West Walker River
West Walker River
Copyright 2019 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)
Type of Stream
Freestone Stream

Rainbow Trout
Brown Trout
Brook Trout
Lahontan Cutthroat (Few)
(Most all the trout are Stocked)


Eastern Sierra

Nearest Towns

April 25 to November 15


Non-Resident License
State of California

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Guide

Hatches and Flies

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies
West Walker River
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Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
Photo Courtesy of Gary Paepke
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 10/24/19
(Bottom Of Page)
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
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 (sales@perfectflystore.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 $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
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
conditions improve.
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
more days.
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
possible rain.
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
past week.
07/21/16 More good reports are coming in,
especially from those hiking into the high
country. The stream levels are low and stealth
is required.
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.
11/10/15 Fishing season closes in five more
days. The stream is a little low but good
shape otherwise. BWOs are hatching.
01/09/17 Season closed on the November
15th. Send us an email and let us help you
plan that next trip.
05/04/17 The season is open but the water is
high and stained. We did not get ny reports
from anyone fishing this past week.
06/01/17 The river is in the runoff stage and
too high and dingy to fish. Check back with us.
06/15/17 The stream is still very high from
runoff. It will be a few more days. Check
back with us.
06/29/17 The stream has dropped a lot and
getting into good shape fast with lots of
insects hatching.
07/06/17 The flows are at 1770 cfs which is
still too high to fish but falling. Keep in touch.
07/27/17 Stream flows are at 554 cfs at 4.54
tl. which is just a little above normal. It is falling
fast a mostly clear. Now is the time to fish it.
08/17/17 The creek is in excellent shape and
turning out some very good trout for our
customers. There are some hatches taking
place and terrestrials are also working.
09/07/17 Conditions are very good. We are
getting good reports from customers. Some
hatches and terrestrials also work.
10/12/17 Some good reports coming in on the
lower part of the river. Western Ginger Quills,
Mahogany duns and BWOs are hatching.
11/02/17 Good conditions exist in the lower
end of the river. Blue-winged olives, Cream
Midges, and October Caddis are hatching.
02/21/18 Season closes today. Send us and
email and let us help you plan that next trip.
04/29/18 The season is open and the river is in
good shape. Lots of Blue-winged olives, Little
Black and spotted sedges starting.
05/06/18 The water is warming fast and
several new hatches will begin very soon,
including some stoneflies.
05/13/18 Cooler weather and rain has slowed
the hatches a little but it should pick back up
very soon.
05/27/18 The hatches are starting to pick up
and fly fishing opportunities are looking up.
PMD, BWOs, Spotted and Green caddis,
and Golden stoneflies.
06/10/18 Good hatches are taking place,
especially Golden stoneflies. PMDs and
caddis are also hatching. Send us an email
for a fly list.
07/01/18 Conditions are very good. The water
is low and you have to stay hidden. There are
lots of hatches including Golden, Little Yellow
stoneflies. Pale Morning duns, and more.
07/15/18 Stream levels are up and the river in
good shape. There are lots of hatching from
Little Yellow stone, PMDS, spotted sedge and
07/22/18 Stream levels are a little low but
thunderstorms are keeping the levels up and
the trout happy and willing to eat.
08/18/18 The low water levels is making it
tough, but trout can be caught in good
numbers provided you use stealth and stay
hidden from the trout.
09/02/18 Yes, the water is low, but you can
still catch trout. They don't stop eating just
because the water is low.
09/16/18 The stream is very low. You have to
sneak up on the deeper pools and stay low,
and make good presentations.
10/03/18 Stream levels are up some and the
weather and water much cooler which is  a big
10/10/18 The water is cooler and trout very
active. Little BWOs, spotted sedge and little
Yellow stoneflies as well as terrestrials.
11/13/18 Season closes in 3 days.
05/22/19 The season got off to a slow start but
conditions are getting much better with decent
numbers of trout being caught in the lower
06/26/19 Sorry for the missed reports. The
stream in a little low but otherwise in good
shape. Lots of trout are being caught. There
are lots of hatches taking place. Send us an
email for a fly list.
07/03/19 The river is in good shape with good
numbers of trout being caught. There are
good hatches taking place.
07/10/19 The stream is still turning out plenty
of trout. There are multiple hatches taking
place in clear water.
07/17/19 Levels are okay and lots of trout
are being caught. Some are backpacking into
the higher elevations.
08/03/19 Conditions are very good with lots
of trout being caught. There are lots of
insects hatching.
08/13/19 We are still getting some good
reports from customers. Good hatches
continue and terrestrials like our Japanese
beetle and carpenter ants are working good.
08/21/19 The stream is still turning out some
good catches. Most customers are fishing the
upper/backcountry sections of the stream.
09/06/19 The stream levels are a little low
but stay hidden and you should catch lots of
trout. We continue to get good reports from
09/16/19 We received more good reports. All
sections of the stream are turning out good
numbers of trout.
09/28/19 Snow and colder weather will slow
it down today, otherwise you should be able
to continue to catch good numbers of trout.
10/12/19 The stream levels are good and
good numbers and sizes of trout are being
caught by our customers. Good midge and
BWO hatches amoung others.
10/24/19 Still getting good reports from
customers. Good hatches and good stream