The East Fork of the Carson (EFC) River is a truly beautiful freestone river about an hour south of Reno. This special river has been designated as Wild and Scenic by the State of California between the Hangman’s Bridge and NV/CA stateline. This will protect this beautiful river from future development and construction of dams.

Both rainbow and brown trout inhabit the river. The section upstream of Hangman’s Bridge is regularly stocked by CDFW. This section holds many pools and deep riffles ripe with hungry fish. Downstream of the bridge all the way to the Nevada state line, a section of pocket water littered with large boulders hold the highest density of both wild rainbows and browns on the East Carson. Designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the East Carson River flows through the canyons in the Eastern Sierra and is well worth the adventure .


Spring (March-May)

Being a free-flowing river and a very high elevation watershed the early season on the E.C. depends largely on flow conditions. The river typically runs high and muddy the first couple of months in the spring. Fishing is doable during this time, but the Truckee River offers much better fishing during runoff season. Once the flows subside, large stonefly patterns are responsible for a majority of grabs. Worms, eggs and other flashy flies such as mops due the job as well. 

Summer (June-August)

When clear, cold water flows through the canyon in the summer, fishing really turns on. A host of insects including golden stoneflies, PMD’s, yellow sally’s, and caddis all fill the river and feed the fish. Given the abundance of food, trout aren’t too picky this time of year. Dry dropper rigs with a caddis dry on top with a PMD nymph down below will surely fool a few fish. Later in the season, hopper dropper rigs produce fish in fast riffles. Don’t forget the sunscreen this time of year.

Fall (September-November)

Fall brings on cooler water temps and aggressive fish. Depending on flow conditions, the E.C. continues to fish well. Streamer fishing becomes hot and often moves more fish than any other method. If there is still a decent flow, bug life continues to thrive and gives way to continued caddis hatches. 

Winter (January-February)

The California side remains closed throughout the winter (upstream of Hangman’s Bridge is open from the last Saturday in April to November 15th). The Truckee River provides the best winter fishing in the area. Check out the Truckee River section and give it a shot.


Nymphing in the morning and fishing a dry in the afternoon will give the angler the best chance of hooking fish. European Style Nymphing is a favorite of locals. A dry-dropper setup will also fool a few fish and gives the angler some variety in approach and tactics.


The following are some of the flies we suggest for success in this area.

They can be purchased directly through our site via the links below, or at the shop. 

Red Perdigon, French Nymph, Crystal Caddis , Chernobyl Hopper

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