Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Tuolumne River - Below Hetch Hetchy - California

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra midge
February Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra midge
March Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra midge
Blue Winged Olive Midday #18-#20 Rusty Spinner
April Blue Winged Olive Midday #18-#20 Rusty Spinner
Caddis Evening #14-#18 Elk hair caddis
May Caddis Evening #14-#18 Elk hair caddis
Stoneflies All Day #8-#12 Golden stone
June Stoneflies All Day #8-#12 Golden stone
Mayflies Midday #14-#16 Adams fly
July Mayflies Midday #14-#16 Adams fly
Terrestrials All Day #10-#14 Ant patterns, Hopper patterns
August Terrestrials All Day #10-#14 Ant patterns, Hopper patterns
September Terrestrials All Day #10-#14 Ant patterns, Hopper patterns
October Blue Winged Olive Midday #18-#20 Rusty Spinner
November Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra midge
December Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Below Hetch Hetchy, the Tuolumne River provides plenty of excellent fly fishing spots for seasoned and newbie anglers alike.

  • Cherry Creek: Known for its challenging rapids, the areas around this creek provide fantastic places for fly fishing.
  • Clavey River: A confluence of Tuolumne River and Clavey River offers a perfect environment for Trout.
  • Enchanted Pools: Located past Cherry Creek, these pools present serene locations to cast a line.
  • Tuolumne Meadows: This area provides tranquil and scenic flatwater fishing areas. Take route 120 east of Yosemite National Park to reach this spot.
  • Merced Lake: Though it takes a moderate hike to reach, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic high-elevation fly fishing opportunities.

Every site is unique, offering both a different setting and various species of fish. A fishing trip to Tuolumne River – Below Hetch Hetchy is sure to be unforgettable.

Best Access Points

The Tuolumne River below Hetch Hetchy offers some superior fly fishing spots which are easily accessible with the right information:

  • Meral’s Pool: This is a favorite fishing spot amongst locals and is perfect for fly fishing. It’s located near the launch area for whitewater rafting trips.
  • Camp 9 Bridge: Situated near Columbia, offers excellent river access and has an abundance of trout species around.
  • Clavey River Junction: This spot is a bit of an uphill hike, but the potential for catching rainbow and brown trout makes it worth the effort.

While accessing these points, it is important to be aware of rules and regulations which include catch and release guidelines and restrictions on fishing gear. Always check the local regulations before fishing.

Local Fish

  • Tuolumne Trout: The resident trout of the Tuolumne River, the Rainbow Trout, and the Brown Trout are the most common and targeted fishes in the area.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Also a resident of the Tuolumne River, the Mountain Whitefish is targeted by anglers for its great fight and taste.
  • California Golden Trout: The state fish of California, Golden Trout are coveted by anglers for their beautiful coloration and impressive fight.
  • Common Carp: Although not native to the area, these fishes are abundant and provide great sport for fly fishing enthusiasts.
  • Pacific Lamprey: While not typically targeted for sport, these ancient fishes are a unique catch in the Tuolumne River.
  • Western Sucker: Suckers are a common catch in the Tuolumne River, known for their hard fight.
  • Channel Catfish: These bottom dwellers are great fun to catch on a fly rod and provide an interesting challenge.
  • Sacramento Pikeminnow: These large, predatory fish are an exciting catch for any fly fisherman in the Tuolumne River.

About The River

Flowing through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in California is the Tuolumne River. Particularly enchanting is the section below Hetch Hetchy, a verdant valley that was dammed in the early 20th century to provide water to San Francisco, over 150 miles away.

The region’s history, however, goes much further back. Native Americans have inhabited the Tuolumne River area for over 3,000 years, cultivating its rich ecosystem.

During the Gold Rush era, the river held a crucial role as miners washed pans in its waters, hoping to strike it rich. Later, the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam converted the Hetch Hetchy Valley into a reservoir.

  • Today, the river below Hetch Hetchy offers incredible opportunities for whitewater rafting, fishing, and camping, while its untouched wilderness teems with wildlife.
  • Despite its altered state, the beauty and importance of the Tuolumne River endure.

The river’s tale is a tapestry of natural wonder, human desire, and endless transformation—a testament to the ever-changing relationships between nature and mankind.


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