West Carson River – A photo Essay

I have been busy as of late.  I have about 4 posts in the draft bin to finish to get caught back up on my fishing chronicles, but wanted to start by showing a few pictures of my most fished spot.  Enjoy this photo essay.

Gimme Power!Water Flow measuring pole

This is why this section is called the gaging station section…in case anyone was wondering.  You can clearly see the green power outbuilding from the highway, but you have to get a wee bit closer to the river to see the actual gage…not much more than a post that sticks into the water.

Fly and Line eaterWC Looking upstream from the gaging station

Here are your upstream and cross stream views of the gaging station area.  The upstream view should give a good indication of the type of river the West Carson is in the canyon section.  This is a pocket water creek that holds smaller fish, but they are normally more than ready to hit dries and they can be fun to fight with their crazy acrobatics and spirited runs.  Some people do not like to fish here because there can be some pretty difficult rock climbing and some of the holes are hat floaters.

WC Lower gaging station holeWC Lower gaging station hole

Two shots of the same hole.  This hole is pretty deep, even at low flows.  It is in the shade until about 11AM most mornings and is first into the shade in the evenings.  This is a perfect spot most of the day…..except, you cannot cast to this slot from the bank and the fish all hide along the back wall, so they see you approaching long before you get in position.  My tactic – I literally crawl through the water to those rocks that you see and hide behind the boulders.  The drifts are pretty tricky and I have learned that you really need to break this slot into three sections, fishing from three different positions if you want to catch the bigger fish in the hole.  Since it is a “quieter” hole, you pretty much spook the hole with your first fish.

Looking at the gaging station hole from mid-riverFrom between those rocks...

This hole is just under the cable that you noticed in the top shot.  You did notice that cable…right?  This hole is pretty straight-forward with the exception of that (line eating) cable.  The biggest fish seem to like the fast water that you see between the two rocks.  You can also find fish in the rocks in the center of the hole as well as tight to the right hand bank.  I have even grabbed fish from right under the rock that my rod is resting on in the right-hand shot.  Again, I get in the water and sneak up to the hole.  I hide behind this nice big rock and only show a portion of my upper body.

A small fish from the WCA WC native

The fruits of my labors.

These are the only holes that I am going to divulge.  I have spent several season working this river for miles upstream of these spots and for a ways downstream as well.  My “secret” spots shall remain my secrets.  For those that put in the time to learn all the spots on this river, I applaud you and I hope you keep them as your secrets as well.

So if your are looking for big fish…this is not your river.  But getting away from crowds, fishing a beautiful alpine setting and catching a bunch of small trout on dries is what the West Carson is all about.