The Tuolumne River is a productive trout fishery that sexist inside and around Yosemite National Park. Anglers will find golden trout in the headwaters, and brown, rainbow and brook trout in various sections of the river. The lower river is also productive for steelhead, salmon and bass.
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular and productive sections of the river for trout fishing. Toulumne Meadows is crowded during the summer months, and experienced anglers avoid fishing in the park until the early fall. Fall is productive for fishing terrestrials and the majority of the fish caught are brown trout from 10 to 14 inches.
The South Fork of the Toulumne River flows along highway 120 outside of Yosemite. The river runs through a deep canyon where it is difficult to access but there are several access points along the highway. The sections close to the road receive heavy fishing pressure, but anglers willing to hike can find good action for trout on flies and lures.
The lower river drains for 100 miles to the delta after Don Pedro reservoir. The lower reaches of the river provides fishing for striped bass, shad and largemouth bass. The river also has a healthy run of salmon and steelhead. The lower river has little fishing pressure when compared with the upper sections and is an excellent option for anglers.
The upper river is accessible in late spring and fishing begins to taper in late October. June is typically difficult because of runoff, but the summer and early fall are prime fishing months. The lower river provides good fishing in the summer for bass and the fall is ideal for chasing salmon and steelhead.
The entire river system requires a current California fishing license. The regulations vary throughout the river and are dependent on the species you are targeting. The upper river has several catch-and-release sections with a single hook, artificial lure or fly regulation. The special regulation waters are marked and current regulations can be found in the Department of Wildlife Handbook.
Article Written By Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.