Fly FishingFishing on the Tuolumne

Ready to wet a line? You will find plenty of great fishing locations between Groveland and the Yosemite Park highway 120 entrance. Fishing tends to be better in this corridor than in the park itself. There is no fish planting in Yosemite and with the crowds that Yosemite experiences, decent fishing will usually take a bit of a hike and the fish are usually small.

However, you’ll find great fishing between Groveland and Yosemite on Highway 120. Stream fishing is most popular and the main, middle, and south forks of the Tuolumne River all offer great trout fishing. The South and Middle Forks are planted weekly with rainbow trout, but also host a healthy population of native rainbow and also occasional brown trout. Headwater stretches of these rivers also have some native brook trout. The main fork of the Tuolumne is a little more work to access but the reward is larger rainbows and browns!

If you are into bait/spin fishing, the “Lumsden” area of the Tuolumne River is a good area to target larger rainbows and browns. Local fisherman Rick Martinez recommends Panther Martin Salamander Spinners or mini crawlers for river fishing. In the smaller Middle and South forks of the Tuolumne, bait fishing is recommended, with worms, eggs or powerbait being the best producers.

Fly Fishing on Highway 120

If you are into fly fishing, all of these rivers provide terrific nymph and dry fly fishing opportunities. Blue-winged olives, pale morning duns, caddis and stoneflies make up the bulk of the diet of our local trout. Best producing flies are Parachute Adams, E/C Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Black Copper Johns, and Bead Head Hare’s Ears – all in size 16; small egg and San Juan Worm patterns are also effective. You can pick up a selection of our local guide’s favorite flies at Yosemite Adventure Supplies. If you need a guide for fly fishing, our local favorite is Tom withYosemite Sierra Fly Fishing.

Fishing in Pine Mountain Lake

Pine Mountain LakePine Mountain Lake provides good fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, and bluegill. For fly fisherman, black, olive, or rust colored Beadhead Seal Buggers or Crystal Buggers in size 8 are a good choice for the trout, bass, crappie, or the occasional monster bluegill. Nearly any smaller fly will take bluegill in the shallows and it is a great opportunity to get the kids into fish. Bait fisherman can use red worms for bluegill and crappie; night crawlers for bass, crappie, and trout; and powerbait for trout. Bass anglers will do best with rubber worms in crawdad colors, rigged Carolina style. Some top water action is available early and late, using chug bugs or buzz baits. In the winter, jigs are a better choice.

Pine Mountain Lake is stocked at least twice a year with good sized trout. Some methods that have produce great results are trolling Powerbait (yes, Powerbait) behind flashers, also rainbow, orange, or white powerbait with glitter and scent. More traditional boat fishing methods that work at Pine Mountain Lake are trolling a night crawler, Kastmaster, or Needlefish behind flashers. For bank fisherman, Fisherman’s Cove is a good location to target all species and the dock at Dunn Ct beach is good for trout.