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San Joaquin River - August 1st, 2004
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Good
San Joaquin: Good 

Flows are excellent here for wading and the wild trout are eager to hit most dry fly presentations most mornings and then after the shadows get long.  You will not find good fishing near the campgrounds as the stocking program has been cancelled this summer due to lack of funds by the DFG.  Plan on hiking 20 minutes from the campgrounds and you can find fish in all the larger pocket water and larger pools.  Dry/dropper combos with tigers and zebras are deadly #16-20, as are dry/dry rigs with a stimulator and caddis or Adams pattern as the trail fly.

San Joaquin River - July 20th, 2004
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Fair
Plan on doing some walking if you want to catch here.  Due to budget cuts the D.F.G. has not planted the middle fork this season and has no plans of doing so this season.  Alpers is stocking Sotcher and Starkweather Lakes and the DFG is planting Sotcher only.  There are plenty of smaller wild fish but you will have to get away from the campgrounds for any consistent action.  Caddis and parachute mayfly patterns with a #16-18 bead head dropper in the deeper runs will get you grabs in the slower sections and fishable pocket water.  The river is still on the high side but definitely wadeable this week.  The blood suckers are prevalent here, have the repellant handy.

San Joaquin River - July 15th, 2004
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Good
Plan on doing some walking if you want to catch here.  Due to budget cuts the D.F.G. has not planted the middle fork this season and has no plans of doing so this season.  Alpers is stocking Sotcher and Starkweather Lakes and the DFG is planting Sotcher only.  There are plenty of smaller wild fish but you will have to get away from the campgrounds for any consistent action.  Caddis and parachute mayfly patterns with a #16-18 bead head dropper in the deeper runs will get you grabs in the slower sections and fishable pocket water.  The river is still on the high side but definitely wadeable this week.  The blood suckers are prevalent here, have the repellant handy.

San Joaquin River - July 3rd, 2004
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Good
The flows are high and the wading can be difficult and cool most of the time but the wild fish are very opportunistic in the slower sections of the river like Pumice Flats and Reds Meadow areas.  You will see stone flies and some early caddis here as well as several types of mayflies.  Stick to easy to see patterns like parachutes and elk hair wings #14-18.  Spend more time on the softer water sections as opposed to the pocket and riffle areas. 

You may drive into this area with your own vehicle before 7 a.m. but must still pay a $7.00 fee at the entrance gate.  Shuttles are available all day and access all of the campgrounds, Starkweather and Sotcher Lakes down to Reds Meadow.

San Joaquin River - June 21st, 2004
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Fair
The road opened on June 12th.  If you plan on taking your own vehicle into the middle fork you must get there before 7 a.m.  You must park and ride the shuttle after that.  Remember, there is an access fee charged no matter if you drive your vehicle or take the shuttle. The river is running very high but not screaming.  Forget the pocket water fishing here for now, and wading all but the slower meadow sections will get you the chance to do your Brad Pitt imitation as he bounced down the rapids chasing a fish in the movie A River runs through it.  Pumice Flats and Reds Meadow have some really nice slower sections that offer opportunities for the fly caster.  You will see Caddis, stone flies and mayflies this time of year.  #14-18 patterns on top and #16-20 for the nymphs will get it done here.  Look out for the skeeters!

San Joaquin River - October 14th, 2003
supplied by: Sierra Drifters - Guide Service
FISHING: Fair
Very low water conditions here.  You must hoof it to locate deeper water the trout are holding in.  Fish the deeper pockets and pools avoid the riffles.  Dry droppers with tigers and zebras #16-20 will get you takes.  Crowds are way down here this time of year and it is gorgeous just to be in this area.  The mornings are a tad chilly so layer up.  Best bite starts mid-morning.


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