Fishing in the Sierra

fishing in the sierras

There is no finer place to set up a base camp for fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada than Nevada City, California. A quaint, scenic, historic — and sometimes quirky — town of 2,500 people, Nevada City is perfectly situated for access to year-round fishing options among the higher or lower elevations of the Sierra’s western slope. Within 30-60 minutes of Nevada City you can enjoy a splendid diversity of fly-fishing experiences, from burly rainbows and steelhead in a big, ocean-going river, to wily brown trout in the granite boulder gardens of higher elevation streams.

Tahoe National Forest, headquartered in Nevada City, encompasses 800,000 acres, with terrain ranging from beautiful to spectacular with easy access to places where you have really gotten away from it all.

Included in and out of the forest boundaries is the Yuba River system with its three forks, and the Truckee and Bear Rivers along with their many tributaries. The entire area is dotted with numerous lakes with all levels of access ranging from boat ramped to walk-in wilderness area lakes.

Fly fishers should check in with Jon Baiocchi, proprietor of Baiocchi’s Troutfitters at (530)-228-0487.  His website, offers information on full and half-day guided fishing on the Lower Yuba River, North Fork Yuba River, and Truckee River.  All three rivers can provide outstanding trout fishing.

The Lower Yuba coursing out of the foothills is known for its hefty rainbows, year-round fishing, and an exciting “egg bite” during the fall salmon migration.  The Truckee, a mountain river flowing into high desert, is known for its technical challenges — with selective browns and rainbows responding to well-chosen, well-placed flies and drag-free drifts. For more of a wilderness feeling and seclusion on a mountain stream coursing through forest and canyons, try the North Fork Yuba.

Local fishing wisdom and gear from all top manufacturers — Simms, Scott, Umpqua and Rio — are available in nearby Grass Valley at the Reel Anglers Fly Shop.  Check or call (530)-477-5397 for hours and location.

For fly fishing, Nevada City offers a unique combination of local expertise, access to wild trout in a variety of settings, and a superb choice of amenities in what Outside Magazine selected as a “Best River Town.”