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Camp Nelson, California

Fly Fish the Kern River above the Johnsondale Bridge

4 Miles Total - 100 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Nathaniel Polta

The special regulation section above the Johnsondale Bridge holds the native Kern River Rainbow Trout. The subspecies has been extirpated in the Kern river from the Johnsondale bridge downstream. Fighter Jets train above the canyon and provide a little aerial show.

Check in at the local fly fishing shop in Kernville to check the latest status, then continue up the 20 mile stretch of Mountain Hwy 99 until you cross the Johnsondale Bridge. Park, pack, then begin your 30-45 minute hike up the trail before setting your rod.

After you're finished, stop by the Kern River Brewing Company for a hot meal and a cold beer.

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Tags

Camping
Fishing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Hike, Great Camping, Great Fishing!

We started the hike with heavy bags and hiked about 3 and a half miles in. Tough terrain. Wouldn't say it's a beginner hike. Gets difficult at some areas. But the hike is beautiful. We found an amazing camp site and stayed the night. Caught a bunch of wild trout in the morning and hiked back. Had a great time. Would definitely recommend it!!

Guy at the fly shop is very knowledgable. Spring is not the best time to fish this stretch of the Kern because of the snow runoff. Fall is the best time of the year to fish this area. Also take the time to walk a little father up river. The lower portion tends to get hit hard. Be sure to know the regulations prior to fishing. The river from Kernville to the Johnsondale Bridge is open year around.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

1941 Kern River Highway

Fairview Campground

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