Umarex Gauntlet


Central CA Freshwater

Upper Kern River a great option during Eastern Sierra off-season

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Dec 13, 2018

KERNVILLE — Conditions on and around the Upper Kern River have been pretty solid and area trout anglers have been taking advantage. There is the occasional one-day spike in flows that shakes things up a bit, but it’s been decent overall.

THE UPPER KERN RIVER is boasting excellent conditions and fine fishing for rainbow trout. Photo courtesy Kern River Fly Shop

Staffers at Kern River Fly Shop in Kernville said the water temp is around 42 degrees in the 20 Mile Section and air temperatures are only getting into the mid 50s. They’re putting customers and guide clients on fish via various tehcniques including the dry/dropper, nymphing under an indicator and just straight dry flies when hatches come off. Area fly fishers have been able to bank on emerging Blue Winged Olive mayflies each day at around 1:30 in the afternoon.

Along with various BWO imitations in size 24 or 26, long-rodders are connecting with rainbows using a Tungsten Yellow Sallie (size 18), Tungsten Psycho Mayfly (size 20) or a tiny size 26 Brooks Sprout Baetis.

There have been no recent stocks, but the area was heavily planted throughout October and November, so fishing has been pretty good for spin fishermen have been able to pick off planted rainbows in some of the easier accessed spots on the lower end of the 20 Mile Section.

Flows in this stretch have been in the upper 200 cfs range but have occasionally spiked as high as 370 on any given day.

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