Suggested Flies for the North Fork American River area:
Sierra Tahoe Hatch Selection
From Auburn, on Highway I-80, go Northeast 2 miles to Auburn-Foresthill Road. Turn East and go 18 miles to Foresthill. Continue on Foresthill-Soda Springs Road. Mumford Bar Trailhead is 13 miles from Foresthill on Foresthill Road . Beacroft Trailhead is 17 miles from Foresthill on Foresthill Road and Sailor Flat is another 5 miles further on Foresthill Road but the trailhead starts off a high clearance 4 WD road that goes 2 miles to the left. Most of these trails are 3-4 miles to the river and drop about 2000 feet. The American River Trail is along the North Fork and follows the south side of the river from Mumford Bar to Sailor Flat.
Lake Spaulding: (700 acres at 5,011 feet elev) The lake resides within a glacial granite bowl but additional damming was done in 1912 to provide ample water for Hydraulic mining downstream. Best fished in early Spring and the Fall. Department of Fish and Game stocks the lake with 15,000 rainbows and 5,000 brown trout along with Chinook Salmon.
Lake Valley Reservoir: (300 acres at 5893 feet elev) 10 mph limit for boats. Rainbow trout are the only species of fish that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) currently plants at Lake Valley. The Department most years stocks around 4,000 pounds of rainbows in the reservoir. The lake also hosts a sleeper population of German brown trout. Contains Browns and Rainbows.
Kelly Lake: No motorized boats allowed. Contains Browns and Rainbows.
Cascade Lakes: No motorized boating allowed. Consists of three lakes, all containing self-sustaining Brookies. Only the Lower Cascade is supplemented with an additional 1000 fingerling Brook Trout each year due to high fishing pressure.
Long Lake: (6,620 feet elev) Stocked with about 2,000 rainbow fingerlings each year.
Kidd Lake: (89 acres at 6,628 feet elev) The lake was stocked with Brookies annually from 1952 to 1993. It has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There are four campsites and only those that rent a campsite are allowed to fish the lake.
Salmon Lake: (6,700 feet elev) Stocked with about 500 Rainbows each year.
Serene Lakes: (6,872 feet elev) This used to be three lakes: Sybil, Dulzura, and Serena, until a dam was built that flooded the three lakes together. The shoreline is owned mostly by home owners who also stock the lake with Rainbows and Brookies. Only about 100 yds exist for public access.
Loch Leven Lakes: Four Lakes. Lower Loch Leven is 12 areas with a 16 feet maximum depth. The lakes cannot sustain rainbows and the lake is shallow enough that Brookies do not survive either. Brook Trout were lasted planeted in 2000 and Rainbows up to 1997. Gill netting showed no fish in 2016. The other three lakes, Upper, Middle, and High were also subject to Brookie aerial drops that were suspended after 2000. There are no frog issues here and CDFW may resume stocking of rainbows. But for now, Most Likely fishless.
The Middle Fork of the American extends for about 15 miles from Oxbow Reservoir to French Meadows Dam. Most of this water is pools, pocket water, and riffles. Flows can fluctuate greatly throughout the day. The river holds mostly Rainbows in the 8-15 inch class as well as some larger browns within the deepest pools closer to French Meadows Reservoir. Nymph action is best during the early season while dry fly actions picks up in the later summer. A number of Golden Stone hatches occur as well as Caddis and Mayflies. Streamers are always effective within the deeper pools. There are no special regulations. Limit of 5. Duncan Creek is a tributary that feeds the Middle Fork of the American and is accessed from Mosquito Ridge Road where it crosses the creek prior to reaching French Meadow Reservoir. The creek contains small rainbows in the 6-10 inch class as well as a few browns in the upper reaches.
North Fork of the Middle Fork American River: This water consists of small pools, runs, and pocket water. The Rainbows tend to be on the small size of 6-8 inches. The river is within a very deep canyon which tends to cool the ambient temperature. There are good hatches of Mayflies and Golden Stones.
French Meadows Reservoir: (5,300 feet elevation) The lake contains primarily Rainbows, which are planted throughout the season, as well as Browns and Smallmouth Bass. It is primarily known as a bait and lure fishery but flyfishing opportunities exist as well. Use sinking lines with streamers such as Woolly Buggers and Leech Patterns in Olive, Brown, or Black colors. Try the areas around the downed trees and snags. Also locate the rocky ledges and drop-offs. You'll need a boat since there are few good access points from shore. Know the sink rate of your line and count down to the proper depth before retrieval. Add some twitching action to the fly. There is a callibaetis hatch that occurs sporadically so that nymphing can be good at those times. During late afternoon or at low light, try some surface flies such as Parachute Ants.
Hell Hole Reservoir: (4,700 feet elevation) It is fed by the Rubicon River and is within a granite gorge with steep walls. Primarily accessed by small boats, the lake is trolled for the large Mackinaws and Browns that reside there. There are no Brookies or Rainbows.
American River, North Fork, Middle Fork, South 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
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.