The south fork of the Kings River flows though Kings Canyon National Park and is probably one of the most scenic and best trout fishing rivers that happens to be in a National Park. There are many family oriented activities in the park like hiking and guided nature tours to keep the whole family busy but the real draw is the hard fighting wild rainbows and browns. Inside the park fish average 10 inches but sheer numbers make up for size. There are so many that 12-13 fish can be caught every day. South of the park the river enters a carved steep canyon and exits the glacier-widened canyon inside the park. This part of the river has bigger fish in the 15-25” range and is protected as a wild trout stream (access at Yucca point trailhead).
I have been fishing the South Fork of the Kings River ever since I could hold a rod. I went back this year after not being able to go for a number of years. Unfortunately, I had to go in July and even worse there was a record snow pack in the Sierras. All that added up to a river that was barely fishable. As soon as my fly hit the water I felt like I was in a NASCAR race. Vroom, my fly takes off down stream and is past me in a second. I can barely see it go by; what chance do the fish have? Not much, actually. I didn’t catch many but I found a few slow pockets and could sight cast dries to rising fish. The one picture of a fish I did get on the trip is of a pretty small fish but the colors and spotting are amazing. Obviously, this was not a hatchery rainbow.
|This tree ruined what was a great fishing spot. I guess it is not ruined for the trout, just for me.|
|Beautiful par marks and white tipped fins!|
|This snag monster and the under water tree in this spot has at least $20 of my Dad's and my flies stuck in it.|
It is still a beautiful place and the water is even colder than I remember. Once again, I have a really good reason to go back.