View Full Version : Junction Reservoir

08-16-2018, 05:57 PM
I have some questions about this reservoir. If anyone can help that would be great. Iím talking about the one below Union Valley reservoir. Any one care to share their experience? Can you fish their? Camp their? Iím thinking about taking a two night trip their or to Faucherrie. Any pmís are welcomed too.

08-19-2018, 12:31 PM
Only fished once in the winter and blanked. Have heard rumors of browns, and I have caught them in Silver creek above. I see people camp at the inlet and you could put a small boat in from the bank, but it's not an actual ramp. Not many other places on the lake to get out as it's pretty steep.

Don't know about the rules on camping so check regs for yourself. Nice little piece of water to explore.

08-19-2018, 12:49 PM
We fished it many times, while at the end of 2 track trail, Tim had to wait while bank fisherman was fighting a fish, trailer ready to go in but something big was on hit ultra lite .
Used boat net to land a 16# on a scale, hook jawed brown that was hooked in the small stream spilling into the junction.
Another time outboard wouldn't start so used oars to fish old school style, hooked more than the usual average.
Most of the time the Junction is covered with floating wood and bark, 30-50% of the surface, back when we had lots of rain and snow

08-20-2018, 07:52 AM
Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your experiences for me to assess what I need to do before going. It might be a while before I go, but I will report when I do! Thanks again.

09-15-2019, 07:34 PM
Only fished once in the winter and blanked. Have heard rumors of browns, and I have caught them in Silver creek above. I see people camp at the inlet and you could put a small boat in from the bank, but it's not an actual ramp. Not many other places on the lake to get out as it's pretty steep.

Don't know about the rules on camping so check regs for yourself. Nice little piece of water to explore.
Sorry to resurrect an old post but it's the most recent I could find. You can do "dispersed camping" at Junction Reservoir. Dispersed camping requires you to be self-contained. No water, no pickanick tables, no camp host. No restrooms (luggable loo is a must have when doing dispersed camping).

Might not make it this year (though it's lower elevation than most in the CBRA). I've read of good fishing in the reservoir, but there's not a lot of info. if it's anything like the rest of that area, it gets stocked fish and you're hoping for wild ones, or holdovers. It's fed by water from Silver Creek and Union Valley.

Find a spot 100 feet away from the water, set out your stuff, crack a beer and relax. I've never been there but I did some online research and this is what I've found. Looks like a good float-tube lake. Long and skinny.

Anybody going this year?

09-16-2019, 10:49 AM
The banks there are very steep, and most of the shoreline is not accessible. The area mentioned above where you can launch a boat is at times very muddy as the water level fluctuates a lot. I have not had much luck there over the years, but if you have a small boat or kayak it is very peaceful and quiet.
It has always been a tough bite for me there trolling whether by kayak or boat, I believe in part to the water levels changing a lot and the amount of water that flows through from the UVR dam. SMUD does generate power there.
I do see a lot of surface action there, but lockjaw seems to be the word of the day... :signs20ae:
But if peace and quiet is your goal, that is a good spot if no one is camping.

09-20-2019, 08:12 AM
Ive heard of big 10plus browns in there

09-25-2019, 08:35 AM
Found a couple of old pics in the file... sorry for the small size...


09-27-2019, 04:56 PM
You could consider me the local expert on this body of water. I've been on it around 10 times, both on kayak, and what I call my mini boat, with electric motor & depth finder, my first visit was in 1996. The walls are as steep as they look, and it goes slightly over 110 feet near the dam, it shallows out towards both inlets as you imagine the ground contour would look like if it were drained. It is possible to get a trailerable boat in there, but you will be launching on muddy bank, and your pull out vehicle better have some balls & perhaps some mud-slinging tires to get the boat out. There is no formal launch ramp, but it is obvious where you can launch a smaller aluminum boat, as there is only one spot, and you will see previous divots in the mud from prior boat launches & recoveries. During summer peak draw down it will go down 8 feet in the late afternoon, make no mistake about it, this is a PG&E reservoir, & its primary use is power generation, not fishing habitat. Back to the inlets, there is the natural inlet from silver creek, and there is the powerhouse generator coming in from union valley.

My first visit more than 20yrs ago, the fishing was great. Healthy population of rainbows, nice full bodies, seemed to be concentrated in the mid-areas of the lake, and have plenty to eat, although the water is on the chilly side, due to the majority of the water coming in from the depths of union valley. Apparently, there is decent spawning grounds in the natural creek. Year after year the fishing got worse & worse, just getting a few fish here & there, instead of a consistent bite as in previous years. After cruising the entire lake, I started picking up some fish holding in deep water near the dam. So I tied on a heavy jig & dropped it to the bottom. After a bit of jigging I brought up a 4lb Mack, continued jigging & got 4 more in same size range.

In my recent trips I've been skunked while fishing the mid & surface areas, the same places & depths I previously got nice rainbows. So I go back to the dam area & jigged up several larger Macks. So there are fish in there, if you want to target Macks. I suspect what happened is a few smaller Macks got sucked into the power house & survived, or got sucked over the top of dam during high water years. Nevertheless they have taken up residence at Junction, and the other types of trout are on their menu, as there aren't as many places for the trout to escape, they are probably easy prey for the Macks. So yes the occasional giant brown is in there, big enough to survive against the Macks.

The best use of the lake today (unless you like Macks on dinner table) is for kayaking. It is nice & quiet and very scenic, relatively calm. Please do wear life jacket, if for some reason you went into the drink, hypothermia would be quick to set in, very chilly water, low 50's near powerhouse. It used to be a good fishery, at least for awhile, until the Macks showed up. If you do target the Macks, take them with you & feed them to your cat/sled dog, etc...

10-08-2019, 09:39 AM
I've fished this reservoir many times. It's very hit or miss... mostly on the miss side. Give Junction a try, but I recommend fishing the nearby Union Valley dam instead as it always produces: rainbows, smallmouth, Kokanee, and an occasional monster brown (missed one but my GoPro captured the strike and my bewilderment/disappointment). I normally wouldn't divulge my fishing spots, but I get worried when people talk about kayaking at Junction; the water comes the South Fork Silver Creek and the base of the Union Valley dam and it's extremely cold! If one were to fall in mid-lake, they would face an arduous scramble up the canyon walls. I took my dad kayaking there once and his kayak tipped over enough to get a taste of the cold water—to this day I smirk when I recall the wail he let out haha. But seriously, it was spooky.

Also, the Kokanee spawn during the fall is definitely something to see! I do more bouldering than fishing nowadays, but I always make it a point to visit the dam every fall.

10-09-2019, 06:06 PM
Kind of afraid to say this in this PC world, but it isn't an insult. If anybody tips over kayaking on junction, you basically should not be kayaking anywhere. Junction is sheltered, calm, generally no wind, no wakes from other craft, so not a lot to tip you over. Agreed, it is super cold water, and 90% of the bank is too steep to navigate, and the fishing sucks, all covered in my previous post. But one thing I didn't mention, the first time I saw the road that led down to the impoundment, I thought for sure I would need a 4 wheel drive to get back up, but the water looked so good I took a chance, and when it was time to leave I crossed my fingers as my vehicle barely limped out. A 4x4 is what I've used since, especially if it is wet, or pulling up a trailer