Tuolumne County Fishing
the Best Camping in California?
Outfit Yourself for Fishing Adventures
Sonora Pass Information
For complete information about fishing, camping, and other recreation along Highway 108 over Sonora Pass, see Sonora Pass Vacations.
Tuolumne County offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities, from vast foothill reservoirs such as New Melones and Don Pedro to mountain gems like Pinecrest, Beardsley, and Lyons Lake. Forks of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers flow through Tuolumne County, providing miles of exciting fishing.
Destinations such as the Pinecrest Lake, the Clark Fork, and Kennedy Meadows draw anglers from around the state to their sparkling lakes and streams. Higher in the mountains the vast Emigrant Wilderness offers boundless fishing. Destinations such as Emigrant Lake, Buck Lakes, and Huckleberry Lake are often used as high country fishing base camps. Packers will bring your gear in on mules, and you can walk or ride to your camp.
The main arteries through Tuolumne County's best fishing country are Highway 108 over Sonora Pass and Highway 120, which swings south into Yosemite National Park and crosses the Sierra crest at Tioga Pass. Although a large portion of Yosemite falls within Tuolumne County, fishing destinations within the park are listed separately in this guide under Yosemite.
- Immediately downstream from Beardsley Reservoir
- Special fishing regulations
- Picnic area, parking, and few people
- A wonderful multi-day backpacking destination in the Emigrant Wilderness
- Fabulous fishing along the shores of several lakes
- Wonderful scenery
- Great early season back country trip in the Emigrant Wilderness
- Rewarding fly fishing for hungry rainbows
- An easy trail makes it an excellent destination to take children on their first overnight adventure
- Miles of lively stream fishing with convenient access
- Pools, riffles, secret pockets, and rocky cascades
- Camp along the river at nearby campgrounds
- An small reservoir easy to fish, great for children
- Work your way along Herring Creek fishing for wily brook trout
- Park your RV at nearby campgrounds
- Set up your base at Kennedy Meadows and enjoy fishing your way up and down the Stanislaus River
- Check our custom map showing some of the less-well-known fishing holes
- Day-hike out of Kennedy Meadows or backpack to Relief Reservoir and be there for early morning strikes
- Find great fishing spots all along the creek from Kennedy Meadows to up beyond the reservoir
- A challenging hike from Kennedy Meadows to this remote beauty
- Include Sharon Lake as part of a multi-day trip to Kennedy Lake
- Camp at Sharon Lake, overlooking Kennedy Creek Canyon
- Great river fishing with easy access from broad, gentle trail
- Camp at beautiful Fraser Flat and fish your way up to Strawberry
- Located off Highway 108 near Long Barn
- Fish this lively little stream above Strawberry
- Challenging pools and riffles, brook and rainbow trout
- Great camping at nearby Pinecrest Lake
Fishing Near Pinecrest
Pinecrest Lake makes a great base for launching a variety of day
fishing outings. The South Fork of the Stanislaus River and the North Fork of the Tuolumne River
converge there, providing enjoyable fishing.
Farther out in the surrounding
country is Herring Creek to the northeast and Bell Meadow and the
Birth Rock country to the southeast. Nearby Strawberry draws a good number of
anglers who enjoy testing their luck there in the South Fork of the Stanislaus River.
Trailheads at Gianelli Cabin and Crabtree, along Crabtree Road, lead to numerous small lakes with excellent
early season fishing. We feature Camp Lake, but there are
many others to be explored.
Check current California Department of Fish and Wildlife for any updates to fishing regulations in these waters.
Recommended Books and Maps for Fishing Tuolumne County
- Carson-Iceberg, Emigrant, Mokelumne Wilderness Map, National Geographic. A good overview
map of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness around the Clark Fork.
- Sierra North, Backcountry Trips in California's Sierra Nevada , Kathy Morey, Mike White, Stacy Corless, & Thomas Winnett . Sierra North covers the Emigrant Wilderness and other great backpacking areas in the Sierra. This book has long been the best backpacking book for the northern Sierra on the market.
- 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.