Photo of Fourth Recess Lake, CA

Featured Trip of the Month

Merced River from El Portal to the South Fork

  • Year-round fishing along Highway 140 below Yosemite

Sierra Fishing and Camping Equipment

Before you set out on your Sierra fishing adventure, check out Dave's Fishing and Camping Equipment reviews to learn about my choices for everything from the newest fishing tackle to the best sleeping pads.

Float Tubes

Dave's Featured Fishing Gear

Fly Fishing Rods and Reels

Orvis Clearwater fly rod

The 9' Orvis Clearwater 4-piece rod is a great choice for Sierra fishing. It's light weight and well-balanced, making it easy to use on Sierra lakes. It makes a great all-around rod, and with Orvis providing a 25-year guarantee, you need not worry about breaking it while packing in to a remote mountain lake.

The Clearwater comes in a range of lengths from 8'6" to 10', in either 2-piece or 4-piece in line weights from 4 to 6. Users report that it loads and unloads smoothly, easily casting up to 60 feet.

Orvis Mirage LA II and Mirage LA III

Orvis recently released its new Mirage series reels. The LA II is designed for line weights 3-5 while the LA III is for 5-7. Using a carbon to stainless drag, the reels give smooth, consistent, and infinitely adjustable stopping power. The best part is a sealed, maintenance-free drag system which keeps out all the little grit and grime that tries to mess up reels. Strong, lightweight, with quick-release spools that change from right to left-hand retrieve.

Abel TR Trout Series fly fishing reel

Since I am always looking to save weight without sacrificing quality, I was pleased to find the new Abel TR Trout Series reels back in production. They use a click-pawl drag which is great for trout, protecting a light tippet. This reel is for 3 - 4 wt. line. Priced at $260 it's in the high end range for me, but with only two moving parts and smooth feel, I expect it to last for years. The only thing I've heard is that it's important to keep it away from sand and grit.

Spin Casting Rods and Reels

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

A 5-piece, 6-foot rod and a 20 size reel, the Okuma Voyager Travel Spinning Pack is great for packing into the back country. The graphite composite rod casts well and the ball bearing reel makes for a smooth return. The well-padded case protects the rod when traveling, whether by air or car.

Daiwa® Regal® XiA Reel

Bass Pro Shops® Graphite Spinning Rod Combo

This is a great combination reel and rod. The durable reel uses a Digigear drive train and a smooth 11-bearing system. It has infinite Anti-reverse for solid hook sets and no snarled lines. The roads are lightweight graphite with aluminum oxide guides. You'll find this rod very responsive. Most are one piece rods, but there are some 2-piece lengths which I would choose. Lengths range from 5'6" to 7'. $74.98 at a Bass Pro Shop or buy them online.


My Ten Favorite Flies for High Sierra Lakes

Float Tubes

Creek Company ODC 420
Float Tube

From one of the leading manufacturers of float tubes, the Creek Company ODC is just the right combination of features to make hours of fishing those hard to reach places on the lake both enjoyable and rewarding. Its pontoon style moves easily through the water. Its heavy duty 30 oz. pvc bottom resists snags and scrapes. The adjustable seat will fit anglers up to 300 pounds.

Creek Company Original U-Boat
Float Tube

For a lightweight float tube it's hard to beat Creek Company's Original U-Boat at only 7 pounds. This one is great for packing into remote lakes. It comes with a tripping apron, lots of storage, easy in and out access, and rod holder straps. It can carry up to 275 pounds.

Creek Company U-Boat 2000 Combo Float Tube

Creek Company's U-Boat 2000 Combo is the best value on the market. It has all the features of the Original, along with fins and a pump. For Creek Company quality, the price makes it the best bargain around. At only 7 pounds, you can carry it anywhere you desire.

Classic Accessories 63007 Float Tube Fins

Classic Accessories' high-quality Float Tube Fins make a great economical choice. They make it easy to maneuver in a float tube or to hold your position in a light wind. You can slide them over neoprene footware. One size fits all.

Dave's Featured Camping Equipment

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Pad

Everyone is switching to Big Agnes because of the comfort. Enough of those quarter-inch thick foam pads! 2.5 inches of insulated comfort keep you warm and comfortable all through the night, even on lumpy ground. It comes in various sizes. You won't believe how small it becomes when you deflate it and roll it up to stuff into your pack.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Again, I picked mine up at REI after a week-long trip with a friend who had one. The speed of ease of use make the Jetboil a hands down winner. It weighs only 15 oz. and uses a butane/propane fuel canister which stores inside the pot when traveling. A liter of water will boil in under 3 minutes. If you camp a lot, a good stove is worth the investment.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Tent

This lightweight tent is the one I am currently carrying on backpack trips. It is advertised as a 2-person tent, but consider it a very cozy 2-person shelter. For me it works best as a single person tent. It has held up well through some pretty fierce Sierra storms. I always use a supplimental ground cloth to protect the bottom from abrasion.