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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Freshwater

Upper Kern tough due to runoff

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Apr 12, 2018

KERNVILLE — Recent rains have sent flows in the Upper Kern River well out of the fly-fishing comfort zone, but when conditions allow, trout fishing has been decent. Those flows have already started to taper off, but they are still not ideal and have most of the river roiled up and off color.

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ALL HART — Despite tough conditions on the Upper Kern River, local angler Jon Hart of Kernville stuck this perfect rainbow in the 20 Mile Section on a streamer on Tenkara gear. PHOTO BY CELINE BAYLA

Local angler Jon Hart of Kernville was able to coax a flawless 19-inch rainbow out of the 20 Mile Section between Kernville and Johnsondale Bridge.


“The water has been high due to spring rain, but there are several big hatches during the day, and the fish have been very active,” he said. “I was fishing Tenkara and using streamers to cover large sections of water, hunting for fish. I had seen several fish feeding down river from me, so I slipped a streamer into its feeding zone, and it was game on.”


Tenkara is an ancient Japanese form of fly-fishing using a specialized telescoping rod that’s typically much longer than a standard fly rod, and there is no reel involved. It’s just a fixed length of line with a fly on the business end.


According to staffers at Kern River Fly Fishing in Kernville, tougher conditions including high water call for the use of streamers in slower sections or attractor nymphs fished deep.


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