St. Croix


Central CA Freshwater

Kernville: Big trout biting in Upper Kern’s primo conditions

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Aug 22, 2019

KERNVILLE — Conditions in the Upper Kern is optimal for fishing with flows down to 750 cfs at Kernville. Bigger trout that are normally caught in the river in July are instead biting now after heavy snowmelt-powered flows pushed things back a month.

biggerrainbowsBIGGER RAINBOWS TO 5 pounds are biting in the Upper Kern River where conditions are outstanding. PHOTO COURTESY KERN RIVER FLY FISHING

Guy Jeans of Kern River Fly Fishing in Kernville stuck an estimated 4- to 5-pound rainbow in the 20 Mile Section on an olive Woolly Bugger.

“I was casting upstream and across, then letting it drift and swing in the current down below me, and that guy grabbed it as I was stripping it back up, said Jeans. “It took me a while to bring it in, just a beautiful fish.”

A lot of the bigger models are coming out of flat riffles and runs. Derek Erquhart is an experienced bug-slinger who recently caught his personal-best Kern River trout in the upper river. There are smaller stockers also biting throughout the area, mainly in the easier-access spots, and they can be caught on the same technique as well as on attractor nymphs and the occasional dry fly if a hatch pops up in the afternoon.

Spin fishermen are also taking advantage of an Upper Kern that has been regularly stocked even during the periods of high flows in July. They are getting the job done with crickets, eggs and spinners.

THE UPPER KERN RIVER was regularly stocked even when flows were craking in June, so anglers are now reaping the benefits with flows down below 800 cfs at Kernville. PHOTO COURTESY KERN RIVER FLY FISHING

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