Briceburg’s Merced River Management Area is a great place to embark on a scenic hike. John Hite settled here in 1862 where he operated a gold mine for the next 17 years. Following a steep canyon along the South Fork of the Merced River, this is a popular destination in spring for its abundance of over 50 varieties of wildflowers and has an elevation gain of 980 feet. A day along the river instead of in it. Yosemite Valley is one of the most picturesque places on earth and has much to offer any Fly Fisherman. Situated at 3,400 feet, the walk-in tent sites are set amid pine and oak right along the river. Merced Lake is one of the fishiest spots I’ve been to over the years. year round. A popular spot amongst the bass fishermen community, the Merced River Arm offers reliable good fishing throughout the year. For a comfy stay along the Merced River, Yosemite Mariposa boasts an array of hotels & motels as well as cabins. There are lots of worthy options so feel free to mix & match as you flow through the heart of Yosemite Mariposa. Historically significant to both native peoples and European-Americans, the Hite Cove area was used by the Ahwahneechee people in winter and spring to avoid the harsh high-elevation snow before returning to Yosemite Valley in summer. Historic Highway 49 crosses the river here, and the rolling oak-studded hills create yet another unique mood to the ever-dynamic Merced. At the lower end of the park, beginning at the Highway 120 turnoff, the river begins to descend into a narrower, and much rockier canyon. View fishing reports for the lakes, reservoirs and streams near Merced County (California) complete with bait shops, tackle shops, fishing charters and fishing guides, and inside information on fishing … The fish ladder normally opens around October 1. And at Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, you'll find space for horseback riding, fishing, biking, hiking, and wildflower viewing. A little tricky to find, the Merced River Hatchery is open to the public and offers views of the Merced River and wildlife that utilize this river ecosystem. Lay back, breathe deep, and watch the occasional cumulus drift overhead for maximum relaxation. We are Yosemite Fly fishing guides that serve the Yosemite National Park, and Yosemite wilderness with multi- day fly fishing adventures, full day or half days. Campgrounds abound along the Merced River, providing affordable landing spots close to the action. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including northern pike, crappie, brown trout, largemouth bass, bream/bluegill, rainbow trout, catfish, chinook salmon, redear sunfish and muskie here. PG&E River’s Edge Fishing Access: This access point is 6.2 miles beyond Snelling, next to the PG&E hydroelectric plant. Paddle to your heart’s desire, but beware of exposed rocks and always wear a helmet. Swimming here depends on access points and flow. Pop by the Mariposa Museum & History Center or the Northern Mariposa County History Center (Coulterville Museum) to learn Native American, Yosemite and Gold Rush sagas from days of old. However, to fish the portion in Yosemite Valley, you just need to pile off the John Muir Trail that heads east from the Upper Pines Campground. Take a look at the video below on its owners, Doug Shaw and Caroline McGrath. It’s loaded with … Hunting and Fishing. We may have highlighted some of the best fishing spots in Merced County based on feedback from our visitors. For the main event, go all-in at the Charles Street Dinner House for portobello ravioli and an 8 oz filet mignon. On the Merced River from Happy Isles to the Foresta Bridge in El Portal it is catch and release for all rainbow trout. CALIFORNIA FRESHWATER SPORT FISHING REGULATIONS 2020-2021 Effective March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021 Some campgrounds listed above are reservable, while others are first come/first served. From its headwaters, the River flows north and receives its tributary, Lyell Peak Fork. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Fishing Yosemite along the valley portion of the Merced River can be productive for skilled anglers early in the season before the peak of the snow melt and then again later in the season, especially in the autumn when the crowds have fallen off. The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) runs buses from Merced to Yosemite Valley and in the summer up through Tuolumne Meadows and over Tioga Pass to Mammoth. Lace up your boots and hit the Merced River Trail. Note that swimming, float tubes, and boats are not allowed because of the proximity to the dam. The Department of Fish and Game stocks the river annually with 17,000 rainbow trout in … The river flows west from its headwaters near the crest of the Sierra, down through Yosemite National Park and through foothills in Mariposa County, check Sport Fishing Regulations. This take you right to the base of Half-Dome. Mostly low gradient meadow meanders, some boulder-strewn runs at upper and lower portions with high flows during spring snow melt. Other campgrounds are located outside the valley, mostly along the Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120). There are numerous places along the river where logs have fallen into the water, creating refuges where trout are likely to hide. The Merced River opens all year round for For the short section from the Yosemite National Park boundary at El Portal to the Foresta Bridge, fishing is allowed all year with barbless, artificial lures or flies. Because you are close to the El Capitan bridge, you can choose which side of the river you want to fish first and then later easily switch across to the opposite side. The first-come, first-serve campgrounds usually fill up by noon during busy times. A seasonal thrill, snowmelt from the High Sierra rumbles through the Merced River canyon creating high and fast runs (Class IV) in spring then — as summer progresses and the flow decreases — transforming into easy Class I ripples. This 5.5 mile out & back trail starts at Railroad Flat Campground. Learning local history is another way to connect more deeply to your Merced River experience. At trail’s end there’s a narrow spur that climbs to a seasonal waterfall, worth the effort if still running. Please visit the following links for more information about rules and regulations pertaining to: Open Areas and Closed Areas Permitted Activities and Prohibited Activities. Yosemite National Park’s season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15, with the exception of Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, which opens June 15. Merced River Hatchery (MRH) is located just below Crocker‐Huffman Dam (the terminus of anadromy), north of Fresno. In Yosemite National Park no live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibians, non-preserved fish eggs, or roe may be used or possessed. Merced River California offers some wonderful fishing for all anglers, including those who also like to take in some incredible scenery. Situated at approximately 900 feet, this spot is great for trout but also sports kokanee salmon, largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, bluegill, shad and catfish. Only barbless flies or barbless artificial lures may be used on this section of the Merced River. The Merced River is populated with rainbow and brown trout which are difficult to catch. The Merced River carves its own waterways through Yosemite National Park, and is great for rafting, kayaking, and wading. If fifth wheels are your thing, there are numerous RV-friendly parks in Yosemite Mariposa. Fly-fishing gear is seasonal with 5/6 weight outfits usually more then adequate. Contact Us The Merced River is a very nice medium fishing stream in California. On your way to Fishing Yosemite on the Merced River you can pick up fishing supplies at. Accessible restroom at Merced Falls fishing access. The original fish facility, completed in 1970 by the Merced Irrigation District (MID), was a Chinook salmon spawning channel designed to enhance salmon runs. Special fishing regulations (see below) cover the Merced River from Happy Isles to the Foresta Bridge, which is downriver in El Portal. The information provided on this website, including directions, is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The north side of the Merced River is generally easier to explore on foot with many little trails and side paths along the water. There are four campgrounds along the South Fork of the Merced near Wawona which flows through this area. Rainbow trout are catch and release. However, most of this portion of the river is difficult to approach and can be extremely dangerous during in high water and even during normal flows. Fishing Sequoia and Kings Canyon You might not catch any record-breaking fish, but it's still a great excuse to combine a hike through the forest with some riverside recreation. An angler’s note: in addition to a valid CA fishing license (age 16 and over), the Merced’s Wild and Scenic River status adds a few extra conditions: only fish over 12 inches may be taken and only on artificial lures with barbless hooks. Merced River fish along the length of the valley are shy and skittish, feeding mostly at night and taking Special fishing regulations govern this section of the Merced River. Bagby Campground where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure is another worthy fishing destination be it by boat or from the bank. If you’re looking to catch a specific species of fish: aim for rocky points for bass and deep water, especially near the dam in the main body of the lake, for salmon and trout trollers. The trail closes during periods of “High Fire Danger” and doesn’t provide much cover, so bring a hat and plenty of water. Merced River, California fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fishing season updates, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. Another option is the Wawona Hotel, 4 miles inside the park's southern entrance. ;) Campgrounds abound in Yosemite, but finding an empty campsite is difficult during peak season. Visitors will have plenty to do in the Merced River RMA during every season. Merced River The most effective set up is at least nine feet of tapered leader followed by 4 to 8 feet of tippet depending on water depth. For other trout the limit is 5 per day. Hotels like Yosemite View Lodge (pictured) put you just feet from the Merced River. You’ve burned some calories on the trail today so it’s time to celebrate. A quick solo trip amidst the Coronavirus. About half of Yosemite National Park's campgrounds are on a reservation system. Fishing Yosemite: Merced River Special Regulations On the Merced River from Happy Isles to the Foresta Bridge in El Portal it is catch and release for all rainbow trout. For those who want to glamp without all the hauling fuss, AutoCamp is just 10 minutes from the Merced River and offers finely-appointed Airstream trailers set on a 35-acre property complete with communal sky deck for stargazing and swimming pool. If you’re not staying at one of the local campgrounds, day-use picnic areas such as Red Bud, Cranberry Flat, Indian Flat, McClendon Beach and Briceburg Put-In are all great choices. Highway 49, Mariposa. Merced River Fishing Report The Merced River originates in the Southeastern corner of Yosemite National Park. The lower 6 miles receives much less attention and many parts of it, hidden from view from the roads, are unknown to most tourists. Located near the town of Snelling in Merced County, the Merced River Hatchery is a Chinook salmon facility along the Merced River. A worthy Day Two dinner would be House Smoked Tri-Tip and Vegan Cassoulet at the June Bug Cafe in Midpines, or head over to the Cedar Lodge Restaurant in El Portal for bacon-wrapped blue cheese-stuffed beef tenderloin and eggplant parmesan. For those curious travelers determined to find out the river’s fate, Highway 140 holds the key. The waters of the Merced River above the Happy Isle footbridge follow the general California fishing regulations. Only a 2 star day. Merced River From its source on the south side of Mount Lyell at 13,114 feet, through a glacially carved canyon within Yosemite National Park, the river flows downstream to Lake McClure Reservoir. You will need to really dig deep and work hard to catch some fish. In addition to swimming, fishing and rafting, Railroad Flat is the starting point for great riverside hiking. We fly fish the Merced river, Tuolumne river, Stanislaus river and the Mokulmne river. Away from Yosemite Valley, the Merced River flows wild & free through a dramatic canyon revealing much to explore. Another mile brings you to the end of the line at Railroad Flat Campground. A large, sandy beach can be found at McCabe Flat Campground, as can a smaller one just downstream from Willow Placer Campground. The Merced River Trail is dog-friendly (on leash) and great for kids, just remember to bring a hat and plenty of water as there is little cover. Everything from whitewater rafting and hiking, to Merced River fishing and gold panning, all in a history-drenched setting of unmistakable beauty. Indian Flat RV Park is situated along the Merced River in El Portal and offers full hook-ups not to mention access to the swimming pool at the lodge next door. Tuolumne River The Tuolumne River has one special regulation section. The first step in every great adventure is setting up base camp. Rainbow trout are the name of the game, with riffles and pocket water dominating. (Please note: Due to state and local restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact destinations mentioned in this story for current hours of operation.). Dan Rhodes grew up in the area and is intimately familiar with the fabulous year-round recreation this region offers. El Capitan Meadow makes a good place to park and begin fishing the Merced River. Dirt Flat Campground, located near El Portal, is a peaceful walk-in camp close the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Merced River. For other trout the limit is 5 per day. Get up early to cast your line as the sun casts its first rays or give yourself up to the Fishing Gods and head out when you roll out of bed. Merced Lake. Fishing from bridges and docks is prohibited. As an added safety measure, the flow of the Merced River can be found here. About 1 mile away on Incline Road is Dry Gulch Campground. This access point allows you to fish above the spillway of the Merced Falls Dam. The mine produced a total value of 3 million in today’s dollars. lake or stream) from the list above. Day Two is all about getting on the water. Click on each for details. You’ve got some choices here depending on time of year/river conditions, how much you’re willing to spend, and — literally — how deep you want to immerse yourself. Next door is the Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn featuring Arts & Crafts-styled rooms and large decks overlooking the crystalline waters of this trout-laden river. After reeling in and re-organizing your tackle box, head over to the Hideout Saloon in historic Mariposa and share your fish tales with locals and tourists alike. With its rustic, authentic, and sometimes psychedelic vibe, the Bug offers cabins on stilts and a health spa all situated in a small valley with a stream coursing through. The lower elevation of Bagby Campground offers a different experience where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure. The Cedar Lodge in El Portal features indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a river walk with private sandy beach and carved bears to keep the kids company. During late early late fall dropping down to 3/4 weight makes the river even more fun. Rainbow trout are also known to grow up into the 24 inch class! Regulations can be found here. The hike features spring wildflowers and the ever-present serenade of flowing water. Fly Fishing the Merced River The Merced River is a 145 mile long tributary of the San Joaquin River in Central California. The Merced River passes through one of the most scenic valleys in the world. Day Four and we’re back on the water with rod in hand to try fishing or fly fishing in the mighty Merced. Shaver Lake Whitewater rafting is permitted throughout Merced River Canyon from the downstream half of Yosemite Valley to the entrance of Lake McClure. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Fly fishing in Yosemite for all species of Yosemite resident trout, or bass. Of course, take caution and always remember to avoid water that flows faster than you can walk. Merced River. Fishing the Merced River in the early spring or in the fall can be enjoyable as long as you don't have expectations of a big catch. Theses are listed below. For your midday fare, grab a fresh sandwich to-go at the El Portal Market or book a whitewater rafting trip where lunch is included. A mile-by-mile guide to rapids with such names as Nightmare Alley, Stark Reality and Corner Pocket is a fun way to get an aerial view of what you’re about to experience! From Foresta bridge downstream to Lake McClure the river is open to fishing from the Last Saturday in April through November 15. So let’s get hiking boots on the ground and forks on the plate for a Sierra foodie tour that pairs perfectly with the natural splendor of Yosemite. Check current fishing regulations with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is listed below. Want to learn more about “The Bug”? We all gotta nosh. The Merced River fishing season runs the last Saturday of April through November 15 from the Foresta Bridge near El Portal all the way down to Lake McClure with a rainbow limit of 5 (limit of 2 remainder of year), while the section from Arch Rock to Foresta Bridge is open year-round but catch and release only. There is also canoe and rowboat access. Check with rangers about the suitability of conditions before setting out on any hike or other forest activity. It has a lot of deep pools and fast running waters. One of the best ways to experience the Merced River is out on a raft as you cruise over churning white water rapids. After getting situated in your Merced River digs, it’s time explore. Reservations for them are essential from April through September. Find any of the swimming holes late in the season and you’re golden. There are many activities within the watershed, including boating, fishing, camping and hiking. As soon as you get very far from turnouts along the road, though, these paths become more infrequent. All other lakes and reservoirs (including Merced Lake) are open to visitors for fishing year-round. Crossing the river and fishing along the opposite bank of the campgrounds … A great flatwater option is heading downriver to Bagby Recreation Area where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure. Lodging is available, of course, in Yosemite Valley at Yosemite Lodge, Camp Curry and the Ahwahnee Hotel. Head “into town” for a hazy IPA at the Grove House (21 and over) in Mariposa with its revolving taps of craft beer. The Merced River in this area is a grass bordered river with trees and brush. Merced River The Merced River has three special regulation sections. You can save money by staying outside the park in nearby El Portal where there are several excellent, large motels or outside the park on either Highways 41 or 120. Whether you’re booked into a cozy hotel, piloting an RV or pitching a tent among the beautiful national forests, Yosemite Mariposa offers a wide variety of accommodations with a comfort level and price point for all budgets. This is how FishingFam does social distancing. The Merced River is the most well known river in Yosemite, as this is the river that flows through Yosemite Valley. Local outfitters such as Sierra Mac, OARS, Whitewater Excitement and Zephyr have years of experience running the Merced and offer half-day and full-day trips. Where to Fly Fish on the Merced River As mentioned above, you can fish the Merced for much of its 145-mile length before it joins the San Joaquin River. You’ll also find brown trout, western sucker, and squawfish. Click on any of the pins on the Merced County map or narrow your search by selecting a place type (e.g. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession. If it’s the latter, try the River Special pie with beer on tap at Parkside Pizza in El Portal, or for something a bit more refined a scotch and New York steak at The River Restaurant. Between the South Fork and the Foresta Bridge, the Department of Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout. Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County set the stage for epic family getaways, with the more children, parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents tagging along the merrier. There are too many safe places to fish to make taking risks on treacherous terrain worthwhile.