View Full Version : Tuolumne river report June 17-24

06-26-2006, 01:18 PM
Here is my report from a week of camping/fishing the south and middle forks of the Tuolumne rivers along hwy 120 and Cherry road from 6/17-6/24. Final count was 47 fish caught, 11 were kept (1 per day to cook and 4 were brought home from the last day of fishing) and 36 released. *Four were wild browns, 3 fingerlings and one was very nice 12”er (see picture). Six were wild rainbows, 5 were fingerlings and one was nice 10-11”er. All wild fish were released. The remaining 37 fish were planter bows. I fished about 4 hours a day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the late afternoon. Also, the rivers were stocked in the middle of the week during my stay. *

The flows on these two rivers have come down and are very fishable now (see pictures). At the start of the week, water temps were running 52-55 deg and by end of the week had climbed to 62-65 deg during the day. The first 2 days, I fished only spinners catching about 20 with the hot lure being a ¼ oz panther martin in brown trout pattern. *

With a good start under my belt, I then switched to fly fishing and determined to work on improving my fly fishing skills. I enjoyed it so much, I did not pick up my spinning rod again and caught all the remaining fish fly fishing, 5 on dries and the rest on nymph and egg patterns. The bigger brown was caught on a dry black beetle that I used to try and simulate a huge lady bug hatch on going in the area (see picture). *

I have never nymph fished before (only used dries in the past), so this was a new experience for me. Without a doubt, the most popular pattern was a salmon egg pattern from Umpqua called the Unreal Egg (I read about this pattern in Western Outdoors designed for the upper Sac). I caught about a dozen fish on this pattern alone until I lost the 3 I brought. Then I switched to a bead head prince nymph and caught another half dozen, until I lost the only 2 of those I brought. Next, I switched to a grasshopper pattern to catch 3, and then lost it in a tree. Finally, on the last afternoon of fishing after losing everything that had worked before, I tried an Umpqua befus wired stone to catch my last 4 to bring home. *

Now, I expect to loose some flies on snags in trees and under water, but when I lost 4 flies with hooked fish due to slipped knots, I was not happy and determined to fix the problem. Initially, I was tying the fly with an improved clinch knot. This worked for the first fish, but would come unbuttoned on the second fish. This knot would also slip on solid bites at the end of the drift when I had no slack left in the line.

So I got out my knot book, started searching and found the double clinch knot (also called the Trilene knot). *What a difference, I caught fish all day long on the same fly and knot without any slips, and it’s easier for me to tie then the improved clinch. I highly recommend it, but if there’s another knot for flies anyone can recommend, let me know.

I will add pictures later. * * * *

06-26-2006, 06:52 PM
Here are the pics from the trip.

Brown on a beetle pattern
http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/1130/brown12yv.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Rainbow on a beetle pattern
http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/9127/rainbow8ka.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Lady Bugs
http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9186/ladybugs4od.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

South fork
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/2893/rainbowpoolsofork8kq.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

South fork
http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/41/carlonsofork3gj.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/4070/cascade3yd.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img79.imageshack.us/img79/7286/soforkfall2te.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

06-27-2006, 11:34 AM
It looks like you had a nice week fishing & camping. Were you down by Lumsden Bridge or up above between the powerhouses near Early Intake? Just curious, we are going to be up there sometime after the July 4th weekend.

06-27-2006, 11:54 AM
I didn't fish the main fork out of hetch hetchy as the flows were too high at the time I was there (about 5000+ cfs). *I fished the middle fork above and below the cherry road bridge and the south fork above and below rainbow pools and also near carlon on evergreen road.

Hopefully the flows on the main fork will be down by the time you go so let us know how you do.

06-27-2006, 01:21 PM
Troutcanoe, that was a fun report. Glad to hear you caught a bunch of fish. And thanks for the pics. Sounds like you had a blast fly fishing too.