Kern River But No Dice

25 November 2005 By Dan Bachman • The-Trout-Chronicles • Comments (2)

I mentioned that I would be going fishing on the Kern Rivers in California in a recent entry. I was optimistic on catching a least one of the trout species unique to the area.

One strategic blunder on my part however—in my research of the area I failed to turn up the simple fact that the rivers containing Golden Trout close to fishing on November 15! This meant that only the mainstem of the Kern River was open to be fished. The only native trout species in the Kern mainstem is the Kern River Rainbow.

I stopped in at the Kern River Troutfitters and spoke with Guy who was very helpful with the map and flies. By the time I had bought my license and made it to the water I only had about 2 1/2 hours of daylight to fish. The Kern river is a beautiful river and very different from the rivers that I am used to fishing in Idaho. Large rounded boulders the size of SUV’s fill stretches of the river. Deep gin-clear pools, we’re talking 15 feet deep, surround some of the boulders and 20 feet downstream the river would only be a foot deep.

I fished a section about 3 miles above Kernville for nearly an hour with no luck before moving upstream to a section above an old power plant on the river. This section was completely in the shade by the time I arrived. I saw a couple of rises on my way down to the river and spent the next 2 hours trying to enduce strikes with no luck.

I did come across a baitcaster fishing the top of a deep pool and he had a beautiful rainbow that he had caught. I guess I will have to wait for another year and hire a guide to help me catch some of those Goldens.


  1. 16 December 2005 Roger Bloom

    If folks are interested in California native trout it may be worth checking out the California Heritage Trout Challenge (see link).
    Heritage Trout Challenge

  2. 16 December 2005 Dan Bachman

    Nice program--When I can find the time on my calendar, I'll be back in California giving it a try. I believe that Wyoming has something similar with it's Cutt-Slam program.

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