Nevada County Fishing
the Best Camping in California?
Outfit Yourself for Fishing Adventures
Donner Summit Information
For complete information about fishing, camping, and other recreation along the Interstate 80 Corridor over Donner Summit, see
Around Donner Summit.
Nevada County offers a broad variety of fishing destinations
for anglers of all interests.
On the western slope of the Sierra the
Middle Fork of the Yuba River (paralleling Highway 49) and the Bear River (paralleling Interstate 80) mark Nevada County's northern and
southern borders respectively.
A number of large reservoirs such as Bowman Lake
Lake (shown above) are found in the high country on the west side of the summit, while to the east are
Prosser Creek Reservoir and Boca Reservoir, both popular as fishing
destinations. The Truckee River flowing out of Lake Tahoe is world-renowned for
its fly fishing.
Many of the featured trips in this guide are in the Grouse Ridge area. Its popularity comes from
its relatively easy terrain and its multitude of lakes. Located north of Interstate 80 off Highway 20, Grouse Ridge's most heavily used access points
are at Grouse Ridge Lookout, Carr Lake, Lindsey Lake, and Sawmill Lake. Anglers could set out from any of these points and spend all day fishing from lake to lake.
- A moderate 2½-mile hike in the Grouse Ridge area sets you among the Cooked lakes
- Great for fly fishing and spin casting
- Many other lakes within easy walking distance
- Adventurous fishing upstream from Lake Spaulding
- Fish for rainbows, brooks, and browns
- Hike in from Eagles Lakes or from Lake Spaulding
- A 3.2-mile hike from the Grouse Ridge lookout
- Good overnight destination with the possibility of landing golden trout
- Within hiking distance of other fishing lakes, including Lake Basin
- A 3.3-mile hike near Soda Springs, gaining 735 feet
- Great views of Donner Summit along the trail
- Makes a nice overnight destination to introduce children to backpacking
- A 1-mile descent from Grouse Ridge Lookout
- Combine this trip with nearby Round Lake and Crooked Lakes
- One of the best fly fishing lakes in Grouse Ridge
- Hike 3 miles in the Grouse Ridge area over moderate terrain
- Combine this outing with trips to Crooked Lake and Rock Lake
- My favorite fishing lake in all of Grouse Ridge
- An easy 2-mile jaunt from Carr Lake in the Grouse Ridge area.
- Combine with trips to Milk Lake and Crooked Lake
- Chances are good you will have the lake to yourself
Scattered Lakes and Reservoirs
Near Grouse Ridge are a number of small lakes and reservoirs that offer good fishing. Most are
accessible by car, some only by 4-wheel. On the Bowman Lake road
Fuller Lake is a popular fishing
stop. Nearby are Rucker Lake and Blue Lake, while farther back
the Bowman Lake Road and then up a
rutted dirt road you find Weaver Lake. Part of the lake is private property, but the public side offers
at least one very nice camping spot. Far out the dirt road past Bowman Lake you will find Sawmill
Lake and the Faucherie Lake. Despite their remoteness, they are popular in the summer. If you hike
to other lesser visited lakes such as Weil Lake you will have better luck fishing.
At lower elevations are popular fishing spots such as Rollins Lake and
Scotts Flat Lake. Sections of the Bear River are known as productive fishing waters.
Recommended Books for Fishing Nevada County
- Sierra Trout Guide, Ralph Cutter. Ralph and Lisa Cutter are Nevada County residents and operate
one of the leading fly fishing schools in the state, the California School of Flyfishing. Ralph's book is the best resource for Sierra fly fishing available.
- High Sierra Fly Fishing, Basics to Advanced Tactics, Billy Van Loek. This is the
book I go back to again and again to improve my fishing technique in the high Sierra
- The Definitive Guide to Fishing Central California ,
Chris Shaffer. The book details more than 380 lakes, rivers and streams around Central California.
The full color guide has more than 500 color photos.
- California's Best Fly Fishing, Premier Streams and Rivers from Northern California
to the Eastern Sierra, Chip O'Brien. An up-to-date guidebook, complete with maps, detailed descriptions
of fishing locations, analysis of the seasonal differences which affect fishing, and fly patterns.