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  • East Fork Carson River-East Fork Carson River

    East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Rainbow landed at the East Fork Carson River

    Rainbow landed at the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Another nice Rainbow

    Another nice Rainbow

  • East Fork Carson River-A small angler fishing the East Fork Carson River

    A small angler fishing the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-East Fork Carson River

    East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Family of anglers scratching that fish itch

    Family of anglers scratching that fish itch

  • East Fork Carson River-Rainbow landed at the East Fork Carson River

    Rainbow landed at the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-East Fork Carson River

    East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Small Rainbow Trout landed on the East Fork Carson River

    Small Rainbow Trout landed on the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-A nice run on the East Fork Carson River in October

    A nice run on the East Fork Carson River in October

  • East Fork Carson River-Fly fishing the East Fork Carson River

    Fly fishing the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Rainbow trout from the East Fork Carson River

    Rainbow trout from the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-East Fork Carson River

    East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-Small Rainbow Trout landed on the East Fork Carson River

    Small Rainbow Trout landed on the East Fork Carson River

  • East Fork Carson River-East Fork Carson River during fall

    East Fork Carson River during fall

Fishing:
barbarbarbarbarbarbar   7/10
Hiking:
bar   1/10
Scenery:
barbarbarbarbarbarbarbar   8/10
Solitude:
barbarbarbarbarbar   6/10
Distance:
barbarbarbar   5.8 mi 1-way
Map:
Map of East Fork Carson River in Alpine County
Elevation Profile:
Elevation Profile of East Fork Carson River hike
Gallery:
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    • ef-carson-river-ac
See a short video of this stream.
See a short video of this stream.

East Fork Carson River - (Alpine County)
Mokulumne Wilderness
October 29, 2016



Getting There

The East Fork Carson River is a stream near Markleeville, California that starts at the lakes at the top of Ebbetts Pass and flows northward, picking up momentum as Silver Creek and Wolf Creek feed into it. It is stocked regularly throughout the spring, summer, and fall until the water levels drop and the temperature gets too high to plant fish. The strain of Rainbow trout planted here is of high quality with rich red meat and are there for the taking and eating.

The Hike

The East Fork Carson River is divided into two sections. The first section, on the head water side is planted with hatchery trout and the other section, past Hangman's bridge is designated wild trout water and has barbless and artificial regulations to consider. The further you hike downstream from Hangman's bridge, the better the fishing. Upstream from Hangman's bridge the holes and riffles are full of hatchery trout for about 6-7 miles up to the confluence of Wolf Creek. The recommended way to approach this stretch of water is to drive to the first bridge past the Highway 89 turnoff and work your way downstream from there. Both the holes and the riffles offer good fishing.

The Fishing

REPORT - October 29, 2016

The High Sierra fishing on the East Fork Carson River was excellent this October when I took my family trout fishing. Everyone caught fish including a 3 1/2 pounder landed by my 92 year old grandfather. We drifted salmon eggs with a couple of split shot which put us into a lot of fish. Most were hatchery catchables but a couple were over two pounds. I tried fly fishing for a while but received no attention which I attribute to the water being stained from the rain that fell the day before. I weighted down the lines with up to an ounce of egg sliders on a couple of rods and that slowed the drift down and managed to fool a few fish. We kept a few fish and released about 10 back into the river. The local report was that fish were being caught from the second bridge to down past the resort. With 9 days left until winter regulations set in, you mwant to get out there while there are a lot of fish and very light pressure.


REPORT - July 21, 2016

The High Sierra fishing on the East Fork Carson River was outstanding on this outing with over 20 fish landed out of one hole. We took the kids and they enjoyed catching Rainbows on Salmon eggs while I used my fly rod. While the Salmon egg action was non-stop, the fly fishing was a bit slower but continued to produce using nymphs, Caddis, and gold Brassies. I used a couple of split shot keep my wet flies deep where the fish were feeding. When the sun went down over the hill, the fish were actively feeding on the surface so I switched over to dry flies like a Parachute Adams Emerger and eventually a yellow Humpy. The last hour of sunlight was especially productive using dry flies with a hit or a fish on virtually every cast. It was quite exciting.

The next day I spotted Todd at The Creekside Lodge in the morning and he mentioned that the Alpine County Hatchery and the State Hatchery had both planted almost 2000 lbs fish so the fishing should have been really good. I agreed that it was and I'm hoping it will last for a few weeks. He also mentioned that they placed gill nets in certain sections of the hatchery stretch of the East Fork Carson River to reduce dispersion and keep the fish bunched in certain holes. I wish I knew where, exactly those holes are, but I don't.


REPORT - July 23, 2014

Before I go fishing on the East Fork Carson River I talk to Todd at The Creekside Lodge. Todd will tell you where the best fishing is since he's the guy who plants them.

The fishing on the East Fork Carson River starts at the opener when the water is stained from snow runoff and is ready to go on opening day. We hit the upper stretch in October when the water levels were lower and caught many fish in about an hour. We kept five, released four and had many trout shake our barbless hooks and get away. The preferred technique on this section is to drift salmon eggs with two split shot in the holes and riffles. Crawlers work too but we didn't bring any this time. The fishing is excellent and exciting with reports of Rainbows weighing 8 pounds and more for some anglers. Our largest catch probably weighed two pounds on this outing.

After we had our fill of trout action we head over to the Wolf Creek Bar and Grill for some really decent food, drinks and if it is Saturday, live music in the evening. We find that the best place to stay is the Creekside Lodge which is situated in the center of town and provides quick and easy access to the East and West Fork of the Carson River, Markleeville Creek and Wolf Creek. Another option is to rent a camp site at the Carson River resort which provides easy access to the water. The West Fork Carson can be crowded so the East Fork makes a great alternative and always has fish.

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