Photo of Lake Alpine, Alpine County, CA

Alpine County Fishing

Dave's Sierra Fishing

Alpine County Fishing

Alpine County is almost hidden away in the Sierra Nevada. Located a few miles south of Lake Tahoe, Alpine County has the smallest population of any California county. Its largest towns are Markleeville and the resort communities of Bear Valley on Highway 4 and Kirkwood along Highway 88.

The county features an abundance of popular fishing lakes such as Caples Lake, Red Lake, and the cluster of superb lakes south of Hope Valley around Upper Blue Lake and Lower Blue Lake. On the slopes of Monitor Pass is Heenan Lake. Near Markleeville anglers seek out Indian Springs Reservoir. Along Highway 4 are the popular Lake Alpine (shown above), Mosquito Lakes, and Highland and Kinney lakes.

The rivers and streams of Alpine County are equally as renowned for fishing. The Carson River (shown here) and Wolf Creek flow eastward. On the west slope the Mokelumne River rushes down from one of the Highland lakes and then glides through Hermit Valley.

Photo of East Carson River

East Carson River

Highland Lakes

  • Easy access
  • Best mid and late summer
  • Campground near lake

Lower Kinney Lake

  • Beautiful mountain lake, lightly fishing
  • Fish for Lahontan cutthroat trout
  • Fish nearby sister lakes

Silver Creek

  • Lively stream, best mid to late summer
  • Fish for rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout
  • Nearby Silver Creek Campground
Utica Reservoir, Alpine County, California

Utica Reservoir

High Sierra Trails

High Sierra Trails website logo

Recommended Books, Lures, and Flies for Fishing Alpine County

Alpine County
Wild Trout Waters

The lower portion of the East Carson River from Hangman's Bridge to the Nevada state line has been designated Wild Trout Waters and is subject to special fishing regulations. Only barbless hooks on artificial lures may be used. It is a catch and release area.

Special Regulations at Heenan Lake

Heenan Lake is subject to a number of special regulations. The season at Heenan Lake is from Friday before Labor Day to last Sunday in October, with fishing only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Barbless hooks, catch and release only.

Closed to Fishing

Above Carson Falls the East Carson River and its tributaries are closed to all fishing at all times as wildlife personnel attempt to expand the habitat for the threatened Paiute trout. This includes Silver King Creek.

Other streams closed to fishing in Alpine County are Corral Valley Creek, Coyote Valley Creek, Milk Ranch Creek, and Murry Canyon Creek. Meiss Lake is closed to fishing.

Check current California Department of Fish and Wildlife for any updates to fishing regulations in these waters.

Alpine County Campground Highlights

Wonderful campgrounds are available in Alpine County. The most popular are found around Lake Alpine. Among them are Lake Alpine Campground, Silvertip, Pine Martin, and Silver Valley. All of them have reservations available.

Another favorite camping destination is at Blue Lakes on the east side of Carson Pass. A 12-mile road leads off Highway 88 to the lakes. A cluster of PG&E campgrounds are found around Lower and Upper Blue Lakes. Excellent fishing is available in the lakes by boat or from the shore.

Out the Spicer Meadow Reservoir Road off Highway 4 anglers find small campgrounds around Utica and Union reservoirs make great fishing base camps. A larger campground at Spicer Meadow Reservoir is close to the boat launch ramp.

California's Best Camping

For complete information about campgrounds all around Alpine County, see

California's Best Camping website logo

Fishing Supplies

Good places to stop for fishing tackle along the way to Alpine County:

  • Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, Arnold, CA
  • Lake Alpine Lodge
  • Bear Valley store
  • Woodfords Station, Hwy 88
  • Markleeville General Store
  • The Angler's Edge, 1506 Hwy 395, Gardnerville, NV