For complete information about fishing, camping and boating on California's most popular lakes, including Millerton, Pine Flat, Shaver, Huntington, Florence, and Lake Edison, , see
California's Greatest Lakes.
The California record golden trout (9 lbs. 8 oz.) was taken from Silver Lake in Fresno County in 1952.
Fresno County includes so much great High Sierra fishing that it could keep the most avid angler moving from stream to lake for years and years without ever fishing the same place twice. It includes much of Kings Canyon National Park and most of the John Muir Wilderness.
Lower down Fresno County encompasses such popular fishing lakes and reservoirs as Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Millerton Lake, and half of Pine Flat Reservoir. In the high country fishing is popular at Lake Edison, Florence Lake, Courtright Reservoir, and Wishon Reservoir. Naturally I like to get off the beaten trail and find the less often visited places in Fresno County to do my fishing. And there's no shortage of great destinations in Fresno County.
The California record Golden Trout was caught in Fresno County. Can you guess from which lake it was taken? (answer below)
There are three main trailhead centers on the western side of the Sierra that I use for Kings Canyon National Park: Cedar Grove, Courtright Reservoir, and Florence Lake.
Cedar Grove is the gateway to dozens of great fishing destinations. For day trips you can hike up the Kings River toward Mist Falls, fishing along the way. Up the Bubbs Creek trail you can do multi-day backpack trips to East Lake, Charlotte Lake, and Sphinx Lakes, fishing the creeks along the way in-between. Or you can head up the Paradise Valley trail and spend several days there seeking out the less popular fishing holes. Hearty hikers could try the Granite Basin trail and drop over the pass into the Middle Fork of the Kings country. Others make the popular Rae Lakes Loop, which includes Dollar Lake and Fin Dome shown in our masthead photo.
From Courtright Reservoir you can follow trails through the John Muir Wilderness and into Kings Canyon over Hell For Sure Pass, but you run the risk of becoming so enamored with the Blackcap Basin in the John Muir Wilderness that you might never go any farther.
Leaving from Florence Lake you enter the north end of Kings Canyon National Park, soon reaching the spectacular Evolution Valley, one of our featured trips. Or you could veer off up Goddard Canyon or make your way up Piute Creek to try your luck fishing for golden trout.
Blackcap Basin, mentioned above, and its neighboring Red Mountain Basin are dotted with beautiful lakes which make great fishing destinations. From Lake Edison or nearby Bear Creek Diversion Dam you can follow trails up to the high country north of Kings Canyon. I have included a number of destinations in that area among our featured trips, including Fourth Recess Lake, Bear Creek, Rose Lake, and Sandpiper Lake.