Tuolumne River-Westside Sierra

Tuolumne River

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Tuolumne River
Suggested Flies for Tuolumne River River:
Western Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #12-18
Parachute Ants #14-16
Cutter's Perfect Ant #14-16
Elk Hair Caddis #12-14
Yellow Humpy #12-14
Dave's Hopper #10-12
Royal Wulff #12-14
Purple Haze #16

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Copper Johns #12-14
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #12-14
Prince Nymph #12-14
Bird's Nest #8-10
Zebra Midge #18

Directions:

Tuolumne River Directions

From Modesto, drive about 50 miles east on Highway 120 to the junction of Highway 108. Following Highway 120, go 25 miles to the confluence of the South and Middle Fork at Rainbow Pool Falls. Continuing along Highway 120 is access to the South Fork. The Middle Fork has access above Rainbow Pool Falls and by way of Evergreen Road. The main stem of the Tuolumne can be accessed by a dirt road just above Burch Meadows to Lumsden Bridge.

Notes:Tuolumne River
The Tuolumne River from Early Intake to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir contains wild rainbows and brown trout. The flow is controlled by releases from O'Shaughnessy Dam and will vary by the season. Several miles downstream it is a C&R only stream. Below Lumsden Bridge downstream to Clavey Falls the river is a two trout limit, 12" maximum. You do have to compete with River Rafters within this section.
Middle Fork of the Tuolumne contains Rainbows and Browns, The DFG plants about 12,000 annually, mainly around Middle Fork Campground. It is heavily used by lure and baitfishermen, so your best bet is to get away from the crowds and try the deep pools that frequent this stream. There are a number of dirt roads with access to the Middle Fork just above Rainbow Pool Falls.
The South Fork of the Tuolumne contains both Rainbows and Browns. The stretch between Rainbow Pool Falls and Carlon Falls can be quite good with some Browns up to 8 lbs. Some areas are heavily used by bathers such as Rainbow Pool Falls. The DFG also plants about 8,000 rainbows annually around the nearby campgrounds. The better flyfishing opportunities is to work your way past these areas to stretches which have very little pressure.
The Clavey River is a Heritage Trout Stream with native Rainbow Trout. It is one of the few rivers of California without a dam. Rainbows are small but plentiful within a narrow canyon gorge of 29 miles before emptying into the Tuolumne River. Best access is from the Buchanan Road bridge where it crosses the Clavey.


Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Tuolumne River from O'Shaughnessy Dam (Hetchy Hetchy Reservoir) downstream to Early Intake Diversion Dam.:

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. Maximum size limit: 12 inches total length. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 2 trout.
Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in Apr. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 trout.

Tuolumne River from Early Intake Dam downstream to Lumsden Bridge.:

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. 5 trout.
Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in Apr. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 trout.

Tuolumne River from Lumsden Bridge downstream to Clavey River Falls.:

Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov. 15. Maximum size limit: 12 inches total length. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 2 trout.
Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in Apr. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 trout.

Tuolumne River below Clavey River Falls:

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.
Tuolumne River Preston Flats Bowers Cave Lumsden Bridge Rainbow Pool SF Tuolumne SF Tuolumne Crane Creek Preston Falls Middle Fork Tuolumne Middle Fork Tuolumne Tuolumne River MF & SF Tuolumne Headwaters Cherry Lake Clavey River Carlon Falls