Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The West Walker River
The West Walker River forms in the Eastern Sierras near
Yosemite at around 11,000 feet elevation in the Emigrant
Wilderness. Lahontan cutthroat trout were the native trout
but the stream has mostly brown trout, brook trout and
rainbow trout. It is a heavily stocked stream. There are
also some Mountain Whitefish. It's water flows into Topaz
Lake and is used for irrigation. It eventually flows into the
East Fork in Mason Valley and the water from both
streams end at Walker Lake.
Much of the river is in a roadless area. Leavitt Meadows,
off California highway #108, is the closest road to the
headwaters. This is a good area to fish with pocket water
consisting of riffles connecting large pools.
There's also a public access at Pickle Meadows, located a
mile off of highway #108. There is parking and a trail that
leads to the river.
There's a mile long public access to the river in Hoye
Canyon. Another access exist in Wilson Canyon and the
BLM Rest Area.
Access south of the town of Walker is fairly easy. The
river flows along highway #395 for several miles and all of
the above public places can be easily reached from there.
The river flows through private property for much of its
This is a pure freestone stream that depends on rain and
melting snow for its water. The levels can vary drastically.
It's usually late June before the river falls into a normal
flow. It can become very low and clear in the late summer
and early fall. Either situation, high or low water, can
make it difficult to fish.
The West Walker River starts fishing good about the time
the other local waters are slowing down.
The river is usually high and very dingy to muddy.
Late Summer is a prime time to fish the West Walker
Early Fall is also a prime time for fly fishing the West
Walker River. The water is low and clear and the stream
is easy to fish.
Fly Fishing Guide to West Walker River:
This stream is a real pleasure to fish and wade. (Click
Here To Continue)
West Walker River
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Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
West Walker River Fishing Report:
05/01/14 The fishing season is now open on the West
Walker, so let us hear from you. Right now the water is
still very cold but should warm up rather fast.
Fishing Report Updated 09/08/16
(Bottom Of Page)
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
05/08/14 Two customers ordering flies
(Blue-winged Olives and streamers) getting ready
to fish but no reports from anyone fishing yet.
05/14/14 One report from an angler wasn't
so great but conditions have improved since
he fished. Two more customers ordering flies
for trips later this month. The weather is
good for the next few days, so maybe more
anglers will give it a shot.
05/22/14 Low water that is still in the high
forties is a slight problem for the two guys we
received reports from. The water should
warm up some this coming week and
05/29/14 Two customers reporting
catching some trout on our BWO nymphs
and duns. Water is still around 48
06/05/14 No reports from anyone fishing
this past week. The water has had some
color to it from the runoff.
06/12/14 Several customers ordering flies
and one reporting he has caught some
trout recently on BWO hatches. The water
is warming and shouldn't be long before
several hatches begin,
06/19/14 Conditions are excellent with
several hatches taking place. Three
customers reported catching trout,
several new ones ordering flies for
upcoming trips. It is in prime condition.
06/26/14 The low water levels makes the
"catching" a little tougher, but otherwise,
conditions are good. Those using good
presentation tactics are catching trout.
07/03/14 Anglers are continuing to catch
some trout, even though the water is a
little low. There are several hatches
07/17/14 Hopefully, the low water levels will
be taken care of soon. There's a chance of
rain everyday through Sunday. Anglers are
still catching trout but the low levels make it
tougher than it should be.
07/24/14 Conditions have improved
some this past week. Water
temperatures are still a little high. Fish
early and late and the higher elevations.
08/01/14 The water temperature is down
three degrees and this should help.
Stay hidden as best possible to cope
with the low water conditions.
08/14/14 Some anglers reporting good
fishing and others not. The water is low and
you have to stay well hidden. That, and good
presentations, will make the difference.
08/21/14 The water is still very low, of course,
but trout are being caught by those headed
high and using lots of stealth. Spotted Sedges
and small PMDs are hatching.
08/28/14 One customer reported catching some
trout. Still plenty of insects but little water that
makes it tough, but otherwise good.
09/11/14 Low water levels is still causing
anglers problems but those that can stay
hidden are doing well.
09/25/14 Low water still exist but there is a
chance of rain from tomorrow though
Sunday. You can still catch trout but you
must stay hidden.
10/09/14 The water temperature has
dropped some and fishing is much better
even though the levels are still low.
10/16/14 Low water is of course, still a
problem but it is cooler and that helps. Trout
can be caught but a lot of stealth is required.
10/23/14 No reports from anyone fishing.
Low flows still exist.
10/23/14 One custumer reporting catching
a few trout. The water is still low but not as
low as it has been.
11/15/14 The stream is still low but the rain
has helped big time. Season closes today
04/23/15 Season is Closed
05/07/15 Season is now open but we don't
have any reports yet. Some customers have
ordered flies for this month. Stay in touch.
05/21/15 Cooler temperature and rain has
lower the water temps and holding back
hatches but helping because the water is
needed. Plenty of BWOs.
05/28/15 The weather is warming up a
little this week and more hatches should
begin. No reports from last week.
06/11/15 The river is flowing at 689 cfs
which is high from runoff. It will be a few
06/18/15 Flows dropped some but high.
06/25/15 The stream has dropped and in
good shape with clear water. Our
customers are catching lots of trout.
07/02/15 Excellent conditions. Little Yellow
stones, Golden stones, PMDs, Spotted
sedges and many other insects hatching.
07/09/15 Two good reports from customers
fishing this past week. Cooler weather and
07/16/15 The cooler weather has kept the
water cool and trout active. Lots of PMDs and
Spotted sedge hatching.
07/23/15 Stream levels are low, so stealth is
required to stay hidden from the trout.
07/30/15 Some good and some bad reports.
Use long, light leaders and stay hidden.
08/13/15 Low water levels is making it tough
but trout can be caught in good numbers
provided stealth is used.
08/20/15 We didn't receive any reports from
anglers fishing. Conditions are about the same.
Fish longer, lighter leaders and tippets.
08/27/15 Trout don't stop eating just because
the water is low. It just takes better flies, more
stealth and good presentations to fool them.
09/03/15 The stream is still very low but it is
much cooler and that should help.
09/10/15 Low with no rain forecast. Trout
can be caught but stealth is a must.
09/17/15 Low water still exist but cool weather
continues. Mahogany duns have started
09/24/15 Low water levels requires you stay
hidden from the trout and make good
presentations. Do that, and you can catch
good numbers of trout right now.
10/08/15 The stream is in better shape with
more water. We didn't receive any reports
from anyone fishing this past week.
10/15/15 The stream is very low right now but
look for that to change. There is a lot of rain
in the forecast. Conditions should improve.
10/29/15 One good report came in during
the past two weeks. The river is low again
but cooler water temps is making it easier to
fish. Lots of Blue-winged olives hatching.
11/05/15 You better give it a shot soon.
Those who have fished lately did very well
but the season closes on the 15th.
11/12/15 Good conditions but only 3 days
left in the season.
11/15/15 Season is closed.
12/24/15 It is never too early to plan your
2016 fly fishing trip to the West Walker river.
Give us a call or send us an email and we will
be glad to help you.
02/25/16 Just a reminder to say that it isn't
too early to start planning an 2016 fishing
trip to the West Walker. We have taken
samples of the aquatic insects using
professional entomology equipment and
know what is in the river that's most plentiful
and available at any time of the season. We
are the only company in the World with
specific imitations of all the aquatic insects in
all stages of life applicable to fly fishing.
03/31/16 Just a reminded that it is just three
weeks or so until the season opens on the
West Walker. Shoot us an email and let us
help you plan your next trip. Address is just
04/21/16 The season opens in four more
days. Let us hear from you and help you
plan that next trip.
04/28/16 The season opened three days
ago but we haven't received any reports yet.
The stream is cold (45 degrees) & stained.
05/12/16 Two good reports came in the past
couple of days. Blue-winged olives and little
Black caddis are hatching.
05/26/16 Stream levels have been high at
times due to runoff but in good condition
when the weather is cool. Water is still less
than 50 degrees and mostly BWO hatches.
06/23/16 The river is finally getting into
decent shape, with good flows and clearer
water. BWO's, Green sedges, Golden
stones, and soon, PMDs should start.
06/30/16 The river is in excellent shape and
we are getting good reports from our
customers. Good levels and clear water.
07/07/16 The stream is a little low but
otherwise in good shape. There are lots of
PMDs hatching. Two good reports from this
07/21/16 More good reports are coming in,
especially from those hiking into the high
country. The stream levels are low and stealth
07/28/16 The higher up the river you hike,
the better the fishing is. Fish early and late
in the day.
08/11/16 We received two good reports this
past week. Lots of PMDs, spotted sedges,
Tricos, and terrestials are working.
09/08/16 The stream is low and you have to
stay low and hidden from the trout, but
otherwise, conditions are good. Terrestrials
are working as well as Tricos and Spotted
Sedge and little Sister caddisflies.