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Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide
Merced River
The majority of my time spent on the Merced River is from the area where the South Fork enters the main river at "Savages" Trading Post, upstream to the park boundary. This distance of about 10 miles is all excellent trout water. The river is stocked in the lower section from the South Fork upstream to Foresta Bridge. From the Foresta Bridge upstream to the park boundary, is the special regulation section of the Merced. Artificials only, single barbless hooks and all rainbows must be released. You may keep 5 brown trout, but the browns are few and far between.

On January 2, 1997, the Merced river experienced a huge flood. Many parts of Hwy. 140 (which parallels the river) were washed away. There was much concern of what the impact would be by the scouring effect of the huge flows. As it turns out, the flood was extremely beneficial to the river. Huge boulders and rocks were moved releasing nutrients into the river, while at the same time creating spawning areas in all the new gravel beds produced by the flood. We are now seeing the trout that were hatched that Spring. We had numerous fish last year in the 16" - 20" range. The insect population also benefited from the flood. The Pale Morning Dun (PMD) Spinner Fall, which starts in June, and would usually last a month, now continues until the end of September. The many different species of Caddisflies are now more abundant than they ever were, including the huge October Caddis. Blue Winged Olive, May Flies and Gold Stone Fly hatches are incredible during late February and March. The large Stoneflies or "Salmonfly" hatch still comes off in April & May (and depending on the snow runoff) can provide some great fishing.

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Merced River near El Portal

Pale Morning Dun (PMD)
Pale Morning Dun (PMD)
Pale Morning Dun (PMD)
Blue Winged Ollive
Pale Morning Dun (PMD) Blue Winged Olive (BWO)


Sierra Fly Fisher Tours
(559) 683-7664 | email | Find us on Facebook | Download a brochure
PO Box 631, Bass Lake, California 93604

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