Directions:You can reach Bridgeport Reservoir by taking Highway 395 to
Bridgeport . The Reservoir can be accessed from the Bridgeport Marina and three boat ramps along Hwy 182 that runs parallel the eastern
Bridgeport Reservoir (ele: 6,455') is over 4000 acres, when full, and contains
Rainbows and Browns as well as Sacramento Perch. It was created in 1924 by constructing a rock fill dam acrossed the East Walker River. It is a shallow lake averaging about 8 feet and is fed by the East Walker
River and several creeks. The western end of the lake has some very established weed beds and an algae
bloom occurs during the summer months covering most of the lake. The best time to fish Bridgeport is in
the early season from May through June and also the Fall from late September through October. During the
Spring, large rainbows will stage at the mouths of the East Walker and the two tributary streams, Robinson
Creek and Buckeye Creek, to spawn upstream. The two creek inlets are a long ways to kick to by float tube so a
boat is recommended. The local marina has recently provided a shuttle service for those without boats. During
the Fall, these areas are also staging areas for the Browns to make their spawning runs. Most
flyfishermen use streamer patterns of Mohair Leeches, Woolly Buggers and Matukus in Brown, Black or Olive
colors. Damsel Nymphs are popular for the hatch that occurs in June, working the weedbeds. The lake also has
additional hatches with Callibaetis and Caddis. Snails, Scuds, and Leeches are also a food source. Many
flyfishermen concentrate on the dam area and eastern shoreline near the launch ramp with float tubes. The dam
area is about 45 feet deep with large browns holding within the large boulders. You
can also wade at the southern shoreline where the East Walker enters. The trout can reach trophy sizes as
Rainbows and Browns can get to 10 lbs. The lake record for Rainbow is 14 Lbs. 11 oz. The average size for most of the trout is 12 to 20 inches. In most
areas an intermediate line or a slow sink-tip will be best. The trout are not leader shy so a 9 foot 3X leader
with a 3x tippet should give you a chance to hold onto some of the bigger trout here.
Bridgeport Reservoir had been difficult to fish during the early 2000's. That changed in 2005.
The lake received ample water in 2005 and Guide Tom Loe found that a good chironomid hatch (size 18-20) would
occur in June at Buckeye Bay in about 5-7 feet of water during the morning. He would then fish Rainbow
Point in about 14-17 feet of water during the afternoons along the deep weed beds. Loe also notes in late
June, as to a good callibaetis hatch also occuring around late morning using emergers, size 14-16, and a good damsel
nymph migration (size 14-16) from the weedbeds during most days.
FY 2007 and 2008 had been low water years for Bridgeport Reservoir and flyfishing was very slow since the fish migrated to deep water throughout the summer months. Algea and weedbeds set in early, making access difficult. During these years, it may be mid-Sept before conditions are favorable for flyfishing. Water levels were also quite low in 2012-14 but a good snowpack in 2015 brought lake levels up to near capacity and this level has been maintained over the last few years into 2018. The season
is from the last Saturday
in April to the end of October.
The only fly shop in Bridgeport is Ken's Sporting Goods. This shop opened in 1931 and is located in a red log cabin next to the historic courthouse. A cooler is maintained in front of the shop with some of the largest fish caught during the week within. Often, those fish are over 5 lbs. The shop once served as a local bar in which the actor Clark Gable was known to frequent. They don't sell liquor any more but you can get good advice as to the local fishing and some good fly patterns to fish with.