Kaweah River

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Kaweah River
Suggested Flies for Kaweah River:
Southern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #12
Elk Hair Caddis #14-16
St. Vrain Caddis

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #12-14
Prince Nymph #12-14
Bird's Nest #12-14
Zug Bug #12-14

Directions: Access to the Kaweah River is by Hwy 198 from Visalia. South Fork Drive (Road 348) turns along the South Fork just below Three Rivers and follows the South Fork to South Fork Ranger Station. Hwy 198 takes you into Sequoia National Park with access to both the Marble Fork and Middle Fork of the Kaweah. The Marble Fork can be reached by heading toward Giant Forest, about 15 miles ( a steep climb, many switchbacks). Turn north toward Crystal Cave, go 2 miles; parking on north side of river. The East Fork of the Kaweah can be reached by taking Mineral King Road prior to reaching the Ash Mountain Park Entrance. The North Fork is accessed just north of the town of Three Rivers.

Notes: Kaweah RiverThe Kaweah River system contains both Browns and Rainbows. Generally these fish average 10-12" but the size is often dependent upon water flow, particularly during drought years. The Kaweah and it's tributaries are open year-round to angling with a 5 fish daily limit, 10 in possession. The Marble Fork is designated Catch & Release only with a 0 limit on Rainbows and 5 fish limit on Browns. Generally the water is clear which requires stealth and good presentation. The best fishing is within the Park.

South Fork Drive gives you access to the South Fork of the Kaweah from the confluence just above Lake Kaweah up to the South Fork Ranger Station, a distance of about 11 miles. This road will take you from 800 feet elevation to about 3500 feet. Beyond that point, you are in the park with trails taking you into the headwater areas. The South Fork Kaweah from the South Fork Ranger Station to Hockett Lakes is a steep canyon pocket water going from 3600 feet to 8200 feet within 6.5 miles. A trail will follow the South Fork from the Ranger Station for about 1.6 miles before diverting along Cedar Creek. You can reach the Hockett Lake area by taking another trail that leaves the convergence of Garfield Creek/South Fork Kaweah and goes 4 miles to the South Fork Kaweah just below Hockett Lakes. The trail continues along the South Fork Kaweah up to South Fork Meadows at 8500 feet with meadow stream conditions for about 2 miles.
Just above the town of Three Rivers, the North Fork Kaweah converges with the Main Kaweah. A road follows the North Fork through the community of Kaweah and up to Yucca Creek. The area is heavily used by rafters and bathers. A trail follows the river up towards Cherry Falls with good fishing along the way with Brookies and Rainbows.

The East Fork of the Kaweah is accessed by Mineral King Road off Hwy 198 near Hammond. The convergence of the East Fork with the Main Kaweah is at 1300 feet elevation. The road crosses the river at Oak Grove which is 4.5 miles upstream from Hammond at 2600 feet. The next access is a trail from Lookout Point Ranger Station about 3.25 miles futher upstream at 3500 feet. A trail from Atwell Mill Campground provides access to the river about 7 miles further upstream from Lookout Point at 6000 feet. The road ends at Mineral King and Cold Spring Campground at 7500 feet, close to 3 miles upstream from Atwill Mill Campground. Expect Rainbows and Brookies.

The Marble Fork is a Wild Trout designated stream with Catch & Release only. Survey results from the State of California show that most of the fish are Browns and Rainbows in the 6-10 inch class with a few larger browns. The Marble Fork starts at Potwisha Campground where the fork converges with the Middle Fork Kaweah at about 2300 feet. The river is a freestone stream up to Marble Falls which is 3 miles upstream at 4500 feet. A trail from Potwisha will meet with the river at the falls. The river goes another 2 miles up to 5200 feet where the river crosses the road to Crystal Cave and another 4 miles further to the General's Highway at Lodgepole Campground at 6600'. There is another 2 miles of fishable stream through the campground up to Tokopah Falls.

The Middle Fork is accessed by Highway 198 for 3.25 miles which follows the Middle Fork from the Ash Mountain Park Entrance (ele: 2100 feet) to Hospital Rock (ele: 2850 feet). A trail from Buckeye Flat Campground will allow you to continue to follow the Middle Fork. It is a freestone stream from Buckeye Flat for the next 8 miles up to 5500' elevation just past the Buck Creek Tributary. Above 6,000 feet elevation it enters a valley near Bearpaw RS and becomes a small meadow type stream up to the outlet of Hamilton Lakes.

© 2013 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

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