Beardsley Lake is primitive, but fishing might be exquisite

Some people could possibly call Beardsley Reservoir their personal heaven because of the from time to time fantastic trout fishing. Some may well swear it is actually the other spot mainly because of limited, primitive facilities, a standard low water level and afternoon winds. Get extra details about beardsley reservoir


But from the numerous lakes inside the Sierra Nevada, it is actually Beardsley that frequently provides many of the finest trout fishing in California soon after very first being opened, in conjunction with a lot of side trips and nearby cabin-style lodging.


Beardsley is positioned east of Sonora, up near Strawberry along Highway 108. This reservoir is set in a deep canyon around the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, some 2,000 feet beneath the ridge. So even though the actual elevation at the lake is 3,400 feet, where spring is taking hold, Beardsley has the feel of a lake set at substantially greater elevations.


This can give rise to a fish-catching phenomenon that a lot of may well dream about. I've had a lot of April days at Beardsley where the trout seem to shout, "Catch me!" -- such as brown trout in the 15- to 22-inch class. Following the lake has been closed for five months, the trout normally look to overlook in regards to the wiles of anglers.


Upon arrival, the initial factor you may notice is that the lake is now 55 percent complete, which could appear really low. Actually, it's best. The lake typically fishes ideal when it truly is low, not complete, because it is easier to discover the submerged ledges and drop-offs where the fish school. Together with the snowpack at Sonora Pass now melting, Beardsley is projected to rise more than the following two months and present a a lot more classic setting.


The facilities are limited, the services nonexistent. There's a boat ramp, parking area plus a primitive Forest Service campground (still closed earlier this week) that consists of locations to park self-contained RVs or pick- up trucks with camper shells, or pitch a tent.


A further difficulty would be the late-afternoon wind, having a westerly breeze that whistles up the canyon in spring. Some loathe it, nevertheless it can unlock the bank vault: Having a modest boat, in the event you let the wind push you over the submerged ledges, your speed will match that of food drifting by. We've tested this with dozens of offerings: The very best technique is always to thread a night-crawler on your hook and line so it lies perfectly straight, and after that trail it 17 inches behind a set of hammered brass/silver Cousin' Carl Half-Fast flashers.


Several side adventures can furnish far more highlights. When Sonora Pass is cleared of snow, which normally occurs in early May, a must-do is definitely the trip up Highway 108 to the Donnells Vista. Since Donnells Reservoir is set in a deep gorge and often is kept incredibly low in the spring (now only 18 percent full), the view into the gorge might be eye-popping beautiful. This is a baby Yosemite Valley with towering granite walls, a miniature El Capitan, and quite a few waterfalls.


There's also access to the Middle Fork Stanislaus downstream of Beardsley Dam, with an unsigned river trail accessible. Fly-fishing, catch-and-release, for compact natives is typically very good; the trout season for mountain streams opens April 24.


The resort at small Pinecrest Lake at Strawberry provides additional nearby options for boating, fishing and lodging, using the marina opening April 23.

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