French Meadows Reservoir is at 5,300 feet elevation. The lake contains primarily
Rainbows, which are planted throughout the season, as well as Browns and
Smallmouth Bass. It is primarily known as a bait and lure fishery but flyfishing opportunities exist as well.
Use sinking lines with streamers such as Woolly Buggers and Leech Patterns in Olive, Brown, or Black colors.
Try the areas around the downed trees and snags. Also locate the rocky ledges and drop-offs.
You'll need a boat since there are few good access points from shore. Know the sink rate of your line and
count down to the proper depth before retrieval. Add some twitching action to the fly.
There is a callibaetis hatch that occurs sporadically so that nymphing can be good at those times. During late
afternoon or at low light, try some surface flies such as Parachute Ants.
French Meadows Reservoir is also a good starting point for access to the upper Middle Fork of
the American River. There are some good campsites at the inlet side of the lake with road access up to Talbot
Campround at French Meadows. Trail access is available from there.