Upper Middle Fork Stanislaus River

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Current River Flows, Stanislaus River
Upper Middle Fork Stanislaus River

Suggested Flies for the Upper Middle Fork Stanislaus River area:
Westside Sierra Hatch Selection

Dry Flies:
Small Western Green Drake #14-16
BWO #16-18
Parachute Adams #12
Elk Hair Caddis #14-16
St. Vrain Caddis
Kings River Caddis #12-16

Nymph Flies:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear #12-14
Bird's Nest #12-14
Prince Nymph #12-14
Kaufmann Golden Stone #6-8
Little Yellow Stone Nymph #12-14

Take Highway 108 east from Sonora. Dardanelle is about 50 miles from Sonora. Hwy 108 follows the Upper MF Stanislaus to Kennedy Meadows which is its headwaters. The highway continues along Deadman Creek to Sonora Pass and drops into Highway 395 on the eastern side of the Sierras. Just before Dardanelle is Clark Fork Road which will take you along the Clark Fork up to Sand Flat campground.

The Upper Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River contains both rainbows and browns. It is heavily stocked by DFG with about 30,000 rainbows annually. Most of these plants occur around the campground areas. The outlying portions of the stream contain wild trout in the 9-12 inch class. The river consists of deep pools, riffles, and runs. The Spring runoff makes it difficult to fish until mid June.
Deadman Creek contains Rainbows and Browns. It is planted during the Spring and early Summer while the water levels are sufficient. From Kennedy Meadows is a 7 mile trail to Kennedy Lake. One day pack trips are available at the Kennedy Meadows for quicker access and the option of bringing a float tube. The lake is at 8000 feet and contains both rainbows and browns.
The Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River is a small stream with runs and riffles. It is heavily used by campers and is stocked by DFG with about 13,000 rainbows annually. For wild trout, hike in at the end of the road at Iceberg Meadows into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. The trail follows the stream with a gradual elevation of only 500 feet for the next 2.5 miles to the confluence of Boulder Creek. Beyond Boulder Creek, the stream is quite diminished.
Highland Creek which is the main headwaters for the North Fork Stanislaus offers good fishing.

© 2013 Steve Schalla
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