View Full Version : Middle Fork Stanislaus River Info

06-06-2008, 10:43 AM
I am looking for some info and directions here. Actually the section between Beardsley and Donnell. I have seen a couple of roads there on my backpacking topo maps. Has anyone done that trip before. I am fairly well equiped in the 4x4 dept.

06-06-2008, 04:54 PM
To the best of my knowledge those roads come off the Beardsley road and a lot of them are locked with gates . during deer season my dad and I went off Beardsley road all the way back to a power station back there but the terrain was very steep and unaccesible on both sides of the road. the road we took was the 2nd one to the right and a few miles in , it forks to the right the left just brought us back down closer to the lake back on the main road. Hope I helped ??

06-06-2008, 10:21 PM
That is pretty rough terrain in there without any semi-level entry paths. From the access points I have seen, you'll be doing some pretty good hiking in/out along with a lot of boulder hopping on the water. However, there are some VERY nice wild fish in there if you're willing to chase them.

The 4x4 access road to Donnell is either the 1st or 2nd road to the R and it is maintained relatively well because the Tri-Dam trucks are always in/out of there. There was a slide in there last year though, so the gate that is usually open may still be closed if the forest service hasn't cleared it to be safe for public use.

Not to scare you off, but I know that there have been problems in this area with marijuana farming due to the secludedness and nearby water source. Let's just say that I would stick to the well developed trails leading directly to the water and avoid any "bush whacking" unless absolutely necessary.

06-06-2008, 10:26 PM
As an alternate, I would recommend the options of below the Beardsley dam (afterbay and Middle Fork) or head up through Beardsley (if you have boat access) to the inlet, beach your boat at the mouth, and hike up toward Donnell from there. *If you don't have a boat, further east up 108 has good fishing at Clark's Fork and possibly even Kennedy Meadows.

06-16-2008, 09:24 AM
The access down ther is very limited on the Middle Fork. We did manage to land a couple of small rainbows down there though. Not a place for fishing and relaxing. It was work.

The middle fork above Donnell was running quite strong. I was told it blew out on the Sunday of opening weekend and has not come back since. 2 more weeks was the prediction by a local fisherman.

As for Donnell it was red hot in the middle of the afternoon. More planters then I would have thought. About 50/50 for the 20 fish the kids and I landed from the Dam. Most are still there waiting for you. I think the planters washed down from the upper river.

Most of the fish were 14-16 inches. I did bring one up to the dam that I couldn't lift out of the water. It was 20"ish+. They hit everything from a kastmaster, panther martin to eggs, worms and crickets as well as flies and wollie buggers.

There were a couple of guys launching a canoe on a multi day trip and they had a good story. One just never knows. It was a tail of a 17 lb. brown caught from the dam on a roostertail. Quite a feat to land from the dam was my thought. The water was about 5' down from the dam so I guess a long net could do it at high tide.

Any more info on Donnell ???