West Walker River Upper Forks-Eastern Sierra

West Walker River, Upper Forks

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West Walker River Upper Forks

Suggested Flies :
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

West Walker River
Streamer Flies:
Woolly Bugger #6-8
Marabou Muddler #6-8
Nymphs:
Hare's Ear Nymph #12-14


Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Bird Nest #12-14
A.P. Nymph #12-14

Drys:

Olive Caddis #12-16
Yellow Humpy #14-16
Royal Wulff #12-14
Chernobyl Ant #12-14

Local Lakes
Streamer Flies:
Woolly Bugger #6-8
BH Mini-leech, #8-10
Marabou Muddler #6-8
Mohair Leech #8-12
Nymphs:
Hare's Ear Nymph #12-14
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14

Midge Flies:
Copper John, #16
Zebra Midge, #16
Serendipity, #18
Scuds:
Scud
Zug Bug

Directions:

West Walker Directions

The West Walker River in Pickel Meadows is reached by going 4 miles on Hwy 108 from the Hwy 395 turnoff. Turn left and go one mile further to the meadow. Continue on Hwy 108 to the Levitt Meadows campground, about 2 miles further. A parking area is available with a trail to the West Fork Walker river is at the Leavitt Meadows Trailhead. Follow this trail to the upper reaches of the West Walker.
To reach the Little Walker River, take the Little Walker road which is about 1/2 mile south of the Sonora Junction on Hwy 395 and 108. Proceed past the Little Walker Cowcamp and go 3.2 miles to Obsidian campground. There are three trailheads available nearby: Burt Canyon TH will follow the Little Walker, Molybdenite TH follows Molybdenite creek, and Emma Lake Trailhead is another 2.7 miles past Burt Cyn TH.

Notes:
West Walker RiverThe West Walker River is relatively small and resembles a stream in many places. It's headwaters lie in the mountains south of Sonora Pass, on the eastern crest. The water flows down to Leavitt Meadows at Highway 108. This area has lots of riffles with large boulders and pools. Pickle Meadows is in this area containing Brooks, Rainbows, Browns, and Mountain Whitefish. It is a classic freestone stream with easy wading. The fish tend to be small averaging about 8". An attractor dry such as a Royal Wulff with a PT nymph or Hare's Ear dropper is an effective rig. Midge larva patterns also work well in the deeper pools. The West Walker turns northward through a canyon at the juction of Hwy 108 and 395. It flows along Hwy 395 through this canyon. The West Walker usually clears by late June where fishing is productive using large weighted nymphs. Also effective are muddler minnows size 8-12 on a sink tip. Fishing is best when flows reach 150 cfs or less. Dry Fly fishing is usually during the last 2 hours of light, using an Elk Hair Caddis in tan, green, or brown. Another good pattern is the Royal Trude to imitate caddis. A Hopper with a dropper (BH Nymph) rig is a good mid-summer choice.

The Little Walker River is a smaller version of the West Walker. Within this upper section, it consists primarily of Rainbow Trout within the lower sections and Brookies above 8,000' elevation. The fish are generally a smaller size than found on the West Walker. The stream is a freestone type with some deep pools. It gets less fishing pressure than the West Walker.

Across from the Marine Corps Training Center on Hwy 108 is the trailhead through Leavitt Meadow to a couple of fine lakes. These lakes are about a two hour hike from the trailhead.
Roosevelt Lake and Lane Lake (8 acres each) sit at about 7,300'. These two lakes are connected by a narrow creek. They are about 3.2 miles from the trailhead. Roosevelt is particularly good at both the inlet and the outlet. They are part of the Catch & Release program with the State of California with a 2 trout limit. Lane has a rocky shoreline but fishes well along the western side where a channel extends to about a 30' depth. Each lake contains brookies in the 10-12" range as well as Lahonton Cutthroats. Since the lakes are at relatively low elevations, the best time for fishing is early and late season. There are good dry fly opportunites at the inlets and outlets, particularly during the evenings.

Other lakes further on the trail include:
Fremont Lake (40 acres)at 8,250 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 7.5 miles from the trailhead with a 1200 foot gain. Consists of Rainbows.

Long Lakes (20 acres)at 8,596 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 10 miles from the trailhead with a 1600 foot gain. Consists of Rainbows.

Cinko Lake (25 acres)at 9194 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 12.5 miles from the trailhead with a 2,150 foot gain. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows.

Bonnie Lake (25 acres)at 9389 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 15.0 miles from the trailhead with a 2,170 foot gain. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows.

Harriet Lake (25 acres)at 9194 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 14.5 miles from the trailhead with a 2,150 foot gain. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows.

Cora Lake (13 acres)at 9356 feet. The lake developed from a moraine dam created by past glaciation. Granitic bottom. About 15.0 miles from the trailhead with a 2,150 foot gain. Consists of Brookies and Rainbows.

Lake Helen, Stella, and Helen: These lakes are just below Dorothy Pass and are fishless.

Tower Lake: (elevation 9,592') This lake is fishless.

Kirkwood Lake: (elevation10,257') This lake contains Brookies.


Nearby lakes to note along the Little Walker are:
Anna Lake (45 acres) at 10,520' and can be reached by hiking along the Little Walker River Trail. Anna Lake contains Goldens.

Emma Lake (7 acres)at 9,350 feet. About 2.3 miles from the Emma Lake Trailhead along the Little Walker River. Consists of Brookies.


Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Walker River, West Fork (Mono Co.) from Hwy 395 bridge at mile marker 96 to headwaters:

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.

All other Lakes and Reservoirs:

Open all year. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 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.
Lane Lake Emma Lake Fremont Lake Stella Lake Lake Ruth Helen Lake Cora Lake Upper Long Lake Upper Piute Meadow Cinko Lake Little Walker River West Walker River Emigrant Wilderness Buckeye Creek Pickel Meadows Northern Yosemite Leavitt Lake