5 miles below Buck Eye Flat. Above Oxbow, the first access to this reach is a Nevada Point. Go 7.5 miles on Wentworth Springs Road from Georgetown to Volcanoville Road and take Woodpecker Road to the trailhead. This trail will go down to Buck Eye Flat at Nevada Point. The next access is Ellicott’s Bridge off Eleven Pines road. On the north side of the bridge there is a parking area, and access to a trail called the Hunter Trail. This trail follows the river upstream but stays high on the steep cliff without spur trails down until about 1.75 miles in, where a rather obscure branch goes off to the left and down to the river at the confluence of the main Rubicon and its South Fork. There is about a mile of good fishable water up and downstream of this point. If, instead of taking the spur trail, you stay on the main trail, be prepared to walk another 3 miles before coming to the next defined river access point: Hale’s Crossing. The fishing here can be excellent at times, due to its remote location. Past Hales’s Crossing, the trail continues all the way to Hell Hole Reservoir; the hike to that point is 10 miles from Ellicott’s Bridge. The last few miles before the reservoir are virtually unfishable for lack of access and because of huge piles of debris that remain from the flood caused by the failure of Hell Hole Dam during its construction, in the winter of 1964.

Long Canyon Creek: This is a difficult area to access but there are a couple of access trails off Nevada Point and Nevada Point Ridge. The easiest access is from Ramsey Crossing Road that crosses Long Canyon Creek or by continuing on Eleven Pines Road (Road 2) to another crossing further upstream. Contains Rainbows.

Loon Lake: (992 acres at 6,378 feet elev) Originally a dam was built in the headwaters of Gerle Creek in 1884 to supply water to mining claims on Georgetown Ridge. The dam was rebuilt in 1961 and now supplies both water and power to the City of Sacramento. The new dam flooded two nearby lakes, Loon Lake and Pleasant Lake, creating the Loon Lake Reservoir. The lake is heavily planted with 1-2 lb rainbows annually. It is mostly trolled for trout but there are plentiful numbers near the shoreline in the Spring and Fall.

Gerle Creek: Contains Browns and Rainbows up to 12 inches

Gerle Creek Reservoir: (60 acres) A good water to float tube with a maximum depth of 30 feet. Contains a self-sustaining population of Browns, 10-15 inches

Pilot Creek: Pilot Creek is a small stream draining the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in El Dorado National Forest. It begins at an elevation of approximately 1700 feet, flows into Stumpy Meadows Lake, and is then partially diverted by the Georgetown Public Utility District (GPUD). The only public access to this reach of stream is from the trail to University Falls (west of Blodgett Forest) and from the base of the Stumpy Meadows dam to the furthest extent of the upper end of the area surveyed. The lower end of Pilot Creek, near its confluence with the Rubicon River, can be accessed by the public at Nevada Point Trail, approximately 4.5 miles downstream of the University Falls access. Contains Rainbows and Browns 6-10 inches.

South Fork Rubicon: About 1 1/2 miles below Shadow Lake, the river enters a flat area for approximately 2 miles just southeast of Loon Lake. The river has many large pools with sandy, silty, bottoms within this section. A few of the pools are caused by log jams, but the jams are not detremental to the river. Small rainbow trout are quite abundant in these pools. After the flat section, the river cascades down a series of falls, below the Loon Lake Trail, which compose a complete barrier to upstream migration. Below the falls, the gradient is slight and the river is much like it was above the falls except that the bottom is composed more of rocks, rubble, and gravel with fewer sandy pools. Surveys have shown an average fish density of 116 adult rainbows per mile. Nearing the Ice House Road, the river shows an increase in use. There is a forebay at the Ice House Road which diverts water to the Robb's Peak Powerhouse. Below the forebay the riverbed is mainly bedrock and boulders. Fishing is poor within a mile of this area, probably due to heavy fishing pressure. Further downstream the fishing greatly improves with rainbows and browns providing a good fishery. Approximately 2 miles below the S.F. campground the stream gradient increases rapidly. There are many falls and several large pools in this area. Nearly all the falls form complete barriers to upstream migration. Access in this section is difficult but possible.

Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

American River, Middle Fork, and their tributaries above Folsom Lake (Placer, El Dorado, Amador and Alpine cos.):

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession
Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in Apr. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 Trout

Rubicon River:

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession.

All Lakes and Reservoirs:

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

All other creeks and tributaries:

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession.


Loon Lake Bathymetric Chart


Stumpy Meadows Lake Bathymetric Chart


© 2019 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

University Falls on Pilot Creek Stumpy Meadows Lake Long Canyon Creek Ellicott Bridge Rubicon River South Fork Rubicon Unnamed Pond Loon Lake Gerle Creek Reservoir Upper SF Rubicon Tells Creek MF American Hells Hole Reservoir South Fork American Desolation Wilderness