Fly Fishing the Sierra

Woods Creek

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Woods Creek

Suggested Flies for Woods Creek Area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Elk Hair Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
BWO Sparkle Dun #18-20
BWO Parachute Dun #18-20

Nymph Flies:
Hare's Ear #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18


Woods Creek Directions

From Fresno, take Hwy 180 east into Grant Grove and follow the South Fork of the Kings River east. Roads End is 85 miles from Fresno and is at the end of Hwy 180 where it ends as a loop just past Cedar Grove Village within Kings Canyon National Park. Take the Woods Creek Trail following the South Fork Kings River into Paradise Valley. Woods Creek confluence is just past the northern end of Paradise Valley.

Notes:South Fork Kings River

Kings Canyon National Park encompasses the Woods Creek region. Prior to 1973, many of the streams and lakes were planted with trout. This practice had some drawbacks to the native biota such as amphibians. After 1988, all fish planting within the park was discontinued. Park streams and lakes were managed for a sustainable fishery. Those streams and lakes that could not support a fishery were allowed to go fishless. However, by 1990, it was evident that certain amphibians such as the Mountain Yellow Legged Frog (MYLF) had not recovered enough and a management plan was implemented to eradicate certain lakes and streams of non-native fish. By 2013, 15 lakes and ponds were eradicated of fish. Over the next 25 years, the Park intends to eradicate another 70 lakes, streams, and marshes to reach a 15% level of fishless habitat. Most of these fish removals are within the higher elevations of the park and many are fishless due to the unsustainability of fish within these waters due to lack of food source, lack of spawning grounds, and shallow depths lacking winter survival during freezing periods.
Many of the lakes within the Woods Creek region above 10,000' elevation became fishless but some lakes continue to have good fishing within the Arrow Creek and Window Peak regions. Must go off-trail to reach these regions.

South Fork Kings River: The SF Kings passing through Muro Blanco has no trail. Those that elect to bushwack this route often go down the canyon from the Cartridge Pass Trail near Bench Lake. This section of the SF Kings is about 8 miles long with the first three miles below Cartridge Pass Trail being typical riffle-run-pool stream fishable for Rainbows 6-9". Once you get into Muro Blanco, the river becomes unfishable with steep gradients until you reach the confluence of Arrow Creek.

Woods Creek: Woods Creek trail follows Woods Creek from the SF Kings to the Pacific Crest Trail. The length of this section of the creek is about 5 miles with the first three miles of the down flowing creek being steep with numerous plunge pools. The final two miles of the creek from Castle Dome Meadows to the confluence of the South Fork Woods Creek is fishable with runs, riffles, and pools. This stretch contains Rainbows in the 6-9 inch class.

Kid Lakes: Most take the pass below Munger Peak to access this area from the Copper Creek Trail. You must go 2 miles northeast from Grouse Lake off-trail. This route will drop you into the first lake on the South Fork of Kid Creek. The South Fork Kid Lake at 10620' is fishless. Following the outlet stream down from the South Fork, you reach the confluence of the Middle Fork. The lower two lakes, 10,400' and 10,500' elevation, of this middle fork have rainbows up to 11". 10.5 miles from the trailhead. The North Fork lakes are fishless.

State Lakes: Two lakes at 10,300 feet and about 14 miles from the Copper Creek trailhead. Upper State Lake is shallow and fishless. Lower State Lake consists of Goldens and Rainbows. The lakes are best accessed from the State Lakes Trail which forks to the east off the Copper Creek Trail near the east fork of Daugherty Creek.

Arrow Creek Lakes: Access to the Arrow Creek lakes is usually from Bench Lake going over Arrow Pass. Some actually take routes from Castle Domes or up Window Creek to reach this area. Rainbows are small, 6-9 inches.

Window Peak Lake: Very picturesque lake usually accessed from the PCT/JMT up the outlet drainage. Rainbows 6-9 inches.

Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

All Lakes and Reservoirs in Kings Canyon NP:

Open all year. 5 trout. 10 in possession. No gear restrictions.

All creeks and tributaries:

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.


©2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.
State Lakes South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River Kid Lakes Window Peak Lake Gardiner Basin Upper Woods Creek SF Kings River Lakes Basin Woods Creek Woods Creek Woods Creek Upper Arrow Creek Mid Arrow Lakes South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River South Fork Kings River